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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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  • Terri March 25, 2018

    What a sweet story about the cookie! I was actually thinking of commenting on one of your recent posts or Instagram pictures about your abundance of Meyer lemons. I was thinking of suggesting selling some of the excess to friends or neighbors, but it sounds like you are already a few steps ahead of me with bartering for eggs with them. That's a great trade!

    I've been blogging my frugal accomplishments every day over at my blog, but here are a few highlights:

      I have been using my cheap Zaycon Fresh chicken breasts to make meals this week. Tonight I made copy-cat Chipotle chicken rice bowls that were soooo tasty. I think I spent less than $8 and the food is enough for 4 meals for my husband and I. Yesterday I was running errands in the next town over and I stopped in a thrift store that I don't usually get to shop at. This store had a ton of brand new, with tags, Lularoe brand clothing. I got several pieces of clothing for myself and a piece of fabric for the same price as one new Lularoe dress. And I used a 20% off coupon to save more money. I've been working on several embroidery and sewing projects. It's been the week for getting rid of stuff we don't use. We made 3 trips to the thrift store to drop off donations. And today some acquaintances of ours came and picked up shelves that we aren't using. Getting rid of things we don't use helps us to feel happier with the space we have and not want to buy a larger home. I picked up a bag of hair bows and a box of 5 toilet cleaning tablets from a couple members of my Buy Nothing Group.

  • Jenny April 01, 2018

    Terry, would you share your blog please? I love to follow frugal blogs!

  • Melissa V March 25, 2018

    *I clipped the nails on my in-laws Golden Retriever and they insist on paying me $25 for it - says it is a skill I should be paid for - I look at it as something I can actually do for then. I also got the front nails clipped on our three but still have to do their rear ones.
    *Stocked up on gluten free foods at the discount grocery store - $1.49 bread and $1.99 quick freezer meals and waffles.
    I hit up a church sale and found 3 pairs of jeans for $1 each, shorts for my hubby and sweat pants for my son, a flannel shirt, 2 pairs of socks, a tank in the perfect color of blue to go under a blouse I already own, a drawer to hold the coffee pods that sits under the Kuerig (I keep pods on hand for guests and hubby's hot cocoa - I use a re-usable cup), a new kitchen towel and a huge fake ivy plant that perfectly takes up the top of my new to me (actually antique) corner cabinet, and Duplo Legos that will go to my inlaws for the grand kids - total was $19.
    *We only paid $50 for the cabinet mentioned and I finally have a safe place to put my "treasures) again.
    *We saved half off the dog's and cat's food - the store has a new frequent feeder reward program but couldn't transfer the amount of bags over so instead we got a percentage off our purchase and those bags counted towards the new records.
    *We were given a new faucet for our kitchen sink but it is missing the handle - hubby is trying to figure out how to order the part.
    *We are getting 2 new windows and saved $125 per window for attending a home show + several other discounts. One of the windows is single pane, no longer closes entirely (you can see daylight around the edges it is so warped) and it;s on the north side of the house plus our huge picture window. It is almost 40 years old and the side windows no longer have screens and Freya put her butt thru one of them when the Danes got running around doing "zoomies" and we didn't get them out to the yard fast enough. These 2 changes should help with energy costs in the winter and summer.
    *We have had a week of cold windy days but the sun is out so my little greenhouse is nice and toasty. I have broccoli, peas and lettuce up and noticed yesterday that the sweet william has sprouted. I planted more broccoli, lettuce, chives and bunching onions as well as zinnias and cauliflower and I started my tomatoes and peppers in the house (greenhouse still gets too cold at night for these to sprout)
    *I added a embroidered bit of jeans that I had saved from a pair of capris that had ripped out, onto a pair of too short of jeans. I have another pair to do this to yet. I mended one of hubby's shirts and one of mine.
    *I repaired a rug that was in a 5th wheel trailer I demolished last summer. Whatever it is made of, it is horrible to put needles thru - my machine wouldn't do it so I did it by hand. I then sewed non skid rubber backing to it that I picked up at the dollar store. It works perfect at the bottom of the stairs to make a contrast between the last step and the flooring - I kept missing the bottom step and fell a couple times - that's the last thing hubby needs to do!
    *We started our "cat wall" project using supplies we had on hand. We are hoping this will help with the bullying behavior we have going on between the 8 year old female cat and 2 of the two year old boys.
    *I "fixed" the rip in the back of our new to us sectional couch with clear gorilla tape. This tape has held up thru a winter on my greenhouse panels that were cracked so it should hold up well on the couch - expensive but worth it!
    *I took a load of stuff to Goodwill and got a donation slip for our tax returns.
    *We bought a new dehydrator - my old Excalibur wouldn't heat any longer and they no longer sell parts or service that model (it was almost 40 years old). After lots of back and forth reading reviews and figuring out how much I actually dry, we decided on a Cabella's 80 liter commercial one. It was on sale and we used our credit card to get the points and then paid it off. It is soooo much quieter than my old one and dries things much faster which should mean lower energy costs even though it is larger. The only downfall is the amount of floor space it takes up - it is too large to sit on a counter and needs too much space around it to fit in where an unused dishwasher now sits (I have 2 dishwashers - the unused one is in what used to be my daycare area) so I still haven't found a good "home" for it to sit in permanently.
    *I had to get new glasses and didn't realize how bad my old ones really were until I put the new ones on and the world became much brighter. The old ones were so scratched that I was looking thru a haze. I needed to go to a progressive lens (bi-focal would have been cheaper but harder to get used to due to the line) but I can now see the keys on the scales at work AND driving at night is much less stressful. I chose to go with a single vision for my second pair (free) and did sunglasses - I have not had sunglasses in years because of how thick my lenses are unless I get the edges rolled and polished (which equals more $$). This will make summer boating and fishing much easier on my eyes! We again used the credit card for the points and then paid it off.
    *We purchased screws at the Habitat Re-store $2 for a pound or so? Much cheaper than at the big box stores. I also dismantled the old sectional and saved all the screws to be re-used and the rest of the metal will go in my Dad's scrap pile - he turns it in for $$ when it get's large enough to be worth the trip. The fabric went in the trash and we'll burn the wood - it is far to brittle due to age to use for building. I also sent all the metal from my old dehydrator to the scrap pile as well.
    *I brought banana bread home for the guys from the baker at work. I have tried many of her treats she makes however, I have noticed that they may look much more beautiful than my creations but the taste doesn't compare - it definitely isn't worth the $-$ they are charging which saves me money. I also have begun looking at things as "how many hours of work will that cost me?" It changes the perspective a bit on a steak dinner.
    *I brought home a pickle bucket from work but this one will be used for tools for an emergency situation. Far too often, the tools are scattered and I want a bucket with hand tools that can be grabbed quickly if need be. I am starting to pick up tools for cheap at garage sales and the freebies from Harbor Freight.
    I think that's it for now - I hope you all have a good week!

  • Linda G March 25, 2018

    What free tools from Harbor Freight? Do you need to be a member?

  • Juls Owings March 26, 2018

    Linda G March 25 2018 You can sign up for Harbor Freight online. They will send coupons to you or you can get them online. Both Hubby and son are signed up... NO COST TO YOU.

  • Melissa V March 26, 2018

    Zipties (not really a tool but very, very useful), screw drivers, pliers, small flashlights, batteries. I am hoping they may add a hammer to the coupons at some point and I already have hand saws. I will also add duct tape and nails.

  • Holly March 25, 2018

    Last week was not thrifty at all. I am not going into the details how I was a spendthrift other than to say we had a couple of really pricy meals from drive-thrus. I think I sabotaged myself because of illness (my cold) and nerves (great nephew improving but after a few hours in the step-down ward with what must have been the second-string weekend doctors and nurses--they though he was in respiratory failure, perhaps had whooping cough on top of RSV and pneumonia, and after a breathing treatment he actually stopped breathing long enough to cause a crash cart to be summoned--is back in PICU. The doctors there in the PICU who have been treating him all along say he still is much improved. But after those few horrific hours topped off nine days of stress, my niece snapped and demanded that they don't release him again from PICU until they are 150% sure he won't be making a quick return trip. Her husband, needing to keep his job, returned home despite the recent drama accompanied by his bro-in-law whose spring break was over. But my niece has one of her sisters and her in-laws for local support. After yesterday, her mother decided to stick around Phoenix two or three more days.) Mom also ran into problems with her tissue paper-thin skin when we tried to get prescribed support hose on her swollen calf. The skin ripped. Amateur nurse here burst into tears but mom didn't even though it was her leg with the wound. I bandaged it with the ointment we used two years ago, the last time excess swelling created a sore (The dermatologist had said the ointment was still new enough when we saw him for the water blister two weeks ago). I gave her the option for immediate professional wound care at an urgent care center or waiting for an opening at the doctor's office. We will be calling as soon as they open Monday but I don't expect they will have an opening or a day or two. So I will be heading to the store for more wound wrapping material in a couple of hours. She NOW is keeping her legs elevated and making a serious effort to stay well hydrated, a few weeks or months late. Growing old is so not for sissies or their caregivers. I will try to be thrifty going forward after falling of the wagon this week.

    I appreciated the information about Meyer lemons last week. I noticed my tree had a strange sprout with leaves two or three times bigger than those on the rest of the tree. That has been pruned off.

    I envy the size of those leeks Brandy. I bought leek seedlings last spring and they never got wider than a skinny pencil. I will be sticking with regular onion sets this year.

    We had fun celebrating the first day of spring with small free ice cream cones from two different places. One was collecting donations for the Children's Hospital Network, an easy donation for people with a tiny relative at a children's hospital; the second was collecting books for children in exchange for cones. I stopped at Dollar Tree and bought two hardbound science books aimed at older elementary students on our way to the ice cream shops. I stopped at the Goodwill in a neighboring town between cone #1 and cone #2 to give mom some time to digest the first cone before eating the second. We both felt a bit like naughty little kids but we enjoyed the cones immensely. Ice cream for dinner. Hello Spring!

  • Cindy S. March 25, 2018

    Im sending prayers for your family Holly. Poor little guy.

  • Pauline in Upstate NY March 28, 2018

    Talk about stress!! I don’t see your “pricy meals through drive-throughs” as falling off the frugal wagon at all. Being able to cope in time of life crisis and do what you need to do to keep everyone fed is part of why we all try to live the frugal life. It sounds like you had the means to do it, even if you would have preferred not to have to, and I say, “well done, you!” There is nothing more stressful and life-disrupting than having a loved one serious ill. I surely hope your great-nephew will continue to heal and that all will be well. Hang in there with the needs all around you and remember to take care of yourself, too, Holly.

  • Holly March 28, 2018

    Thank you. I've seen photos today of the little guy in his carseat with a big smile on his face and his big brother (20 mos.) holding his hand on their way home. Whew! PICU in the rearview mirror, the best view of it.

    Mom saw the doctor about her leg today and he said to keep it washed with soap and water and to keep it wrapped. The office gave her some bandaging supplies and the medical assistant suggested Dollar Tree for more gauze and a turkey baster (I had asked about using a spray bottle) to flush the wound. The doctor emphasized the importance of keeping mom's legs elevated and I think she will be more inclined to follow his instructions than my nagging. She also qualifies for home nurse visits. She hopefully won't need to arrange for them anytime soon, but knowing the visits are available will make next winter far less stressful for me. Now I just need to get rid of my own chest cold.

  • I'm like you trying to make do with something I already have. I'm going to give it my best shot this Spring. Even a little change can be hard sometimes.
    Here are my frugal accomplishments for this past week:

  • Jo March 25, 2018

    They must have been extraordinary cookies to attract such a steep discount. ;)

      We were running low on snacks and I did not want to buy any seeing as we are going away soon. Quickly raided the pantry for random leftovers and made muffins out of soft bananas, several Nutella samples and the last bit of peanut butter left in the jar.

      All meals were made at home. I am quite pleased with how many items we were able to use up. Any leftovers will be donated as I am not risking an ant invasion while we are gone. My husband took all but one lunch to work.

      I picked up free basil, a pear and three eggs from our local produce carts.

      We found two recycling bottles and cashed in our bag full of them at the depot.

      I volunteered once and we completed the weekly delivery round. Waiting for the reimbursements to add to our mortgage.

      I completed several online surveys to earn points towards a gift card.

      We combined trips whenever possible and took our water bottles.We bought some needed frozen food (for the first night of our return, instead of ordering fast food) and household items on special.

      I mended a hole in a pair of stockings.

      My husband did some necessary maintenance jobs in and around the house instead of hiring someone.

      The air-conditioner did not run this week but we did turn on the ceiling fan for a few hours one night.

      We ran two full loads of dishes and two full loads of washing during off-peak times. All washing was air-dried.

      We saved all warm-up water when hand-washing dishes and cleaned all Ziploc bags that had not had meat in them.

    Our six-week long Europe trip will finally start on Wednesday so I shall be back to commenting here in May! :)

  • Cindy S. March 25, 2018

    Have a fun and safe trip!

  • PJGT March 25, 2018

    Happy and safe travels!

  • Libby March 25, 2018

    Bon Voyage! Have an awesome adventure!

  • Jo March 26, 2018

    Thank you all for your well wishes! We are really excited as it is our once-in-a-lifetime trip. :)

  • Marybeth March 26, 2018

    Have an amazing trip.

  • Lilli March 25, 2018

    Sharing baked goods always makes the world a much nicer place to be. The princess puppy had a good week. I shaved her winter hair off and she enjoyed a puppy bubble bath. I looked up a homemade ear wash on the cocker spaniel kennel club and made her a bottle. Preventative action is so much cheaper than her getting eat infections. I found her a set of puppy rain boots for $1.60 at our favorite pet store. I lucked up and found a large size bag of her special puppy food at the salvage store. $7.00 instead of $35.00 , that definitely made me smile. I put most of it in the freezer to keep it fresh. Poor cat is so sad since her children died. We bought her a gallon size zip lock bag full of kitty toys for a $1.00. I bought a few Rubbermaid containers to add to my kitchen. 8 containers rang up for $2.00. We are using many different products in our new cooking journey and these are storage items we just didn't have. I am now down 14 lbs in 4 weeks. I weigh more than I ever did at 9 months pregnant. It is very encouraging to eat healthier and find it is cheaper too. I found a small wicker trash basket and a very small tall table with shelves that I am going to spray paint and add to my master bathroom. I renewed my Sam's club membership for 30.00. My mother is splitting the cost with me. I haven't cared for the Aldis butter. I bought 12 lbs of butter at Kroger for 2.29 using a 25.00 gift card I received for filling a three dollar prescription. I just realized I pulled my Easter ham out of the freezer too early. I imagine we will cut it up and prepare freezer meals with it.

  • Marybeth March 26, 2018

    Great job on the weight loss.

  • Cheryl March 25, 2018

    Gee, can you imagine if you had given him a dozen? He would have been paying your dad instead!

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