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Frugal Accomplishments For the Second Week of March

Open Door in Spring The Prudent Homemaker

It was so incredibly beautiful this week.

I cut daffodils from the garden for the table.

We celebrated a simple birthday celebration for a child at home.

Snow Peas and Radishes The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested radishes, cilantro, snow peas, green onions, and Swiss chard from the garden.

We went through clothing, packing up cold weather clothes and taking out summer clothes, including doing what I call "The Big Swap" where we hand down clothing to younger sibling as well as pack up outgrown clothing to be passed down at some point. I also went through several items in my closet, and found that several of my blouses are now too large, but that several other items I own still fit just fine--only better! We put aside several large bags of outgrown clothing to donate.

Naptime The Prudent Homemaker

My husband cut two sons' hair.

I turned some old broken jewelry that I've had for many years into some new jewelry for myself.

I mended a few leaks in the drip irrigation.

We said yes to offers of a hand-me-down bicycle and a scooter from two different people.

The children hopped around on a couple of pogo sticks that my mom picked up at a garage sale for $3 each.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

Octavius walking The Prudent Homemaker

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Comments

  • Marybeth March 14, 2017

    That would be my Mom. So funny!

  • Athanasia March 15, 2017

    Rhonda, green olives and black olives are something I check for sales on every time I am at a store. We go through a lot. We like sliced green olives on pizza and we use them in a chicken and rice casserole I make. I have noticed that they are more expensive :(

  • lisa March 15, 2017

    I loved this so much. My children claim I am a dinosaur. I finally have gotten a smart phone but still cant figure out how to listen to my voice mails. I figure I really didn't want to hear them anyway........ Much less stressful.

  • Mandy March 13, 2017

    Love the pictures! I can't believe he's walking already!
    Last week:
    Attempted to turn some grape juice no one was drinking into grape jelly, not sure how that turned out yet.
    Used up some leftovers and froze some we wouldn't be using for awhile.
    Made more deodorant, bread, pumpkin bread, various soups and casseroles for suppers last week
    took another car full to Goodwill to donate, planned all errands to run together and drive the most efficient route.
    Found one more bill to switch to email billing rather than paper
    made a grocery list over the week and stuck to it and was also able to use a few coupons I had in my purse for items I was purchasing anyways to save some more.
    Have a great week everyone!

  • Gardenpat March 13, 2017

    Finished one more baby quilt for my gift drawer and have another scrap baby quilt top finished! I allow myself 2 hours to sew with the timer on and then I have to work in kitchen, declutter, or do something else that is on my to-do list!
    This morning I made a batch of 15 pumpkin butterscotch muffins to rotate out a can of pumpkin on my pantry shelf and after 3 were eaten at breakfast, I fit 6 muffins each into foil loaf pans from Dollar Tree that I got a while back 4/$1! One pan with labeled lid is out for eating this week and the second pan of 6 is labeled and in the freezer so I can pull it out some other time in the future for an easy breakfast option!
    From the dinner I prepared for our ladies at Church Thursday night, I had leftover chicken fettuccine Alfredo that we have had for a family dinner at home and packaged the rest into individual portions in our Rubbermaid containers for easy grab and go lunch options.
    We had 2 loaves of French bread that became hero burgers for dinner with leftovers portioned into gra and go lunch options too!
    4 plain bagels got toasted this morning. I added the 4 last sausage patties from my freezer, eggs and cheese slices to make up 4 sausage, egg and cheese bagels and put them in my fridge container of breakfast grab and go!
    You can probably tell that I like to streamline lunch and breakfast options to avoid "Stop and drop $5-$10" fast food options on the way to work! Amazing how much we can save just by 30 minutes here or there in advance prep!!
    Our coffee table from pallet wood is finished and loaded up to take to our client tonight! It went very quickly and we're anxious to get started on our next projects!
    Our weather was too cold, snowy and wet to work on the chicken coop but tonight after work we will brave the chilly weather to dig and set in the 4 x 4 posts (free recycled from another project of ours) for the coop framework! We marked it off early this morning.
    I have another bag to go as a donation to Goodwill almost filled as I declutter and organize! What a good feeling!
    I did my son's taxes and since he is now an employee rather than an outside consultant, he is getting over $1800 back in refund (almost the amount he just paid to buy a car this month!) I then prepared our taxes, hoping that we wouldn't owe as much as we typically have in the past 5 years ($1700- $2500) and was thrilled to see that because of some financial changes we made, that we are getting almost $800 back this year instead of paying!!! Hurray!!
    A friend will be bringing over 2 wing back chairs for me to reupholster for her so that will bring in some more unplanned income and I just deposited another $6 Pinecone survey check! Every little bit helps!
    Spring will becoming. I know it will! So, this week I will plant my potatoes!
    We have been amazingly blessed and are truly grateful!!

  • Sheeba m March 14, 2017

    Hi Gardenpat : your comment on upholstering caught my eyes n interest so I have to ask...is there a source online that you use to get your upholstery materials? Also wat would you need to upholstery dining chairs without studs or embellishment? Also wat kind of fabric do you use? Have you used outdoor canvas material? Looking for something inexpensive.
    Sheeba

  • Becky March 13, 2017

    We had company again, and served tacos, again. I love serving taco bar to guests because it takes care of any dietary allergies, etc.--they can each build it with the ingredients they can have. We had them 3-4 times last week, and no one complained around here because it's a favorite. I was glad I had made so many refried beans and bought the huge packages of tortillas from Costco and Cash and Carry a couple of weeks ago. However, the chicken Saturday night tasted really, really good, I will admit.

    We were able to reduce our electric bill by 25%, which was significant. I'm not sure why it was so high last month, (I have some ideas) but we deliberately focused on getting it down, and I'm glad it was less.

    I posted more on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com

  • Jennifer March 13, 2017

    Better week this week.

    Cooked all meals at home. Packed all my lunches. Mended a pair of leggings. Mended a shoe. New mop covers and bucket are working well, so far less laundry. I mended a quilt that a dog had chewed the edge of. Found the original material and binding int he scrap bin to repair it good as new.

    Dog needed a bath, but it rained, so we went and played in the rain. With some rubs and pats and a good dry off, I got him much cleaner. Not perfect, but cleaner.

    I skipped grocery shopping this week- except for redeeming a rain check on egg noodles (got a years's supply and then some). I was impressed I restrained myself from even looking for anything else I "needed" since I don't "need" anything.

    Stopped for Happy Hour at the VFW for a drink and to visit. I walked in just as someone bought a round for the bar. So yay! I will reciprocate on another week.

    I ordered some vegetable and herb seeds from the high school to support their FFA program. For $4 I will get 22 packages of vegetable and herb seeds. What I don't use will be passed onto my church's seed bin for people to drop off unwanted seeds for people in need to plant their own gardens.

    Otherwise a quiet week/weekend at home.

    Joys - Almost finished with student registration!! Seriously, why don't parents return calls or emails from their kids teachers/ the school??! Got the fun of the clothes I bought beginning to arrive. Everything so far has been of good quality and fits well.

  • Athanasia March 15, 2017

    Jennifer, I like your dog's "rain bath".

  • Laurie in central NC March 13, 2017

    Beautiful photos of your lovely children. Winter reading a book while holding Octavius reminds me of myself when I was her age... any chance to read is a good one. Of course, I still feel the same, just don't get to do so during the busy days anymore. But it's still a pleasure at bedtime too. Our peas are up and growing; hoping they'll produce before the weather gets hot. I'm gathering eggs and harvesting lettuce, chard, herbs and a few asparagus. Happy to be joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/03/a-snowy-sunday-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • Cara in OH March 13, 2017

    Hello Everyone from Snowy Ohio! Most of us here in NWOhio are bracing for a March snowstorm...it's cold, wet and snowy outside! Brandy, your photos have me dreaming of Summer! This week:
    *my neighbor brought over 4 bags of dark, leafy greens she wasn't going to use. She also gave my children 'St. Patrick's Day' Lucky Charms. I NEVER buy these, so it was a total treat for my children!!
    *I used my neighbors treadmill to walk many mornings. They give me a key to the shop where the treadmill is and I can walk anytime.
    *my mom gave me a bag of Peanut 'Easter' M&M's- a nice treat!
    *made a meal for a family from church who just had a baby. I took the same food over to my parents for dinner too- fed 11 people spending just $8 extra dollars. Most of the food for that dinner came from pantry items
    *had a nurse friend remove my stitches from my finger, saving a doctor visit and co-pay.
    *made a big batch of pizza crust. Made this recipe into 12 personal size pizzas and froze the semi-cooked crusts for quick lunches/dinners
    *I received free Family Fun and Parents mags in the mail
    *I took 2 Pinecone surveys
    *I redeemed some Pinecone points with a Starbucks e-card. Added the value of that card to my current Starbucks app
    *I attended a woman's retreat Friday overnight into Saturday. It was a free weekend, paid for by past participants of this weekend. It was a wonderful time in God's presence, making new friends, getting away, eating great food and being encouraged!
    *my family ate lunch at my parents house after church Sunday.
    *I continued with the usual- meals at home, library for movies and books, turned down heat, turned off lights, air-dried laundry, etc.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  • Patty from the NW March 13, 2017

    Good morning from the Puget Sound.
    I love your Spring pictures and the harvest from your garden~ :) . We are not as fortunate here as it has rained so much for so long . We have also had snow / rain mix for a few weeks. It is cold and wet and days of clouds.. and my arthritis is causing so much pain. I am really thinking about moving to a warmer/dryer climate in a couple of years when my husband retires. We have been praying about this.
    I am fascinated with your talent of taking old jewelry and turning into new jewelry for yourself. Where did you learn how to do this? Do you have certain tools that you use? It would be wonderful to see your finished project :)
    Your son is getting so big so fast~ and the picture of Winter is beautiful.
    This last week I needed to replenish our groceries as we had used up so much from our pantry and freezer in the last couple of months. I chose to bulk buy enough meats and canned foods and supplies to last for about 2 months which was a cost of about $400.00. This would average out to about $200.00/month for my husband and myself . I still have a few items in my freezer I can use for soups and a turkey ( I bought in Fall sales) I will bake for our Easter dinner .
    My garden area has been frozen and too cold to plant seeds yet , so I will still need to replenish our fresh greens from the stores.
    I made a very large pot of spaghetti sauce yesterday and will package this into smaller portions to use over the next 2 months. This has worked very well in the past as I could use what I wanted and not have so much leftover sauce.

    I made homemade dog food recipe for our sweet 20 lb dog . I freeze it into 2 tbs packages and mix 1 pkg / day with dry kibble. I just do not trust the canned dog food for him. It is so much more less expensive and very healthy for him.
    Have a wonderful week..
    Blessings
    Patty from the NW

  • Marybeth March 14, 2017

    I have been making my dog food for about 3 years. The vet said she is very healthy. I do 1/2 cup of homemade with 1/4 cup kibble twice a day, as per the vet. It is so much cheaper and I know exactly what she is eating. I make a large batch every one to two weeks and freeze some of it.

  • Alisa McNeely March 19, 2017

    I make long grain rice with some chopped cooked chicken livers and gizzards. I freeze them in bags and give it to my dog a couple times a week mixed with kibble. It stretches the dog food and my baby loves it.

  • Jo March 13, 2017

    Love the pictures! I'm a sucker for babies anyway.
    I wrapped a birthday gift for a toddler in white paper from a huge roll I bought years ago, and decorated it with brightly colored ribbon from my used ribbon and bow stash. The tissue was from a gift given to me a while back -- I always neatly fold it and re-use it.
    I chopped up a bell pepper that was past its prime and put it in homemade coleslaw, where it seems as crunchy and delicious as the rest of the slaw, now.
    I mended a pair of Goodwill slacks. The hook at the waist was coming loose.
    I managed to eat enough samples while grocery shopping, I didn't need lunch. I only eat one per stand, but sometimes there are a lot of stands!
    My husband and I emptied last year's containers for growing veggies into a raised bed that we just built with free-to-us wall blocks. I won't need to buy much soil, and the soil we had used in the containers was top quality. I'll add castings from my earthworms to enrich the soil.
    I washed my dogs again instead of using a groomer. I'm also adding grapefruit seed extract to their drinking water in tiny amounts; it's supposed to help ward off fleas, which can be a huge problem here in Florida. Chemical flea medications are expensive, can be dangerous - they gave our old dog a seizure -- and quit working in a few years as the fleas gain immunity. I'm told that fleas won't grow immune to grapefruit seed extract. I hope that's right and that it works.
    What's bringing me joy --
    The mild winter we've had promises more bugs this summer, ugh, but also brings us a tree full of juicy, sweet loquats, which normally get frozen out by a late frost.
    Getting hugs from my granddaughters.
    The hope that our plants will be successful this year and give us plenty of produce for fresh eating. Some years it works, some years not, but I feel hopeful each spring and feel real joy, digging in the dirt.

  • Sabrina March 19, 2017

    Minced garlic in dog food also works to get rid of flies and ticks on dogs. Makes their blood taste like garlic and flies and ticks dont like.

  • Sabrina March 19, 2017

    Fleas.

  • Christina Black March 13, 2017

    Oh wow, he's so cute and getting so big. Thank you for sharing pictures. : )

    We attended a free event at the library where we made jar gardens. (completely free!) My son also attended a free indoor playground.

    Here are the other things I did recently to save money:
    http://2minimize.blogspot.com/2017/03/recent-frugal-efforts.html

  • Cindy in the South March 13, 2017

    Brandy, your children are too cute for words!!! Wow, look at Octavius walk!!!! So precious!!! I traveled all over the place for work this week, traveling over 400 miles total, with long 12 hour days, not including travel time. I was tired by the weekend, and slept a lot, so I guess that was frugal....lol Sunday, we had stake conference that was "moonbeamed" into our little branch church. The picture was a bit off, but at least you could hear it really well. It was delightful and I loved hearing about following the promptings of the Spirit. I did go to Walmart and bought ham. I have been enjoying ham sandwiches for lunch. I also have been eating leftover pumpkin and vegetable soup from my freezer, as well as collards and cornbread.

  • Marcia March 13, 2017

    We had some weather last week and are about to have some more. On Wednesday, we had a wind storm--with NO precipitation--that included gusts up to 72 mph in our area. My town was one of the worst hit--it knocked down trees, power poles, wires and roofing shingles. We spent 47 hours with no power. I was in the midst of making a casserole when it happened--had it all together except the sauce. After waiting a couple hours to see if the power would come back, my husband turned on the generator we bought after the last big storm, and we were ok. It will run everything except the electric oven--I found I could use one burner with no adverse effects, so I made the sauce and then cooked the casserole in the microwave. The second day, I made applesauce on the burner and served it still warm with the second half of the casserole from the night before. We ran the generator when we were awake, so were able to use the TV, dishwasher, computers, lights, and kept the fridge and freezer going. We turned it off for safety while we slept and the coldest it got in the bedroom was 63 degrees F. Just chilly, not really cold. We were lucky that we decided to buy that generator---made waiting out the power outage much more comfortable. Even the water (heated by the furnace) was warm enough to wash up at the sink, despite not wanting to chance a real shower. It felt really good to shower on the third day when it came back on!
    We celebrated SIL's birthday, and grand-daughter's last week. Grand-daughter entertained us at her apartment--I made the cake (angel food--had to go to my sister's to bake it, as her power was on the whole time!) and my daughter stopped and bought ice cream on the way. So we had a little party for her before her friends visited her later that evening. She says that is the LAST birthday she is celebrating but I don't think she will get away with that. She turned 25--makes me feel old to have her reach that age!!
    Yesterday I made a double batch of granola (as I do every week) and used all the oatmeal. So this week I have to get to the Amish store and buy some. My sister wants to know where the store is anyhow, so I hope I can give her a call and take her with me.
    Some of that will depend on the weather--we are awaiting the start of what is supposed to be a three day snowstorm--with wind and a foot and a half of snow at least. It has started snowing lightly in the past half hour, as predicted! I have a few jobs in mind that can be done inside during a snowstorm! And a new Mexican casserole I copied off the internet which I want to try.
    I did stock up on some groceries for the second week in a row--saving 26% off $143 with coupons and sales did make me happy, though. Lots of BOGOs both weeks. I needed brown rice and was waiting for it to go on sale--2, 2# bags for $3.19 is not the greatest bargain but it's the best I get. We also enjoyed store bought giant muffins, cherry almond in flavor, at 4/$2.99. I don't normally buy bakery things but the muffins were a treat. We cut them in half so they lasted quite a few days. They are far too large for one serving. A flavor I wouldn't have made at home, too. I should not need much the rest of the month--cleaning supplies and toiletries were included in the purchases as well. We certainly do use a lot of mouthwash in this house! We are both super conscientious about brushing and flossing and rinsing as we have had much dental work in our pasts. Prevention is cheaper, but not cheap. Still using up my frozen butternut squash from two harvests ago--I didn't freeze any last fall because so much was left. We had it twice last week and will continue using it as long as the weather is cold. We have had a couple very spring like days, but they have disappeared for now. The chill factor was below zero a couple nights ago, and the breeze so chilly that it hit my asthmatic lungs on the way into granddaughter's apartment, and left me coughing halfway up the stairs, where I had to stay until I could catch my breath again. We only parked across the street from her place too. I am READY for spring!
    I enjoyed the photos of Octavius--so grown up looking already, and so obviously enjoying sprinting off by himself! He is adorable. We will be having a new grand-nephew in about three months--not that many babies in our family right now, although we have quite a few people finishing up their college educations and starting careers--babies can't be too far in the future for a couple of them. One niece is finishing her Master's in teaching this semester and her husband will be starting his Master's in the fall--so they are only halfway to that goal so far. Another niece just landed the job of her dreams and was so excited to go buy four new tires for her car and PAY CASH FOR THEM! They are learning good lessons along the way.

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