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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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  • Cindy in the South March 12, 2018

    I cooked entirely out of the fridge, freezer, and pantry. I made mashed potatoes, greens peas, meat loaf, bbq baked beans, and took most of it to one of my sons, who was very appreciative. I had enough left over for me also to eat all week long. I bought two $2 skirt suits at a thrift store for summer. They are in excellent shape. One suit is bright pink, and the other suit is bright green. We have to wear jackets in court, but many of the lady lawyers, court reporters, etc. in my age group, wear very brightly colored suits in our area of the deep South, so I fit right in with these colors....lol. I also bought a blouse for a $1.00 to wear with the suits. I so appreciate this website, Brandy, and all the lovely folks on here and their wonderful ideas! Y'all have a blessed week!

  • Kim Heller March 12, 2018

    I am so glad your garage sale went well and I hope your family is feeling better soon. I will also be praying that you are successful with your garage sale list when the time comes.

    I cleaned out our greenhouse yesterday. I planted 3 containers with basil seeds and hope they come in strong. I got two containers ready for the tomato plants when it is time. I had a few pots of flowers that wintered over nicely so I cut out the dead stuff and gave them a bit of plant food and water. In a few months time, they should look great.

    I wanted a large grapevine wreath to hang on the patio fence but when I saw the price for the size I wanted was over a hundred dollars, I knew that wasn't going to happen. Instead, my husband used the clippings from pruning the fruit trees and made a wreath out of those branches and I added boxwood and heather from our yard. As a finishing touch, my husband found a perfect old bird's nest while he was pruning so I added that to the wreath. I have to say our team effort paid off and the wreath looks so cheerful and nice. We can enjoy it and so can our neighbors. The cost was just our time which we both found enjoyable.

    My girlfriend was kind enough to pick up some of my fiber gummies at Costco for me- (I don't have a Costco membership). This gave me twice as much product for the price.

    I had Friday off work so my girlfriend and I took our grand kids to the children's hands on museum. My daughter has a family pass so we all got in for free which was a huge savings. Both kids really enjoyed the outing but us grandmas were tired.

    I am praising God because this time of year I have severe allergies which usually put me out of commission but so far this year, I am doing better than normal. I still don't feel well but I am able to accomplish more which is awesome. Last evening, I wasn't feeling well but knew I didn't have much for our lunches for the week so I went to the kitchen and made a chocolate cheesecake. I had fruit and sandwich stuff so now we have lunches for the week.

  • Cindi March 12, 2018

    Your wreath sounds beautiful!

  • Jo March 13, 2018

    I grow grapes at my house, so I made a big grapevine wreath for my sister, which she hung on the tall wooden gate to her fenced back yard. The funny thing is that birds built a nest in it! She and her husband had to quit using the gate while the birds nested, and go through the house instead. Keep a watch on your wreath, you may get the real thing. Some of our local birds re-use nests each year, just adding a little more to them.

  • Cindi March 12, 2018

    This was my last week in Houston with my in-laws. My FIL was able to come home from the hospital Sunday and my BIL is recovering well from his heart surgery and will be home Wednesday or Thursday. I got home Saturday and my husband will fly home Wednesday.
    One thing that struck me during the three weeks I was with them was how our frugal habits have become so ingrained. My husband and I, with no discussion or really thinking about it, always carry a water bottle with us when we leave the house, and we pack lunches to take with us. I offered to pack food for other family members who were at the hospital, but they preferred to buy food in the cafeteria or from vending machines. We automatically turn out lights, eat leftovers, conserve water, and do lots of little things every day to save money. His family lives very differently, but we are happy to keep up our frugal ways.
    My FIL has poor circulation and complained of his lower legs being cold often. I bought a man’s large sweater at Goodwill ($3) and some knit cuffs from Jo-Ann’s (I used a gift card I received for Christmas) and made him some leg-warmers to wear under his pants. He loved them and said they really helped. I cut the sleeves off the sweater and sewed the knit cuffs on, so I was left with a tube of fabric with cuffs at either end that he can slip on and off. The sweater is a thin knit with fleece lining, so very warm, but not heavy.
    While he was on antibiotics in the hospital, my FIL had no appetite, so we got into the habit of taking some of the leftovers from his dinner tray home to eat later. I knew the food would just be thrown out and we were able to use some of it for lunches. (We let his nurse know what we were doing, as she needed to keep track of what he was actually eating.) I also made food and took it to him several times (with permission from his doctor).
    For the two-day drive back to Colorado, I packed food to eat on the way. A couple of days before I left, we filled bags with ice and stashed them in the freezer and used these for my ice chest instead of buying ice.
    My husband booked his flight into a nearby city, saving $100 – I have a doctor’s apt. in that city in the afternoon, so I will wait for him and pick him up, saving an extra trip and extra gas money.
    I am very happy to be back home.

  • Mable March 13, 2018

    What a super idea for leg warmers!! I am going to steal that for a friend of mine who always has cold legs. Thanks for posting it!!

  • Lilli March 12, 2018

    I lowered the temperature on my water heater. I check the weather often to try and find a brief window away from the rain and get my clothes line dried. We are all using allergy medicine to try and prevent the usual ear and sinus infections. I have been using all the leftovers that college girl created while home for the week. Sugar cookie and I found some great deals while at the thrift store.
    * 2 cool gel orthopedic pillows for $2.29. ( encased in dust mite covers and looked brand new)
    * A Columbia hooded pull over for $2.00 . ( the last two months of solid rain makes me cold at night. I sleep in this.
    * I found two candles in tins from a mall candle store and a puzzle. All 3 brand new and for $1.60 . I will save these for college girl.I
    My phone fell in the toilet. My stupid mistake . I will try to replace it next week.
    No matter how hard I try, there always seems to be an issue I cannot control. There is an issue over medicare that I have to explore. Honestly it is like a kick in the head. Sugar cookie has had no change in her income so I am not sure why they want us to pay her medicare premiums when it has always been covered. Grrr . So frustrating.

  • Heidi Louise March 13, 2018

    Lilli: I have read that drying clothes outside brings in outdoor allergens. Have you considered running things in the dryer for a final brief heat-up to clear that up, at least for pillowcases and face cloths?

  • Diana E March 13, 2018

    Heidi you are so right! My allergist has told me not to line dry as the pollen settles on the clothes, sheets or towels. My son and I have enough problems with our allergies that I won't even attempt it, even though I love how they smell and feel.

  • Marybeth March 13, 2018

    Did you try drying out your phone? Take the battery out. Put everything in a bag of rice for 48hours fully covered in a sunny spot. Put the battery back in and fully charge. Don't ask me how I know this but it has worked for 3 different phones of ours.

  • Lilli March 13, 2018

    I was shocked to discover that the battery was unremovable . It shorted out almost immediately. I will be shopping around for a deal tonight. My luck seems to be on karma badside lately.

  • Rhonda A. March 14, 2018

    Though it could be a blessing in disguise, Lilli. You never know, so keep thinking positive. Perhaps you will find a replacement phone that is much better for a cheaper price! If nothing else, there are always the lessons we learn from our mistakes, like don't take the phone in the bathroom, or if you do, place it in a better spot. Or even the lesson of how to work the budget better to accommodate for unexpected expenses! Sucks to have to learn these lessons sometimes, but they do make us better people if we can learn from it.

  • Lilli March 14, 2018

    I checked back with the company I do business with and lo and behold, they were on sale this wrek. I am so glad I waited to order it. I searched the internet like crazy and got the best deal possible. I am grateful that it was just the phone. I always think it could of been the car, household appliances or the water heater. I know that being careless is wasteful. Over the years, I replaced quite a few on the jobsite . Working on the construction sites was brutal. I will take the money out of our spending money next month to cover the savings I robbed for the purchase. Sugar cookie suggested I tie it around my neck. I rarely put it in my back pocket so I hope to not repeat the foolishness. Hope you and the family are having a good week.

  • Wyoming Gal March 12, 2018

    Our week's frugal activity revolved around preparing to leave town for about six months. We'll leave in about 4 weeks. We are preparing for a family member of a friend to stay in our house for part of that time. So we cleaned out and sorted many items - kitchenware and dishes, linens, clothes and so on. We are leaving a basic amount of dishes, linens, utensils, pots & pans for the person staying. We are packing the items for 6 months away - but they must fit in our two vehicles for the cross country drive. (We'll stay in a furnished rental.) And we may sell our house part way through all this, so everything else that can be packed, will be packed.

    So I home dry cleaned all my wool coats, my cashmere sweaters and some of my blazers before moving everything to a walk-in storage closet in the basement. (The Woolite dry cleaning worked pretty well for the coats.) I polished my good leather dress boots. I cleaned a great deal of gold and silver jewelry (most to be locked up but some to travel across country with me.) I packed all the clothes that will go with us. Now I am wearing, cleaning and putting into storage the items that are left in my closet. Only about 20 outfits are needed before departure time.

    We put items up for sale on Facebook - with some sales - but certainly not everything. We took a car full of donations to the local charity shops and got a receipt (but we usually don't have enough to itemize for taxes with no mortgage.)

    I worked on the pantry by cooking and baking for a church coffee hour coming up where I am the sole "cook", making a double batch of brownies, a double batch of lemon loaf pound cake https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/236779/copycat-of-starbucks-lemon-bread/, peanut brittle, chocolate peanut butter bars and whipped shortbread cookies. When we get to the week end of Palm Sunday I'll make deviled eggs and prepare raw vegetables and dip. I also made crockpot southwestern soup. I tried a baked oatmeal recipe to use up the Quaker Steel Cut oats that I didn't care for. The baked oatmeal is better than using the oats for regular oatmeal- but I still don't care for this brand much at all. I am trying hard to buy very few groceries. This week I bought only milk, eggs and 3 other items.

  • Andrea Q March 18, 2018

    The changes to the US tax code will make it so that far fewer people will have enough deductions to itemize. It's going to be a big change for many families!

  • Darcy March 12, 2018

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    We pulled the last turkey from the freezer and made several meals from it. I also made bone broth from it and have enjoyed it so far in our taco soup. The rest I froze for future meals.

    Our daughter came over for spaghetti and meatballs. We had the sauce and ground beef in the freezer and the pasta in our pantry that we bought several months ago for 49 cents. I also made a cheesecake for our dessert and had everything except one package of cream cheese and sour cream to make it. I got both of those items from Aldi for $2.50.

    I also restocked my freezer with soaked and cooked (in the crockpot) pinto beans. I have enough for several meals now.

    Whenever we go to Food 4 Less we check the clearance rack. This week we found quart-size freezer bags for 49 cents and artichoke and pepper bruschetta for 99 cents.

    I cut my husband's hair. My daughter cut my hair. I colored my hair at home.

    I ordered our vitamins online with free shipping.

    I made a list of items I will be looking for when I go to thrift stores and yard sales. I also have a line in the budget for it.

    I cut down on my coffee consumption to one cup each day which will save us some money. I am drinking more herbal tea and hot water with lemon. I think sometimes I just want a hot drink and not necessarily the caffeine.

  • Marilyn in MD March 13, 2018

    I am attempting to cut back to one 16.9 ounce bottle of Diet Pepsi a day, rather than 2 or 3 to save a bit of grocery money. It will definitely add up over the year. I find it is easier if I start the day with water or hot tea and have the soda in the afternoon.

  • Lorna March 12, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :). So happy that you were able to earn such a lot in your garage sale Brandy as it will go a long way in your budget towards buying other things and topping up other needs for you. Praying the children heal well and recover quickly.

    We are still playing catch up on our budget through having to buy a new mattress, the car battery died and had to buy a new one and also our large pantry stock up we did before all of this happened. Pleased though that both DH and I have earned extra income this month to claw back some of these expenses and to bank more into our home savings account. We are concentrating on pulling in our belts well and truly and being hard on ourselves until we recoup some/all of this expenditure. Thank goodness for emergency funds being one cash one in the home and one in the bank too is all I can say as they come in so handy :) , now just to build them slowly back up again.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week -

    Financial -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home bank account bringing us to 24.09% of the way there.
    - DH earned $50 from a mowing job which we put in the home cash emergency kitty to replace some car battery replacement expenditure. I earned $56.16 from the sale of saved garden seeds and handmade items on the internet which I banked to recoup some expenditure from our bulk grocery stockpiling purchase.
    - Saved $44.55 in eBay listing fees by listing 27 handmade items taking advantage of a free listing promotion.

    Purchases -
    - Replaced our battery in our car after 9.5 years from new after it refused to start from our roadside assist club who came out and replaced, fitted and cleaned the terminals for us. As we are members of the club we saved $20 as they offer a discount on the batteries and a further $5 in EFTPOS fees by paying in cash from our home cash emergency kitty.
    - Bought a long handled microfiber car windscreen cleaner on eBay using a 10% discount voucher and a further 5% off sale from the seller saving .60c from earnings from my internet sales.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a double layer devils food cake with cream filling and buttercream icing with items from our pantry as a treat for us saving $19.86 over purchasing it in the shops.
    - Made a loaf of fruit bread in our bread making machine saving $3.70.
    - Made all other meals and weekly bread from items we had in the pantries.

    In the gardens -
    - Planted a 3.5mt row of silver beet and beetroot seeds in the gardens and thinned out and transplanted tomato and silver beet plants growing too close together.
    - Trimmed basil plants and spade edged and removed weeds from around and in 4 herb, rose and berry gardens in the front yard.
    - DH spade edged our soon to be garlic garden bed and ploughed it and added composted grass clippings to it to add organic matter to it, now just to buy some more manures to add to it and plant shortly.

    Electricity savings -
    - Saved the usual $7.50 from only turning on our electric hot water system when needed and using our solar lanterns to light our home at night.

    Water preservation -
    - Used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the lawns when it wasn't raining.
    - Missed one scheduled garden watering from beautiful rain falling and hand watered new onion, beetroot and tomato plants growing in the gardens.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .

  • piggykr March 12, 2018

    * I went to a swap and picked up some things for my son: a hat, painters apron, a plastic roman soldiers helmet. I was also able to snag a few things for my friend who couldn't attend. I got rid of two Costco sized bags of things I no longer needed.
    *I was able to find a way to go to the wholesale market instead of the supermarket for fruits and veg.
    *I ate lunch at home or work instead of going out.
    *I hung up some laundry to dry.
    *Throughout January and February we did an Eat-from-the-pantry Challenge. I got creative with things we had on hand and emptied the cupboards and freezer.
    *We went to the park instead of spending money on entertainment.
    *A friend gave my son a big bag of school supplies. We didn't have to buy any for the new school year. School starts in March here.
    *My friend gave me a lamp and some prints as a house warming gift.
    * I cooked dinner every night.
    * I take a thermos of coffee to work each morning instead of buying it.
    *I bought some nice coffee beans to use in the coffee maker at work.
    *I was able to find a workawayer to stay till summer to help with pick up and drop off times.

  • Jenifer March 12, 2018

    Lemon meringue pie...oh how heavenly. I love lemon desserts like tomatoes love sunshine.

    I finally found out how to make a budget with my inconsistent paychecks. I am thankful for this, as the writing is on the wall my employer will not be able to bring up my hours.

    Last week, I was trying to figure out where we could save a little more. Just when I think we couldn’t, all the talk of gardening (here) got me thinking about planting more food. Which got me thinking about what I could squeeze (money wise) to create a raised bed, which then led me to remember the one raised bed I have is now in a too shady of a spot.. therefore I could/should move it to the “new” sunnier location. All that wonderfulness because of the comments on this blog.

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