The most amazing part about my week was watching a baby chick hatch out of an egg. The mother hen got off the nest just in time for me to see the chick hatch all the way out. Of all the things I have seen in my life, this one was one of the best.

The chick was at a friend’s house. I am taking care of her garden and chickens for a couple of weeks while she attends her grandchildren’s graduations. I was able to fill in some blank spots in her garden (with her permission, of course!) for her with basil, green onion, and zinnia seeds that I had. She sent me home with beets and zucchini the day I came over for instructions, and I canned 4 pints of pickled beets last week. I also was able to pick two more zucchini and some spinach to take home. She told me what to take while she is gone.

Her garden is amazing. It’s in a greenhouse that is cooled by a swamp cooler. Fans blow the cool, moist air though the greenhouse and keep it at 80ºF. The swamp cooler is run by solar and wind energy (their whole house is as well) and the garden is watered with grey water from their house. Because it is cooler and humid than it is outside (it was 100ºF last week and we normally have 10% humidity here), she is able to grow a LOT more than I can. I have seen her garden many times before they covered it with the greenhouse last year. (She also has a shade cloth inside the greenhouse).  She said she was amazed at the difference last year. It was the first time she was able to harvest green beans (it gets so hot here that they don’t flower; the same happens with tomatoes and zucchini). Her garden is lush and full.

I made fried zucchini with her zucchini.

I made yogurt, granola, French bread, minestrone soup (with zucchini and beet greens), tomato basil soup, Spanish rice, biscuits, peach pie popsicles, and spaghetti. I cooked a pork roast from the freezer and made steak sauce to go with it.

We picked peaches from our garden.

I picked a few tomatoes from our garden. I also cut lettuce, green onions, and chives from our garden.

I cut Liberty’s hair.

I received a free magazine in the mail.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

Winter cut flowers from the garden on Mother’s Day that we enjoyed all week.

My husband and I went out on a date. Now that our oldest can babysit, we are working on having more dates out (as opposed to the one or two a year that we normally have; usually for our anniversary and/or a combined both of ours) birthday dinner). We have a few gift cards that we have not been able to use, as we didn’t have a babysitter. We were able to have a nice meal out and just had to pay the tip, since we had a gift card to cover the rest. (My husband was given the card for doing some work for someone.)

My husband and I also popped popcorn and watched a few movies together after the children were in bed.

My husband is working a bit at a time on a project, as the funds become available. He needed to have some metal cut and bent. He called someone we know to see if he could give the work to this man. The man said sure, no problem–and no charge! We weren’t expecting that! He took the boys with him and they all worked together on the metal. Cyrus is holding a piece above that he got to help make (they all started as flat sheets). This simple thing saved us several thousand dollars! I saw the man at church on Sunday and thanked him again.

I spent a long time reorganizing several drawers. It was a long-overdue project that will make my days go smoother.

What did you do to save money last week?

Similar Posts


  1. I used to be a stay at home mom but now I am working again. But my goal is to be a stay at home mum again. I found you`re blog a few days ago thanks to one of my readers. When I found you`re blog I spend a entire day reading trou all your post. I have had a list just like you of money I have saved the week before. But you inspiered me to also write my goals. I love your blog and I`m looking in a couple of times every day to see if you have written something. Thank you very very much. Exuse me for my louse spelling. I`m from Sweden. =)

  2. Teresa, a couple of decades ago local governments in Australia made people in towns and cities dismantle their tanks, for a similar reason (they claimed the water rights). People who live rurally, as I do, were never forced to do this because out here there is quite simply no other source of water – the only water we have for our house and garden is what rainwater we can collect. However with the last very bad, very long drought, households in towns and cities were once again encouraged to install rainwater tanks (in some places they were given incentives to do so); and my understanding was also that they are now strongly encouraged if not required for all new house builds. The issue of water rights is incredibly complex and contentious; in some places in South America, private corporations such as Coca-Cola have tried to claim they own the rainwater (it’s a way of keeping peasants from collecting it and forcing them to buy bottled water). At least if the government is claiming they own it, they should ostensibly be managing it for the people, instead of claiming it in the name of greater corporate profits!

  3. Teresa, yes, some places in the U.S. have outlawed collecting rainwater and said that people cannot have rain barrels as the water must go into the ground. I agree with Theresa F on who the rainwater belongs to! I am still amazed that people have voted to pass those laws.

  4. The “marker” in the urine is the testosterone. Although sprinkling the boy’s urine will help, even a diluted amount of an adult male’s urine ( husband, brother, father, grandfather – – whoever) will work better because it contains more testosterone, & thus claims the territory as far as the predators are concerned. Collecting the urine in a bottle, as if for a urinalysis speciman, then diluting & squirting where desired, would probably go over better with the neighborhood. 8 years ago when we first moved in, one of the little neighbor boys was busily teaching all his little male buddies how to “go outside” – and altho the subject needed addressed, I was genuinely surprised at how many people were truly upset with this little 4 year old. Altho this does owrk, I would definitely proceed with caution.

  5. From time to time, I read rumblings about corporate interests in the US yearning to privatize water. What a dangerous idea! It’s one thing to pay a municipal service for building the distribution system and delivering the water. Quite another to allow a few rich corporations to own the water and hold people hostage to make a big profit off it.

  6. Paula let me know what you think. I forgot to tell you to salt the okra after it cooks. We don’t seem to care for much salt at all and I forget to mention it often. Another way we enjoy summer okra is to brush the pods with olive oil and grill making sure to get a tiny bit of char on each piece. We do sprinkle a tad of sea salt on them and a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar.

  7. Also, don’t feel alone about the salt. I use salt judiciously, and we never salt at table unless it is something like a baked potato that hasn’t been salted at all. We find we are unusually thirsty after eating restaurant food because they use so much more salt than we do.One of my pet peeves is people salting food without tasting it first.I like to use a little kosher salt to sprinkle on food straight from the oven as a finisher. It is more flavorful and there’s more taste with less salt.

  8. I’ve enjoyed this post on my first visit to your blog! Love reading the inspiring comments, your industriousness and that of your readers. I was raised in a frugal household ( a very long time ago!) and so many of the valuable lessons learned are still so important to me.

  9. I’ll second the site for rentals. We’re staying in the mountains for a week and I’ve just been looking for a possible fall rental at beach with the same group. I am so impressed thus far with the costs of renting. You can set your own parameters for rent and the site brings up all the possibilities in any area you choose.

  10. The house we are buying was my grandmother’s before she passed away. When her and her husband bought the house it had well water but after owning the home for about 10 years the city forced her to switch to city water. The well is still there under the house.

  11. Kathy – this, too, is my frugal community. We don’t know any other frugal people or people that live as natural as possible. I look forward to all of Brandy’s posts but this one is my favorite. I come back all week and read the reader responses 🙂

  12. I L.O.V.E. your house and I am so envious of that stove! I dream of having a wood burning cooking/heating stove in my house someday. I, too, look forward to watching you and your family transform the house to it’s original beauty!

  13. People look at me like I’m a little strange when I walk out with this bag of soda cans (we have a lot of soda drinkers where I work). LOL But I feel why should it go in the trash, to fill up a landfill, when I can take them, recycle them, keep them out of the land fill and make a little change? I am glad to see I am not the only one that does this 🙂

  14. We visited my brother yesterday. He served purchased gyros and made Greek salad and baklava. He bought and made too much, but he sent some home with us. Both he and we had leftovers for supper, so it was a found meal.

  15. Hi there all, I make my yoghurt using a small portion of easyYo yoghurt powder and powdered full cream milk plus a couple of spoons of skim milk for thickening plus the water. I also leave it brewing for a longer time for thick delicious Greek yoghurt. I did a blog post on it too.Greetings from Sydney, Australia

  16. Still have a long way to go in my frugal journey, but here’s what I did this week:1. Used gift card I received for my birthday to buy plants at Home Depot. Bought veggies and flowers for our front planter. I’m normally really bad about using gift cards2. Put more waste in my double composted3. Did not buy anything for myself to eat at my daughters’ swim meet, which I usually do. My husband gave them money for some food after swimming, but I was fine with that.4. Am making a quinoa salad to bring to a cookout tomorrow from food we have at home, rather than waiting until it’s too late and allowing lack of planning to coerce me into buying over-priced prepared food on the way to the party at the grocery store5. Went to 2 swanky events and resisted the urge to buy anything new. Wore clothes I already own.Next week will be more frugal and productive. These comments truly inspire me.

  17. I so love reading your accomplishments.Well, this weekend is Memorial Day. We took a two day vacation to go camping in Joshua Tree National Park. It was our friend’s birthday, so she booked the spot ($25/ night, 25 people), two nights. We had to pay for gas and took our own food, and of course needed about 4 bags of ice for the two days. Still, it’s a MUCH cheaper vacation than staying at a hotel. We have been slowly adding better camping gear to our collection. Will we still feel like camping when our kids are 16 and 10? We’ll be well into our 50’s. I hope so. Today I made chard and zucchini soup for this week. I made potato salad from potatoes we got from our back neighbor (he’d borrowed some a week ago, and replaced them with an even bigger bag). I made pesto. I also made zucchini bread.I walked to the grocery store with the toddler. On the way back, I took pictures of a few gardens with nice succulents. Our front yard is really just dirt, and I am looking for low-water ideas.I have been reading two books from the library.

  18. Marcia,Roses are amazingly low in water needs. Also there are many low-water flowering shrubs. I don’t remember all of their names, but I can point them out here; yellow-flowering cassia is one; there is a purple one, too. Rosemary is commonly grown here in front yards, too. My front garden is watered with drip irrigation. It uses an amazingly small amount of water, and we get some of that water back in the form of food.

  19. Hello all, I enjoyed reading as always. I made two cakes for my son’s class bday. I found some good gifts for him at garage sales, his favorite are long range walkie talkies I purchased for $3.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *