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Frugal Accomplishments for the Fourth Week of January

Meyer Lemon Meringues The Prudent Homemaker

I used lemons from the garden this week to make lemon curd, which I used to top homemade meringues, along with pomegranate arils. I'll be sharing this recipe later this week.

I dug up and moved several plants to help them to get better sun exposure/less sun exposure (some were burning in the sun and others were failing to flower). Moving the plants made it feel like I've put new things in the garden. (You can see some recent pictures of the garden over on Instagram.) I planted two bushes that were started by tip layering several years ago to the pots by the front door.

We have been working on making our raised bed smaller. About half of it was on the east side of the house. It wasn't getting enough sun, and we want the space for bicycles. I ran new drip irrigation to the remaining part of the bed (the old irrigation had become clogged with calcium and salt that is prevalent in our local water). As I evaluated the bed, I saw that I could install the lines closer than they had been before, allowing me to almost double the number of rows in the remaining space. My lettuce and green onions can grow closer together than they have in the past.

I planted seeds for lettuce, spinach, green onions, snow peas, radishes, nasturtiums, sunflowers, and pumpkins in the garden. We're expecting record high temperatures this week (70F/23ºC), and with our normal last-frost date only two weeks away, it's warm enough for warm-weather crops to germinate in the garden.

I transplanted parsley seedlings from where I started them in a pot in the white garden to several shady spots in the garden. Parsley will burn here completely in the sun come April, but will grow year-round in the shade.

I covered vegetable seedlings with jars to protect them from being eaten and to speed up growth. Glass jars act as miniature greenhouses in the garden, and I've found that the seedlings grow three times faster when covered than when not.

I updated my garage sale list. I usually print my list and take it with me. Now I have the list on my phone, so I'll have it with me always, and I can update it more often as I both find things and think of things we need. Garage sale season usually starts in March here (and is at its peak in April and again in October, when HOA's have their semi-annual community sales).

Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake The Prudent Homemaker

I made a crepe cake for my son's birthday (my children choose the meals for their birthdays, and this was his request). He asked for a crepe cake with lemon curd, Nutella, and whipped cream for breakfast. I still had heavy cream left in the fridge that I bought a few months back that was good (whipping cream lasts months, unlike milk) which was perfect to top the crepes.

I checked out and read four e-books from the library.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I made homemade hair detangler/leave-in conditioner. A small squirt of conditioner in a squirt bottle and water work just as well as Infusium leave-in conditioner.

I said yes to some free clothes hangers.

My husband cut my hair for me.

Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake 2 The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Marybeth January 31, 2018


  • momsav January 31, 2018

    Congratulations! New jobs are always fun!

  • PJGT January 30, 2018

    My most frugal accomplishment was not buying much of anything not essential. I did manage to buy my most generous MIL a birthday present for less than 15.00! She deserves a great present and this is one.

    My son was using paper towels (gifted from my MIL) to shine his uniform shoes, so I found him an old t-shirt to cut up.

    Soup club at work was extended. Provides a nice mid-week lunch for me. I enjoy the variety and make chili for my turn for little. When there is extra I sometimes get a second lunch too.

    My son changed the oil on the Jeep. We have been using household paper to start the fires which saves in trash costs and keeps me from having to track down newspaper. I over made the coffee one day (or, rather, under-drank some) and made myself heat it up the next morning even though I don't like old coffee. I decided to just be thankful that I have good coffee to drink that is fresh made usually!

    It's a real blessing to be warm, well fed and with a great job! I continue to be thankful for everything...especially the little things! Happy frugal-ing this week friends :)

  • Laurie in AZ January 31, 2018

    About your comment on the coffee, attitude is everything isn't it? Some of the frugal choices we make are so temporary (1 cup of day old coffee, 1 meal of leftovers that don't necessarily go together, etc.) but the savings add up and can be used for things that are so much more permanent. I feel empowered when I make the temporary "sacrifice"!

  • Tina January 31, 2018

    You can freeze leftover coffee to use in homemade iced coffee or in frappes. I usually put cream, a little vanilla extract and sugar in mine before I freeze it. Just defrost in a glass a little to soften then you can put in a blender or personal size smoothie maker blend until there are no big pieces of ice and enjoy. Or just let cubes melt and drink as a cold coffee like you can buy at the store (Frapachinno) .You can change flavors by adding some chocolate syrup, chips and/or caramel syrup. I make these and everyone loves them, says they are better than Starbucks.

  • Bobbie January 31, 2018

    We have been moving giant rocks that we have found/uncovered in our woods to edge a border. They are free and the labor is free, aside from the Advil I take for my back pain afterward ;) it will look beautiful when completed. I am going to plant some hydrangeas and butterfly bushes there to hopefully increase the amount of polinators near our garden this year.

    Being more diligent this year about saving coffee grounds and veggie peels for the garden. Once a week i have been digging a trench and burying that weeks food/coffee grounds waste. It is working to amend the garden soil quite nicely so far. I will till it in March sometime.

    The chickens are producing 6 eggs a day right now which is a huge blessing!

  • JD January 31, 2018

    I mended some fairly new pants that had the hem falling out. I bought them on clearance, but they are a good brand and I was disappointed in that hem failure.
    I was glad to hear the news about Chewy -- I use them for our fish food which we buy by the pail, but I'll be sure to check around now before ordering. They also stopped carrying my dog food brand, but I was already loyal to a neat little pet supply store, independent, that gives me every 12th bag free anyway. I have 3 more bags to go for my free one.
    I have enough in the freezer that I could cut my grocery bill back down. It's been over due to the special diet I'm on now, but I finally had enough leftovers put up that I don't have to cook so much from scratch.
    I'm getting things pulled together for taxes, which I do with Turbo Tax online. We used to use a preparer, but our returns are simpler now, and I save a ton doing them this way.
    I got a library card at a much larger library in the county where I work, not live. I had to pay for it, but I will not really need to buy anymore books now. I've already used it, and it's wonderful. My small-town library in my county of residence has a stagnant selection, and it takes no less than 2 weeks to order through inter-library loan. I got tired of that!

  • momsav January 31, 2018

    JD, Our little library is the same as yours. I really believe that the small library I grew up with had more books (in the sixties) than this one. I rarely find a book to read, here. I hate to order books from amazon, or use my iPad. I like a real book. So spoiled!

  • Allyson January 31, 2018

    I love lemon curd! Can't wait for the post.

    We had a pretty good week, with minimal grocery shopping. With no snow days, we actually enjoyed a relatively normal week. The most fun things this past week were the birthday things we did for little man's 5th. I loved the cake I made for him, and he did too.

    Here's the details:

  • Pat January 31, 2018

    I haven't commented in a long time! I've been reading and gleaning ideas and recipes. Getting back in the habit of commenting each week will help me stay on track.
    Alot has changed. We are now empty nesters. We stopped doing foster care in November and our adopted 18 year old son was placed in Boystown to help him finish high school and learn the skills he refused to learn at home. Although he complains all the time he is actually thriving there.
    My husband is an insulin dependent diabetic with high blood pressure and he is overweight. Our diets have changed so much. I lost 25lbs and he's lost 75 since the diabetes was diagnosed in May.
    This past week I cooked all meals at home. I packed lunches for my husband for work. I am retired from fulltime work and have a small partime job where I work 13 hours a week or less, so I eat at home. We had minimal food waste--we like leftovers. I combined errands and did them when I had to be out anyway to save time and gas.
    I did the pantry challenge for this month from "Good Cheap Eats and my grocery spending was $103.29. We have 2 full freezers plus the fridge so my spending was on perishables and many bulk buys that will keep me out of the store. The challenge will continue informally with a wonderful group of ladies.
    Brandy your photography is beautiful! Thank you for all you do!!

  • momsav January 31, 2018

    Pat, Wow! Congratulations on the weight loss! Amazing! I just think about losing 10pounds and I gain five!

  • Pat February 02, 2018

    Thank you!
    I also have to tell you you made me laugh!!

  • lillianna pickles February 02, 2018

    Pat the loss of weight is such a great achievement . Congratulations. We are seriously working on that issue here in my house. I bought a new scale and got it set up right away. The next day I weighed myself and saw that I had loss four pounds after two weeks. That was such a boost to my spirit. The next morning it said I had loss twenty two pounds. I stepped off and tried again. This time it was thirty down. I laughed and had my son pull the batteries out and reset it. The scale can lie to me but my too tight pants always tell the truth. Here's to weight loss, lower blood pressure and a better A1C.

  • Jo January 31, 2018

    Seeing your cake is making me hungry!

      I bought several presents for throughout the year at a store relocation sale and saved almost 76%. Unfortunately, I knocked two items off the shelf and had to pay for them. Luckily, they were reduced from $40 to $13. :D One was a bowl that broke clean in half so we can glue it and use it around the house. The other was a big decorative container and only the lid broke so I will plant some herbs in it and gift it to my MIL. The shop assistant was so surprised that I didn't let her throw the items in the bin.

      I combined errands whenever possible and took my water bottle with me.

      All meals were prepared at home, all leftovers used up and my husband took lunch to work everyday.

      I picked up free tomatoes, cucumbers, plums, nectarines, chillis, basil, parsley, grapes, figs and an orange from the local produce carts. All the free produce is really stretching our meals and we're so grateful to have found out about this initiative. I often make myself a salad for lunch out of those vegetables and feel ever so healthy. ;)

      I started volunteering and will be reimbursed up to $10 per shift which was a nice surprise I did not know about when signing up. The organisation also gave me a welcome bag which included two bags of popcorn, a full-size bottle of caramel syrup and a full-size bottle of cordial. Of course, I also saved the gift bag as it was not branded.

      On Friday, we celebrated Australia Day by hosting a BBQ for our friends. We provided sausages, soft drinks left over from another party and homemade potato wedges made from potatoes that needed to be used up. Our guests brought snacks, bread and their own alcohol and we managed not to use any plastic ware! One of my husband's friends stayed for the whole weekend and insisted on leaving all the snack food he had brought along.

      It was time for our monthly grocery shop which was paid for mostly with a gift card I had been given a while ago. On top of that, the store offered triple loyalty points. We also received 5% off at the butcher thanks to loyalty points.

      Unfortunately, we had another heatwave so the air-conditioner ran pretty much for four days straight and the ceiling fan in the bedroom was turned on for several nights. But we are generally pretty good with our utility usage and have solar panels so hopefully it evens out.

      We kept up with all other frugal habits that have become second nature by now. The little things truly do add up.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

  • http://Erika January 31, 2018

    My husband's grandmother had terrible foot pain while going through chemo to the point she couldn't walk. From what my mother-in-law told me what gave her relief immediately was acupuncture. Just in case you need one more idea to get relief.

  • Amy February 01, 2018

    Thank you

  • Mariana February 01, 2018

    Brandy, I haven’t been commenting for a while but I have been reading all the posts and most of the comments. I want to congratulate you on your pregnancy, another blessing and joy in the way. Xx
    I want to mention that I knew you were expecting even before you announced it on the blog ;) I saw on your shopping list that you were purchasing raspberry leaf tea. And I knew why! :)
    Anyway, I want to share with you and your readers that We welcomed our own bundle of joy almost a month ago. Long awaited precious baby boy. We are so in love with him ❤️

  • Mary February 01, 2018


  • Marybeth February 02, 2018


  • Marivene February 02, 2018

    That crepe cake looks delicious! My frugal accomplishments for this past week have been:

    *Finished knitting the baby blanket from variegated blue yarn & gave it to Little Stuff. Her baby brother has gotten lots of blankets & it was time for her to receive one.

    *Little Stuff & I made another large batch of oatmeal cookies, with chocolate chips & dehdrated pie cherries in them, while her mother took a nap. We also made a batch of fruit rolls & a batch of breadsticks. Little Stuff's family came down for her baby brother's blessing. which took place in the Sacrament Meeting at the retirement home where the baby's great-grandmother lives. His other two great-grandparents (my huband's parents) were able to come, so all 3 great-grandparents attended & we were able to take some 4 generation pictures afterwards. Both of her sisters were among the 34 family members able to attend, which at least doubled the attendance of the branch where we met.

    *I used the space I cleared out last week where the goblets used to be to put the rest of the Sunnyvale Shenange platinum china set (the serving pieces) in the same cupboard as the plates, etc. The serving pieces have been in two boxes for over 10 years now.

    *Little Stuff helped me sprinkled slivered clementine & orange peel on the growing beds, while I added crushed eggshells, & she also helped me move some of the compost over to the back perimeter bed. She enjoyed riding a small pink tricycle while going for a walk with Grandma most days while she was here, that cost $4 at Deseret Industries last summer, & is exactly like the purple one she has at her house, except for the color. It lives in Grandma's shed, to keep the plastic from sun-rotting, in the space that used to hold a snowblower that no longer worked. I am doing better at junking the things we don't use/need, thus making space for the things that are important to us.

    *Little Stuff discovered that she likes both the dehydrated pie cherries from Grandma's tree, & some Rainier cherries that Grandma bottled. Her parents are considering planting a sweet cherry tree, so this was useful & delicious "research". Her daddy thought he did not like cherries, but happily snacked on the dried pie cherries.

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