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Frugal Accomplishments for the First Full Week of March

Royal Apricot in Bloom The Prudent Homemaker

I went through more drawers and cabinets. I straightened what I wanted to keep and added anything I haven't used in the last year to the garage sale pile. I reorganized my kitchen drawers in a way that makes more sense for how often we use things. It was such a simple rearrangement that I can't believe I didn't do it years ago; it only took a bit of time and some thought to make things more organized and future time spent in the kitchen more pleasant.

My mom also went through her cabinets and closet and added more to the sale pile. Our piano teacher gave me a bag of clothes and some shoes that she no longer needed which I added to our sale.

We kept a few items from my parents' stuff (including a staple gun, a clock, and some scotch tape) and two onesies from the piano teacher's items.

I had my garage sale for 2 days (Friday and Saturday). I moved up my sale a week as the weather was supposed to be warmer this weekend than the following weekend (by 10 degrees Fahrenheit). March, April, and October are the big garage sale months here as that is when the weather is nicest (come the first weekend in May, it is too hot to have sales). I wanted to have my sale early enough to use some of the money I earned to go to the many community garage sales in April (the HOAs here allow several communities to only have sales twice a year, most of which are the second weekends in April and October, but there are few communities who have theirs the first weekend and a few the third weekend).

Friday was beautiful and the sale was busy. Saturday was overcast (but still beautiful) but my garage sale was very quiet with fewer customers. I still made $310 between the two days (most of it on Friday). I'll take the rest that didn't sell and donate it next week (and get a receipt to use for next year's taxes).  I made enough to put some aside for future garage sale shopping in April (I shop with a list of needs and wants), purchase the two fruit trees I'm planning to buy this month (I'm waiting for them to go on sale for $25 each), purchase tomato plants this month, and put the rest towards other needs.

Daffodils on Table The Prudent Homemaker

I cut daffodils from the garden for the table.

I harvested Swiss chard from the garden multiple times.

My husband worked from home one day, saving gas to his office and back.

My eldest daughter attended a free performance with a friend.

I added water to my lotion bottle to get lotion from the bottom of the bottle. This gave me lotion to use all week (the bottle is too thick to cut open).

I collected shower warm-up water and used it to water potted plants in my garden.

I took the dried fir needles off the branches I have been saving since December (from the free cuttings I had) and added them to the white garden under my rose bushes to help acidify the soil.

We celebrated a daughter's birthday at home. I made lemon meringue pies for dessert per her request using lemons from our trees.


What did you do to save money this past week?



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  • Sarah March 12, 2018

    I see Spring has definitely visited you-we're still waiting...and waiting.. ;) I'm looking forward to garage sale season and have begun to prepare my list. I've had really good luck lately with facebook yard sale groups and the market place. More here: https://frugalfive.com/2018/03/12/frugal-5-friday-3-9-18/

  • Athanasia March 12, 2018

    Your spring flowers are a lovely sight. We are 31F today, sunny, no more snow in the forecast for awhile. We are to have a 40's day on Saturday, best as weathermen can say that far ahead of time. Are those palm trees in the background? Can you grown dates? I just finished up a package of dates a cousin brought me back from California. They were delicious.

  • Those are my neighbor's palm trees. They have a couple of Mexican fan palms and two date palms right there. Dates can be grown here, but I don't want to grow them. The trees get very, very tall (more than I can reach on an extension ladder) and palm trees are full of scorpions. My neighbor's house is actually graded much lower than ours, so those trees are planted much lower than ours. They don't cover the dates when they are growing and I don't think they want to harvest them, so the birds eat them. Date palms are often planted decoratively here; there is a huge one in the parking lot of my husband's office. It's way too tall for anyone to harvest.

  • Athanasia March 12, 2018

    Oh, ugh, I wouldn't want to encourage scorpions!! Let the birds eat them then, rather than your crops.

  • Gardenpat March 12, 2018

    This week I was able to dehydrate another 10 pounds of fresh green beans that I was given!

    At the same Produce market, they gave me a bushel box filled with red sails lettuce bunches for my chickens and 4 big bags (with 5 bags each inside of the big bags ) of green onions.

    I put 5 green onions in a glass yogurt container with water to become an “everlasting” source of green onions in my kitchen. I planted the rest (after cutting most of their green tops off) into my raised bed gardens outside. Even though we had a dusting of snow in the days after planting,they should make it through which will give me about 100 green onions this year!

    My 8 chickens continue to give me about 4 dozen eggs a week so I sold 4 dozen from my reserve for $10. this week!

    I got a 25 pound box of tomatoes for $5 and we are enjoying them in salads and in some of our meals. Any extras as the week progresses will be diced and canned for my pantry! I find that when I can them as diced tomatoes, I can convert them to salsa, sweet and sour sauce, Rotel, etc when I need to at a later time!

    In keeping with your Use it Up challenge, I made a new lap size quilt top from scraps. Free tutorial from MSQ- Summer Camp block. Funny that it didn’t seem to diminish the volume of scraps I have!! https://pin.it/pbzhxulcyvzhz4

    Took more of my plain yogurt and made a quart of strawberry yogurt and a quart of caramel apple yogurt which also used up some of my fruit spread and jam. This will be a nice breakfast or snack.

    I took 20 minutes the other morning and made up 12 ham,egg,cheese McMuffins and 12 lemon poppyseed muffins to fill up our breakfast-to-go container!

    Another $200 came in for a quilt I made so, after tithing, I took half of the remainder and paid down a debt and the other half went into our savings account! https://pin.it/toeq4252ujldy6

    It’s fun to see how little bits really add up!
    I’m hoping that Spring is just around the corner!

  • K March 12, 2018

    Congrats on the yard sale's profits!

    We signed onto a lease with a new apartment complex, which is more expensive than our current one but also won't have the issues we're experiencing now (bugs, neighbors blasting music, dogs barking at 4am every morning, etc) and it has a better commute, so we're reevaluating the budget to find places to cut so that we can retain our desired savings goals. Also, since we're moving, we're trying to get rid of the stuff we haven't used in a year to lessen the amount of stuff we will have to move. I wish I could sell some of it in a yard sale, but my apartment complex doesn't allow those sorts of things and I not sure I have enough high-ticket items that it would be worth it sell in a Facebook sale. I do want to try and sell some items though, as I have things like cast iron cookware, patio furniture, etc that would fetch a decent amount.

    In the meantime, here are our frugal accomplishments for the past few weeks:

    * We signed up for Project Fi for our cell phone plan- my phone officially died last week, and my SO and I have been looking to get off of our respective parents' plans, and this was by far the cheaper option compared to getting something like Verizon or AT&T or even prepaid. We'll be saving $1000 in the first year on new phones/service combined.

    * We've decided that we are going to sell my car once we move in May, so that we will not be paying the extra $100/month to have my car (plus maintenance costs). I already take public transit to work and I will now be very close to the Aldi I usually shop at, so between mass transit and my SO's car, I should be just fine getting around.

    * Since we're moving again, it's time to eat down the freezer, pantry, and fridge once more. This will lower our grocery bill significantly, offsetting some of the new expenses. To do this, I took an inventory of our freezer and pantry and am planning our meals around those. This also means that I will be delaying our usual trip to Sam's Club until after we move, so that I don't need to haul around nearly-full containers of beans and rice.

    I think that's everything major. I hope everyone else has been having a wonderful March! :D

  • Terri March 12, 2018

    I love neighborhood yard sales, I need to see if there are any big ones in my area. I've been blogging my frugal accomplishments every day on my blog. Here are some of the highlights:

    • We used my husband's quarterly bonus and a refund we received on our mortgage escrow to buy an energy efficient clothes dryer and insulation for our attic. I'm looking forward to the lower electric bills!
    • We used the remaining bonus/escrow money to make an extra $3,000 payment toward our mortgage principle.
    • I cut camellia flowers from a tree in front of our condo and out them in a vase on my dining room table.
    • We're getting a case of chicken breasts from Zaycon Fresh on Thursday. I've been clearing our our freezers and making plans with what I will make with 40 pounds of chicken. (And suggestions would be welcome. I have a list of what I've already planned on my blog.)
    • I've been working on getting my garden space ready for planting when the time comes.

  • I March 12, 2018

    I make Thai chicken which is quick , easy and delicious.

    Saute 1 lb cut up BLSL chicken in a tablespoon or two of olive or vegetable oil
    Add 1 tsp salt, 1/4 cup regular peanut butter and one can of regular coconut milk(not low fat)
    Add 1-2 tbsp. of Siracha chili sauce depending on how much you heat you like.

    Serve with rice-makes about 4 servings and only takes 15-20 minutes-can also add some green onion as a garnish for last couple of minutes of cooking if desired

  • Allyson March 12, 2018

    We love this crock pot Asian chicken. I always double the carrots and add onions because we enjoy those flavors. Serve it with Asian ramen slaw and rice and you'll have several meals.


  • Jenny March 16, 2018

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it last night and it was a huge hit!

  • Rhonda A. March 13, 2018

    Here are some chicken recipes that we enjoy:
    https://thecookinchicks.com/2015/11/melt-in-your-mouth-chicken-bake/ (Just tried this recipe this week and LOVED it)
    https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/greek-chicken-souvlaki/ (We do not use skewers, just cook in a bake pan in oven until chicken is cooked. Secret to great tasting souvlaki is letting it marinade for a good 12 - 24 hours. We make up a bunch of fresh chicken cubed in the marinade, let it sit in fridge for a day, then freeze it uncooked in meal size portions.)
    http://www.plainchicken.com/2013/04/cracked-out-chicken-and-rice.html (We make it without the bacon, though I'm sure it would be amazing with it!)

    Also loads of chicken based recipes on Pinterest. I have lots of other pins that I haven't tried yet but hope to eventually.

  • Rhonda A. March 14, 2018

    After I posted, I thought of a few more:
    *garlic chicken wraps - sautee diced chicken seasoned with seasoning salt (cheap version of Lawery's) with a tbsp or 2 of oil and a generous helping of fresh minced garlic. Use thoroughly cooked chicken in a wrap with favourite toppings. I like lettuce, cheese and ranch dressing on mine, but use whatever you like or have on hand (cucumber, tomato, mushrooms, bean sprouts, salsa, rice etc.). Can also eat the chicken on the plate with sides.
    *Chicken Shepherds Pie - mix cooked diced chicken (leftover turkey can also be used), cooked veggies (leftovers are fine or canned will work as well, but I often cook up a pot of mixed frozen veggies to use), and chicken gravy, pour into greased casserol dish, top with mashed potatoes (leftover or instant work fine), and sprinkle with a little grated cheese (optional). Bake @ 350F until bubbly, about 20-30 minutes.
    *Hot Chicken Sandwiches - thoroughly cook seasoned chicken breasts (grilled or oven baked, or warmed up leftovers work as well), slice up the cooked meat, place on bread slice, cover with second bread slice (optional - I prefer 1 slice to minimize carbs and reduce bread usage) and cover with chicken gravy. I usually just serve this with veggie sides, as the bread is my carb for this meal, but you could add a side of potatoes if desired.
    *Baked Chicken smothered in cream soup - place chicken breasts in greased pan/casserole dish with around a 1 inch high side. Mix 1 can of favourite cream soup (our favourite is cheddar cheese soup, but chicken, musroom or broccoli will also work), with 1/2 a can of milk and 1/2 - 1 cup of cheese (optional), then scoop mixture over each breast to coat evenly. Bread crumbs could be added to give some crunch, but not necessary. Cook in 350F oven until chicken is thoroughly cooked (cut into breast to ensure no pink left), which can vary from 30min to 1 hour depending on how thick the breast is and how well your oven cooks (our old stove was fast, but our new one takes much longer). When I make the cheddar cheese soup, I make broccoli so we can scoop the extra "cheese sauce" over it, giving it double duty!

    I hope these ideas are helpful to you as well. As you can see, we eat a lot of chicken breasts at our house!

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden March 12, 2018

    Congratulations on a great garage sale! I hope that you will find what you want and need this season. We've started going to estate sales ...can't for garage sales in April too. Here is a list of my frugal accomplishments here http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2018/03/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-31118.html

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood March 12, 2018

    Sounds like a super-successful garage sale! I'm always impressed with how much you make when you hold a garage sale. I've never made that much, let alone that much on a regular basis. V. impressive!

    I had a quiet week but still got some frugal stuff done:
    - I used the whatsapp voicecall feature to call my family long-distance, for free! As my parents were currently on vacation with my husband, this was a great way to stay in touch, especially as I’m dealing with some health issues just now.
    - One thing that helps settle my stomach is homemade yoghurt, so I was pleased that I made a big batch (www.approachingfood.com/easy-slow-cooker-yoghurt-good-gut-health/). I let it culture for 24-48 hours, so that it’s almost lactose-free.
    - I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 giftcard to Amazon.
    - I asked my sister to pick up a few grocery items for me when she came by to check on me. I’m so thankful for my wonderful family! My sister knew where to get one of the items at a cheaper price (a local bulk store), and gifted me another item (organic pears).
    - I managed to make a no-bake cheesecake pie this week, using the last of some graham cracker crumbs that I had traded for previously. We celebrated my husband’s birthday with this pie instead of cake. It was an inexpensive celebration, just tea and cake (aka pie), but still lovely to celebrate with family. Or, more correctly, lovely to hear the celebration while I lay sick in bed! Was just nice to have the company.
    - I redeemed some reward points (earned free) from harlequin.com to download a free e-book. It’s from a series that my mother likes as well, so I’ll be able to share it with her. And I re-read some e-books I already had.
    - I spent a lot of time in bed, and watched two gardening series on tv while resting. I picked up a number of gardening tips that I hope to implement once I can get to balcony gardening.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  • Marilyn in MD March 12, 2018

    Hope you sre feeling better soon!

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood March 12, 2018

    Thanks, Marilyn! Me too! :)

  • Jeannie March 12, 2018

    Get to feeling better!
    Jeannie @ GetMetoTheCountry

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood March 12, 2018

    Thanks, Jeannie! :)

  • Allyson March 13, 2018

    So sorry you haven't been well! It's tough to feel poorly and not be able to be with family. I hope your dietary changes, like yogurt, help. I know I've found great relief by eating more veggies and fermented veggies like The Body Ecology diet recommends.

  • Jo March 12, 2018

    Three of us had a combined yard sale this weekend, too. We don't yard sale in the summer either -- it is way too hot and humid for that, so you see most yard sales in the spring and fall here, too. We do one pretty much every year and I average about $100-150 per sale for my items. What I can't believe is that I always have more items to sell, yet I'm not constantly buying things. I guess that means I used to buy too much! I made right at $100 this time. My goal is to keep de-cluttering until everything is in my house only because it's useful or because I truly love it (or both).
    We had some grape tomatoes getting a bit wrinkly, so they are dehydrating. My husband keeps "checking" them for me -- I hope I have some left by the time they are done. He wouldn't have eaten them if I'd left them wrinkling on the counter, but he'll eat older tomatoes that aren't spoiled if I dehydrate them.
    I'm painting the furniture I bought at a yard sale recently. I could pay someone to do it and get it done faster and easier, but I can do this myself, for the price of the paint.
    I had to toss one piece of fruit that had molded, out of a bag of fruit. The rest of the fruit was fine, which leads me to think there was one old one in the bag. I've been doing pretty well at not tossing any food.
    I found a dollar on the ground, which surprised me, because I've been finding nothing on the ground, for months now.
    I cooked a chicken. My husband doesn't like chicken that is roasted, broiled, grilled, pressure cooked or boiled! I sliced up the breast meat and made tenders with that for one meal, then I cut wings, thighs, legs and upper back to make southern fried chicken for a second meal, and finally cooked the leftover raw carcass to make chicken soup. It worked -- he ate every offering of chicken.

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