Hydrangea Arrangement

I cut flowers from the garden to bring indoors.

I picked a couple of handfuls of white strawberries and 19 blackberries from the garden. For the strawberries, this is a large amount to have ripe at once; it’s usually just a few here and there. Since the weather has been 10 degrees cooler than normal, these are producing well. Once it gets hotter, they will stop flowering until it cools down again in October.

The cooler weather was just enough difference between needing to run the air conditioner and not needing to run it. It costs me about $10 a day in electricity to have the air conditioner running all day and night, and this time of year I usually need to run the air conditioner during the day. I saved at least $35 this week not needing to have it on. We did have one afternoon get up to 81º in the house for a few hours, but other days it was cooler. (I normally have the air conditioner set to go on at 79ºF).

We picked peaches from the garden. 

Peach Salad with Feta The Prudent Homemaker 

I picked lettuce from the garden. We enjoyed salad with peaches, feta, and my balsamic vinaigrette a couple of times. If you missed the recipe last week, you can find it here.

I made peach pie and peach smoothies from the peaches from our tree.

My friend who trades me eggs for lettuce brought me some eggs this week. She didn’t want any lettuce this time as she had already bought some at the store (she never knows when he friend, who owns the chickens, will give her eggs, and her friend always gives her dozens and dozens).

My husband fixed a fallen sink. He also fixed the bench we use for our piano.

I watched a few television shows for free on Hulu and Pbs.org.

My husband and I had a simple at-home date after the children were in bed. We played a board game together.

I listed 4 items for sale via Facebook garage sales and sold all of them.

I bought two garden pots from a Facebook garage sale page for $5.

I went to Winco to pick up the items on my list, and to my surprise, I found out that they did still have dahlia tubers! They had just moved them from the front door to their seasonal section inside the store. Instead of being $4.49 each, they had lowered the price to $1.49 each! I bought two pink ones.

I gave haircuts to four daughters.

What did you do to save money last week?




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  1. We, too, experienced cooler-than-normal temperatures. All but one day–when I was experiencing worsening complications from a chronic illness–we were also able to keep our air conditioner off all day, using it only at night. Some afternoons and early evenings were a bit uncomfortable. However, when we tolerated that climb well enough, we decided to raise the temperature setting another degree on our programmable thermostat when we keep the air conditioner on full time. We’re now setting it about three degrees higher than we were two summers ago. We’ll see if we can make that work. As I was shivering in a jacket yesterday with temperatures outside in the high 80’s and inside in the low 80’s, I decided that now that I’m 65, I have become my grandmother. I hope she forgives me for gently chiding her all those years ago for running her space heater in the summertime in the hot South!

    We avoided going to the grocery store all week. Because I think it’s going to rain the proverbial 40 days and 40 nights, I was not able to use my sun oven this week. I timed baking so that I baked only during the coolest hours of the morning. I used the dryer for the things that wouldn’t fit on my inside rack only in the evenings. In previous years, I never worried about such timing. I’m grateful for the rain that is replenishing water tables in parched Central Texas and also saving us from spending money for watering. Our water rates seem so high here in our water control improvement district.

  2. This week was my first week at a new part time job. I did all the usual house work as well as cooked all our meals except 2. I baked bread and minimized grocery purchases by eating from our pantry. Baking bread has saved us a lot of money, thank you Brandy for this blog which gave me the inspiration to try!

    I continue with my monthly goal of finding a new way to save $10 a month ($120 a year), and figured out my May goal was accomplished when I got a cell phone from work so can drop my personal cell.

  3. We ate in every night (this is so normal, it doesn’t seem like a *thing* anymore!)

    God saved us a lot of water by dropping a frog strangler on our 1/3 acre!

    I turned 2 trash day curb finds into a storage set in my craft room. One piece was a small white bathroom cabinet in perfect condition & the other was a portable kitchen island (dark green) that had definitely seen better days. DH made it solid again & I gave the dark green a white glossy paint job (left the light pine as is). DH mounted the cabinet high on the wall & we placed the island below. They look like a set now & added some great storage & a high table for me. 🙂 All for the cost of a can of spray paint, which I got with a 25% off coupon!

    DH came with me on an evening I was working at church. While I was inside, he & our dog walked about a 3 mile round trip to pay our city bill at City Hall & drop off my library books, saving us a driving trip.

    I got a week’s worth of our town newspapers for free from a friend. Since she’s far in the country, she has to pay for recycling pick ups or take everything to the center. Said it’s much easier for her to bring them to me at church every week and then she doesn’t have to deal with a huge pile every couple of months. And I get to read the paper for free!

    I made a batch of cookies using one of the bags of Nestle butterscotch chips I got after the holidays for only 50 cents each….AND I had a $1.50 coupon off of three, which the store honored. So, I got 6 bags for $1.50.

    The only money that we spent all week was to fill DH’s car with gas, which was 20 cents per gallon cheaper with fuel points.

  4. Your flower arrangement is beautiful, Brandy.

    This week started out with an odd frugal experience. I was out taking a walk, and saw a dollar laying on the sidewalk. There was no one else on the street, so I picked it up. Then I heard a voice call out, “Hey, don’t forget the five dollars in the bushes over there!” I looked up, and a man on a nearby third floor balcony was looking down at me. I was rather surprised, but I picked the five dollars out of the bushes. I then told the man that, if it was his money, he should come down and get it, and I would wait there for him. He declined, and told me to take the six dollars and enjoy it. So I did. 

    Other frugal accomplishments:
    – Fred Meyer had Tillamook medium cheddar on sale for $3.99, limit one. This is the lowest price I have seen in a long time. I was able to pick up two during separate shopping trips.
    – I found two bras at Ross for $3.99 each. My current ones are wearing out.
    – Some animal ate the poppy starts I had planted in one flowerpot. A friend had given me a big package of bird netting last year for free, so I used that to cover the other poppy starts I had planted. So far, so good.
    – I cut a few more roses to put inside. I read that if you add a little vinegar to the water, flowers will last longer. It seems to help a little.
    – Quite by accident, I got free fertilizer for my petunia and dusty miller plants located outside my kitchen window. The flowerpots are apparently situated directly under the spot where a colony of bats enter and exit the attic area. So the plants get free bat guano deposits. Kind of gross, but also hilarious.
    – I took a field trip to a local rhododendron botanical garden to see the blue Himalayan poppies that bloom every year. I packed a lunch for in the car, so all it cost was the $8 entrance fee and gas. On the way back, I drove by Ikea, so I decided to stop for a coffee and bathroom break. When I went to pay for my coffee, the cashier said there was no charge. I didn’t buy anything else there either, so this was a zero dollar Ikea trip. Nice.

    The frugal fail for the week was that I ended up having to replace my salad spinner (I use mine all the time). I dropped mine on the floor a couple weeks ago, which made me sad, because it used to belong to a family friend who died a few years ago. Every time I used it, I thought of her. The one I bought is the same kind, and should last for years (unless I drop it on the floor again).

    I look forward to hearing about everyone else’s week.

  5. Your peaches look so good – I can’t wait until we get peaches.

    My frugal accomplishments:
    Free in the mail – sample of Emergen-C and Real Simple magazine.

    I picked strawberries, blueberries and a couple blackberries from the garden. I worked in the garden, pulled weeds, tied up my grape vines as they grow up the pergola and trellis. I staked some raspberry canes back that were growing into the garden path. I painted some gifted clay pots with leftover paint to match our garden. I cleaned up the pomegranate tree and peach tree a bit light a light pruning. I keep adding to the compost and turning it.

    I worked on my Holiday/gift fund: I completed a Pinecone survey. I worked on Swagbucks every day. I cashed in Swagbucks for $25 Paypal.

    I canned a very small batch of pears that needed to be used up.

    I tweaked the budget a little bit more to pay off debt more efficiently.

    I stopped at Baskin Robbins after work and got my free scoop of ice cream for my birthday. I got a scoop of vanilla and had it with blueberries and strawberries from the garden.

    I combined errands on Saturday:
    –I had $10 off at JCPenny. I got 2 summer blouses for work from the clearance rack, used the $10 off and paid $8.54 OOP.
    –I went to Home Depot and got 5 confederate jasmine to plant and cover sections of chain link fence. They had really large jasmine for $17 each but I got the smaller ones which were only $5 each…I’ll just be patient 🙂 We had $15 on a gift card from a return we made a while ago and put it towards the jasmine.
    –At DSW I spent my $5 I got for my birthday for signing up for their emails. I got 2 pairs of black footies to wear with my flats at work. I spent $2.09 OOP.
    –I also did 3 mystery shopping assignments. Two were at grocery stores and one was a restaurant (SO was working so it was just me). I spent close to what I will get reimbursed, plus I will get small shoppers fees.

    On Sunday we went to WaWa near our house to get gas and used coupons in Sunday’s paper to get 2 free bags of chips, 2 free candy bars, and a free donut. We still have several coupons to use another time.

    I used my Amazon Prime to start tai chi for my arthritis for free. Thanks to the reader that mentioned she was exercising at home using yoga videos on Amazon Prime.

    I continue to take leftovers home from our catered lunches at work. They have so much leftover! I take quite a bit but a lot still ends up getting thrown away – it’s just too much for me to take all of it and nobody else takes any. Several days I made up plates of what my father would like and took it over to him so he did not have to cook (he eats meat but we do not). I took home plenty that we eat too and also put some in my freezer for my son to eat here when he visits or take back with him.

    Sometimes I eat the leftovers just like the same meal as we had at work, sometimes I mix it up and make something different. One night I took leftover flour tortillas and shredded cheese from one day and rice from another day. I mixed the rice with my own cooked lentils and made enchiladas. For the enchilada sauce, I used some salsa that we bought that no one really liked because it was too runny. It made delicious enchiladas though!

    Have a great week ladies!

  6. The peach salad looks so good. It looks like we will only get a few peaches this year, due to a late frost, but I hope to be able to try your recipe. I had forgotten about picking a bouquet until I read your post. That is part of the joy in joining in here, for the encouragement and reminders of everything I am doing to make our home a nicer place to be. Thank you for keeping this up each week. It is certainly a bright spot in my day when I can take some time to see what everyone is up to. Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2015/05/back-to-garden-and-frugal.html

  7. I was blessed with a free meal for Mother’s Day from our son and daughter in law. While I am here I want to say how proud I am of my daughter in law. This past Friday she graduated with her nursing degree. She has to take the state board test next month and she will join the working world at the same hospital my son works in. So proud of her. She did not work at all till my grandchildren went to high school. Now she has her degree.
    Got some good sales at the grocery store. With a few coupons I was able to get 2 weeks of groceries for less than $100.00. That is food for us (a family of 4) and my day care children. Yeah. That is great.
    We got a lot of rain this morning, so needed. Sending prayers of thanks for the rain the drought here is so bad. Our garden is doing well, should get our first tomatoes and squash this week. We got a couple of cucumbers last week. My husband loves cucumbers so we have them most meals.
    Got some flowers from my rose bush to put on the table. Sure looks pretty.
    Gave away some shirts on Freecycle to a man who just got a job after all most 6 months of being unemployed. My husband has lost a lot of weight and these shirts no longer fit him. Made room in his closet for the rest of his clothes.
    Used my drying racks to dry clothes as it has been wet here all week.
    A curb find here was a steel shelf unit. It was bent a little but my husband was able to fix it up to use in our pantry to hold baking items etc. I really like having my baking items on one unit.
    Made home made snacks for the kids all week. Got a recipe for berry pudding on the local PBS show. Can not wait to make that this week with my frozen berries.
    I am going to mend some items this week, sew a new blouse (I have it cut out already) and work on my quilt. So that is my frugal accomplishments this week.

  8. Mostly I said “no” a lot. We went to visit family and the well meaning pressure to GO DO SPEND was daily. So while we did go on outings twice, we stayed put and played at the house the other five days. I packed our snacks for the trip, I planned meals to be ready for our return, we avoided one hotel stay on the drive home by supporting each other and thinking how fabulous it would be to escape the hotel bill. It’s a pretty rough drive with the children, it can be done in 12 hours by a determined adult but when you add children and meals and stretching and etc it can drag out but the children don’t sleep well in hotels so if we get three hours we’re lucky, it’s like paying fifty dollars an hour for a nap. No thanks. Overall I feel like I did well in balancing fun with frugality. Our electric/gas bill was 20 dollars lower than last month. I spent way under my budget at the store today which was very nice as we had another pet pass this month ( the vet assured us it was a tragic coincidence and not environmental) but this month have had 800 dollars in vet bills and no happy reunion at the end. So we are really clamping down to try and make it up elsewhere.

    Our blackberry bushes look to be gearing up for a large yield and I am hopeful to get at least a quart. They are in flower now and I saw the bees at work. Later in the week after pollination we’ll net them to keep the birds away. We found a volunteer tomato plant which we are leaving out of curiousity. We had a ton of dill and some cilantro reemerge after ripping out all our herbs to put in flowers. I am excited and am making potato salad tomorrow.

    I read free books on my kindle, I read back issues of a magazine I enjoy, we forced ourselves to eat at home today though we were exhuasted from the trip .

  9. I agree I look forward to finding a new post on your blog on the days when I do!

    I had a frugal fail this week too–I have a plastic food chopper that attaches to my blender and can no longer be purchased. I bought the last one on Amazon or eBay, and I dropped it! DH got out the epoxy and fixed it. The very next time I used it, I set it too close to a burner on high, and melted the plastic just enough so the blade now hits the side. I still can use it, but I had to go order another one–again, used, and for $20 and $7.50 shipping–which I’m sure is more than it cost originally—years and years ago! I’m just happy I can get one because it does the best job of chopping without mashing everything, and I use it almost daily. I better be more careful as they could be scarce from now on.

    Aside from that, we saved a fortune this week by eating leftovers. My kids have been out of the house for years, and it’s about time I learned how to cook for 2! Tonight I cooked 1 cup of Farfalle, and there was some leftover–but not to worry, as there was some shrimp left over too, and I think I will turn it all into mac and shrimp salad tomorrow.

    I did all the usual things this week–using my waxed paper cereal bags flattened out to bread chicken fingers on, taking my extra plastic bags back to the store, and spending only $45 on groceries & cat stuff, after last week’s stock up trip. Also got 2 doz free eggs from my daughter’s friend when she stopped by. Also picked up two reels of Christmas ribbon at Goodwill for 50 cents a reel. It’s the only thing I found this week. Hopefully, the coming week will see me planting my flowers and vegetables for this season. I’m looking forward to that.

  10. I can’t wait for peach season here! I really want to try that salad 🙂

    * my son had a track meet (3 hours round trip) but we packed food and drinks so the only money spent was gas. I also got in a lot of reading time between events and we think he set a couple PR’s which is exciting 🙂

    * my 15 year old is making one dinner per week. last week she tried homemade mac and cheese which wasn’t her best success so far. we walked thru her steps and I think she has some good ideas for improvement next time. all of us cooks know that every recipe isn’t a “keeper”. this week she is trying chicken fajitas 🙂

    * a friend posted a suggestion of calvin and hobbs books which I followed up by checking out one for my 11 year old which he is really enjoying! I love the library

    * made banana muffins out of some very ripe bananas which will be snacks and lunch box items this week

    * my hubby was able to work 1 over time shift @ work

    * I made homemade oatmeal cookies and threw in the remainder of a package of mini chocolate chips that I had left from another recipe

    * cashed out some points for $25 amazon card and ibotta for $10 amazon card

    * picked up 40# ground beef from Zaycon which hubby and I packaged into one pound packages

    * I ran across a free summer math program from ten marks. Signed up for my 11 year old.

  11. Last weekend I went to an annual Coast Guard neighborhood yard sale (my friend drove and wouldn’t let me pay for gas since I normally drive). Picked up some DVDs to resell, will hopefully turn $4 into at least $20. Was able to find a handful of outfits and two pairs of like new shoes for my daughter (we will put away for school starting in the fall), paid roughly $15. I also found a few shirts/sweaters for myself $6.

    This Sat I stopped at a sale on my way to my son’s basketball game and found a lovely glass serving bowl for $1 & a hardback John Grisham novel to add to my bookshelves for $1. Then I stopped at a new second hand store where I found a brand new Harry Potter board game (not sure if I’ll keep or resell) for $7 and a Hallmark HP ornament for $6 (I’ll resell this for around $30 I hope). The young man working told me they had HP fabric and I didn’t think much of it. Came home and did some research, went back and bought at least 15yds of different patterns for $100. I’m hoping this will be a decent money maker (I’m stressed at the gamble but my husband said he trusts my judgement).

  12. Gorgeous flowers! Delicious looking salad!!
    We did no grocery shopping this week…I only had to pick up dog food. We did have a funny little experience; I had agreed to take everyone bowling one evening and then my dh through out his back. No bowling, after all. But to make up for the loss I bought everyone their favorite food treat and, as my husband said, it was a LOT less expensive than our whole clan going bowling! From bad comes a little good; this happens to me all the time, I find.
    We’ve been super responsible about returning library items in a timely fashion so we’re saving money that used to fly out the door into the library cash register. Ugh! Not any more!
    I sold some more items on my Amazon store and have made enough to pay for the weekend hotel that we’re going to use this summer! Yay!
    My dh changed the oil in our cars, using borrowed jack stands. We barter car stuff for bee services…I check my friend’s hive and show her how to do stuff…her husband loans us car things.
    I purchased a book for my daughter’s summer college class that would have cost $75 at the college bookstore through Amazon for…wait for it…$2.99!!! Yes indeedy. 🙂
    I made a turkey for sliced turkey sandwiches this week. I froze a bunch for next week.
    My hens are laying very well so we’re eating a lot of eggs and loving it!
    I planted lots of vegetables in the garden and watered all my seedlings with water collected from our rain barrel.
    I got a great deal from a family friend who offered to have her son deliver and spread mulch on my flower beds AND cut up a gigantic maple limb that came down this winter and put it where we can split it for a small fee and bee services. These bees are coming in handy, I must say.
    I cut my husband’s hair.
    I mended bras, boy’s pj bottoms and a shirt.
    I sold some more honey.
    Have a great week everyone! It’s warming up nicely here and we’re all as happy as clams…stay cool Brandy!

  13. I vacuumed my car at home and chose to forego washing it for another week. I did go spray down the wheel wells for safety as my driveway has been very muddy.

    DD needed some new church shoes (she has outgrown all of hers). We used a coupon at Payless. Not cheap because DS decided he needed shoes, too, but he’s probably close to outgrowing most of his shoes as well. DD will need sandals special ordered because her feet are so wide, so I’m looking for a deal on that.

    Used a $10 off $10 coupon at Penneys to buy DD a pack of socks for $2.19 OOP.

    Ate all weekday meals at home. Only ate one meal out each day for the weekend (this is good for us). Today we got carry out pizza, which was cheaper than eating in a restaurant.

    Went grocery shopping and only came out with EXACTLY what I went in for. This saved me about $30 off my usual cost. I accomplished this by telling the kids we were going on a secret mission to buy just what we needed for the week and get out as quickly as possible. Then I made spy music through the store. 🙂 We’re still eating up the pantry, and are reducing the amount of meat we eat.

    I’m attempting to create a repertoire of easy, cheap meals for our family. When school is out I will have more time to do things like make our own bread, and I’m looking forward to that. Also not having to go to the grocery store on weekends. Oy.

    We checked out books and movies from the library.

    I’ve been looking at my budget seeing what I can reasonably cut to make more savings progress over the next year, so I’m processing right now and some changes will probably be made next month.

  14. My Aunt was in for 18 days as we watched my Grandma slip away from us. She left quite a bit of food at my house. She left a whole stack of bananas. I put them in the dehydrator. She also left crackers and english muffins and a few other things that I put in the freezer. We have not put the air conditioner is yet so saved that money ( it has been pretty humid here) My Mother-in-law was honored today for her 56 years of playing the organ at her church. They had left over food and sent it home with her and myself. Score, sandwiches and veggies for lunch the next couple days. Fail of the week, my Grandma passed away and we ate out 2 times plus went and had ice cream with 2 of my brothers.

  15. Carla,

    I am sorry to hear of your grandmother’s passing.

    I don’t think going out to eat with family was a fail in any way. You are frugal at other times so that you can spend money when it is needed. Spending time together as a family at this time was needed.

  16. We have had rain every day this week, so I have not had to water at all. Gathered water from the downspouts to fill the jugs for the garden, & continued to save the “warm-up” water. Replaced the garden cloches for a couple of hours during a brief hailstorm to save the pole bean, pepper & tomato plants. Two hours later, the sun was shining & all was well again.

    Dead-headed the white lilac bush in the north side bed. The blooms came out early & frosted, so it looks much better now, without the browned flower heads. Continued to dead-head the iris beds.

    Made sure the garbage can was completely full of roots & weeds before the pickup on Tuesday.

    Picked up more grounds for gardeners at Starbucks. My youngest daughter & I filled 4 large bags with dry grass clippings for her to use as mulch in her community garden. Two are in the shed & she took two with her, along with 3 bags of grounds back to use on her garden, too. She will get the other bags of grass clippings on her next visit, but in the shed, they have stayed dry thru all this rain.

    Hauled more aged manure from the stables for the garden. Continued to work on the red raspberry bed & pulled grass & weeds from the back perimeter. Mixed the manure with grounds to renew the soil in the raised bed for the strawberries.

    Planted carrots, parsnips & spinach.

    Picked up a couple of the small bottles of propane for the camp stove, while they were on sale before the Memorial Day weekend.

    Potted up some peppermint for my oldest daughter.

  17. I ended up planting my garden a bit earlier than planned, as it has been unseasonably warm the last week and that means my old nemesis, the spider mites, are back and invading (seriously, it’s like going to war every year…it’s terrible). Since my garden area is the most protected spot from the spider mites the garden went in stat.

    Anyway, here’s the rest of my week in a nutshell…


  18. I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandma. I lost mine in March, so I understand the feelings you must have. My prayers and sympathies are with you.

    And honestly, at times of death and other major life events, not being frugal during those times…that’s a big reason for being frugal the rest of the time. So you don’t have to feel badly not being so frugal during those times.

    Once again, my sympathies to you and your family.

  19. This is my first time commenting on your blog Brandy. I am checking for new posts every morning – it is my absolutely most favorite blog.
    Thanks to your ‘Frugal Accomplishments’ series, I am finding more ways to save money myself. I am also more aware what I can re-use, up cycle or do without.
    This week is the second week that I came up with my own frugal accomplishments list.
    Thank you for daily inspiration.


  20. I think you just met your $10 a month goal for the year! How did we ever live without our cell phones?

  21. Never heard of Tillamook. Had to look it up. And is it safe to have bats in your attic?

  22. The bats are probably not a good idea, but there’s nothing I can personally do about them. We live in a condo on the ground floor, and the bats are up above the third floor under the eaves. It’s the condo management’s responsibility to take care of such issues, and they are aware of the problem.

    Tillamook cheese is made in Oregon. I’m not sure if it is available throughout the US. It’s great cheese, and I can often find it on sale. The 3.99 price was for a two pound brick.

  23. We can buy Tillamook cheese here. I love the taste, but it’s more expensive here. That price is unheard of for this area. I’m glad you’re able to get local cheese for less-you should be able to, since you’re not having it transported so far!

    Another nice thing about the bats is the number of bugs they eat every night. We love when they fly over our yard, eating the bugs!

  24. I would be super excited because they eat so many bugs. Their poop is also a great fertilizer. I would try to encourage them to nest elsewhere nearby.

  25. That salad looks delicious! Last week:
    -I paid the first installment of the property taxes which means I have no money for anything else, especially since I had three other bills due at the same time. That’s ok, it just means we have to be creative 🙂
    -fail : I tried making a quick bread in my bread machine. It tasted awful and was only half cooked! The bread machine is only 6 months old.
    -I did all the usual things: washed and reused jars and baggies, kept things turned off and unplugged. I managed to hang a few loads of laundry outside, other wise it was to rainy to use the lines. I did use the dryer for a few loads.
    -I found some books for my bestie for her birthday. She loves to read and one ties into her career. It’s a Introduction to Psychology book from 1945. She is a licensed Counselor. I also found her two books by one of her favorite authors. All are used and in good condition.
    -All meals were made from scratch and eaten at home. I took all my food to work with me. I drank coffee, water, and tea.
    -My daughter and I brought in some lilac branches to enjoy in the house. They smell so good!
    -I decided to try the “family cloth” again. I was given several pieces of clothing that were flannel or a thick, soft material. I cut large squares and put into bin in the bathroom. I am hoping this will alleviate some issues my daughter and I are having.
    -I took my cat to a new Vet for a checkup ( he almost died from crystals a month ago) and he was given a clean bill of health! He will stay on prescription food to keep him healthy. I switched brands, though, because the Hills brand is shown to cause a different type of crystal over time. I really like this new Vet.
    -I made a loaf of wheat bread, popsicles, soup using refrigerator finds -it’s actually very good. I will make power balls and muffins when I get home from work tonight. I took some muffin out of the freezer for my lunches. My daughter “doesn’t like” that kind.
    Have a great week everyone!

  26. Hello all! It has been quite rainy here in South Mississippi, but that means not as much watering on the garden.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    1. Used my last teacher appreciation food coupon to get dinner for myself Thursday night. DH was late getting home, DS was at work, and so it was just me.
    2. Went on a family weekend trip with my son and daughter in law. There was some expenses, such as gas and a hotel room for one night, but I booked the hotel rooms online to get the cheapest possible rate, we ate breakfast before leaving, we had a picnic on the way and a picnic on the way back, one consisting of turkey salad sandwiches that I had made from left over turkey I had cooked for Mother’s Day and the other consisting of pulled pork that was was left over from the restaurant we had eaten at the night before. We drove through a national parkway and stopped at the sights, all of them are free, walked next to the Mississippi River that evening, and then drove back through the park to visit other sights we had missed the day before.
    3. We recently had two police officers killed in the line of duty in a nearby city. To honor them, people placed blue light bulbs on their porches or in their windows last week. There was a store giving away blue bulbs so I picked one up and put it in a lamp placed in the window to honor those that lost their lives and to also honor those that risk their lives each and every day to protect us.
    4. Ate at home, except for the free meal.
    5. Did no grocery shopping last week. That saved at least a 100.00.
    6. Had a family come over on Tuesday night. We have had a major leak under a kitchen sink and couldn’t find the source, so one of the men in our church offered to come take a look. In return, I prepared a meal for the entire family. I made “chicken” spaghetti with some of the turkey I had saved from the turkey cooked on Mother’s Day and it was very good. He found the leaks and we got them fixed for very little expense, thank goodness.

    I think that’s all! Have a great week!

  27. Thank you. I am so thankful for the time we had with them. It really did highlight in an unexpected way that being careful with money is so important. Because of all our frugality we could make the best choices for them. I recall many years ago when we were young and dumb and this would have been a financial catastrophe as well as an emotional one. It did give us a measure of peace to know if something could have helped them, that we could have done it and that a peaceful passing was truly in their best interests.

  28. I haven’t responded here in awhile but I always read them. I haven’t been doing as much but since summer is coming, I’m going to make sure I post here again!

    Harvested Lettuce, Green Beans, and many herbs from the garden.
    Cut several roses and brought them inside.
    Our daughter has the lead in her school play. She needed a dress. I used swagbucks to buy her one for “free” and I mended an apron to complete the outfit. Used shoes we already have.
    Ordered for “free” on swagbucks some earring posts so I can make some earrings for friends gifts.
    Made many banana muffins using old bananas.
    Went Strawberry picking. While the berries weren’t a great price, $2.25/lb, they are better than store brand plus we got to do a family outing for this price.
    Got a gift card for the cheesecake factory for Christmas and we finally used it this weekend. We ended up going $2.86 over which was part of the tip.
    Worked on getting things together for our yard sale this coming weekend.
    We refinanced our home. It closed this past week. We will be saving $200/mo plus we get a check back.

    Thanks everyone!

  29. Awesome job with your frugal accomplishments!

    Here are some of mine!
    1) We only had to run he air for a few hours this week (to cool down the house for naps and right before bedtime)
    2) I gave my husband a haircut (and even trimmed my layers to get me through at least the summer before I really need a cut!)
    3) I did a crazy baking session because it was cool our one day. I got all our bread, muffins, pancakes and cookies baked for the month!
    4) I figured out a way to make some makeshift stakes for my tomato plants instead of paying for new ones at the store
    5) I cut flowers from our bushes rather than buying them at the store 🙂

  30. We picked and ate strawberries from our garden. We also had lettuce and spinach from our garden. It was so nice to go outside and pick something to eat. Our blackberries should be ready in a week or two. My bushes are just covered with them.

    I made treats this week instead of buying them. I made a chocolate cake and lemonade from scratch. It turned out well.

    We ate more beans this week. I tried some new recipes. We made the Santa Fe black bean salad recipe from the McDougall website. It was really good. So cheap and so healthy! We are trying your black bean burger recipe tonight with homemade buns. (Our property taxes are due so I have no money to spend this month. Thank goodness for food storage!)

    We watched several shows on you tube. I watched Manor House, Wartime Kitchen and Garden, and a couple of episodes of Edwardian farm. I filed away tips and recipes. There was so much valuable information in those shows!

  31. This has been a week of making repairs/home improvements ourselves. I mended a hole in a pocket and a seam on a comforter, took up the waist in two thrifted pants and the sides of a top, and turned old capris into shorts. I am using Pinterest to get ideas to combine my summer clothing into new to me outfits to stave off boredom.
    We are slowly getting our house ready to sell in two years. We bit the bullet and spent a lot of money to have outdoor stairs and retaining walls rebuilt but while the crew was here we had them remove 9 diseased bushes. We are replacing them ourselves, found the bushes that will work at 30% off and most were planted this weekend by my husband. The rest will go in next weekend and they will all have 2 years to fill in and look nice. We were able to repurpose a large piece of stone to make a step by the front yard faucet. Now I just have to keep on top of all the yard work so that we don’t have to spend any more money on this yard.

  32. Busy week here ! Cut Husbands hair. We have company coming for the Memorial Day so been doing some extra spring cleaning ! Purchased some blinds to put in the guest room and dh installed it. He also finally leveled my stove. It was driving me crazy not being leveled. We have had ALOT of rain. I need to desperately go out and thin my radishes but have to wait for it to dry out more. Been collecting 5-7 eggs a day from our girls, still picking asparagus and the strawberries are going to town ! Been picking around 50 a day. There not real big but today I am going to make most likely just one jar of jam. Continuing to collect things from around the house we just aren’t using and we are going to donate it all. We are empty nesters now so trying to thin out what we have. Happy Monday from Arkansas !!

  33. We took a couple of days away from home…Now it’s back to routine stuff even if my husband is on vacation through the end of May. I’ll be making a trip to the meat market this week but will only stock up on beef. A store near home has whole chickens for $.98/pound which is a good price here. This brand has no carageenan which is an allergen for me. I didn’t buy groceries last week but will need to pick up a handful of items this week. I’ll purchase them in the grocery with the chickens and skip the trip to the next bigger city to save on gas and temptations. Here’s what we did last week to save: http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2015/05/this-week-in-my-home-frugal-on-go.html

  34. In Georgia, if you have bats in your attic area you have to follow a whole slew of wildlife and EPA regs to get them removed. The guano (bat poop) is what is dangerous as it builds up, some sort of gas or disease or something. I used to know all about this stuff via a friend who lived in a historic home that had bats in the attic. It practically took an act of God to get the bats removed (no killing allowed) and the entry point blocked off. Another problem with bats is they are carriers of rabies.

  35. You have a wonderful way with flowers Brandy they always look lovely.
    Last week was a huge week for us. My daughter had her first baby! A lot of emotions!
    How I saved… a lot of cooking, some bargains in the grocery store, not buying clothes… I have just polished shoes, styled clothes from what I have and avoided needing any new winter clothes ( we are in autumn here).
    I replanted a lot of hers, separating some to grow new plants and some as gifts.
    We have rain at the moment which I consider a big help and saving! I said no to a few things. I honestly would rather save the time and money! On my blog Helen posted today on contentment. On Friday I posted baby photos and my family story. http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com.au/ Have a wonderful new week to everyone I hope its productive and we all have good things to report next Monday! xxx

  36. I was wondering why I have been so hungry for peaches lately, then it occurred to me, it’s because that picture of your salad keeps popping up in my mind. Ha! Can’t wait until the stores around here get some fresh ones in. Our trees are just getting their leaves so it will be quite a while before we get any from our trees.

    Frugal accomplishments this week:

    Attended an estate sale and bought 3 dozen canning jars for $4.
    Cut Jamie’s hair.
    Painted the lawn chairs with a mixture of paint we had on hand.
    Finished knitting a sweater for a Christmas present.
    Harvested and ate rhubarb and asparagus
    Transplanted herbs from the garden.
    Started some free Chinese cabbage seeds.
    Hung the laundry outside.
    Started cross stitching a baby gift from materials I had on hand.
    My husband got his cholesterol checked for free at a medical fair.
    Sent away for the parts to repair our car’s gas latch.
    Since the weather has been nice, we’ve used a lot more leg power and a lot less gas.

  37. I’ve very sorry to hear that you have lost another pet so soon after the first. It’s hard enough losing one. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  38. Wow, nice find on the college textbook, Heidi! What a huge saving!!! As for the bee keeping, it is really a unique skill to know how to do. Not many people know how or have the ambition or desire to learn. This, obviously, is greatly to your benefit! Good for you for mastering such an awesome skill.

  39. Hi all- I haven’t posted in awhile but here are my frugal accomplishments for the week:
    Got a $25 amazon gift card from Swagbucks
    Got a $5 Starbucks card from Bing and another one from Shopkick
    Bought coffee concentrate from Trader Joes for my daughter’s iced coffee- this is significantly less than stopping at Starbucks daily
    Rented 3 movies at Hastings and returned them in time to get the credit applied to our account for next time
    Watched shows on Hulu and Netflix- we are soooo close to cutting the cable cord but my DH who is a big television watcher seems to be afraid to do so…I keep telling him we can always go back if we hate it- our cable provider upgraded to digital so now any televisions in our house that aren’t attached to a box (they allow us 2 and additional are $5 per month each) don’t have service…..I am totally ready to cut the cable and get an antennae or roku or firestick from Amazon- our current cable bill with internet and house phone is almost $200 per month-eeeek!
    Went out to breakfast for Mother’s Day to a restaurant that gave my Mom, my motherinlaw, and me $10 coupons for a future trip
    I am watching what I eat and logging it into a free app on my smartphone- it is helping me to lose weight and since I am planning my meals better, I haven’t been tempted to eat fast food lunches because I take my lunch with me- side note- I have been surprised at how hard it is to consume enough potassium so I am actively working to add more potassium rich foods into my plan
    My daughter and I went out for slices of pizza on Friday which I planned for- earlier in the week she begged for dinner out since my husband was working a night shift (I have allowed a very bad habit where she and I go out to dinner when he is working)- I told her if we did that we wouldn’t go out for Friday night pizza- so she chose the Friday night pizza over the earlier in the week dinner out- it definitely saved me money
    That is all I can think of- hope everyone has a great week!

  40. Like a few others have already stated, I so look forward to reading your blog every day. Thank you for providing such a wonderful place of support and frugal encouragement.

    Here are my frugal accomplishments this week:
    *Took my lunch to work all week, with the exception of Friday when I participated in a potluck lunch. I took a macaroni and cheese casserole, made with pasta and powdered milk from the pantry and cheese from my freezer (bought when on sale). The potluck lunch was delicious with lots of great meal choices and plenty of desserts!

    *I have been enjoyed seeing the adorable lambs in the fields on my way to work each day for the past few weeks. We also found a nest of raccoons while cleaning on of the buildings a couple weeks ago. The baby coons were so cute!…Enjoying nature for free!:)

    *It was my daughter’s 12th birthday on Saturday. We had already given my daughter her birthday gift (a Guinea Pig), and Grandma took us to a production of “Cats” as her gift (she gave her some money in her card as well). Her request for the day was to go shopping with her Nana. My daughter had quite a bit of money from Christmas, birthday and bowling prizes, so she took her own money to spend. She ended up spending the afternoon at Nana’s house. In the evening, we all went out to a restaurant for her birthday meal. Afterwards Grandma and I took her to watch the free Victoria Day fireworks display. We made a pan of brownies (from a mix in our pantry, bought on sale for $0.99 a while ago) for her birthday cake. Since my daughter was given a free dessert at the restaurant (birthday freebie) we saved it for the next day. Nothing like extending a birthday celebration!

    *While my daughter enjoyed time with Nana, I took the opportunity to do my own shopping. I hit two different thrift stores. At the first one, I bought 2 shirts (I had a 15% off coupon for these), a pair of jeans and several canning jars for just under $20. At the second store I bought 2 more shirts and a pair of jean shorts for just under $20. Some of the shirts are for my daughter, the rest are for myself as most of my clothes are just too big now (especially my pants).

    *This is not my week for groceries, but we needed a few items (fresh fruit for lunches, lettuce and milk), so I went to Giant Tiger (a Canadian chain which offers cheap priced items). I bought a new pair of shorts for $10 and a package of leaf lettuce for $0.15 along with my grocery items. I received $0.12 off my purchase for bringing my own bags ($0.03 off/bag used). Every little bit helps!

    *Despite having one night of frost this past week, my garden seems to be coming along nicely so far. We covered anything we thought might be in danger to protect the young sprouts from the frost. I planted green bush beans, waxed beans, zucchini, leaf lettuce, dill, catnip and lavender in containers this weekend now that the weather is warm again. The spinach, peas, carrots and beets are all sprouted in the garden beds. The pepper and tomato seedling are growing nicely as well. Looking forward to fresh garden produce!

    *Went to auction this week and bought some beautiful old enamelware pieces, including a double boiler pot set, a stock pot with lid, two different basins, and a pie plate. I love enamelware…its so durable, lightweight and just outright pretty! I also scored a huge deal and bought a set of Royal Dalton dishes for only $2.50! Our everyday dishes were getting very chipped and broken. The “new to us” dishes are very good quality and should stand up nicely to everyday use and abuse.

    *Was forward thinking, and purposely watched to fill my gas tank as the gas dipped to its lowest price this week. I then filled up at Costco where the gas is always $0.02 cheaper than the lowest price in town. It was perfectly timed as the price went way up the next day in anticipation of the long weekend. Yeah for perfect timing!:D

    *Working hard at cooking meals at home as much as possible, even if there are some “convenience” foods that are quick to make. It’s still cheaper than going out to eat. Meals this week included hamburger helper (bought on sale for $1 as an easy pantry meal), breaded stuffed chicken breasts with rice and veg, and BBQ hamburgers/hotdogs with salad. (I post this because I love reading some of the meal items that others make. Sometimes it inspires a new meal idea to try, like Brandy’s delicious peach salad.)

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week! Thank you for all your comments which inspire me constantly!

  41. In north Georgia we call it a “frog choker”…either way it always makes me laugh! Thanks for the great laugh!

  42. I was thinking the same thing about the bats in the attic, I’m pretty sure they are not safe to live in the same environment. I’ll have to ask my friend who is a “caver” and knows all about bats.

  43. I too am so sorry to hear of the loss of not one but two precious pets. I know how heartbreaking it is and all the money invested and not be able to help them at the end of it. Hugs.

  44. Hi Brandy!
    I think we have been in a similar weather belt as you…we had rain for two days and the temps are unheard of for this time of year in Phoenix. I’m not complaining, of course, it has been a great blessing not to have to run the A/C all day everyday. I love having the doors open and getting fresh air in the house. Not quite as happy about the flies that make their way in, but it’s a trade off I guess.
    In terms of frugal accomplishments, of which keeping the A/C off is one, I also managed not to have to go to the store for too many things this past week. This week is the last week of my grocery budget for the month and I don’t anticipate having to buy anything except maybe milk (I go in a four-week cycle commensurate with my husband’s pay days). Last week we only had to pick up milk and some fresh produce that was on a good sale. I am over-budget by about $30 which I attribute to buying some snacks for my daughter’s class trip. I don’t normally buy convenience foods like crackers or granola bars, but I wanted her to have some snacks available to her so she didn’t have to spend her own money on snacks while she was away (her main meals were covered). I also went to the extra expense of buying gluten-free snacks for her because one of the girls she was sharing a room with is on a gluten-free diet and I didn’t want any problems with allergies, etc. Next month’s grocery budget is going to be slightly higher to take advantage of some sales that Sam’s is having. We need printer cartridges and they are offering $20 off when you buy two. Of course, they come in packs of two which, in my book moves it from a “purchase” to an “investment”, ha! It would be around $150 I think if not for the $20 discount. 🙁 I will also be stocking up on Craisins. I think it’s $2 off which makes them a really great price. There are a few other things in their catalog that I need to research a little more to see if they will be worth purchasing, but those are the two main things I know I need to make room for in the budget.
    Other frugal accomplishments include not driving much last week. Unfortunately it was mainly due to illness. We car pool with another family and she was gracious enough to bring my one well child to and from school all last week. I always feel badly when I don’t participate in our car pool, but she is so understanding and wouldn’t have it any other way. We are so blessed to have her in our lives!
    Purchased a couple of books with store credit so paid nothing out of pocket. One is called “A Thomas Jefferson Education” by Oliver Van de Mille which I highly recommend to any homeschoolers out there if you haven’t read it already. I read it in a day! I was so impressed and more motivated about using a classical curriculum for my daughter in high school. It also helped me to feel a little more relaxed about my son’s education since we will most likely be bringing him home too due to the migraines. My son is a pretty good reader, but not an avid reader. The book addresses that and that it’s important not to draw too much attention to it. I just want to be able to keep putting good books in front of him and hope that something will grab him. We mainly check books out of the library so it’s a great way to “test drive” different authors and find one he likes.
    We didn’t eat out at all last week…which really doesn’t feel like an accomplishment since we rarely eat out anyway, but thought I’d share that. Although, to add to that, I have to share one extremely frugal dinner I made the other night! I had bought whole chickens for $1.99 each at the beginning of the month and found a rotisserie-style recipe for them which was a big hit with my family. I put the chicken in a roasting pan and the rub was just some basic herbs and Kosher salt that I had on hand. I stuffed the chicken with lemons and rosemary sprigs (free), placed chunks of potato and carrots around it (also free; carrots from the garden and potatoes from our neighbors since they were going out of town). The entire meal was only the cost of the chicken, $1.99! So, we ate for forty cents each! I thought of you Brandy when we figured that out. I realize it wasn’t forty cents for the day, but for one meal, I thought that was pretty good. Now that I think about it, it probably wasn’t much more than forty cents for the whole day, but I didn’t figure it out. Anyway, I was pretty excited about that! 😀
    Our neighbor helped my husband trim our shrubs as a return favor for watching their dogs while they were out of town. I thought that was so nice! My husband works hard to keep our yard looking nice so I was happy he had someone to help him out with it.
    Not necessarily a frugal accomplishment, but in line with my weekly goals, I stayed current on my daily housework chores, yay! I try to do one major room of the house each day so it’s not so overwhelming with the things that need to get done everyday (like the laundry, dishes, cooking, vacuuming, etc.). In fact, I need to get started on those so I guess I’d best close for now…today is cleaning the wood floors which I have to do by hand because my steam mop is not working right at the moment. 🙁
    I hope everyone has a very blessed week and I look forward to reading more frugal accomplishments.
    God Bless!

  45. What do you use the Starbucks grounds for? I’ve heard they are good for roses but are they good for tomatoes? I go to a Krogers that has a starbucks inside about 3 or 4 times a week ( our company bank is inside the Krogers too where I make daily deposits). So they have the grounds but just wasn’t sure if they would be good for what I have? I also have habaneros planted, roses of course and stargazer lillies. And fruit trees. Thanks.

  46. ~DH started trimming trees in our backyard since he was off on Monday and Tuesday after working all weekend on a busy on-call weekend. He ended up dropping a few trees without killing himself or damaging our above ground pool. He wanted to get rid of some of the branches that hang over the pool and keep the water far to cold for my liking! It turns out one of the trees was rotting inside so it’s good we got it down. Now we have some more firewood to add to next winter’s stores. There are still lots of branches in big piles in the back yard that we are slowly burning off in the fire bowl and hopefully the pool water will be warmer.

    ~Took son to his Ukrainian Dance practice and only a few people showed up so not enough to practice. Leader decided to take us all out to Pizza Hut and treat us. Free dinner and got to bring home almost a whole extra pizza.

    ~DS keeps pushing down on the ends of the computer chair arms when he is standing up. They are a foamy material that covers metal and over time it has caused the last inch or so of both of the arms to tear and for the foam to start to become separated exposing the metal. We bought this chair a few years ago at our church yard sale for $5-10 and it has by now seen better days but I would like to keep using it until we can find a suitable and frugal substitute. SO I pulled out my E6000 adhesive and glued the split on both arms and then held it in place with several rubber bands to dry. I need to reglue a small spot on one arm but it works for now and looks much better.

    ~Bought potato rolls when I went to the $ store for newspapers on Saturday morning. They are from a regional bakery and my boys love them and paying a dollar compared to $3.49 is a big plus. My DH works an unusual schedule as does my DS#1, between school and working evenings, so they appreciate being able to make a quick meal with pulled pork or chicken sandwich.

    ~The pollen is finally starting to let up so planning to hang out laundry this week.

  47. Hi everyone,
    We live in NY state where we have experienced a catastrophic die-off of bats due to a fungal infection and the consequences are…BUGS!!! I am always thrilled to see them swooping in my yard at sunset and after; a rare treat now! I think they are living under my eaves. I believe the little brown bat is a protected species now, but I’m not sure.

  48. I haven’t had the a/c on at all this month. I did have to have the heat on 2 nights. I live in north Texas and this is unheard of for us.
    We have had flash flooding where I live and I fear or my tomatoes and fruit trees. Hopefully they will survive. *smile* We have lots…I mean LOTS of fruit on the trees if they make it to the end.
    We cut the grandbabies hair. I, also, cut my own hair.
    I got some free books on Amazon.com.
    A good friend brought hot tea to share as we visited one morning.
    I was given about 10 yards of fabric.
    I sew for a living and I just bought a vintage Singer Featherweight 2 weeks ago. It was $150.00, but they often are in the $450.00 area. The machine needed to be serviced and a friend showed me how to service it myself. She brought all of her own things to clean, oil & lube the machine. This act of kindness will save me who knows how much money since I will be able to service most of my vintage machines now.
    Along that same line both of my youngest grands are learning to sew. I teach them a little every summer. They are crazy when using my sewing machines. Since I use my machines to make money I decided to get them machines of their own this year. Jake (husband) found an Elna Supermatic at a garage sale for Zayne (he is 7). They were asking $60.00 for it. I told him no…I wouldn’t pay that for it. So he went back and looked at it closer to make sure it worked, had a bobbin and a bobbin case the usual stuff. He talked her down to $15.00 because it didn’t work. He brought it back to the sewing club and my friend was looking at it and noticed the needle was broken. She moved a lever and the machine works like a dream. Gaby is 10 and she also chose a vintage machine from my group of machines. It had been free to me. So…we have 2 machines to clean, oil & lube for the summer sewing lessons.
    My grandson found a $20.00 bill in the parking lot at the gas station. No one was there and the manager told him “finders keepers”. He put 2 dollars in his savings and has the rest to spend..
    We are making less food and eating many left overs when we still cook too much. There is little waste since what is left goes to the chickens or pets as a treat.
    Oh…I cooked a turkey that we got on sale after Christmas. We have eaten well this week.
    I can’t think of more.
    As always, Brandy, you inspire me to do more and do better for the family.
    Thank you.

  49. I am eating more russet and sweet potatoes and adding spinach to my scrambles but I can tell from the numbers on the food diary and the leg cramp that woke me up Saturday morning that I still need more- I think the last time I had a leg cramp wake me up I was pregnant with my now 29 year old son-not fun! I recently went on blood pressure medicine which is part of what is spurring me to lose weight and hopefully get off the medication but as I research potassium, I think the need for more potassium in my diet might be part of the reason for my high blood pressure. I have been using this food diary for 3 weeks and the change in my mindset to eat what my body needs versus what my mind thinks it wants has been interesting but definitely needed. It has also made me so much more aware of what food we need to have on hand and how much to buy to meet our nutritional needs. I have been a huge food waster so this is a good evolution for me.

  50. AnnaInOhio, I have found very few plants that do not love them. I sprinkle them around the grapevines, roses & blueberries, all of the fruit trees, the currants, strawberries, red raspberries (which LOVE them), the blackberries & gooseberries. The ornamental bulbs (tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinths) like them, & so do the lilacs, the poppies, the mint patch & the rhubarb. I think one of the reasons all my plants like them is because we have overwhelmingly alkaline soil here, & although most of the acidity flows thru with the coffee, a little remains. The grounds are neutral to slightly acidic & are a 2,3,6 fertilizer, so very mild – not something that will burn your plants. I mix them with aged (over 5 year old) horse manure to use as my planting/potting mix, & I also use them in the vegetable garden around the plants. They have a mild repellant effect on ants as well, which I find helpful, supposedly due to the residual caffeine. The fact that they are free is a significant plus as well.

  51. Peach pie and smoothies sound terrific! I made your fudge pops this week…i just omitted the eggs and butter they were so good!

  52. My very sorry to hear of the passing of your Grandma. All of my Grandparents have passed away. There are many questions I wish I could ask them, now that I’m older. It is very sad to loose those connections to your families past. My deepest sympathies, Carla.

  53. I’m glad you found a vet you like, Mandy. It makes all the difference in the world when your pet is sick and you need to deal with the vet on a very personal level.

  54. Marcia, I so identify with learning to cook for two. I was taught to cook for a family of five and I kept that up for years…THen I had t amp it up to feed 7 and a bevy of guests. It took a lot of thought training to cut back to enough to serve four. Now I find I easily divide recipes in half in my head and sometimes if I know it will freeze well I prepare a full recipe then put half aside immediately for a future convenience meal. I did a bunch of cooking ahead last week then talked to my daughter whose baby is due any time now and she admitted she had nothing ahead for the beginning weeks of being home with baby. I counted up ten entrees in my freezer and set them aside for her. Almost wiped out my stash but she’ll have one less thing to do, perhaps.

  55. I went into the grocery this afternoon and looked in vain for peaches. I shouldn’t be surprised. I see tiny red peaches on the trees but here in Georgia it’s been cooler a start of May which likely has pushed the start of the season back a bit. Funny while I was walking down the produce aisle a mother came in with her daughter. As they walked down the fruit counter the daughter said “Oh! NO peaches!” in a very disappointed tone, lol. I felt just like she sounded!

  56. Strawberries and bananas are also very rich in potassium. My Grandfather had kidney failure and had a list of potassium rich food he was not allowed to eat. If you do a google search, I’m sure you will find such a list to give you lots of ideas of what to add to your diet.

  57. At least you have two levels between you and the bats. I live in Georgia and the only time I have ever seen any is just at nightfall. They will come out (not sure from where) and catch bugs and they will also dive bomb pools for water.

  58. Last week was good for frugal accomplishments.

    – Made bread and dinner rolls 2x
    – Made strawberry jam with sale berries
    – Planted 2 varieties each of lettuce, kale, mache, and radishes
    – Daughter was given a new pageant competition gown from her sponsor. Also free alterations.
    – Found the other 2 dresses (new with tags) she needed for competition (interview and casual wear) for 65% off. Spent very far UNDER budget! Yay!
    – Found several other things she needs for the competition and for the Pioneer Trek at Goodwill during their 50% off everything Saturday.
    – Used a $10 off coupon on a meal during our trip.
    – Read a free book on Kindle.
    – Downloaded 5 free patterns on Craftsy.
    – Watched my favorite show for free on pbs.org

  59. Last week we made it through the first full week of no childcare. I had to have blood drawn four days and two of them the four year old was in tow- if she was good while hanging out in the hospital she got to have a donut at Dunkin Donuts. She got to have donuts twice and I view it as a cheap way to get cooperation at 8am it helped that I used the last of a gift card to pay for most of it. The doctor appointment went well, we are dropping some meds and I don’t have to see her for six months which is great news for our budget. I made some money at the consignment store and picked up a free dress for the six year old for next year. I batched my errands as much as possible to save gas and wear/tear on the car, I goofed on my route and missed something but it could wait so it did. We have been careful with lights and electricity especially since my husband put in the air conditioners since I do not do well in heat and humidity. Right after he installed them the temperature went from 80/90s to 60/70s so we haven’t used them much. We were very good and did not eat out at all, instead we had home assembled pizza- it was a frozen premade crust but still way cheaper and faster than takeout. I cashed in Recyclebank points for a reusable sandwich wrap and two buy one get one vouchers to Plimouth Plantation for the summer. The big thing we did was go to the Aquarium on Sunday I had a library pass which made it $10 per person for four people and I found discounted parking for $15. My husband was free though his job so it was $55 for our family which is a very good deal. We try to go every 12-18 months so it will be a while. We have been making up for lost time now that I can do outings again and my husband and I are making a list of what we want to do and prioritizing it since money is improving but still limited. It helps that the free stuff in the summer is starting to be published and we can plan around free days/activities and library passes. In the past six weeks we have done two zoos, the aquarium and an amusement park for $100. We can’t keep that up but we agreed that if my health goes off a cliff we will just do everything while I can manage it. There is a children museum nearby that is free every Friday evening during the summer if you bring a donation for the food bank so we are waiting to go there. My mothers day present is a day at the Harbor Islands and I will get a library pass for that too which makes it 50% less. Our next outing is on Bank of America- we will go to Museum of Fine Arts for free on the first full weekend of June since we have their debit cards.

  60. Happy Monday, friends. I just love Mondays. It always feels like a fresh start – another week to get things done and a whole week of potential. Brandy, as always, your flowers look amazing, as does that peach salad. Thank you to those who offered advice from last week re: my experience with the Financial Peace University classes. I really appreciated the good thoughts and suggestions!

    Last week’s frugal wins:
    My mom was in town for the week so we spent 2 days thrifting and shopping. She insisted on stocking my pantry and that was much appreciated. I tend to keep it stocked but have been eating it down the last couple of months so it was a blessing to restock. Since she has a Sam’s card and I don’t, I bought some things that I needed while she was here. I try to go to Sam’s when I visit her and my father too, to take advantage of things I can use – like bulk spices, dairy, meat, toilet paper, etc.

    Bought a rotisserie chicken at Sam’s which was used for dinner for the 3 of us for 2 nights, then I boiled the carcass and was able to pull off an additional 3 cups of meat, which I used when I made homemade alfredo sauce and pasta. That ended up being enough pasta for 9 generous portions. And stock. Lots of stock. Not bad for a $4.98 chicken.

    I wanted to do some curb appeal here at the farmhouse we are renting. Since we are talking with the owners about potentially buying this place, and since we have a 2 year lease, we wanted to do stuff around here that would be longer term than just some annuals in pots. We have a horse shed beside the house that has been used for building material storage for nearly a decade but that the elk also like to walk into and, well, fertilize (LOL) so we had free soil/manure at our disposal. Plus, whatever building supplies we could recover from in the shed.

    Some of the original windows from our 1904 house were in that shed, so we pulled one out, I printed out house numbers and used them as stencils to paint our house numbers on the glass. Found some 4×4 posts lying around to attach the window to, used $1 worth of lumber to build a window box and planted $1 worth of flowers. Total cost for new sign by road that looks awesome: $2 and a couple hours of labor.

    Put in a couple of small flower beds near the front steps. Our foundation is rock, so we dug up tons of rocks in the yard and pasture to use as a border for the beds. Used the free soil from the horse shed to fill in and then planted $30 worth of perennials. Transplanted some irises growing around the property into the beds. Couple of hours of labor and the front of the house looks 100 times better.
    Bought (2) dining room chairs from Habitat that had good bones but hideous upholstery but for $5/ea it was a great buy. Used fabric from my stash and mom and I had those recovered in under 10 minutes.

    Otherwise, continued to do the frugal dailies: hung laundry to dry when I could, cooked/baked at home, stayed home as much as possible.

    Fail for the week: I had a friend in town for one night and I treated her to lunch the next day. I should’ve planned better and had lunch before the two of us did some sightseeing but it kind of caught me off guard.

  61. Everyone is talking about the bats and I’m over here thinking ‘she left IKEA empty handed…WOW!’ 😀

  62. Great find on the cabinets you got from the curb and being able to use them in your craft room! I got quite a few things for my children when they got their apartments by “curb shopping” and sprucing them up.

  63. Janell,
    I am using My Fitness Pal (it says it is powered by Under Armour)- I use the free version- they did recently add a premium version but the free one does everything that I want it to do- I have used it for 3 weeks now and really like it.

  64. Dear Miss Brandy and readers,

    I have been working two jobs to catch up on bills for the last 2-3 months. In between asthma and working so much, my energy has been waning. The end of the school year has come. I will be working from home most of the summer. I will have to go in to the office on occasion to check up on projects. My family and I went out of town for Mother’s Day. My niece had her college graduation on Mother’s Day which was sort of interesting. After the ceremony we sat down and had a wonderful meal with about 30 of us. Those are the cherished moments.

    I am going to have to learn how to write my frugal accomplishments all over again. Here it goes, my frugal accomplishments are:

    Finding pennies when I go on walks (I remember a reader sharing that bit of frugality)
    Making 2 pairs of walking shorts out of old yoga pants
    Going to a free conference (job related) and getting breakfast and lunch plus leftover sandwiches for kids for dinner 2 nights in a row
    Going to another free conference and getting 2 free nice T-shirts plus a few other goodies (vender items)
    Got 6 dozen eggs for $1/dozen
    Got 10 T-shirts for $5 (2 for PJ tops, 2 long-sleeve for fall/winter, 3 for walking or house chores, 3 fitted for causal/fun outings)
    Green pepper plant has 5 peppers
    Jalapeno pepper plant has dozens of peppers
    Cuttings from herb garden, sage, basil, lavender, oregano, mint (2 kinds)
    Flowers for Mother’s Day from kids
    Paid off $1500 in bills from my part-time job wages
    Have two more part-time jobs

    We are having cool weather here and gossip has it that cool weather is in many parts of the country. 🙂


  65. Marivene, where I live (Pacific NW) the soil is already pretty acidic. I have used coffee grounds on acid-loving plants, but do you think adding them to the soil for other plants would be too much of a good thing?

  66. Thank you again for all the wonderful ideas everyone!

    My husband and I share one vehicle so I rode my bike to work twice, usually he prefers to ride but depending on my shifts he needs the truck to pick our son up from daycare. Since I had to work the whole long weekend my husband took our son camping, his sister was camping only 30 minutes away with her kids so he joined them on their site for one night so it didn’t cost anything.

    I did take my mom out for mother’s day but we went on Tuesday to a great Thai place that gives you a large amount for very little so it didn’t cost very much and I had great leftovers to take home. She also gave me a potted coriander plant because her seeds did really well so she had too many.

    My biggest struggle is always our grocery bill, with working shift work and wanting to make sure my husband doesn’t keep getting takeout I find I’m buying a lot every week. I need to spend some time looking at what I already have and planning better.

  67. Have we been spelling your name incorrectly on your site? Is it with a “Y” or an “I”?

  68. I am going to call a recent life change a deferred frugal accomplishment. This Spring I joined a medically supervised weight loss program. The team is fabulous and has taught me how to very simply eat without stressing or making too many decisions. I am also Type II diabetic. Since starting 8 weeks ago, I have lost 21 pounds and all my blood sugar readings are normal (as in – the values non-diabetics get). I haven’t struggled nor do I consider this a diet. The way I see this, I am preventing some pretty hefty medical bills down the road by finally finding a way to be healthy.

    I am in a major purge again. I had just plain accumulated too much stuff over the years. With my weight loss, I had the perfect excuse to downsize my wardrobe again. I have managed now to empty an entire dresser in my tiny bedroom. Some of the better clothing I needed to purge was sent to an online consignment shop called ThredUp.com. You register, order a free bag and fill it. Send it to them, and they evaluate the goods. If they will list the item, they pay you outright. If not, they donate to charity. Either way it works. I was just notified that they received my bag and will notify me on June 5.

    I found another consignment shop (a franchised chain called clothes mentor) that purchases items outright. They also are a very well organized store with reasonable prices. This will be my go to as I need to purchase new clothing sizes.

    I ate all meals at home. My meals are simpler, lots of salads and veggies. A wonderful local grocery chain offers a service to grill your meat and fish purchases for free. I purchased some on sale hamburgers, store made chicken sausages and chicken breasts, had them all grilled and was able to eat for three days without any cooking. I also saved on electricity costs by doing so. Theoretically, I could have them grill more items for the freezer to cover my whole week. I have been experimenting with what works and holds up well, and following the store’s sale patterns too.

    I support some Kickstarter campaigns, and recently received one of the items I sponsored – a new, simple method for teaching cursive handwriting. Brandy, I have two sets of materials and don’t need one. Please let me know if you’d like one of them for your kids. The second set is going to be a gift for my niece, who is a 2nd grade teacher and mom.

    That’s my week. Always a pleasure to read about all of yours!

  69. Hi Beth- depending what blood pressure medication you are on, it may actually be causing low potassium. Some of the most common BP meds cause a loss of potassium (certain diuretics or “water pills”), which might be contributing to your struggle with leg cramps. Some, such as ACE-inhibitors and AARBS can actually cause you to retain too much potassium, which can be dangerous if you also supplement too much. If you aren’t sure which one you are on, your pharmacist or doctor can tell you. (Many BP meds don’t affect potassium at all, though, so it might not even be an issue.)

    Brandy, I have been a long time reader, but have never commented. I love reading your blog and all the comments. You have founded a great community of people helping each other!

  70. I am a first time poster but a long time reader. Thanks for your blog Brandy!

    It was a long weekend here in sunny British Columbia and a spendy one at that. The purchases were planned but it still hurts to see all that money going out.

    I did accomplish a few frugal things. Several loads of laundry were hung out on my clothes horse to take advantage of the sunshine. I added some languishing celery and bell peppers to my dehydrator. Our neighbour was called out of town on family business and gave us food from her fridge that would not last until her return. I took care of her cats and garden while she was away and she thanked me with a large bottle of home harvested maple syrup from family friends she visited while she was back east. Yummm.

    Hope you all have an enjoyable weekend!

  71. Hi Mariana!

    I love your blog – good for you starting a ‘city’ frugal blog. Two things I especially liked – your bucket list and your ‘why I am not doing facebook’ post. I was one of those No Never for FB and then became sucked in. My SO pointed out that I can get literally lost in it and with little to nothing to show for it. Your 10 reasons were spot on. I’ve decided to not go on for two weeks and see what happens. I need to let some friends know that I won’t be on it as it really has made connecting with them easier. I do enjoy some ‘celebrity’ postings but not sure I really get as much out it as I think I do. Like you I have books galore to read, new skills to learn and life to be lived. Thanks for the inspiration. And welcome!

  72. So glad you are feeling better. It is great that you are using this time for your family experiences. My mother had chronic illness (came on after I had left home but four younger sibs still at home) and they really remember and appreciate what they did together while she was feeling good. Perhaps the memories are sweeter as they knew how precious they are.

  73. NOAA recently said that Colorado may be in for an El Nino spring/summer – a lot more moisture. We are happy with the rain but…

    We planted the garden and used mostly seeds this year other than 30 tomato plants. I am pretty sure we have lost the seeds as we have had pouring, torrential, lingering, massive rain (frog guzzler? gully washer?). The county hasn’t done a good job of fixing the county road ditches from the flooding two years ago and this year we’ve twiced lost one of our entrances. We also took out a flower bed that didn’t do well and put in seed (now twice) that flooded out. We’re contemplating what to do with the garden. We’d put in a lot of green beans, squash and cucumber seeds that I am pretty sure aren’t there now. I may look for some plants and put in ‘just in case’.

    Went to KingSoopers this weekend and found Ball canning lids/rings in their ‘patriotic’ blue. Normally $4.50 for 6 (crazy) marked down to $1.49. I bought eight boxes. I’ll use those for the canned stuff I plan to use as gifts. Most ate out of the pantry and freezer. Had a long discussion with SO and the pattern of eating our big meal in the evening just wasn’t working for us for a number of reasons. Decided to have our main meal at noon time so we both have a break during the day and eat something lighter such as sandwiches and salads at night. It really has helped me feel more in control in that I can have the kitchen cleaned up and not be facing cooking and cleaning up the kitchen at the end of the day.

    We are going to Denver for an event next week and had planned on staying over. Decided that we’d have an early dinner and since it should end around 9 drive home instead. That will save a lot in a hotel room.

    Although I love to cook I really don’t care for baking. I also don’t have much of a sweet tooth (allergic to chocolate and nuts so guess over the years I lost my sweet tooth). SO does like sweet stuff so it is usually a matter of buying something. Since today is rainy and actually kind of cold I decided to go into my pantry to see what mixes I have. I try to keep a few on hand for emergency desserts. I made a lemon cake mix I’d bought for a dollar (added poppy seeds I had on hand) and a blueberry muffin mix also bought for a dollar. Warmed up the living area, have sweet stuff on hand and to freezer win/win! Convinced SO that we didn’t need to turn on the heat – just put on heavier socks, long sleeve shirts and sweats instead of shorts!

  74. I did some more grocery shopping. Found chicken thighs and legs for .99 a lb. So I stocked up. We ate at home every night. Took our mom out for a belated Mother’s day lunch. My sister and I shared the bill, and my daughter left the tip. I made wine cork bracelets for all three of them. Went to the eye doctor and got new glasses. We have new insurance, the exam was $10.00, the glasses were $130.00, and I am getting a $20.00 rebate on that! So excited because the insurance we had before was not nearly this good. For entertainment we watch Netflix, and I got three library books. That is all I can think of.

  75. Our weather was neither warm nor cold. We did not have to have the heat on. We do not have air conditioning, so our inexpensive utility months are coming up. May and June are always the cheapest, as no heat and not even the fans. It was gorgeous last week, and Saturday afternoon we got rain, which we need desperately. Had little snow this winter, so every drop of water is precious.

    1. Was able to get Tillamook cheese for $3.99 for 2 pounds. This is our favorite cheese. There was a limit of one, but I drive by the store each day on my way to and from work.
    2. Brought breakfast and lunch to work each day.
    3. Got 25¢ off each gallon of gas with reward points.
    4. We grow a huge garden. Also our soil is very rocky. We he it commercially rototilled each year. When we did it ourselves, it not only beat up my DH, but we would wear out a rototiller in 3 years. This was done on Saturday morning, right before the rains.
    5. Before the rototilling, I dug up some lettuce starts that had spouted in the garden. Transplanted them into one of the raised beds. (We have 10 raised beds plus a standard garden) We live on about 2 acres of heaven near the Idaho border.
    6. Planted carrots in one of the raised beds. Due to the rocks, root crops do better in raised beds. Otherwise, we get very interesting looking carrots.
    7. Made popcorn for snacks twice.
    8. Made 6 pounds of ground beef into meatballs for spaghetti. Makes it so I only have to use the oven once, and I have meatballs for roughly 15 meals.
    9. Washed my kitchen windows with a mix of dish detergent, white vinegar and water. They were so bad from the winter. They are wonderful now to have the blinds open.

    Hope to get the rest of the garden in this week. We can finally count on not having another frost this spring.

  76. Saturday went to the new meijer in town and they were giving away free hot dog, potato chips, potato salad and flavored water.
    Sunday went for walk for life for our local pregancey center. after the walk had live christian music, free hot dog, chips, apple slices, cookie and water. Also, got a free t- shirt
    Found eggs 99 cent a dozen and butter 1.88 (cheapest I seen it)
    saturday we had town clean up ( get rid of stuff that you know longer want or junk for free)
    ate from the pantry and freezer

  77. So glad to hear from you Anna! I was just wondering how you and the kiddos were doing? I hope College Girl is doing well? Coming home soon? Don’t make yourself ill by working to hard. You are a valued member of this “family” and I’d like you to stay healthy!

    Hugs, Linda Higgy

  78. Your peaches look beautiful and yummy! I’ve tried growing them here in the Pacific Northwest without much luck although a friend just told me about a hardy variety.
    This was a varied week. I made a big pot of chicken vegetable soup from stock I had previously frozen and all sorts of bits of leftover stuff that I found when I cleaned the fridg. It was enough for three meals. I made some wonderful finds on new shoes. My feet are pretty fussy about which shoes feel good. By combining a sale with a dividend coupon, I was able to save almost $50.00 on a new pair of Dansko dress shoes. I also found a new pair of BORN shoes and a slightly used pair of short leather boots that were super comfy for only $5.00 a pair at a thrift store. I should be set for awhile.
    Since we are in the middle of a downsizing move from our house in the country to an apartment in town, I had many items to give away. My sister is a single mom with some health issues. I was very happy to be able to give her plants, furniture,pillows, rugs, and food items from the cupboard.
    The difficult part of this week is that my 87 year old mother-in-law had a massive stroke about six days ago. She is in a really wonderful hospice that is a two hour drive from here. We love her greatly and have made the trip up to be with her about three times this week. I packed snacks and water but we did have to go out for a few lunches due to the time element. We will visit her again tomorrow and, maybe , I will get it together enough to pack a bit more. We found a great farmer’s market in that city and will probably stop there again after our visit.

  79. I found mangoes at 69 cents each – bought 7 and made 9 half pints of mango butter (Just used the Ball Blue book mango jam recipe and pureed prior to canning). 5 will be gifts.

    At the last minute I decided to make a baby quilt for our niece who will be introduced/visiting later this month- everything was materials I already had on hand.

    A friend brought me flowers from her garden – flowers I adore but don’t grow – they are very beautiful.

    We hosted a small get together – since everyone of our friends has some food dislike, we told them we were just providing grilled chicken wings, they could bring whatever they wanted. Wings were on sale, and the small plates brought were delicious.

    Another customer gave our office bags of their egg noodles. We each got one.

    Received a free whoopie pie from a vendor for my birthday. Gave that to my husband. 🙂

    Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  80. I haven’t had a whoopee pie in several years but now that you’ve mentioned them I can’t stop thinking about them! How nice of you to give it to your husband!:) Hope you had a Happy Birthday!

  81. Your salad looks great! Our peaches are coming along nicely so I will make sure we try it out when they are ready, usually in July here. This is the 3rd year we’ve had the tree. It was a 2 year old tree when we got it and we did not harvest peaches the first year. We had a good crop last year but it was attacked by Oriental Fruit Moths. This year I’m spraying for insects so hopefully we will have success.

    To save money this week I:

    -planted green beans, yellow wax beans and cilantro

    -harvested lettuce, radishes and chives for salads

    -made a homemade vinegarette dressing for the salads

    -cooked a crock pot full of pinto beans. Used them for tacos for 2 meals, 1 lunch meal of beans and rice and then put 3 pint sized bags in the freezer

    -DH and I planned to go to a movie on Sunday, something we never do. Both of us were not feeling the greatest so we decided to stay home and instead watched 3 movies on Amazon. Much cheaper and I could do it in my pajamas!

    -part of why I wasn’t feeling the greatest was because I started to get a sore throat this weekend. My primary care physician had advised me in the past to drink tea made from Anise Hyssop to sooth sore throats and clear up congestion. I grow this in my herb garden so I made a tea from the dried flowers and leaves. I added a couple drops of vanilla extract and some agave nectar. By the time I finished the tea my sore throat was gone. Not sure if it was the Anise Hyssop or the heat of the tea in general but it worked!

    -I had been needed some new shirts since most of the one I have are now best used for housework or gardening. I stopped into Goodwill and picked up 5 shirts in good shape, one still had the tags on it. It cost me $13 for the shirts which I still consider a lot, but it’s definitely better than brand new. I also picked up 2 stuffed animals at .35 cents/ea for the dog. Much cheaper than the pet store especially since his favorite thing is to rip them open and take out the stuffing. He can have a toy ripped apart in about 3 minutes! Thankfully he doesn’t eat the stuffing, he just likes to rip the toy to shreds. If he did eat it that would be a frugal fail with vet bills for sure!

  82. My sister was driving from Oregon to Los Angeles by herself to watch her daughter graduate from her first phase of college and move her out of her dorm. She asked me to go a few days ago. I cleared my schedule and we drove down yesterday. She already had a room we are sharing. When her husband flies down Thursday, there is another little area with a couch I can sleep on. I will fly back Saturday with my niece as she has to be back home then .

    Also, as I pointed out to my sister, it was going to be pretty hard to watch herkids until Monday if I wasn’t there:) My wonderful hubby will watch them Friday until I get back Saturday night, then we both will until their parents return.

    My sister used her airplane mile points . So the ticket is only costing me $89. They have family and a super close friend down here. Her friend works at Disneyland. Because they are as close as family (for 30 years), she offered to take us to the park for free. So kind of her to include me since those opportunities are limited so she usually saves them for her family (obviously) We had a wonderful, very relaxing day and mostly watched shows and parades, then came back early evening to rest.

    Tomorrow, the dorm packing will be more strenuous as my niece has been doing finals . And not packing up! But we will get it done!

    So, another one of those cases where I’m glad I stay frugal most of the time because I really am glad I could come. Eating out so much is a killer but I’m being careful, both in $ amounts, but also in getting healthy food.

  83. I don’t know how old your kids are or if this is available in your area, but we signed up for this kids bowl free program last summer and loved it! You have to pay for shoe rental but it is still a lot cheaper. There is also a family pass you can buy for older kids and parents. just fyi in case it helps you!

  84. You’re welcome! We have all kinds of names for them in the Midwest. If this weekend happens, I’ll try and think of another next week.

  85. I call my husband “king of the trash pickers” cuz he always seems to know what is usable & what isn’t. People throw away some great stuff! Fortunately, they seem to know someone might use it so they either put it next to the trash can or on top. There’s no digging involved. If he can find one more hose, we can complete our free drip irrigation system to all our shrubs. People always seem to throw out hoses & flower pots when they move. And it’s moving season!

  86. Elisa B, I’m sorry to hear about your MIL. My MIL died in March, just a few months after suffering a stress fracture in her hip after falling at home. She spiraled downhill quickly, with doctors always uncertain whether she was reacting badly to a medication or the change in routine, or whether it was a return of the mental illness from which she had suffered for about a decade in her 20’s. It was only when we finally insisted that she be put into hospice care that the freight train on which all of us were barreling down the tracks to a bad place came to a stop. She died not long after, but she died with people speaking to her with care and respect.

  87. Jenifer, I’m vegan and I’d much rather bring my own food anyway. I’d feel too bad if a host and hostess were scrambling for a recipe with unfamiliar ingredients or cooking methods, just for me. Conversely, I really do have problems with just a little bit of dairy, and there are other reasons I don’t eat meat. I don’t want to be obligated to eat something because someone went to special efforts to accommodate me and don’t want to be disrespectful of the host and hostess’s efforts. I always bring extra so that people can try anything they want. Our group of close (senior) friends usually just has potluck dinners these days.

  88. We had the same issue with our cat back in Feb. I was told by our vet that they need a food that has (I think) blueberries in it. If you have a really good pet store in your area, you might be able to get a comparable food there for less? (That’s what we’re doing as the food at the vet was outrageous here). Glad your kitty has a clean bill of health!

  89. Could you post more info on the teaching cursive product? I’d love to know the brand/product name. :). (Our children’s public school no longer teaches cursive but I want my children to know how to write, so it’s something I will be teaching at home). Thanks!

  90. So sorry about your mother in law. Just wanted to mention here in Bellingham, WA I grow Frost brand peaches very successfully. They are smaller peaches but prolific. We make jams and freeze some in addition to earing fresh.

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