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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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  • Jenny April 03, 2018

    Happy Easter eveyone. I have a freezer full of meals again thanks to batch cooking over the Easter break. I took two additional days off outside of the public holidays. So April will hopefully be a frugal month.
    I have 22 library books borrowed to keep me entertained when I'm not working.

    For last Christmas my mum gave me a $100.00 gift voucher to see items at the Melbourne Art Centre. I booked in Verve, a triple bill ballet in June and La Boheme in November. I had to pay an extra $18.00; but I'm very excited to see them both for only $18.00.

    We are moving into winter and I'm going to cover my windows facing the back yard with bubble wrap.

    All the best for the coming week.

  • Luba @ Healthy with Luba April 03, 2018

    Brandy, you are an inspiration of how you cook with what you have instead of wishing you had something else. Just yesterday I made chicken and bean soup with mostly beans.

    * I combined errands as much as possible.
    * I made salad for a potluck using what we had at home.
    * I kept the lights off as much as possible at home.
    * I delivered product to a client when I would see him next at a meeting.
    * We drove our car with excellent gas mileage when we traveled longer distances.
    * We gladly ate leftovers and ate most meals at home.
    * I brought my water bottle to a meeting in a restaurant rather than paying $4 for tea.
    * I stayed home as much as possible!
    * Most days I worked from home.
    * When I was under the weather a little, I used natural remedies I already had at home to feel better.

  • Laurie in AZ April 03, 2018

    Brandy, as usual, beautiful pictures!

    • Used free tea, coffee and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Resewed a seam on a stuffed animal.
    • Took my lunch to work all the days I went into the office. Hubby brought his lunch 4 times.
    • Worked 19 contract hours.
    • Resisted the urge to eat out the night my husband had to go to his mother’s to repair her toilet. Used up a freezer item instead.
    • Ate in most of the week. Only ate out at our weekly Trivia league night and a Saturday afternoon lunch.
    • Used up a couple of bread crusts that were in the freezer by making a single serving of French toast.
    • Got a ham and a NY strip roast on a great sale and got a free candy egg on the Friday Freebie.
    • It warmed up quite a bit here in Phoenix. I have to admit, I am NOT frugal when it comes to using my air conditioner. I run pretty warm as it is and would ideally be living in the Pacific Northwest, but my husband’s job is here in Phoenix, so I compensate by allowing myself the guilt free pleasure of air conditioning when I need it! I haven’t had to have it on all day tho. Have still been able to have the door open a little while in the morning and evening. And so far have not had to keep it running when we are not home.
    • For Easter dessert I had a cake mix and frosting that I had bought after Christmas on clearance. The cake had green and red speckles, but so what? The frosting was green. I used green sugar sprinkles on it and added 3 M&M’s that I had gotten from the dollar store on top.
    • Daughter gave me 9 vacuum packages of tuna that she had gotten free at a conference that expires in May. We will use them past the expiration date, but her husband is squeamish about that.
    • I increased my husbands 401k deduction by 1%. Once we get used to that I will up it again.
    • I didn’t go out to my Dad’s as I had to work, so that saved in gas and the lunch I buy him.
    • Filled my gas tank with 10c off per gallon from grocery rewards.

    Have a wonderful, frugal week everyone!

  • Marybeth April 04, 2018

    Great job on upping your 401K. We always raise ours when we get a raise because then we don't notice.

  • Ava April 03, 2018

    I gratefully accepted a dozen fresh eggs, and some cabbage, bell peppers, and potatoes from from some good friends who garden and raise chickens. I used all but the eggs for Easter dinner.

    We've been sick with spring colds, so for the first time in years, we skipped church and had a quiet Easter Sunday. Two of our four adult children showed up, so I cooked a fairly simple meal using items I had in the 'fridge, freezer, and pantry - corned beef (I'd bought three at a very low sale price near St Patrick's Day), steamed cabbage, potatoes (see above!), and a pasta salad for the vegan (fusilli mixed with stir-fried bell peppers, onions, and fresh tomatoes, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar). Dessert was vegan orange/banana bread made using bananas that were going brown, and sweet oranges courtesy of my mother's incredibly prolific tree. I froze the liquid from the corned beef to make soup later, and we are enjoying leftovers in the form of corned beef sandwiches.

    I picked fragrant Japanese Mock Orange (pittosporum), as well as lavender and apple mint, all of which grow in abundance in my yard and are flowering enthusiastically right now, to enjoy around the house (and gave my mother a bouquet as her "Easter basket", which made her laugh - she gave me lots of oranges in return). I harvested parsley from the herb garden and used some fresh and dried the rest to use later. I harvested and dried lots of oregano.

    We paid a number of bills on line, saving postage, and earned airline points in the process (we use a card, then pay the card off immediately).

    My husband sold several items on eBay and set the money aside. We intend to use it for car repairs.

    I used Shutterfly freebie offers to create and order several gifts, which cost me only the shipping fee. My out-of-state children emailed several beautiful photos of my grandchild on Easter morning - I used my own printer to print several to frame. I have a stockpile of frames that I use and rotate when I want to change things up.

    We watched and thoroughly enjoyed Jesus Christ, Superstar, Live, as a nice de-escalating "date night", then enjoyed a funny and reminiscent text exchange with my husband's siblings, arguing about who was a better Jesus - John Legend or Ted Neeley. :D

  • Athanasia April 03, 2018

    Brandy, that is a lovely amount of pea pods. I did buy some at the store to add to my relish tray for Easter and the small bag was 3.99. The larger bag was over 6.00. I think you have the equivalent of the larger at least.

    We did all the usual of cooking and baking at home, hanging some laundry, mending, composting, recycling, using up leftovers. Did not have to buy much in groceries to prepare for Easter dinner...we do a potluck. I did buy fresh vegetables for the relish tray...a box of mushrooms, 2 containers of grape tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, pea pods, red and green bell pepper, 2 cucumbers. I had the carrots and celery already.

    We had our school vacation last week. We ladies had an egg dying afternoon at my sister in law Susie's, with son Henry, house. My brother in law Paulie is living with Susie and family now...will go to another sibling in May. I went and took granddaughter Dora, youngest daughter Olivia, daughter in law Joy brought her mother and her daughter Anna Joy, sister in law Annie came (she was the one who had been estranged from family for years and has reconnected). My mother stayed home with my oldest daughter Eliana who is now 37 weeks along. We dyed over 7 dozen eggs with "help" from the 3 little children and Paulie. They mostly played with Duplos and then added stickers to the ready eggs.

    We had the dinner at our house, setting up extra table in the sunroom and one in the living room. There were 23 of us (all 5 children and families were here) and 5 more with a church family...grandparents, parents and the toddler son and brother in law Bernie (married to Susie) had his parents over too. We cooked the hams earlier and sliced and put into a Nesco roaster to stay warm. We baked 2 pans of chicken stuffing (an Amish casserole), rolls, green bean casserole, scalloped corn casserole. I appreciate having a double oven. There were several jello salads, coleslaw, sweet and dill pickles, corn relish, pickled beets, pickled eggs, cheese and cracker tray. I did the relish tray with dill dip and hummus and I made 2 lemon meringue pies and frosted cutout cookies. Other desserts were a trifle, a German chocolate cake, a tres leches cake, and a pineapple upside down cake. With Eliana so pregnant and also getting over the flu we used our house so that she could go back home to a nice quiet house when she was ready and also, twins come early so who know when they decide.

    Stayed around town for the Easter break. Olivia was home as her school had the same days off. We did do a one day trip last Monday over by husband's family. Sap is running and his extended family has a maple syrup business. I visited a bit and left him there and Olivia joined (she teaches in the school that serves their church over there) and then she and her Dad drove back here Tuesday night smelling very mapley and smokey. I did some organizing for the upcoming holiday while they were gone and helped Eliana with some things at her house. Her mother in law came also and we did quite a big head start on her spring cleaning. She brought 2 granddaughters with her and between the 3 of them they washed all the walls and ceilings on the 1st floor and the stairway to the 2nd floor and stairs to basement.

    Last fall we had to disassemble our greenhouse as my husband and nephew needed an addition on the business. The greenhouse was on the backside of the workshop. As for now we have trestle tables set up in the old garage and my husband is collecting hanging lights and we think we will have to start all the seedlings in there. Our tenants are going to be helping; they live above the garage. They're going to park outside for now so they don't open and close the overhead doors but they are thinking on warm days later in spring they could probably open the doors to let in natural light. We have a mineral oil space heater...possibly will have to use that. It has been snowing all day here and is supposed to continue the night.

    Will finish later...

  • There are about 6 cups in that picture. $1 a cup sounds about right; years ago I bought some snow peas at the store and they were about that much. I use that much in my pasta salad each time I make it. I've made it twice this year, plus I picked another 3 cups or so besides. I'll have to tell that amount to my husband when we talk about how much things cost that I grow in the garden!

  • momsav April 03, 2018

    Athanasia, You always have so much going on! What a large family; it’s nice to hear how everyone helps each other. You’re all so close. I loved how two came in smelling all ”mapley and smokey”!

  • Athanasia April 04, 2018

    I remember I had some coupons that came in the mail for the store that gave me a free Haagen Daaz (sp?) ice cream and a free box of crackers. Also 4.00 off a 20.00 produce purchase which I used. I forgot I bought radishes too and 4 fresh lemons.

    Some of the things I cooked last week was not much really. I did the relish tray for Easter, the hummus and the dill dip to go with, and I put extra cooked garbanzos in the freezer. I made the 2 lemon pies using crusts I had made and frozen earlier.

  • reet April 04, 2018

    Greetings from Estonia. Here the last two months have been colder than in several years before, so we had to use a lot of electrical heating thingies and our power bills are thus... catastrophes. Now the weather is finally getting warmer and nicer, so I can focus again on important things in life instead of just trying to get warm.
    Last week and this week we are trying to eat as much from the pantry as possible.
    We went to see a movie about 50s in Estonia (if you ever get the chance to see "Little Comrade", http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6315438/ use it. It gives a good insight to how people suffered under Stalin's regime; it is also suitable for children, age 7 and up) on a day when the tickets were cheapest.
    I bought some good-condition clothing items for children in thrift stores, paying about 1/4 of what they would have cost when bought new.
    We upholstered a 30-year-old rocking chair that we had standing in the storeroom. We only paid about 25 Euro for materials. A new rocking chair costs 200 euro when on sale. This work also gave our boys a chance to see, help and appreciate how hard it is to make real things with hands, so it was valuable family time.

  • Tracey April 04, 2018

    Lovely post...as always...everyone here is so helpful, inspiring and generous with your knowledge and experiences! This week has been a mixed bag of frugality and expenses for us thanks to a long overdue trip to Costco! Aside from that, we cancelled our Netflix account (we were rarely using it), stopped by our favorite farmstand and found lots of bargains from their bargain bench: $6 for a flat of imperfect strawberries, large Roma tomatoes at 4 for $1, large bunches of kale for $2 each and much more! I spent a few mornings listening to audio books and podcasts while prepping our goodies for eating fresh and for future recipes and meals. We also ate from our freezer and pantry the week before the Costco trip! Thanks again to Brandy and you all for your kind and continued helpfulness and inspiration!

  • Marcia R. April 04, 2018

    We also cancelled our Netflix (movie) account as we now have Netflix streaming instead. We had run out of movies to watch and we're not interested in seeing any of them twice usually.

    I mended a pillowcase that my Mom embroidered when she was young. I'm still using it 4 years after she passed at 96! I am actually using 4 of them but only 1 needed mending. My sister gave me a mending job which I haven't done yet--she found a Buffalo Sabres (hockey team) jacket at the Goodwill for her grandson--like new except she didn't realize the zipper was broken. I don't have one that small but I will pick one up and she will have paid $1.40 plus the cost of a zipper. Those team items are expensive to buy. It's a size 4 and grandson is 7 months at the moment--I have some time to fix it before it's needed. We like to think ahead. Aside from those, there was nothing different I did this week although I did keep using the bags from cereal boxes to grate cheese onto, instead of buying waxed paper, and reuse my aluminum foil 2 or 3 times before discarding, as well as eating up all leftovers.

  • Florrie April 05, 2018

    I save all of my older faded pillow casess to use under my newer ones. By doubling the cases, my pillows stay fresh and last a long, long time. About once a month, I give my pillows a sun bath in the hot sun, turning once. Germs are killed, and the sun-kissed smell is so heavenly!

  • Allyson April 05, 2018

    I love the peas! We really enjoy them, but every time I've grown them, the rabbits and deer get them. At this point, I just get them in our CSA share, though in the new house, I think we'll have less trouble with both of those since we're not as close to the woods.

    Here are our frugal accomplishments for the week, including some sales of items that will build our emergency fund back up.


  • Janet April 06, 2018

    When we moved from Florida to Washington DC *(Yes I know that is the wrong way to move) Everyone says that !
    I used a piece of plywood over the spare tub to stack boxes while I worked on a few everyday. IT worked for us.
    I had the plywood board anyway so I used it and now it is under my bed.

  • Tabbie April 07, 2018

    1. Only purchased a few food items for myself this week to round out my meals. Using food given to me from friends headed out of town to meal plan.
    2. Purchased 2 pairs of dress pants on clearance for less than $17! I am looking to get back to working in the professional world and have only 1 pair of dress pants currently. This is a good start to inexpensively rebuilding my wardrobe appropriate for the working world.
    3. Not purchasing any tea or coffee until I have used up some of what I already have. I have 2 drawers full of tea, coffee, flavored coffee and hot cocoa packets. I have a bad habit of buying boxes of tea and only drinking a few cups, then buying more boxes of other flavors. I think I have enough to last me a few months currently!
    4. Picking up as many extra babysitting days as possible lately. Trying to bring in some extra cash to help pay down some bills.

  • Kelly May 21, 2018

    I'm over here in NE Ohio DYING to know what you've named that beautiful baby boy! I'm sure you've chosen a great name as you have with your first 8!

    ~I received a $20 gift card to a local restaurant from my bosses at work in celebration of National Nurses Week-May 6-12th.

    ~Received a free travel mug with free coffee all week from a local convenience store chain for National Nurses Week. They had run out on the first day of the promotion but got another batch in due to the overwhelming response on Wednesday last week.

    ~Husband planted our small garden to include tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, squash and peas

    ~Planted the 10 trees we received as part of the National Arbor Day Foundation offering in January and planted them in various spots in our yard. We bought tree protectors to keep the local wildlife from eating them & destroying them.

    ~hung clothes in the basement to dry

    ~replaced the outside clothesline now that it's warm enough to hang laundry out to dry

    ~received Real Simple and Good Housekeeping magazines free in the mail as part of Recyclebank rewards.

    ~Used Starbucks giftcard I won in an online contest last year for a Frappuccino

    ~accepted pizza from my parents to eat for dinner one night last week

    ~watched Call the Midwife on PBS

    ~watched my favorite show The Resident free on Fox the night it aired

    ~watched The Royal Wedding free on network tv.

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