Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Pickles Relish and Jam The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested peaches, figs, grapes, garlic chives, Swiss chard, green onions, grapes, tomatoes, and an Armenian cucumber from the garden.

I canned fig jam, sweet pickle relish, and giardiniera.

I read 4 books (Hamish Macbeth!) that I borrowed from my mom. I then went to the library’s website and borrowed and read 4 more Hamish Macbeth books in e-book form.

My parents filled a blow-up pool for the children to enjoy at their house for a few days. When they were done, they pumped it out with a pump and a hose into my garden beds. I moved the hose around to different areas, grateful to have over 1000 gallons of water at no charge to me, and happy that it was able to serve two different purposes.

I collected 3 to 5 gallons of water each day from the run-off humidity from the air conditioner and used it to water my potted plants in the garden. I keep a one-gallon ice cream bucket under the pipes where the water drips on the side of the house and check it periodically throughout the day, and when it’s full, I transfer it to a three-gallon bucket and dump that out when it is full. 

I gladly accepted some succulents from my dad that had been slightly burned in the sun. I moved them to a shady spot and if they recover, I’ll plant them in a shady place in my garden.

I went to the grocery store and picked up several items using rainchecks from last month, buying boneless pork roast for $0.89 a pound (usually the lowest sales price is $1.79 a pound) and ice cream for $3.99 a gallon. I also used digital coupons to pick up 5 pounds of sour cream for $0.89 a pound. In addition, I purchased more pork roast that was on sale last week for $1.19 a pound. 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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170 Comments

  1. I’m impressed with how much you canned and harvested this week! And I’m glad you were able to pick up some pork roast. If I remember correctly from a previous post, your family really enjoys that particular cut.

    I did some canning too this week (strawberry jam)! Also:
    – I made a super-quick and easy side dish using pantry ingredients and garden veggies: Pesto & Garden Veggie Couscous Salad with BBQ Protein (http://approachingfood.com/pesto-garden-veggie-couscous-salad/) ! I almost always have homemade pesto in the freezer (although in this instance I used some store-bought pesto) and usually have couscous in my pantry (purchased from a local bulk store), so this is a flavourful, frugal, and easy side dish for evenings when I don’t have much energy to cook. I used a cob of corn that my mother gave me, and some bbq’d tofu leftover from another dish. But any leftover protein is fine, whether chicken or tofu.
    – Using my local trading app, I traded 3 wooden containers that I had gotten free from my workplace (they were going to be recycled), for a BNIB crib sheet in the colour of the nursery.
    – My husband helped me add ads to my blog, so hopefully that will eventually be a small source of income. I’m still working on modifying it so as not to be annoying to my readers, and am working on curating the ad content, but doing this all on my own with my husband’s occasional help is certainly better than paying someone! I also installed a free plug-in to do automatic backups to my site.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 giftcard to Starbucks.
    – We borrowed a ladder from my parents in order to finish painting the nursery. My mum was able to bring it over to us when she came to visit on the weekend.
    – I took my mother to Costco (I get a free membership through my work), and they were handing out free goat’s milk soap samples, essentially hotel-sized bars. We each got one and will send them to my MIL in our next care package.
    – My husband redeemed loyalty points to get $100 worth of free groceries this week. I’m very thankful that he knows how to, and chooses to, leverage the points system in our favour. And we always bring our own bags, of course.
    – I gave my sister some granola bars that I no longer was able to stomach and gave my mom a shirt that no longer fit me but that is perfect for when she goes hiking or travelling. I love that whenever my family gets together, we all have little things collected to give to each other.
    – I picked thyme, oregano, and rosemary from my balcony garden, dried it, and added it to my pantry. I also hand-pollinated my zucchini blossoms.
    – I bought ice cream on sale, and also chocolate chip cookies on sale, and made my own ice cream sandwiches to keep in the freezer for snacks.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  2. It sounds like you found some great deals. Last week, I harvested cucumbers. tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, winter squash, green & lima beans, okra and various herbs. I found red thyme plants marked down to .25 ea., and bought four. Today, I harvested concord grapes, made juice, then canned it. I made yogurt this morning and zucchini bread this evening (with tromboncino squash). Laundry was done with homemade soap, and hung on the line. Plants were watered with warm up water. We’ve gotten some lovely rain the past week, so no need to water the gardens. I look forward to reading what everyone has been up to. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/08/mushroom-weather-frugal-accomplishments.html

  3. My biggest savings this week was buying fabric.
    I sew for a living and Halloween is my busy time. I have 5 orders already this year and two of them are needing white fleece. I went to get the fleece and remembered I used the last of it last year.
    I started looking for fleece and fur (another story) on sale and found fleece for 50% off. That made the price $4.99 a yard.
    I was going to buy 30 yards of it and that was quite a hit to the budget. So I kept looking and found a sale at JoAnn Fabrics for 3 yards pieces for $6.95 I think…it might have been a few pennies more. So I ordered 30 yards that way and saved a lot of cash.
    I also got free shipping.
    The rest of the week was the usual things.
    I love the Hamish series…and I often binge read. I’ve been doing it for the last week myself.

  4. Sounds like you had a really good week, Brandy! I love that your children were able to enjoy splashing in a pool, then the water was repurosed for your garden. Those canned goods must feel great to have added to your pantry. It was nice you were able to enjoy some borrowed books from your mom and the library. But best of all, I’m glad you were able to stock up on some meat and other items at such a great price!

    We’ve been back in the midst of a heat wave this past week, but I think some slightly cooler weather may have arrived this afternoon. There was a much needed thunderstorm that came with the cooler temps, too. Looking forward to some more reasonable temperatures this coming week! Our frugal accomplishments included the following:
    *Meals made at home included tacos (choice between beef and black bean), sauteed chicken breast with choice of making a hot chicken sandwich or just the meat with side of white rice, and mixed veggies to go with either choice, bacon sandwiches with salad, French beef dip sandwiches, breaded fish with homemade tartar sauce, peas and choice of potato wedges or sweet potato fries, and BBQ grilled chicken breasts with baked potatoes (made on the BBQ) and carrots.
    *Used leftover black bean taco filling to make burritos for my “meatless lunches” this week. When I finished the taco filling up, I took a container of hummus.
    *Made fried rice for DD and I for lunch on my day off. There was enough leftovers for DD to have it the next day for lunch as well. Such a cheap, easy and healthy meal to make! Here is the link for the recipe I use, if anyone is interested https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/best-fried-rice/ Note: you can basically add any veggie you have on hand, like sprouted mung beans, onions, fresh/frozen/canned veggies of choice etc., as well as leftover meat such as chicken or pork.
    *My mom and I had an appointment to go to after I was done work one day. Hubby asked if we would be picking up dinner on our way home. My mom, however, finally listened to my complaints about eating restaurant food so much and cooked a bunch of bacon ahead of time (before I got home from work) so we could have bacon sandwiches for dinner! Hubby was disappointed he didn’t get his beloved take out food, but he ate his dinner and survived yet another day without starving.
    *Free things I received from work this week: Popcorn (DD now asks every day where the popcorn is, though sometimes there isn’t any up for grabs. I told this to my manager one day and she went out of her way to save the last bag of popcorn for me to take home!), baked treats made in village (some of which I made) and a freezie on a very hot day!
    *Took a jar of my homemade turkey stock to work and made a nice soup over the open fire pit with whatever ripe veggies I could find in our gardens (crooked neck squash, green beans, 3 potatoes, a handful of peas and a few leaves of sage for flavour). One staff member was especially appreciative of the soup as he was in need of getting groceries, and didn’t have anything to bring for lunch that day. Glad I could help him out! It turned out to be an excellent demo as well, as a group of museum students were having a tour of our village and the head gardener from Upper Canada Village also happened to be visiting, too.
    *Cut my own bangs to extend time between haircuts. I grow out my hair for summer anyways, as I need to put it up in a bun for work.
    *The young co-worker that I’ve been mentoring was so proud of herself this week. She found 3 apps she downloaded onto her phone that will help her save money. Later in the week, she was so excited to tell me she completed 1 of the challenges I gave her. Her and her boyfriend enjoyed a picnic lunch together at the park one day as a frugal date! She is currently working on the second challenge of trying a new recipe for an Asian soup she enjoys getting at a restaurant.
    *I pulled a sympathy card from our card stash for my husband to give to his employers, after their mother passed away. She was a really lovely lady and will be sadly missed around the restaurant.
    *At work, I needed some soapy water to wash some dishes, so I put some dish soap in a pan and used the hose to fill it up. The hard pressure of the hose created a massive amount of bubbles. There was a special needs child visiting with a camp group. He ran over and started playing with my bubbles. It made him so happy! I loved how such a simple thing could bring someone so much joy.

    Looking forward to enjoying all the comments again this week. Hope you are all doing well!

  5. I love the picture of your canning. There is something that is just so comforting in looking at them, isn’t there? I take pictures of my completed canning too!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Worked 10.5 hours contract work.
    • Ate in 5 times this week. Had soup made from freezer container that I had been putting leftover odds and end in. I added a home canned jar of tomato sauce, 3 beef bouillon cubes, Italian seasoning and garlic. It was delicious, and I got 2 more lunches out of it as well. Also had bratwurst with boiled potatoes and sauerkraut; Hubby had the same for dinner the next night and I ate a different single serving sized leftover from the freezer; and steak, baked potato and asparagus (both steak and asparagus were bought on sale earlier and frozen). One night we ate out at our Trivia League night, but our team won a $30 gift certificate and I won the tie breaker to determine who got to take the certificate. I got the certificate plus $5 (we each put in $1 for that question.) That will pay for next week’s Trivia night. One night, our teammates put on a mystery party. It had a Hawaiian theme, so I brought pineapple coleslaw (I already had all the ingredients for this except for the cabbage.) We didn’t have to spend too much on our costumes either, as we had most of the items. Sunday was Hubby’s birthday. He chose to have pulled pork (which I made from a pork butt I had in the freezer that I had bought on sale,) jalapeno coleslaw and potato salad. My DD, SIL and grandson joined us. She brought his “birthday cake” which is French Silk Pie.
    • Saved all carrot ends and peelings, celery ends and onion ends in a ziplock bag in the freezer to use when I make chicken stock the next time. I had used up all of my previous collection when I made turkey stock a couple of weeks ago.
    • Got plums and nectarines for 77c/lb, cherries for 97c/lb, 2 sour cream and 3 cottage cheese for 89c each, a free Kind bar, a free box of pasta and cheese, and 5 jars of Classico spaghetti sauce for 99c each. I bought these on Tuesday and then they were still on sale on Wednesday and I found that Ibotta had a 50c rebate per jar up to 5, so I bought 5 more jars. I like Classico and also like that after I use the spaghetti sauce I can save the jar for canning.
    • Hubby and I both took our lunches to work.
    • Got some free bubbles and whistles last week while on vacation. I will use those as stocking stuffers.
    • We live in Arizona and all our previous houses had built in pools. We decided when we were house hunting for this house that Hubby is too busy to take care of a pool, so we had gotten a kiddie pool on clearance a couple of weeks ago for my 2 ½ year old grandson when he comes over. When the kids came over for Hubby’s birthday, they also brought their kiddie pool. The 4 adults and my grandson sat out in the kiddie pools. While it looked a little silly, it was surprisingly refreshing and my grandson loved it. We then dumped the water on the grass and won’t have to run the sprinklers for a few days.

  6. We usually have our first frost by the end of August and already it feels like fall—raining every day, the colors of flowers starting to fade slightly, and high 40s for nighttime temperatures at our house. The garden is in full swing, so every day I am canning or blanching/freezing or dehydrating. If I try to do more than one of those in a day, I start getting impatient and weary, so I limit myself. Today I harvested cabbage and started 35 pounds of sauerkraut. Earlier in the week, I canned three dozen jars of dill pickles, 8 jars of rhubarb chutney, and 6 jars of relish. I also dehydrated a year’s supply each of sage, dill and basil.

    A neighbor borrowed our pickup to move two loads of stuff and returned it with a full tank and a wash! We have not washed it in over two years, since we use it only for hauling compost and wood and such. Nor did he take it with a full tank, so he repaid us much more than we gave him. We have been burned before, with people borrowing our truck and returning it with less gas than when it left, so this was really a nice surprise. At times I have wanted to get that bumper sticker that says, “Yes, this is my truck and, no, I won’t help you move.”

    Found some frozen peaches from last year and I need the freezer space, so I made a peach and cream cheese pound cake. l found some sad carrots, half a sad cabbage not fresh enough to use for kraut, and two kohlrabi. I added in two leeks and a head of cauliflower from the garden, simmered them all in homemade chicken stock, used and immersion blender to make it thick and mostly smooth, added some leftover cheese bits, and we had a very filling four nights of meals. Each night I made a different type of muffin or bread, so it was a little less boring. I was pretty happy with myself for avoiding food waste, which is easy to do in the summer when all the fresh stuff is coming in from the garden every day and you just want more fresh and not yesterday’s pickings.

    Finished earning and collected a $10 gift card for Amazon, using Drop box, and $25 from Swagbucks, and $10 from Ibotta. Did two mystery shops that paid, plus I was reimbursed for buying cookies (and REALLY GOOD chocolate chip Starbucks cookies) and $5 worth of gas and a bottled water…every little bit. I keep track of what I save with coupons, doing mystery shops, using the library instead of buying a book, and apps such as Swagbucks, and some months it has been as much as $300.

  7. A few frugal efforts from recent days-

    – careful shopping, purchasing items from different stores determined by price and quality
    – salvage store shopping prior to traditional store shopping, stocking up on as many list items as possible
    – combining errands/work, saving time and gas
    – recycling, reducing trash (we pay per bag of trash)
    – bag-lunches for work (amazed every time I see coworkers eating the expensive cafeteria meals served at the hospital where I work)
    – garden harvest: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil, yellow squash, & zucchini (wonderful gardening year here in NE Ohio). We ate or shared our produce.
    – mow our large lawn (3+ acres) when it significantly needs it – long, but not so long it harms the mower. We fill our gas cans while running other errands
    – continue to prepare craft sale items for the 5-6 shows we plan to attend this autumn, specializing in items made from inexpensive/free supplies. We have an amazing supply of quality reclaimed wood, among other items.
    – husband resurfaced our large back deck by himself, doing a beautiful job (he also replaced our failed water heater several weeks ago)
    – downloaded and enjoyed library audiobooks and also podcasts
    – listened to Cleveland Indians on the radio, continuing to thrive without cable or internet in our home
    – slightly trimmed my hair, making the final 2 weeks (of 10) before the next hair appointment easier to deal with
    Have a terrific week!

  8. I envy your canning. My garden never even got started this year and I haven’t run into good enough deals on produce to can anything yet this year.

    I’ve been reading too. In my case I’m working my way through Martha Stewart’s Home Keeping Manual. Huge book, but has a lot of good information in it.

    I’ve been busy around here with back to school preparations (our schools start next week), battling larder beetles, various lessons for the kids and therapy for the son. Tiring but rewarding!

    My list of various activities can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2018/08/frugal-friday-money-saving-weekly-recap.html

  9. My lovely car made it home from the dealership with repairs covered by the warranty. Sadly the anticipated sucker punch fees took $400.00. I find in my old age that my wisdom is the only thing that keeps me ahead in life, if only by a few inches. I have tried to use up all things in my house and make do with what I have. I needed oven cleaner but had none. I googled how to clean oven with ammonia and found it did a great job. I vaguely remembered a post somewhere I had read at some point in life. I found a large coffee can of pennies at the car wash. I ran them through the CoinStar and used the 12.00 to buy 18 lbs of ground turkey that was marked down. I combined the turkey with some ground chuck and made meatloaf and cooked meat for soups and chilis for the freezer. I had no seasoning mix but found that a recipe on the Lipton soup mix worked great. I used 35.00 of Swagbucks to place an order on top cash back with Wal-Mart for household supplies and made 20.00 bonus. I am missing $50.00 worth of Swagbucks that I have submitted a help ticket on. I have found that I can use the Visa gift cards on my utility company’s websites. I will continue to cash out for the Visa’s and pay my utilities with them. I will then take the allotted cash and put back in my now empty emergency fund. I probably will limit cashing out for PayPal as I have no desire to receive any tax documents. Sugar cookie is coming home this week and I am happy to have her back.She has had a great visit with family but said she wants to get back in her own bed. All my emails that I receive have meant so much to me. I hope everyone is having a great week and hope we all are over all the bumps in life at least for a day or two.

  10. I loved Hamish MacBeth, both the books and the TV series – if you can find it on Youtube it is worth checking out just for the gorgeous scenery.
    It was another hot week here so relatively quiet except for a lot of errands and catching up on things.

    Monday and Tuesday – Stayed home both days as it was so hot so no spending
    Wednesday: Combined a bunch of things to do on Wednesday and walked to get exercise & avoid extra transit fees. Organized a few things at the bank – dropped off my July hours for part-time job
    Thursday: Did a big grocery shop, stopped at the drugstore for some sale items – and accumulated a lot of things on my Loyalty Point program so should have at least $40 in points saved by the end of this month – topped up my transit pass and made a trip to the library.
    Friday: combined errands – finished paying all bills for the month – went to Credit Un – LCBO -Dept. Store – Book store – Finished grocery shopping – didn’t eat a meal out as I might have in the past – just had a cappuccino and people watched for a bit of a rest.
    Saturday: Stayed home – cleaned, ironed and spent a couple of hours on paperwork for PT job.
    Sunday: Did have lunch out after church but just a sandwich and coffee. Checked out some other possible part-time work opportunities and will send in my resume this week.
    Did get some sad news yesterday – someone that I’ve known for a few years and attend class with (but not a close friend) committed suicide after the recent sudden loss of his partner. It is very sad and such a shock for both his family and friends. I will go to the funeral this coming weekend. We all have bad days and maybe we think we have it so very tough but we really never know what others are going through. It has reminded me to be more grateful for what I have and not worry so much about what I don’t have. I look forward to reading everyone’s comments – it is something that I look forward to each week.

  11. So nice to find your weekly posting this evening. I just finished dinner and it is a welcome reward. I, too, collect drip water from the air conditioner though not nearly as much as you collect. I continue to pick fresh herbs to chop into my salad mix. I love the little surprising bites of flavor. Usually I gather some arugula, parsley, basil, tarragon, mint, chives, and oregano. I give them a fine chop and mix them in with my lettuce when I make a salad. We are finally picking tomatoes. The first one was ripe on July 3rd which was appropriate since it’s name is 4th of July. Still, another ripe tomato didn’t appear until August 4th…..a whole month! In any case they are setting good now and there are also plenty of cherry tomatoes, some almost as big as a ping pong ball!

  12. *last week was vacation for my sons extra curricular classes so we spent a couple afternoons at a free splash pad.
    *i didn’t go to the supermarket. Instead I had delivery for only the essentials. No impulse buys!
    *i worked from home.
    *i passed on some books I no longer needed.
    *i froze some veggies that would’ve gone bad.
    *i delayed getting my hair cut & dyed fill I go back to work in the office.

  13. Hello,

    I love to see all the canning jars lined up after canning! Great job!

    – Well our biggest frugal accomplishment this week was to avoid temptation and pay all cash for a replacement vehicle. We have had a lot of hail this summer and my husband’s truck was totalled. It was very tempting to buy a brand new vehicle, with a loan. I think everyone assumed that we were going to since everyone does. Anyways, we paid cash for a very used vehicle. Hopefully, it will buy us some time to save up for a nicer vehicle. It is hard to explain frugal choices to others. But I feel a sense of relief that we do not have another bill at this time.
    – I have been able to get a lot of good deals at Walgreens lately. Right now, they have some candy that is giving a Register Reward for the full value of the candy. So in essence, I am getting a bunch for free by “rolling” the register rewards back and forth to other items. I am going to use the free candy for a goodie bag for the leaders for a church program that I lead. I am happy that I can give some gifts without breaking the bank.
    – I have been doing some mystery shopping again for extra cash.
    – I also am filling in on a cleaning job for a friend while she is on vacation. I will put this in an account that I have put aside for a 20th anniversary trip for my husband and I.
    – My son has been doing some yard work jobs to get extra money for “fancier” school clothes that I don’t want to buy.
    – I was able to get some free school supplies from a military organization.
    – My son and hubby attended a men’s breakfast that was free. They had fun and just brought items to cook for themselves.
    – I cooked many meals at home including beans and rice, bean and rice stew, chicken breasts and hamburgers. We also ate one night at the in laws.
    – I sent away for more free samples, I have the links on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/08/06/10-freebies-today-8-6-18/
    – I tried to continue to salvage what I could from my garden. It is actually amazing what does grow back.
    Best Wishes to All,
    Liz

  14. I am so impressed with your canning, especially the jam! I have tried canning twice and found it very time consuming.

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping sales and using coupons/rebates when possible. Recent finds include free lipstick, free toilet paper, free candy, $1.00 watermelons, $0.69/lb peaches, $0.79/lb zucchini, $0.37/lb chicken drumsticks, $1.50 blueberries, $0.29 school supplies and more. All of my transactions with prices here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-8-4-18/

  15. *Picked more blackberries, along with elderberries & crabapples. The elderberries were picked with one of my grandsons, who also picked the crabapples, & both went home with his family to make crabapple/elderberry jelly. He helped me stem & freeze the elderberries first, tho, to rupture all the cells so the would yield more juice for the jelly.

    *Rinsed out the milk bottles & emptied the rinse water on the blackberry bed before crushing & adding the milk jugs to the garbage can.

    *I began to pick the pears. They are beginning to color, & if I pick them into a box, they will ripen nicely inside the house, away from the pecking of the birds.

    *When I watered the pear tree today, a lovely little hummingbird came & flitted from branch to branch, obviously enjoying a bath! We enjoyed watching as it flitted about the branches, turning this way & that. The wrens bathed when we watered the cherry tree. The air outside has been smoky from the many fires burning here & in California, so I would imagine even the birds like to get the smoke off from time to time.

    *Received another pine cone check, which I will cash & add to thrift store funds.

    *Made sure the garbage can was completely full before pulling it to the curb for the pick up. Trimmed, weeded & pruned as needed to fill the space in the can.

    *Skyped again with Little Stuff & Baby Brother…the joys of being a grandma!

  16. Mom’s osteoporosis caused pain this week. It took 2.5 hours to get her upright and out of bed Sunday. I had her sleep on my wedge pillow last night and today it took her only a half hour to get out of bed this morning.
    I am so looking forward to setting up the manually adjustable bed and memory foam mattress we ordered from Walmart for less than $200 when it arrives later this week. When ordering the bed and mattress, I went to walmart.com through swagbucks.com so I’ll eventually get about $4 in Swagbucks.Mom didn’t like the idea of sleeping on a metal frame plugged into the wall during a thunderstorm. So I likely will find myself cranking up and down the head of the bed every day.
    I picked up the basket we had ordered for mom’s walker at Walmart but when I opened the box at home, I was so disappointed. It looked like it had been in a car accident, it was so bent out of shape. When I started the return, I was surprised to see that I could not return it to the store but would have to mail it back. What?!? I chatted online with a customer service rep and a replacement was arranged with no return required. But I intend to open the box at the store-and show the store clerk why. Some shipping clerk had clearly been asleep on the job.
    When mom’s feet were so swollen, I had slashed the middles of a pair of Dollar Tree slippers so they would fit her swollen, bandaged feet. I finally stitched a piece of elastic into each slash, so the slippers will last longer.
    I am handwashing and drip drying the bandages and fluffy liner so they last as long as possible.
    The neighbors to the east always have a wonderful garden. Last week they gifted us with lots of summer squash and we worked our way through the bounty down to three patty pan squash which I intend to stuff tomorrow. This week, they gave us cucumbers. summer squash, one green pepper, dill, basil, rosemary, and oregano. The herbs are sitting in a large glass mug on the coffee table and smell wonderful. I will be learning how to make pickles this week.
    My back is much less painful since I have begun visiting a chiropractor, so I have started some long-neglected yardwork. It is going to take time for my muscles to get used to working.
    I decided to have mom begin her strength and gait training at a physical therapist in town next week rather than at the center where she has gone for lymphadema therapy. That will cut our driving down by at least 60 miles per week for at least 7 weeks.were
    I live in the woods south of Flint, the city infamous for its water woes. This week, the State of Michigan told everyone not to eat the fish in the Huron River from Milford, a town about a half-hour from here, downriver to a point about halfway to Ann Arbor because of contamination from fire-fighting or waterproofing chemicals. The Shiawasee River, whose headwaters are also nearby, has a separate prohibition on its south branch because of another chemical. I don’t have a fishing license now but I intend to start fishing again when I am old enough for a senior license. It is beginning to look as though I will be limiting my fishing spots to small ponds or the very headwaters of rivers. Michigan has abundant water resources. But those resources have not been valued and cared for responsibly.

  17. My week has been relatively routine but included my day-to-day : washing, reusing ziplocs bags, giving veggie scraps/greens to my chickens, making dinners/meals/ snacks from scratch using ingredients already in my pantry.
    I made a table runner for a long banquet table for an event in October that I’m helping with. Our budget was small, so we opted to buy a $1 yellow plastic tablecloth from Dollar Tree and I made the table runner from my fabric scraps to make it look more special!! https://pin.it/mp45gkdkyttjpz Frugal does not need to mean plain or deprived!

    I also made a baby snuggler to help baby feel secure as they go to sleep. Miserably written pattern (but free) online that my daughter and I finally figured out and got one made for Just the cost of my time! All supplies were from my stash! https://pin.it/m3rkj2womnqruq and https://pin.it/r7bvkjfxbtocj7
    I may market these.

    I made 3 dozen chicken/ham/cheese wraps for lunches so that we have some variety without buying lunch out!

    I pressure canned some of my dry beans- black, kidney and pinto, giving me 15 pints to replenish my stock on the basement shelves! I’ve always had dry beans as a part of my food storage, but only in the last few years have I pressure canned them in hot water , making them ready to eat whenever I need some in a recipe! Major savings in time and money!! https://pin.it/xqst6mrdchvmmh

    Today I made another quilt and am ready to quilt it tomorrow! All made from scraps! https://pin.it/g3cfdcfstaodmi

    So just a routine week in the life of a frugal family!!

  18. I love the picture of the freshly canned goods, Brandy. Everything looks delicious. I am still eating jam I canned two years ago. Hopefully I will have time to can some tomatoes this year.

    My job (receptionist at a small medical office) was beyond busy with one person leaving soon and two new people starting. I was so exhausted this weekend that I barely left the house. But it was good to take a break, and I had time for housework and laundry, and even to finish up a sewing project. On Sunday I took a very enjoyable swim in our condo’s pool, which I had all to myself. We are gearing up for more hot weather this week.

    One fun thing I did was plan a party for my departing co-worker, with a $30 budget from my boss. I got party supplies, decorations and all the ingredients (except sugar, which I already have) to make peanut butter chocolate pie for the party. My co-worker will love it. My boss is buying us all dinner (takeout from a Thai restaurant). We rarely have work parties, so it will be fun (even though we are sad my co-worker is leaving). It’s tomorrow night, so I’m making the pie tomorrow morning.

    I have next week off, so I will continue with my bedroom painting project then. I haven’t made much progress because it was too hot to paint, and I was too tired. Anyway, hope to get it done soon.

    Otherwise, I just did all the normal frugal stuff: cooked at home, washed out ziplocs, made and bottled water kefir (with bottles I’ve had since 2011), walked to work and brought my lunch with me, and sat out on our patio and read. My husband and I had our normal Sunday date night, and walked to a favorite restaurant. We then had ice cream at the local ice cream shop (this is not frugal, but oh my goodness, it is so delicious!)

    I love this post every week, and enjoy reading everyone’s comments.

  19. I’m impressed that you take time to read. It’s so great for kids to see their parents reading and enjoying it!

    This week I am still in frugalista mode…
    *received a telescope ftom the local freecycle group after posting that we would like one
    *used money I received for my birthday to order my son a present for his upcoming birthday at 10% off with free shipping
    *I am in a new size, but not quite comfortably enough yet, so I pulled out a cute skort from the thrift shop in my new size and have it visible for inspiration
    *our neighbor showed me where to pick huckleberries, so I did for a bit. It’s the end of their season, but I’ll know when and where for next year! Not sure what I’ll do with the ones I have as there are not enough for jam. We’ll probably have them in muffins or waffles, or I might make a syrup.
    *a friend gave me lupin seeds to take back east to plant. My son and I leave I’m 2 weeks for school.
    *I used squares of upholstery fabric to make a rug for the guest bed. The dollar store sells a rectangle piece of rubber made for rugs to keep from slipping, and I stitched it to the back. Doesn’t move around and makes a nice place for starting rather than the cold hardwood floors. And cost only one dollar.
    *used a steak knife to cut my hand lotion bottle open and am dipping my fingers in to use the last little bit!
    *we have a new-to-us coffee scoop and I discovered it is 2 tbsp rather than 1. No wonder I had to keep adding water to the coffee because it was too strong.
    *I continue with my use a bit less plan.
    *Free Food Friday netted a good amount of veggies for this week, 3 apples and a gallon of milk. I also brought home rolls and French bread which I will make into French toast.

    My husband is up and down and I admit to tiring. It’s tough when your life changes so drastically and money becomes such a problem along with the emotional toll. God’s blessings are truly evident! With our daughter graduated and working, our son back in college and healthy again and me with a job now, we can start to stabilize things and move forward. Being frugal is not only a necessity, but also is something I can control when there was so much of my life out of control.

    Happy frugal-ing!

  20. Hi Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    Brandy how wonderful you have been able to pick and preserve produce from your gardens as we have :). We consider ourselves truly blessed to be able to pick any produce and preserve it since most of our friends have lost their gardens to drought. We are saving water from dish rinsing, vegetable washing and blanching and freezing water for the gardens to supplement water as we are on water restrictions here.

    Many areas both in Queensland and New South Wales are in drought and many farmers have lost livestock and crops due to either no water or being unable to feed them, so very sad 🙁 .

    Please pray for our farmers and families in all drought declared areas of Australia (and any in any in the United States) as they no doubt will be heartbroken and struggling financially and are relying on welfare agencies to survive with food and animal feed.

    Our savings added up to $487.35 last week :).

    Here is what we did to save money and accomplished last week –

    Finances and earnings –
    – Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 27.14% of the way there.
    – Made $21.80 by selling capsicum garden seeds saved from the gardens and 100 g of dried organically grown thyme from the gardens.
    – As both of our chainsaws gave up the ghost and I knew the owner of the repair shop wanted them for parts I organised a deal and he gave us $200 for both which recouped 55% of what we spent on our 2 new chainsaws :).

    Gifts and blessings –
    – A friend who owns a property nearby was being overrun with eggs from his chickens and gave us 3 dozen saving us $12 over buying them.

    In the gardens –
    – Harvested more French and English lavender and a lot of rosemary from the gardens as they needed pruning which we currently have drying.
    – Separated 497 g of organically grown dried thyme picked from the gardens saving $73.55 over buying the equivalent amount in the shops.
    – Picked 2.5 kg of cherry tomatoes from the gardens which we washed and froze in meal sized portions for the freezer saving $30 over buying them in the supermarket.
    – Cut, collected and split 3/4’s of a cubic metre of Ironbark firewood free from a friends property closeby saving $150 over purchasing it locally.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15.

  21. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    How wonderful you have been able to pick and preserve so much produce from your gardens as we have :). Most of our friends have lost their gardens through drought and many farmers in both Queensland and New South Wales are now in drought with many surviving on community services to provide food and feed for their livestock.

    We are now saving water from dish rinsing, blanching and freezing and shower warm up water to supplement water our vegetables and potted fruit trees as we are on water restrictions.

    I did have a request from our lovely bloggers here is to pray for our farmers and families here in Australia and also in United States who are struggling so much in the drought affected areas.

    Here is what we did to save money and accomplished –

    Finances and earnings –
    – Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 27.14% of the way there.
    – Made $21.80 by selling capsicum garden seeds saved from the gardens and 100 g of dried organically grown thyme from the gardens.
    – As both of our chainsaws gave up the ghost and I knew the owner of the repair shop wanted them for parts I organised a deal and he gave us $200 for both which recouped 55% of what we spent on our 2 new chainsaws :).

    Gifts and blessings –
    – A friend who owns a property nearby was being overrun with eggs from his chickens and gave us 3 dozen saving us $12 over buying them.

    In the gardens –
    – Harvested more French and English lavender and a lot of rosemary from the gardens as they needed pruning which we currently have drying.
    – Separated 497 g of organically grown dried thyme picked from the gardens saving $73.55 over buying the equivalent amount in the shops.
    – Picked 2.5 kg of cherry tomatoes from the gardens which we washed and froze in meal sized portions for the freezer saving $30 over buying them in the supermarket.
    – Cut, collected and split 3/4’s of a cubic metre of Ironbark firewood free from a friends property closeby saving $150 over purchasing it locally.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15.

  22. Brandy, you’ve been a busy girl! When I did a lot of canning–back in the day–I used to leave my jars on the counter so I could admire them. I only put them away when I ran out of room to cook, LOL.

    This was our week–
    The 3 of us went to a movie last weekend at the $3 cinema. With refreshments for all, we spent a total of $17.

    We are still bleeding money on the new house, but the end is in sight. Amazon has worn a path to my door. My husband says if I order one more thing that needs assembling, he’s gonna leave!

    I was in Eugene and Portland, OR, last week for a college 50th reunion. I cashed in 12,500 frequent flyer miles to fly to Portland. My only cost was $11 taxes. I rented a car. The total cost was about the same as driving, but it was faster and I wasn’t exhausted when I got there. I spent the first night with my cousin and her husband. I took them out to dinner at a neighborhood place and it only cost $40, including tip. I spent the next two nights with my BFF and her husband and spent $0.

    My friend and I resized a tablecloth. With the cut-off fabric, I made 4 napkins and fringed them. We also cut up a thrifted Hawaiian print shirt and made 5 napkins that I still have to hem. She gave me a bunch of fabric–enough to sew pillowcase dresses for charity well into next year. I’m trying to make one a month.

    I also got started planning my Operation Christmas Child shoebox. My wow gift this year will be a soccer ball (with the air let out) and a pump to put the air back in (over and over again). I’ve also been buying school supplies for cheap. Like you, Brandy, I’m packing for a boy age 10-14. Thanks for all of your tips in the past.

    Last week I ran drip lines to all of my plants. It was 100F here while I was gone and the plants were watered every day. Not only that, but I had 4-5 plants that were struggling. They have now all put out new leaves! We did not lose a single plant, even though they were planted on a 95F day in July.

  23. I love seeing your jars all lined up. They are so pretty!

    I’ve been canning and freezing a lot, as well. The garden is keeping me very busy, especially with getting all the veggies harvested, and then processed. Today took me by surprise. I went out there to do a little work, and ended up out there for 3 hours. Then, the amount of produce I had harvested was more than I expected. There was just a little of this and a little of that, I thought, but it took me several hours to get it frozen and canned.

    I did get some old veggie bushes pulled up and my husband tilled the area that was freed. Then, I was able to plant lettuce, spinach, snow peas, beets, and a few herbs and boc choi for a fall garden. I do have some lettuce tucked in the garden here and there that is about 3-5 inches tall, so I will have that soon. It’s so hot, I’m having to water a lot, so I’m very grateful for the irrigation well in the back yard, such a nice addition to our town lot. It would be so expensive to use the city water to irrigate as much as I have had to this year.

    I’ve started pruning away the raspberry canes that are done and I put a bunch in the compost bin this week. When I can, I like to fill it each week.

    I’ve picked some peaches from the tree in our yard. I did not spray the tree at all, in fact, have not done any care at all, so many are scabby, but there are many nice ones, too. This is only our second summer here, and the tree did very little last year, so I gave it a year before I cut it down. It listened to my threats, I guess:). I’ve frozen some, made jam, and I made a peach cobbler today. I will still hold out for Elbertas from my sister for canning, but I’m happy to have these as well.

    We kept my niece and nephew from Wednesday-Sunday and found several fun, frugal things to do with them. My husband took our daughter and niece to a free railroad museum one morning. We went swimming a couple of times at the Y. My nephew picked “his” flowers that he is growing here. At one point, I had 3 bouquets, each with about 3 flowers in a glass. I am very pleased at how much enjoyment he has gotten out of a 25c seed packet of zinnias along with his Burgerville prize from a child’s meal last April–it was a packet of flowers to attract bees. Now, if I could get him to use scissors instead of pulling up the entire plant while getting a bloom that has a stem that is longer than 1/2 inch…..

    We got books from the library, and I read aloud a lot. I made “flapjacks” for my nephew like Almanzo ate in “The Long Winter” but made little pancakes, as I knew my nephew would not eat big ones.

    I put pictures on my blog, and also a couple from a wedding we attended that was held in a hazelnut orchard–it was amazing. https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-august-6-2018/

    I did not shop this week at all, except for a 50c wedding card at the Dollar Tree. My husband made a cutting board for the wedding gift.

    My usual grocery shopping day is Friday. I didn’t have time to go because I was taking care of the kids, and I didn’t need much anyway. I used garden produce and items from the freezer and cupboards for meals, along with some milk and bread that were on sale the week before. I am working with a little lower grocery budget right now, so, I will roll that money over for next Friday and have more to spend then. If I don’t have to spend it, I won’t. If I am able to save a chunk over a few weeks, I will eventually do a Costco run and load up on things like t.p., vitamins, and other money-sucking items:). There is a list forming on the white board as we run out of things, and I had to rob the camper for baking powder, of all things, but we are making out just fine. It will be good to rotate the baking powder and soda from the camper anyway.

  24. I love hearing all the garden talk from everyone. One day I hope to be an avid gardener!

    Combined trips to town with my mom and during times of other appointments. This is especially nice because my car doesn’t have AC and hers does so we use her car.

    Got a few school supplies for DD who is going into 7th grade. There isn’t a supply list for this grade so we got the basics. I also picked up a large pack of regular wooden pencils, as I’m tired of throwing away the plastic pens and pencils once they’re used up. I’ll use these around the house whenever a pen isn’t necessary to cut back on waste. I’m on the search now for a good old-fashioned pencil sharpener.

    I had found cherries on a very good sale and attempted to make cherry jam. It’s more juice than jam so I’ll make syrup out of it whenever we open a jar. But it’s really pretty! lol

    I’ve been decluttering, organizing and deep cleaning. I’ve been letting all of that slide by being busy with my business, but I’m feeling a pull to simplify and return to homemaking. My big goal is to get my pantry completely reorganized so I can stock up soon. I’ve been making a year-long menu plan broken down into the 4 seasons, and I’m planning to stock the basic staples for each season. My goal is to have a stocked pantry and freezer so I could make any of the basic meals for that season.

    The rest of our month will be spendy with paying bills, getting the last of the start of school year clothing and getting our older daughter moved off to college. We did get our tithing and savings for the month done right away before all the spending began, which is a huge accomplishment for us!

    I hope everyone has a lovely week:)

  25. Brandy, I love the Hamish Macbeth series as well as the Agatha Raisin series by MC Beaton. Such fun! We had a quiet week here. The weather was hot and humid so we stayed in quite a bit. All meals were cooked here at home and I packed my husband’s lunch every day. My mom kindly sent us home with leftovers from dinner yesterday as well as some local peaches, some frozen chicken and a brick of cheese. We are so blessed that she helps us in this way. Our local No Frills was having a big dollar sale so I added more to our pantry shelves and freezer. I think the highlight for me was the packages of raspberries for $0.25 each with coupons. I have put lots in the freezer so we will be able to enjoy them this winter. I continue to do surveys for Amazon gift cards but sometimes it is slow going. I must be in a popular demographic as there are often no surveys for me to do.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  26. What credit card do you use to redeem for food gift certificates? Discover used to have nice cards available, but lately they are lacking.

  27. Hi Brandi,
    Well last week was better than the prior few but still needs improvement.
    Got some great deals at Kroger Classico pasta sauce $.49 a jar bought 10. Got cereal for $.99 a box plus $4 off coupon for next purchase.
    Have a happy frugal week!

  28. The pool sounds like great fun for everyone! I’m so glad that you were able to buy the raincheck items.

    • Inventoried all the food in the house, created a spreadsheet of what I have and where I would like the quantities to be. Now that I’m back working, I am concentrating on replenishing my storage with sale-priced items.
    • Bought 6 jars of peanut butter on sale at Walgreens, used a $1.50 off coupon, and then $10 in Balance rewards. My out of pocket was less than $1. Restocking peanut butter is on my food storage list.
    • Rather than sitting in Friday night beach traffic on my commute home, I got off the highway, drove some backroads, and shopped at an Aldi. I didn’t have my list with me, but was able to remember about 85% of items.
    • Hung laundry up,
    • Made swag goal x 1
    • Made cuke couscous salad, made risotto with arugula and gorgonzola, grilled a steak that I had in the freezer, ate asparagus with homemade hollandaise. I had made the hollandaise 6-7 weeks ago and experimented with freezing it. The sauce came out from the freezer perfectly!

  29. Brandy, what fun your children must have had in that pool. It’s nowhere as hot here as it is where you live, but half the time i wish we had a pool to jump in. 🙂

    Here is what I did to save money last week:
    * Combined several errands at a time to save time and money
    * Took a walk most days to exercise for free
    * Billed my clients online to save myself trips to the bank
    * Cooked and ate a chicken we purchased from a farmer
    * Kept the air conditioner off and used a fan instead when necessary
    * Drank lots and lots of water to stay hydrated
    * Took advantage of limited free parking at a networking event
    * Enjoyed delicious produce from a relative’s garden
    * Used what I had on hand to make food for a potluck
    * Kept the blinds closed to keep the house cool
    * Took care of my health to avoid illness

  30. I do the same thing with my family. My parents and 3 sisters live out of state so I have a bag for each of them. When I see someone I pass everything along. Why throw away stuff that someone else can use.

  31. Hope you ladies are having a good, frugal week!
    I stocked up on loss leaders and markdowns at the grocery store, as usual. I got several boxes of cereal at Kroger. I know it’s not the cheapest breakfast option, but we especially like to have it on Sunday mornings, as the kids eat it without complaint, making our church routine/rush easier. It takes them much longer to eat oatmeal, even though I let them put sprinkles on it.
    We happened to be the 250,000 visitor at our children’s museum. Very unexpected! We go with free passes from the library, but we also won a membership. The kids loved the balloons, which we got to bring home.
    We ate out with my brother, but chose a kids-eat-free restaurant. It was one free kids meal per adult, so I put two of my kids with their order so we could get 3 free kids meals.
    Our Chickfilas do a lot of promotions. Last night, kids wearing pajamas got a free meal. Last Wednesday morning, everyone during breakfast hours got a free chicken biscuit, and this Wednesday it’s a free pack of chicken minis. I try to take the kids to a lot of these so they can eat and play on the playground. Otherwise, even fast food can be pricey for our family. Last night, they kids got their free food, I had a soda, but then ate leftovers at home. I really don’t need to be eating that much fast food, anyway.
    We did the free Home Depot craft for the kids. They enjoy putting this together, and I enjoyed this one since it was pretty simple.
    I sold several items on facebook.
    I bought a flute at a garage sale. It’s a beginner flute and was only $35, in great condition. I play the flute, but didn’t want the kids using mine. I may teach my oldest how to play using this one.
    I bought a few garage sale items that I resold for profit: Ivivva sports bras, Little House on the Prairie book series, some children’s Mini Melissa shoes, and a Vineyard Vines shirt. My kids and I really don’t care about the name brands, but other people will certainly pay a premium for them. Plus, I bought a large water jug for my mom.
    I bought bread at the bakery outlet, but unfortunately didn’t have enough freezer space to buy as much as I wanted. I prioritize marked down meat, as it’s a better value and use of my freezer space.
    We went to a program at our library and swam at the neighborhood pool.

  32. After my computer fell into pieces, I ordered a new laptop. I used a $200 gift card from some about-to-expire airline points, and ordered an open-box item that gave me an extra $200 off. I was told it would arrive this Tuesday, after a long weekend, but the computer arrived on the Friday before the weekend, which let me get a little paid work in on Friday and Saturday. It was very easy to set up, even the wireless, which I’ve had trouble with in the past. I haven’t received Microsoft Office yet. It was coming from another location, but there is no hurry for that.

    A board that I belong to either gives you an iPad to work on or a $50 a month stipend if you use your own device. With this lighter laptop for carrying back and forth to meetings, I will return the iPad I have been using and claim the stipend instead.

    I went to the local farmer’s market to get vegetables, including fresh peas, which are one of my favorites. They totaled $11. I had two $5s in my hand and reached into my purse to get the dollar, but the vendor waved that away. I think she was happy to see $5 bills, since so many people have $20 bills from the cash machines. I also bought a loaf of focaccia with cheddar and jalapeno on it from a friend. I think this would be very easy to make using Brandy’s French bread recipe and a little olive oil. One thing I am really enjoying about the farmer’s market is that I know so many of the vendors from different things I’ve done in this village and the next town over, so it is a very nice visit as well as being able to get local produce at a very reasonable price.

    Much less fun was getting a notice from the village telling me to get the weeds and grass cut or they would do it themselves and put a lien on my property until the charges were paid. I am spending this week doing that. Although we had bad weather for a couple of days, since then the weather has held, and the lawn mower and my body are cooperating, so I think I will be able to finish by the deadline.

    Today, I will stop long enough to buy any groceries I need for the month at one of the stores here that once a month has a 10% discount on everything. I don’t have an awful lot to buy, but a few dollars less will still help.

  33. Good morning! Your canning is beautiful! I don’t can often, but when I do, I always have to take a moment to appreciate how lovely the end results always are. 🙂

    This week, we stretched our leftovers and ate them all. I love it when we don’t have any food waste! Makes my frugal heart happy. We chaperoned some French exchange students for the day (their host family had to work, and my husband and I both speak French, so we were happy to help when they asked us). We took them to some free places in the area. It was a really lovely day and it felt pretty good to chat with them in French! 🙂

    I hit the jackpot at a yard sale when I asked how much a girl’s winter jacket was and the woman told me I could just have it. She also told me to take whatever other children’s clothing I could use, so I grabbed a few extras, and at the next yard sale, I found the next size winter jacket for a quarter. I was THRILLED!!! We harvested tomatoes from our garden and found that we’re growing two baby pumpkins.

    Have a great week, everyone! 🙂

  34. It was busy around here. I worked 3 extra days which is great for the college. I did get fed one day at work which was nice. The garden is doing great. I have so many peppers right now. Cooking at home which always saves us money. I have been shopping sales, using coupons and rainchecks and using Ibotta after. I just hit $100 with Ibotta. The pantry supplies are growing with my usual grocery budget. It does help that my garden is supplying us with lots of fresh veggies. The rest of my list is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/08/my-frugal-list-week-of-july-30-2018.html

  35. That was so nice of your parents to fill up a pool for your kids! And generous that they gave you the water when they were done. You are fortunate to have family so close by.

    We went camping for the week. It’s our typical vacation. We don’t go to a campground, so our expenses are gas and food, plus this year we used some of our tax return to buy a camping kitchen and a couple of really nice cots, which we’ll use for years. We have a camping trailer but we’re going to sell it. I spent more than I expected on food, but we have a bunch leftover so I’ll just work them into future meals.

    I resubmitted (for the third time) a medical reimbursement request. I’m determined to get that $100 back! Hoping that this time I have the right combination of paperwork (it’s an ER copay that was billed in two equal chunks and they reimbursed the first half but have refused to pay the second).

    Our garden survived our week away, which I’m so grateful about! We have been eating cherry tomatoes and radishes so far. The carrots and onions are coming along nicely and I’m hoping to start picking them in a few weeks.

  36. I was one of the folks suggesting the Hamish McBeth series here. I really enjoyed the series of posts of favorite books. Because of those posts I read two excellent books I did not know about – The Nightingale (Hannah) and All the Light We Cannot See(Doerr). I also read The War that Saved my Life (Bradley). I had read lots of McCall-Smith, but recently listened to The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs (hysterically funny) and the newer Italian series book, My Italian Bulldozer. I would like to recommend books by Barbara Pym (a writer from the 1930’s to 60’s compared to Jane Austen). Since I am in a new area for the summer, I have a new library collection to enjoy. I have been enjoying these video series (mostly British) which I had seen in the distant past, but don’t have at my home library: The Darling Buds of May, Campion, Cadfael and Maigret. I had seen the English version of Maigret with Michael Gambon, but I am enjoying the French version, which is subtitled.

    There is an outlet grocery store in part of Virginia and Pennsylvania run by Mennonites (Sharp Shopper). I enjoy trying the different very discounted products which I would not buy at their undiscounted prices (because I might not care for them) such as Hershey’s bake at home big cookies (.99), several types of dried (not refrigerated) tortellini(50 cents for 7 oz.), Kraft Cheese Stix (12 for .99), Turkey Hill Pumpkin pie ice cream (1.5 quarts for .99), Palermo blossom honey, Planters mixed nut mix (3.99 for 1 lb. tin) and other products.

  37. A church member was giving away zucchini from her garden, so I gladly accepted one. I know many people joke about how prolific zucchini can be, but I haven’t had luck with growing it.
    This week we enjoyed tomatoes, carrots, mint, lettuce, chard, collard greens, and green beans from the garden.
    I canned four quarts of chicken soup for this winter.
    I was determined to put off shopping until Thursday, when I had a doctor’s appointment in town. It meant getting very creative with breakfasts and lunches, since we were out of a lot of staples, but we did it. I was able to purchase 20 lbs of sugar for 20 cents a pound. I also bought 13 ears of corn for $4 (corn prices are much higher this year due to local drought). I cut the corn off the cob and filled 3 quart freezer bags).
    We donated some items to the local Humane Society thrift store, and I got a receipt for our taxes.
    My husband volunteered at the local blood drive and received $25 in Amazon gift cards as a reward. He used the gift cards to download music – something he has been wanting to do since his birthday. (We didn’t exchange gifts this year, since we counted our Alaska vacation as our gift.)
    Friends came to visit for several days and we only ate out twice – they bought once and we bought once. We had a lovely time hanging out at home and touring local sights.

  38. I *love* Hamish Macbeth and have read the entire series, save for the latest one. Agatha Raisin, by the same author, is also very good!

  39. I want the bumper sticker also…but it needs to include no you can’t use my trailer. LOL Last “help me of a family member” we did cost us over $300 and they were suppose to give us the money right back, then after wards we got “when I get next year’s refund.” Sorry, won’t do that again as we were told later that means we won’t get paid ever by their sons. They weren’t raised that way at all.

  40. Margie, I am sorry for the loss of your friend/colleague. I am glad you will be able to attend the funeral. The rate of suicide just seems to be increasing. I was reading an article about suicide among farmers/agricultural workers and it is now higher than the veterans rate.

  41. I submitted a rebate for $3, and got a card saying that they were missing information and asking me to mail it in. I called them instead, and as I thought, they had the information after all, so the rebate check is on it’s way, and no postage was needed.
    This is probably old news to a lot of people, but I’d never heard of the homemade stain remover that is Dawn + hydrogen peroxide until recently. I made some, and it is really working on stains. I was thrilled to see tomato and blood stains gone as if they’d never happened.
    I’ve been faithfully creating a weekly meal plan and shopping off my list only. The only exceptions are if I see a fantastic sale. My husband has a problem with low protein, so he drinks a protein shake nearly every day — I found his favorite organic brand at 41% off, so I bought it even though he still has half a canister full.
    I am painting a new back entry door as well as our kitchen chairs. It’s slow, because I work full-time, but I’m able to do this on weekends and save on the cost of a painter.
    I bought a $25 Amazon gift card for 2200 Swagbucks and am about ready to buy another one. This will help pay for the upholstery foam I need to order for our kitchen chairs.
    The high heat and heavy rains have basically wiped out our food production in our yard. It’s been disappointing to say the least, but I have hopes that our grapes will still make it, and the lemon tree managed to hang on to a few lemons that are growing, so far. The next problem will be keeping raccoons and opossums out of the grapes.
    Brandy, thank you for the pictures of your canning jars! I used to can a lot, back when we could manage big gardens, and I find few things prettier than rows of jars full of brightly colored food. I still can a jar at a time here and there — I think I always will, just for the satisfaction and beauty of it.

  42. Thank goodness for the rain and cooler weather last week. Garden perked up and I am getting more out of it. All cars are finally running and all mechanic bills are paid=Knock on wood!! Here are my frugal ways for the past two weeks:
    -Went out to eat and a afternoon movie for our 30th wedding anniversary. Used gift card I bought thru Swagbucks and got double points and a $10.00 coupon. We ordered the meal for 2 where you get salad or appetizer, 2 entrees to eat there and 2 more to take home, and a dessert. We also got a plate of free lemon cookies since it was our anniversary.
    -Dehydrated some more tomatoes. Grind into powder. thinking ahead to fall and winter.
    -Made your recipe for giardiniera. Already gave a jar away to a teacher.
    -Bought two more gift cards thru Swagbucks for presents and got 200 extra points added to account. Spent 2200 points to get a free Wal-Mart gift card for holidays.
    -Sent off for a free box of cereal.
    -Free in snail mail=sample of laundry stain removal, samples of shampoo & conditioner, coupon for free dog food, and coupons for free food and drinks at a new gas station that has opened up near us.
    -Brought home a few free snack bags of chips, cookies, crackers and candy from work.
    -Made some roasted tomato and basil cream soup base and put in freezer.
    -Froze a bag of green beans and started one for okra.
    -The free magazines I ordered from Recycle.com with my points about a month ago has started coming in the mail.
    – Crop from garden was green beans, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, a few okra, cucumbers and plum tomatoes with a couple of handfuls of herbs.
    -Gifted some salad greens and spinach from inlaws.
    I hope everyone has a blessed week!!

  43. Margie,

    Condolences on the loss of your friend! Sometimes a moment of despair can overwhelm us.
    It is so hard to lose a partner.

  44. One of my oldest son’s friends committed suicide this week. He was so young, and I feel so badly for him and his family. He had struggled with mental illness for years.
    I attended a funeral of a colleague. I wore a black dress I had bought for $1 at a thrift store.
    I have managed to keep my electric bill in my all electric house down to under $50 a month all summer long in the deep hot and humid South. I have managed to do this every summer, and I really think I am able to do this primarily for three reasons: (1) complete shade over three-fourths of my house, a white metal roof, and thermal curtains.
    I have been eating lots of tomato sandwiches so I am not turning the oven on much, which means I do not turn the air on as much.
    I went to Dollar Tree to get some things I needed, dandruff shampoo, fingernail polish, and reading glasses.
    I have been reading all the free books from the lil free library at my local laundrymat.
    I have been happily wearing my thrift store clothes. However, I could not find a white shirt. I finally found one at Walmart for $3.00.

  45. So many successes and great ideas! My best frugal activities this past week were:
    – Using the city’s Dial-a-Ride to get home from my swimming lesson when our car was needed to take my FIL to the Dr. $1.50 one way for seniors which is $9.50 less than using Lyftt. Having downsized to one car in retirement is proving to be very frugal and just require a bit of planning ahead.
    – Sharing a lunch order at a reasonable restaurant with my older adult son so we could have a nice long visit just the 2 of us.
    – Getting a substantial discount from the vet for our dog’s teeth cleaning and extractions because we are regular customers (the non-frugal part is the dog has to see the vet every month for a shot for her Addison’s disease).
    – Cooking dinners at home each night for the last week.

  46. I love the Hamish Macbeth series! The downside for me is having to wait until February for the newest book in the series to be released, only to read it less than a day and start the wait again. Haha. Have a great week! 🙂

  47. The food looks wonderful Brandy. Our new home is in the final stages and we are looking about being able to move furniture in the 18th. On the flip side of that we have had to look at the cost of both of us driving back and forth at least once a day if not twice for the next 11 days to do the moving ourselves or hiring it done… By doing it ourselves we save $1000. That will pay for Hubby’s deep sea fishing trip his buddy is going on with Hubby, last thing on Hubby’s bucket list. Again today we were gifted with corn from our Amish neighbors after I just did another bushel of corn and bushel of green beans and 20 lbs of tomatoes. Their horse got loose and was “visiting” our grape vines …sorry horsey , the birds already got the ripe ones. I’ll be covering it next year. I found material that I hope is enough to make winter curtains for the bedroom. I want to add flannel to the back side, maybe some batting of an old towel or something. We are still under budget for this house thanks to being frugal and waiting for sales. It’s going to be close but under. We found a carpenter that is willing to cut his normal hourly charge to finish the north and soft lofts for us. He is training his son so thought he should cut a deal. We are thankful as it’s off our 304 things to get done now *including 12 to finish in next 18 mos.
    Blessings for everyone
    http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2018/08/packing-to-movetrying-to-be-frugal.html

  48. Kim, one of our food chains in Canada offers PC Optimum points when we sign up for their loyalty program and shop at certain stores within their chain. Each week we get points offers through the program for certain items, that are based on products we frequently buy. The points accumulated can then be used towards free groceries or other products sold in their stores (10,000pts = $10). Our grocery stores rarely offer us free products to try, like American chains do. We are thankful to have this instead!

  49. You have certainly had a busy week – glad to hear that your back is improving but be careful when helping your mom. What a good daughter you are.

  50. There is a sequel to The War That Saved My Life, called The War That I Finally Won. It, too, is superb. I wish every young teen read those two books, not just for the history but because it portrays so well the struggle it is to accept love if you were raised with hate.

  51. We have been very busy, so my last update was probably a month ago. We had that late wet spring (20+ inches of snow in April) then a cool May then a hotter than normal June and July. The heat continues along with the humidity though the weatherman did say already a couple weeks ago there is a touch of Fall in the air. Our overnight temperatures are going down into the 50sF and I have seen a small amount of color change in the trees. We had a delay in some crops due to the snow delaying plowing and then when had a rush of production due to the heat and rain for other crops. So everything is coming due at once it seems.

    We have harvested over the last month parsley, summer savory, cilantro, rosemary, mint, basil, dill, shell peas, edible pod peas, beets, carrots, scallions, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, peaches, sweet corn, potatoes, green beans and wax beans, eggplants, cantaloupes, arugula and leaf lettuce. We are already on our 3rd (successively planted) field of sweet corn and it is very good. Our family farm stand has been very busy.

    So far I have canned blueberry jam, frozen blueberries in quart bags for pies and pints for muffins etc, canned blackberries in quarts using directions given to me by someone on this site last year…these are ones I will use later for cobbler. I also canned blackberry jam and froze berries in pint bags. Made raspberry freezer jam and froze berries in pint bags. Gooseberries I sell, give away, let the birds eat. I did use them in one recipe, the trifle recipe I found last year from a British website. Tomatoes we have been keeping up with eating for the moment, selling, and I did make one large batch of spaghetti sauce (6 quart kettle) that we have used in several meals and to make 2 pans of lasagna for a church potluck. I made 2 half gallon jars of refrigerator kosher dill pickles. I canned bread and butter pickles in pints and quarts, sour hamburger slices in pints, and more kosher dill in quarts. I also did 15 quarts of sweet gherkins. These are my favorite. I always order these pickling cucumbers from a neighbor as I don’t want to deal with picking all the approx 2 1/2-3 inch pickles needed for this. We canned pickled peppers in pints, made 2 pints of marinated cherry tomatoes for the refrigerator. Will make another 2 jars so have more. Tried those for the first time last year. They were nice served on antipasti trays. Done the majority of canning in smaller batches with younger daughter or alone and the large batches with sister in law, youngest daughter and my mother. Oldest girl is too busy with the farm all day and the twin babies at night so we are doing as much canning as we can for her. Canned quarts of green beans and mixed green beans with wax beans.

    I had June off until after July 4th. Now I work part time until Aug 20th when go back to full time. Youngest daughter is still watching Miriam and Daniel who will be 4 months old tomorrow and Dora is almost 2. We were supposed to have my husband’s brother living with us until Labor Day weekend when he would move to another sibling. We had to change the move date up as youngest daughter Olivia did decide to take the year long teaching job at the school she worked 2nd semester at last year. She will be in the same area as her sister Johanna works as a nurse so they will be able to spend much more time together and this is the area where some of my husband’s family live. In fact she will teach nieces and nephews in her classroom. She bought Eliana’s Toyota Prius as Eliana and Theo bought a larger station wagon. We have time to make her several new dresses and the school has arranged her housing again. Come Fall, we will have an empty nest, again.

    Awhile back there was discussion about Corelle dishes. I love them. My stack of 20 dinner plates only takes up about 4 inches in height and we have little plates and medium plates and 4 sizes of bowls and a couple platters and then 2 sizes of serving bowls. I buy them whenever I see more. I have the white in my kitchen but I buy whatever pattern I see at rummage sales. The mismatched ones we use for large casual family gatherings. Eliana also likes the white so she has a pretty good set also and we can combine as needed for holiday dinners. In all my memory we have broken one bowl and I did it. It slipped and hit just the wrong angle. Otherwise they bounce on our linoleum floor.

    We did finish the summer project for the children’s play area we built between our house and daughter’s house. The men changed our plans somewhat as they said we could not put it under the tree due to roots. So it is out in the open, but covered with a 12×12 foot canopy for shade. They dug out the sod, put in a layer of sand, then laid down cushioned outdoor squares, like at a playground. They did not want to mow around and move things. So now we have the little covered turtle sandbox, a wading pool, the jungle gym and slide, mini picnic table, playhouse and lawn chairs. It is nice to sit out there with feet in pool. We have been gathering all summer on Thursday mornings with the grandchildren and youngest daughter and my mother, me, my sister in law and her little Henry. We play then eat lunch and everyone goes home for naps. So just a couple more weeks before every one goes different directions and back to work/school.

    To be continued.

  52. My favourite frugal accomplishment this week was trading a bag of books for 2 new Avon bubble baths for my Mum’s birthday gift. Other things I did this past week:
    made swag goal x 7
    earned 361 bonus SB
    mended a thrift store skirt
    fixed an outdoor solar light
    used points to treat a friend and myself to a movie for her birthday
    fixed a blind slat
    coloured my own hair
    earned $67.50 in local FB sell group.
    Thank you to Brandy and everyone who takes the time to comment and update weekly. Always a pleasure to read!

  53. I pressure can dried beans also. It take a little bit of time, but I really save time later on and the $ savings is worth it!

  54. I continue to look for work in our new town. We have been here exactly one month and I have only been offered one job for minimum wage and the drive was 45 minutes away. My husband and I agreed that the cost in gas and wear and tear on my vehicle was not worth it. So I continue to look. It’s very difficult as we move around for his job and we never know long we are going to be in a specific location. I am honest with perspective employers in interviews as I feel it is the right thing to do. The last 2 towns we were fortunate enough to stay for 19 months and 22 no the but didn’t know that when we moved there. I worked as a nanny at one place and a case manager at another. The employers were willing to take a chance on me and I was greatful. We were in much bigger cities and there were a lot more jobs available. We are in a very small town and jobs are scarce here but I continue to try.
    On the frugal front, I spend no money other than groceries and household needs.
    I have been utilizing my ibotta app a lot. Every couple months I transfer it to my Amazon account and use that to purchase a supplement for our oldest dogs hip issues. It is the cheapest place to purchase it and we get free shipping.
    Taking lots of walks, completing some sewing projects and spending time with my dogs since I havent been working.

    As always, thank you for your wonderful inspiration. I strive to do my best to save where I can. It is only myself and my husband and we live pretty simply but reading everyone’s posts really opens my eyes that there are always ways to continue to cut back.

  55. Lilliana, I applaud your ability to dust off your difficulties and move forward. It is a talent that is not that common anymore. Too many people get swallowed up by their problems. I, too, was raised by the philosophy of “it is what it is..now move forward” (it’s not just a corny saying!). You do what you have to do to move forward. I love you creativity and imagination. It’s by no means easy I’m sure.

  56. Hi Kim! I’m in Canada, and usually shop at No Frills as they generally have the lowest prices in the city where I live (Toronto). I’m going to explain the program in a bit of detail, just in case it helps any other Canadian reading this. My husband has a Mastercard that gives him 3x the PC Optimuum points for every dollar spent. You have to make a certain income (nothing terribly outrageous) to qualify for the credit card, but there’s no fee associated with it.The PC Optimuum rewards program is a new combination loyalty program where you can collect points both from food store chains, as Rhonda mentioned, and also at Shoppers Drug Mart (a Canadian pharmacy chain). Both No Frills and Shoppers Drug Mart offer deals occasionally as well, such as when Shoppers does a buy $50 worth, get 20x/points. My husband puts all possibly purchases on his credit card (which we pay off each month obviously), and we actually purchase a lot of health and household goods from the pharmacy chain (technically it’s a pharmacy chain, but it sells most things), so between buying items when there’s an extra points back deal, combined with paying with his 3x points back card, he gets a lot of points. Which we then redeem for free groceries!

    It’s pretty hard to be an extreme couponer in Canada (you can’t stack coupons, and there aren’t a ton of coupons at any rate), so leveraging this loyalty program is the best way to lower our grocery prices (which I believe are generally higher than US prices)! I’m really thankful that my husband does such a good job with this program, because I eat a LOT of fresh produce, and I only have a small balcony to grow food on.

    I don’t qualify for the same credit card he does, but I have a no-fee one that gives me AirMiles, which I then redeem for groceries when there is a use 95 air miles, get 50 airmiles back promo. Again, any bit helps with the grocery bill!

  57. AndreaG, I’m so impressed by your purchase of raspberries for 25 cents! Where did you find the coupons? I never come across coupons for produce (with the rare exception of a digital rebate using the Checkout51 app, for a max of 25 cents back).

  58. Greetings!
    What a great deal on pork! I’d stock up, too. I’m going to look for the Hamish series. I need something new to read. I tried to get into The Chronicles of Narnia but failed. I need something with a bit more ‘tooth’.
    It’s wild blueberry season, here. So, i’ve gone several times, picking. I have about 10-12 two cup bags frozen and one 5 cup bag. I also made blueberry syrup, ate several pounds and gave some away. I can’t decide if that’s it for me or not. I love to pick but there’s just the two of us. I did discover that there are a lot of wild raspberries where I picked this year. I hope to remember this next year so I can pick them before the blueberries.
    I’ve been so happy to hang clothes on the line all Summer. Last week I had to run the dryer for two loads because of rain but i’m okay with that.
    I’ve been collecting the water from the dehumidifier to flush or add to the wash. The water bill still went up. Our rates go up every year til we pay off a loan. (If I remember correctly.) Our water barrel is full so I use that to water plants.
    I made nectar for the hummingbirds. We’ve only had two for the past few years. They are very entertaining!
    I used some of my walking tokens at the farmers market. I love it! I ‘bought’ carrots, leeks, potatoes, beets, kale and beans. I stopped at a roadside stand and really bought two dozen ears of corn. I still need to process and/or cook everything.
    I had to make a trip to Escanaba for more snacks for the store where I work. I used my CC. I was paid in cash for reimbursement. The money has been set aside til the bill is due. The points I earn will get me a gift card or two. While there, I filled my car with gas. It was 37cents a gallon cheaper. Plus, I had two coupons bringing the cost down further. I also found a pair of jeans and two Summer weight shirts for my trip to Fl. Those were bought at Goodwill. Two items were the color of the week.
    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Have a fabulous week ahead!

  59. Your canning looks beautiful, know you will enjoy it this winter! I made a batch of salsa and canned it with tomatoes given to me, son brought me almost a gallon of wild black berries, made jelly from them, I found carrots 2# for $1.00 got three bags so been having carrots and today took one bag and grated them and put in bags in freezer for carrot/ pineapple salad this winter, Son brought in some apples this evening, I don’t think they are ripe yet but will make some fried apples and then let them ripen a bit before I fix the rest of them We were blessed with almost two inches of rain in the last couple days, it was so dry, so it was very much appreciated.

  60. PJGT, could you mix the huckleberries with another fruit to make a batch of jam? I’ve done that before when I only have a little bits of berries or when I’m using expensive berries (mixing them with cheaper fruit helps cut the cost).

  61. I love the picture of your canning, and the quilting is beautiful, as always. You certainly crank out the projects! I love hearing about what you are up to each week.

  62. We are both finally feeling better. Spent the day with grandchildren doing free things for entertainment but we did take them out to eat. It was a lovely time and it saved us from driving the half hour to our house and then back again after being together.
    Teaching husband to play piano. Bought staff paper so I can take notation of his music and figure out the chords so other musicians can play his music. He can play by ear and learns fast so teaching him is a lot of fun.
    Having fun watching the chickens free range. They come running and try to fly to us when we come home or outside. They go back in their coop at night. I have laughed so hard watching them!
    Cooking most meals at home.
    Utilizing library.
    We did have a date day and watched a movie, enjoyable.
    Drove around lake and stopped and talked.
    Went for a drive in the evening and saw a Doe and two fawns one night. I’m having so much fun watching wildlife.
    Grandchildren asked my husband if he is a farmer now. He said yes. Then my 4 and 7 year old grandchildren told us ways we can make money. They think we need goats, a cow, more plants, maybe a horse. They told us we should open a store and that they would help us by drawing pictures to sell and that the four of us can sing for the customers and pass around a hat. They are so much fun! Singing with them is something we’ve done always. It would be fun to put on a concert at our farm. Including the grandchildren would be so much fun! They can sing and my grandson has been making up his own sweet songs about how much he loves his family. i was so nice to hear him sing for us when we went to visit one day.

  63. I can never get enough teeny, tiny cucumbers at the same time to make whole sweet pickles. It’s so great that you have a neighbor that you can buy some from. So, I end up canning chunks instead of gherkins. I’ll bet yours look SO pretty in the jars. Mine are not as pretty, but luckily the family doesn’t know any better and gobble them up quickly. Mine take 4 days of dumping various boiling things over them morning and night, according to the recipe. I’ve done that twice this year, 1/2 batch each time, because that’s how many cucumbers were ripe at the same time. Now, I’ve moved on to jalepeno dill pickles.

    You have been super busy! I love hearing about all the things you’ve been growing and preserving. As fun as it is to hear of you canning for your daughter with the twins, I’m sure she must be so happy. It’s hard to get that done with even one baby, but twins and a farm? Wow! I’m glad you can spend so much time with all the babies and their mothers.

  64. My biggest frugal win this week was getting the manufacturer of a very expensive drug I take, for Psoriatic arthritis, to cover my $240 co-pay,I will pay $5.I pay four times a year so this $940 a year,I cried in relief as I always worry about both paying for it and not having it.I was also reminded how important it is to take matters in your own hands. I had called the office manager 3 times and told my doctor twice, that the drug was getting to expensive for me to keep taking.Doctor finally heard what I was telling him,he found an outdated brochure for me and I was able to track down the manufacturer and they were able to give me immediate help.It was hard to keep asking and not feel like I was getting anywhere (office manager didn’t even call me back)but I persisted and now I get the drug I need at a price I can afford.
    The next thing I plan to go over with a fine tooth comb is the our insurance cost, they’ve become unsustainable. I want to protect us without breaking us.I’ve always had frugal tendency but this website informs me,supports me and reminds me why I’m proud to be frugal.

  65. Your jars look so pretty with the canned foods! I love the sound of the “pop” of a jar sealing after you take it out of canner. We were gifted a large bag of peaches from my husbands coworker. We enjoyed eating several then sliced some to freeze and made peach freezer jam.

  66. Ask the vet if you can get trained to administer the shot yourself. Also check if you can get the medication cheaper through a human pharmacy, as most animal meds are (or were) people medications.

  67. It has been a rough couple of weeks/ month for us on the frugal end. An ER visit (thought I was having a stroke – was fine, just a blood pressure spike), an emergency visit 1000 miles away to see my grandfather before he passed, another 1000 mile trip for the funeral, dog/animal sitters for each trip, a mold issue in the kitchen and living room, a pantry moth explosion, a broken hose bib, a back to school needs, 3 milestone birthdays, 2 new nieces, the loss of a dog, the inevitable lunches out during pre-planning time, etc. It has been a month to endure.

    As an issue of self-care in this time (My husband is away and dealing with everything was just too overwhelming) I did a decidedly unfrugal thing and ordered some pre-made meals to assist in the first couple of weeks of back to school. It has helped have been quite tasty and are helping me relearn portion control, so I may continue to order then until my husband returns next month.

    We’re back on track now. The roof is finally being finished today (this has been ongoing for nearly three months due to insurance, roofer backlogs, and weather). My new medication is working. My classes are small and so far well-behaved. The mold issue seems to have been resolved. The moth traps are mitigating the pantry moths until I can tackle a full clean out (it looks like they came from a big bag of cat food, but spread!).

  68. Our garden has been very productive, more zucchini and cucumbers and yellow squash than my family can consume. We are gladly sharing with neighbors.

  69. That’s so sad about the drought. We are in drought as well (as is much of the western US.) I read that firefighters from Australia have come over to help our exhausted firefighters in California and Oregon. We have rancher friends who are having to make tough choices to sell off livestock because there is no pasture or hay for them.

  70. We are very blessed. Our pantry and freezers are full. We have fairly good health and mostly enough money to cover our bills even though hubby has been out of work for over two years. Our garden is producing well. What we can’t eat I have been sharing with family friends and the mission. I’m spending a lot of time counting my blessings

  71. i mentioned to a friend that i paid to have 6 boxes moved by my window washer so they no longer blocked my basement hallway (put there by two “friends” who came to take a lovely solid wood table that I was lending to their son). They decided it was too heavy for them to lift so did not stash the boxes out of the way. I mentioned that it wasn’t good to leave the boxes like that but they just left anyway. When I mentioned it to my friend, she was incensed that I’d had to spend my last money of the month getting the boxes moved. She says starting in September she will donate one day each week to help me. So good and so kind.

    Brandy, I loved reading about your veggies, fruit and canning activities.

    Hoping to make some money, I entered 10 different photos into 2 different contests. For one, the second prizes are a gift certificate for $750 for the train. I could go to Montreal for that amount and it would really be fun.
    I am, however, hoping to win some cash, although the chances are remote but “fingers crossed”.

    Although my cherry crop failed due to lack of pollination, I have a bumper crop of apple crabs so a friend will pick and I will make lots of apple sauce for the freezer.

  72. I shop Aldi frequently, and this week I purchased boneless, skinless chicken breasts that had been marked down for quick sale, bringing the price well under $2 per lb which is my “buy it” threshold for meat. We don’t often buy this type of chicken due to the cost, so it was nice to get some. I brought it home and cooked it all in the instant pot, then made soup with some and have 8 cups of diced, cooked chicken to freeze for future meals. I also have nice broth from the pot to use in a future soup.

    My face lotion was getting low, but I turned it upside down after it quit pumping and was able to get another week and a half’s worth of lotion out of the bottle before having to buy a new one. I did the same with conditioner (turned the bottle upside down, then used samples and hotel conditioner before replacing) and laundry soap. I added water to some Bath and Body Works foaming soaps that someone gave me as a gift (it’s my favorite scent and only available at the holidays), to stretch it a bit so I can enjoy it longer.

    We also are in the middle of a big organizing/cleaning/purging at our home, and I was able to move clothing from my older son to my younger son. Also, my older son wears the same size shirt as my husband now, and I was able to add a few things to my husband’s closet that my son had received as gifts but never worn because they really weren’t his style. And I now have a car full of items to donate to a fundraiser. Normally, I would try to sell those items, but we are in a good place financially, and I feel it’s both frugal and honorable to pass those items along to 1) an organization that needs the funds and 2) people who can get great deals on buying the items that they need.

    The big purge is one step of many toward selling our home and downsizing in the spring so that we can be mortgage-free and have much lower expenses in time for our oldest child to go to college in fall 2019.

    We always choose to NOT buy back-to-school clothes for our boys, since we go back mid-August when it’s still hot. They wear their summer clothes, and we shop later in the year when it actually gets cool. My older son has stopped growing, so he needs less clothing, and my younger son will wear a lot of what my older son outgrew, so we are seeing more savings as each year progresses. I will buy clothes for them when I have a coupon or see a good deal at a thrift store or our outlet store. Also, my older son has a job and purchased a new backpack that he wanted (not needed) and he passed his old backpack to my younger son who wanted (not needed) a different backpack. Perfect.

  73. We’ve been VERY blessed that my husband has had some overtime over the last few months. We’ve used the extra money to take care of some much need maintenance and repairs in the house and yard. The previous owners over planted the back yard and we’ve been able to hire someone to remove some of it. We also have a tree company scheduled for September to remove a Mexican fan palm. It’s just become so tall that we’ve had to hire someone to trim it a couple of times a year for the past 4 years. Our HOA is very strict about palms and our dry climate. In the long run the removal of these plants means less maintenance, less water and a cleaner look in the yard. My husband is no longer able to do this sort of work due to back issues. We also did some much needed updated painting to several rooms. I do like the look of all rooms having the same color on the walls. It seems cleaner and well organized, in my opinion. I’ve also been using an app called Mercari to sell unwanted clothing, household decor and a variety of other items. I really like this app and find that things sell very quickly. My son was able to sell a gaming system and games that he wasn’t using for $155.00 in less than 24 hours. I like the ease of the site and the shipping procedure is awesome. I’ve been collecting water from our attic to water potted plants, turned the thermostat up and have been pantry cooking.

  74. I love reading all the ways each person is using her unique talents and abilities to make the most of her finances. We are still eating leftovers from our family birthday dinner for our oldest daughter. Her oldest son helped me with cooking. He is very high-functioning autism, mood disorder, ADHD, and several other disorders, and I am thrilled he loves to cook. At almost 16, he will be taking a cooking class at school this year, and I also discovered a monthly cooking class through our local community education offerings that he can start this fall. My most frugal activity this week was taking advantage of a sale on my favorite brand of undergarments. They were all 25% off, plus used a $10 coupon, plus received an additional $10 in-store credit for future use. As I have worn this high-quality brand for 15 yrs., and do not anticipate needing a change in sizes, I expect to need zero additional undergarments for at least 5 years! Tomorrow I will put food in the crockpot before my weekly day trip to a nearby city. This weekend is tax-free weekend in Texas. I will buy school supplies and clothing for my grandson. School starts Aug. 20 here.

  75. I retired about six weeks ago and am amazed at how busy I am and wondered how I ever worked! My garden is doing well and I have sauerkraut fermenting in the basement. My tomatoes are starting to come on and I am slow roasting the cherry tomatoes with garlic, thyme, and olive oil and will put them in the freezer to use later. I made a half pint of pickle relish (it’s all the ingredients that were ripe) and will start bottling small batches of tomatoes as they come one. I did get a rebate from a prescription that I had to pay full price for because the insurance coverage wasn’t in the pharmacist’s system. Found a great skirt at a thrift store, wore it, and got many compliments. I’ll harvest another batch of Swiss chard to blanch and freeze. I too have recently pressure canned black and pinto beans as my supply had already been used.

    Since I am no longer worker, I find that I waste less food and concentrate on using what we have. I think it will take another month or two to figure out our financial situation, but I feel very blessed to be able to spend more time working on my art and upcoming exhibitions.

    Looking forward to reading more comments. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  76. I haven’t posted in a few weeks. Our garden is really taking off. We are picking broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cherry and grape tomatoes and green beans. The lettuce is done for now, but a third planting is growing. We are also done with our snow peas, but have some in the freezer. I thinned the carrots, so the remaining ones would get bigger. The pinto beans are getting a lot of pods on them. We will harvest those when they are completely dry, then shell them. The garlic is all harvested and cleaned and put in the cold room in the basement. Picking herbs as we need them – oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, rosemary and lovage.

    We are also drying thyme, cilantro and basil. When those are done, we will pick the oregano, and dry it.

    I made home made mixed vegetables and froze them. Separately blanched, carrots (from the thinnings), green beans and broccoli, pulled corn out of the freezer that I had left over from last year (still a few weeks to fresh corn here) and added some store-bought frozen peas (just a 1 pound bag). Ended up with 8 quart freezer bags of mixed vegetables. In addition to just eating, I use these in soup and a casserole that I make, where I add vegetables in order to make it a one-dish meal.

    Made herb bread. I basically follow Brandy’s rosemary olive oil bread recipe, and add basil, parsley, oregano and thyme in addition to the rosemary. I add an extra bit of yeast, olive oil and sugar, in case the weight of the extra veggies weighs it down. This is great for BLT sandwiches.

    Was able to get cereal for 99¢ a box. Don’t usually buy cereal, but for that price I will. Was also able to get Classico spaghetti sauce for 99¢ a jar. I like the jars, as they have measuring cup lines on them. Very useful. I also use them for my salad in jar to take to work for my lunch.

    I am going to my mother’s house for the second time in 3 weeks. She lives about 150 miles away, on her own and is 95. She needs help right now, and I am glad I have the time, energy and resources to help her. She doesn’t need financial help, just physical help.

    I know there was a bunch of other stuff, but it is so ingrained, that I don’t think about it when I do it.

    Hope everyone has a good week.

  77. Jennifer, I think that your health makes the meals a wise choice–not unfrugal at all, as you need to take care of yourself.

    I have found that fly paper works well to capture pantry moths. I don’t know what mine came in, but they ate through plastic bags at my house and destroyed tons of food. I have since been keeping things in glass jars.

  78. Billie, most drug companies offer co-pay assistance for their more expensive, specialty drugs. Have you checked into that? I have taken Xeljanz for 3 yrs., but with ins. and copay asdistance, I have never paid a dollar. Things will change when I qualify for Medicare in a few yrs., though.

  79. Hi to all! I love following and learning from all.
    This past week’s frugal things same as usual
    – staying in most days
    – did errands all in one day
    – making most meals from scratch and eating up leftovers
    – checking books from library and returning them on time
    – walking our dogs
    – continue working on swagbucks, using ibotta, Checkout 51 and Receipt Hog
    – washing baggies and reusing.
    It’s back to school week in southern Az. College starts next week for my daughter. Not much changes since she has been living there and working.
    I hope all has a frugal week!

  80. Billie: Good for you! My family benefits greatly from a drug assistance program and I hope you find more ways to take care of your health expenses at lower costs.

  81. Do you mind me asking how you sell your items? Do you have an online store or a website? The reason I ask is that I have sold a few of my hand sewn items in the past and have tossed around the idea of selling my things to the public but not sure which avenue I wish to go down. There are many options I know, art and craft fairs, websites, Etsy. Etc. If you don’t mind me asking. Thanks so much.

  82. Hi Cindi and I am sorry to hear about your friends and the other farmers in the US struggling to survive also 🙁 . All farmer and ranchers love their stock and will do anything to keep them if possible but sometimes this is not possible as it is a case of them starving or being sold.

    I shall be praying for those ranchers in the United States too. Are there food shortages or dramatic price rises over there in some areas ? due to the drought.

    It brings home the real need for us to all have extra food stocks in our homes to weather times of high prices and affects from drought and environmental conditions.

  83. Good luck with the contest! I participate in a survey group called “Asking Canadians” and I chose to put my points earned towards my VIA preference account so I can save up for train trips. I also get entered into monthly draws for cash – but so far no luck. 🙂
    So glad to hear that your friend is able to offer some very sensible hands on help – very practical! It is unfortunate that you had to pay to have the boxes moved but at least you didn’t try to do it yourself and possibly re-injure your arm. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your Montreal trip.

  84. It sure is. We pass books, magazines, and coupons regularly. We exchange clothes, pocketbooks pet items and food all the time. If I can get something free that we won’t use, someone in my family usually will. It helps that I have 4 siblings.

  85. Good idea! I wonder if apple juice would not overpower the huckleberry flavor. I’m going to look into this! Thanks, Rhonda A.

    Trish

  86. At our house we have “red” jam, it’s always a mixture of whatever I have. My favourite is plum and raspberry, plum and mulberry is lovely too. The berries give a little extra zing to the jam. Maybe you could use your huckleberries in this way.
    Sometimes if we have apples left over I stew them and add a few berries. It makes a lovely base for a fruit crumble and can be frozen for future use.

  87. 1. I have been having awesome luck at finding new books to read at the library, which of course makes me feel very happy and content for zero dollars
    2. Took the kids out to McDonald’s with forgotten Christmas gift cards
    3. Still scavenging around the house for unique meals to put together because my husband is traveling and the ones left behind are not picky:)
    4. I am currently in a no spend week which is helping my monthly budget to stay in check
    5. I earned a movie ticket and a free sandwich by simply giving blood, which makes me feel good on many different levels

  88. Everything is in glass jars or mylar sealed inside buckets – except crackers, pasta and rice which, of course, I had just restocked!
    The meals are definitely a self-care issue. I rejiggled some other self-care/ luxury budget items to make room for the meals for now.

  89. the Jewish lady, canning is easy once you get a system going. Keep all your supplies organized, keep needed items like sugar and vinegar and lids and spices stocked up, keep it all handy during canning season. Also, I use the same recipes and routines I have used for years; I do not go looking for new recipes. I may add a new thing or two every year but for the things we like I do not change. Consistency and cleanliness is very important. If you have the freezer room make freezer jam. Start to finish is about 1/2 hour at most, once you have your fruit ready to go. I put the jars etc that I will need in the dishwasher ahead of time so they are washed and ready to go, then I just rerun them on hot rinse before use.

  90. My daughter lives 2 miles away and my granddaughter lives about 30 miles. I have a chair in a corner where I pile stuff for both of them for the next time I see them. They always look there first, and then in the kitchen to see if I baked anything!

  91. My husband loves huckleberries. In our experience huckleberries are a very strong flavor, dominating any other in mixtures like jam. They may be tiny, but they are mighty in flavor. If we store them in the freezer, they need to be in a glass canning jar, or they flavor the butter in the same freezer!

  92. Apple might be a good choice for a flavor that wouldn’t dominate. In a great many bottled juice blends, even if apple or pear or white grape aren’t included in the fancy juice name, they are listed early the ingredient lists, which means they make up a lot of the juice, maybe the sweetness, without providing a lot of the flavor.
    Slight digression here– My grocery store often has 100% juice in the refrigerator clearance section for slightly less than half price the day before the “best used by” date. They last for at least a week and I have frozen the cartons as well. The current one is called “orange peach mango” with small print of “flavored blend of apple, orange, pineapple, peach, grape, and mango juices.”

  93. I have a question for those who make jam. I have found that jam is expensive to make because of all the pectin I have to buy. Does anyone has a frugal source for pectin?

  94. That’s a very satisfying number of jars there.

    I had an email from the Library I have started doing some casual work for asking if I was interested in working 2 days per week from September until the end of the year. I said I would, which is good news for the bank balance but just means the time spent gardening and decluttering is now limited again.

    My god daughter turns 9 tomorrow and I am going to use a free pass to our local zoo as her present, and buy her snacks and ice creams on the day.

  95. That must be really unsettling Tabbie. You sound like you have such a positive attitude. Good luck with the job hunting.

  96. Hi Brandi. I’m always so impressed with your canning. Question…how often do you purchase new lids/rings? I tried reusing them but they seem rust easily and/or get dents, therefore I throw them out or try to reuse them someplace else.
    Do you get discouraged on the price of having to buy new lids/rings frequently, because I do! I love canning but dislike having to constantly buy new ones. Any advice on how to keep the lids/rings safe from being damaged?

    Thanks a bunch! Always so delightful in hearing from you

  97. Holly, you and your mother seem to have a very good relationship. You are blessed to have such a long loving lifetime with her. I have enjoyed hearing your adventures over the years.

    Maybe if you can use a surge protector at the wall you can ease her mind and protect your back at the same time.

  98. Kevin West who has written many books on preserving, making jams, jellies, etc, pickles etc. suggests using apple pectin powder which can be purchased at health food stores. He says that it is more economical. It is less expensive than pectin in the grocery store.

  99. You can make your own using green apples – crab apples being the best. For store bought, I like Pomona’s Pectin because it comes in “bulk” packages and does not require sugar to set. Although I might not save on the cost of the Pectin, I do save on being able to lower the amount of sugar that is used or even use different types of sweeteners. Hope this helps.

  100. You can make your own pectin with lemon seeds or apple seeds (just Google it), but I don’t bother using pectin at all. I just use fruit and sugar and cook it until it reaches a jammy stage. It’s a bit looser set obviously, but still jammy, and lots cheaper!

  101. We are having a low spend August to try and make up for some extremely expensive car repairs and anticipate for some upcoming dental work I need done in September. I was thinking yesterday that there were some things we really needed that may not be able to wait until September- my son was recently diagnosed with a milk allergy and we had run out of almond milk for him- we were running low on cat food and litter, etc; then this morning out of nowhere my mom called and said she had sent me $300 to stock up my pantry just as a random gift! Normally I would say things like “mom, you don’t need to do that” but today I was just very thankful, and promptly went out and wisely spent that $300 on things that will last us quite a while.

    Our local walmart had 3lb boxes of elbow macaroni for $1!!! I was so excited! They also had other types of pasta marked down to .50 a box. Some types of canned tomatoes were marked down to .20 a can. I stocked up on non-perishables that were on sale, got a few small treats for my children, 25lbs of flour for $5.34. and a few clothing items for my kids, as well (they are 3 and 4, so not yet pressured to have the “cool” clothing, thank goodness! ha!). I also found our brand of cat food, which is normally $5 a bag marked down to $3.50, so I stocked up on that too. I feel beyond blessed.

    My garden is not doing well on the tomato front, but I have an abundance of cucumbers and peppers! I have already put up 8 jars of pickles, which will last us through the winter. The rest we are enjoying fresh with italian dressing as a kind of salad. This weekend I will be pulling up the majority of my basil to make pesto for the freezer. I love having this on hand to add to homemade sauces and stews, and its great on homemade pizza. The peppers are going straight into the freezer, as I use them throughout the winter in Green Chile and other soups and stews. They are also excellent in omelets or fritatas.

    Does anyone have a good recommendation for a sewing machine for someone who is just starting out? I am considering purchasing one for myself, preferably used, for Christmas but am not sure where to start…. I would be using it mainly to make curtains and other small items, as well as Halloween costumes, etc., for the kids. It probably would only be used a handful of times per year….thanks for any pointers in advance!

  102. Jars full of homemade goodness are always as beautiful to me as the finest jewels! I can’t imagine canning right now in our heat and humidity! Your family is truly blessed by a mama that endeavors to can in the thick of summer!

  103. Sara, pectin is not necessary for many jams. I googled no-pectin jams for recipes. I make peach, plum, strawberry, pineapple, and blueberry jams without pectin, and they all have wonderful taste and consistency. No pectin needed for apple butter, either. Some also prefer not to add pectin for natural reasons.

  104. I had to look, but no, not one photo of me on there. I’m really good at interpreting the history, but I’m not as cute looking like my younger colleagues. They take better pictures than I.

  105. Here are answers to two questions about canning…

    You can make jam without pectin, but it takes more fruit and berries and you have to cook it a long time. It also doesn’t taste as fresh as jam made with pectin. I have found powdered pectin to be cheaper than Certo. Also, Ball is now packaging pectin in jars, which may be cheaper than individual packages of pectin. Pomona makes pectin that only takes a small amount (you can get Pomona at natural food stores). I don’t know how it compares in cost when you consider the price of Pomona, fruit and sugar, but it may be an option.

    Tattler makes reusable lids, and they don’t cost that much more than Ball and Kerr. I have seen them at Ace hardware stores. Also, I’ve reused regular metal lids successfully, especially for jams and jellies where the product is boiling when poured into the jars.

    HTH. Try Googling Tattler and Pomona and see what information you can glean about these products.

  106. Green, unripe apples have a load of natural pectin in them (note: they did not use store bought pectin in the 1800s!). If you have a wild apple tree in your area, they would be perfect to use. Cut the apples in quarters, throw them in a pot core, peeling and all, put in enough water to just cover the apples and cook them until mushy. Strain off the juice and use it in place of pectin. You may have to experiment with how much sugar to use, as the pectin content can vary, and it may not set as hard as the store bought pectin, but it should work to make jam. I have also used crabapples the same way. If you want to do a bit more research about this, try Pinterest!

  107. I’m curious if there is a solution to rusty rings as well, Sandra. As for the lids, I invested in some Tattler lids last year and hope to buy more in the future. Tattler lids are a more expensive to buy initially, but are reusable. I think Brandy uses Tattler lids as well, though I may be wrong.

  108. I think one of the biggest things I have been doing lately is taking drinks and a snack every time we go out for every person I go out with. This saves a lot one day about two weeks ago, I did not and it cost about $9.00 just to stop at McDonald’s OUCH!!!

    I have been taking Turkey , Oatmeal cookies and apples lately with water.
    It has been working.
    I hate wasting the time at a stop anyway when I have errands to run.

  109. How great your Mom surprised you like that! She must have known she “didn’t have to do that”. How good for you that you let her be generous without making a fuss beyond being thankful. (Maybe the kids could string her a new elbow macaroni necklace and send it to her? 🙂 ) And the prices are excellent.
    I bet if you start asking around, you could find a sewing machine sitting unused in someone’s house that you could borrow, or use while you store at your house for many months. That would give you some idea of how much you would use it.
    I have a new/refurbished one I bought years ago from an outlet/clearance place. I use only straight and zigzag stitches, in spite of what else is available on it. It is pre-computer-machines, and that is ok for me.

  110. Hi Cindi,

    Although everyone jokes about zucchini, shredded (grated) zucchini freezes well and is good for stir fries, muffins, chocolate zucchini cake. I never turn offers of zucchini down!

  111. Hi Tammy,

    Glad to hear that you are both finally feeling better. What a great idea to teach your husband to play piano. Perhaps you should teach piano to your grandchildren, if they don’t already know. You might even consider teaching piano to local kids for money. I have thought about doing that but the broken arm intervened. I love all your grandchildren’s suggestions! So sweet! I have not been able to get out much this summer for a number of reasons but one day we went to the mountains. A young moose came just to the ditch by the road. It drank from the muddy water (probably full of minerals for it). I have wanted to take a good moose photo for years so this time I got a photo of the young moose kneeling on its front legs to drink. Apparently, moose have to kneel to drink from shallow water. I so identify with your enjoyment of wildlife.

    We are getting a lot of smoke from the B.C. wildfires, even though they are about 800 miles away. Today the smoke risk is high so I have to stay inside due to breathing problems. The whole city can hardly wait until wind or rain ends the smoke. Yesterday, it was a record-setting hot temperature. At least, it is cooler today.

    I think a concert would be a great idea! Maybe a summer sing along for kids (and parents and grandparents).

    Ann

  112. When I was young a neighbor bought a very large metal trough like thing from home depot only it was shaped round we swam in that all summer ever summer it was 2.5 inches of water and worked well until we were old enough to go to the public pool he simply turned it over in the winter. It was an awesome place to swim.https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/behlen-country-214-galvanized-round-end-sheep-stock-tank-1270209?cm_mmc=feed-_-GoogleShopping-_-Product-_-1270209&gclid=CjwKCAjwkrrbBRB9EiwAhlN8_E9PdQ8AQdtsmtaYUyRGNv_NTpp0vinu7c0Er134k9qM-TMgtM5PWBoCfUwQAvD_BwE
    Only it was very large an round. WE kids had a blast!

  113. Yes, watch your back look up videos on transfer rather than lift of patient.
    If you throw out your back your both stuck.

    Take it from someone taking care of hubby at 298 lbs transfer with patient helping is way better.

  114. Margie from Toronto,

    “Asking Canadians” sounds interesting. Where will you go on Via Rail? I read some reviews on tripadvisor and there were
    some disgruntled users.

    I went to the cast clinic and they think I may need surgery. Have to have a ct scan and since it’s “non-urgent” I have to wait till end of Jan. (at least that’s of 2019).

    I am annoyed because the stupid squirrels keep sampling and discarding the unripe pears. Last year, a deer ate all pears within reach. It’s an accomplishment to grow pears here but aggravating to be beaten to the punch. As soon as the smoke lets up, I’ll pick the pears. They only ripen off of the tree anyway.

    Did you notice that Air Canada has really good seat sales on (I think it ends today).

  115. I love Hamish MacBeth. Even more than Agatha Raisin by the same author. My frugal accomplishment happened a bit ago but it’s taken awhile to learn how frugal it’s turning out to be. Our fridge died and our local appliance dealer usually has scratch and dent models discounted. The only one that would fit the space was smaller than our old fridge but we took it anyway. The store replaced the dented door for free so it really isn’t even a scratch and dent model anymore. The other savings is that it doesn’t hold as much as our old, larger fridge so we have to clean up leftovers to make room for new food, we don’t waste nearly as much food as when things could get lost in the back until they became science experiments.

  116. Thank you for your comment about Sharp Shopper! We live in Virginia and I looked it up to see if it was by us and the closest one is 50 minutes away in a town where my husband sometimes has to work! The next time he’s out there I’ll have him check it out!

  117. Oh, I hope the smoke ends soon for you. Breathing problems are not fun. The sky was hazy here in Kansas from the wildfires even though they are far away from us. It didn’t have an effect on my breathing though.
    I love your moose story. How nice to get a picture!
    Yes, I think a sing-along would be fun too! I may consider teaching piano for money. I’ve done it before and really enjoyed it. I love music and enjoy encouraging both children and adults to learn.

  118. Sara: I recently tried making blackberry jam with only sugar, it was the best I’d ever made, much more berry flavor. I’m not sure what other berries this works for, use google!! ann lee s

  119. Tabbie- have you considered freelancing as “sick day child care”? Not a full time home day care, but someone who will the kids for the day who have the colds/sore throats/ tummy crummies/ear infections that prevent them from attending their regular child care or school. That way, the parents dont have to miss work. While not a steady or guareented income, there is potential, and you can charge a bit higher prices as it’s a speciality service ( but keep it somewhat reasonable). Pretty much a spare bedroom, a supply of disinfectant, chicken soup and jello, and some quiet time activites- books, chidrens videos, board/card games would do it. Another area in which there might be demand is overnight childcare.

  120. I’m a sewing teacher in a middle school. Check and see if there is a sewing machine repair shop in your area. They may have some reliable refurbished machines for sale. Check Craigslist or equivalent in your area for inexpensive machines too. Pre-computerized machines often are very durable and available because people want the “fancy” ones.

  121. Had two doctor appts last week, which effectively meant I didn’t get much done those days. One was an hour’s drive each way and they made me wait besides. I did go to yoga before the appt, though. I did 2 yoga classes this week, which is my goal. I also got my DD to go pick blueberries with me, and it was even easier picking than when I had gone by myself–many more berries ripe. So I now have about 9# in the freezer and another one in the fridge–hoping to make muffins with some of those and husband can eat the rest on his cereal. DD made a pie for them which she said was ugly but tasty. They had a recent fire in her apt bldg, and her new alarm is so sensitive that it went off while she was preheating the oven, and she couldn’t reach it to reset it and her husband wasn’t home–she was a bit stressed getting the pie into the oven quickly so she could get something to stand on and hit reset. She was also the one who discovered the fire and called 911, so she’s had quite enough of that for now!

    I did spend a good part of two days looking for my husband’s misplaced hearing aids. He told me he put them on the bathroom shelf and he did. But not the shelf we use for shampoo, etc., where I have found them before. This time he put them on the higher, decorative shelf that is only there for “looks”–but when I was in the shower I noticed a wire sticking up and was so relieved!! The thing about dementia is you just don’t know what the person is thinking–not even remotely–so it’s always a surprise to YOU. He tells me at bedtime he wants to go to a craft festival and the next morning he says “I thought I would work on the car today.” So I tell him he wanted to go to the craft festival and he has to decide all over again. The craft show won again and they laid it out differently this year and the parking was FULL before we got near it. We had to walk four blocks to the start of the craft booths–one of them up a very steep hill. By the time we finished looking (at 90% of it) even he was exhausted and I was beyond that. We made it home safely and both were out cold within the hour! Just a nap before bedtime. There was no dinner here. There was a series of snacks but no dinner. Too exhausted to care. Luckily we had had a nice lunch. It was a frugal day out as we bought only lunch, with water to drink, and later on a huge bottle of water to share on the way back to the car. No admission charge, just a little gas to get there.
    Somehow we also managed to cut down and get rid of a few more weeds from one flower bed and the entryway to the cellar also. I wish we could do more of that and less looking for hearing aids! But the laundry got done, and meals got cooked, groceries were purchased, we are still healthy and well fed, and we put the garbage out the right day and even the recycling got picked up. We have trouble because he can’t remember HIS jobs, and I can’t remember HIS jobs either, so we’re always playing catch up, it seems. Wonder what the next week will bring?

  122. I am trying to stage our house to list within the next week. I have bought a few furniture pieces off of FB marketplace, including a beautiful real leather chair and reupholstered the dining room chairs. I touched up paint around the house. I haven’t gotten around to canning yet but I found 5 pounds of blueberries at Kroger for 9.99. I have been freezing them, hoping to get some blueberry sauce canned once the house is listed. DH is a huge gardeniera fan, hope to make some soon. I’m trying to use up random food items before we move. I made olive tampanade for a party- I have several cans and jars of olives and I despise them! Made sure to meal prep for the week, healthy for my wallet and waistline. I’m continuing to run 3-4 times per week and go to outdoor yoga to loose the rest of the baby weight and hopefully can fit back into my PRE pregnancy clothes soon!

  123. Maxine – I, too, have reused metal lids with no problems. Just be sure to sterilize them (I do this by boiling lids and rings while canning). If one does not seal, just refrigerate. I think I have had only one not seal in the past few years.

  124. I was gifted apples, 3 5 gallon buckets full! I am drying the last of them now and have 2 gallon jars filled with the dried slices. The grandbabes love these apple slices! I’m grateful to my neighbors who share their excess produce with my family.

  125. Becky, did you like the jalapeno dills? I had one once and didn’t. Not sure if I would make them as then jar would be in refrigerator taking up room if one one person wants them. My husband would probably eat them but we all eat regular dills. I figure I already can hot peppers as is. Did you grow your own dill? We sold so much dill and actually ran out. We found out the grocer (kroger affiliate) doesn’t stock dill during canning season. You are supposed to buy it in the little mini fresh packs of baby dill which is pretty ridiculous.

  126. Margie, we have so much fruit that the gooseberries go by the wayside. Though they seem to be popular with foodie type people as the amount of them we are selling goes up every year. Is a crumble a crisp? Fruit in the pan and top with a mix of oats, flour, sugar, butter and spice?

  127. Jenifer, it is and the summer went way too fast. I actually left off my daughter in law Joy and her girl Anna Joy and then Joy’s mother. They are there always too, but Joy goes back to school next week also.

  128. I buy it in pectin in bulk too and it is much much cheaper. It is also true as others have mentioned that you
    don’t need pectin and to search for no pectin recipes. Apple and currants don’t need pectin as examples. Marivene, if I remember right, makes her own form of pectin from currants.

  129. I dry my rings in the oven after washing and before putting away for season. I store them on loops of rope from the basement rafters. Also, remove them from the jars once they are sealed. They are not meant to stay on the jars for long term storage. You can steel wool small amounts of rust off. Don’t bang on the rings with a knife edge to loosen. I also buy lids in bulk, 250 at a time.

    I saw some very cute pumpkins made out of rusted rings at a craft sale. They took a whole stack of rings, nested them, then tied one edge tight with a piece of string until they looped around to make the pumpkin shape. They use a twig and green felt for the stem and leaf. It took about 20 rings per pumpkin.

  130. Bobbie. I am an experiences seamstress in my late 60s. I have had numerous sewing machines in my lifetime. Starting out I had simple machines. Just straight stitch and zigzag. As I got more proficient and could afford it I got a husquevarna. I’ve had others, and have had a Bernina for the last 40 years. One of my favorite machines is a little white that I got at a garage sale for 5$. The lady said it never sewed right. I cleaned it put a new needle in and properly threaded it. It sews great. Find a cheap machine at a garage sale or thrift store to start and enjoy learning to see. Most any machine will work for a beginner. Just have fun

  131. This is such a wonderful system, especially because our food prices are so high! We have redeemed $1500 in free groceries this year already! (My parents donate their points to us!) gas stations are now apart of the points system which will add up even faster!

  132. I am happy that Esso is now participating! My question about the PC MasterCard… don’t you both qualify for the same card as spouses? I am home full time but I have the same credjt cards as my husband. I would like to switch the pc points but am confused on why I might not qualify?

  133. Brandy, thank you for finding that! It’s just what I was looking for, and I was able to get my Amazon order placed through your affiliate link. Hopefully you also got credit for the other stuff I ordered as I had a few items in my cart previously.

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