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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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  • Athanasia March 15, 2017

    Marcia, how fortuitous you had bought that generator. It is nice to have those things before you need them. Our lights only flickered during the 3 days and nights of high wind here so we did not have to use ours. Some trees went down but not on lines.

  • Kim March 13, 2017

    Thank you so much for sharing the pics of your family Brandy-such a pleasure.

    This hasn't been a very frugal time for us. My mother-in-law passed away and they live 4 plus hours from us so my husband has made that trip many times in the last couple weeks. That meant lots of extra gas/food expense. This week we will have the added expense of a hotel room when we go for the funeral service. At least we had the money in savings to cover the extra expenses so that allows us to focus on our loss. She was 90 years old and passed peacefully in her sleep- no pain or suffering which is such a blessing.

    We live in the Pacific Northwest and have had a cold, wet winter. I was getting a little tired of wearing the same old sweaters to work so I made some frugal changes. I took a cashmere sweater and made it into a pullover vest. It fits much better this way and allows me to wear a different look. I took one of my wool turtlenecks and cut off the turtleneck and made it into a rounded collar- again a different look for no cost. While I had my sewing machine out, I hemmed a pair of pants for my son.

    My mother-in-law always had a couple large Christmas cactus plants in her living room so my husband brought home a start and it has started to root. We plan on giving the plant to our son as a reminder of his grandmother. I also got a start of an African violet plant from a co-worker and it is also doing well. I like getting plants for free.

  • Roberta in So. Cal. March 13, 2017

    So sorry for your loss. The Christmas cactus sounds like a lovely way to remember your MIL.

  • Athanasia March 15, 2017

    Kim, I am sorry for the loss of your mother in law. A funeral, though sad, can be a wonderful time of reminiscing and reconnecting with relatives.

  • Hilogene in Az March 13, 2017

    Hi Brandy,
    As Cindi said in her comment, what a wonderful way to get a smile on my face early this morning just from looking at your photos of your kids! Great pictures and really well done. Thank you for sharing them. Now for the frugal activities:
    -Made split pea and ham soup. The ham I bought on sale at Christmas and had sliced and frozen for later use! Freezers are wonderful tools! Extra soup was frozen for a later appearance.
    -ate soup for two dinners and one breakfast for dinner
    -continued to eat from the pantry and freezer but it is slow going with only the two of us. Picked out five different recipes to help spice up meals a bit from the usuals.
    -Used electricity off peak
    -Had a bee invasion that cost $495 but the bees are out of the kitchen! One night I went to cook dinner, I put a frying pan on the stove and a bee dropped into it, then another bee....they were coming through the exhaust vent. Acckkkk.
    -Had a $7.99 great clips haircut (versus $45 when I went to a "salon"), no discernible difference in how my hair looks since my hair has a very simple style ;).
    -Went online and comparison shopped for dog treats, amazing variation in prices!
    -had lunch with a girlfriend at a great place where the coupon paid for our shared lunch and the only costs were beverages.
    -set aside money from tax refunds and insurance refund to pay for our upcoming March vacation. Won't need to use our summer vacation fund, hopefully!
    -my goal in march is to go grocery shopping one day a week, through mid month I have gone on three different days, so pretty close, and my spending is less.
    -for joy, the days and evenings here are wonderful temperatures and we have loved being outside walking or riding, or just sitting watching sunrises and sunsets over the desert. So lucky to be here and able to appreciate the world around us. My niece, 27 years old, is a professional soccer player and is playing in Iceland this year, I am really having fun seeing her photos of Iceland and what the world looks like there! Technology is so amazing where I can see video of her train ride across Iceland within hours of her taking the train.

  • Kerri March 19, 2017

    I too got a haircut at great clips and it looked exactly like my 3 times as much salon cut.

  • Linda shields March 13, 2017

    Beautiful Octavious. So precious. You are such a good Mom to them all.

  • Krissy in Sacramento March 13, 2017

    Some of you know that my dryer died and that I'm planning to buy a new one and also a new washing machine to replace my ancient, low capacity one. We have been doing tons of research and my husband suggested that I ask here if anyone has a modern, HE washer without a center agitator? If so, what is your experience? Specifically with cleanliness, noise levels, problems with balancing the washer? And are the water levels problematic at all? My husband's research has shown many issues with the above on the models we're considering. Thanks in advance! Any help is appreciated...I know if I can trust anyone, it's all of you!

  • Jennifer March 14, 2017

    A friend who is the local appliance guy here steered us away from the central agitator. He said they had many many more repairs than the standard central agitator models and (generally) weren't lasting more than 2 years before something catastrophic went wrong.

  • Kim March 14, 2017

    I have a LG mid-priced model without a center agitator. Holds more, washes well. No issues. My primary complaint is that it will not fill with water until the clothes are in the machine and will not soak for more than an hour. Water level is determined solely by the machine unless you pick the "bulky" wash. My set is three years old.

  • Renee McCrory March 21, 2017

    No agitator is so nice when you have large loads, especially sheets. No balancing the load just dump inside. Love it! Never had a problem with unbalanced loads either. Our machine kind of makes a few swishes with no water to balance the load, the machine determines the water needed and it fills to what it determines the clothes need. I hope I'm not jinxing myself but we have had NO service and our machine is around 3-4 years old too! Clothes always come out clean too!

  • sue March 14, 2017

    My husband is an appliance repair man and will never buy a Samsung appliance. He would steer you towards Whirlpool.
    But does say none of them are anything to write home about and don't expect them to last like your old ones.

  • Renee McCrory March 21, 2017

    Nothing lasts like the old appliances. My parents had the same W/D, refrigerator, etc for years without problem. These days you're doing good if you can get 10 years of use out of an appliance. Sad really.

  • Kalli March 16, 2017

    If you can find a speed queen retailer near you I would look into that. I have loved mine. They are all metal parts and basic. They are not computerized, which is just another thing to go wrong, in my opinion. They last years and years. My mom has had hers close to 10 years and it still runs beautifully.

  • Juls Owings March 16, 2017

    I've had all and went back to a wringer washer(front loader, top loader, no agitator with agitator). Really I did. BUT with my health issues Hubby won't use it. I got a whirlpool WITH agitator and DEEP WASH cycle so it will add more water than what the weight says. Just push the button and it adds 6 more gals of water. Got it from hhgreg. Some say it's noisy me the front loader was the worse. For clean, WATER is what gets it clean the most, low water levels can cause soap build up. HE will use more electric also as they run longer to get the clothes clean. Best friend does appliance repairs for decades for living. Hoping he doesn't retire any time soon LOL

  • Alisa McNeely March 19, 2017

    I absolutely love my washer without the agitator. I have found that clothes are lasting longer as well as my towels.

  • Renee McCrory March 21, 2017

    I agree!

  • Renee McCrory March 21, 2017

    We have a Samsung HE top loader without agitator. Love it! Never had any problems, except when you finish you have to open the detergent 'drawer' and top open for ventilation. Otherwise my daughter 'thinks' it smells. (Which I have never noticed.) But, I have heard others say this is an issue. Highly recommend.

  • Roberta in So. Cal. March 13, 2017

    The pictures of your kids are so sweet. Winter is such a good big sister.

    We had a pretty good week here.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Ate all home-prepared meals.

    * Continued to work through items in the freezers and pantry (and garden).

    * Hubs was able to work from home two days.

    * Harvested snow peas, green onions, lemons, Swiss chard, lettuce, and nasturtium blossoms. (I added the blossoms to a salad. I didn't notice any particular change to the taste, but--wow--the color they added was amazing.)

    * Collected eggs.

    * Gave produce trimmings to the hens (or composted what they won't eat).

    * Had a yard sale and made $39--not a lot, but we just wanted to move things out. Our biggest ticket item was $5. This money will go towards our son's Eagle project. (Plus, it is so nice to get rid of things that have just been taking up space. We took what didn't sell to Goodwill. Now it's time to start collecting things for the next yard sale. ;))

    * Hubs fixed a broken sprinkler head/pipe. The weather has warmed up quite a bit, so we've actually had to run the sprinklers a time or two.

    * Used a $15-off coupon for new customers of to buy dog food and dog biscuits. Our order also qualified for free shipping.

    Simple Joys:

    * Sunday (3/5) was chilly and rainy, so we popped popcorn and played a new game (Forbidden Island) in front of a crackling fire in the fireplace. (Our son won the game at a Scout bridging ceremony, and we have all been enjoying it.)

    * Our iris are really blooming and are a reminder to me to "Consider the lilies of the field . . . ."

    * Watching a fledgling foraging for food, which made me think of the hymn "His Eye is on the Sparrow."

    * Listening to our wind chimes.

    * The fragrance of orange and apple blossoms. Ahhhh!

    Have a great week, everyone!

  • Libby March 13, 2017

    Love, love, love the sheer joy on Octavius' face. Feel as if I can taste the snow peas and hear them crunch in my mouth!

    • Hung load of laundry up to dry x 2
    • Met a friend for dinner and I had an entrée and drank water, brought home the leftovers and ate them for dinner the following night
    • Made swagbucks goal x 2
    • Roasted asparagus & cooked glazed pork chops from Budget Bytes, made beef with barley soup, and ham fried rice
    • Grocery shopped at two stores for best prices. Bought 12 pounds of banana at 39 cents/pound. After they fully ripen, I’ll freeze the bananas for smoothies and put the peels into the compost.
    • Cut forsythia branches and gave to neighbor for her to force inside

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