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Frugal Accomplishments and Garage Sale Finds For the Second Week of April

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I harvested parsley, rosemary, a bay leaf,  garlic chives, spinach, Meyer lemons, and lettuce from the garden.

I gave two daughters each a haircut.

I unsubscribed from several promotional email lists. I don't have any plans to buy anything from these companies any time soon, and deleting the constant emails (one sent three a week!) takes time that I could be using to do something productive.

I studied French using free online sources.

Peppa Pig Cupcake Cake The Prudent Homemaker

We had a simple and frugal Peppa Pig birthday party for my youngest daughter at home. I made a cupcake cake for her.

Saturday was the day for the semi-annual community garage sale for several communities in my area. I went with my list, looking for items we need and want. There were fewer sales than usual this year, but I still managed to find a few items on my list, including a dress for me ($3), some white onesies for the new baby ($0.25 each), some shorts and pants for my youngest son (7 for $5, plus she threw in a brand-new undershirt and some random diapers and pull-ups in his size), a basket that I'll use for organizing in a closet ($2), two shirts and two pairs of jeans for a daughter ($0.50 each), a lade for my eldest's college box ($0.50), a hand-chopper for the kitchen ($1), 6 ice-cube trays ($1), a skirt for my eldest ($2; I'm saving it to give her as a birthday gift), and some wooden cooking toys ($2) that I used as a gift for my daughter's birthday). 

I also found this vintage loveliness for $6.50; The lacquered tray was $0.50, and the other items were $1 each:

Vintage jewelry The Prudent Homemaker

The weather was extremely windy last week, but the strong winds brought some cooler temperatures. We had the windows open as often as possible to keep the house cool.

Our neighbor must have been cleaning out her freezer; she brought over several random items from her freezer and gave them to us, which we will definitely enjoy.

I watched an episode of "Call the Midwife" for free on Pbs.org.

My husband and I had a date night at home playing a game of Sequence I purchased at a garage sale last year for $2 (we had worn our old one out).


What did you do to save money last week?



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  • elli's friend fro Canada April 17, 2018

    great to hear how well things are going for you!

  • Tammy April 17, 2018

    Ellie's friend from Canada,
    Thank-you. I hope you are doing well.

  • ellie's friend April 17, 2018

    thanks. still in the cast for my arm but am now home. learning to cope. I hope cast coms off in 3 weeks. I could use some spring weather!!!!

  • tammy April 18, 2018

    I am glad you are home at last. I had wondered how you were when I didn't see any comments from you. I hope your cast comes off soon too.

  • Maxine April 15, 2018

    Forgot to mention, I used a salad spinner for the first time at the condo to wash lettuce. Wow, if you don't have one, you need to put it on your wish list! I'm getting one and DS is getting one for his birthday in July, LOL. Being able to wash a whole head of lettuce at once will make a huge difference in how many salads we eat. In the past, I have washed greens, wrapped them in a towel and put them through the spin cycle of my washing machine...but this is so much easier and I'm not left with a wet towel. You can even use the top of the spinner for a salad bowl.

    Brandy, loved your bargains!

  • I've always used a salad spinner. Glad you will be able to enjoy your salads more often now.

  • Celeste April 16, 2018

    A salad spinner had been on my list for years. I found a small one at a yard sale a while ago for .25 cents. So happy to have it, although a larger one would make for fewer spins.

  • Athanasia April 16, 2018

    Salad spinners are so useful. I have 3, though only 1 still has a working top to operate the spinners. They're old and we wore
    them out. I still use them all. They are just like seives/ colanders except that after you wash the fruits or vegetables and drain the water off you can set the strainer portion
    back in the base and it collects any other water drops. They are so handy in the summer with all the fresh produce.

  • Libby April 18, 2018

    I have a collapsible salad spinner so it takes up less storage space. It is full size when open. I LOVE it!

  • Kara April 15, 2018

    I pruned my scented geranium bush and put several cuttings in the ground to root. I have some that I started a few weeks ago and they are all doing well. I have several starts in a pot too, which I’ll pot individually and give as gifts when they are bigger.

    I made Meyer lemon marmalade from our own lemons and am taking a jar as a hostess gift when I stay with a friend. Also an aloe plant that was a baby from my huge aloe. I’d potted it in the fall.

    I mended 2 holes in a cardigan that oldest daughter left behind (she didn’t like it) and gave the cardigan to my youngest daughter who is trying to expand her ‘business’ wardrobe

    I bought a box of Kashi granola bars for $1 at Grocery Outlet for a care package.

    I dropped a donation at AmVets thrift store and found 2 shirts for myself.

    Thank you, Brandi, for your lovely posts, and thank you to everyone who comments. It’s an encouraging community.

  • Samantha April 16, 2018

    Hi Kara,
    Your meyer lemon marmalade sounds wonderful! Would you mind sharing your recipe? I tried an orange and lemon previously and neither quite turned out. Thank you!

  • Melonie K. April 15, 2018

    What an adorable cupcake cake! Too cute. I bet everyone loved it.

    Here's my list for the week - I'm pretty excited about some of the opportunities to save (and earn) this week!


  • Elizabeth M. April 15, 2018

    A very busy week.

    I had a bank appointment and needed some documents signed by a commissioner of oaths. The person who normally does this at a real estate agency and charges $20 for it was away, so I went somewhere else nearby the bank, who did not charge me anything at all.

    A few months ago, I lost a set of keys. This week, I found them pinned on the bulletin board at a local grocery store. Melting snow helps us find all kinds of things. This will save me the cost of re-keying one of the doors in my house, though I have already replaced the post office box key.

    I attended a meeting where supper was served.

    Spent the afternoon at the opening of a permanent exhibit of art by the indigenous group of seven artists. Met the two remaining artists in the group, and one of them gave my group a tour of the exhibit. Dinner afterwards was put on by the culinary arts students at the college whose board I sit on, using many local ingredients. They were so excited to be preparing dinner for a major event. A lovely day, with no cost other than the gas for getting to the next town over.

    Had a hard time finding transcription work this week, though I spent a lot of time looking, but finally scraped together enough to be able to pay the electric bill tomorrow.

    Read a library book and spent a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon sleeping in the sunshine, to get some badly needed rest. My two cats curled up with me. They are enjoying all the signs of spring, now that the snow is finally beginning to melt.

  • Athanasia April 17, 2018

    I am glad your missing set of keys re-emerged from the snow.

  • Lorna April 15, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) .

    Wonderful garage sale finds you had Brandy and what a gorgeous Peppa Pig birthday cake being so beautiful I would hate to see a piece eaten from it :).

    Home organisation -
    - We did a major deep clean of every room in the home as well as pressure cleaned the outside verandas, house and window screens it all sparkles again and smells a lot less dusty. We also re-organised and swept the 3 bay garage as well.

    In the kitchen-
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    In the gardens -
    - Pruned all the rose bushes, basil and sweet potato vines back in the gardens.
    - We planted 62 broad bean seeds and a 9mt row of Australian garlic in the vegetable gardens from saved seeds and garlic bulbs from our last crops saving around $10 over purchasing them.
    - DH mowed and whipper snipped the house and back paddock lawns.
    - We used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the house lawns all week as it is so dry here the grass snaps under your feet even though we did have 4mm of rain a few days ago.
    - Saved dish rinsing water to water newly planted vegetable seeds in the gardens.

    Financial -
    - Redid our budget to take into account massive price rises here and increased our grocery budget to $150 per fortnight from $103. Good news is that we did have a pay rise in my pension of $25 a month and DH will get another pay rise in June tied to CPI. Even still our pays are not keeping up with inflation here but we do our best to shop 50% off and more specials, clearance or secondhand items where we can, and fortunately our savings are earning more interest as we save more to offset price rises slightly.
    - Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 24.76% of the way there.
    - DH and I earned an extra $57 this week, DH from a mowing, trimming and weed spraying job and some from me for the sale of saved garden seeds on the internet. DH put purchased some more weed killer and the rest into our home cash emergency fund to top it up after our car battery purchase and I put earned money into the bank to recover some funds used for a bulk pantry food stock up in February.

    Purchases -
    - We purchased a new back brace for DH on special and used a bulk medical script to buy a months worth of medication for DH saving $111.90 on usual prices on the back braces and buying his pain medication by the box instead on in bulk.

    Hoping everyone else has had a wonderful week and have found some ways to save as well :).


  • piggykr April 15, 2018

    Love the cake!!!!

    *We went to a baseball game with our neighbors. We took the subway and got general admission tickets. We found good seats next to the kiddy area and let the kids play.
    * Went to the swimming pool with friends. It was $13 for 3 adults and 2 kids. We took a packed lunch and had a fun time. There's also a spa that we took advantage of.
    *My friend took advantage of my hairdressing skills and I had her apply hair coloring to mine.
    *With the warmer weather we've spent alot of time in the park.
    *I made $10 selling clothes that are too small for my son.
    *I bought 8 packs of jalapeno peppers on sale but they weren't spicy. I made a mild pineapple salsa, cooked with some, and froze the rest to use later. I think I'll use them as substitutes for bell peppers.
    *I donated some clothes that were too small for my son to a single mom.
    *I made several loaves of bread.
    *We ate at home as much as possible.

  • Danielle April 15, 2018

    Such an adorable cake

  • Laurie in central NC April 16, 2018

    What a nice sharing neighbor you have. Your cupcake cake made me smile. We had a big gardening weekend, preparing and planting beds of carrots, beets, lettuce, arugula and spinach. I harvested herbs- dandelion and yellow dock for medicine, and violet leaves and flowers, which are infusing in olive oil and will be one of the ingredients in facial lotion. I harvested asparagus, which we enjoyed roasted in the oven and grilled. Home grown crowder peas and okra were cooked. Vegetable broth was canned and black olives recanned from a #10 can. I experimented with a natural dye found while walking with the pups. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/04/a-little-canning-natural-dye-experiment.html

  • Jean April 16, 2018


    I never responded last week. I live in Huntersville, north of Charlotte. We have tons of yellow dock. How do you use it medicinally. Does comfrey grow around you? I have not located here.

  • Laurie in central NC April 17, 2018

    Jean, I'm making a tincture with it. Just chop it up and cover with vodka. I leave it for at least 6 weeks, strain it, and will take a dropper full twice a day.

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