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Frugal Accomplishments for the Beginning of May

May Day Roses The Prudent Homemaker

For those who missed the announcement on Instagram, I had a baby boy on Friday, April 27th. I'll be sharing photos and details in an upcoming post. We're still deciding on a name for this baby.

We enjoyed some rain on May first and second, which is rather unusual here--especially in May! I turned off the drip irrigation systems for three days and put out buckets to collect rainwater on the two days we received a little rain.

The rain brought cooler weather and we were able to turn off the air conditioning for four days.

My husband gave two sons a haircut.

I said yes to some formula samples that someone I know offered for free on Facebook. We used them to feed the baby until I had milk, which took 5 days.

My largest frugal accomplishment was making sure to pump to help me to have enough breastmilk for my baby. I've written about this before, but I have to pump in order to have any milk for my babies. I've tried all the supplements, but they made no difference in my supply. I hired a lactation consultant with my third baby. Pumping and drinking lots (and lots) of water are what I need to do to make sure I can feed my babies. I don't have letdown (I can count the number of times I've had letdown with 9 children on two hands) and the day my milk came in, I was able to pump only 3/4 of an ounce. Still, I persevered, and now my body is producing enough milk for my baby. Pumping made it so that I was able to nurse my last baby for 16 months (with my first baby, I had no milk by 9 months, and with my second, I ran out of milk at 5 months; since hiring the consultant, who instructed me to pump and for how long, I have been able to nurse each of my subsequent babies over a year).

I wore a support wrap for after birth that I had purchased at a garage sale for $1 last October. I have seen these for sale for $35. This gave me back support and will hopefully help with healing my diastasis.

The baby surprised me by being a boy! Since we had only planned on having 8 children, I had given away most of my baby things. I had been given some hand-me-down girl clothes, but needed something for a son. I used the 15% off registry coupon from Target to purchase a 4-pack of onesies for him. I also went to a community garage sale on Saturday morning, where I found a few things for him for $0.25 cents each.

At the garage sales, I also found a Christmas wreath and some more ornament hooks ($3), a couple of fancy hair combs that I'll use as a gift for a daughter ($0.50 each), and a 5-strand pearl necklace for $1, which I purchased with a laugh after the old woman who was selling it said to me as I picked it up, "You too can look like Barbara Bush."

While at Target, I used two $1 off coupons towards my purchase of shampoo and also used Target cartwheel for an additional 5% off. I brought my own bags to save $0.05 off per bag.

I picked up 5 containers of sour cream on sale for $0.89 each. These were on my list for the month, but I purchased them elsewhere than I had planned since these were a better price. They also had more shampoo on sale in the kinds that my children like, so I picked up a few bottles of shampoo there also.

I went to the local nursery to purchase two herb plants for my garden. One of the regular employees let me know they had one lilac left; someone has returned a plant, and all but one branch had died. They had been watering it and keeping it alive, and it was recovering. I was offered the lilac for $2. Originally the bushes were $40 each (when they were large and healthy). I bought the lilac and will find a place for it.

My husband picked up a free, new-to-us small fridge that we are using to replace our second fridge. The fridge that we have been using (also given to us) works really well, but it is almost as old as I am. This newer refrigerator was made in 2007, so it should be much more energy efficient. We've been looking for someone in need of a second fridge who would like it for free, but if we don't find someone, I will list the fridge for sale online (if any local readers are interested, send me an email, and the first person to contact me is welcome to it).

I watched a couple of hours of a free class online.

My eldest tried a reader's suggestion from last week to use witch hazel as an anti-static spray. She said it worked great! We will use witch hazel from now on.

My son picked a few mulberries (with permission) from a neighbor's tree. We ate them over homemade pancakes.

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy inside. We also harvested lemons, lettuce, parsley, and spinach from the garden.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Athanasia May 11, 2018

    Ach, I need to proofread better....Dora is 1 1/2 not 2 1/2. They grow fast enough as is. By this summer nephew Henry and granddaughter Anna Joy will also be toddlers. So I'd like some ride on toys like scooters or trikes.

    At the grocer I bought more butter, lettuce, red salad potatoes, celery, half and half, baby wipes, cucumber, radieshes, bandaids, peanut oil, milk chocolate bars, marshmallows, Breyer ice creams 4 at 1.99 each, cottage cheese. Picked up the free item. Used sales and the electronic coupons. Bought 2
    gallons of milk and bananas at the gas station and picked up free coffee drink with reward card.

    Some of the food I remember making the last few weeks...cream of broccoli soup with frozen garden broccoli, spaghetti and meatballs. Regular and meatless meatballs. White bread and rye bread. Peanut butter cookies, banana cream pie, lemon bars, banana nut bread, chocolate pudding. Cheese pizza. Garlic bread twice ( I make it ahead of time and put in freezer). Husband's back to fishing so we had grilled fish once and pan fried once. Coleslaw. Baked potatoes. Grilled cheese. Cheese and onion omelettes with hash browns.

    Went to a funeral with lunch after. Made donation to memorial. Johanna and Olivia drove home for the weekend so all of us were able to go to wedding shower of a church girl they grew up with. Nice lunch was served. We went in together on the present of bed pillows and pillow cover protectors off the registry and the Skip-Bo card game and the large size of M&MS . I won one of the prizes in the shower game we played---hand lotion .

  • Becky May 12, 2018

    That is going to be one busy Mama! I'll bet she is ecstatic to have the help of her Grandma with 3 such young children:). What a blessing.

  • Athanasia May 14, 2018

    Yes, we have always been lucky to have 3 and sometimes 4 generations around in our households.

  • Marie M. May 10, 2018

    Congratulations to you and your family on the birth of your baby boy. I am so happy for all of you.

  • MMCKMS May 10, 2018

    Brandy, I am hoping you can share some help in the computer area. I remember reading recently about your computer dying and you getting a new one. My son is leaving for college this fall and I have been searching for the best deals and am shocked at all the prices out there. Any advice from anyone on how to get the best deal is greatly appreciated. MMCKMs

  • Ellie's friend May 11, 2018

    I went to the rock garden club meeting last night (first time in 6 months due to illness). I won one of the raffle prizes –– alas, not the gift certificate for plants at a greenhouse but instead a beautiful mug illustrated with Redouté roses. Redouté was a great botanical illustrator for Queen Marie Antoinette. His rose paintings are exquisite. This will be a great mug to use for starting the day!

  • Athanasia May 12, 2018

    Friend, I'm glad you won the mug. Somehow special memento mugs just seem more fun to use.

  • Ellie's friend May 12, 2018

    I often win more than one prize at each meeting but usually give the second prize to be re-drawn so someone else can win. I know winning a mug isa very small thing but you are right that is seems more fun to use. Ann

  • Amy S May 11, 2018

    Congrats on your beautiful new baby ❤️

    We’ve been plugging along doing the same things to save money. Frugal fail was all my seeds I started went kaput.

    Love reading everyone’s posts.

  • Susan May 13, 2018

    My granddaughters are twins 2 in March they are not allowed to do ride on toys , slides, sings anything but a play pen it's really really sad. Almost all toys are taken they get very very upset! This same child raises children so that they are not allowed to do almost anything until they are almost four it is so odd and so sad. They do know all there abc , can count to 20 and are starting to read so I guess there is that.

  • Athanasia May 14, 2018

    Susan, that gross motor development with the climbing and running and working brains and limbs together is very important. Of course they will take a couple or more tumbles but as long as they are playing on age appropriate toys they should be good, along with supervision. We have that squarish jungle gym with the little slide and the hidey holes under. (Little Tikes?) I bought it last summer at a rummage sale) Dora can climb and slide almost all by herself, the other 2 almost toddlers just loved to be lifted over and over and swooped down the slide. So much laughter. We have it in the middle of the sunroom but will put it in the yard soon.

  • Kathryn May 14, 2018

    Congratulations on your new littlest one. I can't wait to see what you name him. You pick such unusual and lovely names. I was wondering if you have found anything that helps with your diastasis. I've looked online but it seems everyone wants to charge for their knowledge.

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