Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Bartlett Pears The Prudent Homemaker

What a beautiful week we’ve had! We had rain twice this week; once on Monday evening and then early on Saturday morning. It is very unusual to get any rain in August, and we missed our 1-2 days of rain in July that usually come (they never did this year). Monday’s rain was a half inch in our part of the valley, which is a lot for here. This is definitely adding up to the rainiest year I have ever seen.

I collected water in buckets when it rained and used them to water the garden. I also collected several gallons of water from the air conditioner, as the storms brought increased humidity. I used these to water the potted plants.

I turned off the water to the garden for a couple of days thanks to the rain.

Ezrom repaired a leak in the garden.

I mended several items of clothing and repaired a hole in a sheet. 

Winter and I went through several of the children’s clothing boxes and found lots of outgrown clothes to give away to two of my nieces for their new babies. This gave me several empty storage boxes to use for other storage and also made my house more organized. Our house has neither a basement nor an attic, and storage space is limited.

We picked tomatoes and pears from the garden.

I went with my husband to take the children swimming at my sister-in-law’s house. Winter went to set up the large umbrella that shades part of the pool and stopped when she noticed several scorpions inside of it. Cyrus got a jar with a lid and my husband captured the scorpions in the jar. Several readers were surprised about scorpions here, so I thought I would share!

Winter has decided to make a couple of everyday dresses for herself using some downloadable patterns. They went on sale for a couple of days, and I was able to purchase them on sale for her. It’s an interesting company that she found via Pinterest; you put in your measurements and they give you custom sewing patterns! This is the company.

I read two borrowed books.

I am finally recovered from being ill, and looking forward to making and sharing several things with you!

What did you do to save money last week?

 

This Post Has 111 Comments

  1. Laura at Quiet Country Life

    So glad you are feeling better!

    We did our usual things. There were good sales this past week on a few pantry items we needed to re-stock, so we did that, and I picked zucchini, oregano, green beans, lettuce, and chives from our garden. I’ve started back to work full time and my husband is home full time, so there has been a lot of learning (on both sides!), but we seem to be doing well with the change in routines. I took lunch to work each day (from home) and he cooked meals at home, with a little help from me. I’m still doing some batch cooking – making muffins or a soup or something here and there and making extra for the freezer – but he’s doing much of the food prep now. We took a day-trip to a not-too-far national park, packed snacks and sandwiches, and had a wonderful time.

  2. I’m so glad you are feeling well again. I look forward to checking out the pattern link, and seeing what Winter creates. I had to deal with a wasp nest yesterday, but thankfully no scorpions. After reading of yours, I researched and learned we do have them here in NC as well. I think they’re more prevalent farther east than our location though. I’m glad you are getting some rain. Things are getting parched here, and not a lot of chance of rain in the 10 day forecast, though I’m hoping that will change. Here’s to an enjoyable and frugal week! Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/08/a-simple-summer-meal-frugal.html

  3. Mariana

    While I usually try to avoid all sale / clearance (I end up with things I don’t need, just because they are cheep) but I was tempted to stop by at my local Duane Reade this weekend. I got a few things that I will use for sure and paid only a fraction of their price.
    I also got some free goodies in the mail.
    Last night I finally took time and organized our towels and sheets. No idea how we ended up with 40+ towels (there are only two of us). I am leaving 20 and the rest has been added to a package I am preparing for my sister.
    Other than that? The usual. Cooking and making coffee at home, free entertainment, an occasional small treat.
    Life has been very god here.

    http://www.simpleisgoodforyou.com/frugal-update-splurges/

  4. Lorna

    Hello Brandy and all 🙂 . Good on winter for being so productive and having such wonderful dressmaking skills.

    Here are our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    Craft and gardening earnings –

    – DH earned $50 from a paid gardening job.
    – I earned $45.55 from the sale of handcrafted items in my internet shops.

    Shopping savings on planned purchases for January purchased out of saving in other areas of the budget. We purchased these from a closing down sale at a large camping outdoor store at 40 – 60 + % off sale –

    – Purchased a pair of snow pants for me reduced from $129 down to $59.99 saving $69.05.
    – Purchased a pair of pretty daisy gumboots reduced from $54.95 to $17.40 saving $37.55.
    – Brought a 4 person stainless steel plate, cup and bowl set reduced from $79.95 for $25 saving $54.95.
    – DH purchased a pair of gumboots reduced from $33.60 reduced to $23.99 saving $9.60.

    Grocery savings –

    – Saved $1.20 purchasing 6 tins of mangoes on special.
    – Saved $13.96 on our usual prices buying 5 packets bread improver at another store whilst travelling out of town.

    In the kitchen –

    – Cooked all bread and meals from pantry and fresh or frozen produce from the gardens.
    – Made a quadruple batch of Brandy’s granola.
    – Blanched and froze 7.449kg of sweet potatoes picked from our gardens.
    – Blanched and froze 5.178kg of silver beet from the vegetable gardens.
    – Froze 460g of cherry tomatoes picked from our gardens.

    In the garden –

    – Planted broccoli seedlings.
    – Picked turnips, strawberries, tomatoes, and silver beet from our gardens.
    – Planted California red, green and golden capsicum and silver beet seeds in the gardens.
    – Made more layers of compost from blanching and tea vegetable scraps.
    – Turned a large compost pile which is now ready to use in the garden.
    – Sprayed the house paddock lawns to get rid of bindii and broad leaf weeds.

    Water preservation –

    – Saved 540lts of town water but not watering the vegetable gardens due to heavy rain.
    – Used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to hand water all the house paddock lawns.
    – Used blanching and freezing water to water herb & vegetable seedling pot plants and small parts of the lawn.
    – Supplement hand watered all new seeds & seedlings planted in the gardens with rain water from our tanks.

  5. Gabrielle

    Thank you so much for the link to the customizable patterns! I always struggle when sizing patterns, so that is extremely helpful.
    Like you, we gave away clothing. We also shifted rooms in our household, moving my office downstairs and the boys’ room upstairs. It is a better arrangement and gave us the opportunity to assess what we have and what we need.

    My lettuce has finally bolted in the garden so it has become chicken feed. Now it is time to start putting in cold weather greens. I had a weird hybrid cucumber cantaloupe cross in the garden this summer. I need to spend some time tomorrow clearing out the garden plots and planning my fall plantings.

    School starts for our youngest four tomorrow. As I write this, they are sitting at the table with me, sorting their snacks into baggies. I keep them in a big bin, presorted and packaged, so they can just grab it and put it in their book bag. We will drop off their school supplies for the classroom today as it is a lot to carry on the bus. Hopefully, I will get some nice “back to school” photos tomorrow. I do a first day photo every year, using a free chalkboard printable.

    Have a great day!

  6. Cara in OH

    I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks…it’s been a very busy August for our family. This list is from the month of August. It includes both our frugal accomplishments and blessings. It’s been a month of true blessing for our family and we are grateful!

    -I have able to be the nurse at our church camp for the week. I volunteer as nurse for the week and my whole family came along! Our lodging, food, entertainment, etc are all free in return for using my nursing skills. It’s like a pseudo-vacation for my family and my children love it there! I was a camper at this camp growing up, worked there in college and my children attend summer camp there now. It’s a very special place for our family! Turned off the A.C. to the house while we were gone for the week-saving on electricity.
    -My wonderful neighbors gave us produce several times this month. We both ate and preserved it.
    -canned marinara sauce, salsa, pickles and jam
    -froze peaches, tomatoes, corn, zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes
    -my parents babysat for my children saving the cost of childcare
    -paid bills online
    -paid off all but one medical bill from my surgery/ER visits/tests in the Spring. Thankful we are done with these as it will open hundreds of dollars in our monthly budget.
    -One of my neighbors gave me a gift certificate for a massage since I had back surgery in the Spring. It was a kind and generous gesture
    -Went to the local thrift shop and found some books I have been wanting to read, bday card for my stash and some clothing items my children both needed and I can put into storage for next year.
    -shopped clearance at Target and found some reduced items I put away for stockings at Christmas.
    -sold some items to a consignment shop and put money in our Christmas fund
    -cut the toothpaste container in half to get a few more uses out of it
    -My husband washed our car instead of driving it through the car wash
    -one of our neighbors gave our family a tray of zucchini bars which was purchased in Amish Country.
    -another neighbor gave us dinner rolls that were left over from a family gathering at their house (are you catching a theme that we have the most wonderful neighbors in the world??!! We truly do! Everyone cares and looks out for one another. We love living on our street!:)
    -my husband brought home A LOT of catered Lebanese food from an event his work held. It was a Friday evening, going into the weekend, so the food would have gone bad over the weekend. No one else wanted it, so he was able to bring it home. We ate 2 meals from all the food, plus shared with my parents and aunt/uncle. It was delicious!
    -I was at Panera ordering some take-out and forgot to order a coffee to-go. I went back to the counter to place my coffee order and the sales associate handed my and cup and said, “Here, it’s free today, just take it!” Whoo-who!
    -my birthday was this past week. My parents gave me an antique scale I have been wanting and a large bag of coffee from a local coffee shop. A friend sent flowers and my neighbor gave me a bag of popcorn (it’s a favorite snack in our house!) My children showered me with homemade cards, a CD and gift card to a local artisan chocolate shop. My husband surprised me by taking the day off and we rode bikes on a bike trial we haven’t been on before. And, he made me dinner. It was a very special day!

    As always, thankful for this place for inspiration and helping keep me on track. Looking forward to everyone’s comments.

  7. Mary

    I had a frugal week. I have been collected water from a hose leak and using that to water our orange tree. I continue to hang our wah and wash baggies. I earned some more Amazon cards doing surveys.
    I got lots of fruit for good prices at Food City. So I have been making frit salad.
    I got shampoo and conditioner at Walgreens for .34 and got $2 back from Ibotta. Then at CVS I got 2 Mouthwashes and a Kashi bar for $2.95 and received $6 ECB. This week I hope to earn more gift cards and only grocery shop for necessities and deals. Sharing a vehicle is keep me home! Have a good week everyone.

  8. Becky

    We have finished painting the rooms in our new house and now the floors are done. I have been able to unpack part of the kitchen and get my food storage partially unpacked into the garage. The varnish used on the floors is still very strong smelling, so I’m not sure when we will be able to sleep in our new house, but the day is coming very close.

    I planted a small patch of fall/winter veggies in the new garden. We got a few raspberries from the bushes. We are watering a lot, as it is dry, using the irrigation well that was in the back yard:) I’m not used to paying for water, and haven’t got the first water bill, but am sure watering the yard and garden for free will save a bundle. It is the well from when they built the house in 1948.

    I’ve been cooking a lot, at different houses, so it’s been interesting sometimes as I haul my food from house to house and used 1 tiny pan for a while at the new house, but I’ve saved us a bundle. I’ve also been harvesting a lot from the garden at my sister’s.

    https://beckyathome.wordpress.com

  9. Marci

    Such good news that you are feeling better! I also was able to skip watering my little container garden during our rainy days. I am working on some window shades which are lined with a special fabric called “warm windows”. When they are finished, they will completely block heat gain or loss through the windows. Fighting with my ancient sewing machine though. May have to replace it. Made my own “fancy” coffee frappuccinos for my work days and carried my own bottled water. LOVING my new insulated metal tumbler which keeps my coffee cold. I put ice in the tumbler yesterday morning at 6AM, and, when I cleaned it last night at 8PM, it still had ice! Yesterday I was given an hour for lunch so I raced home and ate some fresh fruit out of my refrigerator.

  10. Shara

    It is great to hear you are feeling better. It sounds like you had a frugal week.

    Ours seemed like the same old routine, but that is okay. Consistency pays off.

  11. My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – Made yoghurt, yum. I’ll stir in some of my homemade apricot or blueberry jam and have healthy fruit yoghurt for many meals this week.
    – Declogged a bathtub as well as a bathroom sink, using several pitchers of boiling water. Chemical-free and frugal, yay!
    – Had another cat-sitting job, which I really enjoy. It’s within walking distance of my home, it pays cash, and I get to snuggle kitties!
    – Based on Brandy’s embroidery tutorial, I’ve started embroidering some dish towels, using a combination of stem and satin stitch. My first effort isn’t perfect, but considering that I haven’t embroidered in 25 years or so, I’m actually not that bad. I’ll still likely unstitch it and then restitch it, and that should improve it. I’m using up embroidery floss from my (25 year old!) stash, so I only had to buy the towels, which I bought in a 5-pack from Walmart, after checking prices online and in person in several stores. I even had a wooden embroidery hoop in my craft stash. The DH thinks I hold on to too many craft items, but they really do come in handy! I’m hoping to be able to make about 10 dish towels total, and plan to give them as personalized gifts at Christmas. I’m giving myself plenty of time! They’re great to stitch at night when my insomnia is bad.
    – Took home a free sample of canine dental food to give to a senior friend of mine who is on a fixed income. She can give it to her dog as healthy treats, and the more the dog eats it, the better his teeth will be, saving his owner on dental bills. Plus, it functions as a hostess gift for the next time I visit her!
    – Bought some more canning jars, on sale. I saw the same ones in another store for $2 more the next day, so was very pleased with myself for finding the best deal.
    – Redeemed my Pinecone Research rewards for $10 to my Paypal account
    – Got a free sample of Stevia extract in the mail, so I sweetened a pitcher of iced tea with it. The tea I used was given to me by a client at my work, so that pitcher of sweet tea was totally free! Small frugalities, but hey, they add up!
    – Used a completed survey form to get a free cookie with the sub I bought for my lunch
    – By the way, I wanted to pass on a frugal tip that a friend passed on to me: in Toronto (Canada), people are supposed to drop off their leftover paint at a waste recycling station to be safely disposed of. Apparently one can pick up this paint, for free! My friend painted her child’s nursery for free using paint that would otherwise have been thrown out.
    – Redeemed $10 in Swagucks to add to my Starbucks card.
    – Rented a table (techinically, it was a space, and I made my own table out of boxes and boards and covered it with a tablecloth — saved me $10) at a rummage sale (I live in a condo, so I couldn’t have a garage sale) and sold the garage sale items that I’ve been setting aside. My mom joined me and sold the items she brought as well. Anything that I didn’t sell, I donated to a charity. With the proceeds, I bought some groceries: bread, bagels, pretzels, and buns from a bakery outlet (enough for lunch on the day of and to cover us for the week), as well as a stack of tortillas from a local tortilleria. I will turn the corn tortillas into low-fat tortilla chips for the DH and I to snack on. I also bought a lotion dispenser (after looking for several weeks in a number of different stores) to transfer my lotion to, in an effort to beautify my master bathroom. I was pleased with the day’s work.
    – I have been looking for a nice squeegee to keep in our guest bathroom, so I can keep our balcony windows/doors nice and clean. After looking in several stores for several wees, I finally bought one from a store. Then I went next door to another store and found the same thing for $5 cheaper! So I returned the original one and bought the cheaper one. Then I went home and the DH asked me why I bought another one, when we had the exact same one? I had no idea that we had it, but apparently the DH bought it and had been using it. So now I’ll have to return the squeegee again! But hey, I’ll be saving money! 
    – Ran a whole bunch of errands with my mom when she was in our neck of the woods. As I normally take public transit, this saved me soooo much time and allowed me to price compare at several stores too. Bought a bunch of stuff I needed on sale and some heavier items as well. Plus, my mom and I got to spend a whole bunch of time together! 

    Have a great and frugal week, everyone!

  12. Holly

    Somebody ELSE had a thrifty week as he or she gleaned the pears from two trees in my mother’s backyard-without her permission. Canning pears is no longer on my to-do list. I made my sister a large shawl/baby blanket for her first or second baby back in the early 1980’s. There was a bit of yarn left over. I finally crocheted a little teddy-bear or American Girl-sized afghan from the center out and used up every last bit of that yarn. I will be mailing it to my sister to give to her granddaughters. I also hsd purchased two 6-ounces skeins of pretty yarn for 60 cents each at Goodwill. I made another baby blanket, starting at one corner and increasing each row until I had used up most of the first skein and then decreasing until I got to the other corner and then crocheting round and round the outside edge. I intended it to be for my youngest great-nephew but, before sending it to my niece in the middle of the Mohave Desert, I asked her if the baby could use another blanket. She told me he already has twenty. Sigh. I now have a baby blanket to give the next time a baby needs a gift. It will be a nice present for $1.20 out-of-pocket. We tried to reduce our spending by staying away from stores as much as possible this week. Last night, I watched the Brothers Green Eats series on Youtube on how to eat for $3 a day for a week in NYC on Youtube. The language in spots was frat-guy rough, which I did not appreciate. But the mayo he made from soaked dried chickpeas and oil looked great. I had also never imagined making “buns” from whipped egg whites for a breakfast sandwich. His Asian-inspired meals looked tasty.

  13. TerriC

    I had a decent enough week but I’m busy now planning to make September a Spectacular Month of Savings…I’ve begun making lists of things to incorporate or look hard for and am determined to make it happen. I was well pleased with some handmade aprons I put together this past week. I used an older antique one I’d found at thrift store as my pattern. http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2016/08/frugal-friday-using-what-i-have.html

  14. Melonie K.

    Took advantage of a state homeschool deal to get my kids & husband passes at iFly – we had considered going previously, but at $70 each, it was too much. The deal was $29.99 each, which is much better, but is still our “big” field trip splurge for a while. (We normally schedule field trips to museums on free days and the like.)

    Bought flannel to make my son’s fall/winter pajamas – the lady at the fabric counter asked if we had seen the 30% off display. We somehow walked right past it! She showed my son which items were on sale and we switched several of the plaids he had chosen for some that were on sale.

    Not my savings, but in the family: My stepdad bartered a fishing pole and reel with a teen neighbor; the neighbor has cleared almost all of the blackberry bramble that has overtaken a corner of their yard. The first load completely filled the bed of my truck (to rearview mirror height!) – we took it to the landfill where yard waste is free. Because the blackberries are invasive they can’t go into the regular yard waste area (where they compost drop offs), but you just tell them it’s blackberries when you weigh in and they give you a free ticket for the regular “dump” side for noxious weeds. We’ll probably have another load to take over next week – the new neighbor is doing a great job, earning himself an expensive fishing set-up that he really loves, and saving my stepdad’s health (he’s in his 70s and diabetic) from having to work in the heatwave we had last week.

    During our visit, my mom passed along a big bag of pickling cucumbers from her garden for me to make pickles for both our families. I’ll be doing that today!

    Used blinds/curtains to keep the house as cool as possible (no AC here). Most days I was able to keep it 15 degrees cooler until late afternoon, even then we kept it 10 or so cooler. The warmest it got inside was 80F, thankfully that was right when the outside temps started going down with the sun behind the trees and I could start opening windows for a breeze. We also kept windows open in certain spots overnight to pull in the cooler air while we could.

    Went to a local garlic festival and then antiquing. Invested in the treadle sewing machine I was eyeballing a month or so back – that is my Christmas gift for the year. When we got home I realized that the supplies I got to restore my Nana’s electric machine will work just fine for this one as well, the colors are fairly close so the “Restore & Shine” in Walnut will be just fine for the new (to me) machine. The wax/polish isn’t color specific, so I can use that on all the furniture we have that’s wood. My husband already has metal cleaner and lubricant that will work on both as well.

    Helped a friend save on supplies for an upcoming Enrichment night – we are doing an emergency preparedness class and she had planned to make small emergency candles for each lady to take home. We figured up how many she’ll be making and I got her some cases of half pint jars from my “stash” rather than her buying them.

    Harvested our first items from our fall container garden – spinach, lettuce, and mixed greens, along with some tiny French breakfast radishes. I needed to thin all of them anyway, and we had a lovely baby greens salad out of it.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  15. Melissa V

    Well, life threatening another wrench at us. I am writing this from the hospital chair next to hubby’s bed waiting for the docs to give us the biopsy results from th e sample they took Friday. It looks like lymphoma from the cat scans and symptoms but until that biopsy result comes back, we are in limbo. Since he is self employed, there is no income besides my disability and my very, very part time job so I a panicking about keeping up on bills and the mortgage. So prayers will again be welcomed as we go thru this mess.
    I planted a tomato variety that would all come ripe at the sametime……which happens to be right now so I gave them all away to a friend and all the cukes went to another. I won’t be putting in a fall garden as I will be spending a lot of time at the hospital and won’t have the time to keep up on it. Priorities will have to be keeping up on all the animals care, the house and cutting expenses wherever I possibly can and work my part time job as much as possible. And of course payattention to hubby and our 2 college kids who still live at home.
    we made it to the Renn fest in Holly and hubby rented a mobility cart which really helped both human our old beagle. I packed a bunch of food so we didn’t stop for anything on th way home and only ate a few of our favorite treats at the faire. Our Danes both went with us and loved the attention and I think they slept for 2 days afterwards. They draw a lot of attention so we were stopped frequently by people wanting to greet them and ask questions. It was a fun day that I am glad we got to enjoy as a whole family before this hospital stay.
    Since hubby is not at home, I turned the AC off since the rest of us aren’t as affected by the heat/humidity.
    I sold a custom made dog bed and 2 directors chairs that weren’t being used + trimmed my in laws dogs nails (they insist on paying me for it) That is what we used to go to the Renn Faire with.
    Not much else frugal has been done….kinda in shock mode right now

  16. Gardenpat

    This has been a great week! I harvest 1/2 bushel of tomatoes and peppers from our garden this morning! I was able to purchase 76 packages of veggie seeds for 2 -5 cents/package at Dollar General on Friday as well as (3) 72 cell mini-greenhouses marked $5 each but ringing up as 25 cents each! I planted lettuce, spinach, peas and fast growing green bush bean and beets for our fall garden with some of the seeds! Total cost for fall planting- 10 cents in seeds!! I figure no matter how small our harvest from these, it will still be a savings!!! The rest of the seed packets I put into a Foodsaver bag and vacuum sealed it for my spring planting!
    The mini greenhouses will be used on the seed starting shelving unit that hubby built me from free pallet lumber! This looks like we will have some really inexpensive garden produce this year!!!

    We traveled up north to Michigan to my nephew’s wedding and took all our snacks for the road trip with us, saving us time and money!!

    I have now lost 66 pounds and so I have sorted through my clothes and given away 3 large trash bags full of clothes that are way too big and I have a fourth bag started! That gives me so much more room in my closet and dresser drawers! The clothes I have bought that will fit me now have come from Salvation Army and I’ve spent about $23 so far!
    Wanted to read the book: Spender’s Guide to Debt free Living and was able to find it at our local public library! Saved the cost of the book- $16, although it is a really good book!

    Several busy days that I thought about having take out food for dinner and resisted the impulse and Pinterest and I whipped something up using ingredients from my well stocked pantry and freezer so we saved the cost of take-out!

    For our nephew’s wedding present, I made a large lap quilt (actually twin size because he and his wife are both tall!) using a sampler quilt top that I made years ago and batting and a vintage sheet for the backing. I had everything here in my stash and machine quilted each block individually! No OOP cost and bride’s mom and grandma are certain that she is going to love it more than anything I could have purchased for them! I had asked the mom and grandma ahead of time if they thought she would like this and for color preferences. That was a $$ savings and also decluttered another UFO from my sewing room!!

    Not much more to report, but I look forward to another week of being prudent!!

  17. JD

    I reorganized my sock drawer and underwear drawer. Now I know what I have and it looks so much better.
    I hung almost all of my laundry on the line this weekend, except for one load.
    I wrapped a gift in glossy white paper from a huge roll I bought years ago — 500 ft. in the roll! I used a bow saved from a present to me, and a card that came free in a pack from a charity solicitation.
    I refilled my fountain pen. I love that pen.
    I’m working on making some Christmas gifts ahead.
    I’m steadily using Duolingo (suggested by Brandy) to study Spanish.
    I’m wowed by how much Brandy got done just after being sick.

  18. Marivene

    I’m glad you are on the mend, Brandy. This week I picked grapes, elderberries, strawberries, red raspberries, pears, tomatoes & green beans. Continued to freeze elderberries in the Ball 8 oz cups for the time being. I want some to use for crabapple/elderberry jelly, but I will eventually dehydrate the rest for the freezer space.

    Froze the crabapple juice I have processed, because I don’t have time to work with it right now.

    Removed a good sized yellow jacket nest I found in the corner of the grape arbor the first day I picked, by cutting the stalk holding it in place with hand pruners, dropping the nest into an empty cottage cheese container & putting the lid on quickly. I duct-taped it shut before putting it in the garbage can for the pickup tomorrow. Did this while it was cool in the morning, before the nasty little insects were moving quickly. The nest was about half the size of my palm, & I did not want to use insect spray that close to the grapes.

    Began the raisin making process, where I pick grapes, pop them in the freezer overnight, let them thaw (catching the juice that drips) & dehydrate them into raisins.

    Made a batch of mixed berry jam from 2 cups blackberries, 2 cups red raspberries, ½ cup mixed blueberries & cranberries, and 1.5 cups of gooseberry juice. It turned out very well, & is the color of the blackberries. The jam used up some things I needed out of the freezer, freed up more Ball containers for other items, & made more room in the freezer for grapes.

    Added a few more vines to the grapevine wreaths I am bulking up.

    Received my $3 check for the pine cone survey I took last week & cashed it to add to the “acquisition funds” for the Lodgestones for the back perimeter bed wall. Winter & early spring is acquisition season around here, while summer & fall are construction season.

    Continued to use our grass clippings as mulch on the garden & perimeter.

    Made a peach clafoutis & a pear clafoutis from our own fruit.

    Drove over to my oldest daughter’s to take her some of the canning from various family members (blueberries, blackberries, plum jam, etc) & brought back 15 wide mouth quarts & 12 regular quarts, since over the years, more than a few of my jars have “migrated” her way. She has more than she can fill this year, & I am running low with a peach tree, a pear tree, several dwarf apple trees & the grapevine yet to go, so some of them came back home.

    Bought more mason jars at the thrift store. I found 9 wide mouth Kerr mason jars, complete with rings & lids inserts, that looked brand new. I do not think they had ever been used. Found another regular mouth quart, 2 regular mouth half gallons, 2 tall quilted jelly jars & a Ball half pint jar, all for $7! I was delighted, especially as the grapes are ready to start dehydrating, & the raisins store for easy use most easily in wide mouth jars.

    Sanded a few more of the 2×4’s for the patio swing refurbish. I had to move the sanding to the front steps when I started dehydrating grapes on the patio in the back yard.

    Ordered the Christmas present for our youngest granddaughter, & started to work on the present for her parents. Her mother asked for an “established” family sign for their family room & I am working on that. I went to JoAnn’s & Hobby Lobby, but neither place had a large enough piece of wood, so I looked at two thrift stores & found one there that will work to re-do. Removed old vinyl lettering on it & sanded the wood down, then figured out the sizing for the letters. Used wood putty to repair a ding, then put on the first coat of spray paint. We give presents to 17 individuals each year, & thus far I have 4 sets of wool mittens knitted, 3 presents purchased, & I am working on the sign for one daughter & her husband, so I have 7 presents completed & 2 in processing. I prefer to have everything purchased or made for Christmas by the end of September, since that makes the holiday season much less stressful for all of us, but I am always done before Halloween. That way I can send the presents before Thanksgiving (or send them home with those who visit), & there are no worries about the gifts getting there on time. This year, with all the political & economic upheaval, it seems like a good year to be done early, so of course, I am not…yet.

    Last night a limb broke on our semi-dwarf peach tree. I was not happy! I had braced the limb right next to it. Earlier in the season, I thinned over 10 gallons of tiny fruit from the peach & apricot trees – they set so much fruit they looked like a continuous spiraling grape cluster – and this is the 4th broken branch this year. The other 3 were on a smaller peach tree & all were new growth above the fence, so we decided that the little tree was not used to the wind, because of the fence. This limb was the size of my wrist in diameter. I cut the limb cleanly from the tree, then picked all 65 of the peaches on it, a few the size of my fist, & they filled a peck box to overflowing. They are not ripe now, but I can always throw them away later if they don’t ripen up. Last year this tree gave me 3 half bushel boxes of fruit.

  19. Marisa

    Bought canning jar at Cash & Carry for $11.68(afterwards found out they are 9.78 at Winco)
    Bought 50 pounds of sugar for $25.78
    Found pickling cucumber for $1.59/pound

    Big win
    Bought a 30-40 pound box of brown/spotted organic bananas for $.97cents. Apparently no one wants spotted organic bananas. Was able to rescue 7 pounds to freeze for smoothies, the rest will be used frozen for banana bread.

    Made 4 jars of kim chi
    Made 4 quarts of refrigerator bread and butter pickles

  20. Kelly

    We enjoyed the D-Day Re-enactment at our local park! It was pretty cool as always! This year they had tanks down on the beach for the main battle. So as not to spend a lot of money buying food, my husband and son packed a cooler and filled it with sandwiches and pop brought from home and enjoyed it while watching the various battles. There were over 20K people in our little town for the main event on Sat 8/20.

    Monday the 22nd was my 44th birthday. I had cake and KFC that my husband bought for me. The 23rd was the first day of school for my son. He’s in 7th grade now. My mom had given us $50 for back-to-school clothes…which I used to purchase him a pair of Size 13 Nike sneakers that he picked out. I’m holding off on buying him clothes because I think he’s gonna have a big growth spurt here soon and he can still wear his summer clothes.

    We turned off the AC at night when the temps dropped below 60…as that always saves money.

    I stay home as much as I can. I got my hair cut by my Mom the hairdresser. Just cost gas money to drive the 22 miles one way to her house. This coming weekend is my cousins wedding.

    Glad you’re no longer sick Brandy! I’m sure it was miserable. Hope everyone has a wonderfully frugal week!

  21. Mrs. H

    Thank you for the link to the pattern company. I might order from them in the future. It seems that a pattern set to certain measurements would prevent having to make alterations and that would save time.

  22. Christine

    Brandy, I would love any advice on how to get started when it comes to sewing. I wanted to learn but I simply didn’t know where to start! I know Winter is learning from you but did you begin to learn from a young age as well?

  23. Hilogene in Az

    Happy to hear that you are feeling better. The wheels fall off in my house when I am ill for more than a day so I had visions of what your home might be experiencing…Hope you don’t have too much catching up and repair work ahead of you 🙂

    Last week in the continuing saga of finding new recipes, I tried two different ones and they worked out really well! Did very little grocery shopping and generally avoided spending money. Two weeks ago, I had purchased a 20 pound box of boneless/skinless chicken breasts at a local scratch and dent store. It turns out the chicken was frozen in two 10 pound blocks, so had the challenge to thaw everything and then split it into separate ziplocs. My husband, not a fan of scratch and dent, had me concerned that the chicken would be odds and ends, but they are fine looking, so it was a big score for $0.80 a pound! And I have chicken for eternity 🙂

  24. Rhonda A.

    I’m actually jealous of your rain, Brandy. We’ve had some rain, which means our well hopefully won’t run dry, but overall, we could really use more. Cooler weather would also be nice, too. I hope you will share your daughter’s dresses once she sews them. I’d love to see how they turn out!

    Here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *Meals made at home included roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy and carrots, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with cold pasta salad, chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, white rice and corn, BBQ chicken with mashed potatoes and corn, and chicken burgers with pasta salad and green beans.
    *It was my birthday on Friday. As per our tradition, we went out for dinner to celebrate. I saved half my dinner and ate it for lunch the next day. 😉
    *I received and cashed in a Birthday freebie coupon for a free bag of chocolate covered almonds…Yum!!!
    *My mom picked up the 25lb case of peaches I pre-ordered for $13/case on Monday. I was off Tuesday, so we had an all day canning session. I was able to can 6 quarts of peach slices, 5 1/2 pints of peach jam, and 2 ½ pints of peach mango jam (using mango I froze earlier in the summer).
    *After being inspired by a comment on here, I used the left over sugar syrup from canning the sliced peaches to make a big cup of lemonade…tasted awesome, too!:D
    *Found a total of $0.45 on the ground. Free money!
    *Bought 6 cases of bottled water for $0.97/15 bottles. It stocked us back up from what was used over the summer. I like to keep a good stock for emergencies, but we also rotate them out by taking the bottled water with us when we go on day trips or vacation.
    *Grocery deals this week included a big bag of bananas on clearance for $1 for the entire bag, 6 blocks of cheese (450g) 2/$9, a big bag of greens (kale and parsley mixed) on clearance for $1, 10 packages of cheese slices on sale for $1.97/24 slices plus I used 3 coupons $1.50 off 2, making 6 of the packages $1.25 each, 6 jars of peanut butter for $2.88/1kg jar, 4 loaves of Country Harvest bread for $1.49/loaf, and 1 pack of hamburger buns for $1/dozen.
    *Used coupons that saved me $2 off the purchase of some grocery items and $10 off school clothes for my daughter.

    That’s it for me this week. Looking forward to learning some new trick from everyone else. Have a great week, everyone!:D

  25. Athanasia

    Brandy, I am glad you are feeling better!

    Will try to write a bit, but it seems as if I don’t get a post written in the first part of the week it never gets done. This is for 2 weeks.

    Our dry spell seems over and we’ve been getting regular rain again though now our tomatoes are showing signs of blossom end rot. At least we can still pick them and use them. We harvested tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, cantaloupe, last of the kohlrabi, red cabbage, kale, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, onions, bell peppers, hot peppers, sweet corn, potatoes and wild blackberries. Picked some herbs for fresh use but have already dried enough for the year. Was given 2 Asian melons…they are oblong and green inside, like a honeydew. Picked pears at one relative’s house and plums at another’s.

    Did all the usual of not eating out/buying food, composting, recycling, mending x 2 weeks. At grocer only bought skim milk and 2% milk, radishes and celery, body wash, deodorant, frozen shrimp for a future recipe, butter, canning salt, freezer ziplocs, hand lotion, 2 dozen eggs, whipping cream, and a 3 lb bag of small granny smith apples x 2 weeks. Used coupons combined with sale prices. Also bought 3 lb banana at the gas station and 2 more dozen eggs from the farm. Bought some bulk spices at the Indian store, and spices and unbleached flour at a Costco on our trip. More later.

  26. Oh, Melissa, I am so sorry!

    Make sure to talk to the hospital’s charity department. I just learned this year that most hospitals have one, and depending on the amount of your bill, your insurance, and your income level, you may qualify for some part of your bills to be written off. Doctors and other departments are different but may give discounts depending on income. They’ll likely want to see bank statements and tax returns.

  27. Vickie, there is a link in the post to the company. I was impressed with even their regular prices. I don’t know how often they have sales. Enjoy!

  28. I would start with Pinterest. There are a TON of great sewing tutorials, including very beginning ones.

    I learned when I was about her age, but she already knows how to do more than I did then. I’ve learned a lot more on my own since being married, from both sewing and also following tutorials.

    Invest in a seam ripper (they’re a couple of dollars). When you make a mistake–and everyone does–you can easily undo it. Winter has learned a lot from having to redo seams to have things fit. My grandmother always had me take out mistakes and it drove me crazy, but I learned how to do things correctly, and I’m glad. Winter was working on a project last week and I pointed out to her where she needed to redo a couple of spots. he had trouble figuring it out at first but she did figure out how to fix it. Figuring how to make things work builds your confidence and helps you get better at sewing.

    Start with an easy project that interests you! Envelope pillow covers are really simple, if you want to recover some pillows. Aprons are an easy beginning project too.

  29. Darcy

    I am glad you are feeling better, Brandy. I will be checking out the sewing pattern website. I’ve been putting in order my sewing supplies and wanting to get back into sewing more.

    Frugal accomplishments for last week at our house were:

    I got some books from the library. I go to the online catalog and request the items that I want. The library then sends me an email when they are ready to be picked up and I usually go on my lunch break and pick them up. So convenient!

    My supervisor brought in muffins for everyone to enjoy.

    We packed all lunches to take to work with us. All other meals were eaten at home, except for Saturday. We had lunch at our oldest daughter’s house. She made enchiladas.

    I made yogurt, kidney bean burgers, roasted a chicken that lasted for several meals including soup made from the bones in the slow cooker, and pasta with roasted tomatoes that were given to me.

    My husband went to Wal-mart and bought me two summer tops that were on clearance for $1.50 each.

    I will be making some pajamas for my grandson. He turns 2 in September.

    I also got some Rit dye for some curtains that I have for a bedroom.

  30. Leticia Cinto

    Hi Marivene! I always enjoy reading your comments. I would like to tell you that my mother used to make a kind of jam out of unripen peaches (there are a number of things made out of unripen papaya, figs, etc). As I don’t know if your peaches are the same as she used, I suggest that you do a search on internet looking for those recipes. I am sure you can find something interesting to make with those peaches 🙂 Good luck!
    Brandy, I’m glad that you are feeling well! The link for the customized sewing patterns is really interesting! Thanks a lot 🙂
    Looking forward to reading all comments! Have a blessed week, everyone 🙂

  31. Marivene

    Holly, that’s not thrifty, that’s theft! Did your mom report it? I doubt she will get the pears back, but when the person who stole them hears himselfherself referred to on the news as a thief, it may keep them from doing it again.

  32. Holly

    Melissa, I am so glad your family, including the dogs, got to make some memories before heading to the hospital. I had fun at Hollygrove the one time I’ve gone even though part of the afternoon was spent tracking down the family of my nephew’s best friend after we crossed paths with the matriarch who had misplaced her kids and grandkids. I hope your husband fares as well as one man I knew in California, who had to get treated for lymphoma while he was taking care.of his elderly mother and running his cleaning business. Look into the Healthy Michigan plans to cover the treatment if you don’t have other coverage. Participation for those under age 65 is based on income, not assets. And I think coverage is retroactive.for a while under some circumstances.

    Brandy, I was glad to read that you are.feeling healthy now.

  33. Holly

    Next year, signs go up on the trees (and maybe a trail cam). The state police have enough to do. The pears were not worth anything commercially. I do not appreciate strangers being in the yard but I have no idea who did it. I thought about posting a “Gleaning without permission is stealing” sign on a big tree out front but I don’t want to distract drivers.

  34. tadpole

    I’m glad you are feeling better Brandi and I am sending healing thoughts out to Melissa V.

    This week The Man sharpened his gathering skills. While he was off exploring new firewood possibilities, he found some ripe elderberries. He came home with a few new sites for future firewood gathering and an ice cream bucket full of berries. I am really grateful for these as I haven’t had time for any foraging and I rely on elderberry syrup to help my immune system over the winter. I washed the berries and when they were dry, I put them in the freezer so I can make syrup when my work schedule slows down in the fall.

    The Man also noticed that the apples are ripe (mainly because our yard if full of bear scat). I came home to a full basket of apples on my counter. I will turn these into apple sauce and apple pie filling.

    We amended the insurance policy on one of our vehicles. This change will save us $29 a month.

    I found a little time this week and canned some pears from our trees for our winter supplies.

    Over all, it was a successful and frugal week.

    Have a great week everyone!
    https://hiproofbarn.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/frugal-endeavors-42/#more-1720

  35. Debby in KS

    Cara, what a great deal with camp!! I went to camp every year from 8-17 yo and count it among my favorite memories. I often tell my husband that I wish there was adult camp with the whole planned activities, nightly campfire singalongs, etc. But with real comfy beds for my older, sorer body!

  36. Roxie

    As all the others have said I am so glad you are better. I am feeling kind of low…I had to let the ladies at church know I was not able to finish all the doll clothes I had planned. I have just been too darn sick to do it. I have very low iron count. Went for infusions and had an allergic reaction. It is like I run out of gas at the end of the day. After I clean the kitchen and start the load of wash I am DONE. Last Saturday I actually slept in my chair without getting up almost 10 hours. My husband kept checking on me, but I was just sleeping very hard. No, drugs are causing this…it just seems to happen at the end of a week.

    I am busy from about 5:00am till almost 7:00 every night with normal things. The daycare, the grandsons, and keeping the house running but my get up and go has got up and left me behind.

    We have been blessed with rain too. Enough that our yard and trees look great. Usually this time of year they are burned to a crisp.

    I found a recipe for you Brandi that I made and we loved. We have lemon trees and lime trees. Not Meyer Lemons like yours, but plain jane lemons work too.

    Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Marmalade
    1 1/4 pounds Meyer lemons, 5 1/2 cups sugar, 1 vanilla bean, split length wise

    In large plate to catch juice cut lemons in half lengthwise. Then VERY thinly crosswise. Discard seeds. Pack enough lemons and any juice to measure 2 1/2 cups. Transfer to large nonreactive pot. Add 5 cups of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand uncovered over night. Measure lemon mixture. Should be 5 1/2 cups. Return to the same pot, add an equal amount of sugar (about 5 1/2 cups) Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean. Add bean and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Attach a clip on candy thermometer. Maintain an active boil and adjusting the heat until the thermometer registers 230. Stirring occasionally about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Transfer to jars and chill.

    This is great with biscuits. My family really does like it very much. The recipe came from a magazine called Homemade Pantry. I got it at the library.

    We have had several unexpected expenses this past week. The air conditioner went on the blink. When the AC person came out to fix it he discovered our hot water heater was leaking. So BOOM there went our emergency money in just a day. Starting over rebuilding that fund.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week. May God bless..

  37. Marivene

    Leticia, the peaches have enough color on them now that if I leave them int he box for a week or two, the ethylene gas they give off will finish ripening them, & then I will bottle them & make peach jam from them! Nearly all of the much greener peaches from the limbs that broke on the Red Haven tree ripened, & I bottled 5 quarts of peaches from them!

  38. Debbie In Florida

    I’m glad you are feeling better and I’m looking forward to your upcoming posts!

    I got more coke points from a top I pulled out of the garbage at work.

    I completed a Pinecone survey.

    I used some of the garden budget and bought a 12′ pruning saw so I can trim the neighbors tree that hangs too low into our yard instead of hiring someone to do it. I also bought another dwarf papaya and 2 passion fruit vines as a surprise for SO. I already had the pot and soil for the papaya and I planted the passion fruit where I need it to cover a section of chain link fence, so I didn’t need to build any trellis support for it.

    I pressured washed everything outside – retaining wall, fence, potting shed, patio, patio furniture, fountain. I used some bleach and water in a hand sprayer on the retaining wall, but for everything just plain water and no soap. Using soap doesn’t clean any better and it’s just another expense.

    I ordered a month by month Florida gardening book and window decals so the birds won’t fly into our sliding doors from Amazon. I paid for it with points on my Discover card so no OOP.

    SO was out of town visiting family for 10 days. I took the money I normally budget for eating out ($20 a week) and bought 2 bras which I desperately needed.

    I spent $38 at Aldi for the week and adding to the pantry. I worked on my price list while I was there.

    I think I did more, but I wasn’t good about writing everything down this week.

  39. Roberta in So. Cal.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better! 🙂

    We had a pretty good week.

    * Hubs washed, waxed, and buffed out his truck and my car.

    * We ate all but three homemade meals.

    * I noticed my dried oregano was getting low, so I harvested and dehydrated some more.

    * Mended several items of clothing.

    * Hubs replaced a toilet seat (the lid hinge broke).

    * Hubs continues to keep the garden going even with the drought. (Our lawn looks pretty bad, but the food is growing. 🙂 )

    * Continued to capture warm-up and rinse water and canning water for the rose bushes and potted plants.

    * We were blessed with some unusually mild weather, so we were able to go without AC for two whole days. (Kept it at 80F the days we did have to turn it on for awhile.) We’ve got three days of hot weather predicted for this week, so the “banked” savings will help.

    * Exercised by walking the dog w/ Hubs and by going to the track at our son’s school.

    * Collected eggs (found a new frittata recipe that our son declared “the best one yet”).

    * Gave our hens the scraps from making salad.

    * Made bread, yogurt, trail mix, and granola (all staples for lunches).

    * Made 12 1/2-pints of grape jelly. (Haven’t tried it yet, but it [u]looks[/u] like it turned out OK this time.)

    That’s all I remembered to write down. There are lots of repeats, but I guess that means that frugality is becoming a habit.

    Have a good week, everyone!

  40. It’s been a good week getting surveys in my email for freebies. I did a survey and got $2 at CVS and $4 for a Vudu rental. Just today, I got a call from 2020 Research and they picked me for a $75 research study that will only take 30 minutes next week. Yippee!

  41. Marcia

    I had a very frugal weekend, as my gout flared up and I was unable to hobble about easily. It’s quite painful but I did the laundry on Saturday without too much trouble. Sunday was the worst, but we managed to re-hang curtains in the bedroom that were washed earlier in the week, and I had washed the blinds and window frames before my foot got sore also, so feel good that one job got completed. Today I called the doctor and he sent two prescriptions which I picked up, and then stopped by to visit my sister for the first time in three weeks. She lives all of 10 minutes away, and is going to visit her daughter in Ohio over the long holiday weekend. We are busy on the weekend, but not leaving town. There is a huge annual yard sale that I don’t want to miss and even promised my husband he could go with me this year. We are also going to a car show on the Sunday, which is one of his favorites of the year–and my favorite as it is the LAST one of the year.
    We have finally gotten some rain, so my beets and green peppers are finally getting near harvest size, parsley is ready to dry and Romaine is to be used soon before it bolts (late in planting that.)
    I also got out and about and we now have the new refrigerator we badly needed and the new couch is being delivered tomorrow. Glad to know we can depend on the fridge for the coming winter, and my favorite seat will no longer be sagging. Both fridge and freezer are clean and I can put aside a few things for winter food supplies now–I have peaches ripening so I can freeze at least one peach pie filling for mid-winter sunshine! We are crazy for fresh peaches and eat them daily in season. I hope some beets will be frozen as well.
    Depends on what else is good looking and how my aging body behaves, but my foot is much improved just today with the anti-inflammatory pills the doctor ordered. Saw the foot doctor last week as the other foot has tendonitis. Hard to treat both feet for different problems at the same time.
    Glad to hear you are feeling better, Brandy. Winter is at a good age to start sewing for herself. Only one of my daughters took to sewing but I have watched her cut a pattern from newspaper and make a skirt and top from a piece of fabric from the Goodwill. She got to be quite a good seamstress. The other daughter is good with crafts, gift wrapping (fantastic at that) and dipping chocolates although she claims not to like cooking much. She makes the best chocolate covered pretzels and the chocolate covered oreos are not bad either! She gives those as gifts quite frequently. I’ve tried but don’t have the same knack she does. Still working on the grand-daughter and budgeting. Her mother is SO good at stretching money that we cannot believe quite how carelessly she spends hers. We are either encouraging or harassing her almost daily–depends on who you ask! She does buy second hand, although not nearly often enough. Always good to have a project to work on.

  42. Jade

    I also love reading your comments Marivene! Two of my four peach trees have broken limbs this year, and I was sad too! 🙁 I thinned and thinned, but apparently not enough. I picked mine from the two broken limbs and most ripened within two weeks. We made mini peach pies in a muffin tin tonight, and they turned out quite well!

  43. Leticia Cinto

    Oh that’s nice! I thought the peaches were too green to ripe 🙂

  44. Sabrina

    My prayers are with you, your husband and your family.

  45. Mandy

    Hello Everyone! Last week:
    We stayed home except for one day when I dropped off job applications in person. The other days I applied to jobs online.
    I did zero shopping. The only money I spent was $15 for gas in my car. I walked one day to pick up my daughter from school and we walked home.
    I made chicken and spaghetti, breakfast for supper, turkey burgers, meatloaf, ate leftovers for lunch or sandwiches.
    My daughter doesn’t like the hot lunches at school and requested taking a cold lunch from home. I found her a Frozen themed lunch bag and drink bottle on clearance.
    I received a samples of cat food (donated to food pantry), band aids, and some all natural energy supplements in the mail.
    I received my last paycheck in the mail from my last job rather than drive a half hour there and back to pick it up.
    We didn’t have to water the garden for several days due to rain. We were also able to turn the ac’s off and open up the house.
    Got a free Frozen themed 3 pack of chapstick that I set aside for my daughter for part of a gift (she LOOOVES Frozen and “lipstick” 🙂 )
    Harvested goji berries, tomatoes, basil, cabbage from the garden. dehydrated the basil, goji berries and cabbage and made plain tomatoe sauce from the tomatoes.
    I watered several plants and garden beds with saved water (rinsing veggies, cooled veggie cooking water, water left in glasses, etc) last week. I also saved shower warm up water and used to flush the toilet or water plants outside.
    I use my toaster oven to bake things because my oven still doesn’t work. Hopefully I will have the money to have a repair man come in about a month. The toaster oven works great though, just can’t bake anything bigger than will fit in my bread pan, but that helps with portion control 🙂
    Have a great week!

  46. Bethany

    Melissa,
    Look into social security benefits. I believe that a cancer diagnosis is one of the “fast track” diagnosis that automatically qualifies one for SSI- provided he has paid his social security tax in the past. Also check into benefits through the county- Medicaid and such. Even with private insurance, sometimes you can get “catastrophic” assistance. The hospital social work department may be able to point you in the right direction, along with the county job and family services and social security.

  47. Liz

    Hi Brandy, do you have any good pear recipes. I really struggle to find good things to make from them besides a coffee cake, pear sauce, and dried pears. We have ever so many of them. Thanks! Liz

  48. christina

    I don’t ever comment here, but the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) gives grants to help with treatment costs, doctor visits, and insurance co pays. It’s an easy application. But you will need a confirmed diagnosis from the oncologist. Best to you .

  49. Susan in So Cal

    Melissa, I”m so very sorry. I just wanted to let you know that you and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers.

  50. Melissa V

    Thank you all for the prayerst and tips. He already has Medicaid due to how low income we normally are. Now it’s just going to be lower still. At the moment I am sitting next to him waiting for them to come get him for his PET scan, then he will have a bone marrow biopsy and then his port will be placed and he will start treatment Wed or Thurs. He has Non Hodgekins Lymphoma but we don’t know what sub type yet and will have a meeting with the treatment team hopefully late today. It is at least stage 3 due to the fact that his spleen is involved and the nodes are affected both above and below the diaphram.
    I am hanging on by a very thin thread – all it takes is a hug from someone or talking to my Mom and I lose it completely. I’m just trying to hold nyself together for him and the kids but I think I am going to have to find a quiet place and just let the emotions go.. After today I am hoping I can make plan prioritizing our needs and how to meet them.

  51. Laure

    Melissa-
    I write just to echo Bethany. A family member had lymphoma and when she had to stop working, her SSI disability immediately kicked in (like within a few weeks). Whenever he gets better and goes back to work, you just report that to the SSI and they stop paying disability just as quickly.
    I also echo Brandy’s recommendation to talk to the hospital re: getting coverage under their charitable care. Different hospitals call it different things, so you might need to ask a few different people at the hospital to reach the right person.

  52. Anne

    Glad that Brandy is feeling better, and I am praying for those who are in trials and struggles right now.

    Last week we completed major renovations on our “fixer upper” home. It was a frugal project, we bought the windows/door walls and did all the labor with family members. Of course, replacements cost thousands of dollars, but we realized a huge savings by not paying for installation costs.

    Kept up with the small stuff, using corn on the cob boil water to give the potted plants a drink, used the air conditioning sparingly, and defrosted some mystery containers from the freezer for dinner. Invested in a couple of LED three way bulbs, replacing traditional incandescent bulbs. According to the package on the LED bulbs, they will last for 22 years! Frankly, I am excited about that promise, it seems like I am always fighting 3 way bulb burn-out.

    Looking forward to reading more thrifty ideas for the upcoming Autumn season!

  53. Athanasia

    Teri, that is a nice looking apron. I like your choice of fabrics.

  54. Bethany

    I went to Joanns, planning on using a 40% off coupon on a good pair of scissors for my daughter for Christmas- to discover ALL their sewing scissors and shears are already 40% this week! I got her a pair of ginghers with a left hand bent for $27.13, and then used the coupon to get a set of 12 pairs of bamboo knitting needles. These are both very good quality products that should last for many many years. I’m planning on making a small pouch for the scissors so she can store them out of sight (so little fingers don’t get them and use them to cut random papers and such up with!)

    The youngest wants to start band, and is interested in the saxophone. I was able to find a used sax in good shape for a reasonable price on craigslist, and as his sister played the clarinet, she has offered to teach him (they use the same fingerings), saving on the cost of lessons (band here is just band, instrument lessons are additional fees if you want them, or you can arrange your own).

    I borrowed 3 library books on kindle.

    Liz- pears can be used in place of apples in many recipes- crisp, cobbler, pies, etc; poached much like a baked apples; juiced into jelly , much like apple jelly, or peeled, sliced, and canned.

  55. Athanasia

    Melissa, please know that you and your husband are in our prayers.

  56. Rhonda A.

    Mandy, if you have a smaller muffin pan that makes six muffins, it might fit in your toaster oven. You may have to bake a few batches, but it will work. The muffins are great for breakfast or to add to your daughter’s bagged lunch!

  57. Rhonda A.

    You could make pear crisp. Just replace the apples in your favourite apple crisp recipe with the pears. It will also freeze well. Just make the crisp up and freeze before baking. When your ready to have it, just thaw and bake for fresh pear crisp. We make apple crisp up in small aluminum pans for the freezer that are just the perfect amount for our family of 4.

  58. Cara in OH

    Debby, I hear you on the comfy beds!! My husband and I were both ready to come home, get the permanent sand off our feet and sleep in our bed!! Maybe you and your husband could volunteer at the camp you went to as a child. There are many, many people and church groups who come to our camp and volunteer because they love it so much!

  59. Athanasia

    Christine, our technical college sends out a catalog each year, about now for adult enrichment classes…things like water color, pottery, sewing, sign language. It varies every semester. Do you have a technical school in your area?

  60. Debby in KS

    Pretty quiet week around here last week…and that’s a good thing! The only things we spent on were gas and milk. Ate all meals at home again…Chinese chicken salad, turkey wraps, cheese ravioli, salsa chicken, mac and cheese, & leftovers.
    * Got audio books from the library to listen to while I work on other things.
    * Was given some free apples…sliced and froze.
    * Did market survey for 50 fuel points.
    * Picked up my two freebies from download coupon. Lip balm and a granola bar for DH’s lunch.
    * DH was given two free coupons for sandwiches at a local BBQ joint.

    I decided that I’d spend some time this next week working on some beautifying. Me and the house! I’ll report back on how that goes lol.

  61. Cindi

    We left on a 26-day camping trip last Wednesday. I packed enough food from home that we should only have to replenish bread, milk and fruit as we go. We have budgeted to eat out a few times, but mostly plan to eat at camp. We are paying for a few nights in parks, but are mostly camping free in the National Forest and on BLM land. Our small RV has solar panels to recharge the battery and we carry extra water, so we can go three nights before we have to find a place to dump the tanks and get fresh water.

    Before we left home, inspired by Brandy, I made some lavender sachets for my linen closet. I had dried the lavender last summer and stored it in a mason jar – it still smelled wonderful. I used scraps of quilting fabric. Thank you again for this idea, Brandy! I loved being able to tuck these in among the sheets.

    I also made some garden markers for my fall garden, using old canning lids and leftover beads. I made the stakes for the markers from old coat hangers. They look similar to this: http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/06/jewelry-for-your-garden.html This has been on my to-do list since spring and I never got around to it. I will need to make more markers in the spring, but for now I’m happy seeing the rows where I have planted seeds marked with these.
    We have friends staying in our home while we are away, so before we left we gave the house a really thorough cleaning. This was encouragement to clear the clutter and organize things neatly. Plus, I cleaned out the refrigerator and pantry and went ahead and made a list of what I need to restock when we return from our trip. I shared some perishable groceries with my neighbor and donated a box full of items to the Humane Society Thrift store.
    At one of our campsites I picked a bag full of big rose hips to use to make rose hip syrup.

  62. Athanasia

    Brandy, when you said you were going to share about the scorpions I was afraid to look…I did not want to see pictures of them. I am glad there were none:D

    Since I am back to school this week, preparation etc…classes start next week, we took a 4 day trip earlier. The 4 of us went…youngest girl Olivia, my husband, me and his brother Pauli. We took my station wagon and brought my scooter along so we could do more walking sightseeing. We had my brother in laws things in the carrier on top of the car as we were moving him to the next relative. We brought a large cooler that has two compartment in it so we packed plenty of food for sandwiches, fruit, snacks,and beverages. My husband even brought the camp stove, camping dishes and kettles so he could heat up beans or cook spaghetti or make coffee and tea. We travelled all day, stopping at whatever interested us, driving through all the small towns and stopping at county or city parks for our picnics. The 3 nights we planned ahead and stayed with friends or relatives and had a nice evening of visiting. We stopped at IKEA one afternoon. I love going through that store. Almost every attraction we visited was free or just a donation…a city zoo, an arboretum, 2 historic walking tours, a state capitol building, a farmer’s market…our only real expense was gas. We brought along our own sleeping/bedding things and a hostess gift…I found a 1A000 piece puzzle on clearance for one family, who loves puzzles and my husband made a cookbook stand for his cousin as she had admired the one I had. The third night found us only about 2 hours from home at my husband’s other brother’s house where we would leave Pauli. We attended their church Sunday morning then drove towards home, stopping to meet up with his sisters families and go to a housewarming/blessing for a group of his relatives who have relocated here from the East. We gave them a gift certificate to the local farm store. My husband was able to keep the shop open while we were gone; my nephew worked on smaller projects, took orders etc. It was a lot of fun.

    Finished canning corn. I think I mentioned that already, that is over. Now I’ll just freeze some in quarts, make corn relish, but those are quick projects. Did a lot of quick canning the last two weeks. Did 2 batches of Brandy’s hot pepper jelly (eight 12oz jars), 12 pints each of hot and mild salsa using our tomatoes and hot and mild peppers, made 2 more 4 oz containers of basil pesto for the freezer. Chopped and froze broccoli and cauliflower in quart bags. Diced eggplants and cooked with onion and peppers and put in 1 cup containers for freezer. Use for filling for lasagna or in spaghetti sauce. Did 3 more quarts of canned blackberries. I am glad I learned about canning berries here. We have endless blackberries as long as I find folks willing to go pick them for me.

    Food x 2 weeks. Baked white bread, currant-candied ginger scones with left over cookie frosting thinned and drizzled on them, baked 9×13 pumpkin pudding (just the filling x2 without the crust) to use up last of our frozen pumpkin puree. Served with whip cream. Made pretzel rolls from recipe from son. Made butterscotch brownies (blondies?), rice krispy treats, chocolate crinkle cookies ( took these last 3 items on our trip) and mixed up 10 pie crusts for the freezer. Oddly did not make a pie during this time. Made vegetable stir fry, vegetable fried rice. Made fajitas using our peppers and onions and a steak from the freezer and rice mixed with corn, tomatoes and peppers. My daughter and her family came for that meal and she brought homemade tortillas and a tres leche cake. Son Adreas and his wife brought refried beans and beverages…limeade and a fruit sangria non-alcohol. Son Markus brought salsa and chips and guacamole. We had the Mexican theme as was birthday of middle girl Johanna. She has done several mission trips already and we know the time will come when she will go again, this time with her nursing degree. Grilled out several times, usually fish my husband caught. Made the usual sandwich fillings and side salads to take advantage of the summer fruits and vegetables.

    I enjoyed looking at that pattern website. Someone really had a good idea there. I too would like to see pictures of Winter’s dresses when she is done.

    I need to mention my best birthday present…my son and his wife announced they were expecting! Though I was kind of suspecting such. She is an only child so this will be the first grandchild for her parents, who live with them.

    I hope everyone has a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.

  63. cathy

    Melissa,
    Check out the hospital’s facilities. Most have some sort of chapel or meditation space (non-denominational), specifically so the loved ones of those who are hospitalized have a quiet place. Often there are also trained staff with whom you can speak, if you just need some support for yourself.

  64. Mandy

    Thanks Rhonda!

  65. tanja

    Here are my frugal accomplishments from the Netherlands.
    I made mini pzza’s to take to school, I froze them. I made appelsauce from appels someone of our village gave me. Bought minced beaf and chickenlegs with 30 % off. (on date). Picked and froze 5 zuchinni’s from my garden. Picked 1 kg stringbeans from my garden, and some dahlias and raspberries and beetroot, and picked and pickled cucumbers.
    I love to see it all written down, it makes you realise how much it actually is.
    Hope to have a lot next week.
    Greetings Tanja

  66. Becky

    After a summer in the camper, I am still not tired of camping so am excited for you. That sounds like a super fun trip, and the solar panels must make a huge difference. I’m sure you have to be careful to not use too much water if you are dry camping for 3 days. We can go a week or longer, but only if we have a water hook-up and a place to empty the gray water. I hope you get to rest a bit-that was the only bummer of living in the Rv–we didn’t get to just relax much–too many errands, house hunting, etc.–life went on. So, I am looking forward to camping some more this next year once we are settled well in our new house.

  67. I know how you feel about the rain! This past week we’ve gotten so much rain that I forgot it was August! That’s Texas for ya!

    This week:
    -I made a double batch of yogurt, since we’ll be out of town for the next few weeks. We can’t live without our homemade yogurt!!

    -Mr. Picky Pincher made a large batch of gumbo and froze it as his freezer meal for the coming months.

    -We went to the library and rented 10 movies. I tried to get titles I haven’t seen before, so I’m excited to watch them! We also rented a lot of cookbooks, which I use to get new meal ideas for free.

    -I pre-cooked a lot of meals over the weekend. I made tomato bisque and slow cooker salsa verde chicken.

    -We started buying appliances for our home (we close next week–yikes!!) and did a price match, which saved us $100.

    -I made a smaller batch of pancakes and froze them. For some reason, my recipe doesn’t work out when doubled, so I’ve just started making more frequent, smaller batches.

    -We made homemade laundry soap from the Castile soap my sister gave us. We also ran out of dish soap, so we just filled our existing container with some Dr. Bronner’s that had been sitting under our sink for months. Perfect!

    -I made a batch of fresh tortillas. My last batch was entirely too fluffy and came out more like flatbreads. So I made sure these little guys were nice and flat. As a bonus, that means we get way more tortillas out of one batch!

  68. Libby

    I am sorry you are going though this tough time. My husbands father was diagnosed with the same thing a few years back and we thought it would be a rough road. He cancelled all his plans to see us and we prepared for the worst. He had treatment and amazingly did great! He’s in perfect health now and we were amazed at his fast healing. I am hoping for the same easy time for your husband. Please take time to cry and feel sad, I think it’s important for your emotional well being. Have courage my friend!

  69. Athanasia

    Roxie, your “normal” schedule sounds taxing enough as is with out being sick at the same time. I trust the medical issues will soon be resolved.

    I have never seen Meyer lemons in the store here. Can I use regular lemons with this recipe? I always make orange marmalade but lemon sounds good too.

  70. Christine

    Thank you so much for your advice. In my area, most of the classes for practical thing like sewing or knitting involves tuition fees that are beyond what I can afford. I am excited to look through Pinterest!

  71. Athanasia

    Jamie, have you thought about building a cistern?

  72. Patti

    Melissa,
    I am so sorry and I am praying for you and your husband for healing strength peace and wisdom. Let people know so they can help you.
    Even the financial aide office for your college kids might be able to help. With a refund lower tuition books etc. My neice got help at school
    when her mom lost her job due to injury. I know it is hard to navigate all of this right now. Just know many people are lifting your family up
    in prayer.
    Patti

  73. Athanasia

    I used to go cook for a week at camp when the children were younger and up until it became too difficult with the standing and walking. It’s all volunteer and you get room and board and a lovely lakeside stay for free.

  74. Athanasia

    Holly, I like the way you planned that baby blanket and used the yarn to its best advantage. I am sure you will find some other baby to use it for.

  75. Patti

    Mandy try going on you tube My daughter went on you tube watched how to replace the element in my oven. Found the correct element online ordered that reinstaled it and wala our oven works great. She unpluged it when she was changing the heating element only @ screws! If you have a built in I would recomend turning off the breaker. So for 20 dollars in parts our oven works.
    Patti

  76. Athanasia

    Gardenpat, congratulations on the weight loss and the new wardrobe!

    A quilt is a wonderful wedding present.

  77. Athanasia

    That is true…there would probably be a charge. How about someone you know that sews and wants to tutor you?

  78. momsav

    Congratulations! Grand babies are so much fun!

  79. Roxie

    Yes, I used regular lemons in mine. I do not have a Meyer lemon tree. That is the kind of tree Brandi has. The lemons seem a lot bigger than the lemons I get from my 2 trees. It is very good. My grandsons added some to ice cream. I served it to kids on pancakes too.

  80. Adda

    I’m so happy that Winter is learning to sew. Learning to sew was one of the best things my Mom and Grandma taught me and although I no longer make my own clothes, I can’t imagine not knowing how to mend or alter when necessary. I wish they would bring back “Home Economics” in my area which taught how to run a household, sew, cook etc. It’s becoming a lost art. Keep going Winter!

  81. Athanasia

    My daughter made pizza this week and put pears and her homemade goat cheese on it. You can use it in mincemeat filling instead of apples. You could saute some in butter and brown sugar and then pour over bread pudding or French toast. Chopped into muffins in place of blueberries or apples?

  82. Athanasia

    Yes they are! Our oldest girl is also expecting coming up soon, and not their first, but still exciting.

  83. Anne

    Tanja-
    Hello! So cool to see that someone from the Netherlands is reading along here as well. I did a semester in Maastricht during college and absolutely loved it there. Good luck as you keep up with the frugal accomplishments and the gardening!
    -Anne

  84. Lynn

    Mrs. Penny pincher,
    How do you make your homemade yogurt? Thanks!

  85. Athanasia

    Well, I did get a lemon tree after so much mention on here of everyone’s bountiful lemons, but so far it has done nothing. 🙁 I’ve only had one year…it is on our patio now but will move back and forth into the sunroom when it chills at night and then eventually stay there till next summer. It didn’t even blossom. 🙁

  86. Penny S

    Adda, I agree with you completely that Home Economics needs to be brought back into school curriculum. Young adults (both female and male) are not being taught basic household management these days. Cooking, sewing and financial management needs to be taught.

  87. Patty from the NW

    Good morning Brandy~

    My husband and I went on a 3 day camping trip north by the Canada border from where we live in the Puget Sound WA. We had beautiful weather to camp. We also did a small hike at Mt Baker and saw a beautiful babbling creek in the mountain. We stayed at a KOA campground that had a paddle boat we could enjoy on their pond and there was a free movie night on Saturday so we watched a family friendly movie. We plan to go on another camping 3 day weekend again in Sept.

    I have picked so much yellow squash which I will grate and freeze for breads this winter and beef steak tomatoes from our garden that I plan to make salsa to can. I also have been finally getting some cucumbers and think I could can a couple of jars of pickles this weekend. I have tons of kale which I now have recently found I am allergic to along with spinach 🙁 So I will give this away. I love kale and have had it all my life so this is a new onset of allergies. I am also allergic to certain types of lettuce however, thankfully I am able to enjoy and tolerate romaine and butter leaf lettuce. I have planted more seeds of these types in our garden for Fall. I have also planted more peas and bean seeds.

    I am using my pantry food and freezer meats to prepare for Fall food supplies~ and I still have 1 turkey left from last Fall which we will bake soon. My husband was blessed to receive from a friend several pounds of fresh caught salmon which is frozen so we will BBQ this as well soon. We are using up the last of our jasmine rice ( we have about 16 cups left from last year’s bulk buy) so we plan to make our yearly trip to the Asian Mall to purchase more teas and rice. We go once a year and store this wonderful rice for the year. My husband also likes red rice and brown rice we also purchase there. Since I am gluten intolerant , we also purchase rice noodles at such a low price.

    We have had such a busy summer with family and friends that I am looking forward to Fall. We will be going on one trip to Baltimore for my cousin’s wedding. I am looking forward to seeing family I haven’t seen in several years. I have never been to to that part of the country . We plan to see the Smithsonian.

    This is about it for this week. Have a wonderful blessed week .
    Patty from the NW

  88. Ava

    I’m laughing about the squeegee episode, which sounds exactly like something my husband and I would do – then we’d stand there looking at each other, not sure whether to be irritated or gratified that we think so much alike…

  89. tanja

    Hello Anne, I live in the north of the netherlands , in Friesland where it is flat and green with a lot of dairyfarmers.
    We go to Limburg every now and then, it is beautiful there.

  90. Debby in KS

    I grew up in Cali so all my camps were there. In the Sierra or San Bernardino mountains. I might just ask around at church and see about an opportunity, though. I could teach a number of crafts and DH knows ASL and loves playing in the dirt! He worked at camps for the deaf when he was in college.

  91. Lynn from the Outer Banks, NC

    Melissa, I am so sorry y’all are going through this. I’m sending prayers for you, your husband and family. Just know that people are lifting you up across many miles. Wishing your husband strength, courage and healing. Lynn

  92. Lynn from the Outer Banks, NC

    If it fits, you could also use that muffin pan to make mini meat loves or mini frittatas in a pinch in your toaster oven.

  93. Linda Shields

    I save all leftover paints. A couple of times I have painted a room by mixing together two or more differnt colors of leftover paint! You can come up with amazingly beautiful mixtures (but be careful not to make mud color.). Just be sure you have plenty to finish the room since you will never duplicate it exactly!

    This week when I bought a You Pick 2 at Panera’s and handed them my Panera’s card I was happy to learn I had a free You Pick 2 coming to me. I ate the sandwich and chips for lunch, then split the salad with my husband at dinner time with some other leftovers.

  94. Cindi

    Thank you, Becky. It is quite a relaxing trip so far. Today it is raining so we are using the time to do laundry and use the internet in town. We are good at conserving water and gray water. For instance, we wash in dishpans and use the leftover water to flush the toilet, or scatter it on the ground. Frankly, most places we have been are so dry they could use the moisture!

  95. tina

    * pick 32 ears of corn, ate a few and froze the rest. Hoping to make it back next week for more.
    * getting cucumbers from our plants and pumpkins are getting decent size. Not a good tomato year 🙁
    * transferred $23 from Ibotta
    * froze fresh peaches for smoothie
    * sold more items on eBay
    * got some grocery store freebies ~ yogurt, angel food cake and a great deal on string cheese ($1.50 for 12 pack)
    * got over charged by target (nearly $10) so made the trip back for my refund. Lesson learned to check my receipts before leaving the store)
    * my son’s birthday was monday but we were out of town so tonight we are making his birthday meal choice (spaghetti with meatballs) and I am making a cake 🙂

  96. Mandy

    Thanks Patti! I am not sure exactly what is wrong with our oven but have narrowed it down to two things. We will probably try doing it ourselves first then call a repair person if needed.

  97. Liz

    When I lost weight, I was able to take in many of my things, especially tops and skirts. I just ran in the seams on the sides. It took the pressure off of finding new clothes in my new size. I am replacing a lot of my wardrobe with new items, bit by bit, but running things in helped buy time to find great deals on things I love for my “new” body

  98. Susan

    Holly, thanks for bringing the Brothers Green Eats series to my attention. I had not heard of them but I am learning so much! Yes, the language is horrible at times but very informative. I also wish they would leave that out.

  99. Susan

    Melissa, I will be praying for your husband and entire family.

  100. Patti

    Gratified. If my husband purchased and used a squeegee, I think I would cry.

  101. Libby

    Great savings today! I was about to purchase bunk beds for my big boys since they are moving into the same room to make room for new baby. They were on sale at one store, but not exactly perfect. They didn’t have drawers underneath for extra storage. I thought I’d try one more furniture store and found exactly what I wanted at a better quality at 30% less including the drawers for the bed. I feel really good about this as I’ve been trying to let go of the finances a bit to make some furniture purchases. I have trouble making decisions and sometimes make decisions based on what’s cheapest even though it doesn’t always work for our family. I’m proud that I got exactly what I wanted for less an was able to pull the trigger, guilt free! I tried to find what I needed used for months with no luck.

  102. Becky

    We are not finding good bunk beds, either. Right now, the big girls are camped out on the floor. Where did you find good ones?

  103. loyda

    frugal accommplishments.. I guess really the only one I did do was just eating out of the pantry and fridge.. But I would LOVE some of your gardening and growing advice because we are moving to Arizona !! I know nothing about the growing season there and just reading how you saved your rain water got me to thinking that i need to start reading more of your gardening blogs.

  104. Libby

    It’s a local store that makes knock offs of expensive furniture like pottery barn. I would check Craigslist, they had lots available but I needed two matching which no one had used. I figured it was okay to splurge on new because my big boys will use them for a long time and they have two little brothers who will be using them later on.

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