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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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Comments

  • Shara January 29, 2018

    We didn't have any huge savings last week. Mostly little things that add up. I think my biggest accomplishment was that we stuck to a once a month grocery shopping. I went out twice for milk and once for eggs after my initial stock up. (I'm trying the same thing for January.)

    Details of my week are here. https://byhearthandathome.blogspot.com/2018/01/frugal-happenings-week-4.html

  • Lilli January 29, 2018

    I am so happy this month is almost over. It felt like my life was a row of dominoes falling over one at a time. I budgeted well and managed to cover everything necessary including a couple yearly expenses. Taxes and car tags had to be purchased this month. Sugar cookies medical deductible had to be paid due to her broken hand. The emergency fund is drained and there is no room for anymore issues. Now being poor isn't too much of an issue because I have frugal down pat. Knowing I had little to none to spend this month, I got creative. I collected every device in the house that could be set up to print coupons. All the children have I phones. ( they pay for this expense, I refuse to pay for such luxuries and sugar cookies is on her grandparents plan as a gift.) I collected 4 old iPods and 2 tablets in addition to their laptops. I printed coupons for several great deals. I collected all the random change around the house/car. I kept the silver out and put the pennies in a coin star machine. It costs me about $3.00 to drive roundtrip into town and back. I picked up
    50 bowls random noodles
    50 boxes Stevia
    40 containers cream cheese by Arla. Every store in town has been giving this out as a store freebie. There was a manufacturer coupon online for a free one and the blinkie machine has been giving them out too. I was able to stack the free one with a free store coupon to get 18.00 in overage. I used that to get 6 dozen jumbo eggs for free. 6 bags of 3.5lbs of premium dry cat food and 12 bottles of vitamins for free . It was crazy to be able to get this all free stacking coupons ,but the items will be well used. I pay tax in some stores and not in others so I spent less than 2.00 of that change I collected. I stopped in at the electric company to see if I could look online at my usage like Brandy writes about. I will check that out this week. I cut my hair short and stopped coloring it. It is growing out nicely but is looking ragged. I trimmed my bangs and will tolerate it until it is a little longer for a styled cut. All those lemon photographs reminded me to use all of sugar cookies orange peels. I tossed a gallon of vinegar in a bucket with them and will use them for cleaner when they are fragrant. Sugar cookies young man friend repaired my toilet for me. On the spectrum, he is fascinated with plumbing and electrical fixtures. Over the last couple years, I have purchased several new lighting fixtures at the thrift stores. He installed all my found treasures and switched some of my current ones around. They are much more in style and look so much better than what was replaced. My new dining room chandelier is gorgeous for the low price of 11.00. Now to just get all the hardware and knobs replaced. I will be using some of that cream cheese to make him some of his favorite banana nut bread. My heart must be strong. I came home and found a letter from the IRS and almost fell over and died right there in the driveway. Thankfully they only want copies of sugar cookies medicare. I think I can breathe now. The lemon curd made me smile. My lovely MIL made me a lemon curd dessert for my birthday one year and the memories came pouring in. Reading today's posts have made me smile many times. Happy February everyone. ( I insist that it start now for me )

  • PJGT January 30, 2018

    Your post made me smile, Lilli. We are in the tightened belt, pulling up by the bootstrap club. I've been thinking a lot about life giving lemons and what we do with those lemons...pucker up at the tartness or add sugar to sweeten the juice. You are definitely a sweetener. Happy February!

  • momsav January 31, 2018

    Wow, Lilli! You got some awesome deals! We don’t have double coupons; most times we don’t even get coupons in the mail. If we do, they’re a small selection and nothing I would buy. I love how you got so much free product!
    How nice that Cookies young man did so much work for you! What a blessing!

  • momsav January 29, 2018

    Love the pictures! The yellow is so bright. I don’t think i’ve ever had lemon curd.
    I’m another Aquarian. I got a free pizza on my big day. It lasted three meals for me. My husband got his own pizza, too. We paid for his.
    I made my own birthday cake from scratch. My husband would make me one but it would be from a box. (And chocolate) I decided I wanted a carrot cake. I found a recipe for a 6”. It was very good! The frosting was a bit too stiff, though. My husband bought me a small raspberry cake from a local woman who is trying to start a sweet shop. That cake was better than the one I made. I was pretty happy when all this cake was eaten!
    I bashed more dry bread for crumbs. I bashed the bread in washed and dried cereal bags that work like a charm!
    I made soap with some of the herbal oils I made in the Summer. I used rain water I had collected and frozen. I also used lard I rendered from the half hog we ordered in the Fall. It seems too soft to me so I hope it hardens up with time.
    I’ve finally started doing some hand work! I feel like i’ve found an old friend! I had thought I might do one small project a month. Since it’s the end of Jan., and i’m not finished with the first one, I may have to rethink that idea.
    I saved the wrapping, boxes, bags and tissue from the gifts and orders that came in the mail.
    I also made bread, the first time in a long while. Our house is kept so cool that it takes forever to rise. I used the bread machine for the first rise and turned the oven on til it got to temp., turned it off, and put the bread in for the heat. It worked perfectly!
    I walked with friends, did yoga at home, washed baggies, saved shower water and all the other usual things. Quite a bit is beginning to become so ingrained that I don’t even think about it.
    Enjoy the week ahead!

  • Lorna January 29, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) . So good that your weather is warm and you are able to plant some of your vegetables out and your crepe cake and lemon curd and meringue look delicious Brandy.

    Our frugal accomplishments and savings are as follows.

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our house deposit account bringing us to 23.74% of the way there. We recalculated this and took out the amount we keep at home in cash for emergencies as we want to keep this separated from our actual house savings.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made all of our bread and meals from scratch.
    - Made a half batch of your lovely oat and raisin biscuits, but we substituted sultanas instead, weighing 1.1kg saving $14.08 over purchasing the same amount. These are delicious I must say and now one of our favourites.

    Grocery savings -
    - Purchased 16 tins of sweet corn on 50% off special saving $14.88 to increase our supplies.

    Other purchases -
    - Bought a BBQ smoker that runs on both wood and charcoal on special on eBay saving $178 over buying it in our local hardware store. This will be another level of preparation for blackouts and to also save on our electricity costs that are getting so high here.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 3.2kg of cherry tomatoes from the gardens saving $25.60 over purchasing them in the supermarkets.
    - Bought 3 cubic metres of cow manure from our local livestock transport company for $20 saving $796 over buying the same amount in bags from our local hardware store.
    - Found out that our local horse stud also sells Lucerne hay in jumbo bales so we purchased one for $55 and asked if it was possible to have some of the loose hay on the shed floor put in to top our 8 x 5' trailer with too which they said yes to. All up this gave us the equivalent of 2 large bales saving us $390 over purchasing these elsewhere.

    Electricity savings -
    - By using our solar lanterns to light our home and night and by only turning on our electric hot water system on to heat once a week we saved another $7.50 this week.

    Water preservation savings -
    - Used all grey water from our showers and washing machine to hand water the house paddock lawns with.
    - Used all of our dish rinsing water to water in new seeds and seedlings in the gardens.

  • Laurie in AZ January 29, 2018

    As always, Brandy, your pictures make me so happy!

    Can't believe I have been sick as long as I have, but I believe that I am finally on the mend. This is the first day that I have felt normal and not exhausted!

    Here are my accomplishments for the week:

    • Used free tea, coffee and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and only ran full loads in the washer and dishwasher during the off peak times.
    • Planned out menu for the week. Canned 5 pints of black beans with beans that had been in my pantry for a while. Used them to make black bean soup in the crockpot one night. Frugal fail: we did eat out 4 nights (egad!) The first night Hubby wanted to celebrate a bonus and raise he got (yay!) and the second we split an entree at our Trivia night, so not too expensive. The other 2 nights were just being lazy as I am still was not 100% from being sick, but we did use a $10 coupon at one of the places. This week we will be better!
    • Took on a part time contractor job for the company I used to work for. All the money I earn from this will go to paying off our mortgage. I’m excited about this, as it is a low stress job with very flexible hours (max 21 hours a week.) I can still watch my grandson 2 days a week and go out to my Dad’s once a week. I am going to try to combine the grandson day with the Dad day as often as possible so I can have one day a week to myself also.
    • Made zucchini bread again. Took it to work as my snack. Also took my lunch 2 days and was taken out to lunch one of the days. Hubby also took his lunch to work 3 days and got a free lunch one day. My new office always has free snacks and drinks available, so even days I don’t bring my own, I won’t have to pay anything for them. We also brought our own refilled water bottles to work.
    • We got a Welcome Wagon type of packet when we moved into the house. One of the coupons was for 10 free stamps from the nearest UPS store. Picked those up this week. The packet also included a free car wash coupon, which we used this week. $14.99 value.
    • Used a gift card for Panda Express that I had gotten for Christmas 2016 to get lunch one day this week, so free!
    • Went to my husband’s uncle’s funeral, we went to his cousins’ house and had lunch. When we were cleaning up, they had a small Ziploc of Hershey miniature chocolates that no one wanted and asked me if I wanted them. I took them and put them in my candy stash.
    • Used part of an Amazon gift card to buy a new scale for the bathroom. Our other one broke. I went through Ibotta to order it, so I will get 3% back also. Got a few grocery Ibotta rebates also.
    • Bought paprika and thyme at Winco where they sell bulk spices. I only paid 22c for the thyme (enough to fill a regular size spice bottle) and $1.07 for the paprika (enough to fill a large spice bottle.) Saved the plastic bags too.
    • Got 3 tubes of toothpaste and a toothbrush for 38c each by combining coupons and sale price.
    • Only used the heater for 2 hours on one side of the house just to take the chill off the bedroom on the coldest night this week.
    • Also got a free chicken protein bar from the Friday Freebie.
    • Transferred all “saved” money (coupon money, what I would have spent but got free such as the car wash and gift card money) into a separate account, which I will then use to pay extra on the mortgage when I pay it.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week with lots of savings!

  • Melonie K. January 29, 2018

    Happy birthday to your son! That cake looks absolutely scrumptious. YUMMM!

    We had a few splurges this week, but all planned for and within budget, so it was fun instead of stressful. http://meloniek.com/2018/01/frugal-accomplishments-week-ending-28-january-2018/

    Wishing everyone a wonderful end of January & blessed February!

  • http://thejewishlady.com January 29, 2018

    I love the way you garnish food! I do that for parties and holidays, but need to make more of an effort on a daily basis to make meals more special.

    I continue to be frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons/rebates. Last week I found 12-packs of toilet paper for $0.99, free oranges, 4 free eye shadows, free eggs, $0.99 pineapples, $1.50 melon, $0.25 limes and more. All of my transactions can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-1-27-18/

  • Karen January 30, 2018

    The big money saver for me last week was a change in coffee providers at work. The old office coffee was undrinkable, and I'm not at all picky about coffee. So, we had a Keurig in our team office and I bought a LOT of k-cups. But, the new coffee is wonderful, if a bit strong, but I just water it down some and it's perfect! I'll still keep the Keurig in the office for making tea but no more k-cups for me!

    I stayed under $100 on my grocery purchases. I'm doing a pantry challenge for the month of January. I did pick up my husband's favorite crackers and my daughter's teriyaki sauce (we'd run out of both), but other than that I stuck to my plan of produce, dairy, my husband's lunches, and bread.

    We haven't renewed our Costco membership. It expired at the end of October. I'm trying to decide if we can get along without it - I need to do some price comparisons for ketchup and toilet paper. In talking with a few friends, it feels like their prices have gone up significantly over the last few years, and I don't think their deals are as great as they used to be.

  • debbie swanson January 30, 2018

    Could you please tell me how to access your reading list? I only get your frugal accomplishments which I love and thank you for I live in Alberta Canada so it's amazing to hear of your gardening adventures at this time of year :-) I also can access your Christmas projects and love it! :-)

  • Luba @ Healthy with Luba January 30, 2018

    Brandy, your crepe cake looks delicious! It's hard to imagine that you are working in your garden when it is zero degrees where I am.

    Last week here is what we did to save money:
    ~ Purchased frozen fruit in bulk on sale
    ~ Ate all our meals at home except a meal at my parents' house
    ~ Prepared lunches for my husband to take to work
    ~ Sent a huge thermos of herbal tea with my husband on his business trip
    ~ Used natural remedies we already had at home to feel better rather than spending money on a doctor and prescriptions
    ~ Continued using one car until one is repaired for us to purchase
    ~ Purchased a local, natural turkey for $.99 a pound

    It was a great week for us. :)

  • I can't imagine 0º! It is 71ºF here today.

  • tadpole January 30, 2018

    Its cold, snowy, and very dreary here. I suppose that means that we saved money by not going anywhere at all.
    I did get inspired enough to make scones for the first time. I served them with homemade jam and they were a hit.

    I also started working on not 1, not 2, but 6 new quilts (one is a commission) because, apparently, cabin fever is making me a little crazy.

    I am also starting a "Rationing Challenge" with a friend.
    https://hiproofbarn.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/frugal-endeavors-oh-deer-its-still-january/

    Have an excellent week everyone.

  • Jen G January 30, 2018

    I hope I can remember everything I've learned from you about gardening when I *finally* have a house with a yard large enough to have a garden, hopefully next year!

    Living frugally in urban Seattle:

    - Only one car trip this week! All other errands and trips by bike or bus.
    - Free swimming on Tuesday nights at our community center.
    - I'm so tempted to get a gym membership this time of year, when it rains and it is miserable to exercise outside. Instead, I've made a corner of my garage into a workout area with yoga mats on the floor, etc. I go for runs during rare sun breaks.
    - We've watched some fun things from the library this week: The Wonder Years series, Family Stone, and I continue to read great books from there was well.
    - My kids don't let me cut their hair anymore, but we did score $10 haircuts (regularly $25) at our local haircut place.
    - We've needed a new dishwasher, which stopped working around Christmas. My husband received a small work bonus, so we went to Home Depot and bought a new one, the cheapest model that matches our kitchen since we will be moving this spring, and also used some saved gift cards to lower the price.
    - I've been tempted to go to Starbucks lately for hot drinks because of all this cold, rainy weather. It is especially tempting because we have a Starbucks less than one block away. Instead, I bought a collection of high quality teas to make instead. About 20 mugs of tea for the price of one Starbucks drink.
    - I ended up adding a class to my work schedule at the last minute, which will bring in a couple thousand dollars more for us.
    It will be extra work and time, but will help balance out this summer when my work schedule lightens considerably.

  • Elizabeth January 30, 2018

    1. Found a quilt and some Duplo blocks for just $3 each at the thrift store
    2. Rearranged my refrigerator drawers to make them last longer....cheese apparently is heavier than veggies:)
    3. Used beads that I found at a yard sale to make a pipe cleaner fish necklace for my Sunday school class
    4. Organized my homeschool shelves and found much needed items that were misplaced in the wrong boxes...labeling only works if the correct items go into the correct boxes...
    5. Ground up some chicken breasts myself and saved $2 per lb

  • Marybeth January 30, 2018

    The crepe cake looks amazing! I'm going to have to try and make it. My kids love crepes with Nutella and bananas so I might try that.
    -My husband and I went on a dinner date. We had such a great time. His company treated us for a project he did. We came home with lots of leftovers.
    -Went to order my husband's new glasses. Cost us $76. Would have been over $900 without insurance. That's crazy!
    -Sears sent me more free sears bucks. We got a pair of boots for my daughter, 2 sweaters and 2 shirts for my husband. Spent $9. Put it on a gift card I got for Christmas so no OOP$!
    -Used my son's work discount and used a gift card to treat the family to lunch out.
    -Son brought home lots of bread, bagels, cookies and pastries from work that would have been thrown out.
    -Was out running errands and was near our Aldi. I only needed celery and raisins. That is all I bought.
    -We had some friends over for Sunday dinner. Used a turkey that I got for 39 cents a pound before Thanksgiving. Made cornbread stuffing, maple carrots and mashed potatoes. They both brought a dessert. We had a great time catching up. The holidays were very busy and we weren't able to get together. This worked out great. I offered leftovers but no one wanted any. So I made turkey noodle soup with some and froze the rest. The bones were boiled for stock and all skin/fatty pieces were added to the dogs food.
    -My daughter's braces broke. I called the orthodontist and they had us come right in. She had an appointment for the following week so they took care of it while we were there. When we were checking out I commented how great they are. The office manager over heard me and asked if I would mind doing a review online. So I went home and did one. They are really great. All 3 kids have gone there. She called to thank me the next day and said when I got a chance to stop by because she had something for me. I told I would come the next day after work (on the way home). She got me a gift card. I thought that was so sweet of her.
    -Ran some errands for work and got paid the mileage.
    -Listed a bunch of stuff on eBay since my hours at work have been slow.
    -Cleaned and organized the bathroom and linen closets. Gave away a bunch of kiddy beach towels to a single mom I know. Her kids love them. I loved that my closet looks better. Condensed like items together. How is it that there were 4 open hair gels but only 1 person uses them? Switched out old toothbrushes for new ones. Ran old ones through the dishwasher and stuck them in the box with the other old ones. I always find something to use them for...its usually gross!
    -Found lots of change this week. Some at work, some in a coinstar machine, some just out and about. Total $3.52
    -Ran to the store to pick up my past 2 weeks of Friday Freebies(Lara bar, hummus single, and can of soup) . I ALWAYS check the clearance spots. They had butter marked down because the packages had gotten wet and stuck together. I got all 5 pounds. Used the store gift card that I got for Christmas(thanks Mom and Dad) so I spent $0.
    -Hung laundry, cooked most meals, ate leftovers, washed Ziplocs, kept the heat low and many other things we do everyday to keep costs down.
    Have a wonderful week!

  • Kim January 30, 2018

    I’ve been successful in keeping my grocery expenses down this month.

    After searching for nearly two and a half years and working the last six month at a low wage, low hour job, I have accepted an offer today for a full time position with benefits. I am very excited. I will need to spend a little money to get ready (haircut, one new outfit, etc) but I will be keeping those expenses to a minimum and continuing to be frugal by packing lunch and snacks for work.

    I love this site and the encouragement it provides so I will continue to follow and implement ideas.

  • I January 30, 2018

    Congratulations!!

  • Jenny January 30, 2018

    Fantastic news

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