Floral Arrangement Prep The Prudent Homemaker

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I cut flowers from the garden.

We harvested Katy apricots, blackberries, chocolate mint, peppermint, chamomile, green onions, and Mission figs from the garden.

I planted seeds for Dark Opal basil and Armenian cucumbers in the garden.

I received an email advertising a discount for season tickets for the Philharmonic. Purchasing them, even with a 10% discount, is not in my budget. I read through the concerts and noticed that one of them was for Dvorak. I love Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” so I decided to enjoy it now. I looked up the piece on You Tube and enjoyed listening to and watching the New York Philharmonic perform the piece.

We spent Memorial Day organizing and tidying several things inside and out, so that we can enjoy our home more. 

I used garlic ear oil to treat my ear infection. One dose is usually all it takes, and that was the case this time too.

I opened the windows each morning to air out and cool the house. I was able to keep them open until 9:30 a.m. each morning before the house heated to 79°F/26°C, which is how hot I keep the house in summer (that won’t be the case this week, as that was the low temperature this morning!)

My husband took several of our children with him to help his sister (who recently moved and downsized considerably) load a trailer of items to donate. He brought home several items, including tools and tool boxes, a package of balloons, and some white paper lunch bags. 

I bought nothing at all last week.

What did you do to save money last week?



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  1. I’m impressed with the variety of flowers that are all blooming at the same time in your garden! Gorgeous photos as always!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – I made a Creamy Fire and Ice Salad (http://approachingfood.com/creamy-fire-and-ice-salad/) using some vegetables I had in the fridge (I only had to buy a red onion), and some sour cream (on sale, plus I had a rebate offer), lemon, homemade yoghurt and homemade ranch dressing mix. Super-yummy and very refreshing in this hot weather!
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 gc to Amazon, twice. I’m saving my credit there for a large purchase.
    – I dehydrated oregano from my balcony garden and added it to my pantry, and I cut some green onions from the garden and added that to my freezer. I also cut some parsley and used it when making garlic bread.
    – I dehydrated some apples to add to my work lunches for the week.
    – I wanted some good dirt to top up a few planters with but didn’t want to buy a whole bag. My mum had extra and gave me some. Yay!
    – I saved the tissue paper from a package that came in the mail. Perfect to use when making up gift bags.
    – My latest fun and frugal activity is to look at all the posts on Instagram with the hashtag #debtfreecommunity. Lots of tips and inspiration to pick up about frugal living! I don’t have debt besides my mortgage, and I don’t even have an Instagram account (yet), but I can still see the posts, and it’s very inspiring!
    – I needed to see a dentist and decided to switch from the practice I was with from childhood, to a practice in my neighbourhood. I went through Opencare (an app to find a dentist based on what is important to you, ex. location) as it will give me a $50 gift card back once I send in the receipt (as proof of purchase). I checked with my insurance to see what would be covered and confirmed with the receptionist how it would be coded. Between my work insurance and my insurance through my husband’s work, I ended up paying $0 OOP for this visit. So I’ll actually come out $50 ahead! I’ve requested an amazon gc so that I can apply it to my account as there is a large ticket item that I am saving for.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  2. Margaret, I don’t know if the rules are different for Swagbucks in Canada, but a reader pointed out to me that if I wait until I have 2200 Swagbucks, I can get an Amazon gift card for that amount (instead of 2500). You can only get one a month at this price (12% off) but it helps! They have other options for $25 gift cards that are also 2200 points instead of 2500. I have been waiting to redeem mine until I have 2200 ever since so that I can make my points go further.

  3. We have been eating the food we have on hand. Last week I worked two days. I had a doctor’s appointment and I have new glasses now.
    My glasses were purchased off Zenni. We ate all meals at home except our Sunday lunch . We sold 7 items last week. I organized my closet and I spent time reading to grand children.
    We had family in from out of town and they bought a meal and had it brought to the home from a nearby diner. The place got all of the meals wrong. I called and let them know they are sending us a gc.
    We made Coffee mugs with the grandson for his mother’s day gifts.
    I still owe a nice thank you note to a neighbor .
    I have three new clients to work for.

  4. Hi Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    Brandy I am so glad you heard the piece from your favourite composer and the philharmonic orchestra too and glad you were able to fix your ear infection. The flowers you pick and display in your home are such a beautiful sight and would brighten up everyone’s day just looking at them :).

    Here is what we did to save money last week –

    Earnings –
    – Earned $13.76 from the sale of a homemade bread bag and I banked the money into the pantry stocking budget to recoup more funds spent on additional food storage buckets and a $350 for $300 grocery e-voucher.

    Service and blessing others –
    – Supplied some freshly picked sweet potatoes to our supermarket student delivery driver to feed their student household and some to our chimney sweeps family along with some starts so he can grow some in his garden too.

    Trading –
    – Traded 14 bottles of failed homebrew for a 3kg leg of grass fed pork given to us by one friend to another friend who was using it for garden bug traps saving us $27 over purchasing one in the local supermarkets.

    Purchases –
    – Used 1 x $350 grocery e-voucher and saved an additional $22 with specials and we used the rest for generic brand staples that never come on special such as rice, tinned fruits, cocoa, flour, white and raw sugar, butter, tinned corn, baked beans, diced tomatoes, and tinned mushrooms.
    – Took advantage of another 2 x $15 off $100 purchase in store supermarket in store vouchers I received in the mail and finished off our 2 monthly grocery shopping at that shop and saved all up with 50% off specials $70 in total taking advantage of half price probiotic and Echinacea and zinc tablets.
    – Dh purchased a laptop battery off eBay after pricing them locally saving $118.11 over purchasing them here in our small country town.
    – Purchased a years worth of or 4 x 60pk of activated charcoal and 12 x 20pks of Imodium tablets on eBay saving us $41.86 over purchasing them in our local pharmacy. We put the charcoal in our car and home medical kits and it is amazing what you can use it for.

    Financial –
    – Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 25.92% of the way there. We banked $1200 + more than our budget target in May :).
    – Listed 60 handmade items on eBay using a free listing and free final auction value fee if it sells promotion saving $99 on usual listing fees.

    In the gardens –
    – Thinned out and transplanted cauliflower seedlings growing to close in our nursery bed for additional food.
    – Weeded around our broad beans in the front yard, staked them and mulched them and the newly planted cauliflower seedlings with a 50 50 mix of Lucerne hay and grass clippings run over by the ride on lawnmower with catcher on.

    Other usual frugal things we save by doing –
    – Did the usual washing out clip seal freezer bags for reuse, boiling our kettle for cuppas in the slow combustion stove, heated our home with almost free to us cut and sourced firewood, watered garden seedlings in with dish rinsing and shower warm up water, and watered lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machines.

    Hope everyone else has had an equally great week.


  5. We were able to turn the air conditioning off the last three days due to cooler temps.
    We ate all meals at home last week, cooking food from scratch that we already had.
    I made taco soup and added a small amount of orzo pasta I had left in the pantry to use it up. I also made banana bread, cupcakes using up a mix I’ve had for about a year in my pantry. Frosted with chocolate frosting in the pantry, unopened, that was just as old. They were delish! Some of the meals we made were lasagna, meatloaf, French toast and scrambled eggs, homemade pizza, oatmeal, sandwiches.
    I harvested green onions (sliced into small rings and frozen for use in the winter) and a handful of strawberries.
    I transplanted a volunteer strawberry plant that grew outside the strawberry bed into a pot.
    I planted some other vegetable plants I started from seeds into pots after finding a nest of baby bunnies in my large garden bed. We have struggled with finding a way to keep the rabbits out of our large garden bed in the past years. We have decided to just use our raised beds and containers from now on. We can’t keep them out and then they eat my plants. This will also save us money on water usage and no need to rototill up the garden bed, which we have to rent.
    I downloaded several free kindle books
    I was given some audiobooks on a flash drive from a co worker, which I downloaded onto my laptop. Free listening for many hours at work (data entry)
    I resisted the urge to buy some unnecessary “wants”, instead saving them into my wish list on Amazon for a possible future purchase.
    I worked several hours of overtime last week, and am doing so again this week.
    I spent $12 on some groceries we were out of for this week. That is all I will be purchasing this week, and hopefully next week as well.
    School is out here and my husband and I both work during the day. My mother is watching our daughter, 7 years old, during the day until my husband picks her up. I pay her $20 per week plus provide food for lunch and snacks. This is saving us a lot of money over hiring a babysitter. She didn’t ask for the money but I know she can use it and it’s not much.
    Have a great week!

  6. A no-spend week is great!
    moved my broccoli seedlings out of the greenhouse and into the garden. They weren’t doing well inside and I hope they’ll do better outside – but I may have to start over in the fall. I planted green beans where the broccoli and arugula used to be in the greenhouse.
    I harvested lettuce, baby arugula, green onions, asparagus, radishes, rhubarb, and a few peas from the garden. I thinned the collard greens and used the thinned greens in a salad.
    I watched the last episode of Little Women on PBS.org. I listened to a book I downloaded from the library while I worked on my quilt.
    I finished a neck gaiter I knitted from some alpaca yarn in my stash. I bought the yarn several years ago, intending to make a scarf, but I hated trying to knit lace with it, so put it away. It was perfect for the gaiter.
    I washed the windows inside and out, and my husband cleaned all the ceiling fans. (I always think of Brandy when I wash my windows – and I think of neighbors who pay someone to do their windows and how much satisfaction I get in doing them myself.)
    It rained briefly one day this week – the first rain we have had in almost a month. I caught the rainwater to use to water plants and was able to turn the irrigation off for one day.
    I mixed up a batch of homemade laundry detergent.
    My husband has decided to give up coffee. He is drinking tea instead. He gets up before I do and makes his tea. Later, I make my cup, reusing the tea leaves from his cup. So – no more cost than when I was making a single cup of tea for myself, and a big savings over the price of coffee.
    I made a Father’s Day card to send to my father in law.

  7. The flowers are so pretty!!! I just love your pictures of flowers.

    *We kept eating down the food we have on hand. We did go out to eat once for my son’s high school graduation. It was fun to spend the time together as a family and celebrate him and his accomplishments.

    *We do all our own yard work to save on costs.

    *We installed a new ceiling fan in our living room that we bought on sale. It has already shown that it saves us from turning on the A/C as soon as we used to before we had it. My husband installed it himself.

    Hope everyone has a beautiful week. 🙂

  8. I bought my 25.00 Bath and Body Works last month for 2200 and I just got a 25.00 Jiffy lube for 2200 this week. I had to search for sales under one of the tabs on the redeem page. Hoping to find a Jiffy lube coupon to use with it.

  9. What do you do with your mint? My ex several years ago, weedeated a container of spearmint and I have a huge abundance every year now… it is bitterly everywhere!

  10. I have been doing a lot of shopping this past week–way more than normal. This is because I have a party to give on Saturday for my daughter’s graduation, a dress to buy for that graduation (no luck yet), a birthday party coming up that I will help with, several graduation gifts for kids we know that are graduating, family birthdays, 3 of my own children’s birthdays, and so on.

    So, I’ve been trying to stretch those dollars as far as I can. I am still not done, but gaining on it. I’ve been shopping the sales at each store, to get the best possible price on the food I’m going to serve, and have also accepted help in the form of other family members bringing things.

    We are simply buying a $5 coffee gift card for each of the graduates and putting it in a card. I would love to buy/give more, but this is what we can afford, and it lets them know we are thinking about them. We’ve got the cards chosen and purchased, and are going to start giving them out and mailing them this week.

    I’ve been using the Ibotta app I downloaded a few weeks ago to get a little back from some of these purchases. Because I was new at Ibotta, there were several bonuses for things like ordering something on line, your first order, and so on. So, I did all those deals, while getting things for gifts or groceries.

    I worked a few extra hours, and will do so this week, again. Because my autistic niece is done with school now, there are more hours when she needs support. Now that I’m done with homeschool for the year, I can provide them. One thing I did with her last week was take her to Meals on Wheels where she had been volunteering as part of her school program. Now, I or my husband will just take her each week, so she can keep up that community involvement. I was all prepared, and offered, to help in any way needed, but they were completely covered that day, so I just watched and hung around in case my niece needed something. She didn’t, but was so proud to show me what she was doing. It was interesting.

    I worked in the garden and yard.

    My daughter had her dance recital. This is frugal because we are now done with costumes, tights, recital tickets, lesson fees, and so forth after many, many years, and many, many daughters. (The youngest tried it and did not want to take dance after trying 2 kinds of dance 2 different times). It’s bittersweet, because I enjoy it, but I also accept that things change.

    I cooked several things. Today, I cooked a few freezer meals. Things are so crazy around here that I am having trouble getting dinner on the table, so this should help.

    I took a walk through a park with a rose garden with a friend. I put pictures on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/06/03/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-june-3-2018/

  11. I’m always in awe of your harvests!

    I think my biggest accomplishment was that for last week’s meals I spent just under $11 at the grocery store. We were well stocked. Going into this week I spent $65, but almost $30 of it was for long term storage. (an additional $20 a week on those totals goes into a produce share box we paid for early in the year)

    I did find myself a couple of summer tops and one dress at Goodwill. Other than that it was the routine — hanging laundry, not wasting food, borrowing books from the library, and things like that.

  12. Wow Brandy your flowers are beautiful! We also had a kiddo with an ear infection that seemed to come on suddenly in the middle of the night. I used garlic oil while waiting to see the Dr. and his pain was gone almost immediately! Shortly there after we had another kiddo come down with a UTI and I swear the natural treatment worked faster than the antibiotics. I’m a big fan of seeing a dr. when necessary, but I forget that some of these remedies have been around for so long because they work! Anyway- we had a great month over in our neck of the woods and freed up $425 a month to go toward debt repayment. https://frugalfive.com/2018/06/04/june-1st-frugal-state-of-the-union/

  13. In some ways, my week has been spectacular. College girl came home for a week. She was under the weather and needed mommy to doctor her. This one nursed for two years and she had always been a mommy’s girl. She gave me 50 dollars to buy all the stuff she had on her I need list. We hit the salvage store and she danced in the aisle when we found Argan Oil salon hair products for 5 dollars. She googled it and showed me where it sells for 50 dollars. It smells incredible but even in a great week I would never have paid full price for that. I chatted with Amazon about a package that is 2 weeks late. They gave me a random credit of 18 dollars. I was extremely polite and very grateful. I applied it to a case of 252 diapers and paid 8.00 for the difference. My son’s best friend gives me 10 dollars a month to buy for his new expected Xmas baby. I will continue to find him goodies and may possibly hit the jackpot tomorrow. Swagbucks has actually become quite interesting. I was offered a survey for 200.00 .. I spent a total of an hour on it over several days. I may potentially do a second portion for another large amount. I find that some of the ones offered are nothing more than fishing expeditions trying to gather lengthy personal information on you. These, I just shut down. But then, there are the real ones. I am finding them very valuable. I am going to cash out for some PayPal this next week. I need new brakes on my car and just received an outrageous water bill. Funny thing is, all my neighbors had double the costs this month. This is going to require some investigaton. Something hadn’t been right for a couple years. Corruption and politics are not something I want to engage in when we only have 2000 residents. 185.00 almost knocked me to the ground. No outside water usage and no leaks. I imagine the accounting center is crooked. This shouldn’t even be a possibility. The little spending money I had was eat up by the water bill for the most part. I used my Bath and Body works gift card that I had gotten last month with Swagbucks for their annual sale. I bought 11 products for college girls upcoming birthday. combined with an online coupon, I spent 3.00 out of pocket. College girl will be thrilled. My new profession may now be listed as a swagbuckser. I continue to pick up Coke and Pepsi caps. College girl just shakes her head and said she had decided she would just pick her battles with me and this one wouldn’t be it. I refuse to reduce my savings each month. Swagbucks and bottle caps are my best friend. I hope everyone is finding a way in life.

  14. • I had a wonderful time on my Laura Ingalls Wilder trip. Thank you all for the suggestions. It was hotter than Hades – 104 on the prairie in MN on Sunday. After picking up the rental car, my next stop was a grocery store to buy a case of water, lunch, and snacky foods. I used a soft-sided cooler during my trip. Each morning I packed ice from the hotel in double-bagged ziplock bags to keep everything cool. My flights were free using mileage, two days of the rental car were free using points, all four nights in hotels were free using points, and three days of airport parking were free using points. My costs were gas, food, and entrance fees.
    • I stopped at Aldi on my way home from the airport. Aldi is 25 minutes from my house. I didn’t realize that Aldi sold cat food. I bought one can of Aldi cat food to try. Cats loved it. One can of Aldi cat food is $0.39 while the same size in a brand name purchased locally is $1.39. If I switch 100% to Aldi, I’ll save $60 a month.
    • Made swag goal x 3
    • Hung laundry out to dry
    • Made cucumber, feta, couscous salad, made asparagus soup – normally I use potatoes to thicken the soup but I was out so I substituted rice. Made asparagus quiche and pad thai
    • Painted kindness rocks for a raffle donation.
    • Updated my monthly net worth spreadsheet.
    • I was visiting with my neighbor while she was making chicken soup. After picking off the meat from the carcass, she was going to throw it away. I said I would gladly take it home, which I did and into my slow cooker it went!
    • Put a mixture of vinegar and salt onto weeds growing in the driveway. First time I’ve tried this so will see if it works.

  15. Vickie, you can make your own with garlic and olive oil. I haven’t done it and I don’t know the amounts, but I do know that you can cook cloves of garlic in olive oil and administer it with an eye dropper in the ear. It needs to be warmed before you put it in the ear (warm, but not hot; for some reason, it doesn’t work while cold).

  16. The flowers look amazing – I bet they smell just fantastic too. *SWOON!*

    I’m trying to really pull things together on the work front, so I got cracking on some writing as well as a Facebook author page. It’s free marketing, so frugal, right? 😉

    We also did some birthday things and took full advantage of our libraries’ offerings. Every day I’m grateful for the riches of library systems. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

    Happy Monday, everyone!


  17. Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    Beautiful flowers, Brandy!

    I have recently lost some weight and was in need of some pants for work. I used a Kohl’s gift card and birthday money along with a coupon for $10 off $25 dollars for two new pair. I bought a pair of gray pants and a pair of black ones. This will take me through most days at work and will match with the tops and shirts that I already have.

    My husband made a large pot of spaghetti sauce that fed us for several meals.

    I made our lunches each day to take to work. We usually eat salads and leftovers with some fruit.

    I harvested lettuce and spinach for salads.

    I planted green bean seeds, pepper, tomato, chamomile, and mint plants.

    I cut some peonies to put on our dining room table.

    I washed and reused plastic baggies.

    We washed the inside and outside of our car ourselves.

    We borrowed a power washer and washed the outside of our house and the windows

  18. I saved money by not going shopping. I am enjoying baked potatoes every night until the weather gets too hot. I’m hoping to get to the farmers’ market this week so I can buy the fresh Alberta-grown asparagus. Asparagus being grown in Alberta is recent but someone realized the warm sunny days and cool evenings makes delicious asparagus with a sweetness because of the cool nights. It is one of my treats for myself. I had 5 lady-slipper orchid buds yesterday but only 3 blooms today as 2 were eaten. I managed to plant all of my petunias. finally! One handed planting is a challenge! When the wind isn’t blowing, the mosquitoes are fierce but when the wind is blowing, the pollen is unbearable. We (the whole city) are all suffering from allergies. I only have 3 fuchsias left to plant. I am hoping that the lady who plants tomatoes will phone me and offer me her leftovers from the plant sale at a bargain price. I think it is a bit windy to plant them this week.

    Tonight I will cook the rhubarb and mix it with cherries from the freezer.

    I have been sitting admiring how lovely the flowerbeds look now they’ve been weeded (as I mentioned yesterday my single mum gardener did it on credit). Today, I decided to check on the Itoh peonies. Of the 11 planted in the flowerbed that she weeded, there are 18 buds, of which 5 are on one plant –– and it is early yet! this is their third year. Last year I only had 2 blooms. This is the year when they should start to really bloom. You’ll remember I bought 22 Itoh peonies on a flat sale for $2 each (usually $70-80 each). This will be the summer when we will reap the benefits! And we will see how long the blooming period will last!

  19. That is such a cheerful floral display! We’ll be harvesting our first cucumber this week, from a plant gifted to us. It’s a white cucumber, which we’ve not grown before, and look forward to trying. Our own cucumbers are just slightly behind. I’ve harvested lettuce, mulberries, raspberries, peas, asparagus, basil, thyme and oregano. We’re doing a bathroom renovation, which includes creating an outdoor shower area, as we only have the one bathroom. We purchased most of what we need at the hardware store today. We needed 4′ fence panels for the shower, and they only had 6′. Two panels were damaged, which is all we needed, and they gave them to us for half price. We’ll be able to cut the bad places off, and have just what we need. My husband also got a 10% veterans discount for the entire purchase. I’ve used garlic ear oil in the past, and it does work very well. I’m glad it quickly knocked out whatever challenge you had. I know your life is plenty busy without having to deal with that too. Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments.

  20. Gorgeous flowers! Our hydrangea tree is blooming as well as the lilac tree. It smells heavenly when we walk outdoors!
    I’m still trying to conserve water every day. I grab leftover water bottles at work to put in the dog bowl or water the potted lemon tree. We have recycle now so the bottles go there. There is no recycle at work, unfortunately.
    We’re eating most meals at home. We’ve had two close deaths in the family so we’ve spent a lot of money on gas and meals on the road. And, that’s okay. We still have a burial as soon as the family decides the date.
    I’m still quilting a baby quilt for my daughter. It’s about half done. They’ve decided on a name so I need to appliqué that on the top as soon as i’m done with the quilting. I still have til Sept., so there’s time. (She says with confidence.)
    I planted some seeds of cabbage, chard and kale. After just a few days they’ve sprouted! The trick, for me, is to choose cold weather crops. I have three tomatoe plants that a friend gave me that are doing okay. I have had to cover them the last few nights as it went from hot to cold.
    All clothes are washed in cold and hung to dry unless it’s raining. Which it has been. Since I have to wear a white shirt to work, I can’t always wait for a dry day. It’s slowly filling up the water barrel, though!
    That’s it for me. I enjoy reading what everyone writes even though i’ve been working too many hours to comment.

  21. I meant to say how lovely all your flowers are. How do you teach the younger children not to touch the deadly poisonous ones like delphiniums and monkshood? I read a horrible true story about a young boy who ran through a patch of wild delphinium on an island off the coast of Newfoundland. He was with friends who ran though the same meadow. Unfortunately, some of the sap got into an open scratch on his leg. He was dead within 3 hours… As much as I like delphiniums and monkshood, I have been replacing it. I always wear long sleeves, long pants and gloves around it. Ann

  22. May did not turn out to be the best month for us, and so far June hasn’t been too great either. My husband, who has been the healthiest person ever, has not been doing as well lately. I have noticed problems with his memory but in the past month or two these have increased. Also, today he is experiencing his second bout of extreme dizziness in two weeks. I started him on the pills the doctor gave us after the first time but they have not been very helpful so far. Between the 2 of us, we had 11 medical encounters in May, and I had to change my grocery shopping to a different day twice to accomodate everything. We have an appointment next week to have my husband evaluated by a neurologist for the memory problems and the dizziness. On the positive side–this has cost us very little out of pocket, since our medical insurance covers almost all costs. Medicare pays first, then my private insurance pays 80% of the rest and we pay the other 20%. It’s seldom over $50 and often under $20. It often takes 3-5 months to figure out what I do owe, so I can’t tell yet what this will cost. The prescriptions have not been expensive at all–in fact, one cost us twenty tree cents! I am considerably concerned however, that the memory problems and the dizziness—at least so far—-are two separate problems. And one of them looks a lot like some kind of dementia to me. I really am getting to the point where I just need an answer so I know what to expect in the future. We are supposed to go away for the weekend for a car club event–but we will NOT be having husband drive his 50 year old car, and I REFUSE to drive it, so he will get a choice of having me drive him in my Toyota and just taking his photos of his car, or staying at home. I’ll see how he feels tomorrow before we discuss that. He has another car that he is no longer interested in restoring, which is needed. I would like him to think about selling it although it is in pieces at the moment. I think it needs the engine rebuilt, and possibly the transmission also plus a lot of body work. It’s not worth a ton of money but I would like to get it out of the barn if he is not going to restore it. Someone who is younger and interested needs to be found, and a vintage Saab weekend is a good place to find such a person! Luckily my food stores have been kept up pretty well and there are no distinct shortages right now. I’ve just been picking up good specials as they present themselves, and keeping everything organized. Thinking of trying to hire someone to help with housework and/or gardening, as there is just not enough time in my day lately, and my husband is unable to help as much as he normally would. He can’t seem to remember where anything goes so I have to kind of keep my eyes on him to prevent things from getting too lost. On a happy note, he did notice that one of our favorite Craft/Art shows was this past weekend, and he wanted to go with me. We had a good time walking around although we spent very little–I bought a hand made glass pendant to wear on a chain, and we each had a glass of lemondade. Also, our best friends returned from their winter home in Arizona and we met them for dinner one night at a favorite restaurant. As we hadn’t been out much in a while, there was money in the budget for this under entertainment. The third couple, who sometimes go with us also, are having health problems as well, and it seems like the wife is going to need to go into nursing care very soon. Not at all happy about this, even though they are a bit older than we are. He wants to sell his house and get an apartment for one, which will be lonely for him. He will visit his wife but he won’t be spending 24 hours a day there. I feel bad for them, but he is beyond his capabilities with the care he is trying to do for her now. Not such a cheery time around here, but it’s spring, and the flowers are blooming!! And it’s cooler this week so we’re not into potato salad and carrot sticks, like we were last week! Trying to look on the bright side, because there IS always a bright side.

  23. Hi Frugal Friends,

    Well this was the first week at home with the kids off school. I saved on gas for my van. I feel like my food budget may have to go up with these kiddos always around though.

    Ate all meals at home.

    Found a few great deals at the grocery store. Trying a low spend month for June. We shall see how it goes

  24. Lilli, there are lots of Jiffy Lube coupons on line. If you can’t find one, ask at the counter and they often have one they will apply. However, I have not paid for a lube job in years because I do shops for http://www.conferoinc.com. They are legit and by doing a shop I get a free lube job plus payments ranging from $5 to $40, depending on how fast they need it done and so on. I also do other mystery shops, so I can attest to the fact that this company is legitimate. You pay for the service because the place is not supposed to know they are being evaluated, but you get reimbursed for that, plus whatever fee they agree on. We have a van and an old beater that we use in the summer for hauling soil and so on, and I can’t remember when I paid to have a lube job done on either one. We also use my sister’s car sometimes, so I have had them done on her car, too. It isn’t a lot of money, but every penny…

  25. Thanks Mabel, I will check this out. I had signed up for a mystery shop some time ago. It was legitimate, but we live in a rural area and by the time we could have driven to the opportunities, it just wouldn’t have been worth it. I will check back and see what is available in my young daughters area.

  26. I love nail polish. OPI brand is one of my faves. Here it is typically $9-$15 per bottle. Just happened to run in our local discount store. They had brand-new bottles for $1. I bought 31 bottles, shared some duplicate colors with my sister. I’ve read on some blogs that properly closed and stored this product can last 20-30 years. I don’t care what shades are fashionable. I simply like the colors that I like and look good with my skin tone.
    These bins at discount store sometimes go down to 25 cents, I’ll be on lookout and if they do load up to donate to the ladies who polish residents’ nails at local senior facilities.

  27. What a beautiful flower arrangement on your table, Brandy! I really love the look of the multiple canning jars filled with various flowers. I’m glad you were able to find a way to enjoy the music without spending a dime on going to a show and for treating an ear issue without having to see a Dr.

    Our frugal accomplishments for this week included:
    *Meals made at home included crockpot meatballs in gravy with mashed potatoes and mixed veggies, breaded stuffed chicken breasts with salad, hamburger helper with corn, breaded fish with potato wedges and mixed veggies, BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs with side salad (from my garden, see below), and waffles topped with fresh strawberries and bananas, maple syrup and whipped cream.
    *Used store loyalty points for $30 worth of free groceries. Also, after waiting for months, the sweet potato fries finally went on sale at Costco…so I bought 2 bags. Glad to finally have that off my stock up list!
    *Picked some rhubarb from the plants at work to bring home. There are several plants at work, all of them large and needing to be harvested. The rhubarb was washed, cut and frozen for later use.
    *Harvested spinach, baby romaine and baby Swiss chard from my garden. I used the greens mixed with feta cheese to make a lovely side salad to go with BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs one night.
    *Made deep fried apple fritters over the open fire/hearth at work this week. They were a huge hit with staff! Every time I make things like this, I realize that living on a strict budget doen’t mean you can’t have some very frugal treats once in a while. These really were not expensive to make, but taste divine!
    *Made soda bread in a traditional Dutch Oven (not the same as the modern Dutch oven pots) for the 1st time by myself, using hot coals from the open firepit. It turned out amzing! Very proud of myself for this accomplishment.
    *Received another free bag of popcorn from work when the food booth had a bunch of leftovers. Shared it with DD.
    *Hubby and I had a little date night on Wednesday. We checked out an auction, but didn’t find anything we wanted to wait around for. So we went out for dinner at a local restaurant, where we both ordered a panzerotti (each cost about $14). They were so huge, I could barely eat 1/3 of mine. Even hubby took home half of his, and he can really pack food away when he wants to. I ended up eating the leftovers for 3 lunches!
    *I bought DD and I a soft, comfy, long sleeve top each, plus a pair of inexpensive sunglasses. Used coupons for $20 off so only paid $28 OOP for everything. I will save my new top and sunglasses for our trip next April. DD can use her new top for school next September.
    *DD and I attended a free presentation on medieval combat through our local Autism Ontario chapter. The presentation was organized for the adult autism group but they extended an invite to teen 15yrs +. They talked about the armour and weapons they used, with demos and examples. At the end, they did a sword fight for us. DD lost interest and ended up sitting in the car for over an hour. I, on the other hand, was quite interested and stayed for the whole presentation. Talked to the presenters afterwards and may try to organize a group trip to their site with some of my co-workers this summer! He suggested we may be able to get a discounted group rate if I email him to make arrangements for tickets.

    Other stuff worth sharing:
    *On Friday, when I came home from work, DD was quite excited to tell me about her school day (usually I have to pry info out of her). Apparently they had a practice school lock down scheduled in the morning. The school is aware that changes in schedule and unexpected events can throw off DD, so they prepared her ahead and planned to go to an empty classroom for the drill. Everything went fine. Then after lunch, another alarm went off, but this time the announcement said “this is not a test”. DD and her 2 support staff scrambled to the tiny, walk-in closet sized room that is dedicated to DDs use only, and locked themselves in for a real legit school lockdown. Confused and a bit scared, the support staff tried texting to find out what was going on, all while they hid quietly in the room and trying to stay calm. Suddenly they heard footsteps coming down the hall with the distinct sound of keys rattling. The next thing they heard was someone opening their door. All of them nearly had a heart attack, thinking they were about to die…but were instantly relieved to see someone from the guidance office standing in the doorway. Good thing DD didn’t let out a scream, as that would have sent a wave of panic to other students in nearby classrooms! They were informed that gunshot type sounds, were heard on the school property, which resulted in the entire school being put into lockdown. Police were called to investigate. It turned out some kids had decided to let off some fireworks on school property, which, of course, sounds like gunfire. All ended well and everyone was fine. Afterwards her support staff just gave up on the idea of doing any type of school work with DD and they all watched a movie until it was time to go home. I think they all needed something to calm the nerves after the dramatic events of the day.
    *Found this on pinterest and wanted to share with everyone, in case someone is looking for something frugal to do in the summer. It is a lavender labrynth in Shelby, Michigan that is free to go through. Here is the website with the info: http://www.cherrypointmarket.net/

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments as I get time over the week. You all inspire me so much!

  28. Thanks, Brandy! You’re absolutely right, it’s better to save one’s swagbucks and redeem for a $25 gc as opposed to redeeming in $5 increments. I find for myself, that I’m more motivated to earn SB if know I can redeem it within a week, as opposed to waiting at least a month for it to accumulate. Normally I’m all about delayed gratification for better outcomes, but in this case, I let myself be a bit wasteful with SB because weekly rewards motivate me to earn more, and also because I know that at the end of a month, I’ll have between $20-25 worth of gc anyway (I currently fall into a somewhat desirable demographic for surveys). But in general, I agree with you, it’s wayyyy better value to redeem for $25 and save the equivalent of $3 in SB! When times are tight, $3 can go a long way.

  29. I’m sorry about your husband’s health issues, Marcia. If your doctor hasn’t already ruled it out, it might be worth checking to see if vertigo is what is causing the dizziness. It’s affected several older men I know, but there are treatments. In terms of dementia, early intervention is always best, and there are many coping strategies that can be put into place to aid memory. If your husband is diagnosed with dementia, be sure to ask for a referral to a support group; they generally have wonderful resources. Best of luck!

  30. Lilli, I’m always impressed by how you manage to do so much with limited funds! You really do think outside the box! Thanks for the reminder that SB can be redeemed for Bath and Bodyworks gc; I might start saving some for Christmas gifts for friends. By the way, have you ever thought of reselling some of the items (ebay or similar) that you find at the bargain centre? The Argan Oil products are a case in point — even if you only sold them for a $5 profit, that’s still $5 extra. Just an idea! I hope Sugar Cookie’s medical issues are getting better.

  31. I am looking for more ideas. For years, mine has struggled. This year it is growing in abundance! We have been putting it in water to drink, I used some in a salad recipe that I tried, and my daughter put some in brownies, but I am looking for more recipes to use it.

  32. Hello,

    Brandy, I love, love the flowers. So much beauty!

    This past week was the first full week my children have been off from school. I am always on the lookout for free, fun, activities for them to do. Here are some things I did to save and have fun this week.
    – This past week, I was able to get my daughter into a free summer tennis camp. It was an hour, through the parks and recreation center. She also received a free water bottle and Frisbee for attending.
    – My son (who has asthma) ended up with walking pneumonia this week. I tried all I could to keep that cost down. This involved, for us waiting longer at the on post clinic, rather than paying more out of pocket off post. I also got all his medications there so that I didn’t have to pay a co pay on all of them.
    – Dealing with the pneumonia and all took away some of my time for other activities that I had planned but he is doing better now. Praying for a complete recovery.
    – There were some good deals at Walgreens this week, that I was able to get yesterday. I found confectioners sugar boxes and brown sugar boxes on sale for $1.29. There is a coupon for $1.00 off each in the monthly coupon booklet. This was a great deal and I stocked up and bought 7 boxes.
    – I was able to take the kids to a free play at the local arts center.
    – I also signed both kids up at the library for the summer reading program. My daughter is very excited and checking off her list. My son likes to listen to audio books. I find a lot of them at our library. There are also many on You Tube that he listens to for free. He has listened to the Harry Potter Series over and over this way.
    – I have renewed my interest in finding mail freebies and online freebies. I have been getting many of them lately. I wrote about this on my blog if you are looking for current freebies. http://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/06/04/10-freebies-by-mail-download/ It is much nicer to receive a random freebie than a bill!
    – My middle school son is attending a 3D printing class this week at the local community college. This was not cheap or frugal. But, by being frugal in other areas, I am happy that he can attend and learn a fun, challenging skill that I cannot teach him at home. I always save cash up for summer expenses so that my children have enriching activities to attend. There was also a discount I was able to get on the classes that I put him in.
    – I used our zoo pass to meet up with several friends at the zoo. We had a nice time and it was already paid for. I have used it enough times now to pay back the fee that I paid. I have a group of friends that we have been doing this with and the children all enjoy it and the moms get a time to talk and hang out.
    – I watered my garden and continue to see growth. I haven’t harvested anything just yet. I fed my chickens and collected eggs. I cooked many meals at home.
    I think that is about it for now!
    Have a wonderful week!

  33. I don’t grow monkshood. The flowers in the photo are larkspur, not delphiniums (delphiniums, though a perennial, prefer cooler climates and are a [i]very[/i]short-lived annual here; I love delphiniums but they are a splurge), which are the same family and are also poisonous (seeds, leaves, and flowers). The children (even the little ones) know that they are poisonous. I tell them which plants are and which are not from a very young age.

    There are a lot of poisonous plants that are commonly grown here in yards, including oleanders. I grew up with oleanders and we knew to never touch them.

  34. Brandi, when the mint overflows, I use it as cut greenery, it adds a lovely scent to flowers that do not have a smell. I will also place bunches of it tied upside down in the shower also, I will do the same with eucalyptus… it will open up your nose if it’s stuffy. I also do the same with rosemary. I even design bridal bouquets with long rosemary branches weaved through them or encircling a bouquet.. adds support and a lovely smell and represents rememberance, so if a loved one has passed I always try to include a bit.

  35. Your flowers look beautiful!

    My husband and I had a big budget meeting this week and adjusted several areas. Hopefully it will work out!

    I got a job! At the moment it will only be 10 hours a fortnight but there are opportunities to increase these in the future. I have also enrolled for a study course so if I get accepted into that this should be a good balance.

    I submitted paperwork for a fuel reimbursement.

    All meals were made at home except for two dinners at my in-laws house. My husband took leftovers as work lunches and we’re still enjoying the chocolates we were given during our holiday. I repurposed some leftovers to make lunches for myself during the week.

    We resisted the urge to order pizza for several nights!

    I washed and vacuumed my old car to get a better trade-in value.

    I shopped my own wardrobe for the job interview and then caught the bus there to avoid parking fees.

    The lovely fruit & veg store owner gave me a discount on their last jar of honey and then rounded down the total amount of my bill. He would not listen to my protests. 😉

    We received a fuel discount of4cts/l thanks to our loyalty card.

    We signed up for a discounted gym membership, had the joining fees waived and will use their showers everytime we go there.

    We found five recycling bottles during our delivery round and also spotted two toddler ride-on toys at the curb. We came back with the car to pick these up, they’ll come in handy eventually and all they needed was a clean!

    We combined errands whenever possible and took our water bottles along.

    We washed four full loads of laundry and dried everything on racks. We washed two full loads of dishes and saved the warm-up water whenever hand-washing.

    I baked several things at once and used the residual heat to warm up the kitchen.

    My SIL gave us lemons, oranges and red onions.

    The heater was on for 25.5 hours this week – a slight improvement but we can do better!

    Wishing everyone a lovely week!

  36. I put a sprig in a mug and add boiling water. In about 3 mins you have delicious mint tea. Mint chopped in vinegar with a little sugar added makes great mint sauce to have with meat.

  37. Brandy,

    Excerpts from the New World Symphony were such fun to play in high school band!

    Here is what we did to save money last week:
    * I combined two errands that were both farther from home into one trip.
    * We left the A/C off as much as possible and used a fan instead.
    * We took advantage of sales to purchase multiples of what we use daily anyway.
    * We paid bills online to get them paid faster and to save postage.
    * I had friends over for breakfast, and all I needed to purchase was eggs (our digestive systems are not tolerant to eggs).
    * I prepared clients’ cards and gifts to deliver them when I would see them anyway (and saved postage).
    * I promoted a referral partner through my blog, which cost me just my time.
    * I continued to line dry our laundry.
    * I asked for the networking group to which I belong to pay for postage for cards I would be sending on behalf of the group.
    * I cooked a chicken in the oven at a low temperature overnight to avoid heating up the house as much as possible.
    * I learned a new way to cook my husband’s breakfast that will save me time in the morning and will save electricity, using the thermal cooker you recommended a few years ago, Brandy. Thank you!

  38. One possibility for both the memory lapses and the dizziness could be a TIA or mini-stroke. Next time he has an episode, ask him to smile and speak. Also get him to squeeze your fingers. If there is weakness or a facial droop, this is it for sure and he needs a referral to a neurologist. Sometimes, it can be caused by side effects of medication so discuss what he is taking with the doctor to see if this might be the cause. Best of luck to you both.

  39. Interesting that delphiniums are an annual in your area. I grew up gardening in flowerbeds where there was delphinium and monkshood. I didn’t always wear gloves. It was only after reading the several stories about fatalities of people who just brushed against them that I grew worried. I had no idea that they were poisonous even if not eaten. The three closely related plants, delphinium, monkshood, larkspur, are a concern now for me. I do not have my single mother gardener weed the beds where they are found because she will not wear gloves and always wears only shorts. There are other poisonous plants in my garden such as native fairy bells, and lilies of the valley. I don’t worry about them as much as delphinium, monkshood and larkspur. Oleanders do not grow here but I have been in places where they do grow and I did not know you couldn’t touch them…

    Glad to hear that you’re raising your children to be aware and mindful. I assumed no less but wanted to bring the topic up for others. Ann

  40. I was kind of non-frugal to take my teenage daughter out for summer clothes shopping. She was in need of that stuff. I took her to New Yorker store. She found shorts and 2 t-shirts and I was happy to buy them because those were modest!

  41. Last year I dried some of my mint and have used it for hot tea. I find it very refreshing. I also like to combine it with chamomile before bedtime.

  42. Margaret@Approaching Food mentions vertigo. I myself had vestibulitis so badly that the doctors thought I’d had a stroke. I know it is not easy not to worry about this. You do need to pursue this until an answer is found. And I am glad that you have ample medical insurance. If your husband has been healthy up to this point and the forgetfulness is of sudden onset, then it is unlikely (not totally impossible) it is Alzheimer’s. There is, however, more than one type of dementia. So I will keep my fingers crossed and prayers for you both. I myself had walking pneumonia for about a year, was dizzy, was forgetful (I kept thinking I’d had a stroke), etc. (Breaking my arm on the way to get a chest xray to see if I had pneumonia was a blessing in disguise because if I’d had to wait for results, I probably would have died in the meantime. Instead antibiotics were started that day.) I also have a folate deficiency from time to time and it affects my memory. Seniors are more likely to have a folate deficiency and it can lead to a reversible dementia. I’d make sure his nutritional status like B12 levels and folate levels are tested, even if you eat lots of veggies etc. So there are many different causes for forgetfulness. It is good he is going to see a neurologist soon. I think it is a great idea for you to hire some housekeeping help and some gardening help. You need to look after yourself and such help would be a good start. You’ll be in my prayers. Ann

  43. Mint makes a wonderful “garden” tea. Just prepare leaves as for regular tea. It’s quite a refreshing drink.

  44. 1. We found a huge box of Duplos for $3 at the thrift store
    2. Kroger had nice deals on cheese (32oz for $5), laundry detergent (1.99), and salad dressing ($1.49, but I got 2 for $.99 with a coupon)
    3. We found lots of great books for just $.50 each at our library’s book sale
    4. My daughter had a giftcard to use at Books a million and was delighted to find a huge selection of YA books in the bargain area, which stretched the card even more.
    5. I have been slaving away on writing out study guides and assignment sheets for homeschool this upcoming year. I try to spend less than $100 on curriculum each year, so that means a lot of the planning falls on my shoulders…but I kinda like it:)

  45. Thanks for the link to the lavender labryinth. How lovely. Glad all ended well at DD’s school.

  46. We are in the last 2 months of working on the house we bought (according to the contractor who said 4 wks.) Both of us are driving so the pup isn’t caged 12 hrs a day. Using fuel cards and Gas Buddy to save us money in that area, make sure we take FULL loads with us to store in barn until we can move completely. Head contractor noted we didn’t have towel bars on site and offered to pick them up for the kitchen and 2 baths for $90 total. I went out the barn and brought it the pack of Command hooks I had bought on sale with a coupon (and rebate LOL). Trying telling me they wouldn’t work in the bathroom and I showed him the ones they make for bathrooms let alone we have used the same one for 8 yrs here in the bathroom. He called his wife and told her he was picking up some of these as the kids keep striping out the screws of the towel holder in their bathroom.

    Bought groceries when both frigs didn’t have a single produce between them. Saved 25 % plus got rebates back of another 1%. Except for milk and ice cream I shouldn’t have to go back for the month.

    We only have strawberries (3 ft by 80 ft patch )at the other house that ran us over so I asked the neighbor if she would like to pick them . She canned pie filling and jam and gave us 12 pints in exchange for the “gift”. Said she did 24 qrts of each for her own family (family of 9). I told her yesterday she needs to come pick again. I have rhubarb here, canned 12 pints. Garlic scapes are coming on so will have those to add to meals this week. When we are over to the other house we split a meal from the local general store. Yesterday we have chicken noodles , mashed potatoes and a roll for $5.99. I still brought some of it home.

    Hubby bought a diesel generator with portable welder on small trailer so when we move he can go into welding for the Amish. He got it for 1/4th of the going price at an on line auction. He went to look at it and it was owned by the auctioneer that had used it as a back up generator for his house. Had noted on the generator that he had used it 3 times in the past 8 yrs and never used the welder. Gave Hubby an additional 10 % off when he told him why he was buying it.

    I borrowed my son’s leaf blower to clean out the over head loft in the barn. No sense buying one to clean the barn one time and I doubt if I will need to do it again since we won’t be storing hay in it.

    I love your flowers, Brandy. I love how you add them to your home to bring the cheeriness of them in.
    Blessed Be

  47. Great to know about the garlic oil. I had chronic ear infections as a kid and my son did too. Went to an ENT specialists 4 years ago and she recommend a mixture of rubbing alcohol and vinegar put in a dropper. At first pains I put in 2 drops twice a day. I haven’t had an ear infection since. She also recommend that I do it after swimming since swimmers ear was always a problem for me. I love when doctors give a natural solution instead of pushing antibiotics. Just wish I had known about the solution sooner.

    All of my gardens are in. I even made a strawberry patch with stuff I had. $6 for the plants was all it cost me. My daughter and I cleaned out my kitchen pantry. It looks so good. I smile every time I look in. Now I am working on my storage. I have a box of items that are recently expired or about to expired. I changed around dinner last night and used 3 items. For lunch I used 1 item. Now I know what has to be used soon. It will take me all week because I am pulling apart shelves and scrubbing the floors. I can only do a little at a time since I have to let everything dry and then put it back before moving onto the next rack. It will be so nice when i am done. The rest of my week is here : https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/06/my-frugal-list-week-of-may-27-2018.html

  48. I love your flowers. Right now I have hydrangeas blooming but nothing else. I’ve brought some inside to enjoy.

    My husband and I went on vacation. Over all it was fairly cheap because majority of our activities were free but food was so expensive. I was not anticipating spending as much as we did. Now that we’re back we’re going to eat what we can from the pantry/freezer.

    My garden is starting off very slow this year. I ripped out my peas and planted some more cucumbers. I’ve picked a few raspberries and green beans but everything else is weeks away from being ready. The birds got some of my blueberries before I could. I have 1 plant that is loaded with unripe ones so I’m keeping an eye on it.

    Our ac unit stopped working last night. I slept with the windows open. The cooler morning weather is a blessing until it gets fixed. Last year we had a similar problem so I’m hoping it is an easy fix.

    I checked out books and a dvd from the library.

    I will have to go to the grocery but I’m waiting for the ads to come out before I go. I keep buying small purchases and waiting another week to make a huge run. So far it has worked and we haven’t starved!

  49. You could make some mint jelly, add it to smoothies, make mint tea (or mint iced tea) or add it to lemonade, or use it to make a salad dressing. I also found a recipe to make candied mint on Pinterest (link: https://erecipe.com/recipe/candied-mint/). There are lots of other ideas on Pinterest too. I typed in “fresh mint recipes” for my search words and tons of interesting ideas came up!

  50. Thank you, Brandy, for sharing about Rummykub game. We haven’t played it since our children grew up. We now have it spread out on a card table, ready to play at any time. Great game to maintain brain cells, as it consists of strategy to constantly regroup the tiles to win. I put a little black dot on the black numbered tiles, since we couldn’t distinguish black from dark blue. We refreshed our memories on rules via You Tube.

    i am excited to share a new to me idea of a neat sewing project our niece shared recently. It is a microwaveable pot holder. We went to JoAnns and purchased 100 percent cotton products: flannel fabric and thread (not polyester) with coupon from website. Microwaveable batting was bought on sale. With one yard of each, we are able to make 9 pot holders. This unique and very useful holder consists of darts sewn on 4 sides to ctrate a nestle for a bowl. Hold on to 2 opposite corner as handles, and voila, no more burnt fingers or spills!. We even eat from the hot bowl while still nestled, to keep table from staining from the heat. Just toss in washer when soiled. You Tube has great tutorials on this. A multi sized set makes a great wedding, hostess, going away to college, or any occasion gift for just a couple of dollars or less if you use flannel or cotton remnants. An experienced sewer can whip one up in mere minutes.

    I can’t thank busy Brandy enough for this space to share and learn from each other! Happy frugal June, everyone!

  51. Love the flowers, Brandy!

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Since Hubby was in Switzerland all week, I ate up all of the leftovers that I had been freezing in single size servings. This helped with my goal of eating up what we have instead of spending more money on groceries. Did get some good deals on produce though. Got 10 ears of corn for $1, peaches for 77c/lb, grapes for 77c/lb., honeydew melon 3#/$1, and strawberries for 75c/lb.
    • Practiced learning Italian from a set of cd’s I had bought 15 years ago, but never used. We are saving to go to Italy in the Fall, so I would like to learn some basics of the language. Have also been watching some free travelogues on Amazon Prime and Netflix to give me the incentive to save.
    • Worked 10 ½ contract hours.
    • Kept the air conditioning as warm as I could stand and used ceiling fans.
    • Went to Trivia League twice this week and didn’t spend anything either time, just drank club soda, which they do not charge for. Also won $27.

    Have a wonderful, frugal week everyone!

  52. I just love your flower arrangement – such a variety – and what beautiful flowers!

    My one non-frugal activity was meeting two friends for a couple of glasses of wine this week, however I hadn’t seen them in about 6 months and we’d agreed ahead of time that we weren’t eating so it was a lovely evening.

    Besides that I ate all meals at home using up all produce on hand and still working my way through the freezer. I made a list of exactly what I needed in produce & dairy, stuck to it and paid for it with Loyalty Points. Got as many errands out of the way as possible before my monthly transit pass expired and then stayed at home for two days (Friday & Saturday) doing chores & paperwork and not spending funds on travel. I don’t have as much in my calendar for June so I won’t purchase a pass this time. I have money left on two Presto Cards that I use (I keep one on hand for visitors) so I just added a few dollars to each which should get me through at least the first half of the month.
    Washed full loads of laundry and dried all but towels on my laundry rack.
    Washed zip-lic bags to reuse and wrapped a birthday gift with supplies already on hand.
    Worked another few hours at the church job that I have and completed more online surveys.
    June will be a tight month financially so I have plans to do a lot of walking and read a lot (library plus books I have on hand) and instead of having lunch out a lot I will ask friends if we can stick to coffee (helps my diet as well) so I can have a small treat but stay within budget.

  53. Libby, I am glad you had a good trip, but yes, that was a very hot spell here. We even reached 91 (a record) one day which for us is not normal. We seldom get over 90 even in July or August, though the humidity makes it feel higher.

  54. Just a few quick questions for all of you gardeners:

    Hubs just harvested a 5.5 pound turnip (yes, it’s huge!). Is it still edible? Can I cook, puree, and then freeze it (and then add the puree to soups)? Any other ideas?

    He also harvested several smaller turnips (and I’ve found some recipes to try, since I’ve never cooked turnips before), but I don’t know where to begin with the monster. :p

  55. Marcia : The following condition may be worth checking out in reference to your husband’s issues. My family member knew a gentleman who suffered with what was thought to be dementia for many months before he was correctly diagnosed. His situation completely reversed with fairly simple intervention. Normal pressure hydrocephalus is a brain disorder in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain’s ventricle, causing thinking and reasoning problems, difficulty walking and loss of bladder control.

  56. Hi Mandy,
    How do the frozen green onions turn out when you defrost and use them? I have never tried freezing them, have always dehydrated mine. Can you use the frozen like fresh or do you just put them in things you are cooking? Thanks!

  57. Hi Roberta,

    WOW! The turnip sounds like quite the vegetable! The outside may be tough at that size, so you may want to peel it but it should be edible.

    We love roasted turnips at our house – slice or cut into “fries” and toss with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt to taste and roast for about 30 minutes at about 400F. Delicious! If we don’t have enough for a whole side, we toss with similarly cut carrots, potatoes, onion, kohlrabi and/or sweet potatoes or yams and then roast. Also delicious! You can also add other seasoning, if you wish.

    Hope that’s helpful,

  58. We have had a busy last two weeks. We did all the usual of using up leftovers, either for another meal or in our lunches the next day, composted, recycled, used coupons, hung laundry to dry. We did use our air conditioner for the Memorial Day weekend as we had very hot and humid for here temperatures. We ran 88-91F with about high humidity as we had on and off rain showers. Then we went back to normal in the 60’s. We have a lot of sun, a lot of rain. The gardens really exploded with the high heat so I guess that was one advantage. Otherwise we are still a bit behind here due to our 2 April snow storms of 30+ inches.

    From the garden we have had lettuces, radishes, carrot thinnings, rhubarb and asparagus. Peas will be coming along soon. My oldest daughter told me that the strawberries will probably be about 1-2 weeks behind, so we may be picking very end of June. We have sold much rhubarb and asparagus at the farm stand.

    Youngest daughter has moved back home after her semester teaching away. She returned with a pet rabbit. The family she was living with had one and they gave her one as a going away present. It is mature and well trained as to litter box etc. She is gathering materials so she and her dad can build an outdoor hutch and run. She received many presents from her school children and their families…jams, and household items like 2 pretty embroidered hand towels and a carved wooden bowl, some books. They would like her to return next year for the whole year. She was filling in for a teacher who had married. She did like it there and she was closer to her middle sister and they were able to get together weekly.

    We did not shop last week at all. Did most of the shopping in preparation for last weekend. Then we had the double birthday party on Monday for my husband Levi and his brother Paul. Paul will live with us now through Labor Day weekend. We put all his favorite horse decorations back up in the guest bedroom and his horse sheets and blankets. We had about 35 people, including their sister Annie who had been estranged from the family but now lives in the town just north of us. She has been attending most family gatherings now. Also her son Conner and daughter Emily had driven up to spend the weekend with her so they attended also. The cousins are getting acquainted after basically being strangers for 20+ years. When it was raining or just too hot we all stayed inside in the cool air or in the garage with fans on.

    It was also the anniversary for oldest son and his wife. They had a lunch and cake at their house after church Sunday. They have an above ground pool and the water felt nice in the heat. The ladies and little children all swam while the men were grilling. The men swam after lunch while we cleaned up. Andy and Joy will take a little trip once her school (public) is out for summer. Then this last weekend was our anniversary, the 2nd anniversary for husband’s sister Susie and her husband Bernie. It was also the 1st birthday of their son Henry. We’ll take a little trip mid month up north for our celebration.

    We did much cooking and some baking. My husband loves to grill, and does year round, even in the snow. But when the weather is great he would grill every night. He finds it relaxing and fulfilling, especially when cooking up the vegetables we have grown and the fish he has caught. (over the last 2 weeks…) I baked corn bread, white bread x 2 so 4 loaves, banana cranberry nut bread, rhubarb struesel muffins, rhubarb custard pie, peach-raspberry kuchen using fruit we had frozen. For our anniversary I remake our wedding cake every year. I didn’t make the original but I have the recipe and I make it cut down to a smaller size of course. It is a white cake with lemon curd filling and lemon frosting. It is decorated with blueberries and candied lemon peel. Other things I made were cold (American) potato salad, coleslaw, tuna macaroni salad, 4 bean salad using last years canned wax and green beans. Stewed 6 chickens (old layers) and put some of the meat in the freezer, some used for chicken salad sandwich filling and the rest into two 9×13 pans of chicken stuffing (casserole) that were used at husband’s and brother’s birthday party. Their request. It’s a family favorite of theirs. For their dessert they chose strawberry shortcake so I made biscuits and angel food cake as folks like both. Strawberries were on sale 2 boxes for 5.00 so I sliced those and added to some frozen berries I pureed and we had plenty and topped with vanilla ice cream. We had number candles so for 52 I put the 5 into one serving and the 2 into the other and they squeezed together for their picture.

    We’ve made a little playground area for the children at the side of the house off the patio. It’s between our house and daughter’s house. Olivia and Eliana moved the Little Tykes jungle gym out there and and the playhouse and the little picnic table. The wading pool will go there too. They set a nice ring of lawn chairs around too so we can sit out there for Dora or Henry or Anna Joy to play outside. I had luck at a rummage sale finding the ride on toy I wanted. I found both a scooter and a rocking horse, both of molded plastic, both 5.00 each. Scrubbed every inch of them first. With baby swing in the tree we are set for summer fun. We do still have in the garage rafters one of those old covered turtle sandboxes that we have not got down yet. We’ll see about that as not sure where to put it.

  59. Margie, I hope you see this in time! Here is a link to sign up to test out a boardgame this week in Toronto (near Broadview station). In exchange for a hour of playing the game and then 1/2 hr filling out a survey, you’ll get a giftcard to Amazon or the LCBO. Something to stretch the budget! https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/help-us-playtest-our-new-boardgame-get-a-25-amazon-gift-card-tickets-46540981328 I’m working otherwise I’d sign up, but two of my colleagues already signed up. Sounds fun!

  60. Mint can be used in vinegar for cleaning spray– look online for recipes.
    With so much extra, you could probably put some sprigs into cleaning products you have purchased as well!
    Dry it and sprinkle it and baking soda on the carpet before vacuuming.
    Invite the small children in your neighborhood to come and pick it/pull it up. Might make more mess, might get rid of some!

  61. Friends , please help. I am buying diapers for my son’s college roommate. His lady friend is expecting in December. ( and yes, I am shaking my head but at this point , that’s irrelevant. We will be helping the baby. This young man’s family has been extremely generous to my son over the years) I will be using 100.00 of Swagbucks to buy 5 cases of Luvs at Amazon. My youngest would have been 9 this year so it has been a while since I bought diapers. I have one case already of Luvs size 1 ( 252 count) . I don’t remember mine being in size 1’s for more than a month. Size 2 was maybe 1 month too. Size 3 , maybe two months. I am pretty sure by around 6 to 7 months they were in size 4 and stayed there for a long time. I need to know what sizes to make these next 5 boxes. They all contain about 200 diapers each. The situation is not good for this young lady and I do not expect that it will improve for her. I appreciate any advice you might have.

  62. WOOHOOO!!!!! You made it over 25% (almost to 26%!) 🙂 I have been so impressed with your saving and that you keep your eye on the big picture – those small amounts have REALLY added up for you both!

  63. Still sticking to the low spend plan! I admire your no spend week, Brandy.

    In the past 4 days we’ve had record breaking heat, followed by chilly weather with rain and now it’s down right cold. Trying to avoid heading too much for too long as we finally have the electric bill back down to more normal amount.

    Found a few more cents on the ground recently, picked up 4 boxes of cereal for 57 cents each (a rare purchase), did my nails, exercised more and ate less, skipped doing some laundry till I had full loads, and planted some Regusa Rosa plants given to me. I accepted 2 shirts, 2 Bananas and a litre of Seltzer from my sister.

    The best frugal news of the week is that I had a flat tire at work and was able to borrow a car to get one of the second set of tires that the Jeep came with. I called AAA and it was changed out for free. Having AAA has been such a blessing for us. It is especially useful for my daughter and I to keep safe.

    I travel back across country soon and would need an expensive one way ticket (driving back to school with my son at the end of the summer). We have some things to get back home now that we have a place, so I rented a SUV…for half the cost! The cost, including gas, will only be a little over the cost of a plane ticket. What a great find!

    It’s still a struggle, but we are staying the course. So blessed!

  64. Thank you Melissa V for your encouragement we are really excited too 🙂 to be getting closer to our house target before we take out a bank loan for the remainder.

    We are hoping we will be where we want to be by about October/ November next year with all going well and to plan.


  65. still having high temperatures in the Netherlands, that usely leads to heavy showers with lost of rain, hail, gusts and thunderstorms at the end of warm days. So far no real damage to the vegetable garden.
    We eat strawberries from the garden and I cut Basil from the garden. I accepted left over ham and cheese buns after working at an event in the townhouse and also after volunteer work at the sportscanteen.
    Used an app to get some free or half price groceries.
    A college is throwing empty deposit money bottles (?) in the bin for some time now, I take them out and bring them to the supermarket to cash the money.
    How easy-going some people are…its just lazyness.
    Greetings Tanja

  66. Lilli, I took custody of my grandson last year when he was 3 months old. He is an average sized baby. He wasn’t in size 1 or 2 very long. He been in size 3 for about 8 months now and I expect him to stay in size 3 for a few more months. He is on WIC which really helped with formula which is very expensive these days. I buy all his clothes at garage sales or thrift shops. My daughter got WIC and food stamps while she was pregnant so this young lady should check into that. Good nutrition is imperative for a pregnant lady. You’re a good person to help her out.

  67. I drove three hours to the northern part of the state and, along, with my cousin, went to Decoration Day, at the “other” family grave yard, and decorated our grandparent’s graves. I did go out to eat with my cousins at the restaurant we always go to ($13), and also bought a bbq sandwich on the way home at my friend’s restaurant ($8). These are planned expenses I do every year. It was good to see the cousins. On the way home, I also stopped at Natural Bridge, which is a private park, ($3.50) and the Sipsey River in the Bankhead National Forest (another $3.00). I then drove home. The next day, I went to Talladega National Forest and swam at the lake there ($3.00), and then the next day, I went to Miller’s Ferry Campground and swam there ($2.00), which is an Army Core of Engineer’s park. I enjoyed all of them! I did not buy an annual pass because I usually swim at state parks. Anyway, I had fun, and I spent the night each night in my own bed!

  68. Yesterday, I met the neighborhood kids entrepreneurs plus! My boulevard always grows fast, there is a fine of $150 or more if the grass is higher than 6 or 8 inches. The kids came by and we settled on a fee of $10 for the boulevard alone. Since the rest of the yard is shay, the grass doesn’t grow as fast but they threw in a couple of other small areas for an extra $5. Mowing the whole lawn will be $25.00. The 3 entrepreneurs were keen to offer other service such as splitting firewood (my emergency supply), fixing my fence (a minor repair) and finishing or helping to finish the dry stream rock garden. All of these things, especially the lawn, have been weighing heavily on me. I have paid $40-50 to mow the entire lawn each time so I am saving money while hiring our keen and eager neighborhood kids who seem very safety conscious. Tomorrow I will take handibus both ways to the farmers’ market to pick up fresh asparagus. it will cost me $6 in bus tickets as opposed to $60 round trip by cab. I think none of my friends are available to go.

  69. I cooked a roast in the pressure cooker and got two evening meals for us both plus three lunches for me out of it. For the cooking liquid in the pressure cooker, I used broth saved from the last time I cooked a roast. I freeze the leftover broths/meat juices from the cooking pans these days and use them again for gravy or cooking liquid. They have a lot of flavor from the first cooking’s seasonings.
    We had a hidden worm chewing on our 3 container tomato plants’ fruits. I had a dab of Bt left in a bottle from last year, so I mixed it according to directions for a quart sprayer and sprayed the plants. No more worm holes, so the Bt was still good.
    I batched errands and stayed home as much as possible over the weekend.
    My entire work outfit today, including shoes but excluding undergarments, is thrifted, as it often is.
    I’ve been picking blackberries as they ripen from our lone thornless bush. I’m keeping an eye on the wild blackberries, to see if there will be any to pick. We used to have a lot more around our area, but they dislike deep shade, and the woods on either side of us have grown up a great deal.
    I’m almost out of honey. I’ve been buying raw honey from a fellow on the other side of town, but I just saw a sign for raw honey much closer to the house. I will check out their prices.

  70. Glenda, I mentioned on the last post when someone else asked about mint to google “meadow tea” and you will find recipes there ( a variety) from Amish and Mennonite sources.

  71. Melonie, you are quite the reader! I only saw 2 books I recognized though and have read, the CAROLINE book by Miller and the BROKE WITH TWO GOATS by McGaha. A YEAR WITHOUT A GROCERY STORE sounds interesting.

  72. Margie, would your friends meet for a nice picnic lunch somewhere? You can make an inexpensive lunch at home and bring it to a park to enjoy some lovely weather. Might be a nice frugal way to enjoy time together with friends that you can’t easily do in the winter months!

  73. Hi Brandy,
    I love your flowers on the table- they look awesome.
    I took inspiration from you and made a flower arrangement for my entry way. I used roses, peonies and lambs ear from my yard. Every time I walk by the flowers, I think of you and all the wonderful people that contribute to this blog. (Makes me smile)

    I was able to purchase a very large sturdy wicker basket at the thrift store for $2- it had a half price tag. I use these as planters and grow flowers and veggies. I fill the bottom half of the basket with styrofoam cups from the dollar store so it isn’t so heavy to lift or move around if needed. Even in our rainy Pacific Northwest, these baskets last me several years. They are high enough to keep out the rabbits that like to eat my veggies.

    We are going on vacation next week to Legoland in Carlsbad, California with our kids and grandson. My daughter researched and found the cheapest transportation to/from airport/ hotel for us which saved a lot of money. We are only bringing carry on bags so we don’t have to pay to check any luggage (saving more money). With all our cost saving measures, this vacation is being very frugal and not costing anymore than a similar vacation we took almost 20 years ago!! We are hoping this will be a memory making time for our family and especially our grandson. We live frugally and are so happy we could make this special trip happen. This will be our first vacation in about 10 years and we are only going to be gone 4 days but we are looking forward to it. As a bonus, we will get to spend one evening sharing a meal with my husband’s brother and his wife that live in San Diego.

    Also wanted to mention, I picked up a new tank top for myself and my daughter for $1 each new at WalMart for the trip. I picked up a couple other tops for myself and a new shirt for grandson at thrift store for about $6. I purchased a dot to dot coloring book for grandson and an adult coloring book for myself with some new markers for the plane ride. Grandson is so excited about my coloring book- he thinks it is really neat that Grammy will be coloring with him. The coloring supplies were purchased at the Dollar Store. He already asked if he could color one of the pages in my book if he lets me color one of the pages in his book.

  74. To continue. The men were talking at dinner last night and they are going to look into making a non grass surface for this play area. They don’t want to have to move and mow around the “playground” so they want to remove the grass and either put down chips or some sort of other surface. I guess there is pea gravel or you can get rubber tiles. They can figure it out and make it work. It will be permanent…no one is moving and there will just be more and more children as time goes on.

    I just started a book that was recommended, barely into it…SOURDOUGH by Robin Sloan. It sounds like a mix of baking bread and fantasy. Not quite sure. It was written by the author of MR PENUMBRA’S 24 HOUR BOOKSTORE which I have not read. Our school is out so I am off work in June though I still go in, but on my schedule. I would like to get a number of books read. Olivia is taking care of Dora and 2 month old twins Daniel and Miriam during the day. So I just have brother in law Paul here and I have a number of little projects he can help me with. He does not read but he enjoys audio books so I checked him out several from the public library.

  75. Thanks for the link Margaret – it would have been fun as I love board games. Unfortunately the only time listed is tomorrow night at 6pm and as I’m working at a polling station from 8am to 10pm I won’t be able to make it. I’m trying to keep my eyes open for things like this so thank you for the heads up.

  76. We actually did do this a couple of times last summer and it was fun so definitely on the list for this year as well. 🙂

  77. Hey all! Brandy- What do you do with the mint you harvest? I have mint plant that is going wild and I really don’t want to waste any of it. Here’s my list for the week- not bad since last week was so bad with so much money going out on car (s) repair:
    – Got Holiday pay on Monday plus the day off to spend with family.
    -Sold a couple pieces of clothing on ThreadUp. Waiting for more to sell. I sent off for the free bag, which was quite huge, and the prices for resell aren’t that bad.
    -There was some bread from a local bakery on the “free” table at work and I took 3 loaves, (whole wheat & oatmeal, sourdough and Texas toast). Made a batch of French toast with the Texas toast, sandwiches with the sour dough and put the whole wheat and oatmeal in the freezer for later use.
    -Last Thursday was my last day to cook for the Reality Center by my choice. It seems to be the only day I get to myself. I have been doing it for over 10 years. Before I left, they gave me a hooded sweat jacket with their logo on it and the kids made me a stack of nice cards and well wishes. My son still goes there on Thursday’s and that’s an added bonus to my day. —
    – Helped clean out the freezer at the center and brought home 1 1/2 qt size bag of blueberries, loads of cheese, 1 qt size bag of cooked dark kidney beans, a bag of corn, a gallon bag full of assorted chopped peppers and2 bags of spinach. I wish I could of brought home more but my freezer is already slammed full.
    -Separated some cucumber plants to other bins for more crop-gave a couple to in-laws for their garden.
    -Went thru barn and found more containers to use in garden.
    -Cut the watermelon from a couple of weeks ago and made ice cubes. Made a lot!!
    -Hubby sold a computer and other technology stuff=help pay for all of the car(s) problems of last week.
    -Another expense but we tried to save on it= a couple of big trees fell during the past weeks of storms. We had to hire someone to come cut them apart and haul off -they were huge! (the wood was not the kind to keep for the wood bin). We cleaned up the rest of the debris to save on the bill.
    -The biggest grocery find was using a loyalty store coupon for $2 and another $2 coupon sent to my phone on Memorial Day to use on fresh meat. I bought 2 very large bone-in chicken breasts and got them FREE. Will use the bones to make broth for chicken & dumplings for DS.
    I hope everyone has a blessed week! I will be out in the pool…(backyard).

  78. That should say “the rest of the yard is shady”, I had a great but quick trip to the farmers’ market. The saleslady pointed out I could save a few $ by buying huge bag of asparagus seconds but I will do it next time since I want to freeze it but didn’t have room in my freezer quite yet. It is a wonderful year for asparagus and the lady said it’ll be available until the end of June. I was so happy to have a low cost way for me to get to the market independently of others. I only have my handibus pass while my arm is still broken. It is so liberating and economical!

  79. I love that your family is getting so many great things as your sister-in-law downsizes! We don’t get a lot of things from relatives anymore, everyone’s pretty much settled in. Would love to though!
    Last week’s frugal accomplishments:
    -Ordered a few items for my mother-in-law online and will get some Swagbucks posted to my account later.
    -Harvested basil from the little plant my husband got at a work function. It hasn’t died yet! I am hopeful, have never kept a plant alive this long.
    -Opened a new box of fabric softener sheets, transferred them to the old box, and flattened and cut open the new box and put it in the linen closet. Not sure where I got this tip from, but it scents the towels a little bit. Once it seems to be out of scent, I put it in the recycle bin. I also do this with the boxes that soap bars come in.
    -Watered down my face wash bottle to use up the bits in the end. Actually combined the last bits of three bottles into one.
    -Have been using a scrub sponge I got as an In-Home Use Test thru Swagbucks. Will switch to another one after I answer the first survey they send me. Not sure how many SBs I’m going to be earning, but hey, any is great, plus two free sponges!
    -Read 3 library books.
    -Took a battery operated “fabric pill shaver” to the pilling on the fitted sheet on the bed. It’s a cheap sheet, and I really need a new one, but this’ll do until I can find one that I like.
    -FINALLY earned enough points on Dailybreak to earn a $10 Target gift card. It’s been years, I think, that I’ve been working on it, a little each day. At least it’s an interesting diversion…I feel like I’m up on pop culture stuff I wouldn’t always see. And I enjoy the Memory Match game.
    -I’m most proud of myself for following my meal plan for the week. One day last week I was feeling less than my best and had a bunch reasons in my head to not cook the dinner I planned and have my husband bring home takeaway. But I talked myself out of it, as we had plenty of food, and it wasn’t even that much work.
    Being mindful of what we’re doing to keep expenses isn’t always easy, and I’m pretty lazy about writing stuff down and posting it here, but hey, I’ve done it two weeks in a row now. Thanks to all who’ve read.

  80. Ellie’s friend from Canada,, are you talking about Edgar’s asparagus? I am hoping that it is available now.

  81. You’re welcome! You could also try signing up with different research/focus group outfits. Metroline Research operates out of Toronto, and you can sign up online. I’m usually not available as I work during most time slots, but whenever I do go, it’s extremely well-paid (min. $75/hr, max $200/session). It’s hard to qualify, but worth it when you do!

  82. Same. I tried to freeze some in a plastic water bottle, which I read about somewhere online. The water bottle was supposed to keep the bits separate so they could freeze better, but it was a bust for me.

  83. It is so good that you were able to use the pass and be independent once again – friends are wonderful and I do appreciate offers of help at times but it is much better to feel that you can still be independent. Were you able to carry much with your arm still healing? I’ve used a bundle buggy for years and even though friends laughed when I bought it – it has made shopping so much easier at times!
    I too have been eating a lot of asparagus lately – love it lightly grilled with mushrooms! I am going to pick up another couple of bunches today as I’m off to do a bit of shopping. I need to get in some walking after sitting at a desk for 14 hours yesterday – worked at a polling station for yesterday’s election here in Toronto.

  84. Hi Margaret,
    I also lack an instagram account (not a fan of the Facebook company), but I’m enjoying the community you mentioned in your post- thanks for sharing! Your Fire and Ice salad looks great!

  85. JJ. Yes and it is really good! She said they have lots and sure enough they did! Delicious. I think it might have been on sale as it was $5.98 per bunch. Enjoy

  86. Eating at home. Using library. Picking cucumber, basil and asparagus. turning off lights unless directly over us and we cannot utilize the sunlight through the window. Listening to Pandora for free music. Entertaining ourselves with the internet. Learning new recipes on the internet. Not spending money outside of groceries and a few things to get house done. Finally getting ahead of bills. Free exercise cleaning and working in garden. Taking grandkids to free events.

  87. The first time he had dizziness, we spent the entire day at the ER, having lots of tests, including CT and MRI. He had no stroke or TIA symptoms. We have an appt with a neurologist next week. Also, he has only been taking one medication for high blood pressure until they gave him meclizine for the dizziness. I will see about a support group if it turns out that he has some kind of dementia. Thanks for all the helpful ideas. I am really looking forward to getting some kind of response from the doctors.

  88. The forgetfulness has been a problem over at least a couple years–it just suddenly got considerably worse. I will see if I can talk him into a multivitamin. I take one but he never has. He has never been tested for vitamin levels as far as I know.
    Thank you all for your suggestions.

  89. Hi Margie,

    Yes, I think I enjoyed it all the more because the handibus gave me independence. There is quite a lot of waiting involved and time taken dropping off other riders but it is so nice to be picked up and dropped off at one’s home. We are only allowed 2 shopping bagson the handibus so that meant I just concentrated on asparagus and spinach. The bags were light and I could manage using only my good arm and did not have far to walk so all went well. I’ll bet you were tired from working at the polling station.

  90. Hi JJ,

    I answered this before but somehow it didn’t appear. yes, definitely the asparagus is Edgar’s. It is great weather for it and the crop is excellent.
    So lovely. I hope you get to the market this weekend! Ann

  91. Brandy, I love making iced mint tea from my spearmint. I put a large bunch of mint leaves into just boiled water, and steep 10-15 mins. I then throw in some sprigs of stevia to sweeten for about 5 mins. more, then strain. Easy, no-cal and free. Sadly, my stevia did not return this year, and I need to replace it. I’m not sure how stevia may fare in Las Vegas? The only thing that kept me from making the tea more often was the time consuming task of pulling the mint leaves from the stems, but you have many hands to help. I found when I left the stems on, the tea was not as flavorful as I prefer. Basically, more leaves to water ratio makes for a stronger tea.

  92. Lilli, I’m curious to know more about the Swagbucks surveys. I tried some early on, thinking they would be asking my opinion on things, but quickly got disgusted when they seemed to be exactly as you say, fishing expeditions trying to gather a great deal of personal information. Not necessarily in this post, but at some point, if you could share tips on how you determine a good survey, it would be very much appreciated, ie: are there certain questions when you decide to shut it down because you’ve learned it’s a fishing expedition, or things to look for in a good one, etc.

  93. Tammy, this sounds great! Nice to hear you are getting ahead of bills. Do you have much left to finish the house? Best wishes, Ann

  94. Thanks Ann,
    The house is getting done bit by bit. But It is starting to look nice inside and I am happy. We are finding things as we go through boxes. My son is staying with us this week. It is nice to have him around. Best wishes for you too!

  95. Genevieve and Janet you are correct we do have states and I live in Queensland in Australia 🙂 .


  96. Ellie’s friend from Canada, these are good ideas you present. I once found myself in a grocery store, and realized I didn’t know how I had got there–had no memory of driving or where I came from. It frightened me so badly, I immediately made a Dr. appointment. My Dr. prescribed vitamin B12 and tested me to see if I had low levels. Sure enough! I have taken B12 faithfully since then and haven’t had any further problems like that. Thank goodness! Good luck, Marcia!

  97. Hey Margaret,

    Thanks for the tip about the instagram hashtag. I am on instagram so I’ll check it out. Until a hospital visit this past winter, the only debt we had was our house payment, which I had been hoping to start making double principal payments on. But, I’ll get back to it!

  98. I’ve been working a lot more than usual so I didn’t do a ton to save last week. I did make a cookie recipe to use up a jar of cookie butter that was expiring. Unfortunately, the recipe turned out to be a real dud so I think that was more of a waste of flour and egg than anything else.
    I set up automatic bill pay for two medical bills I’m paying off through my hsa at work.
    I went to my favorite thrift shop and found three really adorable aprons. I collect aprons and this particular shop sells them for a dollar each for some reason.
    I planted flower seeds. I got all my dahlia tubers planted. But I’d like to plant more if I can find a good, affordable source of tubers.

    Brandy, I really enjoyed your sharing about the concert tickets. I think that was an especially good solution to not having money in the budget right now for tickets. I love Dvorak too.

    Do you know about Your Classical Daily Download podcast? It’s called a podcast but really it’s just a piece of classical music that’s sent to your phone every morning for free to listen or to download to keep. I really love it.

  99. Can you explain the advantages of ordering garlic ear oil rather than making it? I’m a first time mom and my baby has been suffering from recurring ear infections (and repeated courses of antibiotics) and I’m desperate for anything that will help while we wait for a referral to an ENT doctor. Thank you!

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