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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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  • Juls Owings January 29, 2018

    I love lemon curd but lemon trees don't do well in our zone and far too expensive to buy lemons or the curd on a regular bases. I am thinking about trying to make orange curd...as I have oranges that need used up.
    I would have to say the best frugal thing is what I did today...make a menu for the next week for bfast,lunch,dinner and snacks/dessert. BASED menu on what I HAD.Checked what I really NEEDED...and then CHECKED the grocery sales and matched coupons... few things got bumped off as I wasn't going to spend that $$ since I didn't have a coupon.Tomorrow we will go to the store even though we don't have anything else to do in town. Might run through Goodwill and see if they have anything for the house we are going to rehab. Rest is here http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2018/01/last-week-of-jan.html

  • Amy January 29, 2018

    I went to Sam's Club and bought milk, eggs, bananas because they were cheaper than our store price. I bought a #10 can of nacho cheese sauce for my son for $6.88. At the grocery store they are $3.59 for a small glass jar. It was on his birthday list. He was thrilled with the can. This is an indulgence and only bought for birthday/Christmas time. But I was happy to find the larger #10 can for him. My daughter and I saw it - looked at each other and said - That's perfect!

    I needed to also go to our local grocery store but just stocked up on sale items that were needed. I stayed under budget again. I love putting the extra money in our grocery savings.

    A shirt I wanted on Amazon went on sale. I've been watching this shirt for months. I bought two for myself.

    We needed a new mattress. So we have been researching and had a set budget amount. This past week we found what we were looking for on sale and were also able to buy two new base boards and a mattress cover and stayed $11 under our budget amount.

    My daughter is taking a sewing class. I saved the supplies from when my other daughter took the class and will use those to fill the required items for the class.

    I paid all bills online.

    I combined all errands. I had $1 off gallon of gas up to 30 gallons again. I had coupons for quadruple points for gas for the entire month. I held off as long as I could to fill up again and just filled up last week. The coupon is good through this Wednesday so I am going to adjust my shopping schedule to use it one more time before the coupon expires.

    We had two birthdays this week and everyone was happy with their gifts and the family time. We have a total of 3 birthdays in January. It feels just as busy as December! It was fun but I am happy that things will calm down in February.

    I have a strange questions - does anyone have foot pain that is not alleviated by inserts, surgery and the doctors can't find a cause? I can't stand or walk for more than 10-15 minutes without foot pain. It's not related to any illness or disease. I've been to over 20 ortho doctors the past seven years and can't figure it out. I do have flat feet and I do wear inserts. But I wonder if any one has ever heard of something like this and if there was a solution. I miss walking.... Thanks if anyone has any ideas. This has been such an expensive experience. I would like to find a solution so I can stop throwing money around :)

    I'm so happy for you and your growing garden Brandy! The pictures are again beautiful. I can't wait to see all the yummy food you grow. :) Love following you on Instagram.

  • Cindy in the South January 29, 2018

    I used to have foot and ankle pain that became especially painful when I was about 52 (I am almost 58), and I started wearing Dansko clogs, even with my dresses and skirts. I have flat feet also. I just cannot do heels anymore. I am usually not brand loyal, but this brand of shoes/clogs works for me. I found out about it when I asked the nurses taking care of my mom, what kind of shoe they were wearing.

  • Holly January 29, 2018

    My sister was walking MILES for exercise until her foot started hurting, REALLY hurting. A podiatrist diagnosed plantar fasciitis but his treatments over the course of several months didn't help. She then went to a chiropractor who determined that a bone in the top of her foot was not in the right spot. A few foot (NOT spine!) adjustments later, and she was (and remains) pain free. She felt quick relief after the first adjustment but it took a while for the bone to stay put in its proper place which is why she had to go back to the chiropractor every so often at first. Our family has HIGH arches, the opposite of flat feet. This is not medical advice, and I am somewhat amazed that I am actually suggesting that it might be helpful to visit a chiropractor for anything other than a stiff neck.

    I hope you get relief one way or the other soon.

  • Heidi Louise January 29, 2018

    Holly, I am glad you wrote. My chiropractor did similar moves for plantar fasciitis on me, and it cleared up the problem. I do not know that all chiropractors work on all parts of the skeleton, but mine does. They have the same number of hours of education as medical doctors, with different areas of emphasis.

  • Kerri January 29, 2018

    I too have had to have my feet adjusted by the chiro.

  • Susan January 29, 2018

    My podiatrist recommended soaking my feet for twenty minutes each night in water (hot as you can take, don’t burn yourself) and Epsom salts I think the other name is magnesium sulphate. Then dry and rub in a good cream, her comment was we expect our feet to support us and we need to give them some care in return, certainly helped with my foot problems, not a cure but relieved the pain to a bearable level. I found magnesium sulfate cheaper at an animal produce store, same thing just in bulk as anywhere else it was in small packs and expensive.
    Also is an opportunity to sit and knit or talk, can’t hurt.
    Susan, Victoria, Australia.

  • Juhli January 30, 2018

    I learned this weekend that my BIL has 2 broken toes where the bones aren't even attached to his foot any longer and he only knew that his feet hurt. Have your feet been x-rayed to check for old breaks that may not have healed?

  • Bobbie January 29, 2018

    Chiropractor- I wasn't a believer, but they adjusted an ankle that constantly popped and rolled and was hideously painful, and no problems since!

  • Kerri January 29, 2018

    I would have shooting nerve pains. My doctor said it was because I wore ankle socks with an elastic band on the top. I bought different socks without the elastic at the top and my foot pain is gone. Apparently, it was pinching a nerve.

  • Janet January 30, 2018

    My hubby had foot pain like you talk about for 15 years finally a doc put him on gabapentin and it has gone away he now walks a mile and half every day. He couldn't walk to the bathroom from his desk without help we are talking like ten steps.

  • Laurie in AZ January 30, 2018

    That nacho sauce freezes great too!

  • Juls Owings January 30, 2018

    Amy Massage and chiro is what Daddy does , he has flat feet. I have high arches and high instep and do the same. Works for both of us

  • Tracey January 30, 2018

    Amy, I had terrible plantar fasciitis a few years ago and could only comfortably walk in Clark or Dansko shoes for a while. I slept in a plastic boot to keep my foot straight. These relieved the pain but it wasn't until someone recommended Acid-A-Cal, by Enzymatic Therapy (I bought it from Amazon for $10.99 per bottle) that I found any permanent relief. I took four capsules twice per day until the bottle was gone and didn't even need the second bottle (I had bought two bottles). A year or so later my foot started acting up a bit so I took the capsules again, but only for a few weeks, and that nipped the problem in the bud! If you go on Amazon and read the acid-a-cal reviews they are very interesting and informative! If it's a similar issue, I hope they can help you as much as they did me! Sending healing thoughts and empathy!

  • Tracey January 30, 2018

    P.S. If you're leaning in the direction of Clark and Dansko shoes you probably know they can be very expensive. I got around the steep price tags by shopping for them on the Poshmark clothing website. I found several pairs of these shoes and sandals for VERY reasonable prices and they were all new or in like-new condition for a fraction of what they retail for! (Clarks were/are my favorite support-shoe brand...very like Dansko but prettier, more comfortable and not quite so heavy IMHO.) Poshmark is a wonderful frugal, convenient resource for buying specific clothing/shoes/purses (used and new) online. It's a bit more expensive than yard sales and thrift shops, but in the case of hunting for very specific items, like the shoes, it was a perfect compromise.

  • Friend January 31, 2018

    Yes, my foot pain was caused by eating sugar and gluten. After 2 months off of all sugar, fake sweeteners and gluten I am pain free Praise Yahweh!

  • Amy January 31, 2018

    Wow! Thank you for the ideas and support. I feel like I had tried everything but this gives me a few new ideas to try. Thank you all SO MUCH!!!!!!

  • Nancy January 29, 2018

    Your crepe cake with lemon curd looks so pretty and delicious. Your always inspiring. Here are a few frugal accomplishments this past week:
    Bought $1 pkg of spongy Valentine's (I needed some to be weatherproof) picked up branches in our yard..
    Took red n white ribbon and hung Valentine's from the branches I had placed in my tall white pitcher and on our outside branches in a container on the porch. We (grand daughter and i) hung ribbons and V. From the light above the table.
    . My daughter sewed burp cloths for a baby gift I wanted to give. Bought a bag to send in for. 25
    . Made soups and meals at home. Made a loaf of bread.
    . Do my nails n toes at home.
    . Open windows for fresh air from germs going around.
    . Had guest in. Washed bedding. Ironed top sheet and pillowcase to make fresh and ready. Made up nice homemade soup ahead and a salad so I could visit.
    . Took veggie leftovers and made into a healthy omelet for my husband and I.
    . Took leftover bread for soup. (Brandy recipe)
    . Sent Valentine's to grands far away...50 for card
    $1. For stickers I split..some other cute paper thing..
    And $1 each so they could get a treat!
    . Was given free 3 different breads from church box.
    . Making Tuscan soup tonight with free bread.

  • mom at home January 30, 2018

    My mom always put a dollar in my daughter's cards! It's one of their favorite memories.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood January 29, 2018

    Those meringues and that crepe cake look INCREDIBLE! I didn't realize whipping cream could stay good that long. I assume only if it is unopened, right? Looking forward to the new recipe!

    My week was nice and busy:

      One of the groceries stores in my end of the city had an Air Miles promotion: use 95 Air Miles ($10 worth) to buy groceries, and get 50 Air Miles back (i.e. $5 worth). So I was able to get some items that I was out of, for free (a box of hot grain cereal, some garlic, and a container of parmesan cheese)! I also checked my husband’s Air Miles card and he had some on there, so we ordered a movie ticket deal: two tickets, two drinks, and a popcorn, with no money out of pocket. Will make for a nice date night! Using the hot grain cereal I got for free, I came up with a recipe for a Honey & Whole Grain Quick Bread! (http://approachingfood.com/honey-whole-grain-quick-bread/) Am very pleased with it, and plan to make lots more, in an effort to slowly switch from white flours to more whole grains. Super-quick to throw together, given that no rising time is needed (it’s a quick bread, so no yeast). I made yoghurt for breakfasts for the next two weeks. Using my local trading app, I traded some tea gifted to me, for a bag of ribbons for my craft/decorating stash. Perfect, as I was running out of ribbons. I should be set for a couple of years now, I think. I also traded a dozen buttercream-topped cupcakes for a large CSA box of delicious organic fruits and veggies; a very good return on investment, in terms of cost and labour, as I put them in a box that I had traded for, in a re-used clear plastic bag from my workplace, using wrappers I had purchased using Swagbucks gift cards, eggs I purchased using a gift card, and sprinkles given to me by a friend. I estimate that my OOP cost was just over a dollar. I candied the peel from one of the organic oranges I traded for, and then used some of the juice from that orange in a batch of Brandy’s orange balsamic dressing. I also used the sugar syrup leftover from making the candied orange peel, in a batch of iced tea (using tea gifted to me). No waste! I cooked one of the back bacon roasts that I traded for last week. The DH was very happy! It made for several meat and potato type meals, plus some sandwiches, and then I chopped up the rest and froze it to top pizzas with, toss into omelettes, soups, etc. I bought several months worth of vitamins and supplements at my local drug store, and got a $20 gift certificate. I later used the gift certificate to buy some food on sale: ice cream (stocking up for comfort food eating, because it’s def. a thing), eggs, cheese, and milk. I was pleased to find a way to avoid having to use my grocery budget for a bit longer. I went to a work-related conference and got some swag: a stuffed toy which I will gift to a family friend, several full-size chocolate bars and small chocolates which I set aside for baking with (I picked up one small chocolate – ex. a chocolate kiss – at each exhibitor booth, and by the visiting all the booths, I ended up with several handfuls of chocolates, enough for a batch of cookies.), a lip balm, several packages of mints, a gel eye mask (I’ll gift it to a family friend), a t-shirt (I don’t care if it’s branded; I’ll use it as a pj), a cloth bag and an EOS hand cream (which I’ll likely bring to work and keep at my desk). I also received another cloth bag but won’t use it, so I deconstructed it and plan to turn it into a re-useable cloth wine wrap/bag, to fancy up a bottle of wine gift. I also set aside two perfect condition candy boxes to re-use. I filled a prescription at a new pharmacy, and they were able to find a way to process the request so that it was covered by both of my insurances (I’m covered under both my work insurance and my husband’s), so it ended up being no cost OOP! I made a batch of hummus, using canned chickpeas, and saved the water it was canned in. I plan to use it to make vegan meringues (the chickpea brine – aquafaba - acts as an egg substitute. Something to do with proteins and such.) I served the hummus with the organic sweet peppers I had traded for. I made a batch of Swiss Chard and Preserved Lemon Soup, using the organic swiss chard, onions, and parsley I had traded for, and some home-preserved lemons. I set it aside for lunches for the week. I worked out at home, using yoga videos on Youtube. I can definitely see a difference in my flexibility, after several weeks of doing this. I made Brandy’s herbed crepes with mushrooms and cheese, using some of the herbs that were in the box of fruit and veggies I traded for, as well as some of the cheese and eggs I bought earlier in the week using my gift card. I dried some of the herbs as well, and added it to the herbs in my pantry. I sewed a tear in my husband’s shirt.

    And that was my week! Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

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