I am still ill but was determined to accomplish as much as possible last week. Unfortunately, that went like this:

I was laying in bed on Sunday with a pen and paper on the bed next to me, and I thought, “Why don’t I write a list of the things I can get done this week from bed?”

And then I thought, “That’s too exhausting”, laid down, and went to sleep.

If you ever want to know what a difference you make in your family, being sick for a few weeks will certainly let you know!

I did manage a few things.

Orchids in Bloom The Prudent Homemaker

One of my orchid plants started blooming again. I moved it to the entry table. (I keep non-blooming orchids in my bathroom, where they get bright, diffused light and humidity.)

Lavender Sachets 1 The Prudent Homemaker 

I sewed 4 lavender sachets. These will go in between our sheets in the closet. The lavender helps to keep the scorpions and spiders away.

 Lavender Sachets 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I mended several items of clothing from the mending pile.

I started sewing some new pillows and covers.

I picked tomatoes and a cucumber from the garden.

My husband took the children swimming three times.

My husband gave himself a haircut.


What did you do last week to save money and beautify your life?

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  1. i’m sorry to hear you are sick, i do hope you will be better soon. have you got the flu? hope everyone else are well. like to see how much the baby has grown.

  2. I’m sorry to hear you are still sick, Brandy!

    We visited a free splash pad with all 4 kids that we had never been to. It was lovely and completely fenced in ( important for a family with two sets of twins). While the children played, I cleaned the playground. It’s kind of my thing. I keep trash bags in my car and whenever we visit public areas, I pick up trash. I figure for free fun, it is the least I can do. It also keeps me busy while my children play.

    My husband and I redeemed a zip line Groupon my local Mother of twins club sold. Because we got there late, and we had retiree iDs, they let us do the 4 hour zip and obstacle course free. I have my Groupon to a friend. But oh I was sore the next day! The obstacles were tough!

    I cleaned out our fridge and made meals out of leftovers. My most successful meal was haddock and potato cakes. I made a vegetable soup completely from my garden. The

    1 more week until school starts here!

  3. Our nearest Walmart rarely has the best prices because it is adjacent to some very nice lakefront homes and it has little local competition, for the nearest Aldi is about 15 mikes away and the nearest Kroger 10. But they consistently have one personal care necessity at the best price so we find ourselves there a couple of times per month. This time, the ink for my ink-guzzling Canon printer was 8-12% cheaper than Staples or Office Depot, a summer top for my mom was marked down to $2 but actually cost only $1, milk was inexpensive (poor dairy farmers, fortunate consumers), and Walmart brand decaf coffee bricks were only $1 each. Score! Brandy, thank you for telling us about the page yield of your printer’s toner cartridge. I am sure it will help us make bettee choices when it comes time to biy a new printer….. and probably will speed up the “when.” I hope you feel better soon. I feel bad for you being under the weather with such a little baby in the home. My dad hated the word housewife. Mom was the homemaker, not the house’ s wife.☺

  4. I’m so sorry to hear you are still sick. I hope you are better soon — illness is so draining, and then when you are well there is so much catching up today.
    I love your sachets. I have some dried lavender from my garden — I should do this.
    We cut another cord of wood in the National Forest. This is the last of the four cords we needed to cut this year. The permit to cut is $10 per cord. Counting gas and oil for the truck, chainsaw and wood splitter, my husband estimates we spent about $120 total – less than the cost of one split cord around here.
    While eating our picnic lunch in the forest, we picked about a pint of wild raspberries for our dessert – so good.
    I mended a sheet and a pillowcase. I needed a patch for the sheet. This was a set from Target that came in a little matching cloth bag. I had saved the bag in the linen closet and used this to make the patch. We’ll see if the sheet is still strong enough for the patch to hold.
    I cut open a container of body lotion and found several days’ worth that wouldn’t come out with the pump. I found a cork in the kitchen that fits the opening to keep it from drying out. I laugh every time I see it sitting on the bathroom counter – it’s not attractive, but I’m pleased not to be throwing away all that lotion.
    I received my Costco renewal notice in the mail. Last year I signed up for their Executive card, which is an additional $55 and included a 2% rebate on your purchases. They promise a refund on the difference between the cost of the upgrade and your rebate if your rebate is less than $55 – but you have to ask for the refund. They don’t give it automatically. (I think this is how they make money – so many people don’t remember or know to ask for the refund). My rebate was only $13, so I called and they issued a refund and down-graded me to a regular membership. Since we no longer live close to a Costco, we don’t shop there as much as we once did, though I still like having the membership and use it a few times a year when travel takes us near a store.
    My husband changed the brake pads on my car. Cost — $39. Would have been over $100 at the mechanic.
    My husband helped friends install a new furnace. They took us to dinner as a thank you.
    I made new pillow covers out of fabric I purchased at a yard sale for $1.
    In the garden this week I transplanted some asparagus, moved strawberries into a bed where they will have more room, planted parsnips, carrots, chard, lettuce and peas for the fall garden.

  5. Scorpions are very prevalent here, especially this year. I have never seen any inside my house, but I have seen them in the garage and outside in years past. My brother-in-law was stung twice in one week from them in his shoes a couple of years ago. I have seen them at church (inside) before and I know they are a problem there. They don’t like lavender. I am sure they are here; it’s pretty normal to have them in Las Vegas. I haven’t gone outside with a blacklight, but some people do that at night to get rid of them.

  6. Goodness, l am sorry you are still sick, Brandy! I hope you are feeling better soon. This week we went on vacation for the first time in quite a while. We tried to do it as frugally as possible, and l think we succeeded.

    We drove to Oregon, and packed food and drinks in a cooler to eat on the road. It is a 13-hr drive from our home in California, so we stopped over in Sacramento the first night to visit old friends. They cooked dinner for us, and our only cost the first day was gasoline. I packed breakfast and lunch for us from home, so we had food to eat on the drive the next day. Our friends offered us some tomatoes from their garden, and we took those to eat, as well.

    Instead of getting a hotel, l found a small cottage to rent from Air BnB online. It was far cheaper then a hotel ($75 a night) and had a full kitchen. I went to the farmer’s market in Oregon for some truly beautiful produce and bought food at the grocery store. We ate all of our breakfasts at the cottage, l packed lunches for us to eat on the go each day , and l cooked all but 2 dinners at the cottage, too, which saved us a lot of money.

    We did several beautiful hikes. All were free except one state park that had a $5 entrance fee for our vehicle. We did museums the other days. Some were free and one was only $10 for our whole family. We hit some local thrift stores for fun and found a few great deals on things such as books and a hand saw and blade to replace my husband’s broken one.

    We had a great trip for a low price and it gave us a lot of joy and time together. I hope everyone has a great week!

  7. * made a HUGE pear crisp from pears that were gifted to me!
    * bought bananas off the discounted rack (sometimes these look perfect!). A few were eaten and the rest are in my freezer “smoothie bag”
    * it’s been hot for us in Wa so one night I grilled pizza on the BBQ
    * picked some more blackberries from our yard
    * getting some cucumbers from the garden so I made a patch of refrigerator pickles
    * tonight is my hubbies birthday. I am making a pasta dish he saw and wants to try and we will have some garden veggies and homemade cookies
    * went thru our school supplies to see what I actually need to purchase
    * sold a few things on eBay
    * used Kohl’s cash to get my son some new shoes in the next size up

  8. So sorry you aren’t feeling well. I love the sachets – they are just lovely!!

    My frugal accomplishments –
    One of my banana plants broke in a bad storm. I brought the bananas inside to ripen. I cut up the leaves and stalk to add to the compost bin. After the bananas were ripe, I put them in the freezer for smoothies.

    I went to Home Depot and spent some of my garden money. I got a Key Lime tree, 2 more giant clay pots and the rest of the seeds I need for fall. I will get another papaya tree for the second pot another day when I can get to a smaller nursery that carries the kind of papaya I want. I also got a few things for projects around the house. All the money was budgeted and I paid cash.
    I transplanted my everglades tomato plants into the garden. I started more tomatoes and broccoli in peat pots. I pulled lots of weeds and added more mulch. I planted 2 different kinds of watermelon and 2 different summer squash. I pruned the blackberries and raspberries. I picked a few more blackberries. I pruned the grapevines that had grown off the pergola and onto the fence. I clipped some Greek oregano and let it dry. I fertilized the blueberry bushes, Mexican heather, lemon, orange, and papaya. I moved some vincas that had reseeded. I added more soil to my figs in pots and remulched. I moved a few plants around in the butterfly garden. I added my own compost to the native soil when I transplanted the tomatoes and planted the seeds in the garden.

    I shopped at Aldi and spent $37 on groceries for the week and a few things to bring to a party a co-worker was having. I also stocked up on tissues. They had a 3-pack of tissues for $2.79, so I bought 3. I continue to update my price list each time I shop. My price list is a 7 page Excel spreadsheet; so every time I shop, I will update 1 page.

    I entered Coke reward points from tops I pulled from the garbage at work.

    The plumber came over to put in new shut off valves in the kitchen sink, so we will be able to turn off the water when we take out the old counters. The old valves were so gunked up, a piece of crud must have clogged the cold water side of the faucet cartridge when he took the old valve off. Options were to have the plumber take apart the faucet and try to get the cold working and pay his hourly fee, install a new cartridge ourselves for about $25 which may not fix it, install a new cheap faucet, or live with just hot water for the next 3 weeks. We are living with just hot water. We are being SUPER CONSERVATIVE with our water usage.

    I made Double Batch Chickpea Cutlets. I baked them in the oven with a spritz of Pam instead of frying in oil (healthier and cheaper) then froze for quick future meals.

    Have a great week everyone!!

  9. Brandy, I too am so sorry you are I’ll. I will be praying for you.
    A few years ago we had a lake house in Austin, TX. I pulled back the covers to climb into bed one night and noticed a scorpion there in the bed. The next day I almost stepped on a scorpion as I was going down the stairs and saw yet another when I went to check on one of the Grandbabies. The scorpion was just about a foot away from the crib. Needless to say my husband found how to remedy the house of scorpions that very day. The Texas variety won’t kill (I’m told) but most unpleasant! Austin is very hot and dry and resembles the desert.

  10. Brandy, I am sorry to hear you are still under the weather. Hope you are able to get enough rest to recover quickly.

    This past week we ate all our meals at home! We tried a new bread recipe that turned out exactly like a brown bowling ball, we sliced it out of curiosity then it went to bread heaven. We don’t eat a lot of bread so I decided not to save the pieces for other uses. I dont even think ducks would have eaten this ;). Not that we have a lot of ducks near us in Phoenix.

    Made a big pot of pinto beans and ham in the crock pot, served us one meal and three others for the freezer. One of our favorite meals but we don’t eat it much in the summer here.

    My husband works at home part time and I have been retired for almost two years. The side effect of me being at home now is that we use more electricity during peak times. i have gotten very lazy and run major appliances during on peak times, and the bills have gone up considerably. So last week I started watching what I was doing again.

    I continue downloading and reading ebooks through our local library. My friend still buys ebooks from Amazon, she said she spends $50 a month on books. I had taken her and her iPad to the library to sign up for the ebook program but she still doesn’t use it. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water 😉

    Hope you feel better soon Brandy!

  11. Sorry to hear you are still feeling under the weather. Hope it’s not too serious and you feel better soon. Love the lavender bags you sewed. Glad we don’t have scorpions and dangerous spiders where we live, though.

    We had a lot of restaurant meals this week, as we took a mini family vacation. I have included some of the ways we saved money while on vacation, for those who might be interest. My frugal accomplishments this week are:
    *Meals made at home include beef stew made in crock pot, pancakes (froze leftovers for quick breakfast item), and a leftovers night (I’ve been taking them in my work lunches but it seems to be multiplying in the fridge lately).
    *Received a $5 tip from a visitor at my work. She was a sweet older lady that came with a seniors group and really enjoyed just having someone to chat with (she had mobility issues so she couldn’t walk as easily through the village). I didn’t mind as it made my day a little more interesting!
    *Filled my half empty gas tank for just over $0.87/litre for my vehicle. I think that’s the lowest I bought it at this summer!
    *Picked a lot of vine ripened tomatoes from our potted plants this week!
    *We went on a 3 day mini family vacation this past weekend. Here is some ways we saved money on vacation:
    -we brought drinks/snacks from home, including nuts, crackers, corn nuts, potato chips, bottled water and pop. I also threw in Ziploc sandwich baggies, as they often come in handy (see below).
    -The 1st hotel we stayed at offered free apples to guests, set out in a bowl in the lobby. I grabbed 4 apples to use for lunch/snacks. They also offered a complimentary breakfast. We made sure to have a good, hearty breakfast in the morning. I grabbed a boiled egg (put in Ziploc baggie), a yogurt, and a muffin (put in Ziploc baggie) for my mom to have for lunch (note: If I had brought some mayo, we could have made egg salad sandwiches). I also grabbed 3 bananas for lunch/snacks, napkins and plastic utensils. My husband was so full from breakfast he just had a banana and an apple as his lunch.
    -We ate at Eastside Mario’s for dinner the first night. Entrees included all you can eat bread and salad. My daughter and I filled up on that and had little room for our entrée. We took it to go and ate it for our lunch the next day.
    -My daughter saved half of her grilled cheese and bacon sandwich from her dinner plus our French fries the second night. She enjoyed those leftovers for breakfast the next morning. The rest of us ate the free fruit we still had since the 2nd hotel didn’t offer a complimentary breakfast.
    -We realized our mistake in not bringing a cooler, so we went to Walmart and bought 2 reusable, soft-sided insulated bags they sell for keeping groceries/food hot or cold ($3.50 each). We almost bought another cooler (which we didn’t need as we already have several) for $30. Huge savings, they worked great and I can reuse these in the summer to keep my frozen grocery items from thawing on my way home in the heat. We filled up some of the Ziploc baggies with free ice offered by the hotel to keep our lunch and drinks cold.
    -I used my “Attractions Ontario Reciprocating Program” card (a perk for working at an Attractions Ontario museum) to get 2 of us into a museum for free and for a discount on a boat tour. Since my daughter is on the Autism spectrum, one “support person” can get in for free, which we used for my mother. This made our vacation expenditures very inexpensive.

    Looking forward to getting back into our normal routine and reading everyone’s accomplishments from this week. Hope you all have a lovely week filled with lots of great accomplishments!:D

  12. Here’s hoping your recovery is on its way Brandi. Rest is the best medicine for illness!! I continue to try to shave another 10% off my hydro bill (I get a $50 reward from Hydro if I accomplish this for a year) but it is difficult, as I was already being very careful. Currently I am at 8% reduction. Cooking/planning food for relatives coming for a visit. Today made a large pot of mild vegetable cream soup from my fridge and garden box, so was able to share two quarts with a neighbour who lost her husband last night to ALS, peacefully in his sleep. Bought 10 pounds of bread flour for $7.77, very low price here. Also found 160 teabags (english Typhoo) for $5., a great bargain. From the land of the moose and beaver, :):) Ann Lee S

  13. Sorry to hear that you’re still feeling poorly, Brandy, and I hope you feel better soon!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week, at least that I can remember:
    – Bought a smartphone photobooth with the first money I earned from my blog, so that I can take better quality photos. Perhaps not super-frugal, but I’m trying to only invest in the blog with money made from the blog, otherwise there are so many things I’d like to do! Also, I’m hoping that this will improve the quality of photos I can take with my phone without having to invest in a DSLR.
    – Redeemed a free movie coupon for a date night with the DH, so we only had to pay for his movie ticket.
    – Then used a coupon code from his movie ticket to play a game online and earned a free package of m&m’s to be redeemed upon our next movie visit. Frugal score!
    – Made peach jam – so good it was gone within 48 hours! Next time I’ll make more. 
    – Made buttermilk biscuits using some runny yoghurt from last week’s batch that was too runny to eat as yoghurt. Super-delish!
    – Took a friend out for coffee using the Starbucks card that I bought with my Swagbucks. It was nice to be able to treat someone to a fancy drink that I know otherwise he (and I!) wouldn’t order.
    – Made Brandy’s vanilla apricot jam
    – Cat-sat and earned some cash (also managed to find, stop, and notify the owner of the home where I was cat-sitting, of a giant two-story leak. I felt bad for the homeowner, but at least it was stopped before it got worse.
    – Redeemed some points for two free e-books from harlequin.com (a Betty Neels romance – very gentle, traditional romances, and very sweet)
    – Took a co-worker having a rough day out for coffee at Starbucks using my rewards card from Swagbucks. So nice to be able to order her a venti size fancy-pants drink and say ‘it’s on me!’
    – Gave my dad another jar of apricot jam, as he had finished the first one already
    – Accepted a container of panko crumbs from my mom and gave her a container of bread crumbs in return
    – My mom gave me some glass containers that she didn’t want and I used them to organize some items on my bedside table. One of them now holds the coconut oil that I use at a bedtime hand cream; much prettier than plastic!
    – Went through my music collection and added CD’s that I no longer listen to, to my garage sale pile. Good thing the garage sale is coming up next weekend, as it’s currently a pile o’ stuff in my living room!

    And I think that’s it! Looking forward to reading everyone else’s accomplishments!

  14. How do you keep your orchids that have finished blooming, so that they bloom again? I saw that you keep them in the bathroom. Do you prune them after blooming? Feed them anything? I just received an orchid today!

  15. I hope you will feel lots better this week, Brandy. I did not realize you had scorpions in Las Vegas. Goodness, that sounds a bit scary! We do have some large spiders here in NC, and ticks and chiggers and snakes. I guess you sort of get used to what you have to deal with where you’re at! I did cut a bouquet this week, which you always inspire me to do, and have done my daily lessons at Duolingo. I’ve enjoyed several episodes of Depression Cooking/Clara’s Kitchen, thanks to a comment here. I’m joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/08/preserving-food-frugal-accomplishments.html

  16. Brandy, you must have gotten the same bug that my friend has. She’s in the high desert area of SoCal. She just finished her 3rd week of what she’s calling The Alien Flu. She’s not a sickly person at all, but this bug had her in bed for 5 days and while she’s better, she’s still coughing and hoarsey. Her GYN saw her for her yearly about 10 days into the bug and gave her antibiotics cuz she was so bad. They made no difference so it’s certainly a virus…possibly alien! I hope you feel better.

  17. Brandy, I’m so sorry you are still under the weather. It is so hard on the family when mama is sick.

    Frugal accomplishments for last week at our house were:

    We ate all our from meals at home and took our lunches to work with us.

    One of our daughters had a birthday this week and we had a family get together to celebrate. I made a cinnamon bun cheesecake for her from a recipe that I found on pinterest.
    My husband cooked barbeque chicken on the grill. My other daughters brought side dishes to go with our meal. We bought her all of the Harry Potter books from Amazon. She was thrilled with her gift.

    My co-worker once again shared from her garden with me and other people in the office. I got more cucumbers and tomatoes. I shared my bounty with my daughters and their families. I am bringing my co-worker a piece of the cheesecake.

    I made pizza dough in the bread machine for homemade pizzas.

    I did all the usual like washing and reusing freezer bags, turning off lights, etc.

  18. My mom used to have them outside when she lived in the Mojave desert. I never saw any live ones when I was there, but I did see a large one that someone ran over in the driveway. It was at least 4″ long. Yikes!!

  19. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Sorry to hear you were sick this week, hope and pray you will be better this week. I marvel even through when you are sick that you still get a lot of things done 🙂 , like me it never deters you and you still carry on to the best of your capabilities at any given time.

    Our frugal accomplishments for the week are –

    Groceries –

    – As most of the tinned vegetables we needed were on a good special we topped up on tinned oysters, tinned champignons, tinned carrots, beans, pears saving $5.70 on usual prices. We increased our food storage by 2 tins of carrots, 3 tins of champignons, and 2 tins of green beans as well as stocking up our usual stocks. We are so happy we were able to fit this into our budget this month.

    In the kitchen –

    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch using tinned pantry items and raw ingredients from the pantries and blanched and frozen vegetables from the gardens in the freezers.

    – Took 6 large pumpkins picked from the gardens from winter storage under the house chopped, deseeded, peeled and blanched and pureed making 6.818 kg of pumpkin puree in portioned bags for advanced stocks for the year in the freezer.

    – Washed, deseeded and chopped 4 green, yellow and green capsicums from the garden and blanched making 360 g of portioned bags for yearly advanced freezer vegetable food stocks for us in the freezer.

    House spring cleaning –

    – Deep spring cleaned the dressing room, bedroom, kitchen, laundry and bathroom for another 3 months.

    – We cleaned all the walls, belt rails, architraves with sugar soap, damp dusted all wooden furniture including buffets, entertainment units, tallboys, and bedside tables and polished them with wood polish, cleaned inside, outside and underneath the oven, fridges and freezers, cleaned all the bathroom floor grout with citrus vinegar and a toothbrush, deep cleaned by mopping all vinyl, tile and stone floors with a diluted ammonia and dishwashing liquid solution.

    Water preservation –

    – Hand watered all house lawns with saved grey water from the washing machine and showers for the week without using any town water.

    – Used all vegetable blanching and freezing water to water herb pot plants and new seedlings in the garden all week without using any town water.

    – Supplement hand watered all new seeds planted with rain water from our rain water tanks.

    In the garden –

    – Picked cherry tomatoes, strawberries and capsicums.

    – Planted 3 rows of carrot seeds and transplanted carrot seedling thinnings into 2 rows of carrots.

    – Weeded 2 x 9 x 2 metre garden beds, 1 x 9 x 1 metre garden bed and another 3.3 x 5 metre garden vegetable bed in preparation for spring plantings.

    – Fertilised all herbs , berries and vegetable patches with a seaweed solution for another fortnight.

    Craft earnings earned and used to purchase –

    – A new electric citrus juicer on special saving $5.60 on the internet delivered to our door. Previously we were hand squeezing and finding it too hard with large citrus juicing sessions.

    Finances –

    – Saved $1997.66 into our savings for our home with cash from our tax refund cheques and usual pays and craft earnings. We are slowly inching closer to buying our home without borrowing any from the banks with 14.23% of our targeted total house price savings in the bank now , yippeeee 🙂 .

  20. I’m so sorry to read that you’re still under the weather. I hope you feel much better very, very soon, and that the rest of the family is feeling okay!

    We filled up our truck at Fred Meyer (a Kroger affiliate) and used my folks’ fuel points to get $1 off per gallon. I had purposely let it get lower than usual as the points expire at the end of this month; we got 3/4 of a tank/27 gal for less than $50.

    The past six weeks I’ve been participating in a shawl “knit along” at a local yarn shop. Everyone who finished by the deadline was entered in a drawing – I was surprised to be the winner of the drawing and now have a $25 credit at the shop! I have to go exchange a pair of socks at a store near there and also return some pants of my son’s at another store, so I will consolidate those errands and a trip to the yarn shop next week for a little treat. My kids and my mom, along with several friends, all do “yarny” things, so I may do a little Christmas shopping with the credit since I don’t really need anything myself right now.

    Took a grocery bag of books to my mom during our weekly trip to Gramma’s house, which she will take to the used book store for credits. She keeps an eye out for items on my “some day” list, and at least once a month she takes my daughter there to look for books, so that saves all of us some cash using the credits instead.

    Printed coupons from InboxDollars before going to the commissary for groceries. It turned out that they didn’t have some of the items, but the ones they had, we’ll get $0.10 back on each coupon I redeemed in our InboxDollars account. I also read the offer emails they send over. I don’t make big bucks off of their programs, but it all adds up!

    A magazine I write for has opened up some other opportunities for earning some income – I’ll be discussing these options with the editor to see where I fit in. Through them I also found out about a different earning option that I’ll be pursuing soon as well.

    Kept up with my mini freezer & pantry challenge – cooked almost all of our meals at home, and got the menu plan up for next week using what is in the house already.

    My daughter’s babysitting night was cancelled due to the children being sick (poor kids!) – she lost a bit of income, but it did technically save me fuel. Her Mutual activity ended up cancelled as well, since so many of the kids are out of town for vacation, also saving fuel.

    My husband spotted a big ticket item he needed for hunting on sale at our base store. We discussed it at length, as the price was already low and we’d save on sales tax. We aren’t big shoppers and he is notoriously hard to buy for, so I suggested he consider it his Christmas gift – we had it in savings and . He went back the next day and spotted a little flaw – the manager immediately offered him an additional 10% off as it’s a model they are trying to move out to make room for “new” stuff. He texted and I told him to GET IT – it’s a good investment now and for our future, and the way he takes care of such things, will be passed down to our son and probably further. All in all he saved over $600, not counting any meat he is able to harvest to fill the freezer in the coming years.

    Picked up a bunch more holds at the library. A friend once shared a “library savings” calculator with me, and last year we figured out we saved close to $3,000 by “shopping” at our libraries. I’m sure we’ve well surpassed that this year! 😀 We are so very thankful for the blessings of our county and base library systems.

    Went to Target while my daughter was a meeting – I have studiously avoided going in most of the year as I always buy more than I went in for there! I truly needed a salad spinner, as my towel method was just making a mess of the kitchen and myself, especially if I lose my grip and lettuce flies out. (Errrr, oops….) My son and I found the salad spinner, which luckily was on sale for 5% off, and as we wandered down an aisle to get out, a bunch of neat things caught both our eyes. As he was looking, I laughingly made the comment “This place is dangerous! We should not shop together!” My nine year old took me by the hand and said, “Let’s go then!” I was pretty proud of him! We walked out with only the salad spinner. 😉

    Remembered to tell a clerk at the base store that I had a reusable bag when buying curtain rods and rings, necessary to replace the rod that broke in my daughter’s room – whenever we supply our own bag, we get a nickel credit. We’ll gladly take it!

    Wishing everyone a great week!

  21. Dear Brandy, please do not push yourself when you are ill. I know that sounds impossible, but the more you allow yourself to rest the sooner you will recover. When my sons were school aged I always made them stay home from school for another day after they thought they were well to prevent them from relapsing. I believe in getting plenty of rest. I even rest one day a week.

  22. Made 2 batches of plum jam from free plums we gathered at the edge of the parking lot for our daughter’s apt. I will keep a few jars & will divide the others among my oldest & youngest daughters. The jam is a great replacement for the grape jelly in some saucy meatball recipes. I use 1:1 amounts of the jam with BBQ sauce, poured over meatballs, & served over rice. If you cook & freeze meatballs ahead, this makes a very fast meal on the table, & goes great with salad or a green veggie.

    Bottled more Red Haven peaches from our trees. Picked up a box of Diamond Princess “seconds” for $18 and a box of July Flame “ripes” for $16 at the farmer’s market. Those prices are about 50% higher than last year, but still less than full price.

    Packed up the dehydrated squeezings from the currants & the dried elderberries.

    Picked more elderberries & froze them overnight, then dehydrated 8 more cups of the elderberries from the freezer, to free up the Ball freezer containers & make room in the freezer for those that are still ripening on the bush. This has been such a crazy year; the bushes are still putting out flowers, as well as ripening the berries!

    Harvested tomatoes, red raspberries, strawberries, green beans & pears from our garden.

    Cut down another apple box to hold more juice jugs & soda bottles full of water. These stack nicely 3 high & allow me to better use the space I have.

    Pruned one of the forsythia bushes in the front yard. They grow a little too well here, so this is an annual task, & I prune a forsythia bush when the garbage can is not yet full, on garbage day. That way I don’t have to pay extra to haul the prunings to the dump.

    Took down the patriotic decorations & replaced them with the fall pumpkins & leaves décor.

    Purchased 6 one-pound packages of Laura’s 92% lean organic ground beef, antibiotic & hormone-free, from the meat mark-down bin for $2.50 each. These are usually $7.99 each, & I would never pay that, but when they are in the bargain basket for less than the usual 85/15 blend, I buy them all. Just one way my freezer lets us eat better, for less.

    Used a coupon to have the oil changed at Jiffy Lube.

    Received a 5% discount on my husband’s hospital bill for paying in full. The discount is only available once a year, but we don’t use the ER that often.

    Bought Gatorade on sale for $1 each at Kmart, then used reward points on Gatorade & SYWR points to lower the price further.

    Completed a pine cone survey.

  23. I found recently that those that I pruned right under the flowering stem flowered again sooner than letting it send forth another stem. Some people feed them once in a while, but I haven’t done that. I probably should. Only water them once every few weeks.

  24. My husband tore out that entire wall. I designed the mouldings and window layout and he made them happen. I’ll be featuring them more in an upcoming post.

    The rest of the windows have no mouldings at all, but I’ve been looking into adding some to the existing windows at some point. I hope we can. Mouldings make such a difference.

  25. Sending healing thoughts your way. I hope you feel better Brandy.

    Spiders we have and I don’t like them. I don’t think I could cope with scorpions.

    Here is what we did this week:
    I redeemed some swagbuck points for a gift certificate to be used as a Christmas gift.

    The Man did the oil change on one of our vehicles saving us more than $100.

    I hit the thrift store on ½ price day and added two shirts and two pairs of jeans to my work wardrobe. This means that I can move one pair of old jeans to the “going to the thrift store bag.” and another, almost-worn-through pair to the “denim quilt” pile.

    We went over to our neighbours to watch a major concert. They had recorded the show and hooked their TV up to their super-duper sound system. We had a great evening listening to the music and feeling connected to our fellow Canadians.


    Have a great week everyone.

  26. My biggest thing was I went to aldi here in town this would be my second time here since the opened about 6 months ago. I was just ho humish about them the first trip but because they had leg quarters .49 a pound I just had to go…. im so glad i did because while I was there the 80% ground beef was on clearance (had to be used or frozen the next day) got it for 1.29 a pound (got 18 pounds and left quite a few for others), grass fed ground beef was .89 a pound (I got 6 and another person got 3 that’s all they had), and steaks had double manager special on them and I got them from .25 -1.00 total for 1.5 pound steaks…. I was so SHOCKED and giddy…. bread was also on clearance for .40 a loaf and bagles were .50, I grabbed 2 of each for French toast and brealfast or snack bagles and they were still good till the 19th, . let’s just say the trip to aldi filled our freezers… what a blessing for us especially as I restock our pantry and freezers, I really need to get moving on it especially since we are settled from moving. I know I can make bangles and bread cheaper but it’s nice to not have to do that one week. 🙂 I also was able to buy some clothes for hubby and our 2 girls though a FB local page where mom’s sell items, it’s been a blessing to be able to sell things we just don’t need or use anymore and to get some stuff we could use.

  27. Hi Brandy, you poor darlin, I hope you feel a lot better, very soon! Is it a virus or the “flu”? We are in Australia and our winter has just about finished, it was a very bad flu season this season. I work in a hospital and there were lots of very fit adults that were hospitalised because of the flu.

    I got stuck into the garden over the weekend, lots of re potting and seed sowing for the beginning of our spring. I also started a baby quilt for a lovely lady at work who is expecting, due in October. I have also started cleaning blinds and Windows for the start of my spring cleaning. It’s a job a hate most of all, but it has to be done.

    Have a wonderful week .

  28. Good morning! I hope you are on the way to recovery soon.
    This week was just…off. a $1200 car repair and poor meal plans on my part. Husband found a pizza deal – 2xl for $14, and we got several meals from that and kids felt like they were getting a treat.
    Went to a garden party cookout a church.
    Went to a friend’s 31 party, just to catch up (she knows our situation) and won the door prize. Setting aside for a Christmas gift.
    We started selling Discover Indy coupon books for the school DC trip fundraiser. I looked at it…of $25 cost, $10 goes in the account. I get 4 $5 coupons for Kroger which is my husband’s go to grocery. That alone pays for the book, and i get a free day at monkey joes for the kids to burn off steam in the winter. So even if i just used these,and blessed other with the rest, i am coming out ahead.
    It sounds silly, but i have started praying over my stack of bills. Gives me some peace when i am holding so much anxiety.
    Have a blessed week!

  29. I hope you feel better soon Brandy! Is this week 2 of being sick? You poor thing:(

    Harvested tomatoes and basil. My two tiny clusters of grapes are turning purple! I also have two Delicata squash growing and a butternut squash starting! 🙂 Out of the two rows of parsley I planted (twice each btw) I have ONE parsley plant growing lol My pears should be ready to pick soon as well.
    All meals were cooked from scratch using pantry and freezer items.
    I made chicken and dumplings, sausage/potato casserole, chicken enchiladas,an unnamable casserole, tacos, and had leftovers for lunch every day, white bread in the bread machine, potato pancakes.
    All children at my daughter’s Elementary school get free breakfast and lunch so she eats at school. I take her a little early so she can eat and go play before school starts. She’s only 5 so I stay with her until she walks into her classroom. There are not enough teacher’s aides for proper supervision outside, 2 adults for 100 three, four, five, and six year olds.
    I continue to make my meal plan to save me time and money using a free online printable I found on Pinterest.
    Used soapy rinse water to mop my kitchen floor.
    Reorganized my pantry shelves
    I make coffee in the morning at home and drink water or beverages we already have at home.
    I dehydrated cabbage and made rosehip syrup using dried rosehips I purchased for tea 6 months ago and forgot about.
    (Thanks Make Do Homemaker!)
    My mom gave us a set of blackout curtains which I hung in our room.
    My mother in law and her boyfriend ripped out three big shrubs from their yard and gave them to us. They are now gracing a hill that is very difficult to mow.
    Dried some laundry on the clothes line outside.
    Exchanged books at the library for my daughter
    Finished setting up my paypal account for rebate reimbursement and selling some items on ebay.
    Donated plasma and earned $50
    used free videos to exercise to
    Used large mason jars to collect rain water during one of our downpours off the back step. We got 7 jars and will use to water house plants.
    Hubby found a play kitchen for our daughter and two boxes of toys (about half were broken) from a gentleman throwing them away after a rummage sale. The man gladly gave them to my hubby for free.
    Have a great week everyone!

  30. Brandy, I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well. I hope you are on the mend.

    Last week was what I considered my first “full” week back home and I tried to make the most of it. I shared a few of the things we did on my blog. I’ve started a new experiment and every weekend I am cooking a batch of some kind of dried beans and incorporating them into the meals for that week. Last week was lentils and this week is pinto beans.

  31. I hope you feel better soon. You’re right about not realizing how much you do for your family. My daughter says it’s the end of the world when Mom gets sick. Lol.

  32. I hope you get to feeling better soon!!! It’s amazing how productive you were even when sick, so I salute you!

    Last week:
    -Mr. Picky Pincher made a batch of sweet potato chips with leftover sweet potatoes.
    -I made dark chocolate chip stuffed dates as my healthy yet decadent snack for the week. I made these out of items just from the bulk foods aisle, so it only cost me about $3 for higher quality snack food.
    -I made a batch of pulled pork. Usually I go for bone-in cuts of meat like shoulder or butt, but we’ve bitten into bone chunks with these cuts, so we stuck with a (more expensive) processed cut. It’s still delicious! I made a huge batch and froze it to eat over the coming months.
    -Mr. Picky Pincher made chicken stock, marinara sauce, and sauerkraut. It was definitely a “bulk cooking” kind of weekend!
    -I made churros! And the best part was that all the ingredients were things we had on hand, so I didn’t have to really spend anything to make these little guys. They keep surprisingly well in the fridge for later snacking, too.
    -We watched a few movies from the library.
    -I made a batch of yogurt and yogurt cheese. In fact, I had the yogurt cheese this morning on top of a bagel and drizzled with blueberry syrup. Yum!
    -I made a batch of spaghetti squash, potato soup, and breakfast potatoes. I did some pre-cooking this past weekend for our weeknight meals this week. I slightly undercooked the spaghetti squash so it wouldn’t be overly tender when we make it for our spaghetti squash lo mein dinner on Friday.

  33. Like everyone else, I am praying for a speedy recovery, but until then rest rest rest.

    This week has been a little hectic, so I am pulling from memory(not always the best). Here in the Bayou State we are dealing with ANOTHER flood. This has been the second major flood in a year. The first one was in the spring and affected the top portion of Louisiana where I live, this one is from Baton Rouge down. We have family and friends, some have lost homes but fortunately none was lost lives. So yesterday my oldest and I made a trip to Dollar Tree and filled a cart with personal care items to be sent to shelters. Sometimes just having clean teeth can make a big difference. My DD works at Old Navy and they are collecting items, both of my sons schools are collecting also.

    Our muscadine vines have gone crazy this year, I’ve never seen them be so plentiful. I have made juice with the whole fruit and plan on making jelly with the rest. While this is a fruit I personally do not like at all, my family loves it.

    I made black beans, threw a bag of leg quarters in the crockpot to use for the rest of the week. I found two steaks in the freezer and will stretch them for fajitas. The garden has finally given up, other than a few eggplants it has just rolled over and quit. So we pulled up the exhausted plants and will till in some compost and plant our fall garden next week.

    My grandfather had a minor surgery, if you can call any surgery minor at 83. My mother, sister and I took turns taking care of him and my grandmother. I took care of her as both of them are nurses. My grandmother stayed here at the house, as it was closer to the hospital and she got to spend some times with some of her greats.

    We live in a rural area and my family are avid hunters. We need at least 3 deer each year as we hardly ever purchase beef. Because my children are older and two of them hunt alone, my husband found a used ATV that needed some work and between my two sons and ourselves it was purchased. My husband and I are hoping that helping to pay for this, that our boys will take better care of it.

    My oldest son is playing football this year for the first time. He is in 6th grade and only plays against other 6th grade teams. We had a meet the team night at the middle school and WOW some of the parents, you would think their child is being drafted. I mean honestly, my DD this past year won the state championship in her weight class for powerlifting AND broke the record in bench press and not this much hoopla was made. My son was disappointed that I refused to pay $$ for a yard sign or a t shirt that was for middle school football. I told him that we already had mascot shirts for all three school( they share the same mascot and colors for high school, middle and elementary). And regarding the house I could do something more special that the yard sign. So I went to work(I am a florist) and made an awesome wreath that was personalized with his name and number. His teacher saw it and wanted one for her son as well. DS was proud as punch.

    We combined errands, packed lunches and the usual. I purchase jeans from Old Navy for the boys at they have hit grown spurts and they were on sale for $10 and I asked DD to purchase the with her discount.. So $7.50 a pair. That’s what our thrift store charges around here.

    Have a blessed week everyone

  34. Hi all. I so happy to hear how you keep out spiders and scorpions, in Arizona I see them a lot.

    I have been cooking from scratch and using what we have. Also, planning to use up what we have in our freezer, as several things need to be done in September. Only shopping for deals on things I need.

    My daughter is taking college courses thru her high school. So I’m building up my Amazon credit thru surveys for books she needs. I will continue to build this up for when she leaves next year.

    Have a good week everyone!

  35. Over the last few weeks I have frozen 11 quart bags and 5 gallon bags of beans. I couponed at Rite Aid and stocked up on Shampoo. With buy one get one half off and 2 – $3.00 coupons I purchased 2 revelon lipstick moisturizers at an awesome deal. With our weather getting so cold and windy in the upcoming fall and winter months this is a much needed cosmetic as I drive school bus in the blistering cold early mornings. Our church family shares their extra garden produce. This Sunday morning I was so blessed with cucumbers and tomatoes. I have a few cucumbers in my garden but they did not do so good this year. I worked on de-cluttering our shed 2 days last week and then on Saturday my husband helped me. Our motto was if it really is not being used then it must go. I have a hard time doing this. I find I can keep things organized better if we just keep what we know for sure we will use. It felt so good to walk back into it and having it organized, neat, and cleaned. It is a small garage size so it was no small feat to accomplish. So happy to have that task crossed off the to-do list. I am thankfull God gave my husband and I the much needed strength. The weather was so humid it made one a bit dizzy that we had to take many small breaks. Have a blessed school week.

  36. It is no fun being sick! I hope you are on the mend.
    This week I picked cucumbers, a crookneck squash, a few green beans, and tomatoes. I made a yummy stir-fry for dinner with most of them. My daughter and I also picked some wild blackberries. Later, a friend gave me 20lbs of Italian plums from her tree! I made a delicious plum cake one night then flash froze 2 cookie sheets of halves to fill a gallon and a quart bag; I also prepped the rest to be made into 2 kinds of plum jam and plum syrup.
    I’m expecting our third child and while I don’t feel sick, I am exhausted all the time. I was very tempted a couple of nights to not make dinner and just go out. Instead, I chose easy meals- grilled cheese sandwiches one night and pancakes the other. Those plus 2 planned leftover nights got me through the week.
    The baby is still several months away, but I’ve started buying 1 or 2 packages of diapers or wipes as I have coupons so I’m ready.
    Our dishwasher has started acting up, showing an error code. We looked up the code and followed the directions to figure out the problem. We have been able to restart and do our dishes the rest of the week. Though, if the code keeps returning, we may need to call in a repairman. It’s nice, though to know we can keep limping along until then.
    I went through some of our books to organize them for better use. I’ve pulled out some for homeschooling and have a grocery sack full to be donated.
    We are planning a roadtrip to Utah in a couple of weeks, so we took our car in to be serviced. Everything’s great. While we did pay money up front (though my husband was able to bargain for 20% off) it will save us in the long run not having unexpected major problems.
    I’ve combined my kids’ laundry with my husbands’ and mine. Now I have fewer, fuller loads which uses my water more efficiently.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  37. I am so sorry you are still sick Brandy. I hope you get well soon. I needed a new skirt/suit for work. We are required to wear jackets in court and I usually wear Le Suit petites. I usually buy them for $20 at the consignment shop. I found one this weekend at the thrift store for $9.00 in my size and it is a gorgeous suit! I also found a white blouse for $3.99 ( I needed a couple more but this one was the only one in good shape at the thrift store) and a Liz Claiborne purse for $1.99. The clothes fit perfectly. I bought a HUGE bundle of collards on clearance for $1.99. I froze what I did not use, and I made a soup with collards, rice, a tiny bit of leftover chicken, spices, and tomatoes. That will be my evening meal for the week. I have enough collards to keep me in soup for the next three weeks! I simply take a bundle out, cook them with a tiny bit of chicken rather than pork, cook a little rice, and combine with tomatoes and spices….simple, healthy, and delicious. I took my lunch to work every day. I usually eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a pimento cheese sandwich, or a tuna salad sandwich. It is repetitive but it does not bother me, and it is cheap.

  38. That is a great deal on the Typhoo tea! I was happy to find an 80 ct box for $3 at the discount grocery. I love a strong cup of tea, and it’s one of the few where I can use just one bag. The vegetable cream soup sounds really good. Would you mind sharing a recipe?

  39. Hi Brandy,

    I hope you feel well again soon and perhaps can catch up on some reading while you are bed bound.
    Picked the grapes from our yard and made 18 quarts of grapes juice.
    Picked a five gallon bucket of peaches from our tree and canned them.
    Canned five pint jars of tomatoes from the garden
    Dried a batch of cherry tomatoes from the garden
    Made 8 half pints of pear ginger jam. The pears came from a friend’s tree. We’ve also been eating a lot of fresh pears before they turn brown.
    Our utility bills are on calculated payments so they are the same each month. Our gas usage has been down this year, and so this month I don’t have to pay the $64 we normally pay!
    I was able to bring home two dips from work that were leftover from an event. I reused them for a party and for dinner at my mother’s house. I also brought home a jar of peanut butter from work, again leftover.
    I roasted Anaheim and jalapeno peppers from the garden and froze them
    I bought two dozen ears of corn and cut off the kernels and froze them. Then I simmered the cobbs with salt and a few basil leaves and made cobb broth, which when into the freezer. I plan to use it as a base for chowder latter.
    I made apricot jam with apricots given to me by a neighbor.
    I have some silver and white turquoise earrings that I don’t wear, but have a friend who likes them, so I am giving them to her.
    Went on a six mile hike with my husband and a friend.

  40. I’m feeling grateful to not live in a place where I have to worry about both spiders AND scorpions (flails arms in terror). Hope you feel better soon.

    School has started and I was thrilled that our kindergartener came home with a free spirit wear shirt as a gift from the PTO. Of course, we do participate in fundraising for the PTO, so it will probably be a draw by the end of the year. I also bought my yearly stock of super slim jeans for my son at Crazy 8 for $7.99 per pair. Slim boys jeans without holes in the knees are really hard to find secondhand.

  41. Hilogene, I loved your bread description! Sometimes we have to have a few bowling balls before we get fluffy clouds. lol

  42. Try some Fire Cider!
    Best wishes for a fast(er) recovery. 🙂
    We just got home from our family week at a beach we’ve been going to for 40 years and I was so happy to see that I was under budget at the end! We split the cost of the rental amongst all of our siblings which makes it so much more affordable and the benefits of all the cousins being together are enormous.
    Still, post vacation is always a time for feeling like not spending any money, Full Stop! Plus…school is coming! Our homeschoolers are now in university and community college and the youngest is a high schooler which means there are things to spend money on. So, to save for that:
    We’re eating out of the garden and from the farmstands.
    We’re making all of our bread and granola, all meals are homemade and from whole ingredients which I’ve purchased in bulk. I haven’t had to shop for two weeks and am hoping to only have to get a few things when I do.
    I made fire cider for an immune boosting tonic, am drying medicinal and culinary herbs from the garden and made MORE elderberry syrup for winter colds.
    My friends gave me some gorgeous honey jars for my honey harvest as a thank you for a weekend at our camp.
    I bought all of my son’s uniform components at a used uniform sale at the school. This saved us hundreds!
    A friend gave me a giant bag of hand me down clothes for my girls which thrilled them.
    As for beauty…I used some money from my teensy home business to buy some mums , on sale, for one of the front gardens. This pleased me the most.
    Praying for your health…

  43. Linda, your comment made me laugh. My mother, who was a Registered Practical Nurse, always made us go to school, despite being sick. She always said “You got it there, you can take it right back!”. I joke with my mom now that I had to cough up a lung and hand it to her to prove I needed to stay home from school. I fondly remember this one time when I woke up with my ear aching. When I went out to the kitchen to tell my mom, she shocked me by saying “Oh, you probably have and ear infection. I guess you will have to stay home from school so I can take you to the doctor”. I couldn’t believe it was that easy to get a day off school!

  44. Was it the Tragically Hip Concert in Kingston this past weekend? We were traveling in that area this weekend and had a hard time finding a hotel room for Saturday night. Finally found one in Cornwall, which is about 2 hours away from Kingston, and even then it was lucky we found that one!

  45. I’m so sorry you’ve been sick! I hope you feel better soon. I’m sure your children are taking good care of you and each other!

    I’ve done a lot of mending and repairs this week. I replaced a zipper on a jacket for my son, repaired a zipper on a backpack for my older son, mended jeans, repaired a headboard, and repaired the feet on the crockpot so it would stand level again. I’ve baked bread, both wheat and French bread and took a loaf of wheat bread to our helpful mechanic. I also made some greeting cards with supplies on hand. I’ve picked peppers and cucumbers from the garden and have also used rosemary and green onions from the garden too. I knitted a market bag from some stash cotton yarn and a free pattern while watching the Olympics.

    School starts for my youngest tomorrow. We’ve been careful in purchasing school supplies by shopping sales and using coupons. He’s happily reusing his backpack from last year. I’m going to trim his hair this afternoon and he will be ready to go. Our other son who is still at home will begin university next week. He’s been carefully shopping for his supplies too. Education is expensive but it is important to me and we all work together to make it possible. My older three children have all graduated from university and it has been worth it to them not only because they have good paying jobs, but they also have good reasoning abilities and have a better understanding of the world around them.

    Thank you for this wonderful blog! I don’t often comment but I love reading all the comments from the other readers.

  46. Sorry you are still sick.

    I heard about a program you may want to look into – it’s called “Slow News” and it is news from other countries in the native tongue at a slow speed. Perhaps a way to work on your French? (The French link is https://www.newsinslowfrench.com)

  47. Melonie, I gave a little chuckle about your flying lettuce. I *spin* mine in an onion net bag in the backyard. Wellll, one day, I must not have gathered it enough and when I whipped the bag around, my lettuce took flight across the yard. Thinking it was a toy, my dog attacked it!! I’m sure the wild bunnies enjoyed it.

  48. I felt good about my week. The weather has been very nice, so we’re having a lot of opportunities to turn the AC off and open windows. I’ve done my normal frugal things like hanging laundry, etc. Plus…
    * I mended everything in my pile.
    * Deconstructed undonatable clothes for buttons, zippers, & rags.
    * Did my market survey for 50 fuel points.
    * More rain so that’s another $8 savings.
    * I had a $2 off $10 produce coupon. Pears were .99¢ lb. So I bought $10 worth, making them only80¢ lb. with the coupon.
    * Baked 2 batches of pan chocolate chip cookies at the same time. One for my church group and one for DH’s work. We both brought home leftovers so those are in the freezer.
    * DH had a small job done to the car, totaling $64. It was reduced by $17 with loyalty dollars PLUS we’ll get a $10 Visa GC in the mail.
    * Except for one, details below, all meals were at home. We had roast chicken, pulled pork, spaghetti, sweet and sour turkey meatballs, spinach and bacon quiche, and turkey wraps from a turkey I roasted on Sat.
    * Saving the best for last, we had our monthly lunch date at Sam’s before shopping. $3 total lol. 🙂

  49. Laurie in central NC asked for this recipe for mild vegetable cream soup: rough chop, you will be blending later.
    In your soup pot, melt 2 tbsp. butter add 1 large chopped onion and 4 cloves chopped garlic, cook about 5 min.
    Add 2 large potatoes and 2 chopped carrots. cook 5 more minutes. Pour in 1 container of chicken or vegetable broth (I use 5 cups water with chicken boullion)
    Add 1 head chopped cauliflower, cover, reduce heat and simmer until done.
    Puree with immersion blender (or food processor), return to Low heat and add 1 cup milk (evap or 1/2 and 1/2)
    tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/8 nutmeg ( and 1 tbsp. sherry if desired.) reheat on low so as not to boil milk.
    I add veggies as I have them, this week it was kale from the garden with 1 leftover zucchini. Always use the cauliflower base and 1/2 can evap milk works best. Ann Lee in BC

  50. Kandace, I love the cob broth idea! I’m going to use it the next time we have corn on the cob. A big ‘d’oh’ moment, here. Thanks!

  51. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    I love your lavender sachets. Now I know what to do when Hubs trims our lavender bushes. (Do you put anything other than the lavender buds in your sachets?)

    We had a pretty good week in terms of frugality.

    * All but two meals were homemade (lunches for the guys were packed at home).

    * I made a fresh pasta sauce with tomatoes, zucchini, pattypan squash, and basil from the garden (the olive oil, garlic, and onion were purchased).

    * We also harvested a cucumber from the garden and added that to our salad.

    * Made bread and salad dressing.

    * Continued to keep the AC set for 80F and open up the doors/windows in the mornings/evenings. (While our electric bill is up over this time last year due to the billing cycle starting out with extra-high temps AND smoke from local wildfires, we still managed to bring it down to a manageable amount. At the beginning of the billing cycle our usage was projected to be 50% higher than last year; we were able to knock that down to 16% higher than last year, a savings of $73 over the initial projection. It may not be great, but it’s much better than it could have been.)

    * Continued to save “warm-up” and dish rinse water.

    * Checked out several books from the library, including books on quilting.

    * Cut out a simple quilt template from a cereal box. (The next step is to cut out the fabric!)

    * Paid bills online to save postage. Also transferred some funds into savings for future expenses (car insurance, etc.). That may not be technically “frugal,” but it sure keeps those irregular expenses from being stressful “surprises.”

    * Hubs continued to refinish some of our outdoor furniture and the chicken coop.

    * We were able to pick up some inexpensive tools (and a free tape measure) from Harbor Freight. We will use these as gifts for our son at Christmas.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  52. Brandy, the piano bench and new furniture looks wonderful! Hope you can rest on the couch to enjoy it! Need a few Redbox codes? I still have some. Feel better soon.

  53. I hope you are able to rest and get over that virus, Brandy. A virus with a new baby is always tough and that 3-week-virus (if it’s the same one we’ve had running around here) is a bad one. Rest and get well. And “nap” is a terrific to-do list when you’re ill! 🙂

    Lots of veggie processing here – beans, kohlrabi, cabbage and tomato sauce mostly. Here’s the link for us from last week:

    Prayers for a speedy recovery!

  54. Well…last weekend 8/19-20 was the big D-Day re-enactment in our town. Right on the shores of Lake Erie! Rather than spend $$$ we brought our own drinks and sandwiches in a cooler to take with us while we watched the different events and battles. If anyone is in driving distance…it’s truly worth the gas money. Admission and parking are free…..there’s several parking lots throughout the city and shuttle buses are run to pick up and drop off….one of those lots is right across the street from my house so we don’t even have to use gas and can hop right on a school bus!

    My Mom gave me my birthday money..which I used to order some books from Amazon that I’d been wanting. For my birthday, which was 8.22, my husband is going to pay for the renewal of my Jeep….which is in his name only, so he has to be there to renew it anyway.

    He made a blackberry pie from the Wild Blackberries he and our son picked in the lot across the street. YUMMO!! I’m gonna try to make some refridgerator jam from some of them…we still had some leftover from last year..he freezes them

    Ate fresh organic tomatoes from our garden…what we didn’t eat, we blanched and froze for future use in chili and spag sauce…..picked some green peppers from our garden as well…Unfortunately, our zucchini didn’t take this year. 🙁 We LOVE it so that was a bummer….picked some cucumbers that were used in salads.

    Today 8/23 is the first day of 7th grade for my son. He wears a Man’s 13 sneaker. My mother has been very generous lately and gave us $50 for Back to School gear….which went towards the shoes…they were $70 on sale from $100! I bought his zipper binder on Amazon, in order to get the style and color he wanted. Price was about the same as sales at Walmart, Office Max/Depot and Staples. I have a huge School Supply closet so not much else was needed to purchase.. I have lots of single subject notebooks, that I stocked up on when Walmart had them on sale for 0.10 each 5 or so years ago. I KNEW I’d need them someday…and now I do. Had a stash of pencils, pronged 2-pocket folders….so little was spent for school supplies.

  55. I am an RN and we only go to the Dr when we are dying! LOL

    When I was in 10th grade(1987-88), I woke up sick…felt like pooh! I told my Mom and she was like too bad…go to school! So I did…..struggled to make it through the day…got some tylenol from the school nurse, who took my temp and told me it was 100.8!!! Stuck it out and got home, told my Mom that I’d gone to the Nurse and said, SEE!! I TOLD YOU I was sick!! I rarely missed school! I probably missed less than 10 days in 4 years of high school! Now my little sister, OTOH, could claim cramps, upset stomach and my Mom was like ok dear you can stay home :/ GRR!!!

  56. I was without a working salad spinner for almost 6 months. Months of wrapping it up in a big towel and sending someone outside with it. (With my bad shoulders I can’t get it wound up enough to work) We were at the farm store looking for parts to jerry-rig some older machinery in the shop so I wandered as usual and found there just what I was looking for. It had the string to pull, was a Zyliss brand, same as my old one that lasted me 15+ years. Hope the same for this one. I still have the base portions of my 2 old spinners. I like them for the strainer quality and use them daily for cleaning vegetables and fruit. Nice to be able to set the strainer back into the bowl and let finish draining there, rather than the sink. Just frees up more stuff.

  57. Erika, I enjoyed your story of the pudding pops. One of your readers was asking about storing 17 lbs of onions. My most important advice would be that she make sure onions are cured thoroughly before storage…at least 2 weeks until stem end is brown and dry and she has several layers of dried skin built up. Putting them away any sooner will cause rot. We store ours in pantyhose legs, the cheapest, lightest weight ones possible. We don’t hang them in the root cellar though. They are hanging in the basement from the rafters. We tie off between the onions with yarn or twine, rather than knotting the nylon as we want to use them over each year. We seldom have an onion go bad plus we only plant ones that have long keeping quality.

    p.s. I do make my own puddings but I do like to have certain instant ones on hands for favorite recipes where it is an ingredient…like instant pistachio, instant lemon. We like gelatin salads also. And just a bowl full of jello works too, so I always check the aisle for specials on those.

  58. • We went to a beach wedding. I packed items needed to make PB&J sandwiches – that along with a piece of free fruit in the hotel lobby was our breakfasts. I also packed snacks. With the heat and I guess just being at the beach our appetites seemed smaller than usual – which was nice on the wallet.
    • I saved banana peels from the above mentioned free fruit to compost once we got home.
    • I moved some perennials around from pots to the ground for more flowering garden coverage. They can now grow a bit wider.
    • Picked my first eggplant from my little garden and roasted it with olive oil, garlic powder, S&P. What seemed like a tiny eggplant was actually plenty as a full meal (with a side salad).
    • I’ve been taking discreet notes on items (books, calendars, t shirts) family members would like that are small enough in cost that I can save my Bing rewards (converted in to Amazon GC) for no out of pocket spending on gifts.
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  59. Brandy, I forgot to tell you that your new piano bench inspired us so much that we bought one for our daughter’s 17th birthday gift…on sale, of course!! She loved it!
    Your sachets are loverly. I actually have lavender that didn’t die for the first time in forever and am thinking I might harvest just a teensy bit to make one of those to keep our the scorpions. Oh. We don’t have scorpions. :p PTL. Maybe they will keep sweater moths away?
    Your gardens are so inspiring to me that I almost always go outside and work in them after reading your posts. 🙂
    I hope you are feeling better.

  60. I remember a time when I was sick for several weeks with many children at home! Yikes!! I know you will get through it, but it’s not fun. A funny story about that time was that Lovana was 8. One day after several days of me being sick, she declared that there was “never anything good to eat anymore.” She marched into the kitchen and made some muffins, using a cookbook and a little advice. It was awesome to see that she could do it, and that it motivated her to cook.

    This past week has been insanely busy painting and moving items out of storage. The way we saved the most money was by doing things ourselves, and getting our storage unit empty. It was $179/month, and we are delighted that we don’t have to pay it any more.

    I wrote updates on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com

  61. Hi Brandy,
    I just wondered if the picture you have posted this week is your house. It’s very pretty whosever it is. Thanks

  62. Hilogene, I don’t know if you have a bread machine or not. If not you can usually find some at Goodwill. I grew up with my mom making homemade bread by hand and love the taste. I use my bread machine as a shortcut and because its super simple. I wanted to share my all time favorite bread machine recipe. It tastes similar to hand kneaded. Even my dad loves it.


    You can leave out the rosemary and pepper for a great white bread loaf.


  63. That is so nice you are getting donations.Bethaney church in BR Johnathan stockskill church is coordinating with disp centers and other churches to help dispurse donations!
    I would not send to red cross shelters as there have been many complaints of them throwing away food clothes and meds if u are not contracted through the government. Also a site called !Louisiana Flood rescue on Facebook just ask to join site and and the Mormon church is helping as well. Just s heads up. Patti

  64. Thank you for your encouragement momsav 🙂 , we are very happy with how savings are progressing too. Only nearly 86% more to save for our home 😮 , looking positively that is 1 room in savings 🙂 .

  65. Yes, that’s my house! It’s the view from the front door. Just for fun I will tell you that the piano, table, orchids, glass container that the orchids are in, and the striped chair that you see were all free 🙂 (But I am going to restain and recover the chair, so it won’t be free when I am done with it!)

  66. Holy Moly! I never thought of cobb broth! I love to have broth/stock on hand for my recipes. This sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  67. Thank you! We discovered bread machines at goodwill last year. Our first one lasted six months before it broke, then we found another one. This new one is much better, still only cost $12 and does 2 pound loaves. I had a whole wheat recipe that we liked but it was 50 percent whole wheat flour, so I wanted to see about going to 100 percent. That new recipe was the bowling ball adventure. I will definitely use your recipe, thank you.

    Have you tried the hospice of the valley thrift stores? They are really amazing, worth a visit if you haven’t been there yet. I think there are four or five in various parts of Phoenix. Thanks again the the link.

  68. We are all meals at home and even had some extras for the freezer
    With chemotherapy starting again for me next week I am working to get several meals in the freezer for days i am unwell
    My husband and I went for a walk downtown to peak in shop windows for a free activity.
    We turned the ac off for most of the day or all day several times since weather was cooler.
    We held off on grocery shopping and ate from our freezer and pantry

    Does anyone have any suggestions for books about frugal living? Im looking for something to keep me busy during chemotherapy…

  69. Rhonda, since Canadian history is your area, have you heard of books by Barbara Greenwood? Received a very nice one as a donation to our church/school library. It was a discard from a Kingston Ontario grade school. It is A PIONEER STORY: THE DAILY LIFE OF A CANADIAN FAMILY IN 1840. It’s kind of cross between ( but an earlier time period) of the Little House books and the Foxfire Books….a fiction but with lots of culture, how to’s and historical detail.

  70. The one volume collection of the (originally three books) “the tightwad gazette”. I found a used copy on Amazon last week, including shipping was $7. And it will take hours and hours to read. The writing style is easy since it is lots of smaller articles.

    I would also suggest everything in Brandy’s site ;). I have read through this site many times

  71. The Tightwad Gazette (all 3 volumes in 1 book) is a classic. Most libraries have it or it can be ordered. It’s an old(er) book, but quite inspiring!

  72. I’ve heard lots of people recommend The Tightwad Gazette. If you have WiFi, I recommend reading a bunch of frugal blogs, including thriftyfrugalmom. Lots of posters on here have blogs too, and they’re great rabbit holes to fall down!

  73. I wasn’t familiar with it, but it looks like a really good book for children! Interesting it came from Kingston, as that is where I attended college the first time when I trained as a Veterinary Technician. Coincidentally, it almost became our Canadian capitol!

    There were a couple of sisters from the 1800s that lived in Lakefield, ON (very close to Peterborough where I live), who wrote books on pioneer life. Their names are Catharine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie (they also had a sister, Agnes Strickland, who remained in England, never married and who associated and wrote books about the Kings and Queens of England…very upper class!). Their takes on living in the backwoods were very different, Catharine was more of an optimist where Susanna held onto her snobbish high class social values for a long time which made it difficult for her to adjust to living in the backwoods. You might find their writings rather interesting, especially Catharine’s as she wrote guides on how to survive the backwoods of Canada (including info on foraging foods and recipes).

    Because they lived through these times and because of the type of info they provided in their books, they are very valuable to our historic knowledge of how Pioneers survived in Canada. Unfortunately, their books are out of publication now, but you may be able to find an older copy on-line. There’s also a documentary/movie called “Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill” (2004) that tells about their lives and was subsequently filmed at the pioneer village museum I work at.

  74. Melissa, I think your easy meal ideas are totally acceptable. I pray you find more energy during the rest of your pregnancy.

  75. You can make corn cob jelly too. I never do as we have so many other things to jam or jell already. Corncobs do make a good broth for chowder.

  76. Since my favorite (TTG) was already mentioned numerous times, there are a couple of books called Frugal Luxuries. 2 volumes that I know of. Very nice reads. A little bit of everything. Can’t think of the author just this moment….

    May God bless you through your chemo.

  77. Megan, I enjoy reading “America’s Cheapest Family” by Steve and Annette Economides. I purchased the book, but you can probably borrow it from your local library or through interlibrary loan. Best wishes to you.

  78. So what’s the title of all three vol. of the tightwad gazette In one? Is it the one called the complete…thanks!

  79. I am constantly astounded at just how beautiful your home is on such a tight budget. It must come down to your eye for beauty, light and form. We live frugally but just cannot seem to get our house looking so wonderful. Does the pianola work?

  80. Yes, the piano works!

    It’s not in perfect shape–it has scratches, chipped keys, and the name of the previous owner’s child carved into it. But it has a great sound.

    If you’re looking for a piano, try eBay for your local area, Craig’s List, and local Facebook garage sale pages. I see old upright pianos often and they are between $100 to $300 each. Most don’t have a bench; ours did not come with one. We used a chair, then found a bench for $25. It was cheaply made and eventually broke, so I recently bought the one you see from Amazon, using a $25 Swagbucks gift card to cut the price in half. This one is actually a real piano bench and opens for music storage.

    If you don’t have a way to transport it, you’ll need to pay a piano mover, and after it has been in your house for a while, you should have it tuned. We did both of these for our piano, so while it was free, it did cost to have it moved and tuned.

  81. You can see how we did our front yard in my White Garden Reveal post. I used a lot of coupons and waited for items to come on sale before purchasing them, and bought smaller plants as well. I also buy seeds in bulk to save lots of money in planting.

  82. Hi Lorna,
    I think you will be amazed at how fast saving the other 86 percent goes ;). I just retired and we had a five year plan to pay off our mortgage before I retired. So I did an excel worksheet putting in the balance and how much we had to payoff each year to be at zero in five years. I needed an extra $10,000 a year to come from somewhere in order to get to zero….And amazingly enough, the extra came in. We sold things, tax refunds came in, etc etc, all unexpected sources that eventually got us to zero. I bet you will astonished at how money shows up, now that you have a vision.

  83. One of my friends when I was a kid had pediatricians for parents. She fell and landed badly on a Friday and said her leg hurt but she was walking ok so her parents told her to deal. Same thing all weekend. Finally at school on Monday the school nurse looked at her and sent her to the hospital. Turned out she fractured her leg in two places! After that if she said she hurt her parents took it seriously. She never let her parents live that down.

  84. Thank you Hilogene for your encouragement 🙂 .

    We are still keeping our vision and will get there I know. It is just a long journey and we have indeed been helped beyond measure. We are so blessed to have a lovely vegetable garden that produces to well that it supplies us with year round food which saves us a lot of money.

    The key is to keep a positive attitude and patience 🙂 .

  85. My mother-in-law’s birthday was yesterday. For a gift, I made some muffins and arranged a small bouquet of flowers from my garden. For a vase I utilized a previously used grocery store jelly jar. I wrapped some fabric ribbon around the whole vase to dress it up.

  86. Hi Brandi,
    Just wanted you to know what a blessing your blog has been to me. My husband was sick with cancer for many years and we needed to economize all we could. My husband went to be with Jesus on Christmas Eve last year so my financial well being is even more important as I am doing it on my own now. Your story is so encouraging and helpful. I pray you will be feeling better soon. Thank you for being willing to share your life with others.

  87. MJ ,I’m sorry for your loss

    As for economizing, there are many here with endless ideas, so I’m sure you’ll find inspiration.

  88. Brandy, I hope you have finally recovered from this virus.

    I’m up. With just some of my usual insomnia so thought I’d check for a new post but I don’t see it yet. I think I’ll look at your pantry post again. I always enjoy looking at the pictures.

    I hope you and you family have a wonderful week and upcoming holiday.

  89. Brandy, one of the items I just noticed on your pantry list was cream of chicken soup. What do you do with it? Is it part of particular recipes you use or does your family just like it as soup?

  90. Oh how I love reading through the comments people leave. They are stories in themselves and as one writer said you can lost down the Rabbit hole of these people’s blogs too.
    Many things we do are done automatically so that we don’t realize how we are being frugal, wise, thrifty, resourceful etc
    As I ate my soup for lunch I had to think on that. …left over home made stew thinned out with extra stock powder&water added. The liquid was what I had used to microwave some egg noodles and then added to pot of soup. Wilted Greens were leaves of the Rocket which has grown huge and is in flower now….this huge bush I nearly pulled out a few days ago but decided to keep. …who knew that the wilted leaves are delicious in Spaghetti Carbonara, soup etc 🙂
    Took cuttings and planted some Lavender to increase my garden hopefully.
    In our previous home I had grown lavender from one “I call it the mother bush cuttings ” for a long hedge. I am hoping to do the same here in our present home from the one bush I brought with us here. ..this is our retirement home being on one level without inside stairs 🙂
    Planted out some small cuttings and separated plants which I brought from our daughter’s place after I’d done some gardening and dividing of plants for her with little grandsons helping 🙂 I showed daughter how that you can divide up ferns and go out to buy more. Little steps 🙂
    Enjoyed free play time with our grandsons at home by giving them tools to dig and cut under supervision. They had the bEST time in our garden.
    Am hanging out to go to our local supermarket on Saturday to see what drastically reduced prices on meat, fruit and vegetables or Deli and Bakery items are to be snapped up. I do it for our married daughtes too so tend to come out with a full trolley. …thank goodness for a big fridge .
    Thankful and happy to have sites like this to come to share and learn….yes empty jars do make interesting vases . I have an empty heavy Maccona coffee jar on the window ledge full of flowering Lavender and Nastertiums (which I newly learnt actually grow roots-scored a few new Nastertiums plants for other daughter this way)
    Thanks Brandy and everyone
    Alexa-asimplelife visiting from Sydney, Australia

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