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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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  • Rachel H April 02, 2018

    Congratulations on your retirement! Your advice is very sound.

  • Jenny April 02, 2018

    Congratulations on Retirement. Maybe one day I can do that.

  • Jen G April 02, 2018

    Great advice! And congrats on your retirement - what an adventure you have to look forward to!

  • Rhonda A. April 03, 2018

    Former Wyoming Gal, I wish you all the best on your new adventures! Happy retirement!!!!:D

  • Marivene April 02, 2018

    Continued to strip the dry needles from the cut fir branches along the back perimeter. Watered the garden by hand using a sprinkling can filled from the rain barrel & the warm up water from the kitchen sink. Cut daffodils twice to fill vases inside the house.

    We sold our 0.26 acre water right back to the water association. We had kept it & paid the fees for years so that I could legally collect our rainwater for the garden, since that was how the law was written. The laws have been changed & I am allowed to collect more than I need without a water right. The fees went up from $4 to $25, so it was time to sell.

    Made the traditional orange & yellow gelatin in low glass sherbets for part or our Easter dinner. We have had this on the table since we first married over 40 years ago. I used the Wexford glass fruit bowls for our Easter baskets this year. They were already on the buffet, they look pretty with a bit of the green Easter grass inside, & hold enough for a treat without overdoing it.

  • Jen G April 02, 2018

    Happy Post-Easter & Post-Conference Weekend!

    Trying to be frugal from from Urban Seattle:

    -I limited my Easter budget to $5 for my two kids. I decorated some plain brown gift bags I had on hand, added some colorful paper shavings for "fluff" and bought their favorite candies at the dollar store. They are too old for the toys and plastic junk and I don't like to store easter baskets in our small space.

    -We used the rainy weekend to do a thorough house cleaning and some baking. We aren't big ham fans, so I made a turkey had frozen after receiving it as a gift from my Buy Nothing group last January, sale asparagus and potatoes and homemade rolls. We have enough leftovers for a better part of the week, and I will make bone broth for turkey noodle soup for the end of the week.

    -We received baked goods from a jewish friend who had to get rid of her flour in preparation for Passover. It was very thoughtful and provided cookies for dessert and sack lunches for the week. I'm trying to think of something to send in return!

    - We rode our bikes for transportation last week, including carrying six laptops on my back to my teaching job! (my husband had taken both of our panniers for his commute). It rained over the weekend, so we did use our car on Saturday to run a few errands, but combined them. Sunday we stayed home.

    - I realized my husband gets a New York Times subscription through his job, so I am going to cancel ours (I feel a little guilty doing this, because I feel it is important to support good journalism). It will save us $15/month.

    -I went through my clothes for spring and created some "new" outfits, rather than going shopping for new clothes.

    -My husband downloaded the 7-minute workout app (for free) in an attempt to add some extra fitness to his bike commutes. I really like the app as well and will likely use it.

    -In my downtime this week, I read books from the library, as well as the little free library on our block, listened to free podcasts and watched The Crown on Netflix (Netflix has a fee, but we watch it enough to justify the cost and we don't have cable). I also went through our books this week and donated a pile to our Little Free Library.

    -My son needed a specific book for Language Arts that parents were required to buy, as the teacher wants the kids to write notes in the margins (book: On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - about WWII and the Japanese community in Seattle). I asked around my neighborhood and a neighbor is gifting us a copy!

    Hope everyone has a happy, frugal week!

  • Athanasia April 02, 2018

    Jen, I thought the book sounded interesting but I could not find it in our public library catalog. I did find HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford. The description sounds the same so I put a hold on it. Goodreads gives it an average rating or 4 out of 5. Thank you for the book idea.

  • Jen G April 02, 2018

    Sorry...yes, that is the book! I always get the title incorrect! I hope you enjoy reading it! It was a fun read because I live in Seattle and love WWII history and stories, but I think it would be enjoyable to many.

  • Rhonda A. April 03, 2018

    Jen G., I buy candy on sale after other holidays (Christmas, Valentines Day, etc.) and keep a "candy stash" to use for other holidays. I also gifted my daughter a pair of ear buds and flavoured water in her Easter basket, to lessen the sugar content. Just some ideas that might be helpful.

  • ElisaB April 04, 2018

    I loved the book, "On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet"! I also am trying to be frugal in urban Seattle, although I live just across the lake from you, in Kirkland (just as challenging). A 'buy nothing' club sounds like a good idea. Did a group of friends start it? I just read a subsequent comment - it probably was "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" .

  • Terri April 02, 2018

    Hi Brandy! I've been blogging my frugal accomplishments every day over at my blog, but these are my highlights: Today I am making ham pot pies from leftover Easter ham and making ham broth from the ham bone and bits. This morning I reserved aquarium passes for free from our library's website and I have been listening to a free digital audiobook from the library while working in the kitchen. On Saturday, I went to Fred Meyer (our Kroger affiliate) and got, among other items, three free items with coupons (hot sauce, a protein bar, and a chocolate egg) and 18 pounds of butter on sale for $1.99 a pound (this is the lowest price I've been able to find on butter). On Friday, we paid an extra $1,000 toward our mortgage principle. By making extra payments toward our principle, we are hoping to have our mortgage paid in full in 3 years.

  • Jen G April 02, 2018

    Hi Terry! Do you, by chance, live in Seattle? Your frugal week looks a lot like mine...FM coupons, reserving free passes to museums through the library, etc. I do most of my grocery shopping at Fred Meyers and try and take advantage of all the deals. Did you receive those coupons by mail or on their website? Just curious if I'm missing out on any deals... I do get the mailed coupons, but I think they customize those based on previous purchases. Thanks!

  • Margie from Toronto April 02, 2018

    I shopped mostly from the pantry and freezer and the few groceries purchased (mostly fruit & veg) was bought with store loyalty points. I ate all meals at home and made clam chowder for the first time, along with poaching a couple of chicken breasts, making two turkey loaves, and using up the last of the couscous - measured out and froze 3 servings for later use and made a lovely salad with the rest (I'll finish it tomorrow).
    Didn't do anything special for Easter this year (aside from going to church) so that saved some money. A friend and I did make a trip to a large greenhouse complex here in the middle of the city (Allen Gardens) - they have an orchid house and also feature succulents & cactus along with two houses full of Spring flowers (including some special Easter exhibits). The colours & smells were amazing and made us both very happy. These greenhouses are open all year round, feature rotating exhibits, and are completely free. We then walked about half a mile to a favourite pub where my friend treated for lunch. She doesn't entertain at home while I do and I had brought the main bit of lunch to her mom's for a visit a couple of weeks ago so this was her returning the favour - which was very nice of her.
    I also received my Cable/Internet bill and tentatively opened it. There had been major issue last month and this month's bill was supposed to be a total credit but I was sceptical. Well, I had a pleasant surprise as not only was the $145 completely credited back, but I also have a $10 credit that will carry over to next month! Score! I resisted going out to a movie and watched Netflix and YouTube instead - along with my restored cable options (and since baseball season has started and I am a huge Blue Jays fan this makes me very happy)!

  • Libby April 02, 2018

    Open windows & fresh air!! Can’t wait! 6.5 inches of snow this morning….”poor man’s fertilizer.” I’m really hoping this is the last storm until December, but am practicing knowing what is in my control and what is not :D Your snow peas look luscious.
    • My son replaced the low beam headlight bulbs in my car
    • Bought two pairs of dress slacks, one dressy top, and one casual top at Talbots outlet store. I paid $8.30 OOP after using a $15 promotional coupon and three of the gift cards I found when I was decluttering earlier in March.
    • Frugal fail – I met a friend for lunch at a place she suggested. I ordered a grilled cheese off the blackboard with no prices and almost choked after eating the sandwich when it rang up as $9.95. No pickles, no chips - just a sandwich on a plate.
    • Made swag goal x 2
    • Turned bottle of DW soap over and propped up under my sink so the dregs will get used in the next DW run
    • Made cream of asparagus soup, pizza, roasted carrots & zucchini along with a roast from the freezer, made broccoli/wild rice casserole from Smitten Kitchen using a box of wild rice I found while decluttering the kitchen.
    • Cut open tube of moisturizer to get last bits out
    • Updated net worth spreadsheet
    • Mended my winter gloves that I wear when shoveling snow
    • Streamed free entertainment on the internet

  • Jenifer April 03, 2018

    Libby, I had that happen to me too. It was the smallest side salad, as in a bunny would have been starving after (for $10). I was with my mother in law and thankfully had 3 fun size candy bars in my purse. I housed those in the dressing room to keep me going until she dropped me off later that day. I sure hope it was an amazing toasted cheese sandwich!

  • Libby April 04, 2018

    I felt so stupid! The sandwich was on quality homemade bread and was delicious and much more filling than your bunny salad :) Good thing you had those emergency, back-up candy bars!

  • Susan April 02, 2018

    This was not a frugal time for us! My FIL turned 80 and the family held a surprise party for him. We also gave him a new tv to replace one that was on its way out. Not a cheap weekend but it’s not every day you turn 80 and this man deserves all the best we can give him! He does so much to encourage our family.
    Our cars are pretty old (14 and 15) and our largest vehicle began making a pretty scary noise on the way home from the party. We find out Wednesday what the problem is. Hopefully it can be repaired easily but the reality is we need at least one newer car. It is on its second engine and I am reluctant to put too much more money into it knowing that it is nearing the end of its usefulness. We haven’t had a car payment for a decade but haven’t saved for a new one because we have been paying off our mortgage (4 to go!). Not looking forward to this process AT ALL!
    I love all the encouraging posts! This blog is one of my favorite things to read. Thank you, Brandy!

  • Athanasia April 03, 2018

    Susan, a new TV sounds a good choice for you father in law. My mother is in her 80's and she watches more TV as she gets older. She says it is easier than reading the magazines now and reading books. If she can get what she wants to read in large print, that works OK. She gets more channels than we do as she lives next door with my daughter. We just have an antenna, but the antenna fell off that house in a storm and it's 3 stories and they decided just easier to get the cable. So now instead of telling us interesting facts from what she read she fills us in with interesting items she has seen on TV. Either way her mind is still working and being used.

    I wish you all many more years together.

  • Nancy April 02, 2018

    I have so enjoyed your beautiful Spring pictures and ideas to bring beauty to your life simply. Life has been
    Busy here but I try and stop and remember your words.
    A few frugal accomplishments these past few weeks:
    . Made meals from pantry and freezer
    . Decorated for Spring n Easter with what I had
    . Eggs on sale .60 dozen
    . Free ice cream at grocery..able to get 3..Free Snapple
    .....free drink at grocery.
    . Went through closet ..gave away some things and brought cooler clothing in.
    . Was able to purchase candy ECT for Easter watching sales early. Thank you Brandy.
    . Watched some teaching Free online on various topics I am interested for summer.
    . I have a few projects to paint to add to summer patio.
    . Cleaned out some of front flower garden before the cold set back in.

  • Silvana April 03, 2018

    Hi Everyone, long time lurker but first time post.
    My frugal accomplishments from Australia
    Recycled shower water to water newly planted lawn.
    Got magazines from library vs buying in news agent for free.
    Bought heartworm tablets online vs vet saving $50 for puppy.
    Bought wine for guests at Aldi vs liquor store, guests raved about quality.
    Hung all washing outside to dry on line.
    Mended school uniform shorts instead of replacing by moving buttons.
    Frugal fail- forgot to fill car up on cheap petrol day and had to pay extortion prices. I miss petrol prices in the US!

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