Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

This past week was a whirlwind. Some weeks I can accomplish a lot. This was not one of those weeks!

My eldest son needed some new clothing, and he needed some specific clothing items for his job at the thrift store. He found what he needed after work there at the thrift store and was able to purchase those items for 20% off with his employee discount. He then told me that I will also get his same discount if I let them know at the register that my son works there!

I stopped at the library on my way back from a trip to the doctor’s office to drop off books and pick up books that we had requested.

I borrowed an e-book from the library which I hope to read this week.

We attended a church ice cream social and car show. We brought our giant tarp for some slip and slide fun. At the end of the night, they had some ice cream leftover and several families received a gallon of ice cream to take home, including ours.

In the very early mornings before dawn, it dropped below 78 degrees most days (where I set my air conditioner), so I was able to open up the windows for a couple of hours to air out the house each morning. I had to close them by 7 a.m., but it was so nice to have cooler, fresh air!

I chatted on the phone through Facebook Messenger to a friend in England for an hour and a half. Having paid before in my life for international calls, it still amazes me that I can call her over my wifi and not pay anything for the phone call. Calling through the app made it free (I do not have any kind of international calling plan, because it is not needed). The two of us plan to chat more often. We have done video chats in the past but that isn’t always the best for the time of day/what we have going on while we are talking.

What did you do to save money last week?

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This Post Has 122 Comments

  1. You are such a talented photographer! I checked out your new website, and it looks lovely. How wonderful you also get the benefit of a discount where your son is working. It was also a whirlwind here last week, between gardening, preserving, orders from our online shop, and projects. But they’re all things I’ve chosen to do, so I try to keep that in mind as I plug away. A comment someone left last week gave me the idea to freeze zucchini tots. Yesterday, I made a quadruple batch of them. We ate one, and I froze the rest. I’m looking forward to learning more this week. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2019/08/new-recipes-frugal-accomplishments.html

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      Thank you Laurie!

  2. Jenifer

    That is still a lot! Happy for you that you can stay in touch with oversea friends easier and for free!

    I was able to pick a zucchini, 2 yellow squashes and a handful of green beans from my garden. I made a loaf of your French bread to enjoy a tomato sandwich. Took some very sad looking apples from the crisper and made apple muffins for breakfasts.
    Started reading a novel that is also adding new useful words to my vocabulary as well 🙂
    Ended up being paid for a volunteer job. It was so much fun to help and then to be unexpectedly paid! It was a wonderful end to the week .
    Stay positive everyone.

  3. Cindi

    What a darling photo!

    I have been cooking extra and putting meals in the freezer in anticipation of our month-long RV trip to Oregon in September. While we plan to eat out a few times on our vacation, most of the time we eat in and I try to make it as easy on myself as possible.

    A friend at church gave me a yellow squash, which we enjoyed with dinner one night. Amazingly, pruning back the zucchini did wonders and I was able to harvest two zucchini this week. We also enjoyed tomatoes, green beans, onions, chard, and lettuce from the garden. I was able to can more green beans, freeze more chard, and make a couple more jars of roasted tomatoes in olive oil. I also canned five pints of vegetable salad using cabbage, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, onions and peppers.

    My husband was able to cut a cord of firewood from downed trees on a friend’s land. We took the couple out for dinner as a thank you. They wanted burgers, so it was a relatively inexpensive meal.

    I washed my windows, using Brandy’s method. The whole house feels brighter now.

    1. Cindy in South

      I agree, the photo is so cute!!!!

  4. K

    I feel like this week has been hectic for everyone I’ve talked to! It must be something about the end of August.

    Our Frugal Accomplishments:

    * My SO got two free “take and bake” pizzas from work, and we’ve gotten meals for two days out of them.

    * I made more French bread.

    * I meal prepped our lunches. Mine is butter chicken with rice and broccoli, and my SO’s are fried rice and teriyaki tofu. Since I will be going back to having classes next week, I wanted to get back in to the swing of properly meal prepping lunches for both of us.

    * We had black bean soup for a couple dinners this week, made using homemade veggie stock and some tomatillos from my CSA box.

    * I saved the bones from the chicken I used for the butter chicken for stock making. I also made the dish with skin-on chicken, which meant that I did not need to add butter to the dish (since the chicken fat already rendered out).

    * We returned an item we weren’t using to Walmart and got $20 back.

    * I purchased my bus pass for the next semester- 4 months of unlimited bus and train rides for $114 is hard to beat!

    I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

    1. Sabrina

      Where did you get your butter chicken recipe from?

  5. Diana in Indiana

    We had a potluck birthday party for my Father in Law on Saturday. I brought fruit salad. There was enough left over that we used it for breakfast smoothies the next day. My daughter in law shared cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from her garden. She was so proud of the efforts of her first gardening attempt. My husband officiated a wedding and was given a check for his services. Not every family is able to afford that and he never requires it. So that was a nice surprise. I sorted through my closet to find only my favorite and well fitting clothes. The rest I will try to sell or donate. It feels good to have it more organized. I got $10 off my online grocery order by sharing a code with a friend who signed up. She got $10 off too. I started planning for our camping/fishing trip in September. We are renting a small cabin during the off season which saved us a great deal. Blessings to you all!

  6. April

    Here’s some of mine from last week

    I used reward points to pay on cc bill. My main home health client was in the hospital for 3 days so that bit a chunk out of my check so using the reward points ensured it was paid on time without late fees

    I made an Amazon return to Kohls and they gave me a coupon for 25% off one item. I used it to buy the 12yo a new pack of underwear

    Redeemed code for free route 44 drink from Sonic

    My mom sent over several things :4 bags Carmel corn, 3 muffin mix, 1 cheesecake mix, 3 packs chicken tenders, 1 bag French fries, 2 boxes of Ritz bits, 1 bag cheddar popcorn . She also sent fish sticks and corn dogs but I listed them on a free site because they wouldn’t get ate at my house.

    Saturday night the 12yo went to a church event and instead of going out, hubby made lemon chicken with angel hair pasta and we watched a movie on Netflix. Cheap night in

  7. Gardenpat

    Long distance calling and FaceTime with my phone or iPad still seem like science fiction to me, knowing that I’m not being charged by the minute!!
    My longarm quilting machine- Lenni by APQS arrived and we got it set up and ready to try out. In about 90 minutes, I Quilted this 64” x 84” twin size quilt. https://pin.it/qk5qrmbajzxk6v. Not my favorite quilt but one that I didn’t mind if it messed up! Quilted like a dream until the last row when it sounded funny and thread started breaking. I called the manufacturer APQS in Iowa and spoke to their service department. The lady there FaceTimed me for 45 minutes so she could see and hear what it was doing and instructed me step by step to diagnose problem. After 45 minutes she figured it out and walked us through fixing it while she was watching and talking us through each step! No charge for the service! Didn’t matter that my machine was used- 2014. I could have bought it from a private party rather than their dealer- they would still provide this service for free! I am flabbergasted at their level of customer service and my machine is completely happy now! It apparently had been jostled too much when the trucking company lost it! Within a little over 2 hours, my daughter had quilted her queen size quilt. https://pin.it/nhpxwbfxfb6qdw and https://pin.it/d3c2ou4lfwk2ij

    I’m now quilting another large queen size quilt. Here’s a photo in process. https://pin.it/tzowmpjjzptjdx. We are excited about the possibilities this opens up to us!

    I also finished quilting and binding a smaller quilt to go into my gift cupboard. https://pin.it/yfovujmi5oyiew

    I only bought a few really good deals at Kroger’s this week of things we use- Miracle Whip $1.64 /jar after sale, digital coupon and ibotta. 5 one pound boxes of Kroger butter- $1.99 each, treetop apple juice- 99 cents/64 oz bottle, Colgate toothpaste- Free after digital coupon.

    My daughter who moved here from CA wants to build up her food storage now that they are here in Ohio on 13 acres. She went to Meijers to buy stew beef chunks and asked me what my price point was for boneless beef- chunks, roast or steak. I told her $3.29/pound would be the very highest I would pay. She texted me a photo, fortunately BEFORE she bought stew beef chunks on sale for only $5.49/pound instead of $5.99/pound! Glad she asked me first!!!
    I went on Tuesday to Kroger’s and looked for and couldn’t find the boneless beef that was on sale for $2.97/pound. It was the final day of the sale. I found the butcher. He asked me how much I wanted and cut into roasts about 2-1/2 pounds each while I waited. I bought 13 pounds. I will slice it into strips with my used Bosch electronic slicer and then let her cut it into chunks to “make” her own stew beef ! She was so excited because her cost had been cut in half! She will package it into meal portions and store it in the freezer.
    I also will cut some into chunks and pressure can it into pint jars for perfectly tender shelf stable beef chunks ready to use.

    I have run out of dry kidney beans that I add salt and water to and pressure can into pint jars. For some reason, I haven’t been able to find a source for them in 25 or 50 pound bags. It’s been years since I bought dry kidney beans. I’ve been using up what we had stored for years. I was expecting the price to be 35-40 cents a pound. I got sticker shock when I saw single 1 pound bags for $1.99 at Kroger’s with no larger size available! I bought 1 bag and came home just to do the math. That $1.99 will produce 5-1/2 pint jars which make it 36 cents a jar! So that’s a savings over commercially canned kidney beans, even at Kroger prices! So now my task for the week is finding a price less than $1.99/pound! It becomes like a game or adventure to see where I can find a better price! With these, when I find that better price, I will buy 50 pounds (at least) and store it in my buckets! ETA- I just found them at Dollar Tree for $1/pound!! That cuts my price per pint jar down to 18 cents per 16 oz jar!! Half price! And certainly less than store bought canned kidney beans! And I can process 16 pint jars at one time!! Here’s the recipe and instructions on how to pressure can dry beans. http://homejoys.blogspot.com/2013/02/canning-dried-beans.html
    The only difference to her recipe is that the pint jars of beans need to be processed for 75 minutes! But they turn out perfect- not crunchy, not mushy and I started out using dry beans I had stored in buckets in my basement! Now we actually use and rotate our beans in storage!!

    I picked and filled (2) 3-1/2 gallon buckets full with Concord grapes from our vines and pruned them as I went! There will still be at least that many later on this month!

    Went to pick up another load of paver bricks from our friends in the suburbs and apparently it was trash pick up day so people had things at the curb to get rid of. We found these 2 bar stools that we will recover easily. https://pin.it/pnrqj3j2s6zenw
    We also found 5 metal patio chairs like the 1 shown in our photo. https://pin.it/yjpixf5yj4f4yq
    Then we picked up another 500 paver bricks from the friends. https://pin.it/zqk2joykb6zbt4 We now have over 750 pavers from them and there are at least 10- 15 times more. That means 8000 bricks at the minimum! Retailing at Lowes for 64 cents each!! That’s over $234 saved already and when we get all the rest of them (and we will) that will be a savings of $2600!!!! Our landscaping our yard on a shoestring budget has really been blessed!!!!!

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      And all that time, you were eating beans for which you paid $0.40! That’s a savings, too, because you had food storage! I have seen the same thing with price increases. Percentage wise, it’s a major return on your investment!

      1. Gardenpat

        I do occasionally. Many I gift and donate to friends, family, charitable organizations. I will also quilt other people’s quilts for them in a month or so.
        The 2 quilts I currently have for sale will show up on our website: HandmadeinOldeTowne.com after Labor Day weekend.

        1. Ellie's friend

          i envy you your quilting machine. I have had fabric (all one piece) for a quilt that never gets made!

      2. Gardenpat

        It’s embarrassing how long those dry beans were stored in buckets in the basement unused while I would buy a can or two as needed from the store! It was so exciting to actually learn I could can those dry beans and they would be ready to use in any recipe that called for a can of beans. At my 35 cent a pound for my old beans- that works out to 6 cents per pint jar! Well, that was wonderful while it lasted!! Lol!!

    2. Juls Owings

      Gardenpat…check with GFS or Meijer’s if they are in your area… I can’t remember if you are over around Colmubus OH or down by Cinncy… if at Cinncy try Jungle Jim’s for your dried beans I’d call and ask if they carry them and price per lb first.

    3. Becky

      Garden pat,

      Do you sell your quilts?

    4. Cindi

      I loved seeing all your quilts.

    5. Rhonda A.

      Gardenpat, I live in Canada, so this might not be the same in the U.S. Here, I can find big bags of beans at Walmart Superstore. They are usually a good price as well. If you have a Walmart with a grocery section near you, it might be worth checking out.

    6. Elsi

      Gardenpat – I’m surprised that the beans were so expensive at your Kroger store. My local Albertson’s carries their house brand beans in 1 pound bags at $1.09 and 2 pound bags at $2.29. (Yeah, right! It’s cheaper to buy 2 of the 1 pound bags.) Three are brand name and “gourmet” dried beans which sell for more. The dollar store has a more limited selection, all at $1 per bag.

  8. Elizabeth M.

    Someone I used to work with offered me many bags of frozen vegetables (grated carrots, zucchini, winter squash) and Saskatoon berries (service berries, which are lot like blueberries) from her freezer. She got in the habit of growing the vegetables, and freezing them, but not cooking with them. The berries were bought for her daughter to use in smoothies, who promptly stopped making smoothies. I have been figuring out meal plans to use these supplies. Zucchini soup is first on the list. My friend was concerned that I would be offended at being given food, but no problem here with that. My fridge freezer is now pretty close to full.

    I bought green beans and beets at the farmers’ market to help prepare for winter. The market only goes two more weeks, before the season ends. I’ve been eating salads for lunch while I can get local ingredients. Then I’ll switch over to soups made with what’s in the freezer.

    I returned a pair of shoes bought online to Landsend. I rarely need to return anything I buy, but my feet have gotten bigger! They make it easy by providing a shipping label. The postage is paid by them, and then deducted from the credit they send you. The post office didn’t need any coaching on this!

    1. Pjgt

      Elizabeth,

      I know what you mean about feet getting larger. I ordered new slippers (a necessity here in the Rocky Mountains!) and they were too small even though I ordered the exact same ones as before. Having gotten a terrific deal, I gave those to my daughter and reordered slippers in wide. Hoping that will solve the issue when they come. Humph.

      Trish

      1. Heidi Louise

        My hands and feet both got larger when I was pregnant, and did not completely return to their previous sizes, (something I never saw in any of the volumes of free pregnancy advice magazines I received). Of course I don’t know if that was your situation.
        It is something to keep in mind when buying wedding rings, knowing they will have to be adjusted as one’s body gets older and bigger, for any number of reasons.

        1. Elizabeth M.

          I am 65, so pregnancy definitely wasn’t the reason for me! We had a cool and rainy summer with lots of time indoors, and much less activity than usual. I rarely wear shoes when I am indoors, and only soft slippers in winter. I think my feet just spread out because of the lack of constraint.

          But it may be something that just happens to older people that no one mentions. I was a little indignant. lol

      1. Elizabeth M.

        That’s a great article, Rhonda A. It also explains the change in foot size with pregnancy that Heidi Louise was talking about.

  9. Peggy G.

    Have not posted in a few weeks, so here is some of what we’ve been doing….finished up the last of the hotel shampoos. Went on a girls’ weekend with my mom and other family members. One of the family members owns a beach condo. There were nine of us and the cost for lodging and food ended up being $30 per person; I treated for my mom. My mom had purchased food for our travel down and back. Cashed in 2200 swaybacks for a $25 Amazon card. Brough in a candle that was given to us a gift to the large chain bath and body store to exchange bccause we didn’t like the scent. We wanted to exchange it for another scented candle. Was told by the manager that we could only exchange it for the value of the candle because it had been on clearance. Rather than argue, I took the amount on a gift card. Came home and emailed the company to verify the store policy (in the past I have been told that it was 100% satisfaction guaranteed). The customer service department sent a nice reply to me indicated that I was correct and that the store manager was wrong. They also gave me at $30 gift card for a future use! Add a coupon and I should be able to get $4o worth of products for free! Went shopping at our local grocery store. The checker forgot to ring up the albs of green grapes and the 1lb of blueberries….gave them to us for free! My husband and I are very excited….next week we start our financial planning class 🙂

  10. Kathleen S

    Not so much on the frugality front (this is a new mindset for me), but huge thankfulness and gratitude. My DH works in our state university system and as such, gets half tuition for our daughter at any state school. However, we have to pay tax on it. He told me he is receiving a raise, which will cover this additional tax expense. We are very thankful. We live in Illinois, which is broke. Raises are not forthcoming.

    Additionally, we got DD safely to school in another part of the state. She is settling in.

  11. I’ve been m.i.a. for quite a while, both here and on my own blog. My husband was hospitalized overnight several weeks ago for issues with his asthma and the following week, my baby was hospitalized for several days with pneumonia. It seems an odd time of years to be dealing with strep, bronchitis, and pneumonia but it seems to be very prevalent right now. The hospital stays meant not only a loss of income but also a lot of unexpected expenses. In top of that, work has been slow for my husband (this is ordinarily the busiest season for construction) and we’ve felt that pinch as well. However, life is still good! We are all well again and we certainly know how to be cheap!

    We celebrated my husband’s grandfather’s 80th birthday last Saturday. While we did split the cost of a restaurant gift card for him with my parents, the celebration meant a free meal and free entertainment from a professional bluegrass band. We were sent home with 3 trash bags of hand me down clothes from my sister in law and half a feed bag of corn on the cob. We spoke with one of the musicians and found that he lives right down the street from our church and he gives music lessons. We’ve been looking for someone to teach instruments bluegrass -style to several of our children who are interested in it.

    My mom works one day a week for an orchard and she was given a large amount of corn and peaches, most of which she passed along to us. I am working on finishing freezing the peaches, then I plan to make peach put jelly. My mom also gave us a grocery bag of granola bars, as well as peppers and zucchini.

    I sold several items on eBay.

    I’ve started washing fall clothes for the after and making a list of needed items. This weekend I plan to go to two thrift stores that have $5 bag sales to fill in the holes.

    My husband’s chainsaw wasn’t working and we’ll be needing to have our firewood cut very soon. He took it to a local man on the recommendations of several people in the community and he had it fixed in about an hour and only charged $15. My husband gets the wood for free at various places where he hauls aggregates in for his job. I’m this way, our heat is almost free.

    I took advantage of good sales to save a large portion off on needed items for our pantry. I also earned $0.60 off per gallon of gas and $20 in Catalina coupons for my next purchase. At the register, the coupons didn’t print, so I went to customer service and they issued a $20 gift card instead. We combined the gas discount with the gift card and filled the gas tank on our 15 passenger can for only $25. The store also had an unadvertised sale on comet…$0.49! I only bought 4, but I think I’m going to send my husband back for more.

    I made 3 matching dresses as a baby shower gift for a lady in our church who is having her third daughter. I also have her two handmade baby toys and several hair bows that I made. I rounded out the gift with diapers, wipes, and baby shampoo purchased at aldi.

    Knowing that my husband will be paid off soon due to weather means that my focus over the next few weeks/months will be stocking up for winter. I redid my price book and my goal is to never pay more than the lowest price I have recorded.

    1. Patricia Koernig

      Sarah, glad everyone is on the mend!
      Patricia/Fl

  12. Laurie in AZ

    What a sweet picture, Brandy! And how nice that you will now be getting a discount at the thrift store!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • 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.
    • Ate in 5 times. I ate single serving meals I had put in the freezer all week since Hubby had to go to Taiwan this week for business, so from Sunday through Friday he had all his meals paid for and he didn’t have to use any gas to drive to work. I had beans and ham; top ramen with steak, mushrooms and zucchini leftover from my lunch at Outback with my Dad last week; Rice-a-Roni casserole; roast beef gravy with mashed potatoes and peas. Also had steak, baked potato and corn on the cob.
    • We did go out to lunch before Hubby’s flight. We went to Chili’s. They had Happy Hour all day, so I ordered off of the Happy Hour menu. I also used Ibotta’s new “Pay With Ibotta” feature for the first time and earned 6% back when we went to Chili’s. Also used the Pay with Ibotta when I took my Dad to lunch this week at Olive Garden, plus I had a 10% off coupon.
    • I was also on a trip Thursday – Saturday. My daughter and I do an annual Mother-Daughter weekend. We base where we go on where we want to have tea. This year we went to Denver and had tea at the Brown Palace. It is so good to reconnect without the distraction of kids and husbands! I used Southwest points for my flight and she had drink coupons for the plane, and because of her connections at work, we got a discounted rate on the room. I took all the toiletries and coffee out of the room. I only take what would be replenished had I used it. I never steal anything.
    • Hubby brought back toiletries and coffee from his trip to Taiwan. DD also brought me back toiletries from an overnight trip she had taken previously.
    • Had $10 in Kohl’s cash to use. Got a pair of capri pants and a shirt for only $10.98.
    • Worked 12 ½ contract hours.
    • Brought my lunch every time I went into the office.
    • Used a birthday card from my stash of cards I’ve gotten free from a charity I donate to for my sister-in-law’s birthday.
    • Won $3 and a $20 gift certificate at my weekly trivia league.
    • Got a great deal on Pamper’s wipes for DD. 99c each, limit 5. Also got 2 boxes of Capri Sun for 25c each and a large package of bone-in pork chops for 87c/lb.
    • Found some fabric on the clearance rack at JoAnn’s to cover the chairs I had gotten a few weeks ago at Goodwill. Total cost for fabric and new foam came to $22. So total cost for the table and 2 chairs came to $47 plus tax. Not bad!
    • One of the lightbulbs in our refrigerator went out. Our local grocery was having a close out sale on all the lightbulbs they carry. So I got one for $1.50. Sometimes I think the frugal gods are watching over us! Whenever we seem to need something, there it turns up on the clearance rack! LOL!

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Cindi

      Tea at the Brown Palace is so wonderful! I have fond memories of several teas I have enjoyed there.

  13. Tammy

    Not a very frugal week for me.
    We did watch movies my son got from the library. Ate simple things at home most days. My son made applesauce with my supervision. I was so proud of him.
    Hubby worked another day of overtime.

    1. PJGT

      Tammy,

      I like that you did frugal things even in the midst of a spendy week.

      Trish

      1. Tammy

        Thanks Trish!

    2. Tammy

      Brandy,
      The picture of your little one is absolutely adorable!
      Tammy

  14. Cara

    I sometimes comment but haven’t left my savings info because it really isn’t so different from everyone else’s. We can’t be as frugal as we like because I am going for therapy for a frozen shoulder & other complications resulting from incompetent casting of a simple broken wrist. The therapist has helped tremendously, but is not covered by our insurance.

    We don’t use AC, even here in S.FL. We find we’re comfortable without it. We have a white metal roof and trees around, and our house was built before AC, so it gets good air flow. Most of the time it’s 80 degrees F in the house and that’s perfectly fine with us. FPL charges customers a nuclear tax, so we hate to give them even one penny extra.

    We always catch our shower water, and also close the drain and then scoop out the water to use for plants.Recently we’ve had a lot of rain, so though we still put the warm up water in the bucket, we’ve been allowing water to go down the drain.

    We use biodegradable dish liquid and wash our dishes in a dish tub and then use the water in the garden. We compost everything, and twice a week, while doing volunteer work for the local wildlife hospital, I pick up 5 gallon buckets of coffee grounds from an independent coffee shop for the bananas and my tiny food-forest. The coffee shop is happy to have someone pick up because they were paying to dispose of them before I approached them.

    The wildlife center I volunteer for is often given produce they can’t use and I’m able to use some and donate some to the local Food Not Bombs group that feeds the homeless. The center can’t use cabbage and I was able to make several jars of organic fermented cabbage, onions, garlic. I make kombucha myself. We do go out to lunch about once a month, and combine the trip with errands and visiting friends.

    I cancelled Netflix. We found there was nothing we wanted to watch. We did a free trial of Hulu to watch a series a friend of ours is in and we’ll cancel it after a month because again, nothing we want to watch.

    I had a white linen shirt I’d bought a while at thrift and found I didn’t wear it. I decided either to donate it or wear it and figured out I didn’t like the collar. I was able to open up the seam and remove the collar and then hand-sew it with a mildly contrasting thread in a running stitch and now I’ll wear it.

    I inherited 2 sewing stands/night tables from my mother & we had them in our rental property. They were dark brown & I’d painted one last year. Last week I sanded, primed,and painted the other with leftover paint in a different color; it looks much cheerier in the room with the colors instead of the brown.

    Brandy, I’d emailed you a couple of times, but maybe they got lost. I have holy basil that’s again going to seed and wondered if you would like to have some for your garden. I’d be happy to send some to you. You can email me off-list. If a few others want seed I would send some to them, as well.

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      Cara, I did respond! I have plenty of basil seeds for Genovese Basil, which is the kind I like to grow, so I’m good, but thanks!

      That is nice about your house staying cool. We program our thermostats to be 78-79 degrees. It’s 110 degrees here today. We’ve had a broken a/c unit before in August (our house has two units). When one of them broke, the house got up to 103 degrees, even with the other one still running.

      1. Cara

        Brandy,
        103 would be brutal. We were in NYC visiting friends when it was 102 with a 112 heat index. It was pretty hot, but we still went out and enjoyed the city (w/o our friends who are overweight and can’t take the heat).

        I’m so sorry that I didn’t receive your response to either email! And I checked my spam for theprudenthomemaker and nothing. Sometimes email is unpredictable.
        Anyway, holy basil is really not good for eating, becasue its taste is very strong, but it’s a great medicinal and quite nice as an iced tea. The best thing about it for me is that it doesn’t get bothered by the heat and reseeds itself. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-holy-basil-tulsi.html

        By the way, what a charming photo!

        1. Vickey

          Cara, such an excellent point about weight and heat! I lost 70 lbs. a couple of years ago, and summers have been much easier for me. Wish I’d shed that “excess personal insulation” years ago! (Still couldn’t handle Vegas or southern temps, tho’. Feel fortunate to have landed in cool upstate New York.)

    2. Patricia Koernig

      Cara, if seeds are still available I would love to have some.!
      Patricia/FL

  15. Jo

    I love the photo! Babies and bubbles are a great combination.
    We had a potluck birthday celebration for one of our kids. Her husband contributed the meat, which he got on a great sale, and he grilled it. My other daughter brought salad, salad dressing and sweet potato fries. I made tator tots for those who aren’t that fond of sweet potato fries and made a batch of homemade cupcakes for our dessert. Fun and not too expensive for anyone. Some of the leftover food was left for us, so I’ll be using it this week.
    I found an insulated but lightweight unbreakable mug at Goodwill for my husband. He has trouble grasping glasses these days so a mug with big handle is perfect. I also found a stainless steel whisk to replace my broken one.
    I used Swagbucks to get two Christmas presents through Amazon.
    I took an online survey through Assurent (sp?) and they deposited $2.00 in my Paypal account. The survey took less than 5 minutes.
    I dropped off some clothes at Goodwill, as I was going right by there. No money saved, but it is nice to de-clutter.
    I put a hold on a book at the library that was at another branch, and it’s ready for pick up. I will drop off the finished audiobook that I had already checked out, while I’m there.
    My longevity spinach is doing very well, so I’m going to make pesto out of it for this winter.
    I saved seeds from a Seminole squash (a Florida native squash) that we ate, and will plant them next spring.
    Although I avoid wheat flour, I found I can make dumplings out of cassava, coconut and tapioca flours combined, so I made a big batch of chicken and dumplings last night. I had precooked and de-boned the chicken and strained the broth this weekend, so all I had to make last night was the dumplings themselves. I use my grandmother’s recipe for rolled and cut dumplings, similar to Cracker Barrel’s — flour (she used wheat flour, of course), a little salt, and broth from stewing the chicken. I used the neck and backs, with wishbone, from a chicken I cut up, for the broth and pulled the dabs of meat off of them when cooled. It makes a pretty cheap meal.
    Brandy, I’m still in awe at your son’s discounts. And you get it too! That is great. I’d have to restrain myself from over-shopping.

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      Jo, I think I will be okay with not over-shopping, as there is not much that I need! When I go to the thrift store, I always go with a specific goal in mind. The same goes for garage sale shopping.

      Dumplings sound good! My favorite meal as a child for many years was chicken and dumplings. I know now that funds were tight then as mortgage rates were high (17% interest!) that caused my dad to have to work for three weeks just to pay the mortgage (many of our neighbors lost their homes). My mother must have been relieved when I chose chicken and dumplings as my birthday meal each year.

    2. Tina S.

      Jo – Could you give the proportions of the three kinds of flour you used in your dumplings? I would love to try out that recipe.

  16. Tina S.

    The summer is winding down, I think it’s a busy time for almost everyone.

    My best frugal accomplishment last week had to do with a pile of greens. I belong to a CSA a local farm, where I pick up a share of vegetables every week. They always have a ‘for the compost’ box, where people put things they don’t want, like carrot tops, turnip tops, and beet and other greens, and other people can take them if desired. The farm grows a lot of beets, which I don’t care for, but I love beet greens. So when I went to pick up my vegetables last week, the compost box was filled with beet and kohlrabi greens that no one wanted. So I took them home, and made a huge batch of greens soup (similar to Brandy’s Swiss chard soup). I still had greens to use, so I then made a crustless quiche (which turned out great). I also picked up a couple of damaged tomatoes that no one wanted. I was able to use and share the other vegetables from last week’s harvest too. Thankfully, my husband and mom will eat the many beets we receive over the course of the summer. Zucchini has been in abundance too, so I ended up shredding and freezing 10 quart bags for later use.

    Every year, my third floor neighbor goes out of town for several months, and I look after her condo and bring in her mail. I have permission to use her condo as I desire, including having people come to stay (which I have utilized in the past). So, this year, I decided to bring my art supplies up there and use it as an art studio. Last weekend, I set my things up and worked on some drawings. It was so fun! I have always wanted to have an art studio, so I can realize my dream for a few months at least.

    Other frugal accomplishments:
    – When making the greens soup, I threw in a container of frozen meat juice from a brisket I had cooked in the slow cooker. Yum – it added so much flavor.
    – Sewed up a hole in a shirt.
    – Bought a pair of nice colored jeans at Ross for $8. A nice addition to the fall wardrobe.
    – Helped my husband cut his hair.
    – Donated magazines (mainly from work) to the library, where they sell them for 25 cents.
    – Returned unneeded items to three different stores, on several trips while batching errands. Did not have to make a special trip.
    – Cooked and shared food with my mom, who has a broken arm.

    We are going on vacation to Chicago this week, so now I am off work and preparing for that. Today I am doing laundry and packing. We leave on Thursday. I have never been there, so it should be fun!

    Have a great week, everyone.

    1. Kathleen S

      When in Chicago, please go to Millennium Park and find yourself in the Bean. Then take off your shoes and wade in the Crown Fountain. Commonly known as The Faces, it is a beautiful spot right on Michigan Avenue, and the water is only 1/8″ deep. Go on the lakefront and enjoy Lake Michigan – there ain’t no lake like a Great Lake! Enjoy my fair city and all it has to offer. And eat a Chicago hot dog (no ketchup – we mean it!) and some deep dish pizza.

      I just love sweet home Chicago…

      1. Tina S.

        Thank you, Kathleen, I appreciate the tips! We are actually staying in an extended stay hotel on Michigan Avenue, so we will be right by there. Hot dogs and deep dish pizza are definitely on the list!

        1. Heidi Louise

          .Tina S: And right by Millennium Park is the Chicago Cultural Center, originally built as the Public Library. Amazing architecture and decor, various free arts events, and very nice clean restrooms. At the corner of Michigan and Randolph.
          I’ve found Chicago to be a very walkable city, with a grid street system and lots to look at. Even if you don’t pay to see the collections at the Art Institute, also on Michigan Avenue, the museum store is free to look at, and you can pet the lions on the steps. Not sure of your ages: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” has some great Chicago scenes, including at the museum.

      2. Athanasia

        Kathleen, I am reading a book about Chicago right now, time period 1893-1895. Very interesting. THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY: MURDER, MAGIC, AND MADNESS AT THE FAIR THAT CHANGED AMERICA. Two intertwined stories of being the location for the World’s Fair…how it came to fruition, how it was built, what life was like in Chicago at the time; the other story of a serial killer who took advantage of the times. Not gory to any degree, but chilling enough. I am not familiar with Chicago at all but it was located right on Lake Michigan apparently in Jackson Park which at the time was a wide open space. I think they mentioned at one point that the Art Institute is located when one of the buildings was. So that area of town.

        No one mentioned the Shedd Aquarium. The few times we have been to Chicago we have always, always visited there. There is a Frank Lloyd Wright house by the University. I think that is where the observatory is also. Have fun on your trip.

        1. Maxine

          I read The Devil in the White City! Interesting how the fair and the mass murders intertwined. You are right that it isn’t gory, but it is creepy! Not a book for everybody…I probably wouldn’t have read it, except that it was a book club pick.

        2. Margie from Toronto

          I’ve also read the book and really enjoyed it – so interesting to read about all the innovations that took place at that fair! And there was a Toronto connection with the murders so even more interesting for me.

      3. Athanasia

        *** correction to my comment. Kathleen I checked the book and it is the Museum of Science and Industry that is built on site of the Fair. That’s a fun place too

  17. Jen A.

    FRUGAL

    * laser hair removal treatment at home with a Braun hair removal device that is marketed primarily for Europe but can be found on U.S. Amazon if you look carefully
    * Harvested 7 lbs of California Concord grapes from our yard and made 8 jars of jelly from homegrown grapes ($27? saved minus sugar and pectin cost) and canned a quart of grape juice
    * Purchased tubing ($0.35 a foot) at the hardware store for replacing the straws in my kids’ (thrifted) Thermos drink bottles
    * Cashed in a survey reward for a chicken sandwich at the drive-thru (my daughter was asleep in the back seat while we were out doing errands)
    * Biked to school and back x2 ($2 gas saved)
    * Line drying x4 ($1 saved in electricity cost)
    * Found $0.11 while picking up trash at my son’s school
    * $5 coupon off frozen yogurt to celebrate the first day of school
    * Harvested peppermint, apples, goji berries and artichokes from the yard
    * Received some children’s clothes from my mom (she’s a thrifter too)
    * Cooked a batch of dry chickpeas (first time ever cooking dry beans!!)
    * Composted weird stuff like the stuff wrapped around the TubShroom and the contents of the pencil-sharpener drawer
    * Started a chopped-collard-ribs lactoferment and a purple-cabbage sauerkraut
    * Bought a pair of vintage all-metal Craftsman hedge clippers off of eBay; I’ve been doing our yard work since the gardener quit in January and it’s past time to attack the neighbor’s overhanging ficus hedge
    * Bought a set of the next size up clothes for the baby used off of eBay. The quality is good and they’re all spotless.

    1. Cindi

      Replacing the straws with tubing is genius!

  18. Jenny R

    Brandy, how cool you get to use your son’s thrift store discount! If the prices there are relatively good already, then that can bring it into yard sale price range. I feel like we had a good, productive week. The weather has turned cooler, and it makes me really excited for fall.
    *Our big savings for the week was getting a refund back on our truck warranty. Since we still have a balance on the loan, they would only apply it to the loan, which was fine with us. I was surprised they applied it all directly to the principal and nothing went to interest. That lowered our amount owed by 7% so we are definitely thrilled with that.
    *I froze the little bits still coming out of the garden to use in future meals.
    *We have been decluttering and sold 3 items on Facebook for $40 total. I also used Ibotta and the Coupons.com app to get $6.75 back on items we were buying anyway. Then Coupons.com had free bananas at Walmart and when I applied the $0.25 Ibotta rebate for anything from that store, I actually made $0.15 to get the bananas. (Love when that happens!)
    *Someone here mentioned they get gas at the Walmart station cheaper by using a Walmart gift card. I tried that this week by putting my gas cash onto a gift card while I was already at Walmart and it lowered it by $0.03 per gallon which was a $0.37 savings for me on that one trip. I think I will continue doing this.
    *Received a $15 rebate check for last month’s flea and tick medicine for the dogs. Also used the $25 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks I got earlier this month to order some household items.
    *I’ve been working on using less electricity and being more mindful. I’ve been shutting off power strips and unplugging stuff daily. This should reflect on the electric bill that will be due October 1 so I’ll be excited to see the effect.
    *Our daughter bought herself a new phone and before we recycled the broken iPhone, I checked the Gazelle.com site and they will pay $24 for it and send us the box with free shipping. A nice surprise!
    *Saved orange peels and reused a jar to make orange cleaner by adding white vinegar. I forgot I used to do this so am restarting.
    A few more details on my blog at https://www.cozyhomemaking.com/frugal-homemaking-for-august-11-17-2019-2/ Hope everyone has a lovely and productive week!

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      All of the thrift store prices are higher than garage sale prices (at least the amount I’m willing to pay!) but there are definitely some things that I like to look for there.

      1. Cindi

        Our local thrift store is all over the place on prices. I have many nice things I’ve gotten off their $1 rack, yet when we went in today looking for shirts for my husband, they were priced at $10 each. I can get brand new shirts on sale for that price. So it pays to know your prices and shop around.

      2. Kimberly in Florida

        Our Goodwill has prices competitive with Walmart and Target!

  19. Maxine

    What an adorable picture of Hamish! Thank you for sharing. This was my week–

    * I finished refinishing the dining room table top. Turned out way better than I expected and it was way easier, too!
    * I canned 5 more pints of tomatoes = 7 so far. I am continuing to pick a few ripe tomatoes a day. I also harvested a few beets and there are more.
    * We spent the weekend at our vacation home. I dug up about a dozen self-sown columbines and foxgloves for a friend and myself.
    * Update on improving my bag lady wardrobe–I haven’t felt like shopping for 3-4 weeks, but I’ve had half a dozen occasions (from church to dinners to meetings) to wear my new threads. I clean up pretty good, LOL! I have spent about $160 so far and still plan to buy a few more things. While passing through Costco, I found Gloria Vanderbilt jeans on close-out for $4.99! I bought three pairs!
    * Two weeks ago I posted here that I had a bunch of dog stuff for my son and daughter-in-law IF I could get it to them without paying for shipping. Well, I did! We met up with them Thursday in Missoula (165 miles from here) when they spent the night on their way to a wedding. The trip doesn’t seem frugal on the face of it (we paid for two meals and overnight lodging) BUT my kid lives 550 miles from us and this was the cheapest visit I was going to get with him anytime soon! Plus I saved the postage on two Kongs and a water dish!!

  20. Juls Owings

    Love the pictures Brandy

    Not a lot of frugal here. We did eat mostly from home,, used a free pizza coupon given to Hubby and a coupon for the local Chinese buffet during lunch with water for the drinks. Combined errands with other trips. Used Kroger points for fuel. I did some stocking of the pantry and somethings I won’t be restocking as I am NOT paying that price. I know with the floods, droughts and fires things are going to be on the high side this year.

    We talked about whether to pay off the truck and then make extra payments on mortgage or just make extra payments on mortgage AFTER we have the emergency savings back up to where it needs to be.
    Blessings on each and everyone one.
    https://chefowings.blogspot.com/2019/08/each-day.html

  21. Brandy,

    Some weeks are just like that – crazy!

    What a blessing that you get your son’s discount at the thrift store. 🙂

    * Happily borrowed ebooks from the library
    * Gladly used our library’s inter-loan system to borrow books that our library does not have
    * Joyfully made a meal for a friend who just had a baby; it was a blessing to use ingredients we already had at home to do so
    * Relaxed by listening to audiobooks from Audible as well as from Librivox.org. It is a blessing to use driving, cooking, walking and cleaning time to learn something new. 🙂
    * Dutifully and happily, I made all my husband’s breakfasts and lunches at home.
    * Energetically, I have been taking hour-long walks at least 3-4 times a week, often with a friend.
    * Last week, I found out my cousin has breast cancer. She is about to turn 33; her diagnosis reminded me that it’s frugal to take care of my health. <3
    * Thoughtfully, I changed my grocery shopping routine to visit the store less frequently and am looking forward to reaping the savings from that.
    * Planning ahead, I brought water with me when I left the house to avoid purchasing any on the go.

  22. Roberta in So. Cal.

    What an adorable picture! Is there a link to your new website?

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      I haven’t made the official announcement because I am still working on setting up the blog over there, but here is my site, and I am reserving photo sessions for fall now (it’s 110 out today, so not much fun to stand around in the heat for people!): https://brandysimper.com/

  23. I love that photo of your littlest one! My daughter actually saw bubbles for the first time yesterday! I’m sure everyone knows that they can make bubble solution at home from dish soap and water. As a kid, I always loved it!

    It feels like it’s been a very spendy week, although I was still relatively prudent in my purchases.
    – I’ve been craving very decadent desserts, but obviously don’t want to spend money buying them. So, I made one myself! A brownie, topped with fudge, topped with a macaroon (http://approachingfood.com/ne-plus-ultra-brownie/)! All from pantry ingredients, which I stock on sale.
    – I borrowed my mother’s Belgian waffle maker, and made a batch of Belgian waffles and froze them. I had a friend and her kids over for a waffle bar this week, and just defrosted the waffles then and toasted them to a crisp in the oven. I served them with homemade chocolate sauce, homemade strawberry sauce (basically my strawberry preserves, which is just strawberries and sugar, boiled down to a jammy state), homemade peach sauce, homemade chocolate shell (chocolate chips and coconut oil), homemade caramel sauce, homemade whipped cream, plus ice cream (bought on sale for $2/carton), as well as sprinkles from my baking supplies cupboard. It was an inexpensive way to socialize (maybe $10 for everything plus tons of leftovers, versus at least $45 for the equivalent in a restaurant), and enjoyed by everyone, especially on a hot day! Plus, other friends came over another day, and we all had ice cream sundaes from the same ingredients. Definitely affordable socializing!
    – I cat-sat for a friend for cash, and then used that money to buy myself a pair of high-end shoes and a top from ThredUp (resale clothing online). I combined a discount code and a sale to reduce the cost, and bought shoe polish to touch up the slight scuffs.
    – I took advantage of a grocery store delivery promo, and received a number of items for free (lunch meat, vegan ‘meat’, and salad) with my order (made up of specials, of course). I was supposed to receive many other additional free items as part of the promo, so when I called customer service to let them know there were missing items, they actually gave me a credit worth the entire amount I had paid. Plus, they refunded to my credit card the cost of the two cartons of milk I had ordered as they had arrived covered in dried milk. Polite feedback definitely pays off!
    – I used a $5 off $20 coupon, when purchasing a number of items at my local bulk store. They also had a promotion where you could save 20% if you used their re-useable containers (which I happened to have), so I first calculated which promotion would give me the best value.
    – I redeemed a Starbucks reward for a slice of lemon loaf and a cup of ice water, on my way home from running errands on a hot day. As Starbucks has gone straw-less, at least in my city, their new straw-less lids are a bit like sippy cups, so my daughter was able to share my cup of water with me.
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research Rewards for $5 to my Paypal account, which I then used to off-set the cost of a chair cover (I bought it at 50% off, so it was roughly equal to the cost of buying good fabric to sew a new chair cover).
    – I made a plum galette from the plums I purchased on deep discount last week; I made flourless chocolate chip cookies, and turned the leftover egg yolks into lemon curd. As well, I baked several loaves of white bread for sandwiches.
    – I took part in an apple pick with the non-profit organization Not Far From The Tree (which arranges to give fruit to non-profits as well as homeowners and pickers) and came home with 6 lbs of apples. I’m the only person I know who takes their daughter on these events, but it’s great stimulation for her, and I just put her in my front carrier when picking. I used my husband’s monthly transit pass to avoid having to pay transit fare to the location and back. I turned the apples into organic applesauce for my daughter, as well as a large freezer bag of frozen apples pieces for crumbles, and made several jars of jelly as well.
    – My sister is incredibly generous with her time and energy when it comes to my daughter and I, so I was very happy to be able to treat her to dinner on the weekend. I used a groupon (purchased through ebates to get a small percentage back) to take her out for Ethiopian food. A $14 groupon was able to get us $30 worth of Ethiopian food, enough for two generous meals. Plus, I was able to expose my daughter to Ethiopian food for the first time! I used my husband’s transit pass again to save on transit costs.
    – I was able to harvest some basil, oregano, and lemon mint, from my balcony garden. I made several pitchers of iced tea and used the lemon mint in them, dried the oregano to add to my pantry, and added the chopped basil to mayo to make basil-infused mayo for sandwiches.
    – I also chopped up some regrown green onions and added them to my freezer. They’re great to use in the winter months.
    – I bought two perfect condition hardcover books from a library sale for 50 cents each. I’m slowly adding new books to my daughter’s little library!
    – And I redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 Starbucks gc.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as always!

    1. Margie from Toronto

      Which Ethiopian restaurant did you go to? I’ve been to one just off Yonge Street – south of Bloor and really enjoyed it.
      I keep meaning to sign up for those fruit picking organizations – next summer for sure! And I think it’s great that you take your daughter – as kids we did that sort of thing all the time and loved it!
      May I ask which books you might be looking for? I am paring down my book collection and I do have a few children’s books that you would be welcome to. They are for older children of course so not quite sure if you are ready for those as yet – please just say.

      1. We went to Lalibela! Groupon runs deals all the time for this restaurant, which makes it affordable. Plus, it’s a bit of an experience to go there (if, like me, you did not grow up eating Ethiopian food), so it’s fun to do socially. The restaurant is right by the subway station, so easy to get to.
        And you totally should sign up for the fruit picking organization (‘Not Far From The Tree)’!This year they are charging a $10 membership fee for organizational costs, but you will easily save that from your first pick. And they pick everything from mulberries to grapes to cherries to apples to walnuts. Plus, it’s nice to know that a portion of the food will go to food banks or organizations serving food insecure communities, where fresh produce isn’t always available.
        And thank you so much for your offer of books! That’s so generous of you! At this point, I’m only looking for books that I can read to her now or for the next year, i.e. mostly board books, as we live in a small space and there is no room for anything that is not currently being used (even her closet doubles as kitchen storage for me). But I really appreciate the offer — you’re very kind!

        1. Margie from Toronto

          I have heard of that particular restaurant – I will keep it in mind for the future!
          I’ve also bookmarked the fruit picking site for next year. I will also bring it up at church to maybe get others as we do a couple of feeding programs so people might be willing to donate at least part of “their” proceeds to our efforts.

          No worries about the books – I completely understand about the space issue.

  24. Kandace

    My 90 year-old neighbor always gives us the pears off her tree. We have to go pick them and clean up the yard. We went last night and the tree yielded 10 5-gallon buckets. She kept two buckets of pears, I will use two, I have a friend I am giving 2 buckets to, then find other places for the remaining buckets.
    Finished making two baby cardigans and matching caps that I am donating as part of a gift basket to a silent auction.
    Two weeks ago I went on a quilting retreat/workshop with money I had saved from selling my art. I learned a lot and the fabric I used was handed out through a lottery system, so I got to be extra creative! The workshop leaders also brought in small fabric pieces from their stashes to help round out the quilt tops. I was very pleased with my results! My friend, who is a great quilter, lent me some of her cutting mats and rulers for the workshop so I didn’t need to buy them.
    I am continuing to harvest tomatoes, squash, beets, some berries, rhubarb, and a few peppers from the garden.

  25. PJGT

    Love the baby photo!

    This past week was my best yet since getting ill. I was able to go to a couple stores with gloves and a mask this week. I’m doing great the Dr said, so I’ll just keep on doing the right thing. I sorted 3 boxes from the basement and rearranged the closets to make room for my niece’s clothing. And, I found some missing items. There are now 3 bags heading for the thrift shop as we transition into the next stage. I really want to move closer to town now that our dear son is more and more involved in his ROTC program. Getting ready to move if that becomes a reality. I love the wilderness access, but hate the drive. We might finally be able to purchase a place, but might have to continue to rent as the prices are seriously inflated and it is more prudent to rent right now DH rightly pointed out. Moving to town will be much more frugal as well.

    Frugally, this week, I…
    *mended a sleeping bag
    *bought 2 used leather chairs for $25.00 each. I also bought a lamp. Now we have a spot in front of the fireplace to sit down. Much needed!
    *brought home lots of Bananas, beets and whatnot from the free almost expired food table. I froze the Bananas for smoothies and we are eating the rest.
    *ate leftovers for lunch even when I didn’t want to.
    *we are still eating down the freezer and pantry. Spending very little on food. I’m glad to be able to buy some items to make meals more interesting. It would be dull eating if we were fully on pantry only, but we could if we had to. Feeling blessed.
    *we were still in dire need of sheets and I was able to go into a thrift shop and found 3 sets plus 4 extra pillowcases. They re all in very good condition.
    *I felt well enough to have my daughter paint my toenails. End of summer color splash for free!
    *upped my exercise to recover my strength and endurance with free exercise and streamed mat exercises and stretches.

    Happy frugal-ing friends!

    1. Patricia Koernig

      Thrilled you are feeling better, Trish!
      Go team go!!!
      Patricia/FL

      1. PJGT

        Your weekly support, Patricia is so very encouraging! Half-way through treatment with the worst ahead; however, I am so blessed to have such a supportive family, friends and this online community…not to mention an amazing doctor and team at Huntsman Cancer Institute in SLC. Please all, if there is a need and an option to go to this facility, do. It is a 4-hour drive and a two-night stay for us for each treatment, but so worth the care.

        Trish

    2. Margie from Toronto

      Glad to hear that treatments are progressing and you are doing well. But please, don’t overdo things. My stepmom has just finished a 12 day round of radiation and while she has done really well – she is very tired – which people don’t often associate with cancer treatment.
      I think you are amazing to accomplish what you have but remember that you are the priority at the moment so look after yourself first.

  26. Nancy in Eastern Washington

    The picture of your son with the bubbles is just adorable. My sons also loved bubbles when they were small.
    Don’t really know what happened this week. I seemed to be tired for most of it. Planning for a trip, not for us, but we will be the hosts, for my sister and brother-in-law from Nebraska, as well as her daughter, son-in-law and their baby (not yet a year old) from Tunisia. They are coming to visit my mother, and since she just lives in a one bedroom apt., then we are the hosts. I get exhausted just thinking about it. I am still working, so there is that to think about too.
    However, there were a few frugal things.
    I brought breakfast and lunch to work the 4 days I worked. Last Sunday we had chicken and /or beef tacos with all the trimmings and Spanish rice for dinner, when my mother came over after church. The lettuce, onions, cilantro and tomatoes were all from the garden.
    A friend gave my DH about 6 pounds of green beans. DH then trimmed them and I make hot garlic green beans with them.
    We picked from our second planting of snow peas. These were planted on July 5th.
    Made a batch of refrigerator pickles from our cucumbers. Not enough for an entire batch of dill pickles, plus I think we have enough of those.
    Made a batch of zucchini relish, using my mother’s recipe. Made 7 pints.
    This past Sunday we had BLTs for dinner when I brought my mother over after church. Although she and I had cucumbers, rather than lettuce on ours. We have enough tomatoes now that we don’t have to scrimp on them in our sandwiches.
    Picked our first cauliflower from the garden. It was big and beautiful. Trimmed it into florets and then steamed it. Served with a yummy cheese sauce.
    Washed our bedding and dried it on the clothesline. Such a fresh fragrance.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed week.

  27. Emma

    Hi. Do you have an app called Too good To Go there? We have been using it a lot recently. It is a way for restaurants and bakeries to sell off bags of food they didn’t sell at the end of the day for not a lot. They get a little money and no waste, and we get amazing deals. We regularly take a Tupperware box to a roast lunch buffet (around 1800), and also to a hotel breakfast buffet (around 0945) and a bakery (15mins before they close). For between £2.25 and £3.29 you get a bag or box of food or, in the case of the buffets, can help yourself to as much of anything as you would like in your Tupperware. One pick up does several meals…

    1. Jen

      It looks like this app only works in Boston and New York City so far, if one is in the US. Too bad :(. This sounds awesome. Hopefully it expands.

    2. Sheena

      Thanks I just found it!

    3. Jenny

      There is something similar in Australia as well called ‘Ywaste’. The food producer, café, restaurant, bar, advertise when they have left over food they haven’t been able to sell. The general public can buy it as reduced prices and there’s a map of where the food producer is located.

  28. I

    One of our frugal finds this week was going to Glacier National Park in Montana on Sunday when they had free admission-the US National Parks have free admission on 5 days per year and post these dates if anyone lives close enough to one to take advantage of it. This was a savings of $35. Very thankful for our free Canadian healthcare as I needed to go to urgent care today for assessment and treatment which does not cost me anything out of pocket-I even found 25 cents in the waiting room!

    1. Ellie's friend

      It’s a good idea to buy travel health insurance even for a one or two day trip to the U.S. Glad you were back in Canada when you needed urgent care.

  29. Melissa Y

    Hello Everyone! This past week I was invited to a luncheon at my college alma mater along with my son who is a transfer student this fall. Because he is a “legacy” we went to the lunch for free and received some swag: a flash drive for him & a pen and a book of the school’s history for me. I harvested tomatoes & basil from the garden and turned them into sun dried tomatoes and pesto. Our local grocery store had a great ad last week with many items buy 1 get 1 free. Usually these sale items are for packaged foods but this time there was meat & produce included. I purchased strawberries, lettuce, carrots, potatoes , pork chops, pork tenderloin, chicken breasts & chicken thighs, ground beef, london broil and a few miscellaneous items. My freezer is full, I won’t need to do a major shop for weeks & I saved over $130.00. Under the grocery budget for August & this will carry us well into September.
    Looking forward to reading all the great ideas everyone has!

  30. Kara

    Lovely to hear from everyone! We continue in our 600 square foot rental. It has made me evaluate carefully EVERYTHING that I bring home. We unloaded POD containing the majority of our house contents into my parents garage. We were able to pull out some things that we needed/wanted. We decided to get rid of the extra beds. We sold the queen mattress on Craigslist on the same day I listed it. We also gave away a twin mattress set, bookcase, and TV cabinet. Each recipient was grateful. It helped us to clear some things.
    I am making my husband pecan pie bars for his birthday tomorrow. I usually make him pecan pie, but I don’t have a pie pan right now. So bars will work!
    I have sold several things on ebay, including 2 textbooks my daughter used last semester. She found them when she moved back into the dorm last week, and I listed them immediately, knowing this is the season for textbook purchases.
    I repurposed a queen fitted sheet that had lost it’s elastic, into 2 pillowcases, and some spare fabric.
    I am focusing on ebay selling, starting my sewing business and taking some community college classes. It’s good to know my priorities.

  31. Laura S

    With all you get done, Brandy, I don’t think any week is less productive from my viewpoint.
    I repainted some pine dressers we have had for over twenty years a beautiful dark gray…just the main frame, not the drawers. The drawers I left the natural wood. Purchased some glass knobs off Amazon, but the screws were too short. Hubby went to Menards and got longer screws (using a rebate so no OOP), but the screws were too long. So, he went downstairs and found a bunch of washers that, when put on the screws, made the length just right! Two new-looking dressers.
    My kitchen curtains are ten years old and I needed new ones, so I went shopping for fabric. Found exactly what I wanted, but there was a small flaw in the fabric that I could have cut around if it were anything but curtains. Asked for a discount (they usually give 10%). The salesgirl called her manager and said that there was a really small flaw and customer wanted a discount. Manager gave a 75% discount! Fabric was already on sale, but with the discount I was able to buy three yards for less than $5.00 ( would have been approximately $22.00 otherwise)!
    My friends and I have been attending free outdoor concerts in our town all summer…there are many offered.
    Bought one year supply of contact for one of my sons because if I bought a year’s worth at one time, I got a $200 rebate.
    It rained quite a bit here so my grass is turning green again and the garden is booming…which means I will have to start preserving again.
    The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a very cold and snowy winter. The garden produce will taste great in the depth of winter. And, hubby will be home (he has been working a special job in Washington DC since October 1, 2018) so it will be nice to be stocked up and have someone to read with and talk to during the long winter.?

  32. Margie from Toronto

    I love that photo of Hamish – so cute!
    Wasn’t a bad week – rearranged the freezer contents (just the unit above the fridge) and there is still a lot of beef and pork to get through – so the only meat I bought last week was a prepared chicken breast – I get 3 meals out of this (put it into my nightly salad) so it’s still pretty frugal and saves cooking in the heat! There were some good deals on in produce this past week so stocked up on carrots, mushrooms and some salad greens.

    My local No Frills is still renovating and selling off stock so there were a lot of good deals. I bought jars of expensive pasta sauce ($2 instead of the almost $5 it usually costs). Put a few into the pantry and donated a couple to the church’s pantry. I also got cans of custard & more of rice pudding – both at 50% off. Also got enough toothpaste and cotton wipes for makeup removal to last for the next year. I’ll go back tomorrow night for one more stroll through to see what other bargains they have. The only worry is that new stock seems to be of the very high end brands from this company. I suspect this store is switching from a No Frills to one of their higher end shops. Margaret at Approaching Food – more like the shop at Yonge & St. Clair or the Bloor Street Market in the Manulife Centre.

    I also reached my first weight loss goal of being able to get back into all my clothes. I had a lot of stuff bought a couple of years ago after I lost 63 pounds but hadn’t been able to get into it for the past 18 months because of some regained weight. I have been washing and putting away a number of items that are just too big and have switched in the smaller sizes. This means that my only true NEEDS for the winter is a couple of new bras and a new pair of black walking Oxford style shoes. I have problem feet and have always paid a lot of money for shoes – I expect these new ones to cost at least $200 if not more. Bras are a similar problem – big boobs and get my bras specially fitted – usually buy European brands that, again cost around $200 each. But – these items last for ages – I look after my things and treat them gently so only need to replace them about every 3 years.

    Did meet friends for two meals out last week – but neither was an expensive outing – no alcohol and small meals since I can’t manage big meals anymore. I only bought coffee once at the office – don’t eat while I’m there so no cost for lunches etc. I found a dollar coin and a quarter and added both to my change jar. I’ve been using glass containers for food storage so really cut back on plastic wrap and ziplock bag use. Only spent $10 on an outing to the Textile Museum here in Toronto. The special exhibit is a project called “Stitching the Torah”. It is a project that originated here in Toronto and people all around the world have been stitching 14″ square panels of verses from the first five books of the OT – the Torah. They had Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy on display – the other books are still being worked on. The work is amazing and people have added decorative stitching as though it was an illuminated book. There is also a video that talks to people all around the world who are participating – Muslims and Christians, as well as Jews – men as well as women. If anyone is going to be in Toronto over the next couple of months it is well worth a visit. I’m glad that I spent the $10.

    I live in a small apt. so no garden or canning but I do freeze a few things when I can make room. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve bough grapes and strawberries at decent prices and have managed to freeze a few. I’m going to do a bit of cooking for my neighbour this weekend so that will freeze up a bit of space so I’ll be looking for deals on things like peppers in the next few weeks and will freeze these for use over the winter. Every little bit helps.

    As always – I look forward to reading everyone’s comments over the next week. I always find the response to be truly amazing.

    1. Congrats on the weight loss! And your deals at No Frills sound fabulous, as does the Textile Museum visit!

    2. Julie Walker

      that Torah thing sounds like something I would love to see. I love to see all religions work together on things we agree on.

      1. Margie from Toronto

        It is truly amazing to see it all displayed so well – and it was interesting that I heard about it while at The Knitting Pilgrim evening – google that and you’ll also find it really interesting. People do some amazing work – and have truly creative ideas! And yes, it’s nice when you see people from different religions working together so well. It helps to show how much we have in common rather than highlighting our differences.

        The Knitting Pilgrim exhibit is on tour and I believe the plan is to send the Torah project on tour as well so you may yet have a chance.

  33. ElisaB

    We are in a big flurry of activity, getting ready to fly to the Canary Islands on Thursday. Cutting hair, doctor appointments, etc. We are bringing the clothes we don’t want in storage to our favorite charity thrift store. Our storage unit is small, 5′ x5′ but has a very high ceiling so we could stuff alot in.

    I loaded my Kindle with about 20 books. Some for me to read and some to read aloud my husband at night. We got snacks for the airport and flight. Certain things, like sunscreen, we will wait until we are there. I am wearing my heaviest clothes on the flight so my suitcase doesn’t go over the limit.

    Your photo of your baby in the tub is so adorable! I have the matching photo of me, in an identical tub. But it is from 1953 and , alas, no bubbles.

    Inspite of hurrying to get everything finished, we have still taken the time to cook meals at home. It would be so easy to go out right now!

    Next time I contribute we will be off the coast of Africa.

  34. L

    Beautiful baby picture with those bubbles..
    This week we saved by doing the following-
    -Scrubbed, cleaned, removed rust, and spray painted the grill. I was really happy with how well it turned out.
    -Had family visit for the weekend, made meals and had homemade deserts and breakfast goodies. I arranged flowers in vases and we enjoyed games and good conversations. No money spent.
    -Went to the Dr. and traveled to another town, drove home and made a nice hot dish rather than stopping for dinner and spending money.
    -Shopped for a new bedspread however, decided it wasn’t necessary and will wait a few more years.
    – Went to an auction this weekend, brought snacks, water, and soda. No money spent and enjoyed seeing friends.
    -Renewed some great library books.
    Stay frugal everyone…..

    1. PJGT

      Years ago I admired my bed and breakfast neighbor’s bedspread and she said she found it at the local thrift shop. Ever since than, I hunt for them and every one of our bed covers is from a thrift shop for pennies on the dollar. Pays to thrift before it is needed though.

  35. Riley

    I’m always so impressed reading everyone’s resourcefulness and creativity. The phase of life I am in with three littles makes me truly want to work less, economize more and be home with them more, so I love the inspiration of everyone.
    – continued to cloth diaper, reuse ziplocs, and use reusable tupperware
    – am two weeks into what I think is loosely the Whole 30 diet. I told my aunt I would do it with her, but didn’t do a ton of reading on it. Essentially I’m just avoiding processed foods, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and (unfortunately for just this 30 days), beans, grains,and dairy. While it’s definitely not cheap since I can’t eat a lot of filler foods, I’m amazed by how many fruits and veggies I am eating, and how long it took for intense carb cravings to decline. I think after 30 days, I’ll continue to avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners, but add back beans, milk, and any homemade grain product. It’s designed for people who wonder if there are foods affecting their gut or energy. I don’t have that, but it’s good to break the dessert/cereal/coffee creamer habit!
    – since I’m eating so many veggies, we’ve literally had NO food waste
    – we are lucky that the house we bought has solar water heating and solar panels. Turned off the gas backup water heater for the rest of the summer
    – continue to participate in an online work benefit to get 300 deposited into an FSA
    – explored kindergarten options for my oldest. School choice programs in the surrounding towns with better schools are full unfortunately, but we’re learning about the schools we are zoned for. Anyone with advice on figuring out about a “good” school vs not OTHER than test scores and class size would be super appreciated! Those data we have. It honestly is making us consider moving but we love our house so much!
    – uscd the work treadmills a few days to exercise. No extra childcare, nor electric from using my old home stationary bike
    – took books out from the library
    – worked on keeping our house neat and tidy. It’s so much more enjoyable to be home that way!
    – used some fertilizer I forgot I had on our garden
    – read up on when to trim our various shrubs online for free 🙂

  36. Alethea in Central VA

    I love that you get your son’s discount! Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were grilled chicken with green beans and garlic bread, beef fajitas with chips and salsa, shrimp scampi pasta with tossed salad, chicken taquitos, beef and mac, burgers and hot dogs with roasted potatoes, grilled steak with baked potatoes.
    *Had an impromptu children’s ministry dinner at our home. We provided the chicken, green beans, garlic bread and chocolate cake. One guest brought baked potatoes and another brought soda. I have learned never to turn someone down when they offer to bring food to a dinner/party we are having. Many hands make light the load!
    *I don’t usually use the dishwasher since it’s just my husband and myself, but I loaded it after our dinner meeting before realizing I didn’t have any dishwasher detergent. I quickly googled a substitute and found I could use 3 drops of dish detergent and then fill the compartment with baking soda. It worked beautifully!
    *Accepted a free turkey and swiss sandwich that my boss bought me from his lunch out. Also accepted an ice cream sandwich at work. Our guys work outside and we often provide free ice cream on the hotter days of the summer.
    *Made caramel white chocolate chip bars using white chocolate chips I bought on clearance for $.49 per bag. Served those and potato chips from the pantry for bible study.
    *Hosted a cookout and served hamburgers and hot dogs from the freezer along with roasted potatoes, lemonade and sweet tea. Our guests brought side dishes and dessert.

  37. momsav

    Greetings! The picture of your son is so cute, Brandy! Beautiful photograph!
    We’ve been out of town for two weeks so not much frugal(ness) going on. We did help ourselves to the free tea in every hotel that offered it. I came home with a lot of coffee, soaps and hair products. We had ‘free’ breakfast everyday so that helped. On the days my husband took the car, I walked around town and got to know the layout a bit. We bought postcards to send to the grandchildren and used forever stamps I brought from home that I purchased before the price went up. The four of them ended up getting nine cards each. At the hotel where we stayed for six nights, we could get a free local paper and the NYT each day. (Love the NYT and can’t get it here.) Instead of having the towels and sheets laundered every day, we used the same one several times. I packed a LOT of snacks. We ended up using about half. No matter how much chocolate I pack, we still needed to buy more for my husband. I wanted lots of fresh fruit so we found a local grocer and bought it there. We were very close to budget for this trip so we are both happy about that! We’re already thinking about another trip in two years. Wishing you all a fabulous week!

  38. Toni

    This past week I returned water bottles (we purchased cases of bottled water for camping a couple weeks ago) and got $1.20 in deposits back. I put $10 in my gas tank last Friday, and since I’m needing a repair on my minivan, I’ve really been avoiding driving anywhere unnecessarily and I haven’t had to put any more gas in it and I still have over a quarter tank. I found large white nectarines marked down at Walmart to $1.50 per 4 pack. I purchased two packs, and they were a really good snack for me and the kids. In this new house, the previous owners left quite a bit of stuff they had just been storing, and I came across a box of 0-3 months baby boy clothes. I’m expecting baby #6 (our third boy!) in 10 weeks and we have hardly any clothing for him so that was an awesome find. One of my aunts dropped off some clothing for my teenage daughter as well. I needed blue food coloring for a homeschool science project, but I realized I have blue concentrated water color paint that would do the trick (it’s not an edible project). I purchased a book I’ve been wanting to read for awhile on Kindle on sale for $2 (the library doesn’t have a copy). I changed our hp instant ink from the $9.99 plan to $4.99 plan now that I’m done printing what I needed for homeschooling. My husband also went in to see our insurance agent and lowered some of the coverage that was quoted too high on the homeowners policy on the house we just bought, lowering the monthly installments by about $50.

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      What a blessing on those baby clothes!

  39. Lynne

    Fabulous photo – that made me smile at the very intent look he is giving those bubbles.
    We are in a fruit and veg co-op and last Saturday it was our turn to shop for the group. This involves my lovely husband and son getting up at 4.15 am to go to the produce markets, and then when they return home at the more civilized time of 7 am, I sort it all out into boxes of 10 for the co-op. We only pay $25 each week and normally have more than we can use, so some goes into the freezer.We only have to do this once every ten weeks, all the other weeks we pick up from co-op members in our local area.
    My work is paying for me to do a Certificate IV in Business Administration which is great. I have learnt a lot already and the course has only just started.
    And I felt very Brandy like as I have just made up a double lot of laundry liquid.

  40. Lisa

    I commented last week about a possible job offer and cross country move coming up in the next couple months. I SO appreciate everyones comments and tips for a frugal move! We are in the processes of purchasing a new-to-us mini van and are currently trying to find one that will be reliable for a long distance trip that we won’t have a take a loan out on. We have saved up a bit, but may need a small loan to cover the rest. We plan on paying it off within 7 months. One reason we want to move quick on this is a refugee family in our community is looking to purchase a car as the father has just gotten his driver’s license and they can now have a car for transportation. We will sell them my car for cheap or give them my husband’s commuter car (and then my husband will drive my car, a Toyota Camry) depending on if they can drive or prefer a manual or automatic car.
    We feel blessed to be able to help them, if we can find a van that will work. My Camry fits our three kids fine across the back (2 car seats, 1 booster) but everyone is getting bigger and taller and legs are getting longer! It will be nice to have some extra seat belts and room for camping gear! We’ve always camped really minimally since not everything fits, so it’s exciting to be able to take ALL the sleeping bags and maybe a Dutch oven and camp stove! Haha!

  41. Marcia R.

    A pretty frugal week for us—I finally pronounced our battery recharger dead, and bought a replacement. Of course it came with new batteries, which I didn’t really need, but now we have a good supply of rechargeables to use in remotes, earphones, my computer mouse, and such things. We were always buying them so I bought a bunch of rechargeables at Sam’s Club on our last visit (a couple months ago) only to find the recharger didn’t fully charge them and I was changing batteries every day. Problem solved now

    Just put a Bisquick impossible pie into the oven–which consists mainly of two leftover bratwurst, sliced thinly, and some leftover steamed broccoli, chopped finely with Swiss cheese and the usual eggs and milk. Made us each in individual salad with fresh tomato, onion, and green pepper along with the Romaine, thereby using up the last of a lousy three pack of Romaine which did actually contain SOME useable leaves! A frugal dinner, and an easy one at that.

    Just took my husband for a ride in the car, around where the Amish live in this area. I’m looking for a good inexpensively priced stand in particular so I can freeze some green peppers now for winter. I’m tired of paying a couple dollars for ONE pepper, and I really prefer the red ones, which are even more expensive. My girlfriend used to live in a small town and she new right where to fine all the old farmers still keeping their hand in with a vegetable stand. I saw several this time but didn’t need anything today. I had first stopped at my usual stand and paid $9 for a 4 quart basket of peaches, and a quart of fresh beets without the tops. I should get together with the other lady who likes the tops but not the beets. The stand has them with or without the tops and I don’t care much for beet greens so I bought them already cut off today. I love beets but they have to be fresh–nothing in a tin can tastes anything like a beet to me. I haven’t had a garden for two summers now and I miss cooking and freezing beets ahead and just taking them out in winter. I could buy some and do them–IF we get the freezer thawed and cleaned soon. I am pushing my husband to get things done but it doesn’t do much good.

    He did break down some boxes and squeeze the cardboard into the recycling bin this week after I stood over him with scissors in hand, cutting the boxes where the tape was. We had four big boxes delivered this week and I wanted that stuff out of the house. The recycling truck only comes every other week and my opinion is that our container should be full to the top EVERY time. I even threw out a few dozen cat food cans that he washes and saves for bacon grease. I saved 4, and told him there were more available DAILY and we didn’t need to save quite that many ahead. We only eat bacon about twice a month lately!

    I also bagged up two bags of his Pepsi empties to take to the store tomorrow when we shop for more food.

    On a happier note, I think my grandaughter is in LOVE. The guy in question is one year older than she is, gainfully employed, and they can’t stand to be apart for the time it takes them to go to work every day! Today he left for Paris for a wedding he had to attend and will not be back until Monday. She has promised to come see her parents and grandparents while he is gone! In addition, they have looked at his speaking engagement schedule for the rest of the year and are choosing which ones she will go with him for. One is in Savannah, Ga,–I’d like to go with them to that one but I think I’d be a fifth wheel! I’m not sure how he got started or what he speaks about, but he is an author and has a book coming out in February. I don’t know if the speaking is attached to that or not. SO much to find out about him! We did meet the two of them for dinner at the fair a week or two ago, but her mother has been in too much pain with her broken foot and ankle to have the opportunity. She has only seen photos so far. She is finally getting rid of the pain but is still waiting for more x-rays before she can bear weight on the foot. As soon as the doctor says OK, she will be limping around in her boot cast at double time, trying to make up for all she’s missed!

    Aside from the above, my main decluttering efforts at the moment are focused on way too much junk mail. My husband has a habit of reading it and putting it in a pile for me. He says he is tired of working with a “jumbled” brain and I need to make the decisions on what charities are getting our money these days. I don’t blame him, as his judgement is definitely affected. But I’m drowning in junk mail! I try to do it every day but something comes up and I don’t have time to finish, and it piles up sometimes! I’m trying to catch up again and again.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful, frugal week ahead!

  42. jerri in Springville, Utah

    The youngest son and I tackled the garage. It’s been about five years since we did a major clean out. One huge truckload to the dump and one huge truckload to the thrift store. So grateful to have that project almost finished! I can park in the garage again this winter, which excites me. We have a few more items for the dump but we will wait till we’ve cleaned the garden and back yard. We will finish the garage this weekend.

    I am continuing to declutter my house. I have one bag ready and a second one on the way to being filled up.

    Grandson and I picked the nectarines so I can process them. This is the first crop from this tree; we planted it last year. They are a little small because I didn’t take the time to thin them, but they are perfect sized for the grandbabies.

    I contacted my internet provider and negotiated a better price and better speed. Next on the list is contacting the cell phone provider. Never hurts to ask!

    My daughter-in-law was involved in a car accident Saturday and we’re grateful no one was hurt. Her car is totaled and we are negotiating with the insurance company. She was not at fault and now she is out a vehicle. She does have a rental vehicle for the moment, but will have to purchase another vehicle to get to and from work. Unfortunately public transportation doesn’t run close to her employer. Her employer has been understanding about her situation and approved for her to work from home a good portion of her time.

    Make it a fabulous week!

  43. Julie

    Hi all! This was a not-so-frugal week for me. We put out a lot of money between medical expenses, school tuition and supplies. However, I did accomplish a few frugal things!
    *Back to school shopping – we found uniform compliant shoes for 50% off at a outlet store for all of my kids!
    *Fun – Searched the internet for local hiking trails, and took the kids to hike one that is about 15 minutes from my house and had super cool scenery. I didn’t know it existed before that day!
    *Found some organic chicken breast on sale at a local market and stretched it by making chicken noodle soup with bone broth from my freezer, pasta from my pantry and several veggies that I had on hand.
    *Harvested tomatoes and peppers from my garden. I had some major garden fails in the last 2 weeks. We went away on vacation 2 weeks ago and in that time my pretty hanging baskets died, my zucchini became covered in powdery mildew, and red bugs hatched all over my cucumbers. I’m so sad! I cut back the zucchini, and am hoping it revives and produces for a few more weeks. As for the cucumbers – I think they are done for the year.
    *Alternatively – the weather has been beautiful for the last 4 days or so, and we have turned off the air conditioning and opened the windows.
    *My kids were gifted a kindle a few years back, and this summer I bought 3 month of kindle unlimited reading for a low price – can’t remember what it was exactly, but think it was around $9. It’s been so worth it! I’ve read about 8 books, and my kids have read several as well – as well as their summer reading books.
    *Resisted the urge to buy a new dress for a wedding I am attending next week, and decided to wear a dress from my closet instead. I am pairing it with black dress shoes that were found at a church rummage sale. They look brand new!

  44. Rhonda A.

    Brandy, that slip and slide tarp is getting a real work out this summer! Sounds like it was one good investment. How wonderful your son was able to find what he needed for work clothes right at his new job and at a discount. What a great benefit this will be for both your son and your whole family!

    In truth, I’m also having whirlwind weeks right now. However, my seasonal job is starting to wind down now. In a couple weeks, I will be catching up on all the things I do when I’m not working…like canning, Dr’s appointments, school meetings, etc. Anyways, here is our households frugal accomplishments:
    *Meals made at home included hot chicken sandwiches with potato wedges and corn, homemade macaroni & cheese casserole, chicken fingers/patties with rice and broccoli, bacon sandwiches (choice of toppings) with homemade dill pickles, and BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs.
    *Harvested green & yellow/wax beans, dill seed, a few pickling cucumbers, and 2 ripe tomatoes from the garden. I was going to purchase a 1/2 bushel of beans from the farmers market. However, after discussing how much we were able to preserve from the garden this year, we decided to work with what we have, and next year we will plant 2 raised beds with beans. That should give us about 1 bushel of beans, which worked for our winter needs last year. A bushel of local beans this year would have cost $58 and a 1/2 bushel was $30.
    *The “C-grade” peaches I ordered came in this week. I recruited my mom and husband to help process the 50lbs of peaches. As we were processing them, I picked out the ones that would be good for fresh eating and put them aside in a big bowl. The rest were peeled, sliced and canned. After our 1 day canning marathon, we processed a total of 13 quarts of peaches to add to the pantry for the winter. For their help, I paid my mom and hubby with a box of chocolates from my candy stash (hubby’s request). It was a good trade.
    *With the leftover canning syrup, I steeped 3 tea bags in it, added another 1/2 cup of sugar and some lemon juice to make a batch of iced tea. I had saved some juice from a home-canned jar of pineapples, and decided to trow it in as well, for a little extra flavour twist.
    *Hubby started back to work this week. So far he seems to like his new job. However, he has only worked with his supervisor thus far. This coming week, he meets his co-workers that he will be supervisor for. Has already been warned 1 wanted his job and may be bitter they didn’t get the position.
    *Took DD to a follow-up appointment with the gastroenterologist. Her vomiting issue has continued. It initially slowed down, then started to increase slightly in the last month or two. He thinks it may be one of her medications causing the problem, but has decided to do an upper gastric scope to rule out any other problems. It’s booked for later in September. DD is excited she will miss school that day for the procedure. It should be interesting, though…she can’t take her medications the morning of the scope, including her ADHD meds. Oh boy, something tells me we’re going to be a story the nurses tell over and over again!
    *My mom’s cat has not been doing well. She was 17 1/2 yrs old and over the last few weeks had nearly stopped eating. She was down to just skin and bones. My mom made the decision to have her euthanized. We will all miss her greatly.

    Trying to read through everyone’s comments before a new week is posted. Thank you all for inspiring me to be frugal every single week!

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      Rhonda, my husband got this huge tarp and several more just like it for free from Craig’s list several years back!

  45. Leigh Ann

    It was another nice, frugal week. We continued to eat mostly at home. I made a homemade pizza when I really wanted some pizza.
    I found a few markdowns and loss leaders at the store, as usual.
    I switched over to Google calendar from a paper planner; hopefully this will go ok. Lots of dates to remember!
    I sold more items via facebook marketplace and Mercari. Small amounts add up.
    I dried some quilts over the back chain -link fence instead of the dryer.
    I stretched a chicken over several meals. It was a great value!
    We stayed home from most weekend events since 3 kids were sick. It was actually kind of nice to stay home. I keep an old ice cream bucket as our “sick bucket” for vomit, since we sometimes don’t have enough notice before getting sick or bathrooms for those who need it.
    I bought marked down diapers at Kroger.
    I found an abandoned grocery cart in the Aldi parking lot; free quarter once I returned it.
    I gave a birthday gift from our gift stash, purchased ahead of time, on sale.

  46. Jean

    Well we had several good rainstorms that shortened our trip to the mountains. We were able to kayaks and do the Virginia Creeper bike trail between storms but the hiking was out, so we came home a night early and saved a motel fee and several meals out! It was a lovely time and just getting out of town was a plus for my hubby. We ate snacks for a meal and ate cheaply when we did go out.

    With so much rain , we have had to mow twice and composted the cuttings as there was a lot of it. I have not had to water the garden. My daughter continues to give me her compost and I keep deep trenching it in my beds. There are still lots of tomatoes, and the cukes, zucchini and green beans are dying out. I got a lovely cantaloupe off the volunteer plant and there are at least three or four more growing. I planted some Swiss chard, radish, kale, sugar peas and lettuce. My second planting of summer squash, cucumbers and bush beans are coming along. I will do more plantings of lettuce, radishes, kale, chard , beets, and sugar peas. We have had soups, stir fries and salads to keep up with the influx.

    It is lovely today, lower humidity. Last night I was out walking and saw a neighbor who has old apple trees. I asked him if he ate the drops and he showed me a large bucket I could have. I told him it was to make apple cider vinegar, he did not know people still did that, I assured him people did and would bring him a jug. He talked about watching his grandma make sauerkraut and I told him I made it and would bring him some.

    We got a bushel of drops/ seconds/ deer apple for $10 from the mountains and made 13 pints and a quart of applesauce. I hope to get more soon and put up some more.

    My son and two granddaughters maybe coming for a week before he deploys to Korea for a year. We will likely have several family gatherings while he is here. He is stationed in Kansas and see him twice a year.

    Hoping everyone enjoys some beautiful, cooler weather!

  47. Liz

    Hello Frugal Friends,

    It also amazes me that long distance no longer costs anything!. It is hard to believe that we used to pay so much for it!
    Here are my fugal accomplishments:
    – My biggest “accomplishment” has been that the last couple of months, I have been able to attend college for free. I using some Veterans’ Benefits from my husband’s service. I am taking some finance and business classes and am really enjoying them!
    – I have been pulling a lot of squash and zucchini from my garden. I also have a ton of basil that I need to pull and make pesto with!
    – I have been using coupons to get nearly free items. This week I was able to get Crest toothpaste and Almay eyeshadow free at Walgreens.
    – I am teaching a couponing class at my church in a couple weeks so that, hopefully will help others save.
    – I have some new freebies on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/ Today, I was able to download a free dessert book.
    – We were able to get my son into this college prep program that helps them prepare for college and gives out scholarships, if the do the program for 4 years and maintain a certain GPA.
    – I worked at the craft shop where I consign my items to avoid the fee.
    – I also worked extra hours at work this week.
    That’s about it!
    Have a great week!
    Liz

  48. Shirley

    Brandy…could you please tell again about that earache remedy you mentioned last fall? I think it was in September but I don’t know how/if I can still call up any old posts anymore since the revise. (I do often enjoy those old posts you list though.) I didn’t bother to jot it down at the time as it seemed iffy to not go to the doctor with what might be a serious earache. Thank you!

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      It’s Garlic Ear Oil, and it is amazing. Make sure to take off the lid before heating; they changed the way they make the lid and now it breaks from steam. But the product is still wonderful. https://amzn.to/2NGITUh

      1. Shirley

        Thank you, Brandy. I really appreciate getting this info.

  49. Cindy in South

    It was $201 round trip (4000 miles rt) nonstop flight to see my grandchild and worth every penny. The Air BNB was $35 a night. The Park, Sleep, and Fly was $30 cheaper than just using airport parking. I bought groceries and only ate out once for $15, ate the soup, and made the sandwich last two meals, including eating the last of it at the airport right before I boarded for the flight home. It is really hard having family in two far apart places but that is life. At least we have the ability to drive, or fly these days. Now to save up for my trip in late spring/early summer next year.

  50. Susanmarie in Pacific Northwest

    Brandi, that is such an adorable photo of your son! Your photography website is lovely, I wish you great success. I am so thankful for this blog and all the ladies (and men) who comment each week. You all give me so much knowledge and inspiration. It has been a trying summer, and this blog helps keep me motivated, on track and lifts my spirits.
    -My son finally gor his braces this week. So expensive, even after insurance, but necessary in his case. We were able to pay 30% down in cash, and will be making monthly payments. Thankfully, the orthodontist does her own financing with zero interest as long as you can pay some in cash upfront.
    -Meals this week have been kind of crazy, trying to make soft foods that my son can eat. He is still having a lot of pain when he eats, but is a growing very hungry teenage boy. He is a very picky eater to start with, so it has been a challenge to find things for him to eat this week.
    -Stayed out of the stores this week. Did not spend much at grocery store, trying to use what we have.
    -I just not been very motivated this week, but am trying to pick myself up and making a list of things to bake this weekend.
    -Joined my local Buy Nothing group on Facebook. I was able to gift 2 large bags of fabric scraps, jewelry making supplies, extra school supplies and 2 pairs of like new shoes that my son grew out of before he could really use. It feels good to be able to help someone else with the extra things I have sitting around the house. It was so easy, and everyone is so appreciative and nice.
    -That’s all, not a very frugal week overall. School starts here next week, so hoping to get back on track after that. Have a great week!

    1. Cara

      When I had braces (many years ago, as a young adult), they told me warm-hot saltwater held in my mouth would help, but I didn’t beleive them. Then I got desperate enough to try and indeed it did. I hope it helps your son.

  51. Susanmarie in Pacific Northwest

    I forgot the biggest frugsl thing we did this week…We cut our cable and switched to Hulu! Everyone still has the shows they want to watch, and we will save quite a lot of money.

  52. Heidi Louise

    The latest Louise Penny came out this week. “A Better Man”, featuring, of course, Armand Gamache.
    .

    1. Sheena

      Just tried a sample of her first one- Still Life. I think Louise Penny was discussed on here a few months ago so thought I would have a look. I think I have found a new author! A huge treat!

  53. Ellie's friend

    Heidi,
    Louise Penny is doing a tour with the new book. In Canada, she is talking in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver (not in that order).
    I am looking forward to reading the new novel.

    I planted my face accidentally into the wall. I was carrying a handful of plates at the time. My head hit the wall twice. I actually tripped over my own big toe (this is hard to explain). I am glad for Canadian healthcare — the hospital did a ct scan to make sure I had no brain bleeds, no fractured neck, no fractured orbital bone. I was extremely lucky. Nothing is broken but I look rather beaten up! I am using a jar of the frozen blueberries on the orbital bone and my arm and once the blueberries are thawed I will eat them.

    I had bought a half case of peaches for my freezer but I had the accident first and except for a few I ate, the rest went to waste. It was ten pounds for
    $9.99 and they were delicious. Well, I just couldn’t do them. I managed to get our book sent to the government to see if we can get a printing grant.
    My friend took it over to get it photocopied while I went down to the archives (the last day it’s downtown) and collected letters of support from 5 people.

    1. Tammy

      I’m so sorry you hit your head. I’m glad you have good healthcare. Good Luck with the book. I see an oncologist next week and surgery is still a few weeks away. Interestingly enough, I actually feel better. much better. Must be the vitamins and extra good sleep. My husband worked overtime and we were able to buy good veggies and fruit this week. I was very happy about that. My medical bills are already coming in via e-mail. Fortunately I can make payments. Thanks for your advice about Folate. I really think the vitamins and eating better are making a difference for me, and sleep.
      Tammy

      1. Ellie's friend

        Hi Tammy,

        When you are at your oncologist’s, I suggest you take the opportunity to ask about vitamin supplements — and specifically ask him about iron. He can order inexpensive blood tests to determine if you are deficient and he can counsel you on whether to take iron and other supplements. There is good science that says not to if you have cancer and if you are not deficient in iron. Good sleep is really important for everyone, especially for you.
        Other than looking slightly battered, I am ok and extremely lucky! Thanks for your wishes! Ann

    2. Margie from Toronto

      So sorry to hear about your accident – hope you feel better soon – you were very lucky not to break your nose or your cheekbone!

      Louise Penny is speaking – along with Anne Cleeves – at the Reference Library. I’ve already made a note of when the tickets can be booked online and intend to try to get a pair! You still have to go and stand in line as the tickets are free but it’s first come – first served for getting into the room and a good seat. The last time I did this was for Donna Leon. I’ve seen Louise Penny and Anne Cleeves on a panel together before and they do a wonderful job. I am a bit behind on the books though so got to get caught up before that night!

      Take care of yourself.

      1. Ellie's friend

        Margie (from Toronto),
        I think the tickets to hear Louise Penny are all sold out here. Lucky you! It is part of Wordfest and subscribers to this series had first pick. I would have loved to hear Donna Leon — lucky you! I am absolutely amazed I did not break anything. I probably should have had the tests done that they did anyway. Now finally, while it’s rainy, I’m turning my attention to finishing labelling the 2100 (7 sets of 300) photos so I can return them to their owner (in 4 albums). While it rains I’ll do that and when it’s sunny I’ll sort out the boxes in the living room!
        I still have a bit of research for the book, (I have to wait till something’s available at McGill Archives later in September) and a few other things. If I can transfer the manuscript from Word to Indesign myself , I can save a lot at the printers and then we can stretch the printing budget to more pages and more colour photos. I’m looking for a free trial of Indesign. I finally could afford an external hard drive to back everything up so I will be taking my laptop into Apple for the recall. I should only be missing it for 4 or 5 days max this week. It’s a free repair. Thanks for your wishes — I am very lucky not to have broken my glasses which got squished into my nose, or my nose, or the bone above my eye, or my head etc.

  54. Becky

    I was surprised to find that I had written our camping reservations down wrong, and we ended up taking off like a whirlwind last Saturday when we realized that we were due down at the coast THAT DAY! Thankfully, I had prepared ahead of time for an homeschool outdoor school I wanted to do for my daughter and nephew (even though he’s going to school Tuesday), and we had a wonderful time. The only time we needed to eat out was on the day we left–and I spent a total of $11 for the 4 of us at the McDonald’s right next to Les Schwaub Tires while Rob got all the tires checked for our trip. They do that for free. We don’t eat out when camping as a rule, but I didn’t have time to pack a picnic for the drive when we realized our “oops!” My husband is still dieting, so he didn’t want much from there (not to be ungrateful since I was more than grateful that such a place existed and I could grab the kids some food at a time that I was totally unprepared, but it’s too high-fat for his needs right now.) and neither did I, so 2 happy meals, some really inexpensive burgers without buns, a very small fry (he ate 2-3 and I ate the rest I have to confess) and Diet Sodas. I used an app on my phone to get $2 off the order..

    My sister and brother-in-law came over with our nephew, washed dished and the jars I had canned the day before, helped us hook up the trailer, and shoved us out the door. I was thankful for the help. I keep a modified pantry in the camper and was able to pull lots of things from it and had no trouble cooking all the meals. I did do more cooking on-site than usual since I had not made meals ahead of time as is my norm. Pictures on on my blog: http://beckyathome.com

  55. Ellie's friend

    Brandy,
    The photo of Haimish is exquisite — it really shows once more what strong talents you have in portraiture.

    1. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

      Thank you!

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