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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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  • Kara May 01, 2018

    I actually used the front with the buttons to become the back of my top, and used the back to make the front. I took the arms off completely and took it in at the sides. Also made a lower neckline and removed the collar. It’s unrecognizable that it was a men’s shirt.

  • Cindi April 29, 2018

    Congratulations on your newest family member!
    We went camping this week – spent the first two nights in the national forest for free, then two nights at an RV park in Denver, where we met up with friends. We did spent quite a bit in Denver shopping at stores we don’t have access to near us. We made a stock-up trip to Costco, and bought a new pair of hiking boots for my husband for our trip to Alaska in June. I wanted to go to Trader Joe’s, too, so instead of going out to dinner one night, we went to TJ’s and bought stuff for dinner – and other stuff. Definitely a splurge (though we spent about what we would have if we had gone out, and got stuff for several meals.). We really enjoyed our fancy dinner in the camper, but I’m very glad TJs isn’t closer. At another store I found strawberries for 88 cents a pound – I bought 8 pounds to make jam and eat fresh. I was very happy about this. I never made strawberry jam last year because I never found berries below $2 a pound.
    We ate lunch ‘out’ at Costco -- $4 for both of us. We had one other meal out at a burger place – I brought half my burger home for lunch the next day. The other meals we cooked for ourselves.
    While hiking we found a like-new dog collar that fits my younger dog – who happens to need a new collar, as her current one is fraying.
    Also while hiking, we came upon an area where people had been target shooting and we picked up a couple pounds of brass shell casings, which my husband will recycle when he goes to the metal recycler. He estimates we’ll get $3-$4 for a few minutes cleaning up the forest.
    I used collected rainwater to water the plants in the greenhouse.
    Ate salad from lettuce and arugula from the greenhouse.
    I used part of an old voile curtain to make four reusable produce bags. I hate all those thin plastic bags from the grocery store, so I’m hoping this will keep me from accumulating them.
    We had some brush chipped and found a great company to do it for less that the cost of renting a chipper and doing it ourselves – two guys with a commercial chipper took about an hour to do what would have taken the two of us all day (not to mention a 45 minute drive each way to rental place.)

  • Luba @ Healthy with Luba April 29, 2018

    This last week we traveled back home after visiting family.

    Our frugal accomplishments:
    * Bringing some food with us so that we would not need to purchase it there.
    * Bringing food on the airplane to eat. Apparently serving meals on flights is a memory of the past.
    * We cooked our own breakfasts and went out to eat only a few times.
    * We ate two meals a day (not hungry for dinner for some reason).
    * Instead of paying for public transportation, we walked shorter distances.
    * I baked two loaves of bread which we brought with us to avoid paying high prices for bread and to have quality bread to eat!
    * We mostly avoided paying for water in the airports; we did not purchase any water on the airplane.
    * I used a $5 of $50 coupon given to me by my aunt to purchase needed groceries.
    * I brought my own cleaner along to avoid purchasing cleaners at our destination.
    * We stayed under budget for our trip!

  • Ellie’s friend April 29, 2018

    Congratulations, Brandy, on the birth of your baby boy! Happy news, indeed! He is blessed to be born into your lovely family as much as
    you’re blessed to welcome him!

  • natalie April 29, 2018

    Well done on Zele. PayPal fees are too high.

  • Darcy April 30, 2018

    Congratulations on your new baby!

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    While grocery shopping this week my husband snagged a sample and coupon for toothpaste. It is the perfect size for taking on our trip this week to visit family.

    I paid a bill online.

    I trimmed my husband’s hair.

    I placed 2 books on hold at the library and picked them up Saturday morning while running other errands.

    My husband washed and waxed his truck himself.

    We were invited to a friend’s house for lunch for pork, Puerto Rican rice, and fried plantains. It was delicious! We brought some home for another meal.

  • momsav April 30, 2018

    Congratulations on the newest addition to the family! A sister had 11 children, ten at home. You’re both a wonder!
    Our bay is still iced over. I see on the horizon the tell-tale strip of dark, so open water isn’t far behind.
    It was my husband’s birthday last week. I bought his gift from eBay with money earned from selling something. He wanted to eat at the Friday fish fry at the Moose, so that is what we did. It’s not frugal but we don’t eat out there often. His cake is usually homemade. This time, I bought a boxed, two person mix, which was just okay. I got it free when I called about a problem with another of their products.
    Since the snow is finally receding, there is a LOT of sand left behind. It’s everywhere. I started the clean-up and call that my exercise. I also walked with friends and the dog. Or, sometimes, both!
    I’m still saving water and hanging clothes on the line to dry when it’s above 40*. This week, we may get into the 70’s! (Be still my heart!)
    I’ve been quilting the baby quilt I made for my daughter’s first child. I’ve also been getting my crafty mo-jo going. Almost all supplies have been bought with coupons, sales or thrifted. Not all the fabric for the quilt, though. For such a small quilt, it’s already to the hundred dollar range. But, worth it!
    That’s it for me. Wishing you all the best of weeks ahead!

  • Rhonda A. April 30, 2018

    Congratulations on your beautiful new baby boy, Brandy! Amazed at how much you were able to get accomplished this week, despite going through a labour and delivery. Very impressive!

    I've been busy this week preparing for my return to work (first day back today). This week, our frugal accomplishments for our family included:
    *Meals made at home included tacos (choice between beef or black bean), breaded chicken burgers with loaded baked potato skins and carrots, ham & cheese crescent rolls with Knorr pasta sidekicks and green beans, cheesy ham and broccoli rice skillet, waffles with peaches and syrup, and chicken low mien stir fry with veggie spring rolls.
    *Cut up 7 bunches of fresh broccoli (bought on sale last week), made some into a broccoli salad, saved a small bag to make stir fry this week, then blanched and froze the rest. We are almost out of all the veggies I froze last summer and fall. I've had to start buying frozen veggies again. This year I need to freeze a bit more produce, if possible, so it will last a little longer into the summer.
    *Went to Costco this week to buy something specific. They still didn't have any, so I walked out of the store without buying anything. Miracles do happen!!! Used some of my loyalty points for $10 worth of free groceries at our regular grocery chain.
    *After we had to throw out an unopened 2 kg (over 4 lb) bag of brown sugar that was swarming with ants, we decided it was time to address our ant infestation! This week we tried a homemade ant poison with ingredients we had on hand (cotton balls dipped in a borax, sugar and water solution). The first night, we had massive amounts of ants feeding off the cotton balls by morning. The second night there were barely any. Now we wait and see if it actually got rid of them!
    *While the weather was good, we set up the square foot raised garden beds we bought from Costco a few weeks ago. Cost a lot for dirt, but this is an initial set up cost we won't have to endure every year. We laid down cardboard boxes and soiled shavings from the Guinea pig cage for the bottom layer, followed by a mix of black soil and composted sheep manure, and finished with a more expensive garden soil mix specific for veggie gardens. Planted peas and spinach so far.
    *DD attended her first teen group on anxiety through the mental health association. She was very excited to go, until she discovered that a boy she doesn't like was in the group. He is also on the autism spectrum and was in one of her previous social skills group. The boy is very negative and makes outright mean/rude comments towards people (not sure if he realizes how mean he is being). This, of course, set off an extreme anxiety reaction for DD, breaking her down to tears. Thankfully, she has the support of her mental health counselor. He is going to work with DD on how to handle the situation (DD thinks this is the worst situation ever...I think it may be good to have someone directly support her through this issue). Regardless, she received a $10 mall gift card for attending!
    *Hubby tried to make a case for getting take out one night, as my mom and I were tied up with building the garden and taking DD to group that afternoon. I already had a plan for an easy dinner (the meal was prepared quickly and did the trick), which helped avoid spending unnecessary money. I also told him I had planned for us to eat out another night this week. The knowledge of a pending meal out seemed to ease his desire for restaurant food for that evening.
    *The family, plus DD's friend attended a local museum for free through the PHIT program. These events are designed to encourage families to physical exercise in a fun way. Hubby, DD's friend and I had never been to this museum before. It was very small and DD had a meltdown (joys of Autism), so we didn't stay too long. Glad we didn't pay to go. Hubby was seriously craving a restaurant meal, so I left it up to him and DD to choose where we would eat out that night. He ended up choosing Boston Pizza, one of our favourite family dining chains here in Canada. Not a totally free night, but it got us all out for an evening.
    *Attended an employee/volunteer meet & greet event at my job along with DD and my mom. It was held in the new barn that we watched being built last summer (1st time seeing inside for me). I enjoyed exploring the new facility, snacking on food, catching up with colleagues, and saying good-bye to those that will be retiring this year.
    *Downloaded free backdrops for my computer. I will now be enjoying a slideshow of stunning photographs of forests scenes every time I use my computer!

    Thank you to all of you for your inspirational comments, kind words of encouragement and sharing of knowledge with all things frugal. Love this community!

  • Margie from Toronto April 30, 2018

    Please let us know how the ant situation pans out. The whole city seemed to have a real problem with them last year (never had them before) so keeping my fingers crossed for this year. I even had to put my swiffer cloths into ziplock bags as they seemed to love them!

  • Rhonda A. May 01, 2018

    So far we are still seeing a few each day, but not nearly as many as before (it was becoming a huge problem!). Definitely worth doing, Margie! Found the recipe on Pinterest...there are several versions. The blog I used said that if the ants don't seem to like the sugar solution, try mixing borax with peanut butter.

  • SJ in Vancouver BC Canada May 01, 2018

    I don't know if this works inside or not. I've sprinkled cornmeal in my garden to get rid of ants. Supposedly, they will carry it into their nests and the colony will be killed that way.

  • Rhonda A. May 02, 2018

    I read that not every type of ant will eat cornmeal, which is why it can be hit and miss on working. Borax mixed with a food sorce the ants enjoy getting into is more effective.

  • Natalie April 30, 2018

    Never mind that I said well done for bypassing PayPal fees. I didn’t realise that you have had your baby!!!!

  • Myra April 30, 2018

    Congratulations on your newest addition. I, also, cannot wait for baby naming day! I think it is a beautiful tradition that your family has created and perhaps one your children will continue with when they begin families of their own. (Which I know is YEARS down the road, right, LOL)

    Frugal accomplishments were not many this week. We did eat leftovers one night, stayed home most of the week, used buy one get one free tickets to our local zoo for an outing on Saturday. Was treated to lunch yesterday by a family member.

    Most frugal accomplishment was for our upcoming vacation. We are taking a trip to the mountains in June. I am very frugal on trips. I plan meals and snacks. Shop for the lowest priced hotel. We do rent a vehicle so I shop around for that as well. My sister is going with us this year. I text her the other day and told her that I had found a great deal on a hotel and gave her the price. She said she wanted a cabin. I told her we could not afford a cabin, as June is peak season and cabin prices are astronomical during that time. My sister is very successful financially. She paid for the cabin. I was speechless. Our cost is what the hotel room would cost us. It was a very generous gesture on her part, and she did offer to pay for the entire thing, but I refused because her generosity is often taken advantage of. We are super excited because we have never stayed in a cabin on our vacations and we are looking forward to it immensely!

    Have a blessed week!

  • Athanasia May 05, 2018

    Myra, I hope you have a wonderful time in vacation. What a nice sister!!

  • Leigh Ann April 30, 2018

    It was a frugal week. My friend picked up a case of marked down cheese for me, and I paid her back the next time I saw her. My sister gave us a bag of expired food, which was still perfectly fine. There were a lot of snack foods that I don't buy that my kids were excited to enjoy. Our neighbor aired up my son's bicycle tire. My brother and SIL took my younger son out to eat for his birthday; a special treat! I used cloth diapers on the baby a little, but it's hard to keep up with the laundry. I have been researching inexpensive summer activities for when the kids are out of school this summer. Our city offers so much. My dad picked blackberries with my kids, which I'm freezing. I found some Christmas presents at garage sales. My sister gave me two big bags of high end children's clothing (Matilda Jane) to sell. She lets me keep half of the money, and my older daughter got to pick out a dress to keep.

  • Cindy in the South April 30, 2018

    Congratulations on the new baby boy!!!!

  • Pat April 30, 2018

    Congratulations again Brandy and family on the new baby!
    Spring has sprung here in Nebraska but , it is so windy right now that it is hard to get anything done outside. It is supposed to rain off and on this week which will be great to get rid of the dust and dirt blowing around. I did manage to reset the bricks on a raised bed, plant my green onions and clean up the strawberries and move some of the plants. That bed is too big and went crazy multiplying. We bought 1,00lbs of top soil but it is to windy to put it where it needs to be. I want to plant my peas and bush bean seeds so hopefully the wind will die down later this evening.
    We continued to eat all meals ate home,except one, and take lunches and snacks to work using leftovers and food already here. I did have my monthly breakfast with a friend and brought half my omelet home and my husband ate it for breakfast the next day. The only grocery purchases last week totaled $5 for salad stuff and a reduced loaf of french bread for .99. My veggie scrap bag was full so I made 800z of broth. I used my plastic jars to organize my freezer door and got rid of the bags for dry milk, nuts, crumbled bacon, etc. So much nicer and easier to find things!
    I continued to combine errands with commitments to reduce gas and time, stayed home as much as possible, did full loads of laundry and dishes and decluttered the shelves in my closet. There is so much more room now.
    Have a great week everyone!

  • Jennifer O April 30, 2018

    Congratulations on your new baby!

    Gardenias, wild iris and confederate jasmine are all in bloom at my house. It smells heavenly. Resisted going to see the new Avengers movie and stayed home all weekend.

    Cooked and ate most meals at home. Went to the VFW twice, but only had 1 drink each time.

    Paid less than 50$ total for 5 pair of Lularoe leggings from someone going out of business. Will keep 2 and gift the other to a friend.

    Attended a ballet performance at the high school for free with my faculty tickets. A friend and I attended a $5 wine tasting at a local shop. We skipped going out for dinner or dessert afterwards. Attended a wine dinner, but remembered to give my rewards number so my next trip to the restaurant will be 50% off.

    Scrubbed, Murphy oiled, and polished all of the wood cabinets and furniture in the house. Cleaned all the AC vents, the washing machine, the dishwasher, the dryer, the dryer vent, drains, ceiling fans, and mattresses. Checked the smoke detectors and turned all the water and gas shut off valves in the house.

    Made granola and canned homemade chicken broth.

    Insurance inspector came and said we need a whole new roof. Still waiting to see what, if any, the insurance will pay. But there are blessings! Without asking we were approved for a new credit card through our credit union with far more room than we would need for a new roof and it has 12 months no interest! God is good!

  • Lori W. April 30, 2018

    Congratulations! And, thank you so much for your sweet email. I have already put your information to good use.

    Oklahoma weather is kicking into high gear starting this evening and lasting through Thursday with severe storms and tornadoes. Honestly, I am ready for a good round of spring storms and cannot wait. We had a late freeze (27 degrees) the second weekend in April, and I do not like winter at all, so it cannot warm up soon enough for me.

    Frugal living here looks like: planting delphiniums, zinnias, poppies, and digitalis from seed instead of buying the plants. Planted lettuce, radishes, spinach, and Armenian cucumbers from seed as well. Cleaned out and detailed my car myself, ate lots of leftovers (the kids are getting sick of them

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