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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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  • Tanja, most people here have a name picked out before their baby is born. We're just odd in that we don't pick a name until after the baby is born!

  • Siri May 08, 2018

    Here where we live in Europe we have 1 month time after birth to give baby a name officially. Most people take 2-3 weeks. I had 4 weeks! Maybe 1 couple out of 20-30 have name ready before the child is born...

  • LynnDinKY May 09, 2018

    Well that explains why William and Catherine wait to announce the name of their babies. How fortunate for us they don't wait like the rest of Europe. We wouldn't be able to stand it. LOLOL. Thank you for explaining that.

  • Darcy May 07, 2018

    I am looking forward to seeing pictures of your new baby boy, Brandy!

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    My husband and I, along with one of our daughters and two granddaughters, went to Tennessee to visit my parents. My dad is in assisted living due to his Parkinson’s and dementia. My mom is having her second hip replacement surgery on May 8th. It was a quick trip of only 4 days but I am so glad we were able to go. We had put money aside into a special savings account each week since the beginning of the year in order to fund the trip. We took food with us on the way down to save on stopping to eat at a restaurant and went to Aldi to pick up snacks for our trip back home. We stopped at the grocery store after dropping off our daughter and granddaughters and found pork chops in the marked-down bin and made that for our dinner.

    We have gotten into the habit of using our debit card for grocery shopping which has made it easy to overspend. We have decided to stop at the ATM before grocery shopping each week and take out our budgeted amount. If we don’t spend the entire amount we will use it for the next week’s groceries. Whatever is left (if any!) at the end of the month will go towards debt or savings. I am really hoping this will help our budget.

  • Elizabeth May 07, 2018

    Congratulations on your 9th baby...wow!
    *This week I scored three bath towels at Kohls for just $1.33 (total price) by combining sale prices and Kohls cash I received for just being a loyal customer.
    *I picked up $.25 wash clothes at Walmart.
    *Went to a clinic to have a wellness checkup, so that my husband's company will put $2000 in our HSA...I have never had a high deductible plan before, so it's a little crazy trying to figure out all of the rules and requirements
    *I picked up a used science book at a co-op sale for a great price
    *We are trying out a standardize testing service that allows me to give the test in our own home, so I can avoid paying someone to give it to my child

  • Congratulations!!! That pumping tip is excellent. I was never able to nurse any of my babies well. Maybe if I had been more persistent with trying things like the pump I could have done better.

    Here are the ways we saved last week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-this-week-120/

  • Oh my goodness congratulations Brandy! What a blessing to have another boy! Take it easy and enjoy your new son.
    Everything is starting to bloom here and I'm planting our Spring garden with the winter sown jugs. Here are my frugal accomplishments for this past week: http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2018/05/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-5618.html

  • Marybeth May 07, 2018

    Congratulations again! I'm glad you are able to nurse the baby. I nursed all 3 of mine and it was so worth it. We did lots in the yard and garden this week. Some of the wood around my large garden was rotting out so Hubby used treated cedar that we had gotten from my sister's old swing set and used that to fix it for free. The blueberry garden is all cleaned out and they look like they all made it through the crazy winter we had. I found london broils on sale for $1.99 a pound. I bought 4 packs so far and I'm hoping to get more this week. The rest of my week is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/05/my-frugal-list-week-of-april-30-2018.html

  • Rhonda A. May 07, 2018

    I noticed you pinned some baby girl clothing ideas on Pinterest and wondered if you were expecting a girl. Although you will need to buy some clothing, at least you know to save the clothes from Octavius for his little brother from now on. Baby clothes tend to be pretty cheap when bought used. It's when you get into the bigger sizes that the price tends to go up. Glad you were able to find some lovely items for both the new little one and gifts for your other children at the garage sale!

    Well, I'm sore and tired from cleaning houses in the pioneer village last week. We received a 3 day weekend, which we were all thankful for. I have 1 more full week of cleaning to do this week before it's pretty much done. This week, our frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included shepherd's pie, BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs with roasted seasoned potato chunks (1st BBQ of the season!), "make your own" pizzas, crockpot meatballs in gravy with mashed potatoes and carrots, breaded chicken fingers with onion rings, white rice and broccoli, and roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans.
    *I made an extra large batch of white rice (I used 2 cups of uncooked rice) with dinner one night, with the plan of making some fried rice with the leftovers to use in lunches. DD (who claims to not like white rice that well) and her friend ate so much, there was not enough left to make the fried rice! So I left it as is. Good thing it is cheap!!!
    *My MIL asked my mom and I if we could make 4 treat trays again for the kids bowling banquet (even though DD did not bowl this year). We will be paid $30/tray for them. My mom and I have been making batches of treats this week in preparation.
    *Groceries this week were kept to a minimum, as I did a bigger shop the previous week. Hubby and I did stop in to a local grocery store that sells luncheon meats and other items super cheap (often short dated, but I usually freeze it). We picked up 2 packages of mustard seed salami, 3 packages of a pizza variety pack (has sliced rounds of pepperoni, ham and salami), and 2 black forest hams for $3.50 each (800g). I cut the hams with our meat slicer into shaved luncheon meat, put some in the fridge for lunches this coming week and divided the rest into 5 packages for the freezer. With warmer weather arriving, I figured cold luncheon meat would be a good thing to stock up on.
    *Started back to work this week. It was nice to see some of the returning staff, catch up on what happened to those who didn't return and of course meet a few of the new ones. As one of my co-workers stated, we are really like a big family. Many of the students I have been working with for a few years now are finishing school, but are returning for the summer as they have not found jobs in their chosen fields yet (a common plight for most youth these days). For me, it is fun to see them grow and mature into amazing young adults!
    *Attended the mandated orientation for my work on Monday. Came home with a bunch of freebies...a reusable water bottle, a pen with a tip you can use on cell phone screens, 2 sticky note pads, a magnetic clip for the fridge door, a candy sucker, a small container of playdough and 3 little pompoms that our youngest cat loves to play with.
    *Hubby and I had a date night on Friday night. We went out for dinner and a movie. Not frugal, but really nice to spend one-on-one time with my man. It was good timing as our house lost power minutes after we left due to a storm with high winds. Grandma ended up taking DD and her friend to McDonald's when power stayed off over dinner time. I did buy the movie tickets at Costco, which is a savings compared to buying at the theatre.We watched the new Avengers movie which was very good with an unexpected ending.
    *Planted an heirloom leaf lettuce, heirloom/open pollinated romaine lettuce, beets and Swiss chard in one of the raised garden beds on Saturday.
    *DD's friend mentioned she was in need of some clothing. I had bags of DD's old cloths that didn't fit (her friend is smaller in size). I went through them and pulled items for her to try on. She picked out the ones she liked and fit well. She took home a garbge bag full of clothing for her and some men's T-shirts for her brother. I saved some sheets to use as fabric for sewing projects. The rest were rebagged and put directly into my vehicle for drop off at a thrift store. It feels really good to finally let go of all those bags and help someone out at the same time.
    *Cut my bangs to extend time between haircuts. I need my hair long for the summer as I am required to put my hair in a bun for my job at the pioneer village.

    Looking forward to reading everyone's accomplishments. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

  • Athanasia May 09, 2018

    Rhonda, a roast beef dinner sounds so good!

  • Laurie in central NC May 07, 2018

    How lovely the nursery folks offered you the lilac at great savings. I'm sure they appreciate your business, and the beautiful garden oasis you've created in the desert. Reading about your week, I kept thinking how amazing you are, doing all these things after you've just had a baby. I have some nasturtiums blooming, which make me smile and think of you. As with everyone else, I look forward to seeing your little boy, and hearing what you decide to name him. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-new-bird-blooms-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • I didn't do any cooking last week, and I just ran a few short, close-by errands at the end of the week. The stores are 5-7 minutes from home, so I was in and out as quickly as possible.

  • A Housewife Writes May 07, 2018

    Spring has finally arrived, which means garage sale season has begun! I'm determined to be very careful this summer and not buy more than I need. I spent a whopping $3.50 this weekend and bought a bundle of 5 (2 pairs and a spare!) new garden gloves, a new pair of nylons, an Auto-Bridge (solitaire bridge) game from 1957 in near-new condition, a summer skirt, and 5 spools of ribbon.

    I realized yesterday that I went over my grocery budget during April but I got some great bargains that will carry us through May and likely beyond. So this week I won't buy more than a few basics, then see how long I can go without grocery shopping this month. I have some spinach, bok choy, and radishes in the cold frame doing well so that will give us some more fresh vegetables.

    My favorite buy of the week was a bag of Godiva chocolates for $2 at the scratch and dent store. They had such a large quantity they wanted to get rid of them and marked them down that day from $9.99. I looked them up later to find them listed at $22 on Amazon. :D

  • Susan May 07, 2018

    Your chocolate find was a gift from heaven!

  • A Housewife Writes May 14, 2018

    It certainly was! :D

  • Gardenpat May 07, 2018

    This week I got ready for my trip to the West Coast to visit daughter for a week by making ahead 6 days’ worth of freezer meals with list and directions for hubby and son while I’m gone. That will ensure that they don’t just get take-out because they don’t know what to make at the last minute! Everything to make these meals was in my pantry!!!

    I bought tomato, cucumber, lettuce,parsley and zucchini plants-4 packs were 89 cents each! Next weekend , on their big annual sale, the 4 packs will be 69 centsbut, unfortunately, I will be gone! I spent $17 but for the number of plants I got (more than 68 because I looked for 4 packs that had “extras” in them!!), it will help me have plants going sooner than if I had to wait until my return to plant!
    Sold another 2 dozen eggs! Made 11 ham, cheese, egg breakfast rolls on some free Asiago cheese rolls I was given!
    I made 13-1/2 dozen oatmeal raisin cookies- 5 dozen went for upcoming events that I will miss but wanted to support. The rest will be treats for hubby and son while I’m gone.
    I got a lot more finished on our extended brick walkway, using the bricks we got from Freecycle! I must say that it’s looking good!! It looks like we will have a fair number of bricks left over so we are starting to make plans for them too!
    It has been a very good week!!!

  • A Housewife Writes May 07, 2018

    I always check for extras in the starter plant 4-packs too and I can usually find them! It's like a treasure hunt for me. ;)

  • Marybeth May 07, 2018

    I always try to find the ones that have extra plants. My dad taught me that when I was a kid. Have a great time at your daughter's house.

  • Libby May 07, 2018

    You were a cookie-baking machine! Have a great trip :D

  • Hilogene in Az May 07, 2018

    Congratulations on your baby boy! I have been checking this blog daily to see if the baby had arrived!

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