My website was hacked last week, and getting it back online and fully functioning took a while, which is why this post is going up today.

Seventeen years ago, my sister-in-law got some beautiful large urns for free when a casino in town was redecorating. I loved them and wondered what she would plant in them. She moved them once and is moving again. She never grew anything in them in all these years. I asked if she still wanted them, and if not, could I have them? I was surprised when she said she had been wanting to get rid of them for a few years! I transplanted my four potted trees from my patio into these pots. They are taller, so the small trees will be higher than before and they are a little bit wider than the pots I had, which will allow my trees to grow a bit larger across. I then used my old pots in other places in the garden.

I convinced my husband to get rid of some things that we were given for free and have never used that we have been storing alongside the house. This gave us a useable space for the new-to-us grill that will be out of the sun in the evenings. Free is nice, but only if you will use it. Otherwise, it can just clutter up your home and leave you feeling frustrated.  While cleaning up, we found and killed two scorpions and a black widow.  Just a few weeks ago, we killed three more scorpions in the area. I sprayed the house foundation with spray I purchased several years back for $5. Many people pay $50 a month to have their house sprayed here, as the summer months make for an abundance of cockroaches (unless you have scorpions, wolf spiders, and vinegaroons around to eat them . . . .)

I turned six pair of pants that were all torn at the knees into shorts for my daughters.

I harvested apricots from the garden.

My husband and his siblings went through more items at my father-in-law’s house. They were mostly going through his food and the garage. My husband chose some tools, honey, sugar, canned goods, vinegar, fluorescent light bulbs, and a sleeping bag.

Our cooler than usual weather and careful watchfulness in energy use has paid off. Our electric bill was $141 less than our bill for the same time last year. Temperatures will be over 100 degrees this week, which is much closer to normal, though still a bit cool for us, as it can be 110 this time of year. It’s still cool enough in the mornings to open up the house for a few hours each morning, so I will continue to do that as long as possible.

I redeemed 2000 Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card.

After talking with the manager at the local nursery (of which there are a couple of stores) about wanting to purchase three plants at one store (where they only had one) he offered me all three at the sales price from the week before.

My husband cut a piece from an old metal shelf to make a shelf to replace the large glass shelf from our fridge that our son broke over a year ago on accident. The refrigerator is 18 years old and they no longer sell replacement parts for it. He only had to purchase some gloss spray paint (Rustoleum) to paint the shelf.

My husband and I had a picnic at a local park for our date night.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Brandy what a bummer about the website being hacked. Thank you so much for continuing this site. I love it, am encouraged by it, and learn from it. Thank you.

    • Found unopened bags of lime in my shed that I purchased in past years. I spread them on the lawn – using what I have plus freeing up space in the shed.
    • One of my cats died. He was 17, a snuggler and is leaving a hole in my life. My son came over and we buried Oliver the cat in the backyard.
    • Made double batch of pizza dough, cooked one and froze the other. Made cucumber feta couscous with lemon vinaigrette from Budget Bytes.
    • Made swag goal x 1
    • Made a red, white, and blue rag wreath to donate as a raffle prize. I used a 40% off coupon at Michael’s for the wreath base and a 20% off entire order at Joann Fabrics. I picked fabrics that were on sale, on clearance, or end of bolts so all were marked down prior to the 20% off coupon.

    1. Libby — I’m so sorry to hear your cat passed! Our pets can leave such holes in our hearts. I’ll be praying for you.

    2. Libby, so sorry about your cat. I sympathize. I lost my big boy, St. Bernard dog, in April. It broke my heart.

    3. Condolences about the loss of your much loved cat. Pets are so much a part of the family dynamics that it it hard when they leave us.

  2. Gorgeous plant stands! Your trees look so nice in them! So sorry to hear about the hacking of the site. That’s the last thing you need on top of your busy schedule.

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – I made a loaf of rosemary no-knead bread and froze most of it.
    – Using some coffee from hotel stays a long time ago, I made cold-brew coffee concentrate. Then I used the grounds to make a body polish (I added honey and cinnamon) and rinsed out the container that I had made the coffee in and used that water to water my acid-loving blueberry bush.
    – I made a batch of flourless chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I used the leftover egg yolks to make some lemon curd.
    – I made a double-batch of Cranberry Nut Granola ( using oats and maple syrup traded for previously. Really cuts down the cost to have traded for these foodstuffs!
    -I bought a book from the library (a Dennis Lee book of poetry) for my daughter for $1
    – I glued a broken magnet back together that had sentimental value.
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research rewards for $5 to my paypal account, and Swagbucks for a $5 Amazon gc.
    – I made a batch of potato salad to use up the last of my potatoes (like my macaroni salad, but with potatoes instead of pasta); I made a batch of Greek Yoghurt, and saved the whey for smoothies; also, I made some sweet potato fries and served them with some chipotle mayo that I had gotten free. My mum loved them, which made me happy.
    – I’ve been trying to make some pantry meals, and I made an Ethiopian-style wat (similar to a dal, or curry) using ingredients I had at home. I didn’t have any fresh onion, so I used dried onion, and also replaced the turmeric with curry powder. Turned out great! I’ll eat it for several days with some rice packets I got free previously.
    – I made a double batch of pretzel buns, and traded one batch for $6 worth of digital currency, using my local trading app. I also traded a quinoa crust pizza (quinoa was purchased on sale months ago, pizza sauce, black olives, and sundried tomatoes were all leftovers from my fridge, and cheese was purchased on sale and frozen weeks ago) for a BNIB 6-pack of Moroccan glasses. I haven’t decided whether to keep the glasses or regift them, but they’re lovely!
    – I did a little bit of transcription on They deposit the money straight to my paypal account weekly.
    – I clipped a few branches of lilac from the yard of a house being demolished, on one of my stroller walks. It looks lovely in my silver mint julep cup!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as always!

      1. I like it, Stephanie! I’m actually a really fast typist so the only difficulty is occasionally understanding what the audio says. It does take practice though. But once you learn the format, then it’s just a matter of working at it. Not super well-paid, at least at the level I am at, but hey, it’s something I can do from home. I don’t really have much time though, so it’s really just coffee money as opposed to a supplemental income. But at least it’s interesting!

      2. I’ve worked at for the last two years. I enjoy the variety of material I type, and it has added several hundred dollars a month to my income that was much needed. I am only now beginning to wrap up working there as I get more retirement income.

          1. Thank you for mentioning and your experiences there! I am a former medical transcriptionist, but have been a homemaker and homeschool mom for many years now. This sounds like something I could do just a few hours a week. Are they flexible or do they want a commitment of hours per week? Thank you again ladies! I learn so much reading this blog and I am grateful for it!

          2. Karen, you choose the assignments yourself! There’s no min hours or anything. Most flexible job ever! You could choose to transcribe as little as 10 minutes of audio and earn enough enough to go out with a friend for a pricey coffee drink at Starbucks or an extra few bags of beans for the pantry. Your medical transcription experience means that you could probably handle ‘difficult’ audio easily. I think you’d really enjoy it as a source extra income! Whether you need it to pay the bills or just to add in a few extras for your family, it is SO handy that they deposit direct to PayPal. I just wish I had more free time to pursue it!

  3. So sorry to hear about the hack, Brandy. And I love the urns!

    I didn’t post last week, so the below is for the last 2 weeks.

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and foil and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • The weather was cooler here too, but it is creeping up again. I saved $58 over last year’s May electric bill.
    • Hung 8 of 10 loads of laundry
    • Ate in 12 times. Used a gift certificate we had won at our weekly trivia league for one of the times we ate out.
    • Worked 25 ½ contract hours.
    • Best grocery deals this week were butter for $1.88/lb. (limit 2), strawberries for 75c/lb (bought 4) and corn on the cob for 5c/ear (limit 8) and honeydew melon for 25c/lb. Got laundry detergent for under $1 per bottle by shopping a sale (3/$4) and redeeming a $3 reward from Walgreen’s. I’m trying to buy as little groceries as I can and use up what I have.
    • Took Dad to breakfast instead of lunch, so that was cheaper. Plus I still had a little over $6 left on a gift card so I was able to use that. And we both ordered off the senior menu.
    • Open enrollment for medical insurance was this month. I have signed us up for an HSA, which will save on taxes and help us to save for future medical expenses. Should have done this long ago, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Got his first paycheck with it being taken out and we are saving $172/month in taxes. Wish I had done it sooner!
    • Went to lunch with a friend. She had a gift certificate, so I only had to pay $5 total.
    • Harvested 1 zucchini, 1 small plum tomato and 1 jalapeno.
    • Hubby installed a watering system for the fruit trees we planted a few weeks ago.
    • My boss took our team out to lunch one day. Brought my lunch the other days in the office.
    • Got a couple of Ibotta rebates.
    • My living room/dining room is one large room and I have my formal dining table on one end, but nothing in the other half. I entertain frequently and have loved having the other ½ of the room empty so I can set up tables in there when needed. But I did want to have it decorated too. Ideally I was looking for a lower table like the kind that are in tea rooms, but haven’t had any luck. But this weekend at Goodwill it was ½ off Saturday. I found a great drop leaf table from 1933 and 2 matching chairs in pretty good condition for only $22.50! Hubby said the veneer looks good, just the varnish is cracking so he can refinish it. It not only has sides that fold up, it also pulls apart to insert a leaf. They didn’t have the leaf, but Hubby can make one. And the wood doesn’t have to match because I will use a tablecloth. I’m really happy about this purchase!
    • Used a cap I had saved to put on a bottle of liquid makeup that had a pump feature so I could turn it over and get the last of it.
    • Joined the summer reading program at the library. I have already won a free Culver’s ice cream cone. I love the library and take my grandson once a week for preschool story time.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

    1. Laurie

      Thanks for the reminder of the library reading program. I did forget about it. I love the library programs, also.


  4. I’m so sorry you site was hacked — so frustrating. But I’m very glad you got the site back up.
    The urns are beautiful!
    This was just an expensive week. We had several things break that need to be replaced and a gift to buy. My husband is able to do this work himself, but the parts are expensive. Still, that is the reason we have an emergency fund. Also, my husband did some work for a neighbor and earned some money which helped with the expenses.
    I had to travel to Denver for a work conference. I had to pay gas there and back, but my hotel and most of my meals were covered. I only ate out once and brought food with me for the other meals that weren’t provided. (When I got to the hotel, I was informed I was responsible for my own parking — $45 a day. I contacted the person who had invited me to speak at the conference and they promptly agreed to cover the parking. It definitely pays to ask nicely.)
    I made chocolate pudding and a batch of waffles from some milk that was just starting to sour.
    We ate salad from the greenhouse.

  5. I’m sorry you had website troubles. I am in dread of that ever happening to me, because I’m sure it’s very time-consuming to fix. I”m so glad you got up and running again, and surprise, surprise, I actually got a notification of a new post for the first time in a very long time. So, that’s really good news for me! (I usually just check your site frequently because that has been hit and miss for a long while)

    I did a lot more landscaping with my shovel, hoe and pruners. I try to fill the yard debris bin each week, and haven’t missed a week for quite a while now. As I’ve seen paid landscapers working in all the yards around me, I’m feeling pretty good about how much money I’m saving by doing it myself and I want the exercise. I also got more succession planting done in my garden.

    My niece had her graduation party, and her ceremony will by Thursday night. I feel as if I’ve graduated as well, since now I have many more mornings/early afternoons to work around the house instead of work with her on school. I am missing her cheerful presence and smile, though. My laundry room is cleaner than it has been since the day we moved in here, and the garage is on the schedule for today! I put a funny story regarding my newly cleaned laundry room on my. blog: To summarize it–my special needs nephew thought it looked wrong, so immediately threw clothes down on the floor and told me he “fixed” it for me:). I was laughing so hard–silly boy!

    I cooked meals at home, ate with a friend and sister, etc. I am still waiting for produce to get ripe in the garden, so am relying heavily on my preserved and stored food right now. I’m saving anything I can for other purposes. Although my husband has been working hard, his weight loss is stalled. So, the doctor is putting him down to 1000 calories for a while. He is getting worse and really needs to hit his target weight so he can have the surgery he needs. Yikes! So, I am making sure to have low-calorie foods on hand. Otherwise, I’m serving what we have.

    1. Did you get an email? I switched platforms and paid $1000 to do so–and people still haven’t been getting their emails! That’s a huge deal when I only make about $1800 a year from the site, too. And the fix cost me $90. I hope everyone starts getting emails now. I would love to hear if anyone gets them.

      Best of luck to your husband. At least now is the time of year when salads are something you can crave.

      1. Brandy — I do not get your regular blog link when I Google your blog. I have to go to your Facebook page and click on your blog link on the right side. On my computer when I go to Google, your blog link is written all in Chinese. I’m afraid to click on that. It is not a problem for me to get the blog through Facebook, but I just thought you should know.

        1. Margaret, is that happening right now when you type in my website address? My site was hacked and I have paid $90 to have it all cleaned. My host says it is working now. I never saw Chinese, but I was unable to get on the back side of my site to do anything (the front side, the side that you see, was still in English).

          1. Brandy, I sent you an email of the Google search results. I never use that, you are in my favorites.

            1. I don’t get anything in Chinese at all on a Google search. Just a link to my 404 error page instead of my homepage. I wonder if it depends on the country where you are searching from?

          2. HI Brandy,

            No Chinese here (fingers crossed, knock on wood…) but I did notice quite a while back that I can’t get to your website if I type in “” – I do get it just fine if I type “”. I also noticed that several blogs I read that have you in their blogroll have not switched to your new website. When I click on the links they, too, have the “www” in the beginning of their link and give the “404” error.

            Not sure if that will be helpful but hopefully it will be!

          3. The first result is a 404 error page when I Google the name of the blog. I then click on the header at the top of the error page, which is the name of your blog. Doing that takes me to your blog. When I use Google, I also see a link to your blog that is in Chinese. Hope this helps!

          4. I too pull up Chinese when try to go through Google or Chrome for your site. I have not been getting email notifications for several weeks. I go on Facebook to read the blog.

        2. Brandy I use Swagbuck’s search function (Yahoo) and your website no longer is indexed to appear. I now have to type in “the prudent homemaker blog” in order to have your site appear in search results. This has been the case for approximately the past two days.

          One other change I noticed today is when I make a comment, it appears with “under moderation”. Your old site used to do this but I haven’t seen this message in over a year. The comments just “disappeared” after hitting submit.

        3. I had been getting an email, but did not get one today about this post. I had been checking because your site was down. I’m so sorry you got hacked.

      2. Brandy, I got an email notification today for the first time in I do not know how long, but at least since last year. Even then, they were hut and miss.

        1. I sure hope everyone gets them from now on. I signed myself up too and I didn’t get one . . .

          1. I do not see Chinese in the Google results. But the top search results is a page for your latest blog posts which returns a page not found error when you click on it. Most of the other search results are for your Facebook and Pinterest pages, or for other sites where you have been featured.

            Google webbots continually crawl the internet updating the info for their search pages, so it is likely that they last time they crawled your site, it was in Chinese. I checked Google and Swagbucks and neither have your home page in their index. You might want to check your page headers.

            Also, have you stopped using paragraphs breaks in your entries? For many weeks now, your posts have been one big chunk of text broken up by photos.

            1. AHH, no!

              I definitely wrote the post in paragraphs. Sigh . . . I will try again to fix that because that is annoying to read!

              The Chinese hack was last Monday night. Before that Google hadn’t crawled my site after I changed platforms from Joomla to WordPress. It looks like it still hasn’t done that.

      3. Brandy, when you first changed platforms, I signed up for e-mails but never got one. Today, I did!

          1. no email here either. And the top search on is in chinese. I just checked it. I usually just get into your page thru FB

          2. Hi Brandy,
            I am in Canada and received your email today.
            When I put in The Prudent Homemaker in my search bar I get the first listing The Prudent Homemaker but the conten part of the link appears inChinese.
            When I put The Prudent Homemaker Blog in the search bar I get a direct link to the latest blog post.

          3. Hi, Brandy, If this goes through, it will be the first time in months and months. I always assume it’s from my end but now I don’t know. I use an iPad and I don’t keep my email open so everything goes to the great beyond when I tap ‘send’. Even after opening my email, following the prompts and everything else. For your site, I even went in and changed my name and tried to use a different email account to no avail. I’m pretty much computer illiterate when it comes to this stuff but I love your site and didn’t want to miss it. If this goes through, i’ll be back another day.

          4. Brandy, It looks like my note is under moderation which is more than i’ve had since last year sometime. I haven’t gotten an email from you in years. This week has been no different. I still check in on my own, though.

          5. I had a feeling you’d been hacked but I don’t ask for email alerts just check in on Monday to see the newest post. Nothing yesterday so I checked while at the office this afternoon and while I didn’t get Chinese it didn’t let me through at first with my saved bookmark. When I then googled Prudent Homemaker I got through just fine. I’m now trying from home and I was able to get through without any problem using my bookmark. I see your post with paragraph breaks so that seems to be fine as well.

            Sorry it’s been so frustrating for you – more work you didn’t need!

            Question – I’m in Canada and have to order through – can I link from your site to this so that you can earn something?

            1. I have looked at it a bunch at Amazon and I am SO confused how I do both countries on my site. I would love to do this as I have many Canadian readers.

          6. Hi Brandy, when I go through a google search the first choice is in an Asian language, I’m not sure if it’s Chinese. I have no idea why or how to fix it though. I’m so sorry for all the issues you’ve been having with your site, so frustrating!

      4. I got your email today! We are currently doing some home improvement. We’re finishing off a basement that has gone for many years with only a few finished rooms. We are acting as our own contractors, which hopefully will save quite a bit of money. We’ll see! I’m looking for bargains on a bathroom vanity and sink cabinet for the little kitchenette we have planned. It will take us quite some time, maybe, but I’m looking forward to enjoying a cool basement on hot summer days.

      5. Yes, I got an email today for the first time in a very long time. It was like a little present in my e-mail since I had kind of given up hope on getting them.

        Thanks for the well-wishes for my husband. Today was the first day of 1000 calories, and it was hard, but he did it! Now, there’s tomorrow, and just one day at a time.

        1. Becky, Can your husband ride a bike since walking is difficult for him? I was thinking that might help kick start his metabolism so he does not have to stay long on such low calories. BTW I read your whole blog from start to finish one weekend and really enjoyed it. Good luck to your husband in his upcoming hip surgery-my husband will be getting one too but he is able to comfortably ride a bike!

          1. His hip is so bad that he cannot do the rotation needed for bike riding. He is now using a cane all the time and can hardly get up and down from chairs. He has to push up on tables, arm rests, etc. and can hardly get in and out of the car anymore. They say he should stretch out flat quite a bit, so he spends time flat on his bed each day (thank goodness for U-Tube!), and he manages by taking all the time he needs to get from point A to point B:). That being said, they do want him to move as much as he possible can, so he does. He gets down into the hot tub at the YMCA and stretches and moves his arms, and we are going to put weights by the couch so he can move his arms up and down when he’s sitting down on the couch. It’s dire, but hopefully, the lower calories will do the trick! The good news is that his spirits are still up, and he’s got a good attitude as much as he can. That helps a lot, for me:)

      6. Brandy,
        It’s been several years but today was the day your email came through! Woohoo! So happy it’s finally working for me. No more having to remember to look on my own. You can check me off the list!

      7. Brandy, I was getting emails at one time (quite a while back) but have not received any in a long time.

  6. It’s actually happened! Hubs has been retired since Friday morning! It’s like we had 2 Saturdays this week! I bought 2 fifty-five gallon barrels from our local Pepsi distributor for $10 each and Hubs cut them in half and drilled holes in the bottoms for drainage and I have now planted a nectarine tree , a fig tree and 2 goji berry bushes into the 4 new planters!! I’m so much happier spending $5 each for my 4 planters (which are each a bit bigger than whisky barrel halves!).

    I bought a discounted Spirea bush to fill in my one raised bed next to the porch that had 2 other happy spirea bushes to replace one that died.

    We enjoyed having our chickens out free-ranging in the yard while we were weeding/planting! They decided to clear out the weeds in the bed under our 2 peach and 1 apricot trees. They picked out bugs/grubs and weeds nicely so they could take their dirt baths! We will encourage them today to move on to the next fruit tree bed! Wonderful helpers in our yard plus they give us 3 dozen eggs a week! What’s not to love! Lol!

    Sold more excess koi this week bringing our total sales up to $400! We have been blessed to have that extra stream of income to add to our savings!

    I made 3 more sets of Bowl Covers for our business. My fabric stash still doesn’t seem to be diminishing! It’s felt so good to be actually using my stash for something functional rather than having it just sit there! Plus it’s been a source of a little income here and there too! So definitely a decluttering WIN!

    I started making the sauce for funeral potatoes with ham cubes and when it came time to add hash browns, I realized I was out of the frozen ones so I substituted Tater Tots! It was actually quite tasty! As I write this, I realize that I had dehydrated hash browns that I could have used! Lol! Oh well. I’ve now made a new variation that everyone loved

    Our final payday from Hub’s job will come on Thursday this week and should be 2 full weeks plus a payout for his leftover vacation days. But we are being careful with our expenditures anyway and know that we won’t have any other income until June 26. The not knowing exact dates and if the amounts we calculated are accurate is a little scary, but we are just going to take it as it comes now!

    We are definitely enjoying having together to work outside! It’s nice to know we don’t have to work to the point of exhaustion because we won’t be able to again until the following Saturday! We can work for a few hours in the morning when it’s cooler and then break until evening or even the next day! What a luxury!!

    The tornados passed us by, other parts of Ohio were not as lucky. Our garden has received just the right amount of rain/sun and we are humbled and grateful to see our fruits/veggies growing happily!
    It looks like it will be a good harvest! I’m already able to use some of our early produce in our meals!
    All in all, we are very blessed!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Congratulations on the retirement! I know you have been preparing for a long while so now you can relax and celebrate 🙂

    2. Gardenpat in Ohio, check and make sure you have all your taxes out. Friends getting SS and IRA got hit with taxes for city and school that wasn’t taken out. Just a heads up

    3. Congrats on the retirement! Your description of what you are doing with your husband sounds just like what we want to do in 8 1/2 years. We plan on moving back to the Pacific NW and Hubby really wants property where he can have a greenhouse and a big garden. Our “must do” before we can do this is to pay off our house, so that is our main focus financially right now. We are on track to having it paid off by the time we turn 65. Frugality will help us achieve these goals!

    4. Happy Retirement to your husband! My husband’s family is all located in Ohio. We were watching the Tornado activity back there. Scary to me. The wildfires we have in Southern California are scary for them to watch on the news too. Glad you were safe!

  7. Brandy…concerning replacement refrigerator shelves — over a year ago my son found replacement crisper cover/bottom shelves on eBay for my 40 year old refrigerator. I was amazed! Apparently there are some who sell replacement pieces of various items on eBay. Very hit or miss I’m sure, but just to let others know one is not always limited to relying on the manufacturer.

    1. Good point. This was a huge tempered glass shelf that had broken. His fix will work just fine and we only had to pay for a can of Rustoleum, so that was great.

  8. I’m sorry to hear your website was hacked, Brandy. It’s unfortunate how much purposeless destruction happens on the internet at the moment. It is such a frustrating waste of time and expense.

    I got outdoors on two days this week to work in the yard. I’m pleased with the progress I am making on getting the lawn cut. At this time of year it is sometimes difficult because dandelions are rampant, and the grass grows quickly but is sometimes too wet to cut easily. The next time I cut it it will be at a shorter length, so there may be a bit more time cuts.

    Two days were spent indoors because of heavy forest fire smoke. The forest fires were a long way away, but the air quality was much too bad for working outdoors. We have had a little rain since then, and some rain is in the forecast next week, so I hope we are spared in this area.

    A niece who I don’t get the chance to talk to very often gave me a call, and we had a long conversation. It was a few days before her late mother’s birthday, so I think she just wanted to talk to someone connected to her.

    I met a friend for coffee while I was having the summer tires put on my car in the next town over, which gave us a chance to catch up since her partner and my sister passed away a few months ago. Many changes in her life, to be sure.

    Though the car is now on safe tires, the auto repair shop noted a repair is needed on one of the axles, so no further driving until I come up with $400 (Cdn) for the repair. I’ll continue to focus on yard work and getting things organized and clean at home. In any case, the day I drove the car in for the tire change was a beautiful summer day for a drive through the countryside. They are repaving that road, which will make for better travel, especially in winter.

    1. Hello Elizabeth! Wondering what Rea of Canada you are in? My daughter married a Canadian and is now living in Kelowna, BC. We are from North Central area of Illinois. When I was up there last summer, I was astonished by the forest fires! Also, that they change tires…we rarely do that in the states anymore. We used to when I was young, but our winters aren’t like yours!

  9. What beautiful urns! I know you will enjoy using them. And I’m sorry to hear you were hacked. Good job getting everything up and running correctly (and keeping last week’s comments going, too).
    Last week I told you that I didn’t have much blooming in my garden and I was just waiting for things to pop. Well, pop they did! Tons of things are blooming now and it’s all beautiful, especially the 8 rhododendrons and 4 different colors of irises. (The irises were all pass-alongs from friends last year).
    This was my week–
    *I mended two articles of my daughter’s clothing. Mending and stain removal are two things among “the usual frugal stuff” that we routinely do.
    *When forsythia was in bloom a month or so ago, I “liberated” some cuttings from the city park. I put them in water and some grew roots. Friday, I planted the stems in a bunch on the side of the house and I’m hoping that by planting more than one, I’ll have a nice, full shrub sooner…and for FREE.
    *I planted the rest of the garden from seed: one hill of zukes, bush beans, Swiss chard, beets and spinach, plus some Egyptian Walking Onion plants a friend gave me. The beans are up! And most of the rest are starting, too (not the zukes, yet). I transplanted the tomatoes and green peppers last week. I am doing a variation of square foot gardening in a 10×4 raised bed for the first time. I also poked holes in the bottom of a galvanized oil change pan and planted nasturtium seeds given to me by a relative. I love galvanized and I love nasties!
    *A couple of months ago, our city offered free street trees. I live on a corner and requested two trees for the side street, which had none. They were planted last week by a professional crew. I was given 10 to 12 ft. tri-color beeches, which just may be the most beautiful trees I have ever seen. The two trees, including planting, are worth over $400…and free to me, because I made one phone call.
    *I repaired a break in the irrigation water line. It stopped the leak on the first try!! (Anything remotely resembling plumbing usually does not work for us on the first try).
    *I have a friend who does a great job of buying and selling used merchandise. I had asked him to keep an eye out for a mini-rototiller for me. He found a one-year-old Mantis (about $400 new) with a Honda engine (you know he had me there) for $50. All it needed was a new carburetor kit, which he installed for $35 for parts and labor. Starts on the first pull! I have had a Mantis in the past, but you can bet it wasn’t powered by Honda, or I’d still have it, LOL. I have to admit this was a want more than a need, but I’m one happy camper!
    *We received two checks in the mail Friday: $190 pay for me being an elections judge and $105 for my husband’s tiny fractional share of inherited oil leases in Colorado. We usually get a few checks a year but there is no schedule or set amount and each one is a happy surprise.
    *I was reading in the archives about several people discovering their batteries were dead when they attempted to use their flashlights. For the past few years, I have been storing my batts upside-down in the lights. I’m reminded to turn them over when I switch on the light and nothing happens. It isn’t a sure deal that the batteries will work when they are put into the light correctly, but most of the time, they will. I think the fresher the batteries, the more likely they are to work. Also, buy good batteries.
    *One last reminder to place your Amazon orders through this site so Brandy can earn a commission. She only made $1,800 on the blog last year and spent $1,000 to change platforms FOR US. Even if you don’t buy much, it doesn’t cost you anything to do this, and every little bit helps!

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about your website – what a frustration! On a positive note, the urns look beautiful and I’m glad they will go to good use. They appear to be a perfect fit for your trees.

    Last week I had outpatient surgery (hysteroscopy, D&C with biopsy, and polypectomy with biopsy), so I was off work most of the week. It was definitely not frugal, but I am grateful for health insurance through my employer. Now I am just waiting on biopsy results and hoping that the issues I’ve been having since last summer will be corrected by the procedure. My doctor felt confident they would be, so I’m hoping she is right and I won’t need any further treatment or procedures. Funny thing is that I was sure I would be up & around and able to do things around the house within a couple of days. How wrong I was! It completely wiped me out, so I didn’t get any of my planned housework done while I was off work. That is okay, because I was able to get plenty of much-needed rest.

    Other frugal accomplishments include getting our house ready for summer. I had ordered some light-blocking drapes on Amazon – they were on sale, and I had $30 in Amazon gift cards, so I only ended up paying about $3 out of pocket for all of the drapes. I bought 2 sets for our west-facing dining room window, and 1 for our front entryway window, both of which get full afternoon sun. I was able to get those hung, and so far they have made a huge difference. Anything I can do to reduce sun and heat gain in the house is a blessing during our Texas summers. My husband installed the portable air conditioner in our bedroom. We have a central system, but our bedroom is always warmer than the rest of the house. Last year we splurged & bought a portable unit (our bedroom has tall skinny windows, so a window unit wasn’t an option), and it was a wonderful decision. We stored it in our garage over the winter and it still works like a champ. We only run it in the evenings and it makes a big difference. We are considering buying a second one for our living area/kitchen to supplement our central system, which is older and not as efficient. We moved fans around to keep air flowing inside the house, and put fans in a couple of rooms that don’t have ceiling fans. Adjusted the automatic thermostat to 79 during the day while we’re away, and only 77/78 at night when we are home.

    I picked up several free items at grocery stores through their apps (Tom Thumb & Sprouts). I bought a beef brisket on sale at Albertson’s. Brisket is so pricey we almost never buy it, but they had it on sale for $1.29/lb with a $25 purchase. Used the $25 to buy some other staple groceries off our list. Divided the brisket into 3 sections and froze 2. I cooked 1 portion on Memorial Day, so we would have it to eat during the week after my surgery. It made several meals’ worth, which saved us from picking up fast food a few times. Went to a couple of garage sales and found a few household items we could really use. I found some lovely vintage bird prints for our living room. We’ve had a lot of rain and severe storms lately, but not as bad as many areas of the country this spring. I hope everyone stays safe and has a great week!

  11. I noticed that your site has been hacked. I got some message about being the 10,000th visitor and “click here to see your prize!” …I didn’t click! I’m sorry that it has been so costly and time consuming for you! I really appreciate that you continue to invest time and energy into your site because you’re really investing in me and all of the other people you are an inspiration to!

    Last week was rather expensive with (more) money spent on vehicle repairs as well as the butchering of our beef cow. On June first we started a low-spend month. We have low-spend months November through March by necessity because my husband’s work is slow through the winter, but it’s easy to spend unnecessarily when he’s working more. However, we have had several large expenses and anticipate several more. So far, so good ?. I’m blogging my way through the month for accountability if anyone is interested.

    1. Thank you. It’s a large amount of time, energy, and it is becoming rather expensive, all of which make it hard to continue. I’m glad you are enjoying it!

      1. Have you ever considered putting a ‘donate’ button on your site, Brandy? That way those of us who have a few spare dollars could donate to offset the costs and help you continue to help so many. I’ve learned so much from you and find such support and encouragement — it has helped so much.

        As well, since you’re with WordPress now, you could likely use the ‘one link ‘ amazon app thingy (just Google onelink and Amazon and blog) and you’ll get referral credit from around the world and nit just the U.S.

        As always, thanks for all you do!

        1. I actually like the idea of a donate button on ur site brandi…been reading this blog for ages for much inspiration…its probably the most effective thing to do versus giving amazon all the money via affliates…let us know…

      2. Brandy,
        I love your website, your photography and this community! I am not much of an Amazon shopper, but if you ever decide to accept donations to keep this place up and running count me in.

        1. Me too! I don’t shop on Amazon, and as an Australian reader I’m not sure if you would benefit even if I did. I have often thought I would love another simple way to support your site. You give us so much Brandy, sometimes we just want to say thank you.

      3. I so love your website, as well as many other people, I am sure, that I would be more than happy to donate to keep it running. I been trying to remember to go through your site when ordering from Amazon, too. I think that you might be surprised how willing your readers would be to help out with the expense of assuring this blog keeps going. Please let us know how to assist you with a grateful donation.

  12. The urns are beautiful. I’m glad they found a home with you. Love the idea of repurposing the metal shelf for your fridge. Parsley plants and raspberries given to us by a friend were planted last week, along with dill and arugula seeds. The first raspberry and blackberry were enjoyed. It’s still too early for most things, but the chard is just about ready to begin harvesting. I enjoy reading your posts and all the comments.

  13. So sorry for the hack. I’m not sure what kind of joy they get out of doing such a thing but they need to find something else to do.
    Quite a great savings on your electric bill. Our power company has switched everyone to a new summer program. Basically you get charged more between 2 and 7p.m. We have been doing everything big like running our oven and dryer around that time last week. I hope this reduces our bill.

    Here are the ways I’ve saved this past week:

  14. I noticed your site was in Chinese or Korean. I had my colonoscopy, the prep made me very sick the day before, and then I had to go to the dentist the day after. I now have to go to an endodontist (I am not sure about the spelling) because my tooth is dying according to my dentist…sigh. My middle son lost his job so I am trying to help him out financially. It is always something and that is life. I just keep on cutting my own hair, trimming my own bushes in front of my house, and bringing my lunch to work, trying to keep the air cut off, and basically, just maintain. I am grateful to have a job with insurance.

    1. So sorry you’ve had a rough few days – colonoscopy prep makes me really sick, too ? Good luck at the endodontist – if you need a root canal, relax because it’s painless.

      1. I wouldn’t call root canal painless. Those needles can be quite painful! But it sure feels better a day or two after it’s done…especially if you have been experiencing extreme sensitivity with the tooth. I’m currently in the process of having my second root canal. The tooth was extremely sensitive to any and all temperature changes (hot food, cold drinks, etc.). I couldn’t wait to have that nerve removed, so the pain would stop!!!

  15. Love your blog and look forward to it weekly. I assumed it was hacked as the google search results show all asian writing. I didnt want to use that result so went in through Instagram instead. I hope everything gets back to normal for you.

  16. How frustrating! Just know that all your efforts matter. Some days, I still struggle to move past the difficulties of the past five years. Reading your blog and the comments reminds me how very fortunate I am. BTW, this is the first week since the new blog platform was changed that I did not get a notification. I’ll keep watch for next week and resuscribe if need be.

    I returned to the doctor to have a fast growing mole checked out. Not cancerous PTL, but she froze it anyway. It is in an awkward spot below my jaw. Thankful all the way round, and for insurance that covered it all, too. I also had 2 stubborn warts treated.

    I am packing the last of the things to take back and realized that I want my backgammon set with me but that will leave the camp without one of our favorite games; however, I just found an complete set at the thrift shop for 2$. I thought I might just check a second bag and pay the costs (first checked bag free with my skymiles credit card) until I called the airline to inquire the costs and found that, since I am stopping in Chicago to visit my daughter for 5 days, it would cost 80.00 to check one bag for the entire trip. I guess I’ll be mailing another box.

    I have been eating my way through all the freezer/fridge and open foods. That is until I caught a stomach bug and have been eating much less. It is terribly painful, but I was starting to get chubby. Time to take control. Could someone remind me of the food counting app? I think I might have time to address this issue now.

    Still doing all the regular frugal things. And, I found some change for the change jar. Combined errands with doctor appointments and visiting friends that I may not see in person for awhile. Watching my pennies, but still taking care of what needs to be attended to. Looking forward to paying off one loan this Thursday and another one two Thursday’s from now. Getting closer!

    Happy frugal-ing friends,

    1. You’ve been getting notifications and now they stopped? Oh boy.

      Lose It is the app you need.

      1. Brandy,

        Strangely, I just received the notification email now…almost 5 hours after it was sent. Probably an internet issue on my end.


  17. So happy to see your name in my inbox! (I subscribed some time ago, but this is the first email to arrive!) Such an inspirational blog! Love the urns. Beautiful items are extra enjoyable when they’ve been handed down!

  18. Brandy, I don’t have words to express how much I appreciate your blog. You have such good ideas, your photography is beautiful and the community you have built here is an absolute treasure. Thank you.

    I found metal measuring spoons at thrift store for 50 cents.
    We travelled back east to see family, carrying all needed food for the trip. While here we have helped with yard projects, mending, sewing, cooking and visiting. It’s been great.
    I am crocheting 2 dishcloths while on vacation. They will be part of a ‘zero-waste’ wedding gift-2 sets cloth napkins, 2 dishcloths, and whatever else I come up with. Probably given in a cloth tote bag.
    I bought men’s Underarmor shorts at thrift store to list on eBay.
    I bought a local (where we’re on vacation) spice blend for a nephew for Christmas.

    1. Thank you! The financial cost is starting wear at me. I wish I could share more, but the time constraints of a large family have been making more impossible.

      1. I really appreciate your blog. It is an inspiration to many of us, and the comments section is always so helpful and interesting. I enjoy reading everyone’s accomplishments and sharing my own, and interacting with others. If the financial end is becoming a burden, would you consider a “donate” button on your site? I know that I personally would contribute something to keep the site going since I do find it so helpful and interesting.

        1. Yes, a donate button would be welcome so those of us who can financially do so can support you. Not sure how hard that is to set up, though.

          1. I have no idea. And, there will always be costs involved in running a blog. If you’re going to buy something anyway from Amazon and use my links, I appreciate it!

      2. Brandy, I love reading your blog and all the comments each and every week. As a regular commenter, I’m quite happy to read just 1 post each week. It takes me the whole week to read all the comments from that 1 post! I consider extra posts a bonus, happy surprise when they happen. So please don’t feel you are not doing enough for posts. I’m sure others would agree, the community here is what I enjoy the most!

  19. We have been doing lots of work around the house. I am still working on getting everything planted in the garden. I am loving my new part time job. Doing all of my regular stuff: cooking at home, shopping sales, hanging laundry, eating leftovers. We have done several fires at night. The weather has been wonderful when it isn’t raining. Haven’t used the AC yet. Hubby worked late Friday night(till midnight). He is salary so doesn’t get overtime. His boss gave him an American Express gift card and told him to take me out to eat. I told him I would rather use it for groceries. I can get a lot of nice steaks for us and have plenty leftover instead of going out to a restaurant. We have several restaurant gift cards that we haven’t used but plan on using this summer when he is on vacation.

  20. You are so right about free things that we don’t use…they take up space both physically and mentally! Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were pan-seared steak with fried potatoes and salads and rolls, bbq chicken with corn on the cob and asparagus, burgers with peas, chicken wraps with potato wedges, salads topped with grilled chicken.
    *Earned $4 for spending $10 each in the bread dept. and in the crackers/snacks dept. at FL.
    *Used a blank card that was appropriate and I already had to send to a graduate.
    *Used a free conditioner that I received in the mail to shave my legs with since it isn’t for my type of hair.
    *Made a double batch of brownies for bible study and a cookout we’re hosting
    *Also made an avocado dip to serve with tortilla chips (all from pantry) at bible study.
    *Hosted a cookout and served grilled chicken and pork that was bought on sale, sweet tea, lemonade and brownies. Everyone brought side dishes and desserts to share. We accepted leftover chicken/artichoke dip, which was delicious!
    *Had my teeth cleaned, which is free through our dental insurance.
    *Walked with a friend twice for free exercise and fellowship.

      1. Hi Bobbie! We are in Buckingham County, near Farmville. My daughter lives in Lynchburg and works in Bedford. ?

  21. Quiet week last week…the 12yo went to my mother in law’s for 6 days. The only time I went any where was to work or taking the teen to his job.

    We ate from the pantry/freezer while the youngest was away. It cleared a lot of space in the freezer for sure as I was able to use up the smaller portions of stuff with just 2 of us here most of the time. I’m continuing as much as I can this week. I have to get a few things tomorrow but it’ll be a cheap trip.

    Hubby cleaned the backyard by himself. Previous times it’s ran upwards of $100 to pay someone else but he worked on it a little each evening.

    Our girl scout service unit had a big end of the year thing in Branson at an indoor adventure type place for the girls Saturday. The service unit paid for all the girls, our troop paid for the leaders plus lunch for our group, so we had a cheap day out for just the price of gas.

  22. When the comments and new post were delayed, I was worried that something may have happened with your family. Although having your website hacked is certainly a pain, I’m relieved it wasn’t something more serious, like medical problems. The planters you received from your SIL are absolutely beautiful, Brandy! How wonderful she was willing to give them to you. I’m glad your cooler weather has resulted in such a huge savings on your bills. I’m sure you can find another excellent use for that money!

    Frugal accomplishments this week included:
    *Meals made at home included BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs with potato chips and pasta salad, cheddar sausages with Knorr pasta side dish and carrots, chicken low mien stir fry with veggie spring rolls, breaded fish with homemade tartar sauce, potato wedges and corn, potato bacon soup (from a can, at DD’s request) with grilled cheese sandwiches, and spaghetti with choice of meat sauce or plain pasta sauce.
    *Made pumpkin bran muffins (recipe link: with approx 1 cup of dried cranberries added instead of raisins (family is not fans of raisins). I had all the ingredients in my pantry and freezer. These were a huge hit when I made them a couple weeks ago, so they come highly recommended! The muffins will be used for lunches and snacking on.
    *DD came down with a cold and ended up staying home from school Friday. She kept requesting soup all weekend, because she wasn’t feeling well. When we had spaghetti Sunday night, DD decided she didn’t want any. I offered to make her more canned soup, to which she agreed to a meal of cream of chicken soup. I then added frozen peas, to make it a more complete meal (canned or leftover veggies would also work well). I never thought to do this before, but she quite liked it! I thought I’d mention it, for those with extremely tight budgets. The addition of cheap veggies to this cheap soup makes it healthier and may help stretch it to possibly feed more people (or help fill up hungry ones).
    *Received 2 buttons at work this week. One from my supervisor, for working really hard at edging out the vegetable garden for my building. The grass had slowly been reclaiming the edges over the years and it was shrinking. The edging work involved removing a significant amount of sod. However, everyone commented on how much better the garden looked afterwards. I got paid to exercise that day! The second was from one of the visiting teachers who quite appreciated my interpretation about life in 1825.
    *Took the dog to the “free” nail trimming at one of the local pet supply stores. It cost $5 tip, but was worth it. While there, we bought our puppy a new gentle leader harness. She pulls so strongly when being walked that she actually knocked my mom down (my mom has a huge bruise on her leg/hip). This harness is a training system to help alleviate pulling. I also bought her a new collar one size bigger, which fits her much better now that she has grown. So it cost us a bit, but these kind of expenditures come with owning a dog.
    *Trimmed DD’s bangs to delay taking her for a hair cut.
    *We’re back to using the clothes line for drying our laundry, as long as the weather co-operates.

    I’m sure there is more I will think of as I read through everyone’s comments. Wishing you all a wonderful, frugal week!

    1. I am happy to hear that someone else is enjoying edging and removing sod with a shovel. I’ve done a lot of that this spring, and I agree, it’s great exercise! It looks so tidy and neat when it is done, too. Congratulations on getting the buttons as well.

      1. Thank you, Becky. I’m glad the job is done, it was exhausting. But the garden sure looks great now!

    2. Missed copying over 2 things when I posted yesterday. So here is the rest of my accomplishments:
      *The foundation work on our house was completed this week. Our front walkway is still torn up, as we need to let the dirt fill settle for 6 months before it can be redone. That brings us to around November, so it will be next spring before our walkway is back to normal. At least the waterfall is gone. We are now working on cleaning up the basement, drying it out with the hope no mold forms and repainting the floor/walls that were effected by the leaking water. It wasn’t cheap, but my mom, with the help of the bank, figured out a way to pay for it.
      *On Sunday, I attended the last general meeting for the Weaver’s & Spinner’s guild, before we break for summer. We went to a local Alpaca farm that also has a small milling area and a store that sells their products (alpaca spun wool, alpaca roving, handmade products, etc.). The guild supplied a free lunch and we had draws for prizes. I won a book called “Knitting Ephemera – A compendium of articles, useful and otherwise, for the edification and amusement of the handknitter” by Carol J. Sulcoski. It’s full of interesting facts, all related to knitting, which will be an interesting read. We were offered the leftovers from lunch to take home if we’d like. I brought home a plate of cold meat, a bit of cheese, a bunch of toasted bread rounds, some red pepper jelly, a bunch of melon (3 different types), a 3/4 full container of fruit dip, a large 1/2 full container of cranberry juice and enough treats for us to share for dessert that night. The family was pleased with the free food offerings!

      1. Hi Rhonda,
        We have a Service Dog in Training for my daughter. We use the gentle leader as well -she pulls like a sled dog without it! When she was younger she could work it off her nose with a lot of effort and chew through it fairly quickly. This often happen when under a restaurant table when she would be very quiet and mostly still under the table and then she would be out from under the booth! Thankfully this has slowed down considerably as we got wiser and she got bigger! We tried to purchase a trained service dog for my daughter but it was $20,000 to 50,000 and a two year wait. This has been our biggest DIY project so far. I can say without out doubt it has been a tremendous blessing for my daughter and the best thing we have ever done. Enjoy your puppy to the max!

        1. We looked at getting a service dog for our Autistic daughter, too. We found the same thing. In fact the wait lists for getting one was so long, they had stopped taking applications. I knew about the gentle leader from working for over 10 years in the veterinary industry and knew that many had had good success with using them. I also know that teaching them to tolerate the harness over their nose was not as easy as it sounded. She’s done not too bad so far, but it is rather humorous watch her “swim” in the grass, rubbing her nose along the ground as we try to walk. Certainly slows her down!

          1. Not sure where you are located, but if in the United States, you might look into the organization “Canine Companions for Independence.” Our son has cerebral palsy, and had a fantastic service dog from this organization for many years until she died from old age. CCI provides all their dogs free of charge.

  23. I got my first email from you today! I signed up two months ago. I love reading your blog every week.

  24. Our frugal accomplishments:

    * We stocked up on food items that were on sale this week at Aldi (eggs for 69c a dozen!). I limited what we bought so that we can focus on using up what we already have, only buying a few items like milk, eggs, and some fruit.

    * I made several loaves of bread over the last few weeks. Cinnamon raisin is still my favorite, but regular French bread is the cheapest so I’ve been making that too.

    * I have found more dishes to try that use foods from our food storage. I made one for lunches this week (chana saag, using chickpeas, kale, spices, canned tomatoes, frozen onions, and canned evaporated milk) which I sered over rice. I already have gotten compliments on it from my fellow co-workers 😀

    * I harvested more herbs from my aerogarden, and harvested green onions from the ones I had planted in a dollar store planter. I dehydrated the herbs and frozen the onions.

    * I cancelled this week’s imperfect produce order, as we have enough fruits and vegetables to last us until our CSA starts.

    * I was out at a conference last week, so I pulled leftovers from the freezer for my SO to eat while I was gone.

    Other notes:
    Aldi was out of navy beans when I went last, so I’ll need to see if they have them next time I go in. I also need to get more kidney beans eventually, but neither of those beans are on the meal plan in the near future, so it shouldn’t be an urgent issue.

    I purchased the other items I was out of in my pantry, so I have a full pantry and freezer to eat from while we’re dealing with the transition between jobs for my SO.

    1. K, would you please share your recipe for cinnamon raisin bread-I have been searching for a good one. Thank you, Penny S.

      1. Penny,

        The recipe I use comes from the “Bread, Toast, Crumbs” cookbook, and it makes 2 loaves:

        For the dough:
        6 cups (768 g) all purpose flour
        1 tbsp kosher salt
        1/4 c sugar
        2.5 tsp yeast (I adjust this down to 1/2 tbsp without an issue)
        1.5 cups milk or buttermilk (I use buttermilk)
        1 cup boiling water
        6 tbsp butter (melted) (I use vegetable oil)
        1 cup raisins (plumped in water for 10 minutes)

        For assembly:
        1/4 cup flour (for rolling)
        Butter or oil, for greasing
        1/2 c sugar
        1 tbsp ground cinnamon
        1 egg+1tsp water, beaten

        Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast for the dough. Toss in the raisins, making sure they’re well coated. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the boiling water, milk/buttermilk, and butter/oil. Add to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. (It will be very wet, as this is a no-knead dough). Cover and let sit somewhere warm for ~1.5 hours, or until doubled.

        Preheat the oven to 375F and grease two loaf pans. Dust a clean surface with the extra flour, then deflate the dough by using a fork to scrape around the sides of the bowl and then mix up the dough. Pour the dough out on to the floured surface. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the ‘swirl’.

        Now, my assembly differs from the book’s assembly, as she has you split the dough in half first and then shape each into a ball, then let rest for 20 minutes. Then, you roll out the dough to a 10×15 inch rectangle, brush with egg, and then pour on half the cinnamon sugar. Lastly, you shape the two loaves and put them in the pans, letting them rest for 10 minutes afterwards. I personally roll out the dough as one mass, big enough so that it fits in two loaf pans side by side, brush with egg and sprinkle with all the sugar, then roll up, cut in half, and shape, then leave in the pans for 30 minutes. I personally don’t notice a difference doing my method, and my method is less hassle, but feel free to do it either way.

        Once the dough has sat for the sufficient amount of time, bake for 40-45 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool.

        1. Thanks for sharing the cinnamon raisin bread recipe. I really like raisin bread and will give this recipe a try soon. Penny S.

  25. Brandy – the urns are beautiful. It never hurts to ask, huh?

    This week, living frugally in Portland, OR:

    – My main frugal accomplishment was hitting a neighborhood yard sale. I had blocked out the time because I had a feeling it would be worth my time to go and it did not disappoint. I came with a list and got almost everything on it – much to my surprise – including tomato cages, new hiking boots for me, almost brand new t-shirts and shorts for my kids at $1/piece, and a small desk (I had been using a tray as my desk since we moved!). I had hoped to find a bicycle for one of my kids, but knew that was unlikely. I paid $25 for everything total….such a gift.

    – I’m also starting to harvest a bit from our garden, including strawberries and basil. I plan to make pesto this weekend and homemade pizza with tomatoes and basil for tonight’s dinner.

    – Last Friday my husband’s work held a dinner at a local brewery. We don’t drink, but the food was fantastic. It was a gorgeous evening, so we rode our bikes which made it a completely free date night for us.

    – I am working much less this summer. Looking forward to the extra time but planning on upping my frugality game by making my own bread again, and eating out of our garden as much as possible.

  26. Got my first email ever today!
    It came in while I was dealing with a “spicy” parent at work and gave me an opportunity for a much needed mental break! Thank you so much!!!

  27. Such beautiful urns and such truth – it’s only worthwhile if you use it regardless of the price
    I’m sorry about the hack!
    It was a hard week – much involved with caring for my aging parents but it kept me out of the stores and there were no great deals so I used what was on hand to feed us all.
    I did get to the library twice to avoid fees and pick up or renew books I’m using for free projects and my youngest is using for school avoiding a purchase
    I watched some art videos on YouTube – painting is my therapy!
    We cleaned out the garage and were able to pass on many things to appreciative folks and also found some useful ones that I can now get to easily including night bulbs bought as an special highly discounted offer from the power company and tools we’d been missing

  28. Brandy, it is hard for me to type my frugal accomplishment comments on my phone, so I am not commenting as much as I would like. I do want to thank you for your time, efforts, and commitment to meeting the expense required for running your site. It is a wealth of information and encouragement for all who must be frugal, yet not cheap or miserly. I rejoice with you and all your commenters on each frugal accomplishment posted. This is a positive, joyful community!

  29. Thank you for all of your hard work and time on this blog…would it be possible for those of us who want to send a donation to help offset these extra costs to keep the blog going?
    I get the blog through Facebook…I didn’t even know it was possible to get an email…

  30. Have been reading your newsletter for a few years and very rarely ever received email notification. I have to look for it on Facebook.

  31. I am also very happy that only computer problems and not family illness delayed your posting this week. I haven’t checked all my e-mails yet but will let you know if I got a notice or not–I usually don’t although I am subscribed.
    I finally got started on the gardening last week, when the rain mostly stopped. Being older, we are moving slowly, but we ARE moving. Two flower beds and at least a third of the vegetable garden have been weeded and cleaned up. The columbines I planted last year are COVERED with blossoms–in fact, I need to get a couple plant supports out of the barn as two of the flower spikes are leaning over a bit. I am so happy they have done as well as they have–I only put five new plants in last summer. My clematis have lots of large buds but none open yet. The porch boxes are planted (4 of them, plus two small dirt plots on either side of the porch stairs) with morning glory seeds, and a few have popped up already. There are trellises on two sides of the porch so by August we have almost a privacy screen of morning glories.
    No vegetables planted yet but I am hoping. Spring is coming almost a month later lately so I am hoping the growing season will extend well in September or even October. I am not planting a lot but I want to have some things.
    I did manage to mend a torn seam in my favorite jeans, but my mending pile has more in it than that! I also swapped some spring and winter shirts in the closets as it finallly got too warm to wear long sleeves. I also managed to find denim shorts on sale in my size, and bought two pair for just over $30 on sale. Had them sent to the store to avoid shipping charges, and tried them on while I was there in case they didn’t fit, I would have been able to return them while I was in the store. But they did fit, so we went on home. That was our Sunday afternoon ride.
    Spent Friday working non-stop, making granola and chocolate chip cookies as well as doing laundry. I shared some of the cookies with the neighbors who are always helping us with jobs outdoors. Getting the work done was so we could spend Saturday at a favorite high quality craft show. My husband always enjoys this one and he didn’t want to miss it. While there I picked up five elasticized bracelets with semi precious stones in them, which will be going to my two sisters, daughter, grandaughter and a niece at Christmas time. I love finding inexpensive but nicely made things that are one of a kind! I really think they will enjoy them.
    Also celebrated my other sister’s birthday with another lunch date with them both. It was fun–we don’t get together terribly often without families and just talk, so it is always fun.
    What little time was left, we spent on housecleaning. Vacuuming and sorting out papers are jobs that ALWAYS seem to need doing around here. This week we have three doctor appointments but they are all doctors close to home. Yesterday I saw the eye doctor and spoke to the optician about some glasses that I didn’t buy from him. Came home and checked and the glasses were under warranty for TWO more days. Went to Sam’s Club this afternoon and they will re-make me two lenses absolutely free! I have cracks in both lenses–optician thought the screws were tightened down too much. So I am very pleased with that. I hadn’t thought about a warranty at all. He also said I could buy over the counter reading glasses and try them out, as they should allow me to read and if I use eye drops, my dry eye symptoms may improve as well. A excellent visit that turned out to be. The next two appointments are my husband’s and are routine blood pressure and dental check ups.

  32. I feel like there wasn’t much frugal about last week. It seems like the money went out faster than it came in. I have been having problems with a couple of my teeth (two molars) and I am trying to decide if I should have a root canal (more expensive) vs having them pulled. But if I have them pulled, it is recommended that I get a partial denture or implants – which are ultimately quite a bit more expensive than a root canal !
    I did manage to get a few strawberry plants in the ground over the weekend. Diligently watering them and hoping the bunnies don’t nibble them before they even have half a chance to grow. I continue to walk on my lunch breaks and bring all my lunch and snack foods from home.

    1. If you have them pulled, definitely have something put in, so your face does not become misshapen. I think I would opt for the root canal over dentures!

    2. Joyce, I had a molar (furthest one back, lower left side) pulled many years ago. It needed a root canal and crown, but I could not afford it at the time. It was infected and causing me a lot of pain. I had to argue with the dentist’s billing staff (the dentist himself was fine doing the extraction!), since they really wanted me to spend the $$$ for the root canal & crown, but there was no way I could swing that. They recommended I have an implant put in, which I fully intended to do later, but never got around to. I’ve never had any problems from it. No teeth shifting or misalignment, sore gums, bone deterioration, chewing issues, facial shape issues, no overgrowth of the upper teeth. Mine isn’t visible when smiling or talking, since it was in the far back. You can’t tell anything is missing and I do not miss it. That said, mine was only 1 molar. Dentists are always in favor of preserving teeth, but dental infections are not something to mess around with as it can get serious quick. I did have a root canal and crown years later on another tooth, and those aren’t always successful and sometimes have to be redone, even years later, or even end up as extractions anyway so even the root canal is not a guarantee. I’m sure your dentist will be able to tell you what’s best for your specific situation.

    3. Hi Joyce,
      I live in NH and have had great luck saving money on dental procedures at Harvard dental school and Tufts. If you get a student it can save you about 65% on your dental bill vs a regular dentist. If you can get a referral from your dentist it will go faster The students I had were kind gentle and through.
      good luck.

    4. Joyce, I had the same experience as Pam but with 2 molars. Both were pulled over 10 years ago and the dentist at the time suggested implants. I couldn’t afford it and decided to wait. My current dentist says not to worry about it. I’ve had no movement in my teeth and no difference in my facial appearance.

  33. Do you know how your blog was hacked? It may be the competition. There is a very famous money blogger that has done this to many people. Be careful if you comment on other blogs. That’s how a lot of hacks happen. They don’t want others in the frugal genre taking their amazon clicks away. Very petty. I know 4 other women she did this to and its not Chinese hackers.

    1. I don’t know what happened, and my site host was unable to figure it out, so here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again. They asked me to update some plugins as that was what they suspected as a way to get in. I haven’t commented on other blogs for a while as I have so much to do at home right now.

  34. I also received an email for the first time, but I don’t really need it as my regular Tuesday treat is to make a pot of tea and sit down and read your blog and all the comments. Thank you for part of my week that I always look forward to.
    My husband went to rescue a friend who had been working on his roof and his ladder had blown away in high winds (luckily he had his phone with him). As a thank you he gave my husband a $50 gift voucher for a hardware/nursery chain, which he has now given to me. I think I will spend it on sugar cane mulch and some manure for the garden.
    I went to a clothes swap organised by a friend and did a good clear out of my wardrobe, and also came home with some lovely new clothes for work and a couple of things for the teenage daughter.
    I finally finished the clinical trial I was involved with and received the $250 payment. I’m going away with friends for the long weekend coming up and this should cover nearly all of the costs.
    Have a good week

  35. Hi Brandy, I have been focusing money saving efforts to using what we do have. With our Amazon Prime, my husband and I have been enjoying a few date night movies at home. My two college students have been using our account to rent books, cheaper than their college bookstores. I did a trial of Audible and marked my calendar for the cancellation date, but when I went to cancel, they offered a very discounted rate so I stayed on with Audible. I listen to books while I walk three miles on my work lunch break. Usually I use Overdrive to listen because it’s free, but Audible has more books and they are immediately available if Overdrive is too long of a hold wait. On Audible if you don’t like the book you can return for a credit. You can also share a book with a friend once if they have never received a book from Audible. Who doesn’t love a free audio book!
    We had a potluck at work and there were a number of leftovers which I enjoyed for lunches this week. Our kids have helped plant our garden (5,000 sq ft). This is a canning year for us so I will put up 75 quarts of veggies, probably 40 of those will be green beans. Hope you always have a small amount of time for the blog Brandy, it’s been an inspiration for me for years!

  36. Brandy, I have been reading your page for a year or so now. I think this is my second post. I have your Facebook page as one of my saved pages. When I check my pages and you have a new post I get excited and read it and all the comments. The next day I check to see if there are more comments. I enjoy it so much. It brightens my week.
    Your pictures are always so beautiful. Sorry for the loss of your father in law. The urns are beautiful. Glad you were able to get them. Some of the ways we save money is by using Krogers digital coupons and other coupons. I save 5 to 10 dollars a week with regular coupons. We use the fuel points to save on the price of diesel in my husbands pickup. I use Speedway for my vehicle.
    Our Shop n Save has a meat sale once a month on Thursday and Friday. It is this week, so I will meat for the month. Our kids are grown with kids of their own, so it is just yhe 2 of us. I buy gift cards for places we go when Kroger had 4x the fuel points. My husband needed parts, so I got a $200 gift card for Autozone to use and get 80 cents off a gallon. I do that with Sears and a few restaurants we go to now and then.
    My husband is retired military. Lots of places give discounts. We found out that Advance Auto and Autozone each give a 10 % discount.Also Lowe’s and some other places. I have my AARP card matched with my Walgreens card for discount. He works for the state now and we have a Flexible Spending Account. I would recommend it for anyone that has it offered. When I worked I had it. I am retired now so he has it. It is so convenient just to hand the card to the pharmacy, or dentist and not having to worry about having that amount in your checking account. Our calendar year ends on June 30 and I still have money left. I went on a FSA shopping trip today to get bandaids, first aid kits and an extra heating pad. You can only get certain items over the counter. I have to use it up by the 30th or I’ll lose it. I told my friend she might get banned aids for Christmas.
    Sorry for writing so much. Everyone have a great week

  37. Brandy, I got my first email from you even though I’ve been signed up for it for several months. I usually access your blog through FB.

  38. I’ve been following your site for almost 10 years now, or so it seems. It’s funny how someone you have never met becomes an integral part of your weekly routine- I guess that’s life in the 21st century 🙂 I’ve learned so much!
    This week is the start of summer at home (I work 10 months a year at a school). I enjoy this time of year because I have more time to focus on making homemade food. I’ve made baguettes twice (the king Arthur flour recipe is the BEST!), Cherry cobbler from not so great cherries bought on sale, banana bread, raspberry jam, and granola. It’s a great feeling seeing my kids get so excited about wholesome food. I just hate feeding them preservative laden junk, and I try not to, but life gets the best of us sometimes!
    My husband’s aunt and uncle called us last minute to tell us they would be in Washington DC this weekend, which is about 3.5 hours from our house. We really wanted to see them, so we *not so frugally* booked a room at the hotel they are staying at. We got a government discount through my husband’s employer, and I will pack all meals to take with, minus dinner out with them Saturday night. While not very frugal, most activities in DC are free- so we are looking forward to the impomtu vacation that we would have not otherwise had this year. We will be seeing the dinosaur exhibit at the Smithsonian, and maybe the air and space museum as well. The kids are going to love it!
    I’ve saved a significant amount of gas not working g this week. I usually go through a tank in 5 days. The kids not being in preschool also saves us $840 this month, and in July, as well (!!!). It’s a nice pad to our savings and also allows us some wiggle room to get school supplies and clothes for our rising kindergartener and stock up the panty.
    I printed and brought home some worksheets from work that my son’s can work on over the summer to stay in the habit of practicing handwriting and letters (they are 3 and 5).
    We have been enjoying free summer activities at the library and park, too. Have a great week everyone!!

    1. “It’s funny how someone you have never met becomes an integral part of your weekly routine- I guess that’s life in the 21st century ? I’ve learned so much!”
      I really liked the way you phrased this, Bobbie!
      Don’t forget about coloring books, or even dot-to-dot books, for hand-eye coordination practice.

    2. Bobbie, if you want to go up the Washington Monument (it’s free as well), you need to go when the ticket booth first opens. Tickets disappear very quickly! You can choose when you go up, but you need to get the tickets early in the morning, to ensure they are available. The Holocaust Museum has an excellent childrens exhibit (again, free) called “Daniel’s Diary”. Highly recommend it, although your little ones may be a bit too young to fully understand it. I hope you enjoy your trip to DC!

  39. Brandy,
    Thank you for the caring, sharing community you have built here. I am so grateful. Though I do not purchase much from Amazon when I do, I will make sure to go through your site.
    Cleaned out & organized the shed this weekend. We are now able to access what we need much easier and know what we have so we don’t make a duplicate purchase. Pulled out long forgotten about bicycles, after some TLC we are giving 1 to a family friend and the keeping the other for myself. I need to find a form of exercise that I enjoy & I think this may be it! Stopped at 2 church rummage sales this weekend and purchased 2 Star Wars mugs (a gift for my son), a vintage rhinestone hair barrette (gift for daughter), a small cosmetics bag for my purse, toothbrush holder, and 5 books all for $ 3.50! The toothbrush holder & cosmetics bag were items I have been searching for, patience pays off!
    My husband purchased a TV antenna in preparation for cancelling Direct TV. Next step is to mount it on the roof when the rain stops.

  40. I haven’t commented on a few weeks as I’ve been out of town. I went on vacation with my family and then had to immediately fly down to Florida for a wedding. I packed all my clothes and laptop in a carryon. I stayed at my parent’s house and had free rein of their pantry and freezer so did not eat out. My parents are in the process of moving so they gave me a few items (books, canning jars). Since returning home I’ve tried to plan meals around what I already have but do need fresh veggies. My garden looks pretty sad as we’ve had no rain for almost 3 weeks. My tomatoes have finally started producing although it will be weeks before ripe. I did enjoy a handful of green beans and some sugar snap peas.

  41. I was just going to say that I haven’t gotten any emails and when I do a google search it comes back in Chinese. It does have regular FB link though. We had an expensive week as we had to replace our outdoor furniture since our daughters wedding is in August and ones we current have our semi-rusted in the chair legs and hubby worried someone may possibly fall. We’ve had that set close to 20 years so definitely served its worth and we’ve repaired numerous times.

  42. First… Brandy you are a gift to us that are struggling and feel alone in this battle of not just surviving but thriving in difficulties. You and yours thrive.

    Second, I have gotten my email notice of your posts every week since you went this way.

    Third, I bookmarked this site in my “store” folder and listed is as Brandy’ Amazon so when ever I am going to Amazon I go through your site. Then I don’t “forget”. Not sure how you would do it if you were shopping through your cell phone.

    I am sorry such people are so bored in their lives that their thrill is to hack and harm others.

    I have been reading about the Great Depression (floods in the plains and Vermont in 1927, Great Depression 1929 and Dust bowl 1930). Helped me refocused on what is important after I got crabby that Hubby had taken the summer bed linen out of the rubber maid I put them in because I was storing them in the barn. He put them in a wicker clothes hamper that the mice ate through and ruined the bedding. I have a few that I can use… just don’t “go together” and “clash” with the colors in the bedroom because their were Daddy’s (this man painted his house PINK) . I told myself I won’t see it with my eyes closed sleeping and need to not let it trigger my OCD.

    I started back on doing Swagbucks daily, goal is to earn enough to pay for Amazon Prime and my Kindle monthly payment. I figure I can do it while watching the evening news, a couple cook shows Hubby enjoys and asked me to watch with him while doing my hand sewing. Might as well multi-task.

    Hubby went deep sea fishing with his buddy . Buddy told us that 5 yrs ago he was spending $2000 for 3 days and 2 fishing trips for just himself. This one is costing each of them $500 including all their food…. now that he is following us in being frugal (might help that his mother in law is out of money and her social security doesn’t cover her bills including home care) that his wife and him are really active in watching their money as he just retired and she retired 10 yrs ago.

    Our garden is not producing…. bad spring going into a bad start to summer with bad soil (our 1st garden here and not enough compost to turn it enough around) we are having to buy our fresh produce(peas, Swiss chard, radishes, green onions, lettuce, spinach etc not growing) which normally would be coming from the garden. Green beans didn’t even sprout. I am replanting and hoping they do the second time around. Amish neighbor(family of 10)next door lost his main garden (1 acre they had just planted) when it flooded last week. They hope to replant next week but know the chance of having winter squash ripe in time for this fall is iffy. HE said he was LUCKY. He lost his garden but not the corn, oats or hay for the livestock. He has over 100 calves, 3 dozen chickens, 6 Guinea hens, 2 turkeys and 12 horses…. said it was cheaper to buy produce for the family since the livestock was also their meat supply.

    Frugal note… I stopped yesterday at a discount/damaged goods store on the way to doctor appt. I got Hellmanns’ extra creamy 24 oz mayonnaise that was 1 week past BEST USED BY DATE (not expired !!!) for 10 cents.Normal price is $3.89. I picked up 8 jars which will take us through the summer. I only use it in potato salad etc. Hubby prefers Miracle Whip. I also got instant oatmeal, Hubby eats a lot of during the winter as a quick snack. Normal price is $2.59, I got it for 49 cents. I also got granola bars Hubby carries with him when working that is usually any where from $2.91-$2.50 for 49 cents. I stocked us up as this store doesn’t carry the same thing most the time.

    I got regular canning lids on sale at Dollar General so won’t need to buy any more most likely this summer.

    I hit the sales at Kroger’s that tied to my coupons and got me extra fuel points.

    The rest is here….

  43. We use a bug spray called Demon Xp(I think). My husband sprays it outside only 2x per year. It gets rid of those huge roaches.We live in Georgia ,not sure if they sell it where you are.

    1. Jeanie, where do you buy that? I moved from MD to SC and let’s just say the bugs are different!

  44. Brandy
    What about asking your regular readers to pitch in a few dollars? If everyone gave $1-$5, wouldn’t that help a lot?

    1. I don’t want people to spend extra money! If you’re going to buy something from Amazon anyway, I love when you use my links there.

      1. I don’t think I have made an Amazon purchase in over a year. Some of us are in a position to help support you and the site with money since we cannot give you time. Just saying…

      2. I understand your reluctance, but if the donations would mean you could afford to continue the blog, I think most of us would agree that what we learn on here is worth a few dollars!

        Please consider this as an option before stopping. I am one of many who really appreciate this blog, but I boycott Amazon.

        1. Any of the links to products at the ends of the post are affiliate links to Amazon. Anything you add to your cart after clicking through those links (it doesn’t have to be those items) and purchase within 24 hours will give me credit. Thanks for asking!

          1. Thanks for telling us about the links to Amazon. I don’t usually buy on Amazon but every once in awhile, I do. I’ll certainly link and get the credit going to you.

  45. Brandi,
    I tried searching your site, but I couldn’t find my answer. Can you share the link to your solar oven? I’ve been looking at a bunch of them lately but I am just not sure which one to get.

    Thank you!

  46. Brandy,
    So very sorry to hear about your struggles with your most awesome blog. I too, would be more than willing to donate to the cost of keeping this site up and going. It is a God send to me.
    I love your urns with the trees potted in them!
    We celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary by going to our little beach cabin. We took a long walk on the beach, sat and read and then had a nice dinner on the patio. The weather was perfect. Such a blessing.
    My 6 year old grandson is growing like a weed and is never full. I try to feed him healthy snacks when I have him so lately this means lots of cucumber slices and watermelon. He now likes me to make him cucumber sandwiches. These are cheap and healthy.
    I was given a dozen LED light bulbs so I shared them with my adult children. My daughter was very happy to get them because the light bulbs in her basement had just gone out.
    I found myself a new pair of jeans at the thrift store for $4 and they fit perfectly. I don’t have hips but do have too much tummy so it is hard to find pants to fit properly. These will really help extend my wardrobe. I cut my own hair. I trimmed up our poodle.
    My husband will be heading 4 hrs north this weekend to help work on his father’s farm house. They are getting it ready to sale because my FIL is now in assisted living (his wife passed a few years ago). I will send snacks with him to eat while on the road and I will also send food from the pantry for meals while he is there. Gas will be the only cost and he will use our compact car that gets the best gas mileage.
    Brandy-thank you so much for making time to fix the hack on your site. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!!

  47. I’m sorry you were hacked. I wish people put their minds to better uses than creating such havoc.
    That was really ingenious to use the metal shelf for the replacement. What a great thinker!

    I honored Marievne’s work ethic by filling a tree tub full of weeds daily. The yard looks so much better. I intend to keep it up.

    Had a cup of leftover grilled veggies that I kept meaning to implement with other dinners and was failing. I used your recipe for pasta salad as inspiration and made a creamy vinaigrette with a little mayo and garlic flavored rice vinegar. I then had 4 delicious lunches with it.
    I also wanted to make Budget Bytes garlic noodles but was out of angel hair pasta. I opted orzo instead – turned out great.

    I was given some really nice used clothing from a family member’s closet that doesn’t fit me (that was the intention) they said to just toss it. Oh my no. I asked, and was given permission to list and keep the money. Which is helpful since my job has been less hours the last few weeks.

    A family member received a $10 off $10 Staples coupon that they didn’t need – which happens at the time where I need to replace (3) 9 volt batteries. They gladly handed over the coupon.

  48. Frugal Accomplishments:

    I stopped at Food 4 Less for their avocados and roma tomatoes that were on sale. I always check their clearance items and found organic 5-ounce greens marked down. The first one was 50/50 blend of baby greens and spinach for 25 cents. I found another one for $1.49. I don’t know why there was such a difference in price but I took what I could get. They both were fresh-looking and will last the week for our lunches. I also found several cans of peas for 29 cents each, one can of beets that I will use for my pickled eggs recipe for 29 cents, one brownie mix for 59 cents, and a box of granola bars for 99 cents.

    Dollar General had their half price clearance sale and didn’t find much that I could use, although I did get conditioner for 50 cents and an exercise ball for $2.00.

    Bought 3 pints of blueberries for 99 cents each at Aldi to freeze for smoothies and adding to cereal, muffins, and yogurt. I will be on the look-out for good deals on berries in the next few weeks and stocking up as much as possible.

    Made our coffee and ate our breakfasts at home each morning, took our lunches to work, and cooked dinner every night. On a couple of nights it was just a matter of heating leftovers up.

    Stopped at a garage sale and found never-used embroidered pillowcases for $5 a pair that the seller’s mother had made. They are beautiful and will save them for Christmas gifts. One set will go to my Mom and the other pair will go to each of my granddaughters.

    Used a new-to-me recipe for face wash that worked very well. No OOP cost.

  49. Hi Brandy – I commented last night – it said it would show after moderation – but it has never shown up.
    I did realize you had been hacked but everything seems to be ok now with my regular links. I don’t receive notification so can’t help with that. One thing that is great is that if I comment in reply to someone I stay where I was – previously if I commented it would then take me back up to the start of your post and I would have to scroll down again to find where I had left off reading.
    I also asked you if the Amazon links work for Canadian users as we have to order through I don’t order often but would like to benefit you if I can as I do really appreciate all your hard work.
    I am still working on a casual basis – haven’t heard yet whether they are interested in my proposal for 30 hours per week instead of FT – but – they keep teaching me new things so I’ll just hang in as long as I can.
    I did an inventory of my small freezer compartment on the weekend and was surprised at how much meat, seafood and incidentals are in there! Along with what I have in the pantry I’ve decided not to buy anymore until July – I want to use up what I have before I forget about anything and lose it to freezer burn! I am concentrating on buying mostly dairy, fruit & veg – plus restocking the pantry with a few odds & ends.
    I take a snack rather than a full lunch as I mostly work in the afternoons. If I have to stay for an evening meeting or my volunteer session then I take an actual meal with me. I buy myself an occasional coffee as a treat but that’s it. There is just too much food that needs to be used up!
    I continue to try and match purchases with my Loyalty Point offers and now have over $30 saved up. I’m going to keep saving them as they may be needed if it’s a tight Fall financially.
    I did buy another monthly transit pass for June as even if I only work for a few weeks it will be worth it – I’ll reassess come July.
    Used my Museum pass to enjoy the latest exhibit that opened last Friday. I took a friend for her birthday lunch to the restaurant at the Gardiner Museum across the street and received a 10% discount for having a membership to the ROM.
    Paid all the first of the month bills – the two CC are paid mid-month and the money is in my checking account for the one and a small cheque owed for some extra Sunday work will pay the other. Grocery $ is in the small pouch I keep for just that purpose and there is some spending $ in my wallet so that is me set for June!
    It is still very cool and wet here – still wearing a Spring/Fall jacket today! It’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow and over the weekend but the local station seems to be a lot more optimistic than the weather channel so we’ll have to see. I rent an A/C unit (at least for the bedroom) each summer but with the long range forecast for cooler than normal for the summer I’m trying to decide whether to just buy another heavy duty fan for about a third of the cost of the A/C – it will probably depend upon how long the work lasts. I cannot even imagine living with the high temps that you get for months on end – I’d find it totally exhausting – how you manage to do so much – especially in the garden is astonishing!
    As always your photos are gorgeous and those urns are quite spectacular – so glad that your SIL gave them to you. I hope that this week is less stressful and that everything gets sorted on the blog.

  50. Hello, I am and have been receiving the emails Brandi. Still enjoying life living on a small income, and it can be a fun challenge … I took the Ferry to visit my son and family, at their town’s thrift shop I found some quart large mouth canning jars for 50 cents ea w. rings; best buy was an “as new” Sadler teapot made in England, 4 cup, for $4.00. these are no longer made and are sold online up to $90. another “desire” finally satisfied! love your urns.
    ann lee s, B.C.

  51. 1. I shredded some smoked pork my mom had given me this past week to make pulled pork sandwiches. **My dad always over cooks, so my mom offers me leftovers on a weekly basis…of course I say yes.
    2. Used 40cents in fuel points from Kroger to get cheap gas
    3. My father’s company sent him houseplants when my grandmother passed away last week and since my mom doesn’t have a green thumb I took them happily.
    4. My dad gave me 3 dozen eggs this week and a bag of zucchini and cucumbers from his farm…my dad is simply the best!
    5. I am doing a summer fun challenge where I see how many fun things we can do for under $10 a week. Last week, we swam at my sister’s pool twice, went to the park/splash pad, got slushees at Sonic during happy hour, used coupons at a local bbq place for two free sandwiches for lunch, and went to our library’s summer reading program kickoff. Total spent this week: $5

  52. Margie, Do you mind telling me who you rent the AC from. I will be visiting Toronto all summer to care for my Mum so I am hoping to rent a bedroom air conditioner-in case the cool summer does not pan out. Thanks

      1. Thank you-I randomly found them and emailed them to ask and they said they are out of portable units for the summer. Will have to try somebody else or buy one or hope for a cooler summer or shorter stay caring for my Mum- who thankfully is improving.

  53. This is a wonderful blog and someone just had to hack it! I can’t understand the thought processes of these people.
    I started to say that I didn’t get your email this time, but realized that it may have gone to my spam folder — it does that randomly, as do other emails I want to receive, and I emptied my spam without looking at it the other day, in frustration at the sordid emails I’ve suddenly started receiving. I was receiving your emails weekly since you changed your blog format, but I am not sure about the last two or three weeks, because, as I said, I’ve just been wiping out the junk/spam. I’ve had too much disgusting email to want to look for decent ones. I don’t understand these people who send disgusting emails, either.
    I had no idea that all your hard work netted so little. I have used your site for Amazon once or twice, but normally just go to Amazon without thinking about it. That’s going to change!
    My week was pretty difficult, as my husband was back in the hospital, with a bad infection this time, and the infection — and perhaps the meds — have his mind mixed up pretty badly, although it should get better. I moved him to short term rehab yesterday. I had to buy some food on the road, as I drove 2 hours to be there at 11 a.m. and they released him right at noon to go straight to rehab. I’ve tried to keep a lid on finances in other ways, as the VA and Medicare (Medicare will cover the rehab) both charge us co-pays, and this will be his third hospital stay and second rehab stay this year so far.
    We finally are selling my husband’s old motorcycle — he’s been unable to ride it for at least 3 years, and there was no prospect of him being able to handle it again, so he at last agreed to selling, well before the infection confusion set in. We can use the cash much better than a motorcycle setting up. We have a buyer, so that’s good.
    When my parents died, I inherited one of their concrete planters which has chipped white paint, but I love the way it looks. It is hosting a lot of four o’clocks right now. Those little trees look great in those planters, Brandy. Re-using is so frugal, too.
    With my husband away from home, I have at least saved on groceries, although, of course, I’d prefer he be home to eat them.
    I’m pretty awed by Brandy’s husband making a new shelf for the refrigerator. That sounds so like my late dad, who could fix nearly anything. My husband and I had a mini-fridge which had a shelf support that broke, but the little glass shelf survived. We used mirror holders to attach the glass rectangle to the drywall by our door, where one of the cats has always scratched to go out no matter how I tried to train him not to do that. It gathers some odd looks, but I finally could quit patching and repainting that section of wall.
    When one of our neighbors bought an old homestead near us, he dug up a Seven Sisters rose that was growing there and brought it to us for free. We are using old split rail fencing as a support for it; my husband got the whole fence from a trash pile waiting for city pick up. I recently added another rail to the rose’s support. I was beginning to think we would need to get rid of this free fencing, since, as Brandy said, if you don’t use it, it doesn’t matter if it was free, until we realized we could use it in ways that weren’t actually fencing.
    We modified a couple of walkers for my husband’s use, adding wheels that will go in the yard. We kept the former legs — the legs and wheeled legs are all interchangeable — and yesterday I hung them in an old mesh laundry bag on a clothes rod in a spare room, so as not to lose them. When he finishes rehab, he will probably need the standard legs instead of wheels for a while.
    I’m wearing my like new Naturalizer flats that I bought at Goodwill. I always spray used shoes thoroughly inside with disinfectant and put them in the sun as well, before wearing them.
    As usual, I’m packing lunches, using cloth rags, glass and silicone storage and lunch containers, washing in homemade laundry soap, and cooking mostly from scratch. That’s the best I can do this week!

  54. Longtime reader here 🙂 I did receive an email with your new post this week, but I hadn’t received an email from here in months! I love your site Brandy and it helps me so much!! 🙂

  55. Dear Brandy, while I rarely comment, I read every week and love your site, photos, and the community here. It gave me a chill of anxiety to think that you might one day, perhaps even in the near future, stop or pause your blog because of the time and expense. Oh, I would hope not!

    My SO is not a “pro” but has some experience coding and setting up blogs, and had the following suggestion after I related what was going on and your difficulties: Contact Google immediately (!!!) as your site’s owner and inform them their results are directing people to a malicious website. It looks like it’s a problem specifically with Google’s search engine since Yahoo and Bing do not readily show the Chinese hacked site. Google is supposed to be responsive to this type of problem, hopefully they will be.. (I just now, Thursday afternoon, searched Yahoo, Bing and Google for “the prudent homemaker.” Went 4 pages into the Yahoo and Bing results and saw only legit links, but the Chinese link is still *second* in my Google results.)

    It’s understandable you don’t want to ask people to spend extra money at this moment. However, if you get to a place of considering stopping or pausing due to the expense, you might consider a PayPal “donation” button for single contributions, or Patreon or SubscribeStar subscription programs that would allow folks to support your blog with a monthly “donation” of as little as $1, linked to your PayPal. I’m sure many readers would be pleased to contribute what they can in exchange for value received — I know I would! I strongly believe that people *ought to be* compensated in this world for real value they bring to others, and we save dollars each month by reading your blog – not just from frugal ideas but also from the ongoing encouragement to use what we have creatively rather than buying something new — not to mention the entertainment value for us frugal geeks, being able to see frugality practiced around the U.S. and other countries!

    My SO says that implementing any of these funding ideas is not very difficult on WordPress and the instructions and code can be found in the programs’ websites.

    Finally, even though it’s very late in the week (we were out of town till last night), I’m already here so I’ll throw in my favorite frugal accomplishments for the week. Drove 65 mph to conserve gas on our 250 mile round-trip weekly commute into the city for work, and used Gas Buddy to decide where to fill up, which turned out to be Ralphs so also used my 10 cents/gal. off. Shopping at Ralphs, found a bag of 3 huge avocados that were just a little soft on the discount rack for 99 cents, and sugar-free chia cracked rye bread on the discount bakery rack for $1.29.. Much avocado toast is being enjoyed here, and as we are in Week 3 of a 4-week sugar detox diet, this has literally saved our sanity. Got hit with a big dental bill for long-term work over the next few months — the same week our WaterPik died. We are fortunate that our excellent dentist offers interest-free financing, and also gave us a $5 rebate form for a new WaterPik water flosser, which I just ordered through Ebates, 5% cash back, at So the total will be about $45, and should also finally push me over my Ebates payout threshold! Woohoo.

    Actually, it’s not bad commenting on a Thursday, knowing your next post is just several days away!

  56. Hello Brandy and Frugal Friends,

    Just wanted to add how much I appreciate your blog, as many other readers have stated. I haven’t commented for a few weeks as I started working full time. I am feeling pretty tired at the end of the day as most days are longer than 8 hours but I am grateful for the overtime.
    I was also wondering if you are able to connect with the Canadian site. I order quite a bit and I would like to go through your site if there was any way possible to do that.

    Thank you again for this wonderful, positive and frugal community you have created.

  57. It has been raining so much we still have not got our our tomatoes in the ground. Then the rototiller string broke. Now hubby plans on fixing it when we have time and money. We have discussed just digging holes in the ground for the plants we planted form seed and are beyond ready to go in the ground.
    Been doing lots of cooking. Had a picnic with grandkids. Saved us money and they loved it. We bring snacks anytime we are with them to save money. They are always hungry as they are growing.
    A tire we just bought this year was wore to the core. Luckily we had road hazard so only had to pay 45 dollars for a new tire and alignment.
    Busy with family, so busy. Glad hubby helps with housework. I have been carefully planning our meals from what we have. I couldn’t make a mobile food pantry today because of the tire. I hope to go on Tuesday. In the meantime I’m glad we had bought a lot of canned vegetables when they were only 49 cents a can. I prefer fresh but these will fill us up so we can save money to pay our bills. Bought hubby a pair of shoes at walmart. He had really made his last until they had large holes in them So it seemed they were a necessity.
    Found a gift card that my son had given me for my birthday. I am going to buy toilet paper with it. Made a little bit of money on asparagus last week. Now I think we will process it and save for us. We will be happy to have it in the winter. I’m also happy to have it now.
    So far we are able to make minimum payments on things. I hope we can pay everything this coming month and beyond. Choosing what to do as far as medical appointments. Trying to spread things out so as not to get all the bills at once.
    Enjoyed romantic music on Pandora.
    Enjoyed a sunset.
    Saw a very new fawn with its mommy deer.
    Enjoyed seeing baby goats this week.
    Enjoyed spending time with husband and grandkids.
    Enjoyed seeing both my sons this week.
    Happy to have my parents around. What a help they are.
    Glad to visit hubby’s family. I will enjoy the rose plant they gave us.
    Happy to be alive even though our financial situation is a bit scary.
    Happy to have our little farmhouse and chickens.
    Happy to have asparagus.
    Happy to finally have some sunny days interspersed with the rain.
    Happy to read your blog every week Brandy.

    1. Tammy,
      If you dig a hole bigger than you need for your tomato plant, put a little fertilizer in the bottom (we use some granulated organic someone gave us years ago, but you could also use well-rotted manure, compost, or any fertilizer you have) and then put another layer of soft dirt on top of that, then fill the rest of the hole in with soft, nice dirt, the tomato should grow. The layer of soft dirt between the fertilizer and roots gives the plant time to grow a little before the roots hit the fertilizer. It works for us, and they don’t get shocked, especially if the compost is little “hot.” Then, later when you get the rototiller fixed, you can till in-between if you like. For the last 2 years, my garden has gotten tilled at the beginning of the season, and then I’ve hand-hoed and weeded the rest of the season. It’s like one large raised bed for most of the summer. I need every inch. Long ago, they hand dug their gardens, but it’s a LOT of work, so I hope your tiller gets fixed really soon:)

      1. Becky
        Thank-you for writing with this information. We have some well rotted chicken manure that we can use. It will be a lot of work. But I think we will work on it very soon. There are a few sunny days ahead.

  58. Hello,
    I am sorry your website was hacked. That must be so frustrating! I hope you are able to get everything going again.
    Here are my frugal accomplishments:
    – I got my garden all planted finally! I am so excited to see the plants starting to sprout!
    – My neighbor gave me irises that she was going to get out and get rid of. She also gave us some chicks and hens (cactus) which are so cute!
    – I made a decently frugal meal for 12 with barbecue chicken, corn, potatoes and coleslaw. It was a lot of food and it was all gone!
    – I have been making some bags and wallets (sewing) to sell on consignment.
    – I have been setting money saving goals at the beginning of the month. It has been amazing to me when I itemize from every area that I want to save/ make money from that I usually come pretty close to the target. I try to do many things to make extra like money saving apps, money making apps, selling items on consignment, recycling and other things. When I set a target, I am much more focused to get that done. It is amazing how goal setting works.
    – I signed up for some freebies which are on my blog at:
    – I did Swagbucks, Perk, Keep Rewarding, Coinout, Fetch Rewards, Ibotta and more to earn and get cash back.
    – We went to an amusement park and bought tickets on the military base ahead of time. This saved $25 per ticket, plus one ticket was free.
    – We hiked at a local park with family as an activity while they are visiting. It was free and beautiful.
    – That’s about all I can think of!

  59. Hi Brandy. I’m getting Chinese when I search for your website too. I was brave and clicked on it and it did take me to your website but it may put some people off. Hope it is sorted soon.

    1. Do you mean for lunch at work? He usually works from home and eats what we are eating. He wants to take leftovers from home and warm them for the times when he is eating at his office. He has taken foods in the thermos before but he has been wanting a microwave for a little while so that he can take some potatoes to “bake” them in the microwave to eat with some salsa or to warm up leftovers. His office is in the same shopping center as a grocery store, so he can also sometimes find things like burritos on sale at the grocery store for $1 each that he can buy and keep in his mini-fridge there for days he is working at the office. For many years he has worked at his office and just gone without eating lunch. Most of the time he works at home in the morning, has lunch, and then goes to his office in the afternoon. He is job is a lot of emails and phone calls, and then going to people’s homes, so he doesn’t have to be at the office all the time. If the law didn’t require him to have a retail-like office, he could do almost his entire job from home (apart from going to people’s homes and showing houses, of course!)

  60. Brandy,
    I am so grateful for your blog. I feel like it has saved me 100’s if not 1000’s of dollars over the years.

    We accepted $700 of food from my in-laws as they are cleaning out there home to put it up for sale.

    We also accepted camping stoves, gear, a bread maker and a bunch of travel books too.

  61. I had to stay in my bedroom for two days due to forest fire smoke. (I have an aircleaning machine on in the bedroom). I had just caught a bug so the smoke compounded my problems. Then the smoke left but the pollen was bad so I’ve stayed home mostly. I just completed round 2 of antibiotics. I have spent a fortune on cough drop and antihistamines! I did make a special trip to the archives to see the fellow who’s been researching a similar topic, He referred a lady to me about a question. (a freebie) It happened to overlap my subject. I had just been reading about it. I got really involved in it. By 3 a.m. I had all the answers by electronic research. I was thrilled. It is more in his area than mine so I was keen to share the complicated answers. We were to meet at the archives but when I got there he said he was far too busy to discuss it. I was annoyed because I couldn’t take handibus down there (timing issues) and spent $40 (my last available discretionary money of the month) getting there. At least I used the wasted taxi fare to stop at a store on the way home. I looked at the reduced shelf in the dairy section and bought yogourt, cheese slices, and dip at half price.

    I realize that I am getting decent at historical research. I think my acquaintance charges about $40 (Cdn) an hour. I think the market is flooded for free-lance researchers but I may put my name on the list at the city archives. It’s a thought, anyway. My acquaintance also was ill and I’m sure he was juggling many projects so I can’t remain annoyed for long… On the positive side, the air at the archives was really excellent and my allergies temporarily subsided.

    Our book is almost completed. It just lacks a few things. It needs proofreading and editing. Unfortunately one source I need to read is being re-catalogued at an archives down east and is unavailable so I cannot do it until September. The whole book will be finished except for that part and then we will complete it. In the meantime, we will submit the manuscript to apply for a printing grant. It will be difficult to know how many copies to print as it is a very specialized area with not a large market. I will be scrambling to make sure all the footnotes are in and are ok before the museum archives moves to the university.

    We missed most of the snow west of us. I am hoping I can still get some Alberta asparagus next week at the market. The season is almost over. My first rhubarb is ready to harvest.

    Brandy, your blog is good for my soul and my pocketbook. Thank you so much for all your efforts.

    1. I can understand you being a bit annoyed as taxis are so expensive! Sorry, but what is the topic you are researching? I had a great Canadian history lesson yesterday as I did a free tour at the Redpath Sugar Museum – the Redpath and the Drummond families had so much to do with Cdn. history here in the east so it was quite fascinating. I also toured the Toronto City Archives last month and what they have on file – and on computer is truly amazing. I’m glad that you are enjoying the process and I wish you luck with the grant process.

      1. Hi Margie from Toronto,

        It is about a local park in Calgary. The area has a rich history but we have found new info, which of course is exciting. I didn’t realize that Redpath had a sugar museum in Toronto — both Redpath and Drummond families are so well-known in Montreal too! we have been in touch with the Redpatn Museum in Montreal about some items for our book. I used to live on Drummond Str. Brought 6 tomato plants (she threw in 2 freebies and sixteen alpines, mostly free). busy planting before our next storm.

    2. Ann,
      So sorry you have been sick. How exciting to have a book! You might even be able to get a job at a university library or a museum library with your research skills. Just a thought. Being sick is no fun. I hope you are better after two rounds of antibiotics.

      1. Hi Tammy,

        Thanks for writing! I’ve been thinking of you with all your asparagus. I am hoping things will go well for you!

  62. I am listening to the Calgary Philharmonic’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem. Sometimes the CPO livestreams a performance. Tonight they are livestreaming Measha Brueggergosman. She is a famous Canadian soprano. She will be singing from Gershwin’s Summertime and aklso some songor song from Leonard Cohen, as well as other songs. It is of course free to live stream it. The livestream starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Saturday) Mountain Standard time but if you miss it, it is probably going to be posted for awhile on the CPO website. A very frugal and enjoyable thing to do.

  63. that should have read “A friend just brought 6 tomato plants….”. I don’t know what happened there.

  64. Hi! First time commenter/long time lurker here. I want to also voice my enthusiasm for a donate button (a monthly one, even better). I’ve always hoped you had a good income stream from this site—given how inspiring and useful it is. Imagine how you would feel if it brought in twice or three times as much as it does now. One way is ads, of course, which people forgive on sites because they’re a way to keep sites alive. But a donate button is easier on the mind. It is easy to install a paypal button on a site—they provide you with the code and you just paste it in. I managed to do it on my own before and if you choose this route, feel free to reach out if you have problems I might be able to help on. Best wishes!

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