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Frugal Accomplishments For the Second Week of January

Iceberg Roses In January Detail The Prudent Homemaker

It was a busy week in the garden.

I picked lemons from the garden.

I cut Swiss chard and beet greens from the garden.

I pruned my iceberg roses and brought all of the roses inside to enjoy.

White Pigeon in the garden The Prudent Homemaker

I dug a few more small bushes that I started last year by tip layering and moved them to other places in the garden.

I planted seeds for lettuce, leeks, larkspur, white strawberries, sunflowers, zucchini, and nasturtiums.

Iceberg Roses in January The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money and find joy this past week?


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  • Marivene January 16, 2017

    The roses are lovely, Brandy! These are my frugal accomplishments for this week.

    Rescued another “live” Christmas tree from the curb to acidify the soil in the barked bed on the north side. This makes two trees so far. I set the trees where I want the soil to remain acidified, & let them drop their needles there. When all the needles have dropped, I trim the branches off, & the tree trunk goes on our small woodpile for future fire pit wood.

    Continued to hem more of the flannel wipes for use as tp in our disaster kit.

    Knocked the icicles off the back of the house to remove their weight from the gutter. I had to dig a path thru snow about 2 feet deep to get to the icicles.

    Began to work on the taxes. The sooner we file, the sooner the refund is in our hands.

    Ran a thin stream of water overnight to keep the pipes from freezing while we had subzero temps outdoors.

    While the outdoor surfaces were covered with ice, I used my cane when I went out. Prudence before regret.

    Continued to cut the peels from the clementines into thin strips to dry on a plate as we eat the fruit.

    Stopped in at the thrift store & found 15 Duplo blocks, along with a fisher price cow, basket of green apples & 2 pieces of red “farm” fencing, along with a “section” of plastic orange. They charged me 75 for the whole lot, which is a little less than 4 cents per piece. I also bought 3 half pint jars & a pint jar, 3 with fancy cutout tops that will be great for using dehydrated citrus peels or baking soda for air freshener. I also bought 3 books, one a board book, for 50 cents each. When I came home, I filled one of the jars with the dried citrus peel. It smells great.

    Used a coupon to save $2 on a bottle of One A Day vitamins.

    Bought 10 packages of Canadian bacon marked down to $3 each (from $7.97) in the mark down bin. Nine went into the freezer & one was part of dinner that night. DH loves Canadian bacon. I also bought 2 packages of English muffins from the mark down rack for 99 cents. Those also went into the freezer.

    The next night, I used 2 pieces of leftover panfried Canadian bacon & the leftover fried potatoes with some milk, dehydrated potatoes, onion powder & parsley flakes to make potato soup, which we had with buttered toast. On a cold, windy day, DH liked it for dinner.

    Received more of the little people animals I ordered, along with some of the books, that I purchased on discount & which will be used as gifts in the coming year. I removed the residue from the stickers on the books with Goo Gone & a little alcohol to remove the Goo Gone. Most of the books look brand new now.

    Later in the week, I went to the thrift store closer to us to look for a frame for the painting my daughter made for me. I found a nice one for $3, & also found 14 Duplos (with 3 “eye” pieces) & 2 other little toys, a pretend can of sardines & a plastic orange “section”, in a bag marked $4. When I got home, I carefully slid the zip tie off the bag & sorted thru it. I kept the Duplos & the other 2 items I mentioned, then put everything else, mostly assorted other blocks, back in the bag & tied it closed. I will re-donate it, but because I did not tear the bag & it is already marked, I know they will just put another zip tie on the bag & set it out on the floor, so I will take a $4 deduction value for the donation.

  • Lisa January 16, 2017

    Wow! Stay warm and be careful! After our little bit of snow last weekend, we have been having 70 degree days!

    Your soup sounds really good and I love getting mark downs at the grocery store.

    Come by and visit:

  • Juls Owings January 16, 2017

    I checked my fall planted garlic and onions are covered as our weather here in OH is giving us whiplash between the temperature extremes. I planted the paperwhites etc in pots so I can transplant them later and fingers crossed they rebloom next winter. Started my sweet potato slips. Uncluttered the butler's pantry and found some items I thought I was out of.Ate from the pantry, mended a shirt and ordered checks for 1/2 the price on line for Hubby compared to what the bank was wanting. Didn't write down what I doing that was frugal and I think because I didn't do that I didn't stay focus on being frugal... The rest is here on my Blog...

    Brandy I love it that you share what you are gardening and harvesting.I even checked out the peas you mentioned.

  • Becky January 16, 2017

    How fitting that a white bird should land in your garden:) It looks like you had a great week. I'm loving hearing about your gardening. It's still snowy and icy (more than usual) here where I live. I'm sure looking forward to spring and gardens.

    I put my list on my blog:

  • Lisa January 16, 2017

    I was thinking the same thing about the white bird!

  • Pat January 16, 2017

    Hi Brandy!
    Your roses are lovely!
    We are doing the pantry challenge over at Good Cheap Eats so all meals were made and eaten at home.
    I made homemade chicken stock for the freezer.
    We are in the Midwest and are part of the ice storm area so when the rain started my husband went and bought a gallon of milk so our grocery spending for the month is $22. I am super pleased with that total.
    Have a great week everyone.

  • Elizabeth M. January 16, 2017

    Grocery costs have been staying low, with my spending at half of what it normally would be: $50 out of pocket, and $25 from a gift card. I don't think i need to visit the store again this month, except to buy a small bag of cat food and coffee. I've been able to buy 20 lb of red-skinned potatoes, 3 litres of canola oil, an 8 lb pork shoulder roast (99 cents a lb), and two family size boxes of fish sticks, to stock up, as well as everyday needs. I'm in good shape for keeping food costs down next month as well as this month.

    The pork has been slow-roasted, shredded, and frozen in two-serving portions. It was sort of messy to do, but will give me some variety over the coming weeks, as I make my way through the frozen chickens and fish sticks. It was definitely very economical. Vegetarian meals will mostly come from purchases.

    We had a few bitterly cold days this last week, but it is much warmer now. The forecast in for warmth (by our winter standards) and quite a bit of sunshine for the next two weeks. This will keep electricity and heating costs down, as well as make the winter pass more pleasantly.

    My half-day a week job is a full day for the moment. I also have a phone interview tomorrow for membership on a board, which would be really interesting to do and would pay a small fee.

    I've been working on my budget for the year. There are still a few things to figure out, but I'm making progress.

  • Holly January 16, 2017

    Your harvests in the dead of winter continue to amaze me. I don't think we purchased anything at fast food restaurants for the entire week. Beginning to break that bad habit is very good. I made bread at least once again this week. I kept the last of one loaf for myself instead of the birds by making a small quantity of bread pudding. I also cooked a pot of pinto beans flavored with summer sausage and chicken broth. I had not cooked dry beans in ages. Pintos are not my favorite bean. Their best quality, in my eyes, is their low price. But they were languishing in the cupboard and needed to be cooked. I had bean burritos for breakfast once, mom and I had besn soup for dinner twice, and I again am having beans for breakfast. I love navy beans and great northern beans (the variety of bean, not the brand which I am totally neutral about). I live less than 75 miles away from Michigan's Thumb, an agricultural area known for their beans. Next summer, I might plan a scenic drive that happens to go past a bean co-op during business hours and stock up on the ones I love. We bought scallions and instead of eating them right away, I put the bunch in a glass of water on the windowsill above the kitchen sink. They doubled in size during the week and I've now begun harvesting them for garnishes. I had some potatoes bought at a super sale that were beginning to sprout. I double-peeled the ones that were still good, had to toss a couple, and have the one with the longest roots now sitting half-covered with water in a teacup. I am hoping to turn it into a houseplant and later, an early harvest of a few potatoes if I am able to pot it in a big pot and put it on the porch in the spring. We have not had a dishwasher for a couple of years and our last container of dishwasher detergent had been hogging space under the kitchen sink. I finally used it up this week to handwash our dishes. My hands did not fall off. :) If we continue to stay away from fast food, and I continue to bake bread and cook beans, we should save a considerable amount on our groceries. I am going to baby the herb plants we have and try to start some more from seed in the coming weeks. I wonder if anybody grows microgreens at home as a substitute for or supplement to salad green purchases.

  • PJGT January 17, 2017

    I'd love to hear about growing microgreens in a winter climate as well!

  • Mandy January 16, 2017

    Hello everyone!
    Borrowed library books and a children's movie
    I took advantage of great coupons, sales, and rebates to purchase some items for the pantry. Total before discounts was $54.76, after coupons, sales, and rebates (ibotta and checkout 51) $18.37 :) Some items were out of stock in the store so I simply did not purchase any of that item.
    We kept lights off when not needed
    My daughter and I shared a bath because my back has been very painful this past week and she has long, thick, very tangled hair. It was easier to get in with her to condition it so I could brush it without ripping her hair out (she's young, when she's older we won't do this).
    I printed off free worksheets to "do school" at home while she was off school. She LOVES it and begs to do worksheets and her workbooks every day :) I print on both sides of the sheet of paper before I recycle or burn it and make sure to print on economical to use the least amount of ink, and only in black and white.
    I used up leftovers to avoid food waste. What I couldn't use right away I froze to use later.
    I gave my daughter small amounts of food and beverages to make sure she ate/drank it all instead of wasting. If she is given to much she will take 2 bites, be "full", then say she's starving 15 minutes (or less) later. This helps curb that problem.
    Line dried all laundry
    Diluted more laundry soap, saved a soap sliver from the shower in my jar ( I use these to make liquid soap for the sink in the bathroom)
    I made chocolate chip banana bread, roast chicken with veggies in the crockpot, a casserole using leftover chopped chicken, quinoa, and frozen mixed veggies with some cheese, cheese ravioli with garlic bread, tacos, and spaghetti.
    Have a great week everyone!

  • Mrs T January 17, 2017

    Hello, Mandy. Would be interested in hearing how you make liquid soap with the scraps?

  • Mandy January 18, 2017

    I save them in a hinged jar so it's not air tight which helps them dry out. When I have a full bars worth plus an extra sliver I shred the soap, boil a gallon of water. I put the boiled water (while still boiling hot) into a big glass bowl (a bucket would work, too) then add in the shaved soap slivers and stir. Let sit over night then in the morning blitz the soapy water with my stick blender. That's it! This last batched turned much more "gell-y" than previous batches but it works great. It usually has a slime consistency but works great at my bathroom sink. I've even watered down the pump container of soap and it still works well. A gallon lasts us a month. It's super easy. :)

  • Cate January 19, 2017

    Another way is to put the soap bits (scraps) into a blender. Then by hand mix one part soap to 10 parts water. The soap bits also help to sharpen the blades on the blender - double bonus!

  • momsav January 16, 2017

    My daughter had emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. Although I wouldn't call it joyful, I'm relieved she's okay. With 1600 hundred miles between us, I'm thankful her husband took good care of her. As well, friends surrounded her with love and dinner. She has a great support system; She is a blessed woman! I can't wait to see her in a few weeks.
    On the frugal front, It's been kind of a bust. Ice cream for us, flowers for daughter and veggies that weren't on sale. All meals were made at home except one lunch. I'm still collecting water, using cold for washing, washing bags. My entertainment is working on a quilt: I may actually get it done before I head South! Seed catalogs are coming in so that's some reading material for me. And, I sold a few things on eBay.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  • Marcia January 16, 2017

    I know how scary that can be. When our younger daughter was 18, we went on our first "mom and dad only" vacation in years--went camping in Maine. We were 45 minutes from the nearest phone and drove into a campground and were told to "call home, they need to talk with you." Luckily my sister had talked DD into going ahead--she had a ruptured ovarian cyst, and they couldn't tell without surgery whether she was bleeding internally or not. She wasn't going to consent unless she talked to Mom. By the time we called, the surgery was over and she was recovering. It is scary not to be there when they "need" you though. Of course, now we have cell phones and far fewer problems, but that was when my currently 52 year old was only 18. She was fine but happy her aunt had talked her into it in my absence!
    Hope your daughter is doing well. That can be a real emergency as well. My sister had one at one time.

  • Mandy January 16, 2017

    Prayers for your daughter and your family. I hope she feels better quickly!

  • Lisa January 16, 2017

    I am so sorry about your daughter, but it is a blessing that she is ok. Prayers for your family.

  • momsav January 16, 2017

    Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers. She's going to be okay. She heard she was pregnant and not viable all in one breath. She lost a fallopian tube but she's alive to tell the tale. I can't wait to hug her!

  • Roberta in So. Cal. January 16, 2017

    So sorry to hear about your daughter, but I'm glad she's ok and that she has a strong support system. Praying for her and her husband as well.

  • Laurie in central NC January 16, 2017

    What brought me the most joy last week was listening to live music with friends. It was a small venue, with much dancing and singing along; a joyful place to be. Frugal things included picking lettuce, baking different breads & our sweet potatoes, gathering sticks to make biochar for our garden, hanging laundry on the line & heating with wood. Wishing you a good week ahead! I'm looking forward to reading everyone's comments.

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