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Frugal Accomplishments For the End of March

Snow Peas in Colander The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested snow peas, Meyer lemons, parsley, and green onions from the garden.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I collected shower warm-up water and used it to water potted plants on my patio.

My neighbor brought over three boxes of chili mixes that had expired that she no longer wanted. I put all three kinds together to make enough for us for one meal, and rather than adding the 6 cups of chicken they called for combined, I added 4 cups of leftover black beans that I had in the fridge and 2 extra cups of canned diced tomatoes (in addition to the 4 required cups of diced tomatoes I needed to add).  I sent her home with some lemons from my trees.

I studied French using free online sources.

My husband and I had a date night at home.

I printed coloring pages from free websites for my youngest children.

I opened the windows and let in the fresh air at the end of the week when the wind stopped. Our outside temperatures rose 20 degrees Fahrenheit from Sunday through Sunday. It was 84°F (29°C) outside and 80° inside the house almost all day on Easter, but I didn't turn on the air conditioner (we started using our ceiling fans and were just warm for the day).

What did you do to save money this past week?



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  • Gardenpat April 02, 2018

    They are and we are thrilled to have them and are enjoying taking care Of Them!

  • Janet April 02, 2018

    I steam cleaned the carpets on my own saving about $80 to rent the machine. I stretched the bottoms bits of cleaners, lotion and bbq sauce. I sold some items on ebay and craigslist. I am looking to list more this week. I deep cleaned the house ( I was going to hire help as it felt like too much work/ instead I just broke it down into small tasks and got it done.) I returned an item to the store that got put away and I almost missed the return by date but it turned out I still had like 5 days left the item would never get worn so It was good that I return it. I am clearing the clutter out of the house. I couldn't find the plastic Easter eggs and baskets that I knew I had saved and I almost ran to the store to buy more but I stuck with it and found them and reused! I shopped at the thrift store to purchase items needed for my spring wardrobe. I did not waste food we reused all scraps saving a lot at the grocery!

  • Happy Easter! We woke to snow this morning, which isn't super typical for Ohio in April...but here we are. :) I was sent home with some leftovers, so we'll be eating up some free food this week.

    Here's how we saved last week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-this-week-116/

  • Cindy in the South April 02, 2018

    One of my sons gave me a bone-in ham for my birthday (I was delighted, he knows I love ham) and I cooked it for Easter, along with my figs. I made potatoes salad, coleslaw, and no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies. I have enough for lunch all week and I am grateful for that. I have a death in the family, the older relatives are gradually dying, and it is sad, but I am grateful to have had them in my life. I attended the funeral service, and gave a talk honoring my deceased uncle. Family traveled in from afar, and it was nice to see folks I do not get to see very often. I only had to travel for an hour and a half. My aunt offered to pay for a hotel room for me (and my cousin) but we declined, because we did not want her to spend the money. So, that was frugal for her. Frugality is about saving everyone cash because money is hard to come by. I walked in the neighborhood, and tried to stay out of the stores except for stuff that I really needed. As Brandy says, you can always find ways to cut back, and I am making an even bigger effort, so that I can retire in four years, hopefully. My goal is to have my mortgage paid off by then.

  • Samantha April 02, 2018

    Cindy, I'm sorry for your loss. I hope you are able to take some time for yourself this week for a reprieve. Take care.

  • Cindy in the South April 02, 2018

    Thanks you Samantha. My uncle was 92 and lived a long, good life. He was suffering at the end, and I am just glad he has gone on to be with the Lord, and is not suffering anymore. He was a World War 11 vet, having enlisted at a very young age.

  • Cindy in the South April 02, 2018

    "potato" and and "had" not "have"...sigh

  • Laurie in AZ April 03, 2018

    Sorry for your loss, Cindy. I love your comment about saving everyone cash! I couldn't agree more.

  • Cindy in the South April 04, 2018

    Thank you

  • Nancy April 03, 2018

    I also like your comment about being frugal is saving everyone cash. My dad used to say that the difference between frugal and cheap is "Those who are frugal look out for everyone's money. Those who are cheap only care about their own."

  • Kira April 02, 2018

    Could you provide some advice about cloches for seedlings? Do you vent yours? At what temperature do you remove them? Thank you!

  • Samantha April 02, 2018

    We had a fairly quiet week at home last week due to a bug. I had a few good finds on pants at the thrift store after looking for some for three months. I read How to be a Victorian from the library OverDrive system. Originally, the library didn't have this title but they had a link that allowed me to request it for purchase. About two weeks later I received an email from the library indicating they purchased it! I didn't realize that was an option, but I will remember this in the future.

    We considered making a large purchase, and decided against it and will instead use what we have and make do to keep costs down. I felt a huge sigh of relief in this, and I'm glad we plan to make a strategic decision later rather than a rash one now as a stopgap.

    We decided to put together some 'community care packages' for our homeless population- which has exponentially increased over the last two years. We came up with some ideas as to what we should include in these care packages, and I plan to call our homeless gear center to see if they have any additional ideas. We hesitate to give money as we have done this before and seen the same person go to the liquor store. We understand that we gave freely with the knowledge that he could spend it on anything he chose, but it isn't how we want to spend our hard earned money and feel that there is a better way. We hope to gather the items from second hand stores, the dollar store, in multi-packs, etc. and keep them in our cars.

    I hope everyone has a great week, and enjoyed their family Easter celebrations!

  • Krissy in Sacramento April 03, 2018

    Samantha, did you mean Ruth Goodman' s book? It is SO GOOD! I borrowed it from the library before we'd even watched the Farms shows, and then my parents bought it for me for Christmas!

  • Susan M. April 02, 2018

    I made Sweet Potato Flatbreads! So easy and inexpensive to make yourself at home, and much healthier as well! Recipe on my blog at: http://tnquiltbug.blogspot.com/2018/03/frugal-friday-week-of-march-25-312018.html

  • Cindi April 02, 2018

    Brandy, that photo of the snow peas is so beautiful. I love how you added the blossom and leaves to the photo to add interest.
    This week I baked whole wheat bread, brownies, and made a batch of granola. I ended up burning half the batch of granola – which is not frugal!
    I got a 12-pound ham at Easter sales for $10. We are just now using the last of the frozen leftovers from our Christmas ham, so the timing is good. This ham will make many meals for the two of us.
    I decorated a wreath for spring, using items from my craft closet. I didn’t have any spring-colored ribbon, so I cut fabric and ironed two pieces together with iron-on interfacing to stiffen it. It made a very pretty ribbon – I cut the edges with pinking shears to finish it.
    I watched Call the Midwife for free on PBS. I listened to audiobooks I downloaded from the library. I finished the quilt I have been making for my niece’s first baby – I bought the flannel and batting for this at JoAnn’s Black Friday sale.
    My husband built another bed for me in the greenhouse. We had to buy the materials to do this, but I will be able to plant more in the greenhouse now. Last year voles and chipmunks ate so much of what I planted outside. In the greenhouse I have one bed that is 18 inches wide and 12 feet long, and one that is 18 inches wide and 8 feet long, plus I can plant in big planters in the middle, and gutters along each side. My husband got a free load of composted horse manure from a neighbor to help fill the bed. I planted snow peas in one of the gutters (the ones with the beautiful purple and white flowers that Brandy showed last week.) The English peas I planted last week are coming up, as is the broccoli. And my tomato seeds I planted in the house are finally coming up! I checked the soil temperature in my raised beds, but they are not quite warm enough to plant yet. (This is frugal because I have learned from past mistakes that if I plant too early, the seed just rots.)
    The handle of one of my kitchen knives split. My husband made a new handle for it from a deer antler one of the dogs found on one of our hikes.

  • Jenny April 02, 2018

    How cool to come across a deer antler. And then be able to make something out of it.

  • April April 02, 2018

    Upgraded the emergency credit card. It now will have no yearly fee.

    Made a wreath for a fundraiser raffle using supplies on hand

    Reused plastic eggs and baskets from previous Easter

    Replaced a ripped curtain with a rollup shade that we never hung

    Purchased a couple groupons for the trampoline park and movie theatre for half price

    Hubby went overboard on meat for Easter but it should stretch several days this week for lunch for him and dinner. I plan on sticking to using what we have in the freezer and pantry for the rest of the week, minus a handful of things needed at the store(mostly fruit and lunch items for the 11yo)

  • Jo April 02, 2018

    Our cabbages are big enough to pick, and as the weather warms, we will probably go ahead and do that. We should have ten heads of cabbage, half of which are purple cabbage. I don't know about elsewhere, but purple cabbage is always much more expensive at the stores here.
    I wore thrifted clothes for Easter Sunday, feeling very nicely dressed as I did so. The items I wore were all higher-end brands in classic styles, that I never would have afforded at their new prices.
    I hung out several loads of laundry in our currently great weather.
    I just realized recently that I've not had to use the store's plastic shopping bags in about 4 months now. I have consistently remembered to bring mine from the car to the store so it looks like I finally have the habit. I only use washable bags, in nylon or cotton, for food safety reasons.
    I needed a very small amount of spice, so I got it at the bulk bins at the food coop rather than buying the pre-packaged bottle that would go stale before I finished it, and cost more per ounce.
    My new job doesn't currently have a 401K (they are a small company and are looking into getting one) so I set up a direct draft on my account to go to my rollover IRA from my last job's 401K. I don't get the pre-tax benefit yet, but I am still saving!

  • Amy S. April 02, 2018

    *I've been cleaning out some shelves and reorganizing things in my house. I love opening the door of a pantry or closet and seeing everything looking so much neater. I combined together items that I had two (or three) of on the shelf. I don't know how that happened - plus they had been opened and used.

    *I've been wanting to add a few more Easter decorations - just a few at a time. But I went to a thrift store on Friday and found a found some items. They were 20% off. I spent $17 and am thrilled with the new pieces. My goal is to keep everything for each holiday to 1 large 18 gallon tub (except Christmas).

    *Easter dinner cost $13 out of my grocery budget last week. I had on already purchased or canned everything else we used. Everyone was happy and full :)

    *I did have one unexpected expense last week. I had to drive to Park City, UT for a doctor appointment. My insurance won't allow me to see this doctor in Salt Lake. But I ate breakfast before I went and took a snack. My car was already filled with the gas needed. I stayed home more the rest of the week to try and offset some of the cost of the gas. I ran my other errands on Friday. My mom came with me for the drive and we had a lovely time talking.

    *My college kids came home for the Easter weekend. All meals were made at home and activities were done at home. We enjoyed talking and watching movies. It was really nice to enjoy everyone's company.

    *A neighbor gifted me some basil seeds with an all in one planting pot. I have been diligently spritzing it with water and keeping it in a sunny spot. Just yesterday I saw some green shoots! I don't grow my own herbs and am excited to try this out :)

    I hope everyone has a lovely week. Brandy - your pictures are again beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Kim in Florida April 02, 2018

    The biggest frugal thing that we did last month, was to downsize our storage unit. DH went through his stuff and we were able to either sell or dispose alot of it. The cost of the storage unit went from $182 a month to $89, and its closer to home. That will help us tremendously. I learned some big lessons recently, one being meal planning in my head isnt really working and that I need to do a better job of putting it on paper. The other one being, do not take my husband to the store with me when we are out of protein. Its happened several times in the passed few weeks that we were out of meat and I needed something to make for that nights meal, so we go to the store and walk out of there having spent $25 to $30. I only have a budget of $50 a week!!!!! Last week we wound up having breakfast for dinner 3 times. Last week I scored 50 half pints of 1% milk for $1. I made yogurt in the instant pot several times. I also made a potato soup. Ive been on the hunt for potatoes for less than 30¢ lb, but hadnt been able to find any. I had a bag of simply potatoes to use, and I also used instant mashed potatoes that I had gotten cheap. Nobody could tell the difference. I did get a 10lb bag at aldi for $2.29 today. Oh I finally did our taxes. I bought the turbo tax software at Staples. It was $84 so I price matched from amazon for $74.99. I then paid with $40 in staples rewards so it was $25 plus tax out of pocket. I then did the taxes and we are getting money back!!!! Yaaay!!! first time in quite a few years that we havent owed money.

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