Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Zinnias and Basil in Blue Ball Jars The Prudent Homemaker

I spent almost all of last week sick in bed. I managed to get up to wash a few loads of laundry and do a couple of things. 

I’ve written all of the posts I had hoped to share with you last week–but a couple of them aren’t published yet until I can get up and take photos.

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 gift card.

I redeemed some Recyclebank points that I’ve had sitting in my account for years for a subscription to Cooking Light magazine for myself and a gift subscription to Sunset magazine for my dad. I’ve checked out Cooking Light at the library while at the library before and I think I might enjoy it.

I cooked a turkey. The way I cook it is absolutely no work. I just put it in and took it out when it was done.

A site I subscribe to, Comme une Francaise, sent some free, time-limited emails with bonus videos for practicing my French comprehension, which I watched.

My husband gave both of the boys haircuts.

What did you do last week to save money?

 

 

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157 Comments

  1. We just spent 2 days tearing out the old carpet, pads, carpet tacking strips and staples from our new house! The man who owned the house smoked and the house still smells like smoke. There was beautiful hardwood underneath. By tearing out the old carpet, etc., we saved a bundle of money. Now we have an appointment to get the floors refinished. The living room, hall and the 3 bedrooms are all hardwood. What a blessing it was under there! It only cost $35 for Rob to get rid of all of that at the dump.

    I took food with us for lunches both days. It was so nice to have a refrigerator to put things in!

    I put “before” pictures on my blog. https://beckyathome.wordpress.com

    There are 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a kitchen, small dining area, tiny laundry room, and a living room. The garage is a 1-car, small garage and I plan to use it for food storage and also to turn it into an extra little family room area. It is 1/3 the size of our former house, and the problem is that I only got rid of 1/2 my stuff! So, I have some challenges ahead. Once I figure out what to do with my sewing stuff, and books, I will be well on my way! It has air conditioning, which makes me feel totally spoiled. A lot of houses in my part of Oregon don’t, as it is not that hot very often, but it sure came in handy while we were ripping up the carpet on a day that reached 97 degrees!

    As I have shared before that we hoped to be able to completely pay cash for this house, I have to keep it real. We didn’t have enough money in the end to buy a house in our area. So, thanks to help from family, we were able to get this. Now our goal is to pay back the relatively small sum we borrowed as quickly as possible. It’s very do-able, and we are grateful.

  2. Hi Brandy,
    I do hope you feel better soon. There is nothing worse than feeling unwell in the heat.
    Last weeks frugal achievements were

    Saved the carcass from a beautiful roast chicken and put it in the slow cooker overnight and made a pot of chicken and sweet corn soup from the lovely broth.

    Saved the warm up water from the showers to water our two big potted figs out the front of the house.

    Made a, cute as a button, felt doll and clothes set (inspired by you) for my darling little grand niece who turned three last Thursday

    Watered our garden using tank water

    Dried all the washing on the line

    Packed my lunch for work every day

    Rode my bike to work 3 days last week to save $$ on petrol

    Went Op shopping at the Salvos and bought 6 lovely items of clothing for $13.50 (Aussie dollars). Washed and aired them and they are all like new

    Cleaned the house using home made cleaners

    Cooked all our meals from scratch

    Made a lovely loaf of light rye bread and fed my sourdough starter to wake it up for use tomorrow

    I hope you have a great week.
    Fi

  3. Harvested greens, peppers and edible squash flowers – like you, we’re having very hot weather.

    I don’t subscribe to any magazines but I read about 12 a month for free using Zinio and Flipster thru our local library sites. I often don’t find more than one or two articles or recipes per magazine that I actually read.

  4. This is for 2 weeks, since I was not able to post last week.

    Took bottled fruit in half pints to our youngest granddaughter, done as the “tail ends” of batches. I also took our middle daughter 3 quarts of raisins from last year’s crop of Red Reliance grapes, & a quart of dehydrated rhubarb for her family. Took empty jars with me to fill with blueberries from our daughter’s large patch, & the blackberries from both her thicket & those that grow wild where she lives. I also took her 3 cases of canning jars that she won as prizes when she was a young teen, entering items in canning at the State Fair. As the girls won these jars, we wrote their names in marker on the sides, so we could tell which was whose. The jars have been in our storage cubby for quite some time, & now that she has a home of her own, she is able to use them, so they rode with me in the car. Dropped off the patio table from the Oregon Kmart for our youngest daughter on my way home.

    Bottled blueberries in syrup, blackberries in syrup, & blackberry jam while at our middle daughter’s house, from her large blueberry patch & from both wild & her blackberry thickets. Some were for her & the others came home with me, to divide between us & her sisters. The grandbaby loves blackberry jam! As a side note, the comfrey salve did a pretty good job on the scratches from the blackberry thickets.

    Picked Red Haven peaches, tomatoes, strawberries, red raspberries & elderberries.

    Bottled the Red Haven peaches that we picked while still rather green from the tree when the limbs broke in the wind. They took a few weeks, but they did ripen up in the bowls.

    Juiced the red & the white currants, froze the juice for jelly & jam making, then dehydrated the squeezings to add both flavor & body to fruit/herbal teas. Dehydrated some of the frozen elderberries in the dehydrator at the same time, to free up containers & make more space in the freezer.

    Filled in more of the new back perimeter bed with newspaper, cardboard, & grounds for gardeners along with the dirt from the sod removed to set the Lodgestones. Continued to use grass clippings for mulch.

    Drove up to see our youngest daughter’s new apt.& to pick the blackberries at her old apartment with her. We picked 10 quart, of which I bottled 7 quart as berries in syrup & the other 3 went into jam, which again, will be divided among the family. We also brought home some small red plums that have littered the parking lot every year that she has lived there, since no one else uses them. Those will also go into jam to be shared.

  5. Good Morning Brandy,

    I so hope you are feeling better now! I’ve never commented, but I feel moved today with gratitude and really want you to know how much I admire and enjoy your beautiful site. Your photos are beyond lovely! This will sound possibly odd, but reading about your life and family, and always looking forward to everyone’s comments, gives me the same inspiring feeling that reading fiction by Alcott and Montgomery does! Your virtue shines.
    Warmly.
    Erina

  6. Hi…hope you are well soon. I know Mama being sick is hard on the family. I shopped at Aldi and Sams club. Also I bought close to $60 of food for $25 at Publix. I wish I had a garden but I just am not into it.

  7. So sorry to hear you have been sick. Hope you feel better soon! I have some recyclebank points too and it’s been awhile since I’ve been on their site. I’ll have to check them out. Thanks for the reminder!

    With the drought our garden didn’t do as well as it did last year. I’ve been cleaning and counting the jars left on the canning shelf. You can read the rest of my frugal accomplishments here:
    http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2016/08/my-frugal-ways-this-past-weekwhat-was_14.html

  8. Hello Brandy and all from Australia 🙂 .

    Not good that you have been feeling ill Brandy all week, sorry to hear that and get better soon. DH & I also have the flu so are battling to get anything done this week as well.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    Sewing –

    – Upcycled a new quilt cover I had in my gift cupboard that I could find no-one to give it to into 2 curtains one for the toilet and one for the laundry area. It cost $9 quite some time ago and it definitely makes for cheap but beautiful large print cottage roses curtains. I still have enough fabric left for other small decorator projects as well.

    Finances and craft –

    – Earned around $30 from the sale of seeds for the garden.

    – Spent $15.90 for 3 packets of Imodium to add to our medical supplies for the year. There has been a stomach virus flu going around which DH has had, so I will be prepared for the next bout as it appears it is re-emerging numerous times amongst people we know.

    – Put in our tax with the accountant and good news is that after finding lots of deductions and an additional allowance for me being a sole carer for DH that our tax refund cheque will be larger than last year. More money we can save for our saving for our home with cash fund in the bank.

    – Banked another $551.16 into our saving for our home with cash bank account. We are just over 20% of the way there on saving cash, to our initial look for a home target 🙂 .

    In the kitchen –

    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch using pantry and freezer garden produce.

    – Made granola to save us buying any commercial breakfast cereals.

    General spring cleaning –

    – Deep cleaned, cleaned walls, polished entertainment units and chairs, damp dusted, decluttered and vacuumed the lounge room.

    – Re-organised threads into a new box as the other one had torn, moved the sewing machine table around closer to the power point and nearer a view of the daisy gardens when I sew, damp dusted, cleaned walls and vacuumed the sewing room.

    Water saving –

    – Used saved grey water from showers and washing machines to water the house lawns all week.

    – Missed a scheduled garden watering due to lovely rain saving 270 lts of town water use.

    – Hand watered all new seeds and seedlings in the garden with rain water from the tanks saving any town water use.

    In the garden –

    – Picked parsley, strawberries and tomatoes.

    – Weeded another 9 x 2 metre garden bed.

    – DH sprayed the whole lawn for broad leaf weeds and bindii, and we hand weeded some of the lawn too prior. With spring coming on we are trying to get rid of all the weeds so we can fertilise and reseed any bare patches with lawn seed.

    As we had a lot of rain this week and we have been sick so not much else has been done in the garden sadly.

    Electricity savings –

    – Cooked most of our bread and bulk cooking in off peak electricity times in the evenings to save on power costs.

    – Cooked most of our bread at night in off peak electricity times.

    – Put all our laundry on to wash at night in off peak electricity times.

    – Turned on our lights later each evening to save on power use.

  9. I hope you feel much better during the coming week. I was out-and-about in the Flint, Michigan, area Thursday afternoon with my 93-years-young mom. The first stop was at the new Goodwill at the mall. I wanted to see if it was nicer than our local Goodwill stores. But my bifocals were on top of my head as I attempted to exit the car. I hit my head on the top of the doorframe and bent the nosepiece totally out of shape as it was pushed against my skull. I attempted to fix it, but I broke one pad off. I put the pad in my billfold, the glasses on my nose, and went shopping anyway. The store was nicely organized. I had planned on going to the nearby Aldi’s next but backtracked instead to an optical shop that I thought was offering two pairs of bifocals and an eye exam for $99. But I soon learned the $99 included just the lenses. The frames would set me back another $69. Sigh! But then the young woman at the counter offered to try to fix my glasses. She did, without cost–and despite knowing my vision coverage is not accepted at her shop. Then we went back to Aldi’s and bought four bags of groceries that didn’t need refrigeration because mom was already getting hungry. We drove through the middle of Flint, first past an abandoned factory, and then past the College Cultural Area. Leaving downtown, we headed past a park where some walking event was being held, past Kettering University, and past some lovely homes with views of heavily wooded Mott Park behind McLaren Hospital. We ordered Cracker Barrel’s Thursday turkey and dressing special to share along with a child’s meal that gave us mom’s decaffeinated coffee and two additional sides. The bill came to $15.14. I gave the server her tip and we got the exact funds for the bill ready. A few minutes earlier, mom had noticed a man playing airplane with either his son or nephew. I turned to peek and commented something to the effect “that’s what guys do to get babies to laugh and learn a little physics along the way.” My mom loves babies and it shows in her face. We slowly stood up to make our way to the cashier. The grandpa of the family with the baby at the corner table volunteered to pay our tab. We were surprised but gladly accepted. The skeptic in me called the restaurant once we got home to make sure we hadn’t stiffed our server. We hadn’t. The grandpa had paid the bill. Mom and I were both spoiled by the kindness of strangers in the Flint area that day. Yesterday, we also saved over $7 by using digital coupons at Dollar General. There was a new guy running the cash register and it took him three tries to get the coupons to subtract off the total. I try to save our trips to Dollar General for the days when they offer coupons for $2 off $10 or $5 off $25.

  10. After getting back from a trip up north to my sister’s on Tuesday, we:
    1. Started gathering limestone from our yard to build the side walls around our fire pit.
    2. Mortared the first two layers of the wall and set into place the final row. Still need to mortar that one, but we already have enough mortar mix to finish it.
    3. Started spreading pea gravel around perimeter of fire pit so the circle will be large enough for us to put our recycled concrete benches around it. We also are getting ready to build a wooden bench for in the yard out of recycled wood!
    4. Went to produce auction and from it I canned 21 quarts of diced tomatoes, 13 pints of Rotel, 14 pints of BBQ sauce, 18 pints of enchilada sauce and froze 8 quarts of bell peppers. Getting 23 huge cantaloupe for 35 cents each meant we ate cantaloupe and shared with our family and friends! We also enjoy eating and sharing the bushel of cucumbers that I got for $1/bushel! My shelves in the basement pantry are full and I feel ready for winter to come!
    5. Made a last minute trip to St Louis yesterday and will come home tonight, but carried our snacks with us to save money on the way. We also used Gas Buddy to help find cheapest gas prices along the way!

    All in all, a very good week’

  11. I am sorry you have been sick! That is definitely difficult when you have children 🙁
    I was let go from my job last Friday, which I have been waiting for for a month. I was told I “wasn’t a good fit” lol. Both Chiropractors and the other Receptionist had LOADS of money and flaunted it and none of them were very nice usually treated me badly. I tried my best though but I am still relieved I don’t have to go there anymore. I have an interview coming up on September 7 for a job that is 10 minutes from my home (the above mentioned job was a half hour of driving one way), a normal schedule, and a dollar more an hour WITH benefits ( above mentioned job = no benefits and low pay while typically being gone 11 hours a day). My daily goal now is to deep clean one room per day, per week and save us as much money as I can, which should be easy because we don’t have any anyways LOL. So onto my frugals for last week:
    – I received free tomatoes and cucumbers that patients brought into the office who are farmers or avid gardeners. I shared some with my mom. I also have tomatoes starting to ripen on my own garden and shared some with my mother in law.

    -I took all my meals and snacks to work with me. I brought my coffee in my mug from home and drank water all day.

    -We cooked all meals from scratch at home using ingredients we already have. Now that I am not working I will be making a menu plan so I don’t have to figure out dinner every day and make the most use of our leftovers. I made homemade mac and cheese, white bread, homemade “cream of anything” soup, potato/hamburger casserole, sloppy joes, yogurt, bean and cheese burritos, a whole chicken in the crockpot, picked the meat off the bones and used the bones and skin to make broth, refried beans.

    -I harvested more basil, tomatoes, and lettuce. Something keeps eating the few strawberries we have had grow. Probably birds because our big garden plot is fenced in.

    -I saved warm up water from the shower to use to flush the toilet, rinse the bathtub, and water plants. I continue to take “navy showers” and not fill the sink fully when washing dishes. If I do not have a lot of dishes to rinse I use the dish pan for rinsing.

    -I have over 1700 Swagbucks. I am saving them for a $25 gift card. I also have $10 in points from Walgreens. I am saving those for Christmas.

    -I redeemed 3 Ibotta rebates and 1 Checkout51 rebate.

    -I purchased 2 gallons of milk from Aldi for .90 a piece. I had only stopped in to get one but at that price I bought 2. I also noticed while I was there that their egg prices went up.

    – I used the indoor drying racks to dry clothes due to weather and time. I will use the outdoor lines more now that I have the time.

    -Borrowed some books for my daughter from the library. I have been reading books from my own personal library that I got for free and donating them when I am done.

    -Got two Halloween decorations from my mom she didn’t want.

    -I mended a pair of my husbands shorts. He trimmed my hair for me.

    -My husband patched a hole in one of the tires on our car. Somewhere one of us picked up a nail. We have three doors to our home, but one has been shut and locked because the wood where the top screwed into the frame was rotted. We have no money for replacement so he was able to repair it by removing the rotted piece and screwing the hinges into the piece of wood behind the rotted one. Works like new now. 🙂

    -Picked up a dime in a parking lot that my daughter put into the piggy bank.

    – My hubby cashed in the bags of soda cans that had been in the garage. He also took a bunch of junk that had been in the garage for months to the curb. Not frugal, but MUCH better for my peace of mind ( I hate clutter ).

    – I signed up for a free magazine subscription and also signed up for several samples.

    -Turned the ac units up 3 degrees so they don’t run as often. We keep all unnecessary lights off, small appliances, etc off and unplugged when not in use. I discovered through reading a depression era cookbook that when I am cooking pasta or certain veggies that once the water boils I can put the lid on the pot and turn the burner off. The heat will cook the food inside perfectly with only the fuel to make the water boil. I have not tried this on carrots yet but it worked on several kinds of pasta, broccoli, and frozen veggies.

    I look forward to reading everyone’s comments! Have a great week everyone!

  12. Elizabeth – I have struggled since Swagbucks changed their bonus. I complete a task and it doesn’t record it. I use my laptop and keep the videos and Crave things running in the background. I try to complete the surveys (I don’t always qualify, but I try).

  13. I’m sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well! 🙁

    Last week:

    -We got some good news on the house front. The cost of the house has been decreased by $5,000 and the seller must make $3,000 in repairs–which means we’re saving $8,000. Woohoo!

    -I made pineapple upside down cake from a pineapple that was about to go bad. This meant we used up food we had on hand and didn’t buy sweets from the store.

    -This weekend I made biscuits and tortillas from scratch to eat throughout the week.

    -We’ve started planning out our kitchen remodel and found that we could build out of cheaper materials, which means saving more money to use elsewhere on our house.

    -We haven’t been pruning our basil plants correctly, so two of them have become almost like vines. Today I’ll remove all of the leaves on these dying plants and freeze them to make pesto. Yum!

  14. Hope you are feeling better and your “helpers” could keep up with your garden chores. I really enjoyed your penmanship article.

    Picked up a 20 pound box of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $0.80/lb. all the filets are frozen together so I am thawing it out and will split into portions and refreeze. $0.80 was unbelievable so I am very glad I could buy it.

    Made homemade granite cleaner and used it last week, seems to do just as good a job as the store bought chemicals. Due to the cost and minimum size of buying peppermint leaves, I won’t see any cost savings for a while, but based on how much peppermint I have left over, I have a lifetime supply ;). Also made two batches of Brandy’s laundry detergent (which I love) as well as some vinegar and eucalyptus oil based fabric softener! Bit by bit I am switching over to homemade cleaning supplies.

    Cooked at home for most of our meals, continued working through our freezer supplies. Have spent $60 this month so far on groceries for the two of us, in line with my goal of staying below $100. Got to the gym twice this week with my husband, still enjoying the fabulous gym that costs us $25 a year since he is a veteran!

    I am astonished how I find new ways of saving, the trick is to keep looking. Brandy made a comment once that she and her husband continually look for ways to save money. I didn’t appreciate that comment fully when I read it, but now I do.

  15. I am very sorry to hear you have been sick — I hope you are feeling much better this week.
    I had a free subscription to Cooking Light for a couple of years and I really enjoyed it. You have reminded me to check my Recyclebank points.
    Our next-door neighbor took us out to dinner to thank us for all the help my husband has been to her since her husband died a couple of months ago. It was nice to spend time visiting her and I think she enjoyed getting out.

    On our way home from a doctor’s appointment, we stopped and picked apples (from a tree in the J.C. Penny’s parking lot, of all places) and crab apples (from a tree in front of the cemetery.) I made 5 ½ jars of crab apple jelly and 12 pints of applesauce.

    A hail storm did a lot of damage in the garden. I managed to get one cooking of green beans before they were destroyed. I’m going to pull up the plants and plant peas – I think I have time to get a harvest before hard frost. The cucumbers were also a loss. I hope the onions and zucchini recover. I’m still getting tomatoes and froze several bags to process later.

    Rainy weather allowed me to turn off the irrigation to the garden for a few days.

    Our ‘date night’ was attending the anniversary celebration at Natural Grocers. We enjoyed free ice cream, received a free shopping bag, and took advantage of big sales to purchase some needed items. Then we had dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We brought home leftovers and will be having them for dinner tonight.

    I finished knitting a sweater from yarn in my stash. This is the third stash project I’ve completed this year. My goal is to knit up a lot of my stash before I buy any new yarn and so far I have kept to that promise. I started a new sweater from more stash yarn.

    We will be leaving for a long RV trip (three weeks) in about 10 days. I have been cooking meals and freezing them for the trip. It’s more work now, but it’s so nice when we’re camping to just pull something out of the freezer. It saves us a lot of money over eating out.

    I did a little more mending from the bottomless mending basket.
    .

  16. Mostly I stayed indoors and went no where because it was too hot. In the mid 90’s with terrible humidity. On Wednesday my sisters and I had a pool party at one sister’s house–Two nieces and two grands were invited also–5 adults and 2 children–just a good number for a swim, lunch and a chat! Took a lot of sunscreen to get us through the afternoon but it was a lot of fun. The three sisters try to get together once a month for lunch since Mom passed a couple years ago. The pool is the right location for summer, but we go to restaurants the rest of the year. I also had a lunch date planned with an old friend but it was postponed because of a medical situation, which I’m told should resolve itself in 7-10 days. We will reschedule then.

    I did get some mending done while looking around for jobs that didn’t involve much exertion, plus making bread, granola, and meals every day. I attended my two yoga classes also, and made meals which used up some needed-to-go produce from the fridge. I made a chicken-veggie-pasta Alfredo which turned out quite well–the pasta and cabbage were recycled from previous meals, and I used more peppers from a sale a couple weeks ago and a big tomato that was getting a bit past it. Homegrown cantaloupe is cut up and in the fridge—I love to grab a couple cubes of that when I get thirsty, as it’s so refreshing.

    We are SO tired of super-hot weather but it has rained a little and more is expected later this week. We are still in a drought. I have done some THINKING about Christmas gifts that I could make and have a couple ideas. I would rather be catching up on gardening but it’s just impossible right now. Peaches are coming in locally now, my favorite fruit of the year. So far I’ve only had them on my cereal but maybe a peach shortcake will be possible this week. At least staying in the house isn’t an expense!

    Hope you’re feeling better and back to health soon.

  17. Brandy, I am so sorry you weren’t feeling well this week. I hope you are doing better.

    Frugal accomplishments for last week at our house were:

    My husband and I were both on vacation so we were able to get some things done around the house and yard that we either don’t have time to do normally while working full time jobs or we run out of energy :p

    We finished decluttering and cleaning the basement. What a relief that that is finally done!

    We cleaned our cars inside and out thoroughly. They look so nice now.

    I made and prepared several meals ahead. I made a large pot of minestrone soup using swiss chard that was given to us from a gardening friend. I made two frittatas with the rest of the swiss chard (one to eat now and another for the freezer). I soaked and cooked kidney beans for our kidney bean cakes that my husband loves. I made falafel with chickpeas that I soaked and cooked. I also made tzaziki sauce and freezer pickles using cucumbers that were also gifted to us. What a blessing it is to have a single friend that loves to garden and has more than she needs to give away! I will be looking for ways to return the kindness.

    We spent a whole day at the lake with our children and grandchildren. We brought food to cook on the grill and went swimming and fishing. This is our one summer splurge and we do it each year. It is the same lake my husband has been going to since he was a little boy.

  18. I hope you feel much better soon and no one else gets sick!

    We went bowling one evening, using our Kids Bowl Free coupons and the prepaid coupon for us adults – we only paid for shoe rental as our alley’s deal doesn’t include that. We ate supper beforehand instead of eating at the bowling alley, but did treat everyone to orange creme sodas.

    My husband had a four-day weekend so we went up to Seattle to a museum that participates in the Blue Star Museum program. We received free admission. They normally charge for parking at it is at a university, so you have to have a parking pass, but the gentleman at the entry gate said they were replacing the computers that day so they were giving everyone free parking. Woot! We did eat lunch out on our way back, which I had planned for – unfortunately my idea of treating the kids to Rain Forest Cafe didn’t work out as they’ve closed here. We went to Olive Garden instead, where the portions are so large we had them again for dinner and my daughter even got lunch Saturday from hers. We still had salad in the big bowl and two breadsticks and my husband had those packed to go as well.

    Saturday we went to a local fort’s historical reenactment – we paid admission, but they offer a military rate that is a bit lower, and parking is included. We had an amazing time. I had packed a cooler bag with lunch and extra drinks. They have their own garden and use the foods grown for historical cooking classes; it turns out they also save and sell the heirloom seeds from the plants. I spotted some seed packets and remembered that I used up my last two packets of peas planting the fall garden a couple of weeks ago. I had planned to purchase two more the next time we were at the nursery, but got them at the fort instead. It was a nice way to get a little memento, possibly for years to come if I can save seeds from the future plants, and support their endeavors there.

    I’m doing a mini freezer/pantry challenge – rotating out some things and keeping the grocery list to perishables. I’ve let our Costco membership lapse while we still live near my parents – I am just keeping a list of what we need and will give them cash to pick it up for us in another month or so. The list is fairly short now that I’ve made the time to just stop buying the bulk of the items that we were, er, buying in bulk. 😉

    While my daughter was at a Mutual activity this week, the rest of us went to the library. My son used the computers for a half hour (we pay for GB on our internet service, so the less we use at home, the better) and we borrowed several bags of books, magazines, and DVDs. I was excited to find a DVD set of Edwardian Farm, which a friend has recommended numerous times and sent me links to, but I’ve gone without watching to save on said GB’s of internet (video chews right through our plan!). My husband helped me find a bunch of books and documentaries about the various cultures the children & I will be learning about in their history program this year – my husband loves history, so the DVDs are great to watch together as family entertainment in the evenings. (And still give the kids [home]school credit. 😀 )

    On the same token, I got an email from a homesteading & green living publisher with a sale of up to 90% off. Instead of making purchases, I went through and checked our library’s online catalog to see what they already have. Anything that sounded interesting, I requested at the library; anything they didn’t have, I will just do without. Some of the reenactors we talked with yesterday told us about other documentaries/living history series similar to Frontier House, but done by other production companies, so I’ll be looking those up at the library as well.

    I’ve been buying some herbal “iced teas” tins at Barnes & Noble to keep hydrated and try to get me off soda, but they add up as I make a half gallon Mason jar of it a day, even with my mom’s “member” discount card (my higher % educator card doesn’t apply there). I finally went to the company’s website last night and found out they have larger containers of the flavor I like the most, and they offer free shipping over a certain amount. My husband drinks regular green tea and Earl Grey, so we went through and created an order that got me stocked up on herbal tisanes and stocked him for the coming colder months, and got him some sample packets of other blends. I was excited to find an herbal version of chai from this company as well, so I’ve got a sample of it on the way. I’m terrible about drinking enough water unless it has flavor, but no longer drinking iced coffees or iced tea means I fall back on soda, which obviously isn’t good for me either. (But BUBBLES!!! LOL)

    Wishing everyone a frugal, safe, happy week to come!

  19. I’m so sorry that you’ve been sick…its so hard with kids.

    Hello from steamy PA. I know it is not a lot in comparison with Nevada but we have been in the 100 heat index all week, which is crazy for us. This has brought lots of atmospheric changes including incredible thunderstorms. The garden is liking the storm but my chickens, not so much…their laying has dramatically dropped since the heat began. We keep filling their feeders and increased their laying feed and scratch. My friend at the farm stand gives them all the overripe melons which they enjoy. The only bonus to the hot weather is we follow the military’s work, rest, cycle for the heat which mean my 4 youngest children nap for 2-3 hours at mid day. We’ve reinforced this by talking about siesta culture!

    In other news we are making inroads in our kitchen re-do. Last week we added cabinets on a blank wall. This week we took out our kitchen island. I know this sounds strange but our house was a flip and the people who redid it chose a kitchen island that was too big for the scale of the kitchen. It had a beautiful granite top. My husband and oldest were able to remove the granite in one piece and transfer the entire island to our basement where it will be used as a folding/ironing table. We replaced with with a stainless kitchen prep table that matches our appliances and and is more appropriately scaled to the kitchen. It is much lighter and airy.

    We had a date night where we were able to attend Boston’s 40th anniversary tour during a large Musikfest in out town that last two weeks. My husband used his university discount to buy the tickets and my aunt & uncle babysat. Great show! We had enough time before the concert to walk on the Hoover Mason trestle which is an elevated walk way above the former Bethlehem steel site. i’ve wanted to go and it was lovely at sunset.

    Something ate my cucumbers (probably borers) but my three sister’s planting (beans, squash and tomatoes) are doing well. I still (amazingly) am harvesting lettuce! Hope everyone has a good week!

  20. Becky,

    I worked in property management when I was younger and I heartily second Brandy’s mention of Kilz! In some cases, we had units that required two coats of it, but in many you can make a huge difference with just a single coat.

    Love your new house – it looks amazing! And being in WA with a bit of a heat wave, I envy you that AC this week. 😉

  21. This week was a transition week. I work full time May through the beginning of August cleaning 10-15 residential and vacation home a week in order to cash flow our eldest 2 children’s college tuitions and room and board. This week was my one week off between that and getting ready for the homeschool year for our younger children. During the school year I only clean 1-2 homes weekly but have actual time to keep mine in shape 🙂 The majority of my grocery shopping was done for one of our college girls, her tuition and fees have risen over the last few years so we have her on the minimum 10 meals per week plan. She doesn’t enjoy the cafeteria food and is quite willing to fix the majority of her own meals. Other frugal attempts for the week were selling items on ebay and listing items (that haven’t sold yet) on craigslist. If the items on craigslist don’t sell ( I’ll mark down by 20 %, 2 attempts), I’ll donate. I participated in a market research opportunity that I found on Craigslist, under jobs and etc. This allowed me to participate from home and only took about an hour. I netted $85 on a virtual visa that I used to purchase bulk spices, oats, almond extract and a print cartridge from Amazon. I collected cucumbers, basil and green onions from the garden. I planted sugar pie pumpkins and spinach in the garden. I made a huge batch of taco seasoning to save time as we have at least one meal a week that requires this. I made homemade yum yum sauce for the first time and we enjoyed it with two different meals. I stayed home the majority of the week, so didn’t visit the gym but instead took a walk daily with my youngest daughter. We ate no meals out . I was blessed with salvia from a friend and I blessed her with celosia, we are both looking for inexpensive ways to make our yards more pollinator friendly and swapped what we both have in excess. I was able to gift a friend with free to me cat food that I purchased with coupons. I hope everyone has a wonderful, blessed week. Brandy, I hope you are feeling better very soon and will say a prayer for you right now. I plan to defrost a turkey this week and do just as you did…. cook it till it’s done, no frills.

  22. Brandy, I hope you’re feeling better now!

    Nice to read everyone’s frugal accomplishments as always! Here are mine for the week:
    – Took home an unopened box of Christmas boxes from a colleague who was cleaning out her father’s house. She’s getting rid of a bunch of stuff, and I’ll either use it or add it to my garage sale pile.
    – Brewed yet more tea from tea given to me as a gift
    – Gave away tea given to me, to give to a friend as a hostess gift
    – Redeemed swagbucks for another $5 to add to my Starbucks card, so I can meet friends for coffee and not be out of pocket
    – Repurposed an old stool that my mother had as a student (almost 50 years ago) into a resting place for our wifi network electronic thingies in our bedroom. Fits in with our bedroom colour scheme, and gets rid of the tangle of cords on the floor.
    – Read tons of e-books via our public library system. So great to be able to download a new book when it’s 2 am and I can’t sleep.
    – As it was time to renew our mortgage, we switched our mortgage to a different provider to get the rate we are looking for. It’s a lot of paperwork and hassle, but it will pay off, literally.
    – Made a batch of yoghurt that didn’t work out (I think I used too little starter yoghurt), even after trying to reculture, so hey, buttermilk-thickness yoghurt for everyone! Is delicious, albeit not what I was going for. We’ll be having pseudo-buttermilk pancakes with a side of pseudo-buttermilk for weeks!
    – Used the pseudo-buttermilk in my kale antioxidant smoothies instead of milk or cashew milk. Gave it a bit more of a tangy taste, but still good!
    – Used a free Starbucks drink coupon. I got a Venti double chocolatey chip frapuccino with a shot of vanilla syrup and extra chips. Would have been $6.50 if I had actually paid for it. Also, it counted as lunch, so win-win!
    – Made a batch of Brandy’s Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup using some freezer-burned ends of bread from the freezer. Didn’t have enough bread, so I added in some breadcrumbs. Also didn’t have dried parsley, so I added in some tarragon. Plus, I used some fresh basil that my mother’s garden. Incredibly delicious! Will definitely be making this again. Such a great recipe, Brandy!
    – Used baking soda as a mild abrasive to clean my shower tub. Way more effective in getting off stubborn stains than any commercial cleaner I’ve used, and for pennies on the dollar.
    – Cut up an old cotton t-shirt to use as lint-free cleaning cloths
    – Set aside more stuff for our upcoming garage sale
    – Cat-sat for two clients. I get to have kitty snuggles, plus I get cash — I love it!

    Have a great week, everyone!

  23. I am not trying to be mean at all. Just curious – how is visiting a lake for a day and bringing your own food a splurge? Is there a cost for entering? I am honestly wondering.

  24. Replace the filters on your furnace as well.
    I, too, have used gallons of Kilz as a primer before painting. In addition to covering smoke damaged walls, it also does a great job of covering crayon on the walls. It also is a great primer and helps the paint to adhere.

  25. Before you paint with anything, wash the walls with TSP. The owners of our former house were also smokers. I nearly went ahead and painted the walls without washing, then decided that maybe I should to ensure everything would stick properly. I was shocked at the black stuff that was washed off with a bit of TSP in the water. I had to change the water twice before I was finished the one room! Great for removing grease on the walls in kitchens before painting too. It is not very expensive to buy, but well worth using. Just make sure you wear gloves as it is a harsh chemical and can irritate the skin.

  26. Thank you. We went to Home Depot after church and got 5 gallons of Kilz. If we run out, we will get more. The owners had recently painted, and I had hoped to not have to repaint, but we got paint for the entire house because it still smells strongly after the carpet went out.

    We are also going to have the chimney cleaned and put a wood insert in it–Rob says it is part of the smoky smell–needs cleaning really bad the inspector said.

    I have my work cut out for me this week in-between other things.

  27. I used Mean Green in my dad’s place to clean and it picked up the nicotine stains nicely. It goes further than you think it might. And congratulations!!! I’ve been in prayer about you getting a home. So happy to be able to put that as an answered prayer!

  28. So sorry you’re feeling poorly! I know I hate it when I can’t get the things I want finished. I hope you’re feeling better.

    This week I actually kept track of the things I’ve done.
    – made homemade granola and baked 2 loaves of while wheat bread besides making the food for our meals from scratches
    – my husband’s job serves free breakfast, lunch, and dinner; of which he usually does the breakfast and lunch. This week my kids and I were able to join him for lunch as well!
    – I used a lemon for the juice while baking the bread. I used the peels to make citrus vinegar for cleaner and the seeds to use later for their pectin in jam making.
    -i used the ends of a few loaves of bread to make bread crumbs instead of throwing them away. I can never get anyone to eat them.
    – our garden is very small this year, but I was able to pick some tomatoes, green onion, green beans, oregano, and chives
    – during the cooler half of the week and at night, we’ve turned the AC off and kept the windows open.
    – I juiced some blackberries and used the leftover seeds and pulp with vinegar to make a blackberry vinegar for salad dressings.
    – on our family walks, I’ve noted several spots where I can later in the fall go foraging for wild rose hips and hawthorn berries (haws) for herbal teas and jelly.

  29. Baked French bread, hamburger buns, and brownies. Received rice crispy treats from a neighbor as a thank you for letting her use our high chair while her grandkids were in town. Sold a set of car ramps and a kids bike that we no longer needed, nice to free up some space in the garage and have some extra cash. Picked strawberries, tomatoes, and kale from the garden.

  30. Sorry to hear you were feeling under the weather. I hope your little one doesn’t come down with it. He’s so small still and so hard to treat at his age!

    Well, I survived working in humid temperatures over 40C (104F) this past week. Thank goodness we have AC at home. Although I’m not looking forward to winter, fall weather can come anytime it’d like! This week’s frugal accomplishments are:
    *Meals made at home included breaded stuffed chicken breasts with potato wedges and broccoli, spaghetti with choice of sauce (red, white or meat), BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with salad, chicken fingers with mashed potatoes and corn, sub sandwiches made from store bought buns and cold meat from the freezer with dill pickles, baked chicken smothered in cheddar cheese soup with white rice and carrots, sloppy Joe’s with salad.
    *I bought Sriracha Seasoning from Costco a while ago and used it to make Sriracha mayo to put on my sub. Turned out just as good as the store bought “flavoured mayo” you buy for a premium at the grocery store, plus I could control the spice level…yummy!
    *Boiled a few more eggs than I needed one morning and put the extra in the fridge. This saved on water, hydro and heating up the house. The extras became a quick convenience option for another breakfast or for egg salad sandwiches for a lunch.
    *Took some corn husks (that I’d saved from our last dozen cobs) to work one day. I had a massive group of youth interpreters making corn husk angels or dolls on the front porch of the General Store. We all had so much fun doing this craft. It was a great distraction from the hot, humid weather…42C/107F with humidity while wearing layers of period clothing and no AC or fans! I brought home the leftover husks and 4 dolls/angels. I plan on using these as possible Christmas gifts, and they cost nothing to make! Thank you, Erika, for the idea!!!
    *Canned 10 pint jars of pineapple from the 6 fresh pineapples I bought last week and 1 can of unsweetened pineapple juice diluted with 2 cups of water. Only has a small amount of pineapple juice left, so I put what was left in a cup in the fridge to drink.
    *Pre-ordered a 25lb box of peaches for $13 from a local grocery store. They are 2nds and I’ve never ordered them like this before, so we will see how this works out. Much cheaper than buying from the farmer’s market, though! I won’t get them until Aug 22.
    *Harvested several vine ripened tomatoes from the garden this week.
    *We have not had much rain this summer, plus we have had severely high temperatures with high humidity. Because of this, we are currently in a drought like situation here is Southern Ontario. To conserve water, we have reused the water from the canner, water from washing the dishes and water from boiling eggs to try and keep our gardens alive. The grass is completely burnt to a crisp and the trees are even shedding dried out leaves. We are on a well, but so far we have not run dry. Finally, we had an entire day of rain on Saturday…what a blessing!
    *I found $3 on the ground after an event at our work…free money! Whoohoo!!!

    Thanks for sharing some great frugal accomplishments. Looking forward to reading more as they are posted! Have a wonderful week everyone!

  31. I’m not Darcy, but where we are a lake visit can be free (there are several that are free and have public beaches) or a small fee, usually $5 for the carload for the whole day or $40 or less for a whole year’s pass for a carload. Some paid beaches also offer one free day a month or free entrance after a certain time in the evening.

    It also could be a splurge because it happens very rarely rather than because of the price. For us, it’s rare that we get a whole day to do something other than our regular responsibilities so going to lake for the day becomes a splurge that way rather than due to the $.

    Lea

  32. Sorry to hear you were sick. I hope you are feeling better.

    We stopped at CVS and got a free bag of organic gummy worms and a box of cereal for 99cents, splitting the orders to minimize cash OOP.

    I organized seeds for the Fall garden. I weeded and mulched the garden.

    I closed credit card accounts that were paid off.

    I gathered some items to donate.

    SO and I both downloaded the Moes app and got free burritos and the Baskin Robbins app for free ice creams – free date night!!!

    Frugal fail – I made a pumpkin bread using a new recipe with ingredients that needed to be used up and it came out HORRIBLE. I knew when I tasted the batter, it didn’t taste good, but I baked it anyway. I had to end up tossing it out. Oh well..you win some you lose some. I have more pumpkin to use up and will go back to my regular recipe and make one next week.

    We went to Lowes to pay for our new counters. I have been saving for new counters since last year and the granite we wanted went on sale 15% off. We will tear out the old counters ourselves to save money. I used the Lowes credit card to save an extra 5% then immediately made a payment on the card so no interest. We have a tiny galley kitchen so it doesn’t actually cost THAT much to do but it will make a huge difference. We will also do the backsplash behind the sink ourselves,and we are keeping the mosaic back splash behind the cook top that is original to the house.

    Free in the mail – Weight Watchers and Family Circle magazines.

    I was given permission at work to bring home shredded paper from the cross-cut shredder. I will be adding this to my tumbling composter instead of spending time shredding newspapers every week.

    Have a great week everyone!!

  33. It sounds like it is their loss, to lose such a hard working person. I used to work at a place like that and it was terrible. I found a better job and you will too.

  34. Hope you are feeling better Brandy 🙂

    * made a double batch of oatmeal choc/chip cookies and froze them for quick and easy cookies when school starts up 🙂
    * picked 2 cucumbers, a cup or so of basil and some blackberries from the garden. Going to make the blackberries into jam and dry the basil. The cucumbers are gone 😉
    * sold several items
    * when I was at the store today I saw a book I was insterested in so I made note of the title and put it on hold at the library
    * It’s been hot for Wa so I have been making “cooler” meals… more salads and BBQ’d items

  35. There have been times, like this week, when I have not had the three dollars to pay to get inside the gate,nor could I afford the 20 miles in gas….

  36. I collect and use the bread ends to make bread pudding—the ones who turned their noses up at the ends will gobble them down! I don’t use a fancy recipe, just butter a pan and fill about 2/3rd of the way with bread cubes. I mix together one egg for every half cup of milk (I don’t think non-fat works well in bread puddings…) and add some sugar (if you under-sugar, you can always sprinkle some on top before eating). Pour over the bread cubes, using you hand to push the top ones down so that are exposed to the milk mixture. I bake at 375 until the center is set. If I have fruit that is softening, I throw that in too. If I want savory, I skip the sugar and add leftover meat and/or veggies and bake. The sweet version can be cut in squares and frozen, later heated up in microwave for dessert. I have used up a lot of stale bread or milk about to expire or soft fruits this way, wasting nothing. Now my family asks for bread pudding for dessert—especially at Christmas when I skip the milk and suger and use eggnog to add to the eggs.

  37. I had guests in from out of town and used meat bought on sale from my deep freezer to have a cookout. I made a wonderful baked apple French toast that only cost the price of the French bread. All other items I had in the pantry. I had half the loaf of French bread left and used it to make garlic bread with one night. I diligently complete my surveys each week on my grocery receipt to get 50 fuel points. It adds up and this week I filled up for $1.19/gallon. ;:D IBashas had peaches on sale for$.78/lb so I canned 8 lbs. Had a great week. Hope you feel better Brandy.

  38. Debbie,

    You always have the most unique and new ideas for saving money. Do you have a blog that you read for all of these new things that the rest of us should be reading? Please share!

    I am happy for you that you are getting a great deal on your new counters! When we first bought our house and were making changes, we did the same thing, and opened up a Lowe’s credit card, too, which we immediately paid off, for the additional discount it saved us on top of sales. We closed the account after that as we are not credit card users.

  39. Hello Brandy,

    Well, to be honest, I get the most ideas from your blog. I also like to read Money Saving Mom a couple times a week to find out about freebies. I’m in a local Facebook group for organic/heirloom gardeners. I read the Non-Consumer Advocate blog through an email I get when something new is posted. Those are the regular ones I read.

    Have a great night!

  40. Becky,
    Congratulations on the house! It looks fabulous!
    We had hardwood floors under nasty carpet, too. I prefer it to carpeting.

  41. Marivene,
    Don’t you love free food? It’s such an amazing thing! I always find it hard to believe that people won’t use wild fruit but pay a fortune for it at the stores. It doesn’t make any sense…I don’t need anymore blueberries, but i may go picking tomorrow anyway. Our wild blackberries should be ripening soon; i can’t wait!

  42. The heat is really hard on chickens. Sometimes it is just a struggle to make it thru the day when it is hot. Make sure to give them extra water to cool off in when it is hot. Mine stop laying when it is hot. I am sure hoping this heat is over soon. Sounds like you had a good week anyway.
    Patti

  43. I hope you’re back to feeling better; i always seem to feel worse when it’s really hot outside.
    Frugal accomplishments in recent weeks;
    *I made two batches of plain no frills soap using collected rainwater. (Thank you Laurie in central NC for that idea!)
    *Jarred up the dried rosemary and pulled the last of the shallots. I think we’ll have enough for the year.
    *Ate three of the four tomatoes that grew. The one that’s left is about the size of a golf ball.
    *Gratefully accepted some homegrown cucumbers from a friend. She left for an over seas trip and told me, and two other people, to help ourselves to the garden bounty.
    *I shelled more nuts.
    *I passed my mammogram; yay!
    *I’m on day nine of a fourteen day stretch for work. I can’t spend much money when i’m working. I walked to work one day and rode my bike another.
    *We’ve been enjoying watching the hummingbirds; they look like they’re having so much fun!
    *I’ve got two batches of blueberry wine started.
    *Entered coke codes and was able to get another 10$ walmart GC
    *I made some fabric softener.
    *We did eat out at subway; we used a GC, bought at 20% off, to pay for all of one lunch and part of the second.
    My recent frugal fail has been using the dryer. I have to wear a specific white shirt to work, and i only have two. (We were not issued new ones this year or i’d have three.) I hate not being able to use the line; i feel like the meter is spinning wildly while it’s running.
    Have a fabulous week!

  44. Hi Hilogene and fabulous you are getting your grocery costs down as we are 🙂 . It is amazing when you look how many more bargains you will find, like the chicken fabulous price by the way 🙂 , just how much you can save over a period of time.

    We have got ours down to $70 a week for the two of us, previously it was $125 a week a few years ago. We buy in bulk usually for 3 – 12 months in advance when we see the 50% off grocery sales or other good bargains as well.

    We also have been making our own citrus vinegar this last year and slowly using the last of the commercial cleaners we had and replacing with homemade. Just about to venture into making my own laundry liquid too and am looking forward to it.

  45. Hello Brandy & all! I’m just starting to do catch up here. I believe I’ve mentioned to Miss Brandy that I have to take blog and other website breaks frequently since my work is social media and www heavy and I tend to get overwhelmed by it all at times. Anyway, I’ve missed it here for sure!
    Brandy, I hope you are feeling better and momsav, I had the same problem as you a few summers ago. I don’t know your symptoms but, I would feel queasy and just overall icky. One time I was driving my daughter somewhere & thought I might have to pull over before making it home. Another time, while grocery shopping, I felt I might faint, and that’s just not like me-I’ve never fainted before. I just thought it was the heat making me sick but, thankfully while I was telling my husband all this, he suggested I use his blood pressure moniter to check mine. It was extremely high! He gave me one of his blood pressure pills and I immediately made an appointment with our cardiologist.
    All this to say, please be careful and maybe check yours the next chance you get if you think it might be a possibility. My husband has had a major stroke, losing the feeling in, and the use of, the left side of his body along with developing thalamic pain syndrome, so we are hyper vigilant where things like that are concerned. I’m sure that this is probably not the problem but I would have never thought of it while havig my symptoms so wanted to throw my two cents in on the subject in case it might help anyone reading this avoid a health disaster.
    Now, back to reading!~TJ

  46. We have mostly been working on our home and yard to get the house ready to sell.
    – I painted over a feature color wall in the family room to make it match the others while saving on paying painters for that at least. Two more rooms to go.
    – My husband took down a very large dying bush and then the broken fence section behind it. We did have to rent a reciprocating saw to get the fence posts down but we are not going to replace the fence.
    – I also altered a summer dress so it fits better and found a pair of sandals on sale online as my 2 nice pairs both bit the dust at the same time. I am set for the rest of the summer.
    – As usual we ate all leftovers and had basically no food waste.

  47. Good morning from rainy Indiana!

    Our garden is a bust this summer. Between the dry heat followed by a week of rain it’s been a disaster. Having kids pull up stuff while ground is wet so we can try a fall planting.

    Trying to figure out fundraising for kids DC trip throb school. I hate having to sell magazines and crap. But I also don’t have $ for the trip either. Any ideas?
    Made a lot of meatless meals this week. Had a wierd family schedule and they seem to go faster. We are trying to get back on meal planning and organizing after a free for all summer.

    Traded kids clothes with a friend, daughter sorted through and immediately decided what she wanted. Everything else goes to goodwill…less clutter.

    Cleaned out leftover crayons (kids no longer use at school). We made baggies of them with a note and left them in the church lobby for toddlers to be entertained at the church service.

    Asked kids to start brainstorming idea for Christmas gifts for family members. My 8 yr old started with Hopr for the Homeless. ♡

  48. I save my bread ends in the freezer to use for bread pudding as well. You can also use the bread ends for making stuffing around the holidays (or anytime really), croutons or to make a crusty topping on a casserole.

  49. A good friend of my son died this week. He was a very polite, nice young man and was only 24. I have not shopped, nor ate very much because we are all devastated. My son, I guess from the stress, has become ill, had to go to the ER, and he has no insurance so that will be a bill, as will buying the meds. But, I am thankful that all my children are alive, so I am not complaining. This week certainly has caused me to examine gratefulness for what I have, no matter what the struggle.

  50. Thank you Cindy! That is how I feel as well. I have been looking for a new job for about a month now, I am doing my best to stay positive 🙂

  51. I am sorry your garden was damaged. We’ve had a difficult gardening summer here too. I hope your other plants recover!

  52. What about mowing lawns, babysitting, housecleaning, and doing odd jobs for people you know? My children have done that to earn all of their money for camp. Plus where you live you will have the advantage of being able to rake leaves; here that is not a job because people might only have one tree with tiny leaves over their rock yard (and they hire a gardener to use a leaf blower for it).

  53. I made ham and bean soup – ham bone, 2 bay leaf, onion, salt, pepper, and beans! .. It amazes me everytime.. Everyone had seconds or thirds! Absolutely zero leftover!

    Created a homeschool Nook.. We built a huge table and bought stools and rug from target. Used cartwheel app and saved $30.

    Printed off free homeschool stuff via pinterest.

    Ate tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, kale and hot peppers from garden. Gave away peppers and cherry tomatoes.

    We are getting rain after a bit if a drought which should help our water bill next month.

    Had pizza and movie night at home with homemade personal pizzas and a movie we already had.

  54. I feel just as you do about the trip fundraisers! I don’t want to ask anyone to buy any of that stuff. My mom and I bought stuff from my son last year. Then, I realized I could have just paid for his trip outright. That trip was inexpensive, the one for this year, not so much! We live in a small town in a rural area with few neighbors and most people have children in school, as well. This is a major con for me putting him in public school instead of homeschooling him again. Too many costly things, with many just not being neccessary.
    Good luck!

  55. I made some felt dolls too but I am having a hard time keeping the clothes to stay on the doll even though they both have felt. Any ideas?

  56. Holly, how nice you had such a pleasant day in Flint with your mother. Is Flint your hometown? I saw that documentary years ago, ROGER AND ME. We had a family from Flint with 4 children in our school 15-20 years ago..they left MI because he couldn’t get work there anymore.

  57. Hi Lorna,

    Wow, great progress on your grocery costs. I look forward each week to your posts, you seem to accomplish so much.

    I am using Brandy’s recipe for laundry powder, it works great and is easy to make. I like powder rather than liquid, not sure if it matters to you what form it takes. Only “less than fun” part is grating the soap but there are worse things in life 😉

  58. Hi Jenna,
    I appreciate your curiosity. The trip to the lake is 3 hours each way and takes the entire day. And it is a splurge because rarely do we get to do something like this with the whole family. It does cost only a dollar per person to get in. There were 15 of us that went and while we all pitched in with food, it was still an expense with the extra gas for the truck and our son-in-law’s boat with the launching fee (we gave him some money to help with the cost). My husband and I usually cut back on other things during the summer in order to take the trip.

  59. Mandy, Thx for the tip about the boiling water. Does the pasta take the same amount of time to cook? Also, I’d love to read that book. Can you share the title and author?

  60. Mandy, I am sorry to hear of your job loss, you have had a rough time of it. But it seems like it is their loss, and could turn out to be a blessing in the end. I love to look at depression era cookbooks. If you read the blog “Make Do Homemaker”, she has quite a few depression era, and rationing cookbook recommendations. She is a regular poster here. I also like to look on pinterest, there is a lot of info in regards to that. Good Luck!

  61. The handle broke off of our microwave last week, and my husband bought matching white duct tape to reattach it. So far it has lasted all week. We are trying to avoid buying a new one. I’m not worried about what guests will think. Anyone that comes to our homes knows what we are, lol.

  62. I live in Indiana and also have had terribly hot weather. Our chickens are hardly giving us any eggs either. It is hard to keep feeding them when I am seeing egg prices under a dollar a dozen pretty much everywhere. My husband is talking about getting rid of them. But they are the kids pets so I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

  63. I’m sorry you’re going through such a tough time. I lost 2 good friends in HS to a drunk driver who hit them on the sidewalk they were walking on. Not long after that, my best friend was a passenger in a car accident involving a drunk driver and was killed instantly. Both were so difficult for me to get through. Good friends really helped me and we spent a lot of time doing that cry/laugh thing. Lots of time and tears.

  64. My local IGA had pork loins (average size 9 pounds) on sale for $1.68/lb. PLUS the store put a 20% off coupon on the cover of the local newspaper if you spent $100. The sale flyer said the butcher shop would do custom cuts. I had the largest pork loin I could find made into ground pork! Came home and packaged it into one pound bags. Perfect for making meatballs for Italian wedding soup, for making ragu, and nam sod. Ground pork is typically $5.98/lb in my neck of the woods.

    This sounds so basic but I did it three times this week: turned over the bottle of shampoo and propped it up to get the last dregs out for the next shower…..did the same propping upside down bottles of laundry detergent and DW soap.

    Scanned and uploaded medical receipts for HSA reimbursement.

    Moved money from a very low paying savings account to online savings account.

    Can you tell it’s been hot and I’ve been doing paperwork? I have a small amount of stock that was passed down to me. I finally put it on DRP rather than getting a tiny quarterly check. DRP = Dividend Reinvestment Plan……in something like 8 years it will buy one more share of stock!

  65. I feel like I sprang back to life this week. The humidity and temperatures finally dropped. Gave me some energy to get some things done for our garage sale next month. Also,
    * Have turned off the AC in the morning for several hours daily since Saturday.
    *DH received 2 GC’s for little extras he did. $15 at Subway and $10 for Amazon.
    * We got a surprise yesterday when we gave blood. We each got $5 from Amazon, so now we have $20.
    *I got a $10 Kohl’s postcard and used it to get 3 big tubes of scented body cream that were already 60% off. Totally free.
    * Did the market survey for 50 fuel points.
    * my friend gifted me a bathroom drawer full of stuff she wasn’t using. Lots of hotel toiletries, samples, & such. I let her keep the drawer lol.
    * I had several freebie coupons for dog food, cereal, & candy.
    * I froze 2 over ripe bananas for smoothies.
    * Added a little dry ranch dressing and milk to a jar of mayo dregs and made enough dressing for 4 salads. Runny, but tasty.
    *Ate at home all week. Taco salad, leftovers Asian rice creation, tuna sandwiches, white enchiladas, baked potatoes, & a nacho creation from more leftovers. Added veggies or salads to complete meals.
    * I just received a package of 5 lbs.of Kona coffee beans & a new grinder from my best friend’s mom from Hawaii. Today. :). That’s a few month’s worth, easy. And the REALLY good stuff!
    * And the regular stuff like catching water, air drying laundry, combining errands, library borrowing, etc.

    Most of my accomplishments were really blessings!

  66. Another way to use up bread ends is to put the crust towards the inside, and make grilled cheese or grilled PB & J sandwiches with them. Somehow the crust is more acceptable that way. I keep a bag of cubes and a bag of crumbs in the freezer too. And if it starts to get a bit moldy, the birds or squirrels will eat it. Usually doesn’t get that far.

  67. Oops! I forgot to write things down last week. (School started back up, and I’m still adjusting.)

    Let’s see, on the frugal front we:

    * Continued to keep the AC set for 80F and open up during the morning and at night when the outside temps were lower than that.

    * Hubs refinished the picnic table and chicken coop.

    That’s about all I remember. I’m sure there were other things, but the week was a blur.

    Have a great week everyone!

  68. Here are my frugal accomplishments for last week:

    * I had three meetings in one location to minimize to save time, gas, and money.
    * I joyfully networked with other professionals to see how I can help them grow their businesses.
    * I gladly packed all my husband’s nutritious lunches the night before.
    * Packing my own lunches instead of grabbing something on the go has saved me time, health, and money!
    * Eating some of our own tomatoes has been a delicious blessing (we have one tomato plant).
    * My parents sweetly shared their produce from their garden.
    * I gladly scheduled a workshop in our apartment’s party room to save time and money.

  69. Avonladytj,
    Thanks for your concern, that’s so sweet. I actually have the opposite problem, low blood pressure. The heat sucks the life right out of me. That and it makes the arthritic hands swell. Where i work, the doors are opened continually. A/C doesn’t help much with the constant influx of people.

  70. I’ve found that referrals are the easiest way to accumulate Swagbucks quickly. When other people sign up with your referral link, they do the work for you 😀

  71. I turn the laundry soap bottles upside down for a couple of days, use what’s in the cap and then rinse them out at least three times, dumping the bubbles into the washer. I even throw the measuring cap into the washer with the clothes to make sure every bit get rinsed out of it!

  72. Our microwave handle broke off a couple of years ago. We used crazy glue to reattach it (used tape to hold it on while the glue cured and didn’t use the microwave for 24 hours). The fix has lasted and no one can tell unless they are up close and personal with the microwave!

  73. * Received a $5 gift card to the grocery store we typical go to for completing a survey.
    * Spent far too much at the grocery store BUT TP and cat food were on sale + I had $3 off coupons on the cat food so we stocked up. It hurt this weeks budget but will help in the long run. We also received a coupon for 4 free cans of cat food of any brand (up to $3)
    * I just got hired for a new part time job – in a deli less than 10 minutes from home with no scary roads to drive in the winter. It isn’t ideal but it is a job and I can suck it up and do it for right now hopefully. I’m a little concerned about the stress and what it will do to my anxiety and bipolar + IBS since it is all in high gear right now. The kennel interview I thought went okay but they are not looking for anyone until September and I got kind of a bad vibe off the guy who was running it so probably better if I trust my instincts and not hold out for that job.
    * Unfortunately, I never made it to fair last week – we rented a carpet steamer and I steamed cleaned all the carpets on the only day I could have gone and was too wiped after 6 hours of pushing that thing around to go out to fair. We have found that for us and the amount of hair from the cats and dogs and dirt the dogs drag in, that it is a much better deal ($25 for 24 hours) to just rent a commercial cleaner – we have tried every one on the market and they ALL have failed in under a year because there is just too much debris for them to handle and that is AFTER I have vacuumed everything thoroughly with our Kirby!
    * Tried to declutter and give a huge pile of things away on CL over the weekend but I gave up after the 6th no show after setting up a time with people. SO I am going to do a “you tell me what you think it’s worth” garage sale for a couple hours Friday and Sat. and then we’ll use that money to go to the Renn festival on Sunday. It’s pet weekend and our daughter wants to go with our Danes in costumes LOL and they rent the mobility scooters so my hubby will be able to get around 🙂 We can get discount tickets at Walgreens OR you can bring canned goods in for a local food pantry to get a discount off as well. It’s still not cheap but this is something we love to do as a family every year and we have not done anything special this summer with all that has happened.
    * Completed the custom trailer cushion job and was paid – it caught us up the rest of the way on bills.
    * Harvested more armloads of pickles that I am planning on processing into bread and butter and relish this week – I trellised them for the first time this year and the vines have now gone up onto the chain link fence behind their hoop and up into the grape vines and have mixed with the cherry tomato I don’t remember planting that is next to the raised bed – well over 6 feet tall!! (I’m gonna need a ladder) and my regular tomatoes decided to all start ripening at the same time so those will need to be dealt with as well. I also got another handful of raspberries. I still didn’t get all of the potatoes dug but will work on that some more this week. Our sweet corn has finally tasseled but it is so short that I don’t think we will get anything much off them – we’ll have to get it at the farmers market if we can find the white corn – our favorite. Our 2 hens have started laying well again – they went thru a molt + the heat was slowing them down.

    I think that’s it – gotta go get ready to help hubby with another audit job.

  74. Congratulations on your new home! The Kilz and paint should help a lot. I don’t know how much they cost to rent, but if the smell lingers, you can rent an Ozone machine — that is what the pros use to get out bad smells.

  75. Thank you,Mandy. Fortunately, we also have a greenhouse and everything in there is in good shape — my tomatoes and peppers, okra, popcorn, and some chard and broccoli seedlings I plant to set out when we return from our camping trip. And the raspberries were sheltered by the eaves on the garage and they are starting to bloom.

  76. Debby: I let the pasta/boiling water sit for about 10 minutes and when I check a bite it’s done perfectly. Same with veggies and rice. The book is “French kids eat everything” by Karen Le Billon. Brandy mentioned it in a different post and so far it’s an easy read and I like it.

  77. Thank you Jenn! I have checked out her blog in the past, I will have to check it out again, it’s been awhile. Thank you for the reminder 🙂 And I love Pinterest! 🙂

  78. Thank you everyone for the encouraging words! It was something I needed to hear. I don’t get much emotional support around here. This past year has been a rough one and I keep trying to remind myself that I do the best I can and try to always learn, be kind, and be the best person that I can be.

  79. I am sooooooooooooooo very happy for you. Your place looks really nice fit for a queen and king! You deserve it!!
    It looks like it has many of the things you had hoped for , may you and your blessed family enjoy many years to come in this beautiful home!

  80. I roasted a chicken and have the carcass picked and ready to make stock.
    I helped my husband figure out how, and then fix a broken set of drawers in our closet. Now done, I am reorganizing everything that went in them, and getting rid of what I no longer need.
    He built a platform for a pole-top type birdhouse we were given, since we didn’t have a good pole to put it on. He mounted the platform on the side of a porch upright. I used exterior paint I already owned to paint the platform to match the uprights.
    I put a little more money in my home improvement savings and I’m steadily keeping up with my new budgeting sheet.
    I’m using my dehydrator to dry herbs from my herb patch. It’s too humid to let them air dry.
    I cut up an old tee-shirt and made a cute headband for my granddaughter.

  81. momsav, I do love getting free food, but you have to be careful that the fruit has not been sprayed with something non-edible. I always wash the fruit thoroughly, & often peel it as well, but I also look for insect damage on the fruit. If the insects are there, then the fruit hasn’t been sprayed with an insecticide. Unfortunately, most people today are not willing to trim out the “bad parts” & just use the good portions of the fruit. They want “perfect” fruit, & they are willing to pay a lot for it. My parents did not use pesticides when I was growing up; they just trimmed the damage out of the food, so that was what I grew up doing.

  82. Well, I was going to sit down and write an upbeat comment this morning, but time slipped away, it’s now afternoon and I’m feeling much less upbeat. Some of you may remember that we had a very difficult year last year and we ended up having to sell off our equipment and close our business in March. My husband took a low paying company job and we still have much of the debt from our business. It’s been rough. Well, last Thursday my husband hurt his ankle at work and after seeing a doctor today, he is not allowed to go back to work until at least next Wednesday. It’s not enough time off to qualify for disability benefits or workers compensation. He’s not been there long enough to have paid time off. I’m quite discouraged and, though not frugal, I knew you all would understand.

    I’m going to try to be positive. While my husband is home I’m going to finish getting things ready for our new homeschool year. Maybe work on a few Christmas gifts. And I’ll most likely reread “We Had Everything But Money” and the Tightwad Gazette as I tend to do when I need to see how blessed I really am.

  83. Microwaving the bar of soap for 15-25 seconds prior to grating makes the grating much easier. Unfortunately, I can not remember where I read this hint to give that person credit. Using this hint allows me to grate six bars of soap in about 15 minutes versus the 60 minutes required with unmicrowaved soap. Be careful when touching the soap because the soap sometimes heats unevenly and is hot to touch.

    I have also read about a woman who used a salad shooter to grate the soap. I do not own one and gave not tried this hint personally.

  84. Melonie, I like your idea of using the seeds as a memento of a visit.

    What is a “mutual activity” and what is a “GB”?

  85. In case anyone is interested, you can make mock crushed pineapple with zucchini and pineapple juice. Since we are in the time of excess zucchini right now.

  86. A local grocery store had spaghetti, rotini and penne pasta on sale for 39 cents for a 1 lb package. I bought 30 packages to stock up. That is the lowest price I have ever seen pasta in our area!

  87. Ohh – Kona Coffee! I’m totally jealous! One of my co-workers always spends part of the winter in Hawaii and brings back an entire suitcase of Kona coffee. She brings in one bag of beans to share with those of us that don’t steal beans from the coffee drawer (yes, we have someone who does that at work). It’s a great treat in February when we’re all sick of winter here. Enjoy your coffee!!

    And you totally could have used that bathroom drawer for something…. *wink*

    Lea

  88. Sarah, don’t forget to read Brandy’s encouragement section. That’s helped me get through a couple of bad days. I wish you sunnier days ahead.

  89. I am sorry to hear you have been sick. I know with an infant and other children to care for it is not easy to be down. Lucky for you some of your children are older and can help you. What a blessing.

    I am taking a week off to try to catch up on my sewing for the church project. I fell way behind because I have been sick. Don’t feel great, but without all the kids here I can sew the items I have cut out. I need to work on getting my sewing room in some kind of order too. It looks like a storm went through there.

    We are having unseasonably cool weather. Lots of rain too. It has rained everyday since Sunday. Yesterday the high was only 74 degrees. Down from 105 last week. With the rain it has been just wonderful.

    I skipped the grocery store this week. We are eating from the pantry and the freezer. I got an Amazon card for points from my credit card. We use 1 card to pay for everything. I pay it off at the end of the month. Every month I have enough points to get a $50.00 gift card. These will go towards Christmas.

    I was given some okra from a friend at church. We have had okra gumbo and fried okra this week. So very good.

    Hope you feel better very soon.

  90. there is a paint that also blocks smoke smell…i do not know the name of it but a landlord used it before my daughter moved in i was surprised at how good it worked only every now and then i smelled it in an old storage closet that was not painted you could google it tho i think all the nice people here have given great advice.

    i too have been sick only one other time forty yrs ago i got an ear infection now at 60yrs old i got a dble ear infec. I cannot emphasize this enough i am sooooooo prone to motion sickness you all in calif could use me as an early warning for earthquakes and that is the truth as one time when my kids were toddlers iowa felt an earthquake and our oldest and myself got sick instantly it wasn’t till the next day we found out….so i don’t have to tell you how bad it is for me my ears did not hurt till three days in i was just wicked dizzy like bumping into things dizzy of course i used meclizine actually been living on that but even that did not help as much as usual. i did make myself a dress to try a pattern i have had for yrs next monday it will be on my blog http://frugalmeasures.blogspot.com/2016/08/monday-message_15.html as i am a week ahead but this week’s blog entry has lots of frugal ideas. I am on meds now wish they would kick in…i hope you will soon feel better, i have been reading when i can a mystery series the series is a seaside knitting series by sally goldenbaum i am getting them interlibrary loan this service is free. The peaches on our peach trees are making me drool tho quite a wait yet the neighbor brought some volunteers from his dad’s farm and we planted them they were like four inches tall when planted people said we would not get fruit but those little trees planted four yrs ago are loaded we had a few two yrs ago they were so yummie. I am doing some dishcloths for gifts and some primitive stitcheries for gifts. get well this being sick is not fun at all.

  91. Melissa, did you dress yourselves up too for the festival? My son and his wife, my daughter and her husband, and another couple that is friends of theirs all went. There is one west of here, smaller than some of the really big commercial ones. They dressed up, nothing fancy, put together with thrift store items and the girls used our dirndls from our Swiss outfits. Then added long skirts and petticoats that they made out of sheets and snoods for their head coverings. They made the men sleeveless tunics to go over their shirt and pants. They had a lot of fun.

  92. Our kids have full period correct clothing – my daughter made her Henry VIII’s court gown as a 4-H project and I made my son his leather jerkin, tunic and pants (he bought his boots and leather hat). Our daughter has since bought herself a corset for the pirate weekend (there is no way I could have sewn that on any of the machines I own) and our son grew too tall for his. I never got around to making anything for me and my hubby. It is also usually very warm still when we go (pet weekend is the first weekend it’s open) so wearing the clothing gets rather uncomfortable – many people wind up with heat related issues from it. The dogs pretty much only get a collar type of costume so they don’t overheat – I made a “ruff” collar for our older Dane last year and this year I think he is getting a “fool’s” collar with bells attached to it the ends of the stips of multi-colored fabric and a sign saying something along the lines of “I’m the fool” (which he is) Our daughter wants to put the younger Dane in a Tutu and fairy wings with a flower garland around her neck. The beagle will probably just get a flower garland and a big yellow robbon to warn off anyone trying to approach her with other dogs or from coming at her fast – she isn’t really a “people” dog unless they have food – she is a Mama’s girl and we know she was abused as a very young pup – but we can’t not bring her when we take the other two!

  93. Melonie, I commented but it must have got lost…I thought that was a really nice memento of a trip to bring back those seeds.

  94. I always use Ivory soap in my laundry detergent — I, too, prefer a powdered version.
    Instead of grating, I put a bar of soap on a plate and microwave it. It will puff up like Jiffy pop. Watch it and when it stops puffing, take it out and let it cool. It will then easily crumble into a powder. Such a time saver, and I can often get the bars of Ivory for free with a coupon.

  95. Melissa, they really enjoyed the one here and I think there are plans to return. Better costumes are in the works but they were happy with their thrown together ones. We have a whole costume box full of children’s clothes for when they are old enough…fairy and angel wings, ruffs and hats, a boy and a girl pirate, tutus and leotards…it will be fun. This is a very rustic festival, no electricity. It’s only a 2 day festival. They did take 2 dogs, greyhounds (adopted retired racers) that they put the ruffs on (from clown costumes).

  96. Brandy, I am sorry you were unwell. I hope all is better now.

    I keep wanting to get a post in but never do as am perpetually short on time this time of year. I think this is for 3 weeks, if I do get it written. Weather has been up and down, hot and cool, humid, not so humid and very humid. This is the first summer we have not had adequate rain and have had to water several times.

    We have done all the usual of composting, eating at home, cooking from scratch, using up leftovers, hanging part of the laundry outside etc. We did travel several times in the last 3 weeks for birthday parties and other family activities. We spent a day at a lakeside cabin with friends, fishing and chatting. One of the birthday parties was mine and my sister’s which we always combine so our family and our husbands families can all attend at once. We met at her farm this year so they did all the set up…everyone brings a side dish to pass, we did brats, hamburgers and hotdogs, and the girls did 8 doz cupcakes instead of a cake. They arranged them all on a table and they spelled out the birthday wishes to us on the cupcakes. It was fun and festive. At family parties like this gifts are not a norm, but ofttimes we receive and give small items, like preserves, or homemade stationary, potholders…those kinds of things. One of our cousins gave us bookmarks. They are more just happy get-togethers.

    We harvested broccoli, onions, kohlrabi, green and wax beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, kale, Swiss chard, beets, edible pod peas, parsley, dill, mint, cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary, blackberries (wild), cantaloupe, watermelon (very small but tasty), eggplant, bell peppers, spicy peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots and red cabbage and raspberries. We used, ate, froze, preserved and dried, gave away excess.

    Cooked from scratch and ate all meals at home except those out for gatherings at others houses. (Over the last 3 weeks…) baked white bread, rye bread, pita bread, naan, banana bread, zucchini bread, corn bread and biscuits. Made bread pudding, peach kuchen, raspberry muffins, blackberry shortcake, oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, chocolate pudding refrigerator bars, and 3 blackberry pies. Made coleslaw, lettuce salads, cucumber salads several times each. Made spaghetti sauce, froze 2 quarts. Made vegetable curry with the garden produce…zucchini, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cauliflower and peas from the freezer. Served with rice and naan. Had pasta and sauce 2 times, once with meatballs from the freezer and once meatless and used the sauce also for eggplant parmesan. Had a variety of grilled dinners…fish, kabobs, corn on the cob, hamburgers, chicken. Made macaroni and cheese, bean and vegetable burritos, haystacks/nachos, waffles for dinner with creamed chicken and peas, leftover waffles for breakfast reheated. I always cook more than we need so there are leftovers for lunches and easy dinners. Ate over once each at daughter’s, son’s and sister in law’s house. I always take a dessert. I took pies each time. Had variety of sandwiches for lunches. Several times topped the bread with cheese and grilled left over vegetables and toasted under the broiler.

    The weeks have been busy with canning. We had an 2 day pickle session with my mother, oldest and youngest daughter, sister in law, daughter in law and her mother. We did baby dills, sweet gherkins, hamburger dills, bread and butter. Then the next week was pickled beets. We did 105 quarts and 34 pints. We almost managed to grow enough beets this year between the 3 family gardens that we did not have to buy as much as usual. We use a water bath canner that hold 15 quarts at a time or 30+ pints and half pints. It really speeds up the process. I also took the advice on canning berries and did 3 quarts of blackberries. I will try a second method this week for another 3 quarts. See how they look and then do some more. We use them for cobbler and pie. I dried more herbs, chopped and froze broccoli, made another batch of refrigerator Kosher dills, some more dilled bean, some more pickled cherry tomatoes. Chopped and cooked onions, eggplants and bell peppers and froze in 1 cup containers. Good to add to spaghetti sauce, very meat like.

    Watched some DVDs as could find nothing of interest on HULU at the moment. Read 6 books…I can’t look like a do-nothing for my summer reading club at church 🙂 Sat outside a lot in the evenings.

  97. I started to get giddy when I opened the first flap and the smell wafted out! I didn’t post that I also got a pound of coffee called Hawaiian Peaberry- not sure how to spell it. But, I am looking forward to it.

    Funny thing about the drawer was that I would have been happy to have it! Pinterest is full of great ideas.

  98. I’m not sure if it’s available on Hulu, but there is a great movie from Hallmark called The Magic of Ordinary Days.

  99. I save plastic bottles and milk jug and fill them up with water. I put a few, depending on size of bottles, in the coop at night to keep the chickens cool. I call it my air conditioning. I put the bottles in a plastic grocery bag to freeze. My girls seem to like it.

  100. We are going to see if we need that and then check into it. Already, there is a huge difference in the smell, with the carpet gone and the walls painted once with Kilz.

  101. They seem to keep it a little cooler during this hot spell. I’m grateful, since we are in there working all day:) We are also totally spoiled by the air conditioner–so pleasant working in there.

  102. I’m not sure I’ve every seen Mean Green, but we have something called Simple Green around here–probably the same. It’s smelling better and better with the coat of Kilz on, and the carpet gone.

  103. Athanasia, I am always so inspired by how much you do…cooking, baking, canning and family or church functions. I’m surprised you have time to read or watch movies! I am so jealous you have family willing to get together for canning parties! That sounds like so much fun to me. Such a great way to get the monotonous work done…with lot of friendship and socializing!

  104. Thanks Debby, I checked the public library website and they have it. I put on reserve. It’s on another library in the system so they’ll send it here. I see that it’s based on a book and does sound very good.

  105. Get a bag of BBQ charcoal, spread them in a low box and place it in the offending room. The charcoal absorbs the odor. Use this when you are done for the day as you don’t want the A/C, open windows or doors blowing dust around.

  106. Hi

    Based on what you wrote I have just bought ‘We had everything but money’. It looks inspirational. I hope things get better for you soon.

  107. Thank all of y’all. It is my son’s friend, and I hurt so badly for my son and for the young man’s family. He was such a sweet, nice young man.

  108. When my girls were still at home they would help with canning, but those days are long gone. The younger doesn’t can at all, and the older passed away at 42. I remember once all four of us (husband included) spent some time pitting cherries to freeze before we allowed ourselves time to go do whatever it was they wanted to do that day! Work first, then play. Younger DD would help me when she lived here from the time her daughter was a baby until she started school. She doesn’t make special trips over to help me now that she lives a whole two miles away, although rarely we will do a project together. She is not much of a gardener but she has a knack with potted plants indoors! They don’t have room for gardening anyhow, as they live in an apartment. Before I was married, whoever was home would help with canning–including my Dad when he had the time. Both parents grew up in large families, and it’s just the way they did things.

  109. Hello Brandy, I’m reading your blog for some months now and I like it very much. Specially the frugal accomplishments. I grow my own vegetables and do a lot of sewing for my self (the kids dont want it anymore, they want there clothes from the store.)
    I live in the Netherlands in the north (Friesland). I’m married and have 3 children (boy 17, girl 15 and boy 13)
    They all cycle to school every day, and back of course (24 km), we live in a small town of only 350 people, so no schools there.
    These are my frugal accomplishments this week.
    picked beans from my garden (about 5 kg), we ate some and I froze the rest.
    I picked zucchinnies and used some for dinner/pastasauce and pickled some.
    Picked lots of black berries and raspberries, froze them to make jam later.
    And this morning I picked apples in somebody’s garden (they let me pick there apples every year, I make them an applepie and some applesauce in return) I started making apple sauce today with lots of yars to come, and apple pie’s ofcorse.
    Thanks for your lovely blog I hope to read it for lots of months.
    Greetings Tanja

  110. Rhonda, well since I only work 2 days a week during the summer that is a big help. Unfortunately the biggest tomato deluge usually comes after school starts again. We are doing sweet corn this week so we always put the men to work for that with all the corn husking. That is really monotonous work. Corn is one of my least favorite things because it’s so sticky. But we finished, with 2 pressure cookers on each stove. I’ve never liked using a pressure cooker so it is nice having others around that don’t mind. Later on when there are less ears I’ll freeze some quarts and make corn relish on my own. Even if your project isn’t that big, invite some one over to can with you. There is a movement called CAN IT FORWARD…kind of a teach the skill to another and pass it on.

  111. Larger families are/can be nice and rewarding. As I am sure many here would agree with. My parents came from families of 10 and 8, my husband’s parents were from families of 11 and 11. My husband is one of 8 and I am one of 6. We have 5. I actually have more than many of my cousins and siblings…most have 3-4. But my husband was so happy in his growing up in a big family that he wanted at least a medium size family.

    Marcia I am so sad you had to suffer the loss of a child. I cannot imagine much worse.

  112. First time posting!
    I have just recently found out my cancer has come back so we will be doing all we can to save money up before my stem cell transplant since I will most definitely lose my job in a few months when I run out of leave.

    We limited our shower time
    Made sure not to use lights unless needed during the day
    Took advantage of a gift card deal at Target to buy formula for our daughter–buying one extra package got us a 25$ gift card which we would have needed to buy in a few weeks anyways.
    Saved vegetable scraps in the freezer to use in making broth
    Did not eat out

    Love reading everyone’s frugaal ideas! I get so much inspiration from this site!

  113. Megan, my friend here had stem cell transplant last year in Vanncouver BC, although it took some time to recover her appetite and strength, she is fine and living life well. May you have this blessing too. Ann Lee S

  114. Lorna,

    I also hated the grating the soap part, but then my stepdad got an old food processor at a yard sale super cheap and we have been using that to grate our soap ever since. It does a great job!

  115. Hi Erina! I’m just catching up on last weeks post and wanted to let you know just how lovely I think your comment is. I understand what you mean about Alcott and Montgomery. It’s a feeling of keeping things simple and beautiful. Thanks for posting.

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