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Frugal Accomplishments for the Third Week in May

Larkspur in May The Prudent Homemaker

I cut larkspur from the garden for my table.

Desert Gold Peaches The Prudent Homemaker

We picked peaches from our Desert Gold peach tree. We ate lots of peaches this week; I made fruit salads and peach clafoutis.

I sliced and froze peaches from the garden for us to eat later in the year.

We picked a few white alpine strawberries from the white garden.

I cut Swiss chard from the garden.

I also found some powdery mildew in the garden, which I combatted by spraying with Neem oil (an organic spray for bugs and mildew).

The warmer it is, the more bugs that are out. I sprayed the foundation of the house with bug spray that I had bought a couple of years back for $5 at Walmart. Most people here pay a monthly fee for a service to come out and spray their home, which is around $25-$35 a month. I find that I can spray less than a full bottle and it lasts for several months to keep the bugs down.

I made cheesecake. I cooked pinto beans in the crockpot and made burritos

I bought some more strawberries for $0.99 a pound, bought tomatoes for $0.88 a pound, and bought eggs for $0.77 a dozen.

I donated several items to the thrift store. While I was there, I bought a couple of clothing items for my daughter. I also bought a linen blouse for myself ($3) and an everyday dress for myself ($6).

I resisted the urge to buy things three times this past week, instead deciding to make do with what I had at home.

Larkspur in May 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I made and sent some homemade gifts along with my foreign exchange student home to his family (who are my friends).

What did you do to save money last week?




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  • Sandra in AR May 22, 2017

    Didn't do much to save money this week. I just wanted to say that my son William has been called to the Nevada, Las Vegas mission.

  • How exciting!

  • Cindy in the South May 23, 2017


  • LOVE that table display! You always inspire me!

    Here are my frugal accomplishments for the past week:
    - Borrowed my parents’ juicer to juice a bag of limes that I bought on sale
    - Made homemade mayo to use in my smashed-chickpea-salad sandwiches for my work lunches. For the sandwiches, I used my homemade potato bread that I baked and froze last week as well, and the sandwiches are sooooo yummy! Also quite inexpensive!
    - Redeemed swagbucks for a $5 Amazon gift card, taking advantage of a 10% discount, twice.
    - Prepared some stir-fried seasoned pepper slices, and put them in the freezer. The next time I made pizza, I’ll add them, along with the leftover chevre from a cheeseboard on Mother’s Day, and made a different sort of pizza. I use my super-duper easy pizza dough recipe, which freezes well (
    - Repotted some of my radish plants in a larger pot so that they can grow deeper, and planted zucchini, peas, and lettuce.
    - Made some fun emoticon cookies! ( I didn’t have a back-to-front or top-down dehydrators like the pros use (to get shiny icing), so I hacked my inexpensive dehydrator to get the same effect. I also used meringue powder in the icing that I bought using a 50% off Michael’s coupon several years ago, and icing sugar that I bought in bulk. The food markers were purchased using an Amazon giftcard from Swagbucks. And of course the flour and butter for the cookies I only buy when it’s a loss leader. Essentially, really fun cookies for a very frugal price! I ended up giving the emo cookies to a colleague who is going through a tough time. Made her smile! With the same batch of cookies, I also gave some to a friend who hosted a games night (her name in scrabble tiles), as well as my sister and my mum.
    - Made a list of meals in our house for the DH, while I’m away for the weekend. This way he knows there are healthy meals available and won’t eat unhealthy foods or fast food. He’s actually a really good cook, but generally can’t be bothered to cook, so my fridge and freezer foods, like homemade yoghurt with homemade granola, prepped salad and homemade dressing, frozen homemade burritos, and frozen homemade lasagna will come in handy!
    - Used the last of my chilled-in-the-fridge tulip bulbs and re-used my dollar store stones in an old Ikea vase, to grow some springtime flowers for a centrepiece.
    - Bought a tomato seedling at a farmer’s market, along with some organic rhubarb. The rhubarb cost about the same as conventially grown rhubarb in a grocery store, so I was pleased to buy organic and support a local farmer at the same time, without paying above what I’d normally pay.
    - I priced out 5-gallon planters in different places. I want to transfer my sweet potato plants to 5-gallon planters, along with my tomato plant (sweet million). I’ve checked local gardening stores and nurseries, along with the dollar store and Amazon. I ended up ordering from Amazon, and used my swagbucks to offset the cost. I only spent $11.31 for 5 5-gallon buckets! I really do need to transfer my sweet potato plants from the large terracotta pot that I have them in right now. For one, the pot won’t allow the potatoes to grow very large, and also, the zucchini seeds that I planted weeks ago and thought were a dud, appear to have just been slow to germinate (likely I planted too soon) and are now fighting the sweet potatoes for growing space.
    - I made stewed rhubarb which I LOVE and will enjoy in homemade yoghurt, over ice cream, or just on its own. I hope to plant rhubarb next year and grow my own!
    - I made strawberry limeade for my husband as he is trying to cut down on his iced tea intake and we ran out of the water flavour drops he usually uses. I mixed some lime juice and homemade strawberry jam with water – voila, strawberry limeade!
    - I had some egg whites leftover from the vanilla pastry cream I made last week. I dislike egg whites unless they’re used in baking, and I didn’t have any icing sugar to make meringues, so I mixed up an omelet using chopped sweet peppers and some leftover frozen mozzarella. I served it with toasted potato bread (homemade, from the freezer). The DH initially declined it, but when I plated it and placed it on the table, he ate it and enjoyed it. No food waste – whoohoo!
    - Made my own ice cream sandwiches! I bought chocolate chip cookies and ice cream on sale, placed a scoop of ice cream between two cookies, wrapped them individually in plastic wrap, and froze them.

    And that's my week! Looking forward to learning from everyone else!

  • Liz cumoletti May 22, 2017

    I love reading your posts! I also donated a few boxes to our local thrifty shopper. I made several trips to the store to use some coupons. And started a meal planner to budget and save more.

  • Melissa May 22, 2017

    Wow, so many peaches! How many trees did they come from?

    We are in Arizona, and if we don't have monthly pesticide treatments, we have many scorpions in our house. What is the name of the spray that you use? Is it still available at Walmart? We're tired of paying the monthly exterminator fee, but I really don't want scorpions in the house.

  • Just one tree, my Desert Gold peach. It's always ripe in May as it's a low-chill tree.

    I used Spectraide's Bug Stop. I bought it a few years ago and the price is probably higher now. It comes in a big huge bottle with a sprayer attached. I spray in the evening and the next morning you can see all the dead bugs. My parents use several bottles at once but I just use less than one at a time; it depends if you want to spray your cinder block walls too. I bought a bunch of bottles because they said they use three, but I only ended up using part of a bottle (which is why I still had some spray left). We've had scorpions before too. I usually spray about twice a year in the warmer months.

  • Loyda May 23, 2017

    We are in Arizona too and knock on wood no scorpions that we have seen....

  • Libby May 23, 2017

    Not sure if the SW scorpions are similar to the ones in the south of France, but the French traditionally used lavender in window sills to keep scorpions out.

  • Tracy May 22, 2017

    The past week has been a little rough. My husband and I received a large bill that we were not expecting. So we are buckling down and purchasing items that we need, not want. I was able to purchase groceries for our family of 6 with $55 in cash. The rest of the items we had at home, thank goodness for lots of meat in the freezer and canned items in the pantry. There's been a lot of things I would like to buy, but they are wants not needs.

  • Patty from the NW May 22, 2017

    Hi Brandy,
    Your larkspur looks so pretty in the blue and white vases. I just love the color combination. The peaches look so good as well. Such of an abundance to enjoy~ looks refreshing and yummy. We do not have peaches avaiIable yet in our stores. I hadn't heard of Neem oil for mildew and bugs. Thank you for posting the information about this. I need to look for this too. I tried to cook chick peas in my crock pot yesterday and they did not do very well~ still hard after 24 hours both on high and low heat. Very disappointing so I will not use this for tonight's dinner. I had a chicken breast in my freezer and ingredients in my storage pantry to make your museum salad. So thankful for your recipe~ :) I was trying to make an Indian dish from the chick peas for tonight and had also put a can of tomatoes into the pot with seasonings thinking these will cook well. Still, the peas did not cook and they are hard. Maybe I should have just boil them. I love to cook pinto beans in the crock pot too! :)
    We have cut back on several things this last month. I had a gall bladder surgery and needed to stay home pretty much and we didn't need to spend much money except for prescriptions and some light foods. After 2 weeks, my husband took me to an outing at Snoqualmie Falls in Wa where the falls were overflowing from so much rain that we've had this year. If interested, you can see the over flowing falls on Youtube titled "Snoqualmie Falls is raging"~ 2 months ago. This is pretty much what we saw too. Such an amazing view and we enjoyed the cool mist on our faces as well. This was a perfect outing to get me out of the home, and walking again a bit. This week I am doing so much better with energy. I have cooked all meals from home except 2 where we had an inexpensive lunch out and shared a meal. I found that I cannot eat sauces very well yet like from the Chinese food~ so next time I will just order stir fry without sauce.
    We started to work on our garden this weekend which is about 3 weeks late however the sun is finally shinning here in the NW and it's the perfect timing for us. We plan to plant next weekend~ so excited!! Spring warm weather is finally here and I am enjoying flowers in bloom and the birds singing. Sometimes I just sit in the quiet to take in God's music~
    I cut my own hair for the summer and repurposed some of last year's clothing for this summer. I made home made organic doggy food which costs me about $6.00 / month to feed our sweet rescue. I just package it up in small packages and freeze. Tomorrow I plan to make my monthly large batch of spaghetti sauce that I will also put in medium freezer bags to freeze and use for a month of meals and homemade pizzas. We rented the movie "LaLa Land" from Red box for only $1.50 to enjoy. We will be going on staycations here in the area for Summer since the weather will be nice. There are so many places to visit in nature here, both mountains and beaches . We decided to take a picnic basket to each day trip and not eat out so I've been searching on line for fun picnic foods and games to play when we are out. I had bought a very nice picnic basket recently from an antique shop for $5.00.
    Have a wonderful week~
    Bless you, Patty from the NW

  • Patty,
    Beans (and chickpeas) will stay hard if there is any salt in the water. They will never soften. The canned tomatoes would have added salt. I added salt to the water the first time I cooked beans and had the same problem. A friend told me the problem and I've been good ever since. Next time, add the tomatoes and seasonings after the beans are completely done cooking.

  • Sheena May 27, 2017


    Please let me know how to make organic dog food? I have a large (wonderful) rescue and while I don't mind spending money on feeding him it would be great to economise.

  • Marie June 05, 2017

    I'm sorry, but there is no "yet" after gallbladder simply will not be able to eat oily or fatty foods comfortably without your gallbladder. You will find your own toleration limits: for me, I can have some butter on bread occasionally, but dipping bread in oil makes me feel very ill. Good luck to you with your healing.

  • Barbara May 22, 2017

    I used scrap fabrics to make coasters as house gifts for people we will be visiting over the holiday weekend, and some for our daughters, as well. We are making ever more inventive meals to use what we have and not go shopping before we go away, as that can lead to temptation to buy perishables, which would be likely to perish while we are away! I found three fabrics in my fabric stash that will work for a modern quilt guild paint chip challenge quilt, instead of going to the fabric store. One of the fabrics will be from an old blouse of my Mother-in-Law that she no longer uses!

  • Florrie May 22, 2017

    Your floral arrangements are so beautiful, and your peaches look so delicious!

    This week I took several free, self-guided tours around my neighborhood to enjoy the cacti and succulent flowers, which are so vibrant in color! The roses in many different colors were also abundant everywhere. What a spectacular sight!

    I made up a couple of free nature toys for our grandchildren. The first one is a set of cracked eggshell spinners. I washed the shells in soapy water and removed the membranes. After letting dry, I made swirls, spirals and designs inside the shells with a non toxic marker. When spun like a top, they twirl for a long time. Each spins differently, depending on how the shells are cracked. Children can draw their own designs. They have contests to see which shell spins the longest, which has the prettiest design, the most radical spinner, etc. After the shells have seen their days, I just crush and compost them.

    I found another free nature toy on said neighborhood walk. There were so many huge maple seeds on the sidewalk after a windstorm. I picked up about 50 with unbroken wings. I call them copter seeds. Our grandchildren love to throw them in the air and watch them twirl to the ground. They have contests to see how many will land in a bowl. The children always love the nature toys, and their more expensive toys sit on the sidelines after a few weeks.

    Have a wonderful frugal week, everyone! Thank you to Brandy!

  • I always thought there had to be a good way to make a game with the maple seeds when I was a child. I love your game!

  • Libby May 23, 2017

    As kids we would carefully split open the seed section of copters and then stick them on our noses. The inner part of the seed 'container' has a lightly sticky substance. We would see how many fit on each nose and how long we could keep them on our noses!:)

  • Momma L May 28, 2017

    Nature's fidgets!

  • Elizabeth M. May 22, 2017

    Very little spending this week, due to lack of funds! I bought a small bag of potatoes and a small bottle of canola oil to keep me going until the end of the month, and 5 litres (think quarts) of gas for the lawn mower. The fridge freezer and pantry are serving me well, with plenty of well-balanced and tasty meals.

    The weather finally turned to nice spring/summer days, so I've been out in the yard. The landfill is having two weeks of free disposal of tree branches and grass clippings and leaves to reduce the risk of wildfires in the county. (We are not very far from last year's terrible fire in Fort McMurray.) I've been focusing on pruning and getting the first cut of grass done to take advantage of this. I've used the mulching function on my lawnmower, though, so there isn't much in the way of grass clippings or leaves to dispose of from this year.

    I worked an extra 5 hour shift this holiday weekend.

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