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Frugal Accomplishments for the Third Week in March

Iris in Ginger Jar The Prudent Homemaker

I cut daffodils, nasturtiums, and iris from the garden to enjoy in the house. I shared more photos earlier this week in my Spring Home Tour.

I opened the windows to air out the house.

I traded Meyer lemons from the garden for two dozen eggs.

Leeks The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested leeks, Meyer lemons, snow peas, Swiss chard, parsley, arugula, and green onions from the garden.

I mended a pair of jeans and a coat sleeve.

I turned a toddler bodysuit that had torn by the snaps into a shirt by cutting it off just below the leg holes and sewing a narrow hem.

I figured out a solution to a need/want using something else I already had, rather than buying something new.

I decided to not purchase more maternity clothing for hot weather, though that had been part of my original plan for the year. When it was in the mid-70's in January, it looked like I was going to need more clothing for the end of my pregnancy. Since the weather turned unusually cool after that and is still cool, I can get by with what I have and not need to look for more at the thrift store. 

I saved my parents $100 on a mobile repair on their motorhome. I had made cookies, and my dad asked if he could have two: one for him and one for the repairman. One of my daughters brought over the two cookies and gave one to the repairman. He was so touched with the homemade cookie that he said he would take $100 off their bill, and he did!

I asked if a procedure was necessary (it wasn't), and saved $30 plus the gas and time to have it done.


What did you do to save money this past week?




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  • Mary March 24, 2018

    Hi to all. I have not commented in awhile, as things have not been frugal for us. I have been following every week and learn so much from many.
    I have been doing full loads of wash and full loads for dishwasher. Also, washing baggies. My husband and I have been better about eating up leftovers. Thankfully, my hubby takes his lunch to work.
    We almost never go out to eat, decided to eat at Applebee’s. I was able use a gift card to help pay for our very expensive meal. We probably will never go back, terrible service and the food - not great.
    We have only gotten tomatoes planted. Then have 3 orange trees all are flowering.
    Also we have not had to use heat or a/c for some time.
    I have done repairs this week to an old comforter I love that our puppy seems to love, she chews on it! Repaired and put away for now!
    I have been going out only for church and errands, combining them to once or twice a week. I guess I have been frugal! I’m rambling so I’ll stop .... have a great week all!

  • Athanasia March 28, 2018

    Mary, we had similar problem with that restaurant. My husband had received a gift certificate from there for $40 as a Christmas present from a homeowner he had done work for. Not everyone thinks about the fact that we don't drink alcohol, which also means avoiding places that serve alcohol. So we kind of put off the card but being me I could not see letting $40 go to waste and it was written out to our names. Finally it had been two years and the expiry date was upon us so we decided to order for carryout and carside pickup just to get the whole thing over. It was not impressive and reminded me why I do not like going out to eat.

  • Aw! The story of the cookies was cute and the flowers are lovely!

    Here everything seems to be breaking this month. I've felt kind of under siege of late, but we are getting by as well as we can.

    My list for the last two weeks can be found here...


  • Stephanie March 24, 2018

    I did a lot of baking this week: bread, buns for pulled pork sandwiches, cookies, and muffins using garden pumpkin from the freezer. I planted peas and spinach in the garden, harvested some of the arugula that has self-seeded itself all around my garden boxes. I finished pruning my fruit trees today, just in time, they're about to bloom. I started some marigold seeds indoors. I cut all my boys' hair this week. I was tempted to run to the grocery store tonight to buy some cream cheese for a dessert I wanted to make tomorrow, but found another tempting recipe that I already have all the ingredients for.

  • Athanasia March 28, 2018

    Stephanie, if you have time to do it, you can take your plain yogurt and let it strain in a sieve lined with cheesecloth. I have never tried it in frosting, though. Cream cheese keeps so well (unopened) that I always try to have a couple or more on hand so I don't run out.

  • Lorna March 24, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) .

    The flowers you picked from the gardens are just beautiful Brandy and would have been very cheery in the home on display.

    Here is how we saved this week in our home -

    Finances and eBay listings -
    - Listed 10 items in my internet shop taking advantage of free listings and saved $16.50 in listing fees.
    - Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 24.31% of the way there.
    - Made $4.50 in my internet shop from the sale of saved garden seeds which I will save in my PayPal account to build up.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Made a 1.4kg cheesecake for $10.07 made from homemade sweetened condensed milk, free lemons, cream cheese purchased on 55% off special saving $79.78 over purchasing one in the shops of equivalent quality.

    Grocery purchases -
    - Purchased 3 large family chickens weighing 8.05kg in total on special and coupled this with an extra 5% off using our vehicle roadside assist club gift cards saving $9.50 on usual prices.

    In the gardens -
    - Weeded 2 x 9 x 2mt garden beds.
    - Purchased 6 cubic metres of horse manure from our local horse stud for $40 for the gardens saving $1125.71 over buying it in bags at our local garden centre.
    - Spent 3 hours spreading and ploughing the manure into 2 garden beds saving $305.52 over the cost of hiring a gardener to do it.
    - DH mowed the house and back paddock lawns saving yet another $50.92 over hiring a gardener to do it.

    Electrical work & electricity savings -
    - Had an electrician friend come out and adjust our hot water system temperature for free saving $70 over hiring another electrician to do it for us. We did this so we only have to turn on the hot water system twice a week to save us on power costs. As friends we quite often trade or give our excess garden produce to this couple as they don't yet grow vegetables.
    - Only turned on our electric hot water system when the water needed to be heated.

    Water preservation -
    - Used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the house lawns, used dish rinsing water to water newly sprouted seeds in the gardens, and used rain water from our rain water tanks to supplement water newly sprouted vegetable seeds in the gardens and potted fruit trees on the back veranda saving on town water use.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .

  • Marybeth March 26, 2018

    That is great that your friend is an electrician. I'm sure he is very helpful. Fresh garden veggies is a great trade for work. I would love if family/friends did that when my husband helps them out.

  • Lorna March 26, 2018

    Hi Marybeth and it was a true blessing for us to be able to do this :) .

    I believe in the power of suggestion so perhaps your husband could mention oh would it be alright if I trade fixing this for e.g a couple of dozen eggs or some nice vegetables or whatever he sees that grows or is produced there at their homes or if he knows they have a skill that could do a favour in return for your family to fix something :).

    To a lot of people the old ways of saying thank you for helping by giving people things you produce at home or trading favour for a favour has died but it really should be revived again. We live in the country so it is a regular thing to give excess produce we have to neighbours , friends and those we see are on limited incomes that are struggling. Quite often we are blessed in return when these same people have extra produce they give us too. Either way regardless we are happy that we can help others and provide service when we can :).

  • Molly March 24, 2018

    I used some old flannel fabric I've had but had no ideas for to make 12 reusable nursing pads!

  • Cindi March 25, 2018

    I always feel such a sense of accomplishment when I use up something from my fabric stash!

  • Gardenpat March 24, 2018

    This has been a busy week for us! I was grateful to have bought corn flakes on sale a couple weeks back for 89 cents/box because I used some in funeral potatoes and again in chocolate chip crunch cookies that I brought to a funeral for the family luncheon afterwards.
    I used up some of my flannel stash to make up over 100 flannel Kleenex and then put them on our Facebook shop and have already sold 20 of them! Here’s a photo of some of them getting ready to send out. https://pin.it/ris7ya4njen4vr

    I bought another 10 pounds of chopped onions for $2 as well as 10 pounds of chopped celery ($2) and 10 pounds of shredded carrots ($2). I repackaged theonios andfroze the and dehydrated the celery and carrots!
    I picked up my Zaycon chicken breast (99 cents/pound) and shredded some and cubed some other! Still hav another 12 pounds to prepare and freeze.
    I took leftover homemade Mac and cheese from two nights ago and mixed it together with homemade chunky beef chili-Mac dinner tonight!
    Our chickens keep laying 6-8 eggs every day and so we will let some of our friends know who always like to buy eggs from us!
    Two vintage quilts that I made sold unexpectedly on Tuesday and the lady liked them so much that she gave me $30 extra over the asking price, sothat brought in an additional $200!
    We have almost finished the next soap cutter for a client who makes/sells Soaps!
    We have also almost finished another bookcase for a client!
    Hubby’s medical bills just came in from his heart surgery! Before insurance and deductions, they totaled over $100K, but afterwards we will pay around $6K! He’s worth it,!!!

    Hope everyone had a great week!!!!,

  • Mary March 25, 2018

    Your comment about medical bills and that your husband is worth it, really helps me. I have been stressing over a procedure and worried about $, but your comment really helps! Thank you!

  • Jan March 25, 2018

    I agree :) Hubby was diagnosed with Stage IV Esophageal cancer in mid January and it has turned our budget upside down. I'm thankful that we are in a good place right now that we can deal with this financially and mentally. I'm thankful that we shopped well for our health insurance (we pay for our own) as he has reached his maximum out of pocket for the year already and the coverage is good. His health and life is worth more than anything to me at this time.

  • Sheila March 26, 2018

    Jan , I am sorry for the trial your husband and you are going through. I hope that his treatment will go well and know he is thankful to have you by his side.

  • Athanasia March 28, 2018

    Jan, I pray all the best for your husband and his health. The last line you wrote is so wonderful.

  • Marcia R. March 25, 2018

    I received a bill this week for medical for myself but it had been sent to my secondary insurance first, (they paid 0) and then sent to my primary. I asked them to please resubmit to my secondary insurance, because they should pay it. I notice this happens frequently, in spite of my reminders which is primary and which is secondary. It's important to check every time--at least it always saves me money when I do.

  • Siiri March 26, 2018

    Flannel Kleenexes look so professionally made, probably because of the pretty edges!

  • Lisa March 26, 2018

    The flannel kleenex are lovely. So nice to have the sales of those and the quilts.

  • PJGT March 27, 2018

    I so understand! We are still paying on our daughter's head injury medical bills. She is worth it, too. We'll said.

  • Patty from the NW March 24, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    Those are amazing leeks~ what will you make with these? Even though it has been a rainy and with even some wet snow here in the Washington today ( which is unusual for here ) I do have green onions in my garden . My garden each year usually starts later due to waiting for the last frost.
    This week, I have been using storage food and meat from the freezer. I have made 2 vegetable soups this week and also used up some meat that I had for 2 meals. In my freezer, I still have a very large turkey breast, 2 beef roasts, ground beef packages from last holiday season to spread out for the next 2 months. In the meantime, I will only buy meat, potatoes and fresh salad vegetables on sale to replenish the storage. I had a set goal of about $125.00 this month for our food budget and so far I am on track :) I have $40.00 left for this budget month and I am looking for an organic large chicken to make bone broth and use the meat for several dishes. The bone broth is good for decreasing the pain in my arthritis. The meat will go for at least 4 meals .
    That's really wonderful that the repair man took $100.00 off of the bill. i have never heard of someone doing this in a business~ such a blessing for your parents and also for him to enjoy your cookie. They must have been really good cookies :)
    My husband is home with a cold, and is never ill so we are staying home this weekend and not driving anywhere. He is resting a lot but not feeling very well with congestion and coughing. I had some medication saved that I used for bronchitis a couple of years ago, and gave him a dose which is helping. He is resting better. Hopefully this will not turn into more of a serious infection.
    I hope you will have a wonderful weekend~ and Easter week. We are planning on dinner with only the two of us as our grown children are all in different areas and states so it will be a quiet day for us. We will go to a sunrise service at the beautiful Memorial park here in our town. They always have such a lovely service and since this is a small town, I know many who attend. I bring flowers to my son who passed away from an illness 14 years ago at the age of 15 , and it is always a blessing to me to be there. Then after, we will go to our church service which is lovely. I love Easter, and the hope that it brings.
    What will you be cooking for Easter? I have looked at your Easter dinner menu on your website. This looks so yummy. I'm trying to figure out what to make for us as it is only my husband and I this year.
    Blessings, Patty from the NW

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