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Frugal Accomplishments for the Fourth Week of April

Iceberg Roses and Honeysuckle The Prudent Homemaker

Iceberg Roses, German Chamomile, and Hall's Honeysuckle

The weather was warm this week, in the low 90's. For some, this is a summer temperature, but here, we're just getting started with the heat, as we have over 5 months of temperatures above 90°. I opened windows and doors at night and in the morning to cool the house, ran fans only when needed during the day, and only turned on the air conditioner in the afternoons when we needed it most.

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy in the house.

I mended two holes in a pair of shorts.

I harvested parsley, oregano, Swiss chard, lettuce, Meyer lemons, spinach, garlic chives, hibiscus flowers, snow peas, and green onions from the garden.

I dried lemon zest and parsley from the garden.

I froze lemon juice from our lemons to use throughout the year.

I watched an episode of "Call the Midwife" for free on Pbs.org.

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

I used Zelle to pay my midwife. Zelle is a free way to pay other people through your bank. You just have to have their email address and their bank has to also use Zelle (and most do). You don't have to write a check or mail it. If your bank offers this service, you can see it on their website when you log in to your account; it should have a "Pay someone with Zelle" option. Unlike Paypal, the recipient is not charged anything to receive the money.

I studied French using free online sources.

David Austin Roses The Prudent Homemaker

Graham Thomas, Queen of Sweden, Claire Austin, and Earth Angel Roses 

What did you do to save money this past week?

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  • Ellie's friend April 30, 2018

    how wonderful!

  • Athanasia May 02, 2018

    Tammy, I have lived in the country all my life except for 2 years and then I was in a city of, at that time, about 800.000. I missed the quiet!! more than anything. It is never quiet in the city.

    I loved your story...God's hand, in heaven and on earth.

  • Tammy May 05, 2018

    Thank-you Athanasia. You are right. Our apartment was on a main road. We heard cars all day long and often firetrucks, paramedics and police cars. The quietness is wonderful in the country!

  • A Housewife Writes April 29, 2018

    Congratulations on your blessing!

    I made my first gluten-free sourdough starter, then a batch of English muffins. Not only was it cheaper to make my own gluten free bread but the taste was vastly superior to bread that I’ve bought!

    I spend the week cleaning out cupboards, shelves, and the house in general, taking inventory. I'm working on making a garage sale list so I know what I need when garage sale season starts. I'm hoping it will save me money and keep me from getting distracted by all the tempting "stuff" out there.

    It's too early to plant my garden yet, but the spinach, radishes, and bok choy in my cobbled-together (free) cold frame are growing well.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood April 29, 2018

    Congratulations, Brandy! Wonderful news on your baby! I'm impressed that you still found energy to post on your blog!

    My week was fun too. I got some frugal things done:
    - I combined two celebrations, and baked my sister a birthday cake that was also a gender reveal cake (http://approachingfood.com/how-to-make-a-gender-reveal-cake/) for the first baby in the family. It was a hit! I bought candy from the local bulk store to keep costs down.
    - I made French Toast to use up some old bread. A lovely weekend treat!
    - I made a batch of Lemon Poppyseed Muffins (Brandy’s recipe) and used two lemons, both zest and juice. No waste!
    - I redeemed swagbucks for a $10 gc to Starbucks
    - A friend gave me a bottle of Mexican vanilla extract. This stuff is not cheap, so I was very appreciative!
    - I planted seeds on my balcony garden: zucchini, peas, nasturtium, lettuce, carrot, swiss chard, and bush tomato. Finally, it’s planting weather! I still want to buy basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, and tomato plants (I don’t think my tomato seeds will result in sturdy plants in the short growing season that we have, but wanted to try anyway).
    - I redeemed Starbucks points (I redeem Swagbucks for Starbucks gc, then add them to my registered Starbucks card to get points) to get a free lunch box. The store isn’t too far from my workplace, so I enjoyed a short walk on the nicest day of the year so far as well!
    - I was able to fix a piece of clothing by sewing in a hook taken from a piece of clothing I no longer wear. No need to purchase anything!
    - My sister gave me several boxes of tea that she no longer wanted. I’ll give these to a colleague at work, as I already have lots of tea at home to enjoy.
    - I went through my closet and set aside some nice clothing that I can no longer wear, to give to my sister. If she doesn't want it, I'll either try to sell it (they're nice brands, like Ann Taylor or Jones New York) or donate them.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as always!

  • Heidi Louise April 29, 2018

    Good health and happiness to you and your whole family! So much sharing and caring must be going on in your home now.

    I'm watching the weather closely here for when the frosts are finally done, to plant some flower seeds from clearance sales last fall. And I can soon put clothes out on the clothes line consistently instead of just on occasion. When I hung out bath towels for the first time since winter, they bulked up to about triple their winter-drier thickness in the fresh air. I also realized I could put a short clothesline on my back deck and not have to walk/carry so far to where my long line is.
    Most importantly, it is supposed to be clear and warm for the city-wide yard sales this weekend, and I am planning to get lots and lots of stuff out of my house! Like changing my clothes line location, I need to look at what has become habitual and decide if that is necessarily the best way to do things, including deciding what we truly need of all the stuff we own.

    I like guacamole, though my family does not, and found a grocery deli large container on sale for 99 cents, marked down from almost five dollars. I enjoyed a portion and looked up how to freeze the rest. Even if freezing doesn't work, I had my treat.
    I also discovered a new product that isn't what I wanted at all. I bought a bear bottle I thought was honey at the dollar store. Turns out it is a "honey product", listing corn syrup, another sugar, and honey as the three ingredients. It does taste like very sweet honey, but I wanted the real bee stuff.

  • Athanasia May 02, 2018

    Heidi Louise, I don't see why you can't freeze the guacamole, maybe in airtight baggies. We don't get good choice of avocados here so we buy it frozen. You can get it in multi packs. I have one of my children pick up when they are at Costco.

  • Stephanie April 29, 2018

    This past week was in the 80s, very warm for us this time of year. We also opened windows and doors to get the morning and evening breeze to cool down the house.

    I planted more peas and spinach. Also planted carrots and kale. Harvested green onion and a handful of tiny baby spinach, fun to nibble it straight from the garden with my kids!

    Did a lot of baking again this week: several batches of muffins, banana bread to use up some very ripe bananas, and granola to go with our homemade yogurt.

    I consolidated errands to minimize gas use and time, and I brought snacks for my kids so I wouldn't be tempted to buy anything if they got hungry.

  • Elizabeth M. April 29, 2018

    Chicken soup for lunch each day this week, made using the chicken stock I made early in the week.

    I went to my book club meeting. We have a rule that the club is all about the books. The books must be available from the provincial library system, and we don't serve snacks, which keeps the cost down. We do meals at Christmas and June, though in recent years this is more often a potluck than a lunch out. I do have the cost of travel since it is in the next town over, but appreciate that we have kept to this rule for the eight years we have been together.

    I attended a meeting on Thursday that lasted so long, I was given a voucher for lunch.

    I sorted out my summer tops, and realized I now have enough for both yardwork and dressier occasions. Now, I'll need to figure out what other clothing I need. One t-shirt had a large rip in it, so I'll be able to use it for cleaning rags.

    The snow is gone in my yard now, so it is clean-up time!

  • Hannah April 29, 2018

    Hello Brandy, my name is Hannah and I've enjoyed your blog for awhile but never commented. The
    above comments about your midwife cost just struck a chord with me. When we were searching for a midwife to attend our first birth, the midwife we hired found out that my husband had experience raising pigs. She asked if we would barter with her; she exchanged her services for two hogs, raised to butcher weight and delivered to the butcher shop for her! We have done this with our two subsequent births also. It works out great for us and people always get a chuckle that our babies cost us two pigs! Congratulations on your new baby.

  • Hannah, I have heard costs for hogs, and I think you got a great deal! The midwives in town have set up a fee rate so as to not be cheaper than one another, so that when you choose them they are chosen for other reasons. I have had all of our children at home. My first midwife moved away after my sixth was born, and I've had a different midwife for the last three. Prices in town have gone up in the last 16 years, so subsequent children have been more expensive than the first few.

  • Renee April 30, 2018

    We have our children at home too! (One child surgery delivery was needed for complete placenta previa.) It is not about money and what is best for our family. God always provides the money. You are so blessed to have all your kids at home!

  • Lea Stormhammer April 29, 2018

    Congratulations on your new little one, Brandy!

    I am looking forward to photos and the baby's name when you are ready to share. What an exciting time for your whole family!

    My husband is the oldest of 9 children and it has been such a blessing to all of us. His family is more spread out than yours - there is a 26 year age difference between him and his youngest sibling. We have celebrated 2 new babies (oldest brother and my in-law's first great-grandchild) and two weddings (youngest sister and 2nd sister) in the last 12 months and will celebrate a graduation (my husband's youngest brother from high school) and a wedding (middle brother) for sure in the next 12 months. So much to celebrate and so much love and support. It's truly wonderful!

    We are finally snow-free after what felt like a very long winter! We had 18-inches of snow two weeks ago but now we are enjoying the green grass and the flowers are growing like everything. I am very excited to start cleaning out the flower beds and readying the garden for planting. That won't happen for us until right around Memorial Day but I'm busy planning and enjoying the few things that are popping up around. The rhubarb is up but won't be ready for harvest for about 3 weeks - we're just starting with asparagus as well. Whoever wishes can read our frugal accomplishments for the week here:

    Congratulations again Brandy! And thank you for sharing your garden with us as well as your family's life. I am so grateful.

  • Kathy L April 29, 2018

    Blessings for your new little boy, Brandy! Congratulations and Mazel tov!

  • Kara April 29, 2018

    I have been away from home and took cash along for any needs. It felt good to know how much I spent. I was able to buy some extras at the farmers market before going home.
    I have successfully ‘made over’ a men’s dress shirt into a summer top for me. It was a linen/cotton blend fabric in a lovely salmon color. I took it entirely to pieces and used the fabric. It turned out so well and now I know that I can do it, I will watch for more men’s shirts. The bonus for me is that I’m 6 feet tall and women’s clothes are not made for a woman of that height and shoulder width. But men’s shirts in M and above have plenty of length and shoulder width. I also made a pair of pajama pants from fabric given to me, took in a dress bought at thrift store and also altered a shirt from thrift store. It’s been a sewing week!

  • I loved your shirt makeover and shared it with my husband. I think it's a great idea since you are tall!

  • Bethany May 01, 2018

    Pintrest has tons of ideas or re fashioning mens dress shirts into peasant blouses, sleevelss tops, short sleeve tops, back button blouses, skirts, little girls dresses. I have done a few for myself. As my husband has only 1 dress shirt (he wears t shirts and flannel shirts to work) I get the shirts at the thrift store. There is a local store that has everything 25% off on mondays, and 50% on holiday mondays! I can usually get a shirt for between $1.50-$4.00 each. I look for the larger sizes, and take them in if needed.

  • Becky Pratt April 30, 2018

    I also use men's shirts to make little girl's dresses.

  • mable April 30, 2018

    WOW! I am over 6 feet tall, too, and have just worn men's shirts, never thinking to adapt them. What a great idea; thanks for sharing it.

  • Heidi Louise May 01, 2018

    Changing the buttons or adding some kind of embroidered patch or lace or braid on the cuffs or collar could make a big difference without a lot of work. And those things can be found at a resale store or taken from another garment.

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