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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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Comments

  • Athanasia April 10, 2018

    Jess, I have a bunny cutter and I use if every Easter. Growing up we used it too with our Christmas cutouts, along with a duck. Now I have separated them out into a box of spring cutters...cross, basket, duck, carrot, flowers, eggs. My girls always liked the decorating part of the cookies and it was a fine way for them to spend a couple hours keeping busy, when younger. They still try to get together to decorate...I just mix up the dough, make the frosting, collect sprinkles and have ready for when they are. Joann has some nice decorations...I buy them when I get those coupons for 50 or 60 or 70% off an item. A couple years ago I found a bottle of google eyes and use those on the duck . They are very cute. I have some pink heart shaped sprinkles and they work perfect for the bunny nose. So, in our family, these are important .79 to .99 items...in others, the impulse purchase of a cutter might just sit unused.

  • Jess April 11, 2018

    I should clarify that I already have a bunny cookie cutter! Haha! This one was just cuter. But it was also $5. I thought I'd check back after Easter to see if they had it on clearance if I still wanted it. I have a large collection of cookie cutters, many that were my grandmas. I used my bunny, egg, tulip, and butterfly cookie cutters to make Easter cookies.

  • Athanasia April 11, 2018

    Whoa, $5? That was a pricey cutter.

    Oh ja, I have a butterfly too. Forgot about that one.

  • Jess April 12, 2018

    That's what I thought too! I get most of mine for around a $1. I did pay $4 for a tractor cookie cutter one time. But I think that's my most expensive one.

  • Katy in Africa April 08, 2018

    Made some popcorn, and gave my husband a leftover packet of chili powder from a ramen noodle packet. Waste not want not.
    I bought a few items of clothing and eyeliner from a friend selling them. The clothes weren't a particularly good price, but the eyeliner was 100CFA, about 20 cents US! And it has brown on one side, black on the other and a sharpener. I can't remember what I used to pay for eyeliner in the States, but I know it wasn't no 20 cents!
    We're leaving for several months, so I'm working on eating up stuff in our freezer and cupboard.
    I've been wanting to go to the store for 3 days and keep not getting around to it, but that's actually good for our money and has lended itself to the above mentioned eating up what we have.
    Made sun tea...just the cost of 2 tea bags and water.
    Today I ended having a no make up day.
    We bought a new to us truck with cash. This is frugal in that, cash means no debt or interest. We bought used, in fact we've never owned a new vehicle. It has some small repairs to be done, but probably my husband will do some of them himself. We're hoping to now sell our other truck.
    I got about 10 children's ebooks for free.
    I started reading a book to the kids that someone gave us, this should end up being hours of free entertainment. Plus I'm rereading a book I already own, Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret, its one of my very favorites.
    Love your ideas and inspire Brandy!

  • momsav April 08, 2018

    Greetings! It’s so green in Nevada! We’re still buried under snow. We’re seeing the occasional 40* day so there’s hope!
    We've had a death in the family. My husband had to make several long trips to help. My car needed repairs which are not finished. So, it feels like we’ve been spending, spending, spending. Thankfully, my husband’s been called back to work full time! It’s time to fill up the coffers, again.
    I’ve been reading all of Louise Penny’s books from the library. I’m down to the last two or three. I’m sad at the prospect of finishing.
    I’ve been keeping on top of my sourdough. I have months worth of bread, at the moment. So, when I need to refresh the starter, I make peanut butter cookies with it. I have a recipe for a few other things to try when I get the bug.
    I made oat milk one day. I had about two cups of leftover, milky oats and didn’t want to throw them out. (As usual.) I found a Cook’s recipe using cooked oats instead. They turned out wonderful with the leftovers!
    I tea-dyed fabrics i’m using for my Daughter’s baby quilt. I drink green tea every day so this was a pantry item. It worked like a charm!
    I filled turmeric capsules. I used the last of my capsules so I will need to reorder sometime, soon. I bought them from eBay.
    I shoveled a path to my umbrella clothesline. I got to hang clothes out, in Northern Michigan, in March! So happy about that! I’m sure the neighbors are still talking! (The clothes dried, for the most part.)
    I made raspberry jam from berries I froze last Fall. The same day, I made rhubarb syrup and blackberry/rhubarb bars with frozen fruit, as well. Everything turned out wonderful! It was a first time recipe for the bars.
    We finally! got a recycling company to come through our tiny town. I signed up right away. I can’t believe how much stuff two people can throw away when not recycling! It saves on garbage fees and trash bag fees. I’m surprised at the amount of people who aren’t signing up! It seems a no-brainer, to me. But, we live in a depressed area, even though we’re a tourist town. I hope more sign up so we can keep this business coming.
    Wishing you all a fabulous week!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada April 08, 2018

    Congratulations on finishing Louise Penny's books. I just finished the first one for me and loved it.

  • Margie from Toronto April 09, 2018

    They can be read as stand alone but it's better to follow along in sequence if you can as the characters evolve and relationships change. I am currently reading the latest "Glass Houses" - just love this series so much that I vacation din the Eastern Townships last year in "Three Pines". :-)
    I want to a Mystery Writers/Readers Conference here in Toronto last Oct. and Louise Penny was the guest of honour. Saw a number of panels where she was featured and she was just delightful - so funny and well spoken. I signed up for her monthly newsletters and the writing is also amazing - she talks about so many different things. Heartily recommend it to any fans.

  • momsav April 09, 2018

    Margie and Ellie, I would LOVE to visit/live/stay in Three Pines. I just finished A Great Reckoning. I had to wipe my eyes, yet again, at the wonderful story and writing. The acknowledgments at the back got me going, too. Louise Penny sounds like a wonderful human being that we might all learn something from. I can’t praise her books enough!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada April 10, 2018

    I will start at the beginning of her novels –– thanks for the tip!

  • Athanasia April 11, 2018

    Margie, and others, are these the Inspector Gamache mysteries? I have wondered about them but never read one. Are they clean?

  • Pauline in Upstate NY April 11, 2018

    Yes, they are, Athanasia. Chief Inspector Gamache deeply loves and cherishes his wife, and other relationships that evolve among the regular characters are treated respectfully. No gratuitous sex scenes here. (Maybe I should qualify that with “so far,” as I am in book 11 of the series.) They are murder mysteries, so there is that gruesome aspect, but the murders always happen “off stage,” and the violence is not “witnessed” by the readers, only in its reconstruction as the mystery is solved.

  • Pauline in Upstate NY April 11, 2018

    Additional thought for you, Athanasia. Since I am only guessing what your definition of “clean” might be, you should know that, among the regular characters in the series, there is a gay couple in a very committed and caring relationship. If this makes you uncomfortable, better to know ahead, yes? There is also one complex character who swears a lot, but has many endearing qualities as well.

  • Cate April 12, 2018

    Does she use God's name in vain? I do not read books or watch movies where God's name is used in vain.

  • Lorna April 08, 2018

    Hi Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    Brandy how wonderful you were able to have a husband and wife date night and celebrate your DH's birthday together as a couple. Like you I always look forward to good harvests from the gardens to supply food for our household to use now and into the future by preserving.

    Our savings added up to $791.30 last week.

    Finances -
    - Saved more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 24.72% of the way there.
    - Took advantage of a free listing promotion on eBay to list 42 items saving $69.30 in listing fees.

    Grocery and medical purchases -
    - Purchased 6 tins of lychees on over 50% off discount saving $9.30 on usual costs.
    - Bought 2 x 90pk probiotic tablets and 7 x 100pk of paracetamol at a cheaper chemist saving $33.29 on usual prices. We now have 2 years worth of paracetamol for DH's back pain and 3 months worth of probiotics in stock.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 16 spicy fruit buns in our bread maker using zest previously frozen from lemons and oranges we were given or purchased for $3.17 saving $5.46 over purchasing them. We ate some and froze the rest in 6 bags of 2 for future snacks for the two of us.
    - Made a quadruple batch of Anzac style oat and golden syrup biscuits from items in our pantry stocks saving $8.58 over purchasing the same amount in the shops. This will be our week of treat snacks for us.

    In the gardens -
    - Saved seeds from our last of crop cucumbers so we can replant some next season and for some to sell too. We trench composted the remaining pulp and peelings from our juices in the gardens for soil amendment.
    - Picked 5.5 bunches of silver beet from our gardens and blanched and froze them to make 11 more meals for the freezer for the two of us saving $21.45 over purchasing them in the shops.
    - Bought another 3 cubic metres of cow manure for $25 and DH and I spent 3 hours unloading, spreading and ploughing it into 2 more garden beds saving $659.69 over buying it in bags and having a gardener do the work for us.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone and I hope you all find ways to save this week :).

  • Libby April 08, 2018

    The colors are so vibrant in the photo of parsley and lemons. Scorpions – shivers up my spine! In the south of France they often keep lavender in the window sills to prevent scorpions from entering – would that also help keep NV scorpions at bay?

    • Ordered three magazine subscriptions for free to use up a small amount of frequent flyer miles that were going to expire
    • Made a birthday card by printing out a photo I found online
    • Made swag goal x 5
    • Earned 25 swagbucks bonus points from March
    • Returned cans for the deposit
    • Baked Brandy’s blueberry muffins, made beef with barley soup, risotto with arugula and gorgonzola, tortellini alla panna, homemade pizza, orange, and made chili beef stir fry with brown rice
    • My son is turning 21 this month. I organized 21 different people to send a card/letter/postcard/cartoon to him on an assigned day counting down to his birthday. I asked people to write on the outside of their envelope, “X days left” with their assigned day. He called to say he had received three cards so far and LOVES it. My only cost was time to track down various people in his life and ask them to participate – plus a card from me:)
    • Cleaned dryer vent and exhaust hose – machine should work more efficiently
    • I provided RT transportation for a friend who just had surgery and lives 20 minutes away. This put me close to a discount grocery store, which I normally don’t shop. I was able to stock up on olive oil, shredded cheese, potatoes and some other pantry/freezer items at much better prices than I normally pay
    • Frugal fail – I quickly went to the bathroom and left a saucepan on the stove set to high. I came back to find a fire in the saucepan, which I put out with baking soda while carrying the pan outside. I put it down on the asphalt driveway, which melted onto the bottom of the saucepan. Saucepan is ruined but I am incredibly grateful the fire didn’t spread….and I’m moving the baking soda closer to the stove as well as NEVER leaving the room when the stove is turned up that high. Stupid and lucky all at the same time.

  • Belinda April 08, 2018

    Wow, Libby...so glad you are ok and the fire did not spread.

  • Yvonne April 09, 2018

    Libby, I love your idea for your son's 21st birthday. I plan to use a variation of that for one of my grandsons.

  • Cindi April 09, 2018

    That is such a wonderful idea for your son's birthday!

  • momsav April 09, 2018

    I have burns on my hand/arm from doing the same thing at 15yrs. The fire was so hot that soda did nothing.When I tried to put a lid on it, the flames just flipped it over and off. We had no insurance so I knew I had to get this outside. My mother was sleeping upstairs. She heard me screaming and got the door open for me. Needless to say, no more homemade French fries. Ever! The funny/sad thing is...months later I had surgery. When I got up to use the bathroom, my Aunt was two beds down from me. She had gone roller skating. Someone had run headfirst into her. When she fell, she landed with both arms behind her and broke both arms! She was much worse then I ever was. The things you go through....

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