Octavius Summer The Prudent Homemaker

I turned a pair of jeans into jean shorts and mended two dresses. 

I harvested Armenian cucumbers, red noodle beans, and cherry tomatoes from the garden.

I took seeds from one of my Armenian cucumbers and planted them in the garden.

I made Ranch, Italian, and Balsamic Orange Vinaigrette dressings to go on our salads. This time of year I have to buy lettuce as it won’t grow in our heat, but including homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers on top is great!

I purchased some items using coupon codes at two different websites (30% off on one site and 20% off on the other), going through Ebates first to earn cash back. I had free shipping with both of these codes as well, saving me time going to the store as well as gas to get there and back.

I used a free shipping code to order two math books for homeschooling, one of which was on sale for 28% off.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

The early morning temperatures cooled down to 72 for a short while, enabling me to turn off the air conditioner and open the windows between 5 and 7 a.m. It’s still over 100 here during the day, but the nights were 85 last week and I am grateful for some fresh air in the early mornings to open up the house. I always feel like a fresh burst of oxygen is helpful to get going in the morning (plus it makes the house smell nice!)

My 15-year-old son attended the free first workshop of a three-week ACT workshop taught by an ACT tutor.

I read three e-books from the library.

I redeemed 2200 points on Swagbucks for a $25 Lowe’s gift card on the thirty-first. You can only get one $25 gift card a month for the discounted rate of 2200 points, so I redeemed for another one on the first of September for $25. 

My husband and I used a buy one get one free coupon to have a date out for $9.

What did you do to save money last week?




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  1. It sounds like a lovely week, Brandy. And that is a gorgeous picture of Octavius (I hope I got the name right.)
    I baked sandwich bread. We ate all meals at home.
    I picked the last of the green beans from the greenhouse and transplanted broccoli seedlings in their place.
    I picked a bunch of Echinacea (Coneflower) leaves and starting drying them, in preparation for making a tincture to use this winter.
    From the garden I harvested green beans, tomatoes, radishes, carrots, chard, collards and celery. I cut flowers from the yard to decorate the house.
    My husband and I ran errands in a town about 45 minutes away. We packed a lunch so we wouldn’t be tempted to stop at a restaurant.
    My husband repaired a leaky gutter, and glued together a wooden trivet that had split.
    We stopped by the library to return books and next to the dumpster in the parking lot was a big pile of cut plywood – a lot of 3’ X 4’ and 2’ X 4’ pieces, 5/8” thick. We were able to bring home quite a few pieces in the car – my husband estimates about $50 worth. He is always doing projects that require plywood, and added this to his wood stash.

  2. Hi Brandy, I was just wondering about the free ACT program. Could you please give the name? Is it something exclusive to your area? Also, a while back you gave a link to a free online test prep program that your daughter was using. Could you please list it again? The reason I am asking is because other than Khan Academy , we have not come across any good free programs. Another issue is that most programs in our area require that the student be an incoming junior or senior. We are looking for something that a High School freshman could use. Thanks!

  3. The garden is about finished here, which is a little earlier than usual. But we had a record hot summer, which definitely took it’s toll on the plants. I harvested another 30 pounds of potatoes this weekend, bringing my total to 65 pounds. I also harvested 3, 5 gallon buckets of bell peppers and 12.5 pounds of carrots. I have some tomatoes left – enough to make another batch of spaghetti sauce. Then I need to freeze some of the jalapeno peppers. After that, I’ll just wait until right before first frost to harvest my sweet potatoes.

    Last week was apple week. We picked tons and tons of apples. I canned 10 quarts of apple pie filling, 24 quarts & 7 pints of applesauce, 10 jelly jars of apple pie in a jar. We crammed apples into every spare space in our fridge, filling 2 crisper drawers plus some. Then we took the rest and made apple cider. I was recently given my great-grandpa’s cider press, so I was very happy to be able to make some cider with it.

    I didn’t have to work yesterday, which saved a trip. But my husband and I decided to do a little day date. We took advantage of a half price appetizer at the restaurant. We won’t have another free weekend until October 20th, so we decided to spend a little quality time together before the craziness hits.

    I was able to work a few extra hours last week, which will add to my paycheck. We are continuing to add extra payments to our mortgage, which helps save interest.

    That’s about it for this week. I need to get back to freezing peppers! 🙂

  4. I love opening windows in the morning! We’ve had some cooler days so I’ve opened my windows too. The ac is going on less which is always nice.

    I haven’t commented for a few weeks. I haven’t felt like I have had many frugal days but that is also because haven’t gone anywhere or spent much $$.

    I stocked up on hot sauce with Kroger’s weekend deal. I calculated we saved around $7. I also used the chick-fil-a app and had several free meals. Those that have the app should have a free entree good through September.

    I continue to harvest green beans, eggplants and tomatoes. I planted some fall vegetables but nothing has sprouted yet so not sure if too hot still. My autumn beauty sunflowers are flowering. I still have dahlias blooming as well.

    I pickled and canned several batches of jalapeños plus made homemade salsa with my tomatoes. The rest have gone in the freezer to use up later.

    Hope everyone is having a good September so far.

  5. Yes, this is just in our area. It’s an individual man who is teaching the class locally. I will have to ask my daughter about the free testing material that she used, but you may be able to find it by searching online for free ACT tests. She found it that way. She found a number of tests on several sites.

  6. We harvested tomatoes and even more basil and made pesto to freeze. We ate some of the tomatoes in salads. We roasted some of the tomatoes and froze them. I shredded and froze batches of zucchini in the amount needed to make zucchini bread. I decided not to bake the breads this week in order to reduce using the oven and trying to keep the house cool. I sorted through our drawers of school supplies and art supplies. I found items that my daughters can use for school, items I can donate to their teachers and some items we will not use that I donated to a local organization. I packed up some outgrown clothing to pass along to a friend who has a younger daughter.

  7. I have been canning a lot. My husband has been helping for hours, sitting patiently outside on our covered porch, watching the pressure canner. We don’t like to leave it alone, and it needs constant adjustment on the propane stove we are using for canning. The items we have been canning take a long time.

    We slipped down to the beach for a few days, using our camper and our free park pass. Our food was taken with us and our entertainment was outdoor activities such as clamming, crabbing, fishing and walking. We caught both crab and clams and enjoyed eating part of them and I froze the rest. We will need to use them soon, because they don’t keep for long, but I’m excited about putting them into my meals. I did make gluten-free clam chowder, which is a real treat for us, and will use the one small package of frozen clams to do that again, soon.

    I got a lot of rest, which is good, since the garden, canning and work is taking up so much time here at home. I had renewed energy when I returned, and plunged right into what needed to be done. We purchased tuna from the docks and canned it the very day we got home. This year, we bought a little more than we did last time, and got 40 small jars, which made it necessary to do 2 canner loads for 100 minutes each.

    I made and canned beef broth from 2 packages of soup bones that had been languishing in the freezer for some time. I got 7 quarts. Then, I took the rest of the broth, a few tomatoes, and the bits of meat and made vegetable beef soup. I went through the garden and picked all the odds and ends–a small bowl of green and yellow beans, a few ears of corn, a few carrots, etc. I added every single little potato that was left from when we pulled them, onions, and sent Rob and Jake out to buy celery and made 2 huge pots of soup. Yesterday afternoon, Rob canned that soup. It took until late last night, as there were 2 batches and they took 90 minutes each, plus time to cool the canner down in-between.

    There are pictures on my blog of part of the canning we have done: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-september-2-2018/

    I have also been working on fruit cocktail and finished it yesterday as well. We had picked the peaches and were given the pears by my sister. They were stored in the fridge drawers while we were gone and lasted well.

    The oddest thing I did to save money was to pick pears from my pear tree that had fallen down a few weeks ago. I knew pears ripen off the tree, so wondered if any of them would be ripe, and although many were rotten, or too green, some did ripen. I did need to trim out some bad parts, but used some of them in the fruit cocktail as well. I hope to make pear butter from the rest. I am slowly cutting the tree up with pruners and putting it in the weed bin, then my husband will use a chain saw to finish the rest.

    I bought school supplies for the sale prices and hopefully got enough for the year.

  8. Good morning!

    I did a pile of mending yesterday. Some of it has been sitting for quite some time, but it was waiting for me to get my basement cleaned up (all my sewing stuff was down there, and I really disliked going down there before it was clean. It’s awesome down there now!). I now have a shirt to wear and my daughter’s wardrobe has expanded by several articles of clothing. 🙂

    I cooked lunch for my mom when she came up to watch my daughter, instead of going out. I finished knitting a Christmas gift with yarn that I’ve had forever, and started another one with scraps of yarn that I used for a different Christmas gift years ago! My daughter and I enjoyed some play time at a neighboring town’s library, and my son and I attended a production of a student-directed play at his school (tickets were three dollars each, and it was a great show). I turned a bunch of our garden tomatoes into sauce, and that all went into the freezer for later use.

    I cleaned my dishwasher (IT WAS SO GROSS!!!!!), so hopefully that’ll make it run more efficiently and clean better, thus saving us money. I already have the next cleaning scheduled in my phone calendar, so hopefully next time it won’t be so disgusting.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  9. What an adorable boy! ! And you were a very busy girl, Brandy. Isn’t the cooler weather wonderful?

    At last! It was a week in which we did not bleed (much) money. We did the usual frugal stuff, plus the following—

    A friend offered to service our boat and store it over the winter…for FREE. (We do nice things for him, too, but this is huge and totally unexpected).

    Deals’n’steals–I got Ace Hardware deals totaling $8 in my pocket, a $10 Target GC for my gift stash, and bought two 16-packs of batteries that will be free after rebate (Christmas stocking stuffers).

    A friend and I painted our shed using leftover paint. We were wiping the sides of the can with the brush when we finished! I had to buy a quart of trim for $13, but that was all. I’m going to lay some leftover sheet vinyl on the shed floor. We stained the fascia boards of the deck with mis-tinted Cabot stain that I got at Lowe’s for $9 gallon instead of $45. I’m stoked!

    I got a set-in stain out of a favorite top by pre-treating with a paste of laundry detergent and water.

    No food waste last week, either!

    My vacuum was making a terrible racket. It needed a new roller for $25, plus $15 for labor and a tuneup. A bleed that could’ve been a whole lot worse!

  10. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Brandy it is wonderful you were able to have a low priced date with your husband, got items with free shipping and on good discounts and was able to pick lovely produce from your gardens for your family.

    Our savings added up to $153.90 in savings last week :).

    Here’s what we did to get organised, build our pantry and save money

    Salvaging –
    – Saved 10 bakelite drawer pulls from an old wardrobe that fell apart literally in our garage. I will resell them on the internet as they are now collectable and worth a lot to those restoring old furniture. They are running out for sale on the internet for 8.50 – $12.00 ea :).

    Finances –
    – Banked more money into our home deposit bank account 28.07% of the way there.
    – Listed 18 items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $29.70 in listing fees.

    Purchases –
    – Purchased 10 strong memo note magnets with bull dog clips for the fridge for $4.20 saving $16.79 over buying them locally. We use these for important messages, lists and our perpetual shopping list on the fridges and freezers.
    – Purchased a used “tightwad gazette” on eBay saving $27.81 over purchasing it new.
    – Purchased another 10 punnets of strawberries for 0.95c per punnet saving $15.50 on usual prices.

    Trades –
    – A friend gave us 50 x 4 lt mylar bags to say thank you for giving his family some vegetables previously saving $20.35 over purchasing them.

    Hair cuts –
    – DH and I cut his hair at home with the clippers saving $30 over getting it cut elsewhere.

    House organisation –
    – Deep cleaned the vegetable freezer and rearranged the frozen garden vegetables oldest to the top newest to the bottom.
    – Sorted through the rest of the power tools and bits and pieces in the shed and damp dusted them and the tools and bits and pieces and the plastic storage containers. We then sorted out all the tools and bits and pieces into tool boxes and storage containers and put them on the shelves. There is so much more room in there after we broke down the cardboard moving boxes and stacked them behind the shelves in there.

    In the kitchen –
    – Washed, diced and froze the 10 punnets of strawberries in the freezer for desserts and jam making.
    – Blanched and froze the broccoli picked from the gardens making 10 more meals for the freezer.

    In the gardens –
    – Picked 1.3 kg of organically grown broccoli and a bunch of silver beet from the gardens saving $13.75 over purchasing it in the shops.

    Hope everyone has had a wonderful week :).


  11. We got back from an 11 hour drive on Sunday night after dropping our daughter at uni. Yesterday I was quite tired after a busy couple of weeks of travel-although I needed to go to the grocery store I took a page out of Brandy’s book to see what I could make from the pantry. I made a large pot of white bean soup with double smoked sausage and veggies. I also made a large loaf of Irish soda bread to go with it. Therefore putting off grocery shopping until today-one of our chains has 15% off on the first Tues of the month if you spend a min of $50. Usually when we are away I turn the water heater way down-we keep it as low as possible anyway. This time I apparently dialed it the wrong way( it was pretty dark down there) so that was a frugal fail but a lesson learned. We heat our water with natural gas which is fairly cheap but…
    My DH goes back to his PT job today-he works as a noon hour supervisor at a private school. Meantime I think there is lots of housework/yard work for me to start on. Our garden is still producing tomatoes, yellow beans and beets. The season is almost over here as it is getting close to freezing at night-we had to turn on the heat yesterday for awhile but the week is going to warm up. Before we left for uni I phoned our insurance company to cancel my daughter on our car insurance policy for the next 8 months as she won’t be here to drive the car.

  12. Hi, Brandy!

    Last week I:

    Signed up for a free 6-month magazine subscription.
    Fixed our vacuum cleaner to avoid purchasing a new one.
    Changed electric company suppliers for a locked in, lower rate and used a friend’s referral code to get $50 back for me and for her.
    Used the washer/dryer/dishwasher at off-peak hours and used the “Eco” setting on the washer and dishwasher.
    Set thermostat to a higher temp as the central AC is running all day due to high heat and humidity.
    Read your blog and other frugal living blogs for more tips to try.

  13. What a sweet picture of your son! The nights are cooling off here too – it feels like fall is on its way.

    My week was busy so it was nice to have a relaxed three day weekend. I spent the entire summer painting in our condo, and I am so thankful to be done with that so I can do other things I enjoy on the weekends and days off.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    – My husband has an audio system (speakers and various pieces of equipment) set up with our TV/stereo. He bought this years ago before I entered the picture. The receiver has been slowly dying over the past year. He did a bunch of research on what kind of receiver would work with the system, as the technology has changed significantly in the past 15 years. And one day, the perfect receiver was available as the Amazon deal of the day at a very good price. So he ordered that and set it all up. Thankfully he didn’t have to change the remotes and how everything worked, which would have been extremely confusing. 😉
    – I made my own face scrub from sugar and coconut oil. I reused containers I have been using for years.
    – I read ebooks from the library. I bought two clearance books at a local bookstore, and I started one of those.
    – I sewed a top I had cut out. The pattern was traced from a library book. It fits well, and will be a great fall top for work.
    – The weather has cooled off, but one day was warm enough so I swam in our condo pool. Our onsite manager added a bunch of nice plants to the pool area early this summer. I asked him about this, and he said his son, who works in landscaping, had gotten them all for free. The plants really make the pool area look nice.
    – I had some tomatoes that were getting too soft, so I made a small batch of tomato soup (my favorite).
    – I had $25 in Eddie Bauer rewards, so I bought my husband two long sleeve t-shirts that were on sale. My total was $12, with free shipping.

    Otherwise, I just did all the normal stuff I do: cooked from the freezer, made meals from scratch, washed out ziplocs, walked to work and took my lunch, and made water kefir.

    Hope everyone has a great week.

  14. Hello Friends!
    This was a great, frugal week!
    – Yesterday, I spent the day preserving some things that I have grown from the garden. I made 8 zucchini breads and dehydrated herbs. I have a lot more zucchini shreds to use up this week.
    – Yesterday, I also made a batch of refried beans. I love to have bean burritos. I put pinto beans in my pressure cooker and cooked them with some water, onions, garlic and spices. I cooked them for an hour. Then, I blended them with an immersion blender. They turned out so good.
    – I also baked 2 loaves of white bread. I like to start by mixing them in my bread machine. Then, I shape them and put them in the oven to bake.
    – I found some corn on the cob at Walmart yesterday for 5 cents a piece. I bought 20 of them to share and to maybe can.
    – I cashed out all my money making apps from August. I was able to make $314.32 in side income from websites, apps, a cleaning job and selling crafts. This is in addition to my regular part time job. If you would like to read the details, it is on my blog here: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/09/02/how-i-made-314-32-in-august-from-websites-apps-scrubbing-bathrooms-and-selling-crafts/
    – I was able to get a free 8 piece chicken nugget box from Chick Fil A by signing up for their app.
    – The kids and I have been walking/ biking more for exercise and to enjoy the outdoors. The weather is finally turning a little cooler!
    – My 12 year old is riding the bus to school for the first time ever, this year. It has saved me a lot of time and gasoline. He is enjoying the independence.
    – That’s about all the things I can think of!

  15. Hi Brandy lovely photo as always! Last week I spotted some pretty magnetic shopping lists with an attached pen in the clearance section at Lidl for 50pence each so I bought 6. I then went to a card shop and found fragrances sachets (the kind you put in a drawer) on sale for 99pence, again I brought 6. I will package these together for my colleagues at school for Christmas gifts, at a grand total of £1.49 each ($1.91)! I’m so pleased as I know they’ll be appreciated. I also visited with a good friend and we went into the woods near her home and picked damsons and blackberries, lots of scratches and stained fingers but great fun and good company. My friend gave me half the damsons (approx 4lb), they are in the freezer waiting for when I have time to make damson cheese, a family favourite. School starts for me tomorrow and my boys on Thursday, we are all set thankfully. I may be getting a new role at work which will mean an increase in my wages (more work and responsibility), fingers crossed it all works out as we need the extra income.
    I wonder if there is anyone on this blog who can give me some advice regarding my eldest son. Unusually for the U.K. he plays American Football – he’s very good we’re told – but he’s been told he needs to gain weight. He’s tall and eats like a horse but I wondered if and frugal football mommas out there have any advice – thank you!! Xx

  16. That picture of your son is adorable!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – I made Very Cherry Crumble Bars (http://approachingfood.com/very-cherry-crumble-bars/) (Sooooo yummy!) using cherries that I had purchased on sale, pitted using my mother’s cherry pitter, and then frozen. I also used butter and flour purchased on sale and frozen. So frugal, delicious and quite easy to make.
    – Using the BUNZ trading app, I traded some wooden boxes that I got free from my workplace, along with two teas gifted to me, for a large BNIB floating wooden shelf. It was much larger than I expected, about the size of a small mantle. I plan to give it to some family friends, possibly for Christmas.
    – I also traded a frame that I no longer wanted for several pounds of freshly picked, locally grown, green concord grapes. I love grapes, but because they’re often high in pesticide residue, I’ve been avoiding them while pregnant. So I’m super-happy to have Toronto-grown organic grapes, and without impacting my grocery budget! I ate some fresh and canned the rest to make grape juice.
    – I also traded a bottle of wine that I got in a previous trade, for $14.40 worth of stamps. As I had previously traded a homemade loaf of white bread for the bottle of wine, it paid off cost-wise. I plan to use the stamps to address thank you notes for my upcoming baby shower.
    – My workplace bought everyone a pizza lunch one day, so I turned the lunch that I had packed, a cheese sandwich, into grilled cheese for dinner. My husband ate dinner out that day, so it worked out perfectly.
    – Someone at my workplace brought in extra corn that she had, so I took two. Perfect veggie side for dinner one night for the DH and I!
    – I made a batch of Greek Yoghurt, as opposed to the regular yoghurt that I usually make. I set aside the whey to use in smoothies, breads, etc.
    – I baked two loaves of white bread (I used a cup of the whey to replace a cup of water), as well as a dozen veggie sausage rolls for lunches, snacks, etc. for the week. I used my new meat/cheese/bread slicer to slice the first loaf of bread! Was fun, but I’m going to try again with day old bread and see if it slices better.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

  17. My biggest money saver this week, was knowledge I acquired. I discovered how to tell when to pick a watermelon at peak ripeness!!!!! This is a skill which has eluded me forever; oh, the watermelons I have tossed over the years. It may not seem like much to others, but this is big for me. I am giddy with happiness and have shared my secret on this week’s blog post. To celebrate, I will give away free seeds to anyone who wants some.



  18. Brandy – Have you considered growing lettuce under a grow lamp in your house? That would isolate you from the heat.

    As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my husband graduated with his Doctorate as a Nurse Practitioner and this week he received a very generous job offer…and he was admitted to the PhD. Program (which comes with an additional stipend)! It has been a long couple of years between deployments and graduate school! The income boost will help with the litany of broken things and deferred maintenance going on at our house – 2nd floor AC(dead), foundation repair,(EEK!!) new washing machine (broken), new microwave (dying quickly), new couch (shredded), random mold, sheetrock repair…. It will be a few months before we clear the backlog, but it’s looking up.

    Keeping to my other good habits and developing a few new ones. Started wearing my pj’s for a second night – as long as there were no hot flashes. Bumped the AC up 1 degree. Used reusable cloth sandwich bags, mason jars and plastic containers to store and carry leftovers. Turned the shampoo bottle over to get a few more days out of it. Topped off the soap bottle with a little water to extend it. Combined errands. Free movie at the base. Free Zumba classes on base. In the waiting is good column, I managed coupons and sales on my contact lenses, cat litter, cat food and some shoes that weren’t available last month when I almost purchased them.

    Began a serious clean out of the pantry after a pantry moth and mold issue. We threw out a lot of things, which isn’t frugal, but I was happy to have had the back supply when our income was so much lower and we needed it.

    We were blessed to have a local homeless man come around asking for work. We paid him well for the couple of hours of work and sent him on his way with a hot meal and some groceries. He says will be back next week for more work. He seemed to know what to do to fix the foundation so once the rain slows down he will help my husband fix it. YAY!!

  19. Hi Brandy,
    Thanks so much for the photo of Octavius. What a handsome boy and a great photo for your collection.

    We, my husband really, fixed our dryer by getting the exhaust vent that goes to the roof cleaned out. Yeah! Huge savings since a dryer repair guy would have charged us to tell us we needed a venter cleaned out… I also made homemade bread, sliced and frozen for weekday lunches. And from a frozen Costco chicken carcass (we ate the chicken last month), I made a big batch of chicken noodle soup which is now frozen into five meal portions in the freezer.

    I have also been working diligently to clean out the frozen foods in the freezer in preparation for fall. Fridge is mostly empty and the small chest freezer is halfway there. With only the two of us in the household, it goes slowly 🙂

  20. Such a cute kid! We are supposed to get just a couple of inches of rain from the hurricane, so that is not too bad. I am grateful it is not more. I dislike flooded roads. I had my tire light come on on the way home from church (it is 30 miles away). It was checked out and the tires seem to be ok. I made coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans for the holiday. I will be able to eat that food all week. i had leftover tomatoes, and I made a crustless tomato pie. It was sorta runny, so I added eggs to it, and baked it for breakfast. I love September and October because my electric bills are at their lowest this time of year. Y’all have a blessed week!

  21. What a sweet picture! That boy could be a child model. The photographer was pretty good, too, of course.:)
    My husband repaired the cable from our antenna to our TV — it had been snapped by the lawnmower, argh. He spent less than four dollars on the parts, and saved us the $80 call-out fee, too.
    I did some more painting projects this weekend. The primer and one of the colors are from a previous project, keeping my costs down.
    I keep my shoes such a long time. I started to wear a pair of flats the other day, and found the soles were simply crumbling off. I think I’ve had these shoes almost 20 years, so I’m not too upset about them falling apart.
    I’m making soup today with my homemade bone broth. I used mixed bones and crock pot them for over 24 hours. I always get a good, rich broth.
    I’m keeping my eyes open for Christmas gift ideas. I love finding neat gifts on good sales ahead of time, and not having to rush around at the last minute trying to get gifts at whatever price I can find them.
    I trimmed my bangs again.
    We are still seeing high humidity and mid-nineties, and now a tropical storm is headed for the Gulf coast, so I am really, really ready to see cooler weather.

  22. I’m so ready to have open windows again. Even if it gets down to 72 at night here, it’s so humid it feels swampy. Next week is looking promising on that front. I used a $10 off $50 for animal food at Tractor Supply, and continue to harvest from the garden. The overachiever of the week is pawpaws. I made a lovely parfait using several of them. We made homemade ice cream yesterday, using our (toasted) hazelnuts. I’m looking forward to having more tonight :o). https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/09/early-september-frugal-accomplishments.html

  23. Our week was spent battling flies in the house. This is something I find disgusting, personally. There are always flies which crawl into the space between the windows and the storm windows and hatch in there. We usually keep on top of them but when we were away for a few days, DD did not do so. They are pretty easy however, since they are slow, sluggish flies. Suddenly about 4 days ago, we were invaded by some fruit fly like pests–they were not fruit flies and I spent a lot of time trying to decide what they were. I paid $10 for some spray I thought would work and it didn’t take care of them. So I dug out some fly papers that we have used before near the cat litter boxes in the basement—they did the job! These flies or gnats or whatever they were got in our faces, and attempted to get into our food etc. We were on the warpath!! I didn’t make granola or bread when I needed to because I couldn’t bear the thought of flies in it. Finally, using some fruit fly traps and well as the fly papers, we managed to get rid of 99% of them anyhow. Still seeing the odd one here and there but attacking every time is working! So yesterday it was clean enough to make bread and granola!
    Very hot here this week also—extremely high humidity with 90+ temperatures. We had a sudden thunderstorm last night which cooled it off about 10 degrees in only a few minutes. Quite a few trees and wires down, but none in our neighborhood. Lucked out again!
    I made a large bowl of four bean salad which we have eaten two nights already. It is cold and refreshing with something grilled for dinner. Tonight will be some small strip steaks I got on sale and mashed potatoes, and beets that I roasted two days ago. Easy dinners are so appreciated on hot days!
    My sister has two new great-grands born Sept. 1st. This is her third set of twin great-grands–all 6 are fraternal boys! They arrived via C-Section because of being in awkward positions but were 5#12oz and 5 #13 oz at 4 weeks early. Very healthy and already home from the hospital! No problems at all, except needing the c-section. I’m losing track of how many grands and great-grands she has but it’s at or near 30 all together. I am not competing–I have one grandchild and no great grands to date.
    While we grew no garden at all this year, I have been in the right place at the right time for two weeks now–both time got some marked down meats at the supermarket at wonderful prices! This week a couple packages of pork cube steaks and I only took one package of ground chicken, even though it was about 50% off, because I’m not sure what I will use it for. I am stocking up the freezer with discounted meat, which is certainly going to help with prices!
    I started to replace a zipper in a jacket for my niece’s boyfriend–a big job, as the zipper was put in before the jacket was sewn together. I want to finish that project and get the burden off my mind!! Also have another zipper to replace for her but it is in a size 4 children’s jacket, which should be a lot easier. I have a number of sewing projects I haven’t gotten around to lately–might as well do so while it’s too hot to be outdoors!
    Love the photo of Octavius–your children are certainly photogenic!! He and Hamish look quite a lot alike, don’t they?

  24. Check your local public library. Ours has some online and checkout freebies for studying for ACT. I have friend whose son increased his score by 8 points just by taking prep course. He already had decent scores but had excellent ones after prep course. Colleges were knocking on his door to offer scholarships after the new/improved scores. Also here the local community colleges have some sort of ACT prep offerings but no idea if they are free or not.

  25. Cute little fella! Glad you’re getting nicer weather.
    I bought a cub scout shirt in great condition of a local buy-sell-trade group for my son. I don’t see many at second hand stores, and this was cheaper than ebay. I’m still looking for shin guards for him for soccer.
    Accepted a big load of kids items that my sister gave me to sell. I clean, photograph, list, and coordinate pickup and payment of the items, then keep half. Luckily, she has realistic expectations about how quickly kids things depreciate.
    Mostly ate at home, except for a couple of fast food meals with family members.
    Shopped clearance at the .99 store, lol! They have a .25 section with expired items. I bought Lunchables, jars of pickles and sliced jalepenos not too far past their date, but I am sure they will still be fine. I also bought some snack foods (which I now freeze before bringing into the house), since our .99 stores are apparently how Pepperidge Farm liquidates their short-dated goldfish, cookies, etc. I wouldn’t pay full price for these items, but .99 for the bigger bags of goldfish, Milano cookies, etc. is fine. “Snack” food is such a treat for my kids.
    Bought mark downs and loss leaders at the store.
    Used my teacher discount at Goodwill to save 30%. Every little bit helps. A few items I resold to cover the costs of clothing I kept for the kids. It’s amazing what some people will pay for name brands!
    Wrote a note on paper I already had instead of sending a sympathy card to a friend’s family.
    Checked for the cheapest gas before I left home.
    I refilled our foaming soap pump with some hotel bodywash from a trip.
    I took the kids to a free painting class at a craft store, as well as to a park we don’t visit often.
    Have a good, frugal week!

  26. The instagram video and this picture are completely adorable!!! I miss my kids being this young sometimes 🙂

    I did all the normal frugal things – but there is one that I am completely happy about! My daughter wanted to run to the store to buy 3 X 5 cards that were ringed together – like a binder. I pulled out my stash of rings, my hole puncher and my extra page reinforcers to strengthen the holes. Voila’ – just what she needed. Saving me gas, time, money and filled a creative need in myself.

    Thank you to everyone for the wonderful ideas. And thank you Brandy for providing a very sweet place to read, be inspired and be thankful for what I already have in my life 🙂

  27. What a darling picture!

    I haven’t posted in ages, but I need to get back on the bandwagon. I haven’t written things down, but over the past several months–in addition to our normal daily frugalities–our family has managed to do the following.

    * Hubs completed his EdD. While this might not be technically frugal, it does mean that the financial “hemorrhaging” has finally ended. It was quite the marathon experience.

    * Hubs decided to not attend the graduation ceremony (several states away and additional charges just to attend), and instead for about the same amount, perhaps even less, we went on a long-overdue, much-needed family vacation. Again, not technically “frugal” but we did have the cash on hand, and we all needed to celebrate his accomplishment, my 4 years cancer-free mark, and son’s graduation from 8th grade.

    * Gratefully and humbly accepted a friend’s offer to pay for Hub’s regalia, which Hubs needs to wear several times over the course of the school year as a faculty member. (Those robes and funky hats are crazy expensive in my opinion.)

    * It seems as if a slew of home and car repairs waited until Hubs finished the final draft of his dissertation. Over the past few months, Hubs has had to replace the gas line in our dryer, replace the lid switch in our washer, fix the hot water valve in one shower, replace both shower heads, recharge the “freon” in both of our vehicles, replace a car battery, repair our chipper, and trim a large macadamia tree in our backyard. Comparison shopping online and doing the labor himself saved us quite a bit.

    * Borrowed an extra tall ladder from a friend who is a painter to trim the tree. Chipped up the trimmings to use as mulch.

    * A local community college has a cosmetology program, and about every two months the students come to a local community center to practice their skills by giving free haircuts and manicures. Over the summer both Hubs and Son got haircuts this way. (I’m just not brave enough to try cutting their hair . . . . :p)

    * Son participated in the library’s summer reading program and received a free book and a free T-shirt.

    * Hubs sold a few items on Ebay, the proceeds of which were applied to his educational debt. We’re continuing to try to sell things this way. (Unfortunately, most of the things I’ve listed–mainly books–just don’t sell. At least we’re using the free listings each month, so we’re not out anything.)

    * Son needed new shoes (again! life with a teenage boy), so we went through EBates to get a little bit back.

    * Turned in some recycling.

    * Son chose to not attend the 8th grade honor society end-of-the year trip to Disneyland.

    * Son chose to not purchase a high school yearbook. (He said most kids he has talked with just wait and only buy one their senior year.)

    Have a great week, everyone!

  28. This week we…

    *Saw our exhibits at the fair. We spent $8 to enter them. We earned $16 in premiums and my daughter won the raffle which was a $20 gift card to a local bookstore.

    *We chose Thursday for our family to go to the fair, which winds up being the least expensive. It’s my family’s favorite event of the year. I bought Dad and daughter ride wristbands (which include fair entry) for $22/each. The babies are free. I got in “free” by donating 2 cans of food for the food pantry. For $45 we all got in plus my husband and daughter got to ride the rides until 11pm! Perks of homeschooling. 😉

    *Checked out some ebooks on Overdrive. Checked out school books for this month from the library. Renewed other items online, saving me a second trip, saving gas and time.

    *Sold a bracelet on eBay. I had won it several years ago and never really wore it. I made about $20. I also spent free moments Saturday and Sunday listing other items, some of them which have bids and quite a few watchers.

    *Sold outgrown diapers and a cast iron dutch oven collecting dust for a total of $35 on FB marketplace.

    *Redeemed $2 Amazon gift cards from InstaGC (like swagbucks).

    *We had our homeschool group over for a meeting last Monday. I provided some snacks and others did too. People left us with leftover coffee, creamer, grilled cheese sandwiches, and precut carrots and tomatoes. The creamer has lasted me the week. I will drink the iced coffee today. The grilled cheese fed us for 2 lunches and one dinner (paired with homemade tomato soup from the garden). I added the carrots to a pasta dish. The tomatoes were just added to my beans and meat mixture for taco night on Thursday.

    *I have several freebies in my grocery account which I’ll pick up today. A snack mix, Jimmy Dean breakfast scramble, and a yogurt pouch. The kids will be happy with those! We will also peek back into the bakers to see if they have left out any goodies for the kids.

    *Exercised using the cool evenings we have this week. Nothing like a walk/jog and fresh air.

    *Use my free bible app to study scripture.

    *Bought groceries online which wound up being less expensive than our local grocery store. Bonus – delivered to my front door! I will earn a bit back from ebates too.

    *Booked an AirBnB for our family Christmas visit in December. Earned $25 back through my bank’s rewards program.

  29. This week we were giving tomatoes from a co worker and my hubby got bear from a coworker. I never had bear before. It was a good. My hubby and I were able to go camping for free and we took all food from home. Eating out of freezer. We have some expense coming up next year. Time to cut back and save.

  30. Such a sweet little boy! Your children have the bluest eyes!
    Been mending jeans for my son, working up pears from neighbor that doesn’t want them, fixing them for grand daughter for her little ones as we do not care for them other than just cooked fresh or raw fresh. They love fruit of any kind and she is always glad anytime I give her stuff like that, adding very little sugar. I can’t possibly work up all of them but hate to see them go to waste, SIL called me yesterday and wanted to know if I wanted some apples, Yes, so she is bringing apples from a friend the first of next week and we are making apple sauce, she said she has never made apple sauce, I couldn’t believe it!!
    Always check your page when I sit down at computer your column is like a breath of fresh air for me and so many good money saving tips, Have always tried to be frugal.

  31. A few accomplishments aside from all the “usual stuff”

    Worked 8 hours at my occasional office job
    made SB goal x 4
    Checked out a stack of library books to look for Christmas DIY projects
    Made 3 greeting cards
    Cleaned out pantry
    Donated 2 boxes of books to a new teacher

    Thank you to Brandy and all who contribute!

  32. I guess I’ll stop complaining about our oppressive heat here recently- low 90’s and overnights still in 70’s! But, I’m still ready for fall to arrive and am grateful to have some room a/cs that we turn on when we are going to be in a room for a while!

    I bought a little over 40 pounds of ground beef on sale ($1.59/pound) and BLSL chicken breast ($1.49/ pound)over Labor Day weekend. Have cooked up 20 pounds of the ground beef so far and frozen in 1 pound ziplocs. I cooked and shredded 10 pounds of chicken and cut up into chunks and froze another 5 pounds!
    My friends at the produce market sent me home with a free 20 pound box of zucchini so I shredded that up and will use it in muffins, bread,etc!
    Chickens gave us another 3-1/2 dozen eggs this week! I am so grateful for our basement fridge for sale overflow that needs refrigerating!!
    I had about $450 extra in our account when I zero-ed out the excess on the day our new pay came in, so as usual, half went into savings and half to our debt snowball! It’s exciting to see savings building up and debt going down so quickly!
    I’m still making more of the “Scrappy Bags” I started last week and of the original 13 I made, 7 have already sold since we put them up Saturday on our Facebook site- HandmadeinOldeTowne. Here’s a photo: https://pin.it/vu2uvjfuc3avrq
    Two of our teenage grandsons moved two piles of extra dirt from our yard projects and helped spread them into low lying areas of our side yard. Then we dug down a bit and started using some of the remaining Freecycle bricks I got to expand the brick walkway I’ve been working on this spring/summer to in front of the rain barrels! I think there will be enough bricks to do it! https://pin.it/unjb6dia4vvm5w
    Made dinner for a sick friend on Sunday so, since the recipe made too much for one person, I packaged up the other half to take to a recently divorced friend who works full time and isn’t used to cooking for one! We surprised her with it and stayed and visited!
    Rotating (eating) our way through the freezers to make room for the new things!
    We got another wedding tray order for our business as well as 2 more State outlines (new ones that Dave needed to graph out and make templates for-WV and Tennessee) we also have an order to build a fireplace mantle that will be freestanding, so Dave is putting dimensions/sketches to paper! He loves doing that sort of design and create work!!
    So our little business is gearing up again after we took a summer break to concentrate on family things!
    We have been blessed with relatively good health and certainly are grateful for the abundance of opportunities we’ve been given to provide for our needs as well as many of our wants! Life is good!

  33. What a sweet face!
    1. Inspired by Lillianna, I found 12 Coke caps and treated myself to a free magazine subscription.
    2.Kept myself occupied during a “slow” day by moving a bunch of large rocks, even using a hand cart. We need a swale added to the back yard for drainage issues, and these would be in the excavators path.
    3. We were invited to a cookout, took skewered vegetables to be grilled. Bought or picked from the garden.
    4. Visited a family member who had hip replacement done recently and set up a little tea party with tea and homemade cookies for entertainment.
    5. Told the Mister he could have one or the other (treat) when he accompanied me grocery shopping. I usually leave him at home to avoid these treats making their way into the cart.
    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  34. Stephanie, aside from the filter, I always find the area inside the bottom front to need a good toothbrush scrubbing with baking soda. Carefully, so as not to mess with the seal, but mine gets pretty icky right there.

    In case you haven’t noticed lol, the area right under the rubber flaps in the garbage disposal can get pretty BLEGH, as well!!! I thought everyone knew that, but my friend replaced her disposal last week and she said she nearly gagged when that came off. She said she was embarrassed that she had never thought to clean it. I can’t remember how I learned, but I’ll pass it on just in case!!

  35. I was able to get “free” batteries after store rewards, also “free” photo sitting fees after joining for a two year membership for family pictures that we were going to have taken anyway. Joining the membership saved us $20 on what we would have paid for sitting fees. I also was able to find sunglasses and a pretty sun hat for my teenage daughter on clearance for $5.50 total for both items. And finished my frugal week with making yummy apple crisp!


  36. Brandy,
    What a great photo of that cutie!

    I found yarn for .70 a skein at Michaels so I purchased 3 skeins- 2 white and 1 bright pink to make a little girl winter scarf- the colors were very limited.
    A co-worker gifted me a tin of green tea which I will really enjoy this winter.
    I purchased some bags of mulch for $2 a bag and mulched my flower garden, strawberry bed and base of apple tree. I also cleaned up my flower garden so now everything is ready for one final late fall clean up before winter. The mulch will keep weeds down and feed the soil as it breaks down over winter.
    My husband and I have re-arranged our work schedules so we can provide after school care for our grandson saving his parents the costs of child care.
    I cleaned and re-arranged my living room and found I have no need for a chair and a tv so I will be having a garage sale in a couple weeks (if it isn’t raining). If I make any money from the sale, I will use it towards my Christmas budget.

    Lastly, I wanted to tell everyone in this blog community that these little every day things we all do really does help out in the long run. Our daughter just told us that she is having some health issues that requires a special type of MRI test that will cost $1500 and her insurance will not cover it. Luckily, because of our frugal ways, we can help her cover the cost.
    It is truly a blessing to be able to help your adult children when they really need it!!

  37. Joanne in Birmingham UK September 04, 2018
    when my brother was playing and underweight they told mom protein with carbs at every meal . My daughter said her 4 boys all underweight were to eat every 2-3 hrs even if it was just a snack bar… also no sodas/pop , coaches said it negatively affects the breathing.
    His coach might have a diet sample for you to use,
    Blessed Be

  38. You had a really successful week. We have had a hot summer but I can’t imagine the heat you have going on and on! England is really comfortable now.

    Anyway, last week, I signed up to a new shopping app which my son recommended (Shopmium) and got some free nutella and frozen fish. I was also able to sell some books that we no longer need.
    Most of the washing was line dried.
    Our apple harvest hasn’t been great but I was able to freeze some apple sauce and apple crumbles.
    I made a food inventory to make sure that those things hiding at the back of the cupboard get used.
    We had picnics when I took the children out but were able to use store coupons to pay most of a family meal out.

    Hope you have a good week.

  39. I wish that trading app worked around here. In my area there are tons of takers but you dont find too many givers……….cant be giving everything away!

  40. We have been using the AC. Not frugal, but essential with the humidity. We are so blessed.

    Our week has been rather normal. Little spending, found some coins, no food waste, watched a couple shows for free, washed out bags, and did what was needed.

    We used our new, free-to-us, electric trimmer chainsaw. Now the yard is so much brighter and more open. I also was blessed with the opportunity to bring things to a friend’s yardsale. I only made 83$; however it was good to get rid of so much unwanted stuff! Well needed gas money.

    School is here and another year starts. As I’ve always been in school…I seem to order my time accordingly.

    Happy frugal-ing friends

  41. What a handsome boy! Your children really are very photogenic!

    .I made HM yogurt last week for the first time in ages – so much easier now that my yogurt maker is more accessible.

    .I did an inventory of all proteins on hand, fresh, my small freezer compartment and the pantry – and found that I have 196 servings available – I was shocked! And this is before I even take into account meals from soups, salads, egg dishes, risottos, pasta or a loaded baked potato. Needless to say – I am buying no meat or seafood this month at all! I need to make room for a turkey breast and at least 1 small ham as Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October.

    .Our transit system instituted a new program which started last week – now we can hop off and on – and even return home all with just paying one fare – as long as we board for the last time within a 2 hour window. I have been grouping errands and planning my routes carefully and on most days out I’ve managed to only pay one fare rather than the two or three I may have had to use prior to this change!

    Accordingly, I have cut my food budget in half for this month and will concentrate on just milk, eggs, cheese, fruit & veg. I have also cut my transit budget by 1/3. We’ll see how I do.

  42. It’s so neat that your son gets to take a free ACT class! Those definitely help come testing time!

    It’s been insane around here, this my lack of posting. I’ll link to the two posts that encompass the last three weeks. It’s been a roller coaster of a year so far.



  43. Yeah, it’s pretty specific to certain locations in Canada at this point. But if you have items you want to get rid of, you could try kijiji or fb marketplace. I’ve never sold on fb, but I’ve heard it works. And those little dribs and drabs of dollars add up!

  44. I strongly recommend calling around and asking for a cash price. I paid 200.00 for one. My last one for my car wreck is being billed at 16 thousand. Amazing difference.

  45. Well, I continue to find myself in trying circumstances. I have been attacked by a massive staph infection. It has settled into my muscles and joints and is as nasty as I have ever experienced. I am blessed to have the knowledge that I instantly recognized what this nasty blister was. The size of a pencil eraser ! The health implications can be horrible with this so I had no option but going to the emergency room. The doctor and I discussed my health issues and she gave me prescriptions for the strongest antibiotics available. I immediately started googling my options to get them filled while waiting to check out. I love my kindle ! In addition to Good RX, there are another 9 or 10 prescription discount companies available. I checked each one because there can still be a huge difference at one store for the same drug using different discount cards. One of my prescriptions was free at a grocery store that gives out a few select free prescription drugs. I was able to pay 6.30 for the second at the local CVS. I will have to apply to the hospital for aide. The third prescription was for antibiotic ointment and I had Neosporin at home. These programs are all free and many allow you to have the coupon texted to your phone. I hope this will help someone else. I am so far in the hole I am nearly to China. I might as well duh on through and enjoy a vacation there. Once again, we have everything we need and are just fine. I am so happy to know there is always a window I can find to open when all my doors seem closed. Seeing Octavious on Instagram made my day. I am waiting for the rabbit to save me.

  46. We had one that didn’t gain weight well. Doctor suggested excess calories. Cream, ice cream, butter, lots of cream cheese. Protein shakes.

  47. He’s adorable!
    August was the first month I have ever actually tracked my food cost. For the 2 of us it was $313. More than I thought I spent . I definitely need to work on that. With the amount of food I have in the freezer and storage I could actually skip grocery shopping for a couple weeks. I just can’t seem to pass up a really good bargain. Any suggestions on how to just letting them go from time to time?

  48. Our tire lights come on when there’s a drastic change in temperature and we’ve come to expect it as a sign of fall!

  49. Ground chicken is excellent in white chili! White beans, chicken stock, onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin…yum! Also good in enchiladas or egg rolls.

  50. Hello Brandy and all. This is my first actual frugal post although I have posted replies and comments in the past. I am hoping this helps me to be more accountable. This week I hosted Sunday dinner for my son, daughter in law, and 4 grandchildren that live nearby. The littles like this a lot because we use the good china and tablecloth and napkins and it’s “fancy”. I made roast chicken (marked down, from the freezer) mashed potatoes (on sale two weeks ago $1 per 5 lb bag, candied carrots (2lbs for 88 cents) and homemade pumpkin pie (only two more pies worth of pumpkin in the freezer from last Halloween). I realized how much I depend on buying wisely and on sale. I did all of my usual things….washed ziploc bags, used rags instead of paper towels, made use of all leftovers (I live alone so little bits of things on a plate are just fine), line dried all laundry and continue to use items out of my pantry and freezer. The large upright freezer is almost empty and I should be able to defrost and clean it next weekend. Then it will be ready for fall and holiday sales. It is still hot here, 90’s in the day time and 70’s at night. Because of the humidity I must run the AC but am looking forward to using it less in the near future. I hope everyone has a good week.

  51. Thank you. One of the reasons that I can so much is that I get almost all the fruits and vegetables for free, either from my garden, my sister’s farm, or people who don’t want this or that, from the wild (blackberries), the crab I canned last fall, etc. The rest, we sometimes buy from u-pick or farm stands, although we did not have to buy any fruit or veggies this year. I will likely buy some more apples this fall, though, as I made applesauce from the ones I got from my backyard tree. If I had to pay for it all, I still would can, but probably would not have as much room to be creative as I do now. We did, however, buy the tuna, chicken, sugar, pectin, spices, etc. and put in a great deal of our time.

    We are very new to canning meat–this is my first time for chicken. The tuna has been something I’ve done for about 4-5 years. It is by far the most expensive thing I can, but I love having it. The quality is amazing. I’m hoping to have some options to substitute for purchased lunchmeat.

    Having all of these canned and frozen products saves us a tremendous amount of money each year. Because I anticipate a lower grocery budget this coming winter than I’ve had in a long time, I actually canned more than normal this summer, as the produce became available to me for free. In the past, we have sailed through hard times easily with all the canning to turn to on weeks with less to spend.

    I also love having so many organic items on my shelves, and love knowing what’s in the jars–no frogs in my jam! (We live in an area with canneries and have heard many horror stories through the years.). I can keep my jams lower sugar, and my products lower salt. I can have variety to serve during the winter by making pickles and relishes. Canned fruit is something that is available to any child at any time–all they want. I jokingly call my canning shelf “My McDonald’s” as it is my convenience food. That’s why I’m starting to do meats, and also the soup–I want some meals fast when I work until 6 and get home late several nights per week. I also really enjoy the process, and finding new things to can.

    I also plan to give some canned food as gifts this Christmas, as our Christmas budget will likely be quite low, and I still have people that I want to know that I am thinking about. So, I did extra jam and pickles to that end.

    I did pear butter today, and just finished it. The kitchen is a mess, and I need to work tomorrow, and I will be away from here, taking my autistic niece to the zoo. That’s just how it is this time of year. One of these days, I’ll pick it all up, clean up, and be done….at least for a while. I do love to can:)

  52. Gorgeous photo. I used to love listening to my son’s conversations with himself and the little noises he made when he was building with LEGO and pushing trucks around.

    I have finally assembled my raised garden bed someone gave me and moved all the soil in. I have planted basil, silver beet and kale and are raising some tomato seedlings ( although growing tomatoes in Sydney’s humidity is a bit problematic).
    I found an as new doona cover and shoes for work in the op shop this morning – $3 each.

  53. Hello everyone, still warm weather in the Netherlands, 25/27 celcius that is. But in two days it’s going to drop to 16 celcius. So goodbey summer!
    I have a very busy weekend ahaed, Thursday is a funeral in an other part of the country, it’s an ant, she was 94 years old, so everybody is at peace with her dying. She has had a good live and her childeren, grandchilderen and great-grandchilderen are doing well in live! I think that is all you really need/want to achieve in live.
    Frydag and Saturday I work in the townhouse at a culture thing (wich is outside but gasts and other volunteers need to eat and drink to.) I ofcourse also do this voluntarily. (our nearby city is cultural capitol of Europe, so al lot of cultural stuff is going on in our neighborhood. And on Sunday I work in the sportscanteen of our village.
    Then al is normal again, I decided to no longer vulonteer in the sportscanteen next year. I’m having trouble with an busitis in my hip for almost a year now, so time to slow down a bit.
    But I can still be frugal…..this is what I did last week.
    Accepted carrots from a man at the gardencomplex.
    Dried basil in the oven for the first time, and it worked out well.
    Son mended his own jeans.
    Hemmed curtains for my sister wich she bought at a thriftstore.
    Mended a blouse.
    Picked lots and lots of apples in the garden of somebody of our village, gave some to my sister and a neighbor.
    So I made apple sauce, apple pie, froze some, and now making apple pie again and probbably some more apple sauce today.
    Collected seeds from lettuce and little gem, for next year.
    Keep up the frugal work everyone!

    Greetings from the netherlands.

  54. We are harvesting now in the garden just about everyday, from blackberries to green beans. It’s still hot here too but hopefully we cool down tomorrow they said. I’m going to look at your recipes for the vinaigrette (that sounds so good). Although my fall lettuce didn’t come up by the way my mustard greens are doing great in spite of the heat. Here are my frugal accomplishments http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2018/09/my-frugal-ways-for-past-two-weeks-9218.html

  55. We had a quiet week here as we got ready to go back to school this week. It is has been hot and humid again since the weekend so the air conditioning has been working away. Not frugal but it makes life more liveable and I’m grateful for it. Hopefully today is the last day tha we will need it. We made all meals at home and I packed my husband’s lunch every day. My mom sent home leftovers and two cans of soup that she bought on sale when we had dinner with her on Sunday night. We are blessed by these kindnesses on her part. Hope the week is going well for all.

  56. Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I made fabric softener with vinegar and hair conditioner.

    I made Brandy’s granola and zucchini bread for our lunches and snacks.

    I made Tuscan Bean soup for lunches and we are still eating lots of tomato sandwiches.

    I dried mint and basil.

    I made a curtain from a flat sheet I had bought from a thrift store a couple of years ago.

    My husband and I are working on refinishing our dining room table. My parents bought it when I was 15 and gave it to us 20 years ago. It is going to look great! We had to buy a couple of things from Menard’s but will be receiving an 11% rebate on our purchases.

    I mended a pillowcase for my grandson.

    I used a coupon at Kohl’s for $10 off $25 for a gift for my daughter’s birthday.

    Have a great week!

  57. What gorgeous baby blues! Awesome job with the Swag points 🙂

    • Made swag goal x 3
    • Ate free lunch at work x 3
    • Had a free tarot card reading at office landlord’s Labor Day picnic
    • Went to grocery store about an hour before they closed on the last day of the sale. Asparagus rung up incorrectly at an extra $1 per pound. I caught the error and the store manager corrected the price.
    • This was my last day at a job so I am back to being unemployed. I’m so grateful my frugality buys me peace of mind via having money in the bank.
    • Went to a yard sale and found several items for my son’s new apartment including: microwave oven, metal colander, metal mesh strainer, baking dishes, waste paper baskets, and a cookbook. Found items in the freebie box for a friend who is a dog lover.
    • Bought picked-that-morning corn at the farm stand for $5 for a dozen, which is $3 less than other area farm stands. I removed the kernels and froze most of it.
    • Hung load of laundry up to dry.
    • Updated net worth spreadsheet.
    • Went to a pig roast where everyone brings a dessert. I brought a Bakewell tart, inspired by The Great British Baking Show. I had all the ingredients in my freezer and pantry so no cost out of pocket. Recipe from Smitten Kitchen was DELICIOUS.

  58. You’ve been a busy little beaver this week, Brandy! Do you have a home improvement plan for those Lowes gift cards? Might this be a future post in the making? Looking forward to it, if it is!!! By the way, your son is just adorable.:D

    I have 1 more week of full time work, before I take a bit of a break, until mid-November (with the exception of a couple special events). Most of my co-workers finished up this week. I’m looking forward to resting and getting some things done that have been put on the back burner over the summer. Our frugal accomplishments this week included:
    *Meals made at home this week included homemade beef pie (see below) with coleslaw, breaded stuffed chicken breasts with flavoured rice and corn, beef dip sandwiches, tacos, and spaghetti with choice of sauce.
    *Spent one of my days off canning 50lbs of peaches. Canned 14 quarts, but 5 had seal failures. We ate 2 of the jars with seal failures and froze the rest in baggies, instead of reprocessing them. Lost 1 full jar of peach slices when it broke just after I filled it (of course). Mushy bits were put into a separate bowl and frozen in 2 x 2 cup baggies for later use (smoothies, fruit leather, peach pies, baked goods, etc). Pits and peels were put in compost this time, as I still have lots of peach pit syrup from last year.
    *My mom used up leftover beef stew in the fridge by putting it in a homemade pie crust to make a beef pie. Family won’t eat leftover beef stew, but will if it is in a pie.
    *Free things I received from work this week: a staff appreciation luncheon that was catered by a local 5 star resort (so good!), several vine ripened tomatoes (for my mom, since the deer ate ours), a candy that had melted in the heat (couldn’t sell it), popcorn, 3 pole beans that had gone to seed (to use next year in my garden), and 20 bags of nacho chips (they “expired” but still taste fine – I gave some to my visiting brother to take home).
    *DD’s closet was reorganized, to ensure she had enough clothes for school. Several plaid shirts were pulled out, that she had not worn in a while. DD picked 2 that she still liked and I added the rest to my stash of clothing. I appreciate having a few “new to me” items to wear this fall and winter!
    *Took DD to get her hair cut before school starts on my other day off. She received a 20% discount for being a student. Then we went shopping a 2 different thrift stores. I bought DD a short sleeve t-shirt and a long-sleeve t-shirt, plus a pair of super comfortable jeans for myself (my mom received a seniors discount at one of the stores). Then we had another visit at DD’s new school, where we met the CYW that will be working with her this year (he seemed nice). After we dropped off DD at home (she was done for the day), my mom and I did a bit more shopping, where I bought another long sleeved shirt for DD, a knit cardigan on clearance and some underwear for me (for my trip next April), a Christmas present for DD, a few needed grocery items and my free birthday bag of chocolate covered almonds using a coupon they send me. Not a cheap day, but this kind of shopping doesn’t happen very often.
    *Hubby picked out a pair of shoes he wanted to buy for himself, but waited for them to go on sale before purchasing them. DD’s school shoes also went on sale shortly after he bought them for full price. Hubby went back to the store with the shoes/receipt and was able to get back the difference. Both of these actions saved us quite a bit of money!

    Haven’t had a chance to read all the comments yet, but I will before the week is through! Hope you all have a lovely week ahead.

  59. I think we’re int he same season. My husband skipped graduation also. He will never have to wear the robes again, so he couldn’t see the point. We’ll go away for a long weekend next month and my wine club is planning a special celebration for him next week so the occasion will not go unnoticed.

  60. I love that picture of your son!

    We had a fairly frugal week. School started on Tuesday and I am so glad to have our schedule returning to normal!

    We’ve been buying non-homogenized milk from a local dairy (this is not the frugal part – it costs more but tastes so much better than store bought and I like supporting local agriculture). We skim the cream off the top and last week made butter from it. I made and froze more applesauce with apples from our tree. I tried to make apple cider vinegar from the peels and cores but it turned into a moldy mess. I also tried to pot some basil from some that had rooted in water but it doesn’t look like it’s going to make it. We harvested tomatoes (finally!), hot peppers, and carrots from the garden.

    I cleaned out the freezer in our fridge to get rid of the truly ancient stuff, make room for applesauce, and make it easier to find the good food. Incorporated much of what was still usable into future meal plans. I’ve started a running meal plan with the goal of only grocery shopping once every two weeks. I’m hoping this will cut down our grocery bill, which has become a little ridiculous.

    My daughter and I turned in our summer reading packets at the library and picked out our free books. I signed up for a free weight loss challenge online. My daughter decided she wanted to play the flute in band this year, so I posted an offhand comment on Facebook about needing to go rent one, and a friend sold us her daughter’s (she’s decided not to play it anymore) for a fraction of what it would cost us to rent one for the year.

    I read e-books from the library and watched television on YouTube (I think someone here mentioned the show Eat Well for Less a week or two ago – it’s quickly become a favorite of mine!).

    Have a wonderful week!

  61. Change your thought process. This one was really hard for me but once I “got” it, I saved a lot more. Spending money is not saving money. Just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean you need it. In most cases, minus seasonal items, most items go on their best sale every six weeks at the grocery store. As long as you have enough for six weeks, again in most cases, you’re fine. Lastly, think of it this way – what do you need more $5 or that extra large tub of peanut butter? Most of the time, the $5 wins.

  62. I need to start watching for good deals on jar lids & pectin! All of the fruit below will used to make jam & jelly for Christmas gifts.
    – Got 4 freezer ziplock bags of Plums for free from a neighbor, they had sat the fruit out on the roadside to share (I plan on taking them a jar or two of jelly as a thank you.)
    – Thanks to an ad on CraigsList I was able to pick up a box full of grapes (approx 24lbs) for free. Only cost a little bit of gas as it was about 5 minutes from our home.
    – Picked blackberries in the yard. So far this week we’ve picked approx 1 freezer ziplock full! Hopefully we can get another bag or so before the bear beats us to them.

    Used up left overs and mainly ate at home. (I know that’s the norm for most ladies here, but is so nice compared to our old norm of eating out 3-4 times a week and constant grocery store runs to get what sounds good rather than what we have.)

    Had a few Craigslist and eBay sales = $194 profit. Found a couple of new items to list.

    DH cut his own hair and our son’s.

    Luckily we live in a cooler climate (very tip of California, an hour south of OR/six hours north of SF). I have our windows open daily and the heater off still, but the cold is starting to creep in… hopefully I have until Nov before it gets too cold!

    Hope you’re getting some much needed rest Brandy!

  63. How exactly did you clean your dishwasher? What product did you use? Mine is not cleaning like it use to either. My son and I worked on it Labor Day but it still seems to leave dried on bits of food on the “clean” dishes. Thanks

  64. Congrats on your husband’s job offer! I love your outlook that hiring the homeless person to do some work was a blessing for YOU as well as him!

  65. Hello Juls, Marybeth and Lilliana, thank you for this advice, we are going down the route of protein powders, which aren’t cheap and he has gained a bit of weight. He’s also intolerant to milk, cream and some cheese, sigh. Vegan food is sooo expensive that I’m just encouraging lots of healthy food and a bowl of cereal at bedtime – with oat milk which is £1.50 per litre as opposed to 48pence per litre for cows milk!! Fingers crossed he makes it to the NFL one day and can keep me in the manner in which I’d like to become accustomed

  66. Our 24 year old tv in our bedroom died a while ago and we were waiting to replace it. A friend decided to upgrade from their current tv and offered it to us. We put the (larger and perhaps 5 years old) tv in the family room and moved the smaller 10 year old one from the family room to our bedroom. The old tv has been recycled. We looked up our free tv and it currently retails for nearly $800.
    We have been doing some purging and passed on some kid clothing and books.

  67. I had to smile about your mis-tinted stain. when I purchased my house, I bought 3 cans of mis-tinted or unwanted paint. I took all 3 cans and emptied them into a large plastic bucket. I then used this to paint my living room walls. I call it “chameleon” paint as when the light is on it, you either see a beige color or a misty yellow-green color. I love it. I would do it again in a heart-beat.

  68. It’s too hot for lettuce to grow here right now too. I’m missing it!

    I’m really curious about how you decide what to grow in your garden. Do you weigh seed costs, maintanence costs and water costs against how much an item costs in store? There are so many things I’d love to grow but would actually end up costing me more because im a backyard gardener too and can’t grow in such large amounts that would offset the cost. I love gardening so it’s a hobby as well, I’m just curious how others go about it in the most frugal way to get the most out of their garden. In my zone, berries have been the biggest producers for the least cost, especially since they aren’t exactly cheap in stores. Thanks!

  69. Tammy, do like was suggested and check your library. i am on our county’s library board, and this is what your millage money helps support. Not only books, internet, video’s/DVD’s, some have paintings, free lessons, etc. Our library also has devices for those who have a difficult time trying to read even large print books. Your library is your friend and actually saves you a lot of money. You can also ask you library to purchase certain books or magazines if it’s in their millage budget. Our library even had the county transportation bus service to pick up individuals once every 2 weeks to bring them to and from the library (there were designated dates and times the bus service did this at no charge).

  70. I am feeling badly that I haven’t posted for a long time, in spite of having some major savings. 2 years ago we purchased a box truck in WI to transport some of our belongings from storage in WI to AK. We finally sold that and made a profit of about $2,000. Our house really needs windows replaced so we were going to start that this fall. Last week we found out that my SIL has advanced cancer so instead we plan to go to MN to spend time with her. We would so appreciate prayers for Sandy,

    Here in Fairbanks, we are harvesting gardens. My husband and I froze 26 quarts of celery for winter soups, stews, and pilafs. It is so nice to have that available when we want! Celery is one of the vegetables that can be hard to find here. We have many potatoes in our gardens so we hope they are a successful crop! Some we plan to give to a food shelf along with sharing with a neighbor. We also will have some carrots which are wonderful in Alaska where they are extra sweet. Last year we froze some for use with the celery. Soups and stews are then so easy in winter! I also dug out a packaged soup mix I had for a long time and tried it. It was potato cheddar and was OK, so we are thankful to have additional meals for the future. I added kielbasa and dehydrated vegetables.

    Our children attended a combination of public and religious schools depending on where we were living. Some were better than others based on the teachers, but they learned from each. My thought about school lunches is to be thankful for the calories children can get there. A friend once told me about her parents telling them to eat everything, and go back for more because the only food at home may be oatmeal. This was a farm family and they had some difficult years. Brandy, your children eat well, but many families struggle and do not know how to provide healthy meals. I also want to add my gratitude for this post. I have learned so much from reading it!

  71. Roberta – Congratulations to your husband and your family!
    Academic robes and hats are crazy expensive, and you are very fortunate to have someone underwrite his. If you look closely at an academic procession, the faculty sort of cobble them together from whatever leftovers they have. The colors and sizes of the hood, velvet, stripes, sleeves, etc., are symbolic, yet I’ve never known anyone to go through and actually check to see if what the person is wearing matches his or her degrees. Used ones are occasionally available, even black choir gowns or items leftover at a college bookstore or theatre. If someone had one to copy a pattern from, the hoods are pretty much straight sewing, even using blanket binding tape for stripes.

  72. What a cute picture of your son. He is adorable, and creative based on the Instagram video.

    We picked tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, chard, zucchini, broccoli, lettuce, green beans, corn, potatoes and carrots. Also picked cilantro, thyme, chives, oregano, rosemary, basil and parsley as needed. Dried chives, cilantro, basil, and thyme. Froze corn and broccoli from the garden in meal sized packages.

    Made the salsa base from our tomatoes and peppers. Have three big bowls. Need to add the onions, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, etc., and then we will freeze it. We go through salsa quickly, so we still need to make another batch.

    Made zucchini bread with my MIL’s recipe. She has dementia, and doesn’t remember how to cook. I am glad I got some of the family heirloom recipes from her years ago.

    Made zucchini muffins. These are a savory muffin with bacon and cheese. They are great with soup. Put these in the freezer.

    Made another batch of refrigerator pickles. They are good. Just like a little bit spicy bread and butter pickle.

    Made 7 pints of zucchini relish. This is my mother’s recipe. She normally makes it for my DH as a Christmas gift, but can’t this year due to her health.

    Used a Kohl’s $10 off $25 and was able to get two tops and 2 pairs of pants for work. I had enough to cover the balance on a gift card. There was less than $5 left on the card, so they gave me the balance back in cash.

    All the usual things, washed full loads of clothes and dishes only. We don’t have air conditioning, but do use fans to circulate the air. Was able to turn these off for a few days with cooler weather. Taking lunches to work.

  73. I’m playing catch up in my house right now. Last week, I fell backwards off a kitchen bar stool and landed square on my back on the wood floor! Amazingly, aside from a few days of aching & some bruises, I’m fine. Hallelujah! I took a few days to rest everything and am feeling much better, aside from the mess! Lots of laundry. So, this is my week to get back in the swing of real meal prep (as opposed to scrambled eggs every day lol). In winter, the freezer would’ve been stuffed with meals, but I don’t do much freezer cooking in summer.

    I’m wrapping up my final bedtime Summer read. It’s Nancy Drew! The Message in the Hollow Oak, I believe. I love crime novels and can read some pretty dark stuff. So, several summers ago, I started changing up for summer, “coming out from the dark side”, if you will. I read books from my childhood/youth. This summer I did the whole LI Wilder series & went thru’ The Rose Years. Then I started on my shelves of Nancy Drew. Since Labor Day is my official end date, I will begin a new series that someone here recommended….”The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree.” I can’t remember the author. Thanks for the tip!
    My daytime read is the John Jakes series, “The Kent Family Chronicles”. I’m on book 3, The Seekers. As part of my bible study, I’m reading Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George about the Proverbs 31 wife. I swear I don’t read as much as it sounds like, but I do have bits of time during the day that I always squeeze it in!!

    I saw that someone asked Brandy if she was going to do her September shopping list. I always look forward to that, as well! No pressure tho’!

  74. I had to go collect a cheque for the park society so went by handibus then walked crossed the street to go the main grocery store, co-op. Fortunately, there were several benches along the way so I could walk. There, I bought 10 ears of Taber (from Southern Alberta not too far from the Mormon Temple) corn (the very best) –– 10 ears for $4.00. I also bought 4 packages of cheese on sale. I bought a “buy one get one free package” of Schneider’s sausages at the Shoppers drugstore. It is cool outside today. It was so pleasant waiting on a bench in the shade for a handibus to go home. I am trying to stock up my freezer with food in case I have surgery. Am freezing a bunch of bananas for later eating. Tonight I am using up a chicken carcass in my freezer to make soup. I have okra that was in the freezer for a while so am going to throw that into the soup. chicken pasta with okra. Am ready sad that summer is gone. Everyone is wondering if the forest fire smoke will become the new normal. I hope not! In the meantime, I cannot be too sad about summer’s passing as the smoke is gone, the sky is blue and the Ohio buckeye tree has turned a flaming orange.

  75. What darling pictures of Octavius and Hamish. Oh, they grow so fast.

    I enjoyed all the comments re’ the different school systems and how things vary from state to state. I think the main point is to be content with the choice you make and then make it work. My siblings and I all attended our church school until 8th grade graduation. Then on to the public school. My children followed the same path.

    We have been busy with harvest and of course I am back at school. So that makes for later nights and longer weekends now. We packed up the younger daughter and she is off to a year of teaching in a 2 room school. Last year for the 2nd semester when she was filling in they roomed her with a family; this year she will be living with an older couple who have a separate apartment on their house. She has her own suite of bedroom, bath and sitting room. They also provide her meals. She will teach the lower grades and she will also teach German. We will miss her but she will be near the community where her middle sister lives and works and they have always been close. She also has a place there for her rabbit that was given to her by last year’s class. So we are an empty nest again. Over Labor day weekend my husband’s brother Paul was picked up by sister Debbie and will live with them until Christmas.

    Most of our garden crops are done. We have tomatoes and corn from the summer crops still going. Cabbage and broccoli is winding down. We have had a very good crop of pumpkins and various winter squash, with many to sell at the stand. Still picking some broccoli, enough for a meal and a last bag here and there for freezer. Finished up beets finally. My fingers are still pink around the cuticles. I don’t think I mentioned our peaches. We planted two semi dwarf hardy peach trees the year after we moved over to this house and they are good producers. They just smell so good and they taste better. Nothing like the grocery store peaches. Kale is good, herbs are winding down. Watermelon has been good. We planted the smaller variety, they are about the size of a soccer ball and all have been good. Just enough for us to eat one in 2 days. There are still a few of those and a few cantaloupe. Bell peppers are done. We still have hot and banana peppers which we are pickling and also grilling in various ways…shish kabob, jalapeno poppers etc. Our late raspberries are just finishing, not a big crop, just for our own use.

    Did all the usual of cooking and baking at home, using up leftovers, washing out ziplocs, packing lunches. I will not be hanging out as much laundry as daughter not here and I have the limited movement overhead of shoulders. So more goes on racks in utility room and into dryer. We used air conditioning more this summer with our heat wave but we are now into 50’s overnight and high 60’s, 70’sF during the days. We have had back up to an occasional 80’s. Gas suddenly jumped 15 cents/gallon.

    to be continued…

  76. What about beans? Can you serve more of those?

    I know there are not a lot of bulk options for you, but a friend of mine in Hull mentioned driving a few hours south a few years back to buy some food in bulk with several other families. If you want, I can contact her and ask her where and if the place still exists.

  77. I don’t have anywhere in the house where I can grow food, and especially safely. My two-year-old dug up a pot on the patio yesterday and threw the dirt about 10 feet in every direction . . . . I don’t do well growing seedlings indoors, either; they don’t sprout, or if they do, they mold.

  78. I am not sure if I am going to continue to do the shopping posts right now. Life is so busy and I am trying to just keep things going. I’m not sure how useful they were to everyone; I would love some feedback to see if they were helpful to people at all. I am trying to figure out how to do some projects here and I would rather share those if I can find a way to complete them.

  79. I do look at those things. Lettuce, herbs, and fruits are more expensive at the store, so definitely worth growing. Potatoes and carrots are cheaper to buy so I buy those, though I do try carrots again from time to time. I would grow flowers in the whole garden if not, so at least I get some water back in hundreds of pounds of fruit every year. Most of my garden is watered by drip; it’s the grass that takes more water, but my children run and play on it every day, and that is important in keeping them healthy, too. I don’t buy organic vegetables but I grow more than half of the things on the dirty dozen list, and I garden organically (organic fertilizers and dormant oil sprays). I also grow open-pollinated varities and I keep seeds to grow each year, which keeps my seed costs down (in addition to buying from lower-priced sources).

  80. That boy is adorable!

    Here are my accomplishments for the 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.
    • Ate dinner in 6 times, including leftoverc garlic chicken with fettucini; split pea soup made with some leftover ham I had in the freezer (twice); pork roast, stuffing and green beans; steak, baked potato and asparagus; and pork chops with baked potato and corn.
    • Worked 16 contract hours. Was able to work from home a couple of the days so I saved on gas too.
    • Saved carrot peels, onion skins and celery ends in my stock bag in the freezer.
    • Had to buy paint for the wood trim Hubby is installing around all the windows. Paint had a $10 rebate!
    • I have been on Weight Watchers since the end of May and have lost 19 lbs. My summer clothes are starting to be baggy on me, but I am trying to make them last until it gets cool enough here to wear jeans, which is the middle of October. I have a couple of sizes of jeans in my closet, some that fit now and some that will fit if I lose another 10 – 20 lbs. Then I will need to check out Goodwill until for in between clothes until I am at my goal weight.
    • Hubby took his lunch to work all week. I brought mine the only day I had to go into the office.
    • My sister is downsizing and sent me 6 antique cookie cutters that had been our Grandmother’s. I’m going to frame them in a shadow box frame and use them as décor.
    • We are going to Italy with our best friends in March. I’ve decided to try to learn Italian. I had a Pimsleur cd set on learning Italian already that my husband gave me years ago when we thought we would be going then. They are now downloaded onto my phone and home computer and I have been practicing. Once they were downloaded, I gave them to my friend to use too. She also told me about the free app “Duolingo”, so I have been using that too.
    • This is a funny money story this week. I had sent our friends’ daughter a check as a graduation present. When it hadn’t cashed, I asked my friend if she’d gotten it. She told me they hadn’t. I said I would send a replacement check and she said, “Don’t do that.” When I saw my friend in person on Saturday, I tried to give her cash for her daughter. She wouldn’t let me. Turns out they found out the check HAD arrived, but the daughter’s room was such a mess that she lost it in her bedroom. When they found the check, as a lesson to the daughter, they took the check and tore it up. They want her to be more responsible. I told them I would donate the money to a charity and they were happy about that.
    • The mall stores were having great Labor Day sales. We needed a new comforter set badly. I found one on sale 70% off. The decorative pillow that matched was also 70% off. Also got a silver chain I needed for 60% off, 6 cloth napkins for 70% off, which I will give my daughter for Christmas and a large lined galvanized tub for putting beverages in at a buffet marked down from $68 to $20. I had been keeping my eye out for one of these since February.
    • Put together smoothie bags for our breakfasts for the next 2 weeks.
    • Got a free bag of Peatos snack as the Friday Freebie.

    Have a wonderful week!

  81. Factor in the cost of gas to and from the store and the proportionate cost of car insurance and car costs (if that is too complicated use the taxi fare to the store as an estimate). If one has a car, one thinks of going to the store as a free trip (when it really isn’t) but if one doesn’t have a car then one factors in the cost of going to the store. So you will save money if you reduce the number of times you go to the store. You will save time, too. I find I can easily go 2 weeks without a trip to the store. If I’ve planned carefully enough, then I can go a month without shopping. Depending on where you live, I don’t think $313 for two people for the month is too much.

  82. Susan Wittig Albert writes The Darling Dahlias series. She has also written the mysteries of China Bayles, Beatrix Potter, Robin Paige, various non-fiction works including a biography of Rose Wilder, and she ghost wrote some Nancy Drew’s as Carolyn Keene in the 1980’s! I have only read some of these books, enough to know that she manages very different styles for her books.
    The garden club of the Darling Dahlias is one of my favorite escape series reads.

  83. I met a friend at Starbucks. I took my own teabag, and ordered hot water (which is free).
    Made a thank you gift for a friend that gave us 60+ pounds of organic apples.
    Ate beans and rice two nights. I cook dried beans and freeze in family size portions.
    Dried or froze organic apples gifted to us. Also have 3 shelves full of apples in fridge.
    Bought 100% whole wheat bread at Grocery Outlet for $1.59 a loaf. .
    Using unwanted (left at home by kids who have left home) face wash in foaming soap dispenser as hand soap. So nice to use it up!
    Happy 1st week of September!

  84. I stay so busy that it is hard to find time to contribute here. Minimum of 12 hrs. in car each wk. just driving grandkids to and from school and to and from 3 drs’ appts. and 3 therapies each wk., not including time spent at said appointments and time spent going into 3 different schools to check them out and again to return them. It is next to impossible to get any afterschool appts. Excited that grandson who is a sophomore can take the culinary arts program at school. At the end of this yr. he will receive the state food handler’s card, which is required to work in any food establishment in our state. And the next yr. he will receive the food manager’s card, required to be a manager of a food establishment. Grandson has autism, plus 3 other psychiatric diagnoses. He loves to cook, and I have been teaching him for several yrs. He is interested in becoming a chef and eventually opening his own restaurant. I am grateful that his school can help him on the road to achieving that goal. Not enough time to list all my frugal methods over the last couple of wks., so I will just hit the highlights. Made 27 jars of strawberry jam and hope to make peach jam Friday. Apple butter making is planned, too. Harvested carrots and made a batch and a half of Brandy’s Tomato basil soup, subbing blended white beans for the cream, and water and additional spices instead of chicken broth. Served it to our 5 adults with my homemade no-knead wheat bread made into garlic toast, using olive oil and salt, in place of butter. We have a vegan family member, so over the past 5 yrs., I have learned how to veganize every one of our favorite dishes, and always bake without dairy or eggs. I take my inspiration from free online WW1 cookbooks. They did not have soymilk or tofu, xanthum gum or lecithin. Many foods and ingredients we take for granted were unheard of or completely unavailable 100 yrs. ago. The recipes WW1 cooks used produced real foods that tasted great without expensive modern ingredients. By baking vegan, I can use eggs for a protein main dish and milk for cereal and drinking. Stumbled upon a half-price toy sale yesterday at Dollar General, so I am now done with my Christmas donations to needy children. I do have a small baking ministry to the needy in our community during the fall and winter seasons. Last wk. I bought 6 zuchinni for a dollar, using them to bake 3 doz. zuchinni muffins and chocolate zuchinni brownies. I was so blessed to make several families happy.

  85. I have a similar grocery shopping problem. I’m trying something new this month – I made a two-week menu using mostly ingredients we already had in the house. I wrote down exactly what we needed to round out those meals, including fruits and veggies for lunches, etc., and made a list (with specific quantities). I bought just what was on the list. I did have to make a quick additional stop at the store because I forgot to buy lemon juice for canning apples, but other than that I don’t need to get anything but milk for two weeks, and I buy that at a local dairy so I won’t be tempted by a full-on grocery store!

  86. It sounds as though you have done a lot of volunteering so I would say it was someone else’s turn, especially if your hip is bothering you. Do what you enjoy but if it becomes an obligation maybe think twice. 🙂
    I often wish I had learned to sew – you were able to do so much this week – congratulations!

  87. So glad to hear that the smoke has finally cleared. I got frozen strawberries & raspberries on sale at Shopper’s Last week – I usually wait until the No Frills has the Schneider’s sausages on for $2 a pkg. and then stock up. I’m hoping this special shows up soon.
    Do you know when the doctors’ will make a decision about your arm?

  88. My husband made Brandy’s Rosemary White Bean soup for me one day. I made her Tomato Basil soup. Checked out a couple movies from the library. Ate at home. Brought sandwiches, apples, popcorn and a mason jar of water when we left the house over lunch time. Used the internet for recipes. We have been brainstorming ways to make money on the internet and on the farm. We need to do things that cost very little to start. Made food for grandchildren at our house even when we were asked to take them to their favorite places. Grandson enjoyed a homemade pierogi and homemade coleslaw and macaroni salad even though he had never tried any of it. I think it helped that we put very little on his plate to begin and that we were throughly enjoying out food. Besides the fact that I told him he didn’t have to eat it but that I think he would really enjoy it. After trying it he ate the entire Pierogi.
    Hoping husband’s company will give him accommodations. I think we have one more paycheck left. We are going teach classes on the internet for income and I am going to go through my clothes and sell things. I have started writing again.
    Coyotes got several chickens today. We decided upon seeing a coyote in our yard that we will not be able to free range them. When we have more money I’d like to build them a movable chicken coop. I have so enjoyed them running up to me whenever I come out or come home. But we need to keep them safe in their coop. I really did not enjoy seeing a coyote in our yard.

  89. Thanks, Brandy! That makes sense. I need to learn to save seeds (I do for flowers but haven’t for fruits or veg). I bet that would help me a lot too.

  90. I enjoy the shopping posts, and I enjoyed the monthly to do lists, but I think you should do whatever posts you prefer. They are all interesting to a wide variety of the people who are reading your blog. As a single person, the projects aren’t necessarily things I am going to do, but they definitely inspire me to get going on projects of my own and I enjoy reading about them.

  91. I am still canning tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, along with the green beans. I also made a large stock pot of minestrone from the last of the odds and ends from the garden and some beans, and canned it in 1.5 cup jelly jars. I’m the only one who likes it, so I will take those for work lunches this winter when there’s no leftovers to take. I redeemed my speedway points for a $25.00 gas card. I made rice pudding for a labor day cook out, using ingredients I had. I substituted evaporated milk bought during the holiday sales for the 1/2 and 1/2, and it turned out wonderful. We purchased buy 1 get 1 free tickets for a local Renaissance festival online. We plan to use these this coming weekend. This is one of the activities we have enjoyed for several years, using the bogo option and taking a picnic lunch and our own drinks makes it a very affordable and enjoyable outing.

  92. When we lived out in the country, we jokingly (but truthfully) said that “free range” was not a healthy option for our chickens as well. One morning, I well remember looking out our bedroom window and watching a coyote run past, chasing one of the poor chickens, and then saw it catch one and take off with it. After that….it was in the coop for those chickens.

  93. Walmart had some deli flat bread pizzas marked down to $3.60 each(got 3). I cut them in half, sealed them with my food saver, and now have 6 cheap lunches for myself. I might pick up more if I find them again.

    My mom sent over 2 bags of chips

    My daughter switched over to band this year. Thankfully, she can use a school instrument instead of having to rent or purchase one(because as soon as she gets to high school, she wants to do choir). If she decides to stick with it, we’ll purchase one then.

    We are 2/3s of the way towards a 10% down payment on a vehicle for me

    Picked up 6 extra hours this pay period

    Sold 3 clothing items of the 11yos. $17 in the Christmas fund

    Making sure to use up what we have first before buying more. I some how ended up with a surplus of cleaners

    Sent in rebates to menards.

    School is back in session so going 11 days on $25 worth of gas is gone. I combine errands as much as possible

  94. I joined the free IKEA family rewards program last year. They sent me a coupon for $15 off any purchase, plus a free meal in their cafe for my birthday. I bought towels and a glass container for my lunches. I ended up spending $2.16 out of my own pocket and spent a nice evening wandering the displays. The other frugal thing I did there was to not buy what I don’t need. It’s easy to go overboard there.

    My commute doubled due to my office moving, so I am taking books on CD out of the library. My friends has been giving me lots of tomatoes from her garden. I’ve oven dried a bunch and preserved them in oil with basil from my garden and garlic from my friend’s. I’ve been taking lunch to work. I bought boneless skinless chicken breast on sale for $1.88 per pound. I’ve been cooking in bulk and freezing meals for days I don’t have time to cook. I bought casual t shirts on sale for $3 each.

  95. Sue September 04, 2018
    quit looking at ads, don’t go to the store, take CASH only for what is on your list. I have even did Click list for Kroger’s, son does it for another store. Have someone else pick up your groceries.
    Another piece of advice is one I just got from my Amish neighbor. Know what you use…and ONLY have that. If you aren’t doing a pantry storage for 12-18 months then you don’t need as much. My son does 30 days, my youngest daughter does 90 days.

  96. What’s your process for roasting the tomatoes and freezing them? I often freeze tomatoes when I don’t have time to can, but love the fire roasted ones for chili or our favorite pita and egg sandwiches.

  97. I have decided to switch grocery stores. I have not been pleased with our local grocer since it was bought by the Kroger. It still has the same name but nothing the same. All the local products are being replaced by Kroger brand. These are not local. It is sad. Every time you ask them a question they refer to corporate. I am not interested in corporate. They raised all the prices, now have some big lower prices campaign. I’m not a big shopper but I buy certain things. Their coupons are never for anything I need…it is too much prepared stuff and way too many alcoholic products. The manager left as he was replaced by someone the new owner brought in. He is now at another store. So we will patronize a different locally owned store north of us in the town where our church/school is. I’m there every day so can just add shopping to my schedule. It’s a little over 5 miles but I am not an impulse shopper. I will not be stopping at store daily. They also have a much better natural foods section. And our old store manager now works here too, along with some of our church folks.

    Some of the items cooked over the last weeks were falafel, stuffed grape leaves, rice pilaf and Greek salads all good for several meals and leftovers. I did not make the hummus as had a large tub from store that had been discounted. Made spaghetti sauce from the fresh tomatoes, peppers and onions, made eggplant Parmesan 2 times, spaghetti carbonara, various impossible biskwik pies using whatever was handy or leftover. Cooked up 5 old layer chickens and took the meat off and made broth. Put broth in the freezer. Made chicken salad and chicken salad sandwich filling. Also chicken/onion/pepper enchiladas and Spanish rice. Served with refried beans from freezer and salad. Put the rest of chicken in freezer for other uses. We’ve had plenty of salads…coleslaw, 4 bean, tossed. Lots of vegetables to use, just depends on what greens are doing anything right now. Have bought several heads of iceberg and romaine as needed. Made 2 banana cream pies, peach kuchen 3 times, white bread, rye bread, banana nut bread, zucchini choc chip muffins, zucchini bread. Husband has grilled out often…fish he catches and hamburgers and hot dogs. We grill vegetables then too on skewers. Corn on cob most every evening meal. Zucchini pancakes with plain yogurt and applesauce.

    For the Labor day weekend made potato salad (American cold), deviled eggs, peach pie and lemon bars, calico beans, watermelon and cantaloupe. My husband’s sister and her family came the night before and they brought their big gas grill along in a trailer. We use charcoal normally. The men took care of the meat dishes and we had ribs and chicken and Asian pork chops, and sausage and pepper kabobs and hot dogs. Everybody brought other dishes of salads and desserts and sides too. Some folks were here all weekend, some just for the day. The weather was still warm enough for swimming in the pond. There was also volleyball set up and croquet.

    Received 50.00 rebate from tires. Sent in rebate for furnace filters. Been watching the Great British Baking show on PBS and the older reruns also. Have them all taped. I could watch them over and over. Received several gift cards for my birthday for Starbucks and for Amazon. Had joint birthday party as usual with my sister (month ago already) and as usual she gave me gallon of popcorn seed from her farm. I found her a cute piece of yard art the farm store end of summer sale to add to her very many she already has. I used my free birthday treat at Starbucks to get a coffee drink and at Culver’s to get a free sundae. My reading goal for this year is 150 books. Finished #115 last night. Almost all have been library books, some lent by others and I reread a few that I owned.

    I did pick up the first book from the library in the Hamish series you are reading. I have read a series that you, Brandy, might like. It is by Donis Casey and it is her Alafair Tucker series. They take place in early 1900’s Oklahoma, they are a farm/ranch family and she is the mother of 10 children. They are mysteries, not exactly cozies, but clean and very full of the history of the time and the culture of the area. There are 10 so far in the series.

    Happy Fall everyone. It is fast approaching here.

  98. I forgot to include the savings at Fred Meyers. We went on Senior Day and could not get some things at the first store as they were out. The second one had chicken legs and thighs for $.69/lb. When we paid for it, the BOGO kicked in so that we only paid the equivalent of $.35/lb. Unbelievable for Fairbanks where we normally pay $.99/lb for the best price. wish I could have stocked up but we need some space for garden produce.

  99. Hi Brandy that would be fabulous if you could find out for me. He’s not a big fan of beans to be fair but a friend whose recently gone vegan has mentioned some good recipes and your bean burritos do sound tasty. Birmingham is south of Hull so it might be close to me! I always feel jealous of the Amish and Mennonite stores some contributors talk about, I know I’d find these useful! Thanks again Brandy.

  100. Penny, do you regularly clean your filter? THAT is an eye-opening (and gag inducing) experience. Look up how to do it on YouTube, which is how I learned. It immediately made a big difference.

  101. Stephanie, we’ve paid a total of $25 for TV’s in the 25 yrs. we’ve been married!! I had my TV from my parents when we married. It actually fell in the Northridge earthquake and was squished on one side, but it still worked! About 5 yrs. later, my visiting friend says, “Are you aware that everyone is green?” I immediately went next door to ask to see their TV and sure enough, it was true. It must’ve happened so gradually that we hadn’t noticed! We bought a $25 garage sale TV and used that for years. Then, we overheard someone at church asking for help to move a TV cuz they bought a flat screen and were taking the old one to recycle it. I scooched over and asked if it still worked. It did. So, I asked if we could buy it. The man told me that if my husband helped him move it to our car, it was ours for free. It’s a 32″ Sony and it weighs a TON, but we’ve had it for about 10 yrs. now. The one we had before is now in the basement rec room.

  102. When I confessed to a quilting friend that I was reading my old Nancy Drews, she said, “Oooh, The Hidden Staircase” was my favorite! I’m going to try and find her an old copy for Christmas. Our thrift store is usually a gold mine for books. I might get lucky.

  103. I loved them. You always had items that I would forget to think about. I totally understand though if you can’t do it at this point. Your family is more important.

  104. I find that my herbs are the best savings to grow. Herbs are not cheap and I can grow and dry so much for so little. I have used Dollar Tree seeds that are 4 for $1 and get tons of parsley and basil. My thyme regrows every year. I grow a lot of San Marzano tomatoes, which are hard to find fresh in my area but are our favorite for sauce. Lettuce is so easy to grow. I have had over 50 heads of lettuce this year from a pack of seeds I bought last year for $2. Well worth the cost. I do not grow potatoes, onions or corn as I can get them locally for fairly cheap and they take up a lot of room to grow. If I had an actual farm, then I would grow them but I have a small property so I have to condense. I planted blueberry bushes last year and I am hoping that next year I get a lot.

  105. I loved your shopping posts. I used them as suggestions for what I might get. I also found them very informative. I read your one from last September, just to get some September ideas. Not the same – but the it works. On the other hand, I understand there are tremendous demands on your time, and I wouldn’t want to burden you any more.

  106. This made me smile as well. 10 years ago during the recession when my husband was “under-employed” with too much time on his hands, he decided to renovate our living room 😮 Friends of ours were moving and in their garage were a handful of cans of high end paint, some not even opened, all in various shades of soft beige. We mixed together everything of the same finish & painted our living room. That was just the tip of the iceberg. I call the entire project the “trash pick renovation.”

  107. If you have an inexpensive source for nuts they are a good source of protein, fat and calories. My mother has to be very careful what she eats due to some medication complications and this is the only thing she could eat to gain weight after losing quite a large amount for her due to medical reasons.

    We like hummus at our house – usually with veggies or pita. They have kept our two athletes from losing weight while exercising many hours a week.

    My brother-in-law was also told to use nuts to gain weight during competitive spending – he is very tall and wiry with a rather thin build but was losing weight at an alarming rate. He did quite well with the nuts and pea plant protein powder, which my husband also takes. The pea plant protein powder was less expensive than the whey protein powder in our area of the US and has helped both my husband and my brother-in-law tremendously. My husband has had very serious medical issues this year and needs to gain back a lot of weight – slow and steady and the protein powder has been a blessing!

    Your future Christmas gifts sound lovely!

    Best withes!

  108. Hi Margie,

    It was the most beautiful day here today. Cool but not too cool. Big blue skies. The leaves on the Ohio Buckeye are stunning. Having said the smoke has cleared, the forecast is for smoke tomorrow! I too got some of the frozen strawberries at Shopper’s. A friend took 5 boxes outside for me to sort. I felt very slow in sorting but ended up with 5 lighter boxes but with the recycling bin about 1/3 full of papers so I made some progress. My arm is really hurting because I tried to take a bird photo up high. Not the thing to do. my ct scan is next week and the week after it is the cast clinic so I’ll have a better idea re arm then. There will be a pre-op assessment if surgery is proposed. So probably I’ll know within two weeks from the ct scan.

  109. Won a $120 Kindle Paperwhite at my library’s Summer Reading Program a few weeks ago. Found 2 brand new cases that retail for $25 each at local discount/liquidation store. One was 50 cents and the other was 22 cents. I am loving checking out ebooks from my library on it.
    At same store I got tons of little kids jewelry that retails for $5-10 for 25 cents (will use for Christmas happies for lots of little girls in our family plus donate leftovers to toy drives) and some necklaces for me Retail $17, I paid 50 cents. Everything brand new. Plus it was Senior Day so additional 10% off.

  110. I’m late to the party here – it’s been a busy week – but I have so enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and I gleaned several new-to-me ideas this week. Thank you everyone!

    Here are my frugal accomplishments from Friday August 31 – http://lea-intherefinersfire.blogspot.com/2018/08/frugal-friday-week-35-of-52.html

    A couple of highlights – lots of food preservation and an end of summer day out for us! I had hoped to get a Christmas present posted this week but ran out of time. Hoping to get that done this next week instead.

    Thanks for sharing the photo of Octavius, Brandy! I love his big blue eyes and the way the stripes on his shirt make them pop. He looks like he’s really enjoying himself.

  111. Pick 1 week each month that you skip going to the grocery store and use only what you have in your pantry/freezer for meals. You can do this as a set schedule (3rd week of the month you skip), or pick 1 week when you see there are fewer items on sale that you’d want to stock up on.

    Alternatively, if there are times in the year when life always gets a bit crazy for you and/or your family, you could take a few weeks break from grocery shopping during that time. For example, I work a seasonal job in the summer. During the summer, I have less time and energy to dedicate towards grocery shopping. So I often skip grocery shopping several times during the summer months, or shop every other week, instead of shopping my typical weekly trips. I then use the money saved from skipping groceries towards buying bulk produce that I can or freeze for winter use.

  112. Hi Tammy,

    So nice to read about what you’re doing! It sounds like you are broadening your grandson’s menu choices. A good move, likely, and Pierogis are great!

    I am so sorry about the coyotes getting your chickens. So disappointing. I have coyotes in my yard, too but they usually get the mice and hares. Is your husband leaving his job? I wonder if you could make and deliver meals for money to a nearby senior (or other neighbour) in need, for a price of course. What types of things do you write? Stories? best wishes, Ann

  113. Lorna,
    I always enjoy reading your posts, and hearing about your life all the way in Australia! I love the Tightwad Gazette, and I feel like buying it used is exactly what the author would want ! 😀

  114. Hi Rhonda,
    At our house, I find that reducing down our beef stew to thicken it a little (or adding some corn starch) then serving it over mashed potatoes is a great way to eat leftover beef stew as well!

  115. I Always loved your shopping post as I found them very interesting the differences in what you buy each month and your frugalness on getting what you need . However, it is understood how busy you are and how time-consuming this blog can be I am sure . Would love to still see the post but would understand if you go in a different direction that is easier on you at present . Thank you for everything you do on this blog . I referred people to it frequently and never miss reading every post .

  116. I love those posts. They always trigger ideas for me. I always look for those posts. I completely understand though, if life no longer allows them.

  117. Joanne, I just asked. Apparently, they went to purchase wheat in bulk from a farm that is now no longer in business. They do the rest of the bulk purchases at Costco in Leeds and at Makro.
    I know Costco here sells beans in bulk (at least pintos; they could have more options).

  118. I love the shopping posts for inspiration and to see how the seasons affect what you buy. While it is fun to see how much you buy of what, I wonder if could just give a rundown periodically of what you actually use per month, such as how many pounds of flour and yeast do you use each month to make how many loves of bread? How many pounds of beans per month, or how many cans of tomatoes, etc.,? I am guessing those basics really stay much the same each month, so maybe just include 2 or 3 sentences within your regular frugal post at the beginning of the month that reflect any purchases. Also, what percentage of your monthly budget do you spend on your storage? I can imagine your new schedule is much more demanding of your time. Consolidating your separate shopping post with your weekly post could be easier. Thank you for making thrifty seem not only honorable, but often elegant.

  119. Thanks Brandy, coincidentally there is a Costco not far from where my son plays American Football so I will investigate their prices whilst he is at practice one day. Makro is trade only (used to have a Makro trade card when we had a candle shop but that was years ago and we don’t have this any more). Thanks again.

  120. Thank you Lea, my son suggested hummus this afternoon, great minds think alike!! We’ve found a good priced chocolate flavour pea protein powder which he’s enjoying in a smoothie with frozen banana, peanut butter, oat yoghurt and oat milk, it does taste rather good! I’m going to investigate the nut suggestion and draw up some price comparisons. I am so pleased with the Christmas gifts, feel very frugally accomplished!!

  121. Ann,
    Thank-you for the idea to make money. My husband has a foot problem that is aggravated by standing, climbing and walking. We are hoping that his employer will give him a job with accommodations if they can. He has been on sick leave and vacation while figuring out the problem with doctors and HR. Still waiting. In the meantime we are going to have bills to pay. I work part-time for my son as a Personal Care Attendant, my sister and mom also work for him.
    Sometimes I write stories and poetry. But most of what has been published are essays. I’ve been published in Woman’s World, Farm and Ranch Living, Kaleidoscope, Teacher’s of Vision, and Kansas City Voices. I also have an essay in the book The Paid And Published Writer called “Money for Groceries”. Also my son and I have a children’s picture book out on kindle at Amazon called “I Like You So Much That I Love You.” I eventually want to get that out in paperback. Anyway, I hope to get more work published to supplement our income. But also I think my husband and I are going to develop classes to teach online. Thank-you for the best wishes. It is much appreciated.

  122. Becky,
    It is sad but true that our chickens prefer their coop right now. My husband hopes to make a movable coop so they can enjoy fresh grass and bugs along with the grain we put in their run.

  123. Hi Samantha and thank you for your encouragement and glad you like hearing about our life here in Australia 🙂 .

    I think you are right that Amy would be happy that her books are being purchased used or secondhand too promoting her thrifty lifestyle. I had read a lot about her books and really wanted one and was excited about it but couldn’t justify the $40 new book price tag whilst saving for our home but did think that $12.49 with postage was a great price so jumped at the opportunity when I saw it. We are hoping it gives us more ideas than we currently have for being thrifty with our money to help us save more for our home. Looking forward to also getting the complete tightwad gazette when I can find one at a similarly low price.

  124. Please share your spaghetti sauce recipe. Also, I can my jalapeno peppers…very easy and are wonderful to eat or throw in a recipe.

  125. My children were prone to MRSA when they were younger. The prescription antibiotic is stronger than Neosporin and works well. They also told us to purchase Hibiclens (OTC) and wash the area with that. It works wonders. Hope you kick this soon.

  126. Brandy you are such an inspiration. I love reading your blog and indeed most of the comments. I envy you your gardens………. On our property we have deer rabbit fox hawk chipmonks squirrel ……I can not grow anything other than hot peppers and some herbs.
    Thank you for sharing

  127. I always find beef stew th be one other those foods that taste even better the second day. As a leftover , we serve it over buttered sliced bread.

  128. Thank you for responding. I was able to find the free online tests by using the search words you suggested. Who knew it was so easy?! Thanks!

  129. I enjoy the shopping posts but do what is easiest for you. My favorite is the gardening posts, of course, you probably already knew that. Blogging is time-consuming and we all understand. Your family is what matters the most.


  130. I hate that your grocery store is no longer what you need. That is not pleasant. Since I live out in the country, I don’t have many choices and when any of them changes, it throws me for a loop. Take your time and shop carefully. Choosing the right place makes a huge difference in money.

  131. We had chickens for years because our yard was dangerously infested with ticks. You could not walk to the car without dozens crawling up your legs. The previous homeowner kept livestock close to the house. We purchased chickens for the sole purpose of cleaning the yard of ticks so they free ranged. It worked but we slowly lost all of them to predators. We discussed confining them to the coop area but decided our priority was our safety. The ticks are gone and have never returned.

    I agree and would NOT like to see a coyote close to my house!


  132. Brandy, I will admit that I don’t always read the shopping list. Well, I read what you wrote, but unlike the frugal posts I don’t usually read everyone else’s list. I just don’t have time. I prefer to read and re-read the frugal post. It sounds like you are getting all positives so it is useful to others. So take a break for now and pick up as time allows. Maybe it does not need to be a separate post, just part of the post for the first week in the month.

  133. Our house is on the market so I am trying to use up what food we have on hand. I made banana date blondies with some old frozen bananas, old dates, and many holiday colored M&ms. Made zucchini bread, peach cobbler with random rice flour, an old package of fish with a few sweet potato fries, and using up lots of fresh tomatoes and peppers. We picked peaches from a local farm and canned about 50# of peaches for my DS. I have wanted a salad spinner for years but refuse to pay $30-40 from Target, found one at Aldi for $7.99. Finished all of the remaining repairs ourselves around the house. I don’t want to move extra stuff so I’m staying out of the stores. Sold a few more items on FB marketplace. I wanted fresh flowers for showings so bought huge bunches of gladiolus from Kroger for $6 instead of expensive arrangements from florist. Ate home and invited my parents over for food instead of going out. Also packed food to have a picnic dinner on the boat. We own several rental properties so we put repair expenses on our Southwest credit card for points (planning a trip out west to visit family) and use Menards rebates. Our garbage company doesn’t take construction waste, so we out little bits from renovations out every week so we don’t have to pay for a dumpster. Over the past month, we bought a new rental(fixer upper) and my DS went through 4 month sleep regression, so I stopped running, as I’ve been exhausted. I have been watching my diet but hope to get back to running this week, so I don’t have to buy new pants for the winter and get back to my pre-baby size.

  134. It’s a battle to get my husband and daughter to eat leftovers at the best of times. My mom also says beef stew is better the second day. They still turn their noses up at it. We tried making the beef stew into a meat pie earlier this year. Hubby said he liked it so much better as leftover this way and DD gobbles it up without complaint. If it works, than why not. We can also freeze the pie to use as a homemade convenience meal at a later time, which is really nice too.

  135. Hi Tammy,

    Thanks for explaining about your husband and “accommodation”. That is so great that you are a published writer.
    I like writing poetry and in sorting through a box of papers the other day found all of the poems I’d written when I was a teenager. I really sympathize about your husband’s foot pain. I had plantar fasciitis and it was very painful. There are many seniors who need a little help to stay in their homes –– including good home cooked meals.

  136. I enjoy your shopping posts. I look for them every month. It’s totally understandable though if you don’t continue them. I have been looking through all of your links above and find something that catches my eye every time. Your website/blog is a tremendous resource. Thank you Brandi for continuing what you do.

  137. Jeannie, we’re about 3 miles outside our little town, then another 5 to the next town where I work. I hate to not support businesses in our little town but it is not fitting anymore. We do not see all these deals that everyone mentions on post here associated with their Kroger stores. So the store I will go to now is a locally owned store. It’s bigger so I might use their motor cart to get around. It is slightly north of where I work but then I can get back onto the same road to drive home easily.

  138. Yes, chickens are excellent bug vacuums! My oldest girl manages and free range egg farm with some of her cousins and free range is not. It has to be well fenced with overhead deterrents for hawks and it includes a live in with the chickens chicken guard dog.

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