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Frugal Accomplishments for the Beginning of April

Easter Daffodil Bouquet The Prudent Homemaker

I cut daffodils and nasturtiums from the garden to enjoy in the house.

Lemons and Parsley The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested Meyer lemons, parsley, green onions, snow peas, rosemary, oregano, and Mandarin oranges from the garden.

Octavius Picking Peas The Prudent Homemaker

I froze lemon juice from our lemons to use later throughout the year, and I dried parsley to use throughout the year.

I sowed seeds in the garden for Armenian cucumbers and zucchini in the garden.

I watched three episodes of Call The Midwife on Pbs.org.

I enjoyed reading a book that someone dropped off on my doorstep (a reader, I believe!). 

My husband received a $25 gift card to a restaurant for his birthday from my parents. The restaurant also has a free burger the month of your birthday. We had water to drink, combined the gift card and free burger with an inexpensive sandwich, split them both, and paid for the remaining sandwich plus a tip (for both) on the gift card for a date, using just under $11 on the gift card. We can then use the gift card a second time when my birthday comes for a second date.

We combined the lunch out with our trip to Sam's Club to save time and gas.

My husband worked from home one day.

I gave one daughter a haircut.

I shared lemons and Swiss chard from the garden with a friend. She surprised me with homemade pasta that she made using some Swiss chard.

We gratefully accepted some pinwheel sandwiches, fruit, and cut veggies that were leftover from a funeral.

We sprayed the house for bugs using spray we already had, rather than hiring a company to come out as many people do here. We found 5 scorpions in the last month (my husband found one touching his hand while he was cutting potatoes!) Warm weather means it's time to spray again, and it was 92°F (33°C) here on Saturday.

I dug and divided some iris that had finished blooming and had multiplied. I will plant the bulbs in new places in the garden on Monday.

I dug a peony root that has never bloomed. I figured I must have planted it too deep on accident (I had). While digging it, I accidentally broke it in several places. It had grown quite large and so should be fine being divided. I replanted two parts and will replant the remaining parts in the garden in several new places on Monday.

 What did you do to save money this past week?

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  • Elizabeth April 09, 2018

    1. Managed to keep all the food in my refrigerator cool during an 18 hr power outage by placing ice from the freezer in strategic locations
    2. Discovered the stain removing wonders of Fels Naphtha and was surprised at its low cost
    3. Found a hidden pair of jeans in my closet during a decluttering marathon
    4. Remembered to redeem a free item coupon at Bath and Bodyworks(before it expired)
    5. Conserved gas by running errands in the city while my daughter was at a homeschool event (my son really wanted to go home but I kept him distracted with fun shops and Burger King...not exactly frugal, but fun!)

  • Susan M. April 09, 2018

    I “found” free roses in my own yard! More details on my blog.

  • Laurie in AZ April 14, 2018

    That is awesome! We moved into a house a few months ago that has 3 rose trees and I want more, as I am loving being able to cut the flowers and bring them inside. We'll definitely try this!

  • Jo April 09, 2018

    We had a cool, rain-soaked Saturday, so instead of refilling my bird feeders, which were low, on Saturday as I usually do, I cleaned them out and filled them on Sunday, so the seed would stay fresh longer and wouldn't spoil right away.
    With all that rain, it was easy to stay in, clean house, and avoid the stores.
    I picked a cabbage from our container cabbages and made cole slaw using vinegar, sugar and oil instead of mayonnaise. It will last longer in the refrigerator that way. The fresh cabbage was so sweet and delicious that my husband and I each had two big servings of slaw.
    I made mint tea from my mint plants, which I will drink chilled.
    I bought a nice chuck roast on sale and sliced two "chuck eye" steaks from it, then cooked the rest as a roast in the pressure cooker. The roast was served as roast and gravy one night, then lunch for me at work, then the leftovers will go in a pot pie. I cooked the steaks in my cast iron grill pan for another meal.
    The flowers and fruit look lovely. The photo of Octavius investigating peas is adorable!

  • Sarah in Maryland April 09, 2018

    This was my husband's last week off work after the birth of our 8th baby. We used several of the meals I froze while pregnant as well as meals from family members. I had my regularly scheduled kitchen day and made strawberry almond instant oatmeal, English muffin bread, peach cobbler muffins, breakfast sandwiches and burritos for my husband on work days, mini strombolis for his work lunches, and cooked 4 huge ham hocks for the meat and broth.

    We also accepted food items that my mom wasn't going to use including more ham broth (great for stretching the meat), frozen raspberries, homemade cinnamon rolls, and most of a gallon of ice cream.

    I kept up with laundry and household chores which contributed to a wonderfully peaceful environment (maybe not frugal but very nice! ).

    My husband and sons dug a 50 ft ditch and made a French drain to stop water leaking into our garage. The only expense was $30 worth of stone as we had plastic and pipe already.

    Restocked our van snack bin with items the grandparents gave to the children for Easter. We often need something to hold over the little ones when we're out and about and the children don't need store-bought snacks at home.

    Returned unneeded items and used the money for a few groceries.

    Recorded all of our spending so we can make informed cuts.

  • momsav April 09, 2018

    Congratulations on baby #8!

  • Sarah in Maryland April 10, 2018

    Thank you!

  • Athanasia April 11, 2018

    Yes Sarah, blessings to you and your family on the new baby. Boy or girl? I hope he or she will be a contented easy baby for you.

  • Samantha April 09, 2018

    Hi Sarah,
    What sorts of snacks do you keep in your van? I would love to know what your family likes for ideas. Thanks!

  • Sarah in Maryland April 10, 2018

    I try to keep things that are dry (no chocolate as it melts), fairly firm (no chips as they end up crushed), and won't require my children to end up with "dust" on them (nothing with cheese powder, powdered sugar, etc.). We like to keep crackers, hearty granola bars (kind, larabar, etc. that we buy at discount stores), nuts, and dried fruit like banana chips. We also keep small containers for giving individual portions if necessary, though I prefer things that are already portioned. When we have young babies or toddlers who require softer foods, I like the applesauce pouches (I don't let them have them while we're driving since they have a tendency to value them for the entertainment of squeezing it everywhere...just in a parking lot where I can keep an eye on them.) or nutrigrain type bars.

  • Janet April 11, 2018

    I keep granola bars, oatmeal cookies, apples or applesauce cups, peanut butter crackers water, and a few sodas in our van. It does save even if we are out the full day and I buy sandwiches then I use these as sides. I do not buy full meals. I also sometimes keep pretzels but when I do I put them in a shoe box this way they do not get crushed. Sometimes I will keep fruit type candies like skittles or something like that.

  • Marybeth April 09, 2018

    Happy birthday to your husband. I hope you had a fun date night. Hubby and I also had 2 date nights this week. We had both received GC for Christmas so we picked up our food of choice and brought it home and watched a movie we rented from the library. Both of our kids were out. The second night I cooked pasta with home jarred sauce and we watched another movie.
    Over the weekend we went to visit our oldest daughter and stayed with her saving $ on hotels. We had a great week. You can read all about here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/04/my-frugal-list-week-of-april-2-2018.html

  • Jennifer O. April 09, 2018

    Expensive couple of weeks, but hopefully it will mean less expenses down the road.

    Dogs knocked over and broke one of our dining room chairs. I took a picture and measurements and saved them on my phone so I can hunt the second hand stores for it. Also gave the info to a friend who travels to two other nearby cities for work so she can check for me. I am resisting the urge to buy a new dining room set, but will keep my eye out while in the thrift stores, as besides the broken chair there are a few rings and scratches on the table.

    I had to buy a bunch of new clothes, as I threw out all my stained and threadbare summer things last year. I shopped online clearance, Zuilly, and sales so I did ok. Resisted buying more Lularoe – even on clearance.

    Took the train visit my husband to Miami (He’s finishing his doctorate as a nurse practitioner in August). It took a bit longer than driving, but cost less. I got to nap and read instead of fighting traffic. I packed a sandwich and some water so I didn’t buy lunch on the train. Steward brought me a cup of hot water and some sugar so I could have hot tea with a tea bag I packed.

    Borrowed a book for the trip. Turned down the water heater, turned off the AC and opened the upstairs windows while I was away. I paid a local girl to watch my animals while I was gone, saving me $100 a day in kennel fees.

    That was the frugal part of the week; then I was on vacation!

    We spent too much money eating out and having boat drinks during the rest of the week, but it was important for us to reconnect.

    I also bought a ‘new to me’ car while in Miami and drove it home. My old one was nearly 16 years old and had 296, 000+ miles on it. It had multiple issues that would be over $3,000 to attempt to repair with no guarantees. We had hoped to wait until August, but the car scared my husband when he drove it last month and it has no AC ( a must in the south!).

    We financed the new car. Paying the note will improve our credit rating. We will pay the car off in full in 1 year, which will make the earlier purchase easier to swallow. The new car is a diesel and gets much better gas mileage than my old one. It still has 8 months of the manufacturer’s warranty on it and I purchased an extended warranty, as this car has ALL the bells and whistles. The dealer included a box of supplies (cleaners etc.) and a bottle of the blue def you must add to diesel cars periodically.

    The dealer was Off-Lease Only. I highly recommend shopping with them. The process was seamless and there was no pressure. Actually buying the car took us less than 90 minutes and that included signing for the financing and getting real (not temporary) plates.

    Went to a botanical garden in Miami that is usually $25 per person. I went after 1:00 and asked if they had a military discount and they let me in for free!

    Made all my meals for the upcoming week from the freezer and a few fresh vegetables.

    I restocked cat food and litter (1st time since the beginning of November) as they were on sale and there was a coupon (my neighbor gave me hers too) so I did 2 separate purchase to make use of both coupons.

    Attended a free movie preview and a $4 movie this weekend. Brought in a bottle of water and some fruit snacks rather than buy concessions.

  • Cindi April 10, 2018

    Congratulations on the new car. It sound like you really got every last mile out of the old one!

  • Janet April 11, 2018

    We bought a new car at the end of last year. Right after Thanksgiving I wrote every dealership in the area for the type of car that we wanted. I also told them our budget and told them we were going to buy from someone before the end of the year (dealerships pay on the inventory after Jan 1 ) WE got $15,000 off of our brand new car just by holding tight to what we wanted!

    I got my colors and all the features I wanted as well.

    This works!

    Additionally the process was very easy because the head manager/ owner sent me an email with my ID number of the car and the price that they would sell it at . We printed that took it to the dealership. And we paid cash.

  • Jennifer O. April 12, 2018

    My brother went on December 30 (with cash) to buy a car. Went to walk away and they dropped the price thousands. Mine just wouldn't wait that long!
    besides, I got features I never would have demanded in a new car but now love.

  • Athanasia April 10, 2018

    Is the chair not reparable?

  • Jennifer O. April 11, 2018

    Nope. It shattered and sheared off at the joint. A competent carpenter might be able to recreate the bentwood frame, but that is not something in my or my husband's wheelhouse.

  • Athanasia April 11, 2018

    Oh, that is too bad. I am married to an extremely talented carpenter and he has been able to repair so many items for folks, but it does take some special tools some times too that not everyone would have in their garage or workshop.

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