June Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

My son and I repaired a leak in the garden.

I signed up for a free online mini-class.

I used a $15 off coupon at Joann fabrics on top of purchasing items on sale.

I collected shower-warm-up water and used it to water potted plants in the garden.

We picked blackberries and apricots from the garden. I cut green onions from the garden.

I mended a hole in a pillowcase and a hole in a pair of shorts.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  1. I mended a skort for myself and a shirt for Hubby.
    I stayed out of the grocery store and made do with what little fresh produce we have (I miss my gardens, can’t wait to move)
    We ate egg sandwiches and lettuce soup a couple times this week.
    We checked Gas buddy to find the cheapest gas.
    I am using used cardboard boxes to pack in.
    Hubby had 2 flat tractor tires and a bald trailer tire. Amish neighbor gave him the address of a tire place that fixes tires, has used and new tires. Would have cost us $120 where we usually go but it was $80. He is a Mennonite and provides rides for the Amish when they have to go farther than around town.
    Blessed Be everyone

  2. Last week, I mended two pairs of shorts and a dress. I harvested lettuce, broccoli, a few blackberries and blueberries, basil and rosemary. To get rid of them, and add another protein source, I collected Japanese beetles by hand and fed them to the chickens. They gave me eggs in return :o). We took an inexpensive 3 day trip to the coast, with no cost for lodging and only one meal out. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/06/a-beach-trip-frugal-accomplishments.html

  3. I harvested and dried my first batch of parsley for this year. I also harvested lots of little wild strawberries.
    I harvested some of my rhubarb and made mini strawberry rhubarb pie bites. I took them to a family picnic and they were a big hit so I think I will make another batch for 4th of July picnic.
    I had been wearing a pair of jeans to garden and the lower part were too stained to continue wearing so I cut them off and made them into shorts for the summer.
    I was able to purchase a high-end, knee length jacket for fall and winter brand-new for $18. I was also able to purchase a brand new real leather black purse for fall and winter. It was priced at over $100 but I got it for $29. The leather is so soft and nice. I do believe it will be the nicest purse I have ever owned and I am hoping the high quality will mean it will last for years. I view these two pieces as investment purchases meaning I plan to use them for years to come.
    My cousin gave me several new rubber stamps and paper so I plan to use them to make a years worth of birthday and other needed cards this winter when it is too wet and cold to be outside.
    I had some strawberries left over and didn’t want them to go bad so I put them in my food processor with some banana and made freezer pops. I did this last year and my grandson and nieces loved them. My nieces said they were the best popsicles they ever tasted. There is no sugar- it is pure fruit so it is good for them.
    Brandy- I love your fresh flowers straight from your own garden- what a joy they must be for you.
    I feel I had a productive, frugal week and hope it will spur me on for the rest of the summer.
    One last thing I almost forgot about….my husband harvested Linden blooms from our tree and dried them. He uses them for tea and swears the tea helps keep him healthy all winter.

  4. Did you enjoy the free class? I love those and webinars. I have learned so many new skills by watching them. My favorites are cooking tutorials and decorating.

    I continue to shop the sales, use coupons/rebates, and stockpile to save whenever I can. Recent finds include 4 bottles of free mouthwash, $0.99 strawberries, $0.99 chips, $0.38 salad dressing, $0.99 Poland Spring water 24-pack, $0.88/Lb broccoli, $0.99 BBQ sauce and more. All of my deals can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-6-23-18/

  5. I brought my own food up for an overnight hospital stay for my son, instead of buying over priced food from the hospital cafeteria.
    I sold a few things on local FB yard sale groups.
    Picked raspberries from our garden.
    Purchased ‘used’ shorts for a fraction of the cost of new.
    Made a couple of birthday gifts from items I already had on hand.


  6. I’m so sorry you’re sick – hope you get feeling better soon! I didn’t get as much frugality on as I would have liked. We had two children leave for the summer. And it’s been hectic trying to get them ready.

    I combined errands. Used coupons and gift cards as much as possible. When I could I just stayed home.

    I wanted some recipe books to look at and discovered my library had a bunch from America’s Test Kitchen. I was looking for ones that would help with using my slow cooker this summer. They had 2 out that I have been looking at enjoyably.

    I went to Barnes and Noble and looked at the new books. I made a note of titles I was interested in and checked at the library to see what was available. I can request the other book. Our library will usually purchase requests from patrons.

    I had the weekend all to myself. I ate all my meals except 1 at home. I watched movies and worked on projects and read books. I sat under the big tree in our backyard and read some more. Quite enjoyable with the light breeze. We cooled down to the 70s for one day.

    I went to the local thrift store to check for books and clothes for my daughter. Found a few items and spent $12

    We ate up all our leftovers and didn’t throw anything away. We’ve had so many goodbye parties and treats. It was great to share the treats with neighbors and not have to cook meals for a week.

    Hope everyone has a great week. Thanks again for all the ideas.

  7. .I continued to use up proteins from the freezer & pantry and concentrated grocery funds on produce, eggs & milk.
    .Ate all meals at home so no waste!
    .A friend gave me a big bag of rhubarb so I cooked it, ate it for a couple of days as dessert and then froze the rest for future use. It was delicious – cooked with just a minimum of sugar.
    .I enjoyed coffee & treats for free twice at church events I volunteered for
    .I met a friend for a long walk along the waterfront one morning – we each bought ourselves a coffee so got some exercise, had a great chat with a new friend, enjoyed the fresh air and had a treat, all for about $2
    .Saw the dermatologist and got a 3 month prescription for antibiotics, all for the price of $10 – that was the drugstore’s admin fee – thank God for health coverage here in Canada.
    .Was treated to a lovely TEA at a friend’s house on Saturday – she invited about 7 friends and put on a lovely spread. I took over a bottle of wine that I’d purchased a number of weeks ago and that I know she will enjoy – even though we were told not to bring anything!
    .Only did 2 full loads of laundry and used the dryer for only 1 load (towels)
    .Watched lots of documentaries on YouTube – started watching Season 2 of The Crown on Netflix and picked up more books from the library!

  8. What class did you sign up for, if you don’t mind sharing, Brandy?

    Our frugal accomplishments this week included:
    *Meals made at home included breaded stuffed chicken breasts with flavoured rice and broccoli, hamburger helper, “make-your-own” pizzas, French beef dip sandwiches with pasta salad, BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs with pasta salad, potato chips and strawberry rhubarb crumble pie (see below), baked chicken breasts smothered in broccoli cheese soup with corn and mashed potatoes, and cheese tortellini bake (freezer meal) with buns.
    *Made another batch of homemade smoothie popcicles using a ripe banana, an individual peach yogurt cup, the last bit of homemade peach mango jam left in the jar, and the leftover pineapple juice from the jar of homecanned pineapple I ate in my work lunches this week. Made a second batch later in the week with some mango and raspberries from the freezer, some home canned plums that where mush after canning, a scoop of homemade bumbleberry jam, an individual raspberry yogurt cup, a little bit of sugar and a bit of water. DD loves how these taste and enjoys trying the different combinations I make with what I have on hand. I loved that it is a really healthy, extremely frugal treat for her to snack on!
    *Bought 3 flats of local strawberries on one of my days off. Washed the berries in vinegar and water, kept about 1/2 a flat for fresh eating, then froze the rest for later use. The berries were not cheap (paid $96 for the 3 flats), but taste waaay better than the cheap grocery store berries that are shipped in from the U.S.
    *Bought minimal groceries again this week, as we didn’t need much.
    *Sadly, the deer have discovered my garden and had a feast! Still have things growing and flowers are forming, but they sure enjoyed a lot of the greans. Peas, beans, spinach, beets, and swiss chard all affected. On a good note, there are a bunch of peas that will be ready for picking very soon and 2 tomatoes are growing, with lots more flowers developing!
    *For DD’s last day at school, her staff organized a potluck lunch. DD had to send out invites to the potluck as pactice for her social skills. I made “Bush Doughnuts” (with my mom’s assistance) using the recipe we use at my work, taken from Catherine Parr Traill’s book written in the 1800s. We made sure to sample some before sending them, just in case they didn’t taste good…heehee! DD then came home with the leftover doughnuts plus a bunch of other baked goods, some leftover potato bacon mac & cheese (that someone brought) and a massive amount of candy (it looks like halloween around here). She was definitely on a sugar high when I returned from work, but later had a hard sugar crash. Apparently, DD is still learning about limits!
    *DD had 2 friends stay for a sleepover on Friday night, as a school year end celebration. We fed them watermelon for an after school snack, and BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs with pasta salad and potato chips for dinner, as it was simple and kid friendly. I made a strawberry rhubarb crumble pie (recipe link: https://inspiredbycharm.com/strawberry-rhubarb-crumble-pie/ but used a cornmeal crust) for dessert, which was a huge hit. I had to work the next day, but my mom fed the girls waffles with fresh strawberries for breakfast in the morning. The girls had lots of fun kicking off their summer vacation together.

    Looking forward to catching up and learning from everyone, as always. Thanks for sharing your frugal successes with us!!!!

  9. Hello,

    This week was more frugal than last!
    – After our hail damage to the roof, car, patio and garden, I had given up hope on having a nice garden this year. Then, a friend texted us that a local nursery was giving away free plants to certain zip codes that had hail damage. I went and they gave me two boxes to fill with free started plants! I was so excited and thankful! So now my garden is back on track! Praying for no more bad weather.
    – My son went to a $1.00 movie at a local theater for a special summer movie deal. I also found a coupon on a flyer for $2.00 off a popcorn.
    – We attended a free family game night and potluck at church. We played games and had a nice spread of dinner. We brought Little Smokies with barbecue sauce.
    – I signed up for more freebies, I posted them on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/06/25/freebies-today-6-25-18/ I am most excited about a summer reading program at Lifeway Stores. The children can earn a free book and a Bible. I will donate the Bibles later in the year for a church project.
    – I consigned some craft items at a local shop that sells things. I hope that they sell!
    – That’s all I can think of that is special besides the usual eating at home, watering the garden, weeding, cutting coupons, etc…
    I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

  10. I went to a required work conference ( so I could get my CLE hours) at the beach. Work paid for it, so I was delighted. Although I was in classes all day, I had the evenings free, and enjoyed walks on the beach. My meals and gas were paid for also. I would never spend that money on a trip for myself, so it was perfect. I took my youngest child (who is grown), and who stayed in the hotel with me for free. He liked having a beach trip also! He got to enjoy the beach all day, while I was in classes. I made chicken fried rice when I got back from my trip. I used leftover chicken, leftover roasted carrots, frozen peas, leftover cabbage, and spinach. I made a homemade shrimp sauce that was delicious. I made enough to last for several meals. I dyed my hair ($3.00), and trimmed it myself. I did my nails. I trimmed up the bushes in front of my house.

  11. Hope you are feeling better, Brandy! Here’s my list;
    -Received a free sample of Dunkin ‘Doughnuts Ice Coffee bag in snail mail. It will make one pitcher-saving it for when we have company.
    -Dehydrated extra leeks.
    -Rethinking my style of clothes-sending more to threadUp to sell. Plus will be sending some of DS. I have made a=over $8 so far with them.
    -To clear up freezer space, made all menus from there.
    -Found stocking stuffers for 75% off. Hid them for Christmas.
    -Invested in more canning jars while I had a coupon and they were on sale.
    -Sold $30 worth of books to a woman in town. Saved on gas and met her while I was running to the store.
    -Made creamy watermelon sorbet using frozen watermelon cubes and frozen banana.
    -Sold more books on Ebay.-
    -Crops from garden over the weekend= green beans, cucumbers, peppers, 3 large tomatoes and about 10 cherry tomatoes, and rhubarb. Made rhubarb-blueberry oatmeal bars and Amish rhubarb jelly. Shared with neighbor’s for giving me tomato plants for Mother’s Day. while delivering the goodies, they gifted me 2 more cukes and a jar of jelly they made from their grapes.
    Hope everyone has a blessed weekend!!

  12. I replaced my Kindle for the second time under the extended warranty I had purchased . That’s the best $10.00 I ever spent. I happily bought a $1.99 case for it at the thrift store this week. It is bright pink so when I misplace it, it should be much easier to locate. I also found a toilet paper holder for my bathroom. I paid $1.19 , new in the package and it matches the bathroom lighting fixtures I just installed. I need one lighting fixture for the cathedral ceiling in my living room and the whole house will be done. I am afraid I am a little OCD. I want to replace all the doorknob s and the hinges. I like everything to match and I hate my old gold finishes.
    Sugar cookie is leaving this week for her summer vacation. College boy graduated at age 19 with his 4 year degree. The military will be welcoming him next week. Not so sure how I feel about that. I continue to collect an amazing amount of coke caps. Perhaps we will win a nice prize one day. I redeemed Swagbucks for a gift card that is accepted at multiple restaurants. Over the next three months, I am treating myself to several free movies and low cost lunches. While I am alone in the house for three months, I am reducing all services. I am canceling my internet and trash pickup. My overall savings for the three months I am home alone will add up and pad my emergency account even more. I have many projects planned to occupy my time. I am bleeding turnips as my grandmother would say. I plan on squeezing every penny I can while no one is at the house but me. We are enjoying thunderstorms today. I love the rain and it keeps the house cool. No A.C. here. My Rite Aid is closing this week. I have rolled my one $5.00 rewards so many times. I increased its value to $12.00. This week I used it to purchase $48.00 worth of goods at 75% off. Google express and I are best friends. I have received a total of 10 wrong packages. We taped their delivery and opening and forwarded it to them. I just don’t understand how anyone could ship 10 separate wrong orders out. I canceled my debit card, accepted the goods delivered and still have a credit with them. I just love surprise packages. I never buy paper towels. They are out of my budget. One of their mistakes is a 20 pack of Bounty that is so incredibly plush. My bacon will be very happy On Sunday mornings. I love freebies but enough is enough. I hate to imagine what shipping cost them for all those boxes. Happy frugalness this week my friends. I am off to cut the princess puppys hair.

  13. I have missed everyone on this blog for the past few months and while I was away, Brandy had another baby! That was a fantastic accomplishment. Congratulations! I will be reading the past posts and comments to see what else I missed. Feels good to be back.

    My life has been centered around taking care of my Mother as her vision deteriorated. It has been extremely frustrating. Sad to say, Mom was unable to continue living on her on as she wished. Adapting to her poor vision was more than she could handle. Two weeks ago I moved her to another state to live with my sister. The difficulties were made easier due to the helpful advice I received from the kind people on this site. I was able to pass along many of the suggestions to my sister: can’t tell the boxes of detergent apart (use rubber-bands to distinguish them), can’t turn the dryer knob to the off position (tape the knob so you can feel the position), can’t feel the flat buttons on the microwave (attach raised rubber stickers), etc. [i] I humbly thank everyone who offered suggestions a few months ago.[/i] Now I must try to get my life and home back in order. Oh, my, what a mess.

    Being frugal is automatic in my life but these last few months have presented different challenges. Closing down a home someone has occupied for 53 years is an enormous task! It is cleaned and ready if Mom decides to return for a weekend visit but that may never happen. Many things she could not depart with were given to me and I have dumped them in my basement. That mountain of black trash bags must be sorted. This week I will begin taking food from her cabinets and adding them to my pantry rather than letting it all expire. For a while, the house will sit empty because Mom can’t let it go. It is fine because I need to focus on my home.

    The biggest cost saving accomplishment we have done these past few months was to meet with a financial adviser. His services were free since he worked for the bank. It was eye-opening. My husband is close to retirement and the future has seemed uncertain. The adviser was able to help us identify short-term and long-term goals plus see how we are prepared for retirement. My husband and I discuss our finances together but a trained outsider (one who knew finances and tax laws) made a big difference. We will make $750 a year just from moving money from one account to another!!!!

    These past few months have taught me many things, the importance of family and the difficulties of families. Aging gracefully is a myth – there is nothing easy about it! Everyone gets old unless you die young, so we are faced with only two choices. The time will come when the money saved from frugal choices made now will make all the difference in the world. Will you be comfortable or miserable when you are the most vulnerable in your life? Will you be able to choose where you want to live or where you must live? Can you afford the co-pays for the medicine which makes you feel better? Choosing to be frugal and saving money now, will give you more choices when you are helpless. Being frugal matters. It makes a difference. It makes life better when you need it the most.

    Thank you, Brandy, for creating this website.



  14. We rented a little cabin on the lake last week for our summer vacation. We stopped at Aldi’s before we got there and that shopping trip plus a box of food I packed made up the meals we ate on vacation–so cheap!! And we ate really well.

    We stumbled onto a couple of incredible flea markets on our travels and found
    -a set of 5 vintage drinking glasses
    -a stainless steel bowl
    -a hand egg beater (patent date 1921)
    -an unusual sandwich cookbook (unknown date–1920s? I plan to try recipes and share them on my blog this summer)
    -hand wool carders
    -a vintage oven-type box that sits on a stovetop
    ALL for a combined total of $15.50 (with no haggling). I’m over-the-moon happy with my finds. It was so unexpected!

    Now that I’m home I’m harvesting Juneberries and currants. I just bought 8 pounds of cherries from a friend today for $10.

  15. We picked cherries from our tree. Last year, we lost all the cherries to birds but this year, a large number of old CDs hanging in the tree have kept them at bay. We have also been able to pick raspberries and blackcurrants.
    The sun has dried the washing!
    We have used up ends of casseroles stored in the freezer.
    I have mainly cycled around locally.

  16. We had some decent rain and warmer temperatures, so the garden has really taken off. I harvested the last of the peas and snow peas and pulled up the vines, and planted more green beans in their place. I harvested lettuce, chard, and some onions and pulled up the arugula, which was bolting and had turned bitter in the heat, and planted some buttercrunch lettuce in its place. I’ve never grown buttercrunch before, and am hoping for good results. I also transplanted some chard and planted more radishes and more chard. I was able to pick about half a cup of strawberries, which we enjoyed fresh.
    We received an unexpected large medical bill. (I thought insurance covered the tests my doctor ordered and they did not.) I called the hospital and arranged to make payments on the bill.
    The local woman’s club had a big charity sale. We spent $15 and came home with a flannel shirt and a wool jacket for my husband, 2 pairs of (badly needed) winter gloves for me, a bundle of fabric that contained enough to make a dress, skirt, and a couple of blouses for me, a bag full of about 30 assorted zippers, a very nice fabric marker (new!), a brass hose mender (new), a new trash can for our camper, and some decorative woven rattan stars.
    The nursery I have patronized since moving here is closing its doors. I don’t know where I’ll go for plants now, but we attended their clearance sale and I came home with 4 perennials – two agastache and two whirling butterflies for a total of $8. I wish I had gotten to the sale earlier, as they had everything severely marked down, but I’m very happy with these 4 plants.
    I sewed elbow patches on two of my husband’s flannel shirts.

  17. Hi to all.
    We have been going thru things to donate and make room for FIL. Friday took care of donations.
    As we unpacked FIL things, my husband and I said, we have enough toilet paper and paper towels for a long time! Also, plenty of laundry detergent and cleaners.
    On their way west, my husband and he Dad stopped at meat market and bought lots of meat. So freezer is full.
    Before donating, our daughter went thru piles while she was home s few days and took a few things she could use.
    We cooked from scratch all week, washed baggies and husband took lunch every day to work.
    That’s all I can remember.
    Have a frugal week all!

  18. These last few weeks have been filled with major set backs in my house. Our roof was damaged during some storms that came through (I am working with our insurance company to cover this), the diamond fell out of my wedding ring (not covered by the insurance, warranty is expired), we are pretty sure the transmission is going out in the car I drive to work 5 days a week, our mattress suddenly has a huge dip in my husband’s side (it’s old but really, did it have to happen now?!). So I have been re reading all of the Frugal Accomplishments posts, started following the “deal sites” again to get things at rock bottom prices that we need, and spending less than $25 per week on groceries. I took an inventory of our meat freezer to see what we have (more than I thought so yay!). I have been going into work for as much overtime as I can get and my husband is not only working extra hours but is also looking for ways to earn extra money (he has a landscaping job this week for example).
    I spent $20 at Walmart and got: 2 pairs of leggings for my daughter for school ($2 each), 4 plastic folders, 4 spiral note books, 1 1-inch binder, 2 composition notebooks, 2 bunches of bananas, 4 Larabars, 1 family pk of Hamburger Helper (free with coupon we got in the mail), 1 family size box of beans and rice (again free with coupon), 4 yogurt cups, 1 bottle of shampoo. I also submitted for some Ibotta rebates to earn some cash back. I am saving the rebates I do for Christmas.
    I took all my food and snacks to work with me. I drank water.
    I washed full loads of laundry on cold.
    I exchanged library books
    I watched movies for free using on demand (we pay for Sling tv)
    We turned our ac units off when it wasn’t to hot
    my husband and daughter picked some black raspberries that grow wild on our property
    I made a bean/ham/veggie soup using items I already had on hand for my lunches this week
    Have a great week everyone!

  19. My hubby has been saving bottle caps for years. I wash, clean and store them… always thinking… I need to research a craft that I can make with them and make some side money by selling a finished product. I have finished the research and have started production! I signed up for a free class to learn to can pickles (and other items). I get to take home what I can! I was invited by a relative to join their garage sale on the Thursday-Sunday after Independence Day. We have a lot of stuff from our recent purge (making life more simple). Very excited as their home is in a neighborhood that gets way more traffic than mine. I prepped veggies that I purchased on sale for the freezer for future recipes. I made a two-week meal plan that includes, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack using what I have on hand. Only grocery shopped for the essentials that I needed to accomplish that plan. Accepted leftovers from a 60th anniversary party for my in-laws as well a head of broccoli from the host’s garden. Used my cheese shredder to shred cheese that I got on sale.

  20. We are moving this weekend so last Saturday I got together with a girlfriend for the day to spend sometime together. I treated her to lunch using a gift card to a restaurant that we will not have in the town we are moving to. In return she treated me to a pedicure. It was so nice! On the way to our pedicures, we also grabbed coffees from Starbucks using gift cards. Again, there are no Starbucks in the small town we are moving to, which is fine by me, I can survive on homemade coffee.
    I decided to take advantage of Victoria’s secret sales and get fitted for bras. I knew I was wearing the incorrect size, I was so embarrassed when it turned out i was wearing 2 cup sizes too small!! I managed to get 2 beautiful and comfortable bras for less than the price of one. I will need a couple more, but this is a good start.
    Gave the dogs both baths at home this morning, will brush them, trim their nails and clean their ears tomorrow. Neither are a breed that requires their coat to be trimmed, but I figure all this saves me about 35 to 50 per dog considering their size.

  21. Inspired by Brandy, I watched a few tutorials about how to alter flared leg pants into straight leg pants. I really struggle with anything other than basic sewing (sewing on buttons is great but anything else is a stretch), but I pulled out the sewing machine, went slowly, and now have pants that will actually be worn. I never would have attempted this if I had not read some time ago on Brandy’s wonderful blog of how Brandy had transformed flared jeans. Thank you, Brandy!! I have flared jeans I’d like to do next, but need to research more. It appears I may need a special denim needle or such…
    I made a quick fruit coffee cake with nectarines we bought that — although still a bit hard — are overripe inside. This way we didn’t waste them. I also substituted plain yogurt and water in the recipe because I was low on milk and wanted to use it for something else.
    I made whole wheat muffins with ingredients on hand instead of buying bread for toast in the morning.
    In an effort not to make the perfect the enemy of the good, I purchased a basil plant for $3.99 at Trader Joe’s when I realized we just weren’t getting to a nursery this year to buy a cheaper start. We don’t have outdoor space for growing, but herbs in pots do really well on a south-facing windowsill for us. We will be eating fresh basil all summer and this will more than pay for itself. Even without fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato salads are a favorite.
    After I used green onions purchased at the grocery store, I stuck them in a cup of water and will allow them to regrow. They typically regrow well 4 or so times for us, significantly cutting our cost.
    We are meeting with contractors for necessary repairs and to add necessary storage (closets that weren’t ever built where they were intended to be). When things got challenging, I stayed calm. How is this frugal? We didn’t jump into anything and over extend ourselves. I will go through belongings yet again in an effort to give away more and have less that needs space.
    Bought groceries only at rock bottom prices. Where I couldn’t get to a store that was offering the rock bottom price, I didn’t buy that item at all. There will be other sales.
    Rather than spend $$ on entertainment, several times we simply enjoyed the beautiful weather outdoors.

  22. Wow on having to bring your own food to the hospital. We only have one hospital and the food is so good and reasonably priced that people working other places go to the hospital for lunch! Top notch salad bar, which is a miracle in Alaska.

  23. When it comes to your medical bill, have you looked into filing an appeal with your insurance company? I have had to do that once before and the insurance company actually ended up covering it. It was really a very simple process. I called and spoke to a rep from the insurance and got the steps to do it. They sent me the forms, I filled them out and returned them. It was worth it and certainly worth a try.

  24. Thank you! It truly was a unexpected blessing. I am hoping that there is no more bad weather! We love in Colorado and we get these weird summer hail storms here.

  25. *I mended a pair of pants for my husband.
    *Picked red currants and pie cherries.
    *Continued to fill at least one, and sometime two, tree tubs per day with weeds. Dead-headed the red climbing rose & started on the yellow climbing rose. If I dead-head them, they will bloom again. If I don’t, we will have larger rose hips in the fall. This year, I would rather have the roses. Made sure the garbage can was completely full before pulling it out the curb.
    *Our youngest daughter baked individual egg custards & put them in the fridge for me. I have been dealing with some tummy issues due to some medication I am taking for a while. I have also been using the stewed rhubarb we froze earlier, in strawberry gelatin, because it settles particularly well.
    *Began to wrap some of the Christmas and birthday presents, so they will be all set to go. They can live in one of the guest bedrooms until they are needed.
    *Finished hemming the second runner for my youngest daughter.
    *Used the drying rack instead of the dryer.

  26. Finally a less hectic week, with cooler weather besides. We have gotten into the yard and started some of the work that should have been started long before this. I think I mentioned last week that my husband has been diagnosed with dementia. It is taking extra time from my day to supervise and direct him, and also to find all the items he keeps misplacing. So it looks like we might not have a vegetable garden this year, but I did get some new perennials that I had ordered all planted. We got about an inch of rain and could use another inch which is possible in a couple more days. We have been trimming some honeysuckles that have a bunch of bare branches just from not pruning, I think. Nothing looks diseased. We are about halfway done with the row we planted at the edge of our property. There is a lot more trimming to do but we’re getting it done as fast as two elderly people can! And we’re getting some exercise at the same time. We both got new glasses last week, after waiting two whole weeks for them to come in. I immediately made an appointment for my husband to be tested for his driving abilities. There is an hour long written/verbal portion and then a real driving test in their car. He is convinced he will pass. I am not. I think the written part will do him in, but I’m keeping my mouth shut for now. The charge for the test is $285! I expected something about that price but I have to let him try it. They will let him know at the time of the test. Meals were no problem this week, as cooking when it’s cool is not bad. I managed with very little waste and hope to do better this week. Husband has to be reminded to eat leftovers for lunch or else he gets them for dinner! I am trying to be more careful not to cook too much but I have never quite gotten the knack for that. Besides, DD and DGD stop in occasionally and help eat up leftovers, especially desserts! We went to a one year old’s birthday party and brought home enough extra salad for two days for us. His mother is the definition of NOT FRUGAL. She gave the party at my sister’s house because theirs is being remodeled, and brought every single item from the grocery store in big trays–salad, fruit, veggies, cheese, wrap sandwiches, cupcakes, etc. Paper plates, bowls, utensils, etc. Soda and plastic glasses. Then she gave away all the leftovers and took nothing home with her, despite having a husband who is 6ft 4, and two kids! I used a plastic fork and had to force myself to throw it out, because my first instinct is always to put it in the sink to be washed and reused. She has been working full time up until last week, but really, she could have fed her family for a week or more with what she spent on the party food and left there. I will have to look for a suitable FAST cookbook for her next gift giving occasion. I wouldn’t say anything to her–but I’m sure my sisters were as shocked as I was. We are all frugalistas! Aside from that occasion all meals were eaten at home last week. I am encouraged that some yard work is getting done. I have bought local strawberries all week and will pick some more up tomorrow on the way back from the gym. SO delicious. We’ve eaten them for snacks several nights.

  27. Hi Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    Weeks seem to be like that where you have time to catch up on a lot of the little jobs and repairs you need to do in the home and always good when we can Brandy. Good to hear you are picking more lovely produce from the gardens too.

    Here is how we organised our home and saved money –

    Earnings –
    – Earned $6.66 from the sale of 20g of dried sage picked from the gardens and saved sugar baby watermelon seeds saved from the gardens on the internet.

    Purchases –
    – Target in town was having a huge sale on a lot of their summer clothing and other items in town as they are moving to stocking a younger demographic on clothing. We purchased a PS4 game for DH for $19 reduced from $69, 2 flannel shirts for DH and finally found some in his size, 2 pairs of 3/4 pants for summer for $7 reduced from $29, 2 casual shift dresses for me $5 ea reduced from $25, 1 pair of summer sandals for me for $5 reduced from $15, 12 tall glass tumblers to replace ones that were broken for $10 reduced from $24 and 3 packets of glucose lollies saving 36.82% or $163 in total on usual prices.

    Listings –
    – Using a free listing promotion on eBay I listed 51 homemade items, saved seeds and dried herbs from the gardens saving $84.15 on usual listing fees.

    House organisation –
    – Organised our plastic storage container cupboard and stacked like shaped containers, threw out excess saved washed and saved plastic containers and wiped the cupboard out along with the front of kitchen cupboards. It looks so much tidier in there now and I can fit in the new high glass tumblers we purchased :). We live in a teeny 100 square metre workers cottage in the country.

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Yesterday we finished our final batch of blanching and freezing of our sweet potatoes giving us a years supply for the 2 of us :). We picked just over 100 kg of them from a garden patch 1.5 x 9 m long. We also have some left over to take to church to give away, all free to us as we transplant all the little ones each year when we harvest them.

    In the gardens –
    – Picked 340g of cherry tomatoes, 4 large carrots, 2 turnips and 10.5 bunches of silver beet from the gardens saving us $44.76 over buying them in the shops. We used the carrots and turnips with a baked chicken dinner we had one night and blanched and froze the silver beet for 11 more double meals for the 2 of us.
    – Picked a huge amount of French & English lavender and hung it to dry, separated dried French & English lavender from the gardens saving $6 over purchasing it.
    – We also picked a huge amount of thyme from the gardens that we have on a drying rack on the front veranda behind shade cloth. Once dried we will keep some for us, trade some, and sell the rest on the internet.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :).


  28. I think you achieved a lot, considering that you weren’t feeling well, Brandy! And, that arrangement is soooo beautiful!

    My week was pretty good, despite not having the energy to work on developing a new frugal recipe that I had planned on. But I still got some things done!
    – I’ve been extra-tired lately, so am pulling out super-easy recipes from my blog to make dinner. One of my favourites this spring/summer has been my Greek Salad Recipe (http://approachingfood.com/only-greek-salad-recipe/) I eat it as a main dish, but it can be used as a side as well. And it uses fresh garden produce if you grow your own tomatoes and cukes! I alternate between super-easy meals and total comfort food (like my reduced-fat Alfredo sauce – http://approachingfood.com/white-wine-alfredo-sauce/, although sans wine for pregnant me). Also craving all the creamy things! Yoghurt is my new bestie. Thankfully, I make my own, which is good as I practically guzzle it these days!
    – I picked up my Sephora birthday freebie and gave it to my husband to send in a care package to his mum. If she can’t use it, she can give it to another relative or friend and they’ll appreciate it.
    – I picked strawberries from my balcony garden. I repotted the basil, parsley, and chive seedlings that sprouted from a little kitchen garden kit my mom gave me, into a larger pot in my balcony garden. I’m hoping they thrive so that I have more herb plants! I also replanted some nasturtiums that were growing in my rhubarb pot (I had planted nasturtiums and thought they weren’t going to come up, so reused the pot for rhubarb…and then the nasturtiums grew!). I’m hoping this will help my rhubarb grow larger. Any ideas for frugal organic fertilizer? I’ve already topped all my pots with rich black manure, but I can tell they still need more nutrients.
    – I met a friend for coffee (actually a caffeine-free frapp for me) and used my Starbucks gc from Swagbucks so I didn’t have to spend any money OOP.
    – My husband is clearing out his home office as we’re turning it into the nursery, and I’m trying to trade or sell some of the items. Using my local trading app, I traded two underbed storage units for a skein of wool in a complementary shade to the new paint in the room (not the best value trade, but I need the space and the new owner was willing to pick it up at my condo door so I didn’t have to lug it around). I plan to use the wool to knit a small pillow for my nursing chair (I’m still working on sewing a washable padded chair cover).
    – When I bought my condo, I repurposed some of my childhood bedroom furniture for my guest room. One of the items was an old Ikea-style shelf/drawer combo, and I left the matching one at home, as my mom turned my childhood bedroom into a guest room/home office. As we’re clearing out our guest room/DH’s home office to turn into a nursery, we asked my family if they wanted any of the furniture. My mum is going to take the best bits of my shelf/drawer unit and use them to fix the worn-out bits of her shelf/drawer unit to make one good piece of furniture out of two older pieces.
    – I was able to buy a crib and change table (the only furniture I’m buying for the nursery, aside from the nursing chair that I already purchased) from IKEA, and using a QR code in an email, saved nearly $70. My parents were kind enough to drive my husband and I there and back, so that saved us on delivery fees.
    – Someone at work overbought on produce, so I brought home a container of mushrooms, and 3 lemons. I turned the lemons into lemonade, and it was delish! I fried the mushrooms and wanted to make Brandy’s mushroom crepes, but pregnancy exhaustion hit, so I just used it as a side dish.
    – I ordered a maternity swimsuit from Amazon for an upcoming family vacation. It was super-cheap, and I was able to use some of my Amazon gc from Swagbucks, so no money OOP!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as usual!

  29. I did not buy a new dress for our big event this month I just used what I had on hand. I have been working a lot more and bringing in some cash. I have been selling everything I can get my hands on. I am hoping to buy us a home. Nothing big mind you but would be really nice to have something of our own.
    So I have been pinching every penny I can get my hands on.
    I have been using up every left over in the house.
    Great leftovers are sweets make pies, meats make soft tacos . Veggies make soups.
    I mended two shirts last week.
    We have not been any where or done anything so saving money on that as well.
    Did combined gifts to save some cash Birthday / Father’s day / Graduation .
    We did some homemade things too to save on cash as well.
    We are planning two very small vacations like 3 days away locally to be our summer vacation.
    Got a lot of points at a hotel to use for one of these.
    Got half price plants for the garden it has been raining so much I have not even had a chance to get them in the ground yet and I have had them for almost two weeks.
    Did some declutter and found a pair of shoes for hubby.
    Life is great just staying home and enjoying !!!

  30. * We kept the A/C off and opened windows and used the fan when necessary.
    * My husband took his lunch with him to work every day.
    * I prepared a meal with what I had on hand for a potluck.
    * I stayed home and went nowhere a couple of days a week.
    * I started a plan to do freezer cooking for some friends who are expectant moms. This will save me time, money, and gas delivering meals to them after their babies are born.
    * I scheduled one business meeting right before another; the second one was on my way home from the first two. This saved me time and gas–along with stress.
    * I air dried my hair instead of using the blow dryer. It’s healthier for my curly hair anyway.
    * It was a blessing to take a walk with a friend for exercise and fellowship.
    * I did most of the cooking and baking in the evening when the temperatures were cooler.

  31. Hi Kim,
    I’ve never heard of linden blossom tea! We have a large old linden in our front yard. I’m looking forward to looking into this for spring next year. Thanks for the tip!

  32. My hubby took a “vacation” from work and worked around the house/yard. I postponed my cleaning & decluttering until this week. We brought in about 2 cords of wood for next winter. We did go out to eat on Father’s Day since our schedule got changed last minute for visiting both of our Dads. Both were great visits.
    My garden plants are finally at about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in height. Won’t see any produce for a bit. We had a frost for the first day of summer (and had a snowstorm the first day of Spring). It’s supposed to finally warm up this week but it is real dry.
    Made another batch of detergent & fabric softener. Continue to wash all my clothes in cold water.
    Since I have decided to focus on my food budget I made a list of 12 goals specific to that area.
    I am creating a monthly meal menu. I am compiling recipes that fit my criteria.
    My crew goes through 4 gallons of milk per week. Maine has a minimum rate for milk so it never goes on sale yet I want to bring down the amount I spend in this area. I bought 1 gallon of full fat milk and made 2 gallons of milk with it by adding water. No one noticed so this will be a repeat.
    Brought my son to see his specialist. He lost weight 2 visits in a row which is not good since he has Crohns. We need to concentrate on him regaining the 10 lbs lost with extra food and protein drinks.
    After visiting the specialist (which is 1 hr away from home) we stopped in to Save a Lot to purchase items we were short on. Purchased just enough to get us to his next appointment in 3 months). Also stopped at Dollar Tree and spent under $4.
    cut hubby’s hair.
    Hubby renewed passbook. He travels to Canada daily for his job. He has a passcard which he prefers to use but that expires this fall. Since it will take a month to receive his updated card he needs something to use for that month to cross the border. We had thought we could save money by not renewing the passbook but guess not. The post office took a duplicate picture so I am hoping I can use the 2nd picture for his passcard renewal saving the picture fee.
    My husband took our family for a drive through Canada from our town toward Edmundston NB because he wanted to show us a pink bush that someone had in their yard. We enjoyed the scenery, saw the pink bush (not sure what it was) and then when we got to Edmundston almost got stuck since all the major roads to the border crossing were being detoured. My husband was only familiar with the detoured roads since that’s what he drives on with his 18 wheeler. My eldest daughter had her senior pictures done in Canada 6 years ago so I was more familiar with the smaller side streets and ta da–we were able to return to the US without having to retrace our steps.
    then yikes! out to dinner at the tastee freeze. ( we go out once every 3-6 months usually so twice in 1 week, while fun, was wow! what did we do?)
    I love the flowers and reading what everyone contributes weekly. You are my support group.

  33. This has been a great week! I replenished my supply of Prego for 91 cents a jar and won’t have to buy it again for a year! I got 2 more flats of strawberries for 97 cents a pound and won’t need any more until next summer.
    A couple of days were quite busy and I was tired and thought about just getting take out for dinner but instead thought of how much food we had in the house and looked at my Pinterest boards to find quick and easy meal ideas! Within 15 minutes,dinners were ready without ever leaving the house! That translated into about. $40 in savings for those 2 nights!
    We continue to get 4 dozen eggs a week from our 8 lovely chickens and sold 6 dozen of our overage for $2.50/dozen! We also shared 2 dozen eggs, 2 pounds of fresh strawberries and some free bread with a couple who are having a real challenge with wife’s health! It always feels right to share with others when we see how abundantly we have been blessed!
    I made this baby quilt totally from scraps- I even pieced the batting! https://pin.it/ufjpcmv3a5ld5a
    I mended a huge rip in the back seam of my 5 year old grandsons pants that he loves!
    I got a $50 voucher to buy perennials, shrubs or trees for our yard from our City as part of their “green” initiative. The only exclusions are annuals, veggies and non-native invasive plants, shrubs or trees that are on their list! So I’m excited to look for more berry bushes or fruit trees! $50 worth for free!! I love our City!!

    I just got word a few minutes ago and must share it and my apologies! I have been buying from Zaycon for 3 years now and always been happy! I currently have 2 large orders for our family- one for Aug and another in October and am devastated! A friend just sent me a notice from Zaycon that they came out with today:

    “It is with deep regret that we inform you that as of today- June 25, we are suspending business operations.
    Zaycon Fresh has put forth monumental efforts to endure recent challenges but conditions are such that this suspension is necessary.
    Updates will be forthcoming as we are able to provide them.
    Thank you.
    Zaycon Fresh”
    I am in shock but the best thing to do is call your credit card and dispute charges for anything that you ordered that is still pending! For me that’s beef and chicken!
    I am heartsick and so sorry!!

  34. Hope you feel better soon, Brandy!
    This week, we got children’s museum passes through our library. We got an extra for our friends, and enjoyed a picnic lunch. This museum doesn’t have picnic tables or benches outside, but we brought lawn chairs and enjoyed it tailgate-style.
    I found lots of grocery markdowns, and got the Kroger digital coupon deals.
    I removed the underwire from a bra I couldn’t repair, and can still wear it, just without the wire poking me. I tried without luck to find more nursing bras, but still haven’t in my size.
    I made a lot of inexpensive meals at home.
    My mom bought pizza one night while the kids got to swim at my aunt’s house.
    Used said aunt’s Costco card to fill up the van with cheap gas.
    Enjoyed lots of rain last week, which kept us from having to water.
    I sold a few items on FB marketplace.
    My relatives gave me some eggs from their chickens, plus let the kids cut a sunflower, which we’re drying.
    Not really frugal, but I cleaned my vacuum cleaner. It was really disgusting, the way the roller brush piece had so much hair tangled around it. It now works much better. It really only took about 10 minutes, and I should have taken it apart to clean long ago.
    Swim team had an end-of-year party. The food was included in the registration fees we paid, so I didn’t have to cook. Some very kind moms of older children offered to hold the baby while I went through the buffet line for the other kids, a huge help! My kids love our neighborhood pool, but it is really challenging for me take them and supervise them well, especially when the pool is crowded.
    We enjoyed lots of library books and some special summer programs.

  35. We started our weekly shopping at Dollar Tree, then got the loss leaders at Kroger and at our locally owned Spartan Nash-affiliated grocery store. Our nearest Kroger always seems to run out of sale items and this week was no exception. Because the traffic signal had turned into a blinker in the evening, I turned right instead of left out of that Kroger’s parking lot. I decided it was a nice evening for a drive and went to the next closest Kroger which had full shelves. So we now have five boxes of Post cereal for $4.95 in our pantry. But both Krogers were out of this week’s Friday freebie. We had postponed grocery shopping so by the time we went, our refrigerator and cupboard shelves were quite bare. Consequently, we spent more than we do most weeks. Mom fretted a bit about how much we were spending until I pointed out that the total was no more than what the USDA describes as a thrifty food budget.

    Mom got free bowls of ice cream at Culvers. At both of the Culvers near us, mom can turn free ice cream into raspberry sundaes by spending 25 cents for a fruit topping.

    I enjoyed reading a free book on what life was like north of Winnipeg in the middle decades of the 1800’s. I also spent quite a bit of time researching free or low cost training that might help me get a job I can do from home while caring for my 95-year-old mom. I hurt my back several years ago and I am still not strong enough to do a job that requires standing for any length of time. Mom also frets when I am away for more than an hour or two.

    I tried finding cheap flights from Las Vegas to Detroit for my sister and her son. She might have to wait for the next big sale. I did find $259 or $269 round trip flights between DTW and Iceland on Ryanair. But my mom has no interest in visiting there even if she felt better and I don’t dare to go even if I have arranged for respite care in case one of their volcanoes strands me on a rock in the middle of the Atlantic.

    I was looking for light-colored pants for gardening in but found half-priced black dress pants instead at our local Goodwill.

    I downloaded a guy’s fishing vest pattern for free but also ordered a unisex hunting vest pattern. I love Scottevests but I don’t like the prices. I want to make some clothing with lots of pockets that I can layer for traveling or, if we ever move, when I use public transit. I also want my mom to be able to leave her handbag at home now that one hand is occupied holding her cane.

    That is it for now.

  36. Thank you for posting this about Zaycon. I”m sick…so loved their products. I’m concerned that I’ve not received a notice from them from them and I will dispute charges with my credit card. I have beef & chicken ordered as well. We really don’t need to lose that money.

    For frugal accomplishments: We sold our camper for $100 more than we asked. This was because the couple needed a lot of instruction on set-up. They wanted to tip us for all the time and trouble. That was really nice and generous! The money is being applied to bills. I’ve received several free items from Kroger…a free loaf of bread and a free Knorr Skillet meal. I made the skillet meal using a small bit of beef from the freezer (not the whole pound that is called for) and it was pretty good meal.

  37. I am just staying at home enjoying the plants as they flower. We now have 2 hummingbirds that are having territorial squabbles.

  38. Brandy, I hope you are feeling better soon!

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    We spent several hours working in the yard and garden after three days of rain. The rain saved us from having to water much this week.

    I planted more dollar store flower seeds, green bean seeds, and Swiss chard.

    I harvested lettuce and basil.

    I fixed a broken dish with super glue from the dollar store. Our oldest daughter and son-in-law brought it back from their trip to Mexico and I was relieved that I could fix it after dropping it.

    I ordered vitamins online and was able to receive free shipping. I went through Ebates which helped me to save and earn several dollars.

    We didn’t have to use the air conditioning much this week due to the cooler, although more humid, weather.

    We ate all our meals at home and took our lunches to work, except one day. My husband and I were both treated to lunch by our respective employers.

  39. I feel for you Mandy. . When it rains it pours, but God is good and with some minor discomfort we make it through. Times like this remind me of how much I have to be thankful for (even though I;ve had to retreat from the 2nd floor for the last 3 weeks…)

  40. Gardenpat so sorry to hear about the order you put in for beef and chicken and hope you can get your money back 🙁 . We have had a lot of businesses here in Australia that is happening to as well and they just shut up shop overnight. Recently it was my favourite online bulk restaurant supplier but fortunately we got our order before they shut.

    It is a challenging business environment everywhere.


  41. After several weeks of large random expenses and all of the redecorating/renovating expenses, I think we’ve turned the corner. Other than a few new picture hangers and one more animal feed bin, I think the redecorating expenses are over. Over the next two weeks however, we will be getting a new central AC for the second floor and the roof will finally get done.

    Painted the kitchen. Finished refinishing the bedroom furniture. Husband declared that it and the living room/dining room need crown molding – something I have advocated for for years. It will have to wait until winter, but yay! Crown molding. I might even get it in the guest room and bathroom if I play my cards right. Now only the master bath and laundry rooms will need gutting and remodeling.

    Mended 2 shirts, retrieved buttons from unsalvageable military shorts, hemmed 2 pair of shirts, re-beaded part of a dress. I need to do 2 baby boy quilts, but found 1 already complete and 1 quilt top that only needs borders in my cabinet.

    Was treated to a wine dinner at Ruths Chris. Volunteered at the VFW and someone paid my after tab. Used a coupon to attend a wine dinner at Carabbas. Took 2 jars of homemade jam as a hostess gift for a get together. The rest of the week I saved money by staying home. Chickens are laying like mad, so I’ve been trading eggs for other people’s overabundance of garden produce. While I didn’t plant a garden this year, I am not lacking for fresh fruits or vegetables.

    Cancelled my Mighty Nest subscription, changed my husband’s Dollar Shave Club to every other month and did the same with our GROVE Collaborative orders. The stockpile was getting excessive. Our housekeeper cancelled due to illness, so I cleaned my house myself – ok for summertime, but a nonstarter for the school year. Yard guy also cancelled due to weather, so more savings, but yikes! Overgrown! I know these aren’t terribly frugal, but time is precious and these folks are community members who could use the income.

    Continued cleaning out drawers and cabinets. My husband will finish his doctorate in August and is beginning to bring his things back to the house so I am sorting, reorganizing, and putting things away. Between my stuff, his stuff and house stuff, I am making a substantial pile for the Salvation Army.

    Found the bottles of vanilla extract I started at Christmas. My mother “helped” me and moved them. Given the current prices of vanilla extract, finding the missing GALLON of vanilla extract was a grand frugal accomplishment.

  42. Good for you on your goal of a home. Every purchase is seen through the lens of you thinking of those four walls. Best wishes in your endeavour.

  43. I have an order that I am supposed to pick up today. I haven’t received any notification or email that it isn’t coming. I did email Zaycon but haven’t received a response. I’ve heard some people are still receiving orders. I’m going to go to the pickup spot and see what happens. I’m sad too!

  44. I hope you have fun with the mini class!

    • Cooked dried chickpeas in slow cooker overnight. Froze half and make hummus with other half.
    • Paid two bills online.
    • Strategically used coupons and offers to earn 11,000 Walgreens reward points.
    • Hung laundry up to dry. Made risotto
    • Went to library book sale. Bought 12 books for $6.00.
    • Frugal fail – I had an overdue library book and paid $2.50 in fines. This is why I’m better off buying the books used and then donating them back to the library when I’m done.
    • Made a large batch of balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
    • Returned a blouse that didn’t go with items I had in my closet
    • Needed to bring a dish to a party. Looked through what I had in the house and made lemon squares for no money out-of-pocket
    • Made swag goal x 1

  45. * Made homemade greek yogurt – finally figured out how to make it the way I LOVE it.
    *I eat plain yogurt with homemade strawberry jam (was gifted the strawberries from a friend) and that makes it perfectly sweet & fruity.
    *I also eat it with homemade crockpot granola. Works every time and doesn’t heat up my house.
    *Made pancakes this morning before work incorporating 1 cup of sourdough starter which I needed to remove to feed my starter.
    *Ate a couple of those pancakes for breakfast with last year’s homemade peach preserves folded over like a taco. Mmmm!
    *Working to make sourdough bread which doesn’t require commercial yeast. Practice makes perfect and I always eat the flops LOL.
    *Watered a few plants with leftover whey from an earlier batch of yogurt – too tangy for me to cook with.
    *Salvaged a painful bra by cutting out the wire. Wa-la! I can’t make this one last a little bit longer and it is even more comfy! LOL.
    *Always pack lunches and breakfasts for work instead of buying anything. Usually PB&J, frozen homemade bean burritos, leftovers)
    *Made sun tea when it was a hot sunny day.

  46. I sold 6 DS games leftover from my yardsale for $20

    We received a $50 Visa gift card as a rebate from tires hubby had to replace last month. I used it towards dog food since everyone ran out at the same time. Using the gift card and a $10 off coupon I was only out $11 out of the pet budget(makes up for the unexpected vet bill)

    The 11yo helped me color my hair at home

    I used saved up Walmart Savings catcher refunds($38) on groceries (trying to speed up our vehicle replacement fund since my Yukon is declining fast)

    Hubby returned some items he ended up not needing ($12 back)

    Father in law paid for everyone for hubby’s birthday lunch

    We use Regal reward points on free admission and free birthday popcorn for me and hubby to see a movie with 2 drinks and a popcorn for less than $25

    My 11yo went home with mil for a couple weeks. One less to feed and less running around using gas with her there

    My mom sent over 2 jars of alfredo sauce and 2 boxes of velveeta shells and cheese she didn’t want

  47. $285 for a driving competency test? Those should be free for the safety of everybody else on the road!!! My mother had always promised that when her daughters decided she shouldn’t drive any longer, she wouldn’t. And she doesn’t. She still has a driver’s license, now good until she is 100, but her eye doctor was visibly relieved when I told him that she’ll only get behind the wheel if we are fleeing a raging forest fire in the woods behind her house and I am sitting, blinded by the smoke, in the passenger seat. Occasionally, she still gets frustrated when her driver (me) isn’t ready to drop everything and take her where she wants to go on a moment’s notice. I remind her that our limited, very local, dial-a-ride requires 2-day advance notice. Lyft finally serves this area (Yeah! Carless non-senior people are no longer trapped in town!) but I don’t think she ever will be using that service unaccompanied.

  48. Michigan has driver’s licenses that cost just a bit more than the basic ones that can be used to cross the “southern” border from Detroit into Windsor (and any other US/Canada, US/Mexico official land entry points in addition to some other water-based entry points). Does Maine offer that as an option?

  49. I got a notice from ThredUp that they had accepted much of the bag of clothes I sent in, and bought two items outright, so I already have a credit of almost $15. The rest of my clothes are on consignment, so there is a potential for more credit there. Normally I just donate my clothes, which takes my own bags, time, and gas to drop them off. ThredUp sent me the bag and paid the shipping, so this is pure profit for clothes I normally would just donate.
    I completed my mission trip last week, borrowing some of the things I needed. I bought almost everything else I needed second hand or used what I already owned.
    I bought two small Christmas gifts while there. I love shopping ahead.
    I am trying to learn to drink iced Rooibos (redbush) tea without any kind of sweetener. It’s cheaper and better for me. Rooibos has a naturally milder taste than black tea, and it’s a healthy drink.
    I dried a lot of laundry in the hot sun this weekend. It’s been in the mid-nineties and humid lately, so it’s been an act of willpower to get out there and hang laundry.
    I finally got my half-pig portion and it’s in my freezer. It’s a lot of pork, let me tell you, but the chops we had last night were delicious. This is more economical than buying individual cuts, and it’s pastured, non-GMO fed, humanely raised pork, which is what I prefer. My daughter was nice enough to store in her freezer the frozen broth I removed from my freezer, to make room for my pork.
    I continue to save food scraps (even dairy and some fat) and bury it in our backyard to enrich the soil. It’s amazing how fast it composts that way.
    Our wildflowers are in full bloom. They look so pretty and take no care.

  50. Maine does not. I wish they did. We do get our money’s worth from the passport though. My husband crosses the border 1 or 2 times a day. When I was working I crossed weekly to pick up the mail for work. My mother in law was born in Canada so most of the family events on her side are in Canada. So in other words we are there a lot!

  51. Kim, would you mind sharing your recipe for the rhubarb pie bites? They sound good and I have tons of extra rhubarb. Thank you!

  52. Laure, I like your comment about not making perfect the enemy of the good. I have to remember that!

  53. Brandy, your arrangements are beautiful! You could start a side business as a florist and no doubt have folks lining up. It’s nice to enjoy flowers in the home though.

    *I purchased a couple of pre-made meals at Trader Joe’s (their orange chicken and mushroom chicken) for those nights when we’re wiped out and take out seems too tempting. The last two we bought lasted us six months, so at least it’s rare that we eat them.
    *We discussed possibly ‘upgrading’ our home as there are a few things we wish we had that this home lacks. We’re still formulating a plan, but for the moment we plan to be grateful for what we have and perhaps start saving more aggressively if we do decide to either remodel or move. Before adopting a frugal mindset, we would have jumped into a new house without methodically planning.
    *I made a batch of whole milk greek yogurt which turned out great with some home canned strawberry rhubarb compote on top. I experimented with a batch of coconut milk yogurt using canned coconut milk and powdered coconut milk to thicken it and it never set. I was disappointed to waste the money and food so I will likely stick with regular whole milk even though I prefer the non dairy alternatives. If anyone has made any non dairy yogurts successfully, I would be so grateful for a recipe! I have tried several with no luck.
    *I harvested kale, garlic and leek scapes, snap peas, lemon balm, and chamomile from the garden.
    *I’m working on our menu plan system and recipes and excited to try a new system to stay organized when things get a little hectic.
    *A friend recently lost her job, and I’m looking forward to sharing some food storage and baby items with them as she transitions to a stay at home mom.

    I hope everyone has a great week ahead and enjoyed the official kick-off to summer! I’m always very grateful for your posts Brandy, and look forward to reading each week.

  54. This was really my mistake in thinking the tests fell under what is covered for an annual physical. Reading the policy again, I saw that I was wrong — everything went toward my deductible. Next year I will ask more questions before I automatically agree to whatever the doctor wants.

  55. I just checked the garden-the only thing ready to eat so far is radishes-although the mini tomatoes are flowering and I think the Saskatoon berries will be ripening soon. This was not a frugal week as I splurged and booked a trip to Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park , Alaska-to watch the bears fish for salmon. If you have not seen the live cams go to

    https://explore.org/livecams/brown-bears/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls. The salmon run has just started and will peak by mid July-warning watching these cams is addictive.

  56. Lisa, not sure what the pink bush you saw was, but my first thought was to wonder if it was a smoke bush. They don’t grow here but I have seen photos and read of them growing in your area. Bot seeing a photo I am not sure, but you may want to google a photo and see if that is it.

  57. Why do you think your plants need more fertilizer? Good dirt makes a big difference. Are the leaves yellow? If they are yellow all over they are being overwatered. Yellow with green veins means a lack of iron. Other leaf symptoms will tell you other signs of what they need.

  58. Marcia, why can’t you just tell your husband he is not going to be driving anymore? Why spend the money? If he has a diagnosis of dementia I would think that would put an end to it right now. $285 is a lot of money just to have someone else tell him he can’t drive anymore.

  59. I have missed everyone on this blog for the past few months and while I was away, Brandy had another baby! That was a fantastic accomplishment. Congratulations! I will be reading the past posts and comments to see what else I missed. Feels good to be back.

    My life has been centered around taking care of my Mother as her vision deteriorated. It has been extremely frustrating. Sad to say, Mom was unable to continue living on her on as she wished. Adapting to her poor vision was more than she could handle. Two weeks ago I moved her to another state to live with my sister. The difficulties were made easier due to the helpful advice I received from the kind people on this site. I was able to pass along many of the suggestions to my sister: can’t tell the boxes of detergent apart (use rubber-bands to distinguish them), can’t turn the dryer knob to the off position (tape the knob so you can feel the position), can’t feel the flat buttons on the microwave (attach raised rubber stickers), etc. I humbly thank everyone who offered suggestions a few months ago. Now I am trying to get my life and house back in order. Oh, my, what a mess.

    Being frugal is automatic in my life but these last few months have presented different challenges. Closing down a home someone has occupied for 53 years is an enormous task! It is cleaned and ready if Mom decides to return for a weekend visit but that may never happen. Many things she could not depart with were given to me and I have dumped them in my basement. That mountain of black trash bags must be sorted. This week I will begin taking the food from her cabinets and adding them to my pantry rather than letting it all expire. For a while, the house will sit empty because Mom can’t let it go. It is fine because I need to focus on my home for a while.

    The biggest cost saving accomplishment we have done these past few months was to meet with a financial adviser. His services were free since he worked for the bank. It was eye-opening. My husband is close to retirement and the future has seemed uncertain. The adviser was able to help us identify short-term and long-term goals plus see how we are prepared for retirement. My husband and I discuss our finances together but a trained outsider (one who knew finances and tax laws) made a big difference. We will make $750 a year just from moving money from one account to another!!!!

    These past few months have taught me many things, the importance of family and the difficulties of families. Aging gracefully is a myth – there is nothing easy about it! Everyone gets old unless you die young, so there are only two choices. The time will come when the money saved from frugal choices made now will make all the difference in the world. Will you be comfortable or miserable when you are the most vulnerable in your life? Will you be able to choose where you want to live or where you must live? Can you afford the co-pays for the medicine which makes you feel better? Choosing to be frugal and saving money now, will give you more choices when you are helpless. Being frugal matters. It makes a difference. It makes life better when you need it the most.

    Thank you, Brandy, for creating this website.


    Scooter Was Surprised by Nana

  60. I do the same thing with milk, although I only drink down a quarter of the gallon and then refill with water. We used to buy 2% but since I started doing this, I buy full-fat milk, which is always cheaper anyway for some reason. I hesitated to do it since my husband is a milk fiend, but he didn’t notice until I told him so now is fine with it. With milk at about $3 a gallon, this is a real money saver. I wish that I had done this when we lived in the bush, where there were no roads to the village so everything was flown in. Milk was over $8 a gallon. Since my husband is a saint who seldom requests anything special for himself, I paid the $8 but always with a lump in my throat!

  61. Laure,
    If it means anything, I straight leg and skinny leg flare jeans with a “regular” sewing machine needle and have not had any issues on regular weight denim.

  62. For me, being a caretaker, there are times $285 is money well spent for emotional respite. Sometimes, they just need to hear it from the “professionals”.

  63. This is the 4th time in a week that someone has mentioned this – the first time was in a novel I’m reading so it’s not as though it’s from one blog to another! How odd. 🙂

  64. by googling it the closest I could find was a dwarf burning bush. Google said it was for Zones 4-9 and I am zone 3 so not positive. Also the shrub was very small. It was amazing to look at since it was almost a florescent pink. I have not seen it locally on this side of the border.

  65. since my store brand full fat milk is $3.50/gal. This move will save me $7 per week which I can use toward replenishing my staples in the pantry. I also need to get back in the habit of using dry milk for my cooking needs to further save.

  66. I’m sorry about your mum, Jeannie. It’s so nice that she can live with her daughter. And all those suggestions will help her retain her independence, which is so important.

    I agree about planning for retirement/old age. I used to work with low-income frail elderly, and while there are lots of social programs in place in Canada to help (I can’t imagine how hard it must have been 100 years ago, to be poor and elderly, and live in a slum), it’s still not how one would like to live when ill and frail. People used to ask me how to avoid ending up living like some of the seniors I worked with, and my glib but accurate answer was “have kids and money; if one doesn’t work out, hopefully the other one will”. Not everyone is in a position to save money for old age, and not everyone will have a loving family to take care of them in their old age, but hopefully between a fiscally prudent youth/adulthood, and nurturing a family (whether a family by blood or a family by choice), we will all have the resources to soften the hard edges of aging.

  67. Thanks, Brandy! The issue is that some leaves on various plants are yellow, but not all; and if I skip a day of watering, the plants visibly wilt. I’ve also constructed good drainage in all the pots (lots of drainage holes, plus some rocks at the bottom), so it’s not retained water. The more pressing issue is that some plants are stagnant with growth. For example, my buttercrunch lettuce and carrots have stayed the same size for a month. I know I’m balcony gardening and not gardening in a backyard, but I have friends who also balcony garden and their balconies are producing a lot already. I’ve purchased good dirt (bags from places like Sheriden — a higher-end gardening store in Toronto, as well as higher end grocery stores; I bought on sale, it just happened to be at higher end places) and mixed it with some well-rotted black manure and mixed up all the bags so that it’s a good mixture. I’ve also blended kitchen scraps with water and used that to feed the plants (in addition to top-dressing with some really good black earth from my parents garden) and the plants seem to perk up after being watering with that homemade blend of kitchen scraps and water. My tomato plants are fine, but that might be because I’m using a tomato fertilizer; it’s the other plants that aren’t growing the way I think they should. I just feel like the plants are missing nutrients, but I don’t know exactly what, or how to find out what the issue is. Last year I thought it was a lack of sun, so I carefully arranged plants this year so that the ones that needed more sun got the sunniest positions, and the ones that didn’t need as much sun got the least sunny positions, but now I think the remaining issue is nutrients. Thanks for pointing out that leaves will hold clues — I’m going to examine the leaves carefully and start googling to see if I can find an answer.

  68. That is absolutely fascinating, Mable! If I ever have a compost bin (no space on my balcony right now), I will totally use that information! And if I ever have a flower garden, I’ll also use that info. I love learning new things, especially such esoteric things! In theory, it should be fine to use on fruits and veggies, but I have to admit, I’m a bit squeamish to do so. How novel, though!

  69. Athansia—it’s not only my husband’s driving, but cars have been his hobby for the last 35 years also. I did have a chat with him today about MY opinion: it’s not the driving, it’s the ability he no longer has to THINK QUICKLY. Like when I drove a stick shift car for a while–I could drive stick shift, but I was always afraid in a crisis moment, I wouldn’t be quick enough to do what I needed to do without thinking! Luckily, no crisis came up.

    Why spend the money? Because he needs to hear it from a neutral third person. It’s his hobby, his social life (a great many car club friends), and basically it’s what he has done with his free time for 35 years. It will leave a huge hole in his life and he’s not very adaptable to new activities. He already is having trouble using the computer. I tried to tell him he might NOT pass. We have two vacations planned for the summer which are car events and we already cancelled one we had planned on. I tried to stress that it’s a physical problem in his brain–it’s not like a “mental disease” but I think he feels foolish at times when he can’t find things that are right in front of him. I am sensitive to his feelings–but I might not NEED to be any more, because he seems less sensitive to his own feelings. It’s a strange situation to be dealing with and the diagnosis was a complete surprise to him, despite knowing that he was “forgetful”–he honestly didn’t know it was more pronounced than “normal aging forgetting.” But it’s almost like he forgets about it half the time and still isn’t terribly “aware” of it.

  70. Having dementia doesn’t mean a person is reasonable about things that others view as reasonable. Sometimes it’s best to have an agency, such as driver’s license division, make that determination. My mother was convinced that she was an excellent driver when she was mid-80’s and trust me, she was scary at best! It took many many conversations to convince her she was better off leaving her car parked. My family members were relieved when her driver’s license expired and she didn’t seek to renew it.

  71. I bought a box of organic fresh vegetables and fruit and a dozen free-range eggs from a local farmer, including delivery to my home (avoided buying from supermarket). Much nicer. My daughter and I had a big plate of vegetables for dinner tonight.

    I bought 2 litres laundry detergent for $1.50 and 2 litres wool wash for $2.50 from the supermarket to use instead of more expensive brands and I use less than the recommended amount. They have been fine to use.

    It’s mid winter in Australia and I’m putting a blanket over me during the evening and trying to be as frugal as possible with the heating. I’m line drying the laundry as much as I can and airing the laundry overnight and using a heated airing rack.

    When my mobile phone plan expires in 2 months, I’ll transfer to a pre-paid plan with ALDI and the cost will be much less than what I am currently paying.

  72. For denim, use a heavier needle made for thicker fabric so that it doesn’t break when going through multiple layers of denim. A 14 or even a 16 is good; you can get them in multi-packs. If you are buying a different brand than Singer, get one marked for jeans. Also, adjust your stitch length to be longer to compensate for going through the thicker fabric. I set mine to a 3.0 for denim.

  73. Until you make the vest for your mom you could get her a small cross body purse. They are everywhere now. You can find them at Target, Walmart or most store that carry purses. It has a longer strap that allows you to wear it over your head and then put your left arm through the strap leaving the purse hanging on your left side near your hip. Now she would have both hands free. Start watching women when you go out. Many will be wearing cross body bags. That is the only way I carry a purse.

  74. Cara,
    I don’t really have a recipe. I used three good sized ribs of rhubarb and probably about two cups of fresh strawberries and added sugar to taste. I also added about 2 tblsp of corn starch to thicken it.
    I chop the rhubarb into small pieces and put in the food processor until they are chopped very finely. I also put the strawberries in the food processor but just give them a quick spin to chop a bit.
    I then put the rhubarb, berries, sugar and corn starch in a pot and bring to a boil for a couple minutes.

    I make my own pie dough and I just pinched off small pieces and rolled into a circle and put a small amount of the cooled mixture in the center and then pinched the dough closed with my fingers. I then placed the bit sized pies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and baked in a 350 degree oven until the dough was lightly browned on the top.

    I know this is far from a real recipe but I hope it helps if you decide to try making your own.

  75. I got the notice via text message about 15 minutes ago. I’m not sure what to do since the money has already been taken from my checking account. I was so looking forward to that order and haven’t been buying chicken on sale since my freezer is small.

  76. I harvested basil.
    I planted calendula seedlings. I started more seedlings.
    My sweet peas–Spencer and April in Paris varieties–have been blooming so I’ve cut bouquets for the house and my cubicle at work. They smell so fragrant, especially the April in Paris.
    I brought lunch to work every day.
    I baked toffee cookies for my dad.

  77. Lisa is milk any cheaper in Canada? could your dh pick it up there? When I lived in PA it wa a few miles from the MD border, so I was able to go back and forth buying things where they were cheaper.

  78. No, our milk is more expensive @ $4.27/4 litres (1 gallon) here is Ontario. Our dairy system is regulated here, so the price doesn’t change much, nor do we see sales on fresh milk. Even with the exchange, what she is doing would still be cheaper. Also, I think this may be one of those products that can’t be transported back and forth across the borders.

  79. Harvested basil, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Used library for books and movies. Cooked at home. Family gave us clothes for my husband and a coat for my son when winter comes. Spent time at our farm and the library most the day when we had them and then we bought a cupcake. They were happy just spending time with us. I should have made cupcakes for them but the outing was fun. I’d like to sew curtains for our house. I have material for our kitchen. I’m not a seamstress, but I think I am going to try. Just have to find the sewing machine we bought from a thrift shop in one of our boxes.
    Enjoying sunrises and sunsets at the farm as well as wildlife. We have seen coyotes, deer, owls, hawks and a variety of other birds around where we live.
    Spent time with both families playing board games, a lot of fun!

  80. Lovely flowers, Brandy.

    Although this past week I’ve spent so much, I made it back home. It appears I have become the primary earner. I’m trusting God as I do not work again till the fall. Praying my husband works.

    I rented a SUV and drove three days to get back. It was the same cost as flying during this time of year. It would have been a bit more than the ticket except I returned the SUV a day earlier and saved 150.00. I was given a brand new vehicle and that helped with mileage and my seat was very comfortable. I usually have great difficulty with these long drives…a very comfortable seat made such a difference. And, I was able to bring a lot of my daughter’s things from college as well as some items that we had accidently taken with us…like the dishes, silverware and most of the towels.

    The only subscription we have is for amazon prime and I’m wondering about canceling although I used to use it to watch movies or TV shows; however now most of what I’d watch requires further subscriptions to be purchased. Anyone else finding this? We also buy much less now that our children are older and working.

    We need to find ways to spend even less for the next couple months. I’m going to be looking very carefully at every penny yet again. Trying not to slide into unwarranted spending! Mostly successes, but some failures recently! Ugh!

    Happy frugal-ing all.

  81. Jennifer, this is the first year I have grown sweet peas and I love bringing them into the house, but they only last about 24 hours before they wilt. Am I doing something wrong?

  82. No, the guy that sells tires is Mennonite and is the Amish taxi service. Hubby welds for the Amish and does pick up and delivery of things like lumber for the Amish. The other day it was dig a huge rock out of their field.

  83. Milk is way more expensive in Canada. At one time it was close to $7/gallon there. At one time local Canadians would cross to our side to buy milk & then cross it but I don’t think that is allowed anymore. Many Canadians still buy food items on this side and cross it but what you can cross into Canada is not the same as what you can cross into the US. A lot of people in my community buy clothes in Canada but I hate dealing with exchanging money into Canadian. My husband has gotten good deals at the hardware store in Canada before and we had purchased a lot of furniture in Canada when the exchange was better for us–and in the case of beds we were able to get them in solid wood and not particle board.

  84. Just for information: Zaycon Facebook page has been removed, 800 phone number and the 509 area code number have both been disconnected. I have sent an email requesting a refund since I paid by e-check but have received no answer as of yet.

  85. Dear Marcia. I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. As I get older, I find that I am not prepared to deal with so many issues that I never expected to encounter. As I have aged and my children have grown, so much of my life was focused on them and various typical issues. I mean there was a book on every table to guide you. How to tend a baby, manage your time, manage your home and let’s not forget Dave Ramsey and how to manage your money. I had no clue what was in store for me when dealing with my inlaws. ( I have been widowed twice so I had double the blessings ) It never was about family relationships but the aging and illness that I was not prepared for. Now my own parents have caught up in age and it is an emotional nightmare. Thankfully my father has his cognitive abilities and realized he did not need to drive. My mother in the other hand is a tragedy waiting to happen. We had her tested recently and they renewed her license for ten more years. I can only shake my head. My brother and I have both banned all our children from riding with her. I wish there had been a book for all of this. So many things to deal with. Alzheimer’s, dementia , wills, DNR’s and no one wanting to discuss anything. Oh, and then there is the anger. I hope the third party decision will provide you with not being responsible for the decision and redirect any anger he feels elsewhere. My father showed cars, built engines etc…. I understand. I send calming thoughts to you.

  86. Juls, you are in Ohio, correct? You have a large Amish and Mennonite population so plenty of taxi service business there. My son in law’s mother is a Mennonite Yoder. Her mother and other relatives all live in Ohio. A lot of them went to the big Yoder reunion last year in Indiana.

  87. Hello,
    I have not commented in a long time for different reasons. My daughter had major surgery for the tumor in her head last fall. She is doing quite well. While not a “savings” it none the less is a joyous event of life.

    What did I do to save money? After months of items hitting my budget, it has stabilized (for the moment). Now I can really determine what I can count on for finances and where to save money.

    Knit and crocheted several baby blankets for the babies due this summer (as gifts)
    Made 3 afghans for Christmas gifts so far
    Bought nice quality yarn at Dollar Tree for $1 (I made the afghans out of the yarn)
    Set up my coupon binder (I am using a binder I got at Office Depot for 1 cent)

    That is all for now.


  88. Lilli, I just had to do that with my kindle also. It is only about a year old! My last one went for about 4 years before it could not keep up with updates. This one suddenly refused to charge.

  89. After surviving a rigorous backpacking trip last weekend, we took off for our planned family camping trip. I’ll just say it’s a good thing I have been able to rest up after the strenuous hike my daughter, niece, the youth group, sponsors, and I took. I had a really, really good time, though, and am proud of us for making it! I put pictures of that on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-june-25-2018/

    After trading my niece for my nephew, we took him and our youngest daughter and are down at Ft. Stevens State Park for a few days. The big girls stayed home to hold down the fort. They had other things to do–one working and one helping at a day camp.

    We have eaten at the camper for all meals, except one meal out. We save coins in a can for this purpose. We went fishing a few times, and have caught several fish. We have had fish for meals twice so far. I have been sorting out and organizing the camper cupboards, and trying to use food that has been there for a while. I used a bit of chocolate chips that were slightly white, but made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies out of them, and they were fine.

    We had to buy a very few groceries, but have been making out quite well with the garden things I picked before we left, and the food that was in the camper. I bought jam today, because I forgot to bring some, and there is none in the cupboards. I also grabbed another loaf of bread, as my nephew is living on whole wheat bread, and top ramen. Clearly, I would rather he eat bread:)

  90. Jeannie, your mother is so lucky to have you and your sister. My younger son is a Social Worker who works only with the elderly. There are so many at risk just because they don’t have a regular and close member of the family to keep up with them. I hope you can find a good solution for the house. One of your boys need a place?

  91. Amalia, have you been to the Princeton markets in the summer? A vacation on the lake in a little cottage is my idea of a really good vacation.

  92. This was for a college daughter? If she isn’t using it with Amazon, see if you can use her .edu email address for a free Amazon Prime trial for six months. Even if she graduated, her school will possibly be keeping the account active.

  93. Marivene, how sweet do you make your stewed rhubarb? Since you are adding it to the sweet jello do you leave it unsweetened? It is going to be in the 90’s here with about 90% humidity and I want to get a number of cold salads in to the refrigerator today to use for no cooking.

  94. Lorna, in 100 sq meters you must have to be very organized. Everything in it’s place.

    For those extra/excess plastic containers we take them to church and put in cupboard in kitchen for that purpose. They are very handy when folks are packing up after potlucks and showers etc for folks to take leftovers home. It is good too to pack up the funeral food leftovers and send home with the family. They have everything from the small margarine type containers to the ice cream pails with handles.

  95. Hi Athanasia and that is a good idea on taking the plastic containers to church for their use too, thank you :). These were small plastic flip top vitamin bottles I had saved for our garden seed saving but had since got glass jars with plastic screw lids from the groceries that we used to use instead. The vitamin bottles would have been to small for them to use I think.

    Yes in such a small area we have to be tidy and organised to fit things in here and somewhat minimalists. Stacking food storage, craft materials in 10 l food storage containers and using gorilla and bookshelf shelving. Every bit of space has to be carefully considered. We also use our belt and chair rails for storing herbs, spices and saved garden seeds on.

    We also keep all of our ice cream containers for storing small amounts of flour, baking powder to top up from our large food storage containers in the kitchen which make them far easier to lift. They make great food containers for freezing pumpkin puree in too for the freezer among many other uses.


  96. Hello, I’m a reader from the Philippines.

    Even though we are here on the other side of the world, I am inspired by your blog especially since I am an advocate of frugal living as well.

    Here are some ways I try to save money:
    *I segregate old newspapers (we have a daily subscription), brown paper bags to hold purchases, old non-confidential documents we gather from regular purging/cleaning, and used plastics (which I wash/dry): 5-6 liter water containers (we buy our drinking water), all sorts of empty toiletry/food containers, disposable cutlery from takeaways, lids of coffee/food containers, stirrers. I regularly bring what I collect to a “junk shop” near our place which buys them for recycling. Whatever I earn from this goes to my piggy bank or petty cash jar.
    *I gas up daily to go to work (roughly 13.2 kms. distance from our home to the University where I work) and have a rewards card to earn points. I redeemed a portion of the points today to buy a small container of coolant for our pick-up.
    *I carpool with my niece whose workplace (a school as well) is roughly 2.5 kms. from my own. I drop her off a few steps away from their school’s gate.
    *I take breakfast in my office since I normally arrive there before 7AM. I answered an online survey of one of the restaurants across our University where I usually buy takeaway breakfast. I was given complimentary mashed potatoes with gravy. I gave this to the University gardener who go to work much earlier than I do.
    *I am always on the lookout for good product promos and when I saw that a big bag of potato chips (product of a brand we patronize) comes with a cute notebook/journal giveaway, I just had to buy one. I plan to serve the chips as a snack during one of our family’s weekend get-togethers.
    *I need not spend for snacks and lunches for two days this week since this is included in the free seminar on The Theology of the Body which I was invited as a student mentor.
    *I will have my yearly free seasonal flu vaccine and eye check-up today as part of our University’s health care package for employees.
    *We try to grow as much as we can in our small garden both ornamentals and edibles. It’s the start of the rainy season over here this June. Last summer, we harvested a bunch of cooking bananas (“saba” bananas) from our tree and a few tomatoes from the one plant which is already bearing fruits. My mother divided the produce among the three families in our residential compound (my mom/I, my sister and family, my brother and family). We are waiting for the produce from the calamansi (Philippine lime) to grow and be ready for picking.

    Thank you for sharing your life and wonderful ideas. More blessings for you and your family and to all the readers of your blog!


  97. Marcia R:
    When I saw the Instagram photo of Brandy’s Dad’s Model T, I was amazed at the shine on the door, (you can see the reflection of the photographer). Your comments make me think of how your husband has all sorts of muscle memory and practical knowledge from his years with cars. As you and he maneuver through the next months, I hope his car colleagues come around to see him to keep him alert to that part of your lives.
    When our local club has their annual “Cruise Night” in town, they always start their parade by rumbling through the driveways of the local retirement home, and the residents are helped outside to see the vehicles. They certainly prompt old memories and conversations. Best to your family!

  98. Contact your bank, credit card company, PayPal- however you prepaid and tell them that you want to dispute charges. Save your texts or emails that they sent out now cancelling your orders so your financial institution has another verification that you paid, but they did not deliver.
    So sorry that this is happening!!!

  99. Many thanks for sharing the link to the livecams. I took a look and saved to my favorites. Checking it each morning now to see the goings on with the bears. Very frugal entertainment.

  100. Athanasia, since I plan to use it in gelatin, I do not add any sugar at all. The gelatin has more than enough sugar to sweeten the rhubarb. I put 2 cups of water in a pan with 3 cups rhubarb cut thinly, & cook over low heat until the rhubarb falls apart when I stir, then I freeze it in one cup portions in the Ball freezer cups.

  101. Burning bush turns pink in the fall, but is rather dull otherwise. It’s invasive and is prohibited in most New England states now.

    The other shrubs I can think of that would be pink or have pink blossoms (other than smokebush, which Brandy suggested) are spirea, barberry and weigela, but new hybrids come out all the time.

  102. Thanks Marivene. I made one nice bowl full. Little Dora tested it and liked it so made another bowl to send home with her. We aren’t used to heat like this. They say with the heat index the 94 felt like 105 yesterday! It’s 6:30 am now and overnight it only cooled to 78F.

  103. Now I am REALLY curious about the pink bush. I gather it was fairly substantial in size? Ann

  104. After saying I was staying home, I took a one day vacation in the mountains. My allergies were terrible in the city but cleared up once out in the mountains. It was a very windy day and we got a late start. We took sandwiches and ate them by the little mountain pond. Met a nice Dutch couple who said they’d seen a mother bear and her cubs further south but we didn’t see them. It was a treat visiting with the Dutch couple who, apparently, had driven halfway across the States seeing parks there before driving up here.

    We drove on the unpaved highway to get to a beautiful mountain lodge where we had a quick tea, as it was getting late. I had hoped to see moose there as the balcony overlooks a meadow and mud bath area where the moose come. But there were no moose in sight. Disappointed, we left, returning the same way we had come. we saw a Hoary Marmot which as rare at that low elevation. We were almost out of the park, when I saw a moose. Always before, it has been bad lighting at dusk or a bad angle of the moose. Finally, I got superb moose photos. It was drinking muddy water from a rivulet in a ditch right by the road. It was oblivious of our presence. As one of my friends said, it was just like being on safari. I had a hard time getting the entire moose image in a frame as it was big and we were close. I would never recommend being this close whether or not you are in a car. I did get some beautiful photos of the moose and the marmot. The day away did my spirits a world of good. I was so glad we went as the forecast for next week is miserable and the traffic this weekend for CanadaDay and next week for Stampede will be fierce.

    As far as saving money goes, I am scrutinizing my house insurance policy. I will be reviewing several items with the insurance broker. There for example is a fee for “Renewal Policy Reissue” of $325.00, a type of fee I have never been charged before. I may go to a higher deductible. I really do not know how people are affording to live
    these days. We have had a lot of hail storms, fires and floods so it is understandable rates go up but this is ridiculous. My quarterly payment is now the same as the total annual rate about 5 years ago. And with a tariff war, it is going to spur inflation on both sides of the border.

  105. Hi Ellie’s Friend from Canada.
    I use TD Meloxe Monnex. I mention them because I think they are based in Calgary.
    I know with flooding a couple of years ago in Calgary/ Alberta insurance rates did increase because of payouts.
    I uses to see this company advertised on the back of a couple of university alumni magazines.
    The rates for groups, in this case university graduates was so low compared to other companies.
    I had an independent insurance broker try and compare and they couldn’t match it. You may belong to a professional association, teachers, accountants, engineers, nurses, firefighters, etcetera.
    Frequently the insurance for personal or household is quite a bit lower. Has to do with the determinations or claims likely with actuarial tables. I think?

  106. Here are my frugal accomplishments for the week:
    * I went to the library to check out books for myself and some for my granddaughter. (She is visiting over the 4th of July.)
    * Cashed in points for a $50.00 grocery gift card. I will use this to cover the extra expenses over the 4th of July week.
    *Used and repurposed leftovers to elimanate food waste.
    * Hung laundry to dry.
    *Worked on my small patio garden. I am growing heirloom tomatoes. I started them from seeds that I saved from last year. I am also growing yellow beans, peppers, chives, and flowers.
    *Saved water from cooking vegetables to water my patio garden.
    *Planned and cooked all meals at home.

  107. So happy for your family. Head injuries are scary and can throw your life into turmoil…we know firsthand. Glad you are back to stable…

  108. Hello Gina, I believe that I have been using the perfect white sourdough recipe. It never fails! Sometimes my starter is too wet so that I have to add extra flour but it always tastes fabulous. It’s 4-3-2-1 easy to remember. 4 cups flour – 3 cups starter – 2 teaspoons salt and 1 cup warm water. Mix well and let rest in bowl (covered with towel) until double or more. Sometimes I just leave it overnight. Then create one big round loaf or two regular bread pans (I use 2breadpans which gives me 13-14 slices each). Let rise again – depends on how warm your kitchen is. I put it in a warm oven with a container of water on the shelf under it and it takes about 3 hours. Then pre-heat your oven while you egg wash the top and add sesame seeds if wanted and bake 350 degrees for 30 – 32 minutes (bread loaf pans) depending on the color you want. It’s done when it sounds hollow when you tap the top. My daughters first loaf didn’t have a round pretty top but still tasted delicious. This bread only slices well after it is completely cool. Tastes awesome warm but those slices will be very thick lol. Good luck with this 🙂

  109. We had to purchase a new mattress for health reasons two years ago and bought a Zinus memory foam from Amazon. We have been very pleased and the price was definitely right! We use it on top of our standard box spring. Our daughter has one as well and loves it as much as we do. We went with the thickest one they sell. It has been a good alternative to pricey mattress replacements.

  110. I have never seen a moose in real life – must have been amazing.
    Shopping around for a better insurance rate is on my list of things to do in the next year. I’m going to see what my options are by checking with an organization I belong to and with my retiree benefits through my former employer – I think I am paying way too much so it’s definitely something I need to look into.

  111. Sure! Found it on Pinterest. I used a box of black cherry jello and I pulsed up some canned pineapple since that’s what I had in my pantry. I gifted some to a couple of co-workers and they liked it very much.

    4 c rhubarb (diced)
    4 c sugar
    1 small can crushed pineapple
    3 oz box cherry jello
    1. Cook Rhubarb with sugar for 12 minutes.Add pineapple and cook three minutes. Add Jello Mixing well and Pour into jars and seal.
    ***This is a jelly that stays in fridge but will seal by just the hotness of the jars.

  112. Thank you all who share your ideas. I love catching up with them on Sundays before church.

    This week was my daughter’s 13th birthday. Fairly simple affair; gifts were actually 2 souveneirs (a shirt and a personalized pocketknife) we had bought on travels; 2 clothing items bought from a company going out of business; and then tickets to the Lion King that we got through discount through the scouts. She had 2 friends over for swimming at the neighborhood pool and cake; no one noticed that we didn’t get ice cream.

    Feeling very blessed with “only” a $500 car repair. I noticed my car making a strange noise and took it to the shop; a hose had burst and if I had driven a few more miles there potentially could have been catastrophic damage to my engine!

    Meals this week have been largely from the freezer and garden; trying to hold any extra spending. We did buy burgers and chips for the birthday dinner to cook out at home and the splurge was lamb brats from the farmers market (which were twice as expensive as I had imagined, but they did give me a dozen eggs too.)

    Used coupon at joanns and my Girl Scout discount for birthday gifts for a twin’s party; they have lots of kids kits on clearance right now so this may be a good time for folks to stock up.

    There will be lots of swimming pool time to stay cool this coming week. Praying our AC is not going down (we are in a heat emergency here).

  113. You are welcome-it as so nice to see it live. I watched the live cams for about 5 summers while I saved up to go.

  114. Amalia, your website says your mailing address is Monroe. Princeton is about 100 miles north. It’s pretty famous.

  115. Athanasia, no one needs a place to stay at the moment. Joshua, my oldest lived with her which allowed her to stay so long at her home. He has chosen to move out with his buddies, can’t blame him, and that pushed Mom to make the decision to do something. It was way past time for her to leave also.

    The house is in need of major renovations and repairs. Mom does not need to be sinking money into the house. The market is hot in Nashville right now and it is the best time to sell. We will wait for her to make the decision to do it.


  116. Jeannie sounds like you should sell the house. It will certainly bring money to put away for her future needs.

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