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Frugal Accomplishments for the Third Week of April

April arrangement 2 closeup The Prudent Homemaker

This post contains referral links.

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy in the house several times during the week.

I harvested hibiscus flowers, Meyer lemons, snow peas, lettuce, spinach, parsley, Swiss chard, green onions, and garlic chives from my garden.

I dried a large batch of parsley to use throughout the year. After picking it, I simply wash it and leave it out to dry on a cooling rack on top of a rimmed cookie sheet. Once it's done drying, I crumble the leaves, remove the stems, and put the leaves in a container.

I dried lemon zests and froze lemon juice to use throughout the year.

Peonies and Rose The Prudent Homemaker

I watched an episode of "Call the Midwife" for free on Pbs.org.

I watched a free webinar, learning what I could from it. I didn't purchase the product after watching the class.

We went to the library.

Picnic in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I mended a hole in a pair of shorts.

We enjoyed having the windows open during the week to cool the house and air it out.

My son needed a new pair of glasses. I purchased them from Zenni Optical, going through Ebates first to earn cash back. Since I was logging in through my new computer, the site didn't recognize me as an existing customer and offered me a 10% off coupon. I wrote down the code and logged in to my account. When I went to place my order, I decided to see if the code would still work. It did. I chose the slowest shipping ($4.95) and still received his new glasses on Saturday (after ordering on Monday).  Total cost for a new pair of prescription glasses, including shipping, was $13.91. I'll also get a small percentage back from Ebates as well! I just checked, and Zenni has a refer a friend program; if you're new to the site you can use this link to get $5 off your order. Plus, you can refer a friend and they will give you $5 as well! 

My husband gave himself a haircut.

I stocked up on strawberries for $0.99 a pound and bone-in chicken at $0.77 a pound. These are rock-bottom prices here and were part of my grocery plans for the month. I froze the chicken and cut and froze strawberries to use throughout the year.

 April Arrangement Closeup The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?


April 22nd is a special day for me as it is the day my husband (officially) proposed. I wrote about it in a post 6 years ago entitled: My Husband is So Frugal He Proposed With a Coupon

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  • Mary April 23, 2018

    I stayed in most of the week.
    I was able to work on swagbucks and earn a lot.
    I had some sour cream to use up so I found a recipe to use it to make banana bread. It was very good.
    Before my daughter left to go back to school, I had her “shop” in my pantry. She was able to take a lot she can use.
    Also, continue with full loads and air drying, washing baggies and using up with what we have.
    I was able to use extra bucks from cvs to buy vitamins we take.
    My husband and I are on a strict no buying unnecessary budget right now. So basically just bills and food.
    That’s it for last week.

  • Jess April 23, 2018

    Your flower arrangements are stunning!

    This week, I...
    ..froze pineapple juice left over from canned pineapples. I use pineapple juice in several recipes.
    ..continued to eat from the pantry and freezer.
    ..Did not upgrade phones, even though they were due, which should save us some money.
    ..signed up to teach summer school, which should bring in some extra income.
    ..got some deals at the food warehouse near us. We got 48, 4oz containers of yogurt for $1 and 120 slices of American cheese for $8.99.
    ..carpooled to a birthday party and a housewarming party this weekend.
    ..bought a bottle of wine for the housewarming party. I just put some ribbon on it instead of buying a gift bag.

    We kind of had a frugal fail. My husband and I locked our keys in our car about an hour from home. It was a Saturday, so we were going to get charged a weekend rate from a locksmith. We called my mom, who has a key to our house. She was willing to go to our house, get the spare key, and bring it to us. We took her out to lunch to thank her. We tried to pay for her gas, too but she wouldn't let us. I will bake her something or get her a gift to say thank you. While we weren't expecting to go out for lunch, it was still cheaper than paying for a locksmith.

  • Tiffany April 23, 2018

    My girls and I are in Southern California (we live in the same city as Brandy) for a few days helping my recently widowed aunt with things around her house. The weather is so nice here!!! We get lovely breeze from the ocean most days. When we get home later this week... it is going to be quite warm.

    My aunt is having to learn to be more frugal now, and I’ve taught her a couple of things to help. We’ve been eating at her home and saving leftovers in her freezer for future lunches and dinners. After years of not having the energy to cook because of caring for my uncle, she’s excited to get back in the kitchen.

    We’ve “discovered” items in closets that she had on her list of needs for the house, so we’ve saved her money there.

  • Samantha April 23, 2018

    Happy belated birthday, Brandy! I saw on your instagram, and I hope you were able to enjoy a wonderful birthday. You give a great deal to others, and I hope you enjoyed some nice family time!

    I was feeling a little under the weather, and was less capable than most weeks. However, I enjoyed the following frugal accomplishments:

  • Negotiated a much lower rate for the installation of new seamless gutters, saving us $280. I have put this off for a couple of years, but we had gutters from the 70s on our home, and they caused basement flooding and issues in our extreme weather (hail and flash floods). This repair brought a great deal of peace of mind, and we already had a big rain storm and no basement flooding!
  • I enjoyed an ebook from the library (The Road by Cormac McCarthy)
  • I'm making a yearly master meal plan with all our favorite meals for the year (around 30 breakfasts and over 70 dinners) that I'm using to make a board similar to what the writer at Prepared Housewives uses for planning meals for the year using food storage. I won't likely plan for the year, but it's a great system for me to stay organized and plan healthy meals. I tend to forget all the meals we like that are frugal, and this will keep me on track so I can vary our meals and find inspiration.
  • Started/transplanted many seeds in the garden including: zinnias, catnip, mint, hollyhock, fava beans, snap peas, kale, radishes, onions, and red potatoes.
  • Enjoyed seeing our rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, apple, peach, and cherry trees blossom.
  • Prepared more items for our garage sale this week that I will price. I'm hoping to have enough from the sale to get us some items we need for garage sales we attend this summer.

  • I hope everyone has a nice, frugal week!

  • Lori @ MyVintageWhimsy April 23, 2018

    Hi everyone. Brandy, your flower arrangements are always stunning.

    This weeks frugal accomplishments include:

    Finished caulking my laundry room after a recent mini-renovation. My washer suddenly went out mid-wash back in early February and we've slowly been doing some updates in the room. Thankfully when I moved into this house nearly 2 years ago, there was a washer and dryer already here, so I stored my other ones in the garage. When the washer died (or malfunctioned, whichever) in February, instead of paying for a repair, I decided I'd just put my other washer in there as it's a larger capacity. I had my dad haul my old washer off to an employee of his who is very handy, and hopefully the repair was something simple.

    The dryer that was in my laundry worked okay, but again, the capacity was small and the opening to the dryer was quite tiny as well. So, on Saturday when we moved my old washer from the garage into the laundry room, we decided to put the larger capacity dryer in there as well. My dryer that had been in storage had a 4 wire plug on the back, but my laundry room has a 3 prong outlet. Having changed the cord on my dyer to a 4 wire before (for a different house), I was aware of how to change it back to a 3 prong. Instead of spending $20 at Lowe's for a 3 prong cord, I just removed the one from the dryer that came with my house and installed it on my old, larger dryer!!

    Additional frugal wins: salvaged some of my plants from last year that I wasn't sure would come back, but they did. Repotted a few things, bought some cheap annuals for the window boxes that hang on my fence, dug up some spider lily plants that I don't care for and gave them to my mom to plant along her ditch.

    Boiled chicken thighs for a meal yesterday and saved all the bones and stock and will package that into freezer bags. SO's coworker gave him a Devil's food cake on Friday. I'm going to slice it up and wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer.

    Speaking of SO, he had a sudden job relocation to an area 3 hours northwest of here. He will be renting an apartment for now, as I was totally unprepared to relocate in the 3 weeks his company gave him. The frugal fail is that I'll be paying a mortgage here while he pays rent there. The bright side is that since it will just be me here my electricity, food, etc will all go back to what it was before he moved in last June. Additionally, since his kids will be staying with him full-time starting in June (for the summer), and they're no longer living here, I can take one of my extra bedrooms and turn it into my office. I've been having to drive 22 miles each way across town to my "office" at my mom's house. I will save a ton of money on gas and will be more efficient since my commute is literally from one bedroom to the next! I'm trying to see the bright side to our (hopefully) temporary long-distance relationship. We will reevaluate our situations later this summer, and possibly buy a house in his new location, and when I move, I can rent my house out for more than double what my mortgage is due to the proximity to a large hospital and also lack of rental inventory in my area.

    Have a great week everyone.

  • Lisa from Maine April 23, 2018

    I gave my youngest son a haircut. He had wanted to wait until school vacation so we did. My daughter had to go to town on a certain day to pick something up so we combined all errands & shopping that day. I paid several bills while I was there, picked up something my husband ordered, applied for my daughter's passport (a necessity with relatives in Canada), & shopping--especially for food since my kids were home & eating more than the usual!. My best deal was 20 lbs of potatoes for $5. Strawberries were $1.97/lb here last week. Unfortunately the store charged me for 2 bags of egg noodles and I had only bought one. I only noticed when I got back home. I will try to get my $3.79 back this Wednesday when I go back to town.
    I am still continuing to spring clean. Did not get as much done with the kids done but that's ok. I am continuing to keep a list in my planner as I clean for things that need to be repaired or replaced. I also repurposed some items within my home. Have a great week everyone!

  • Jennifer O April 24, 2018

    My new car is averaging 50 mpg.
    Chickens are laying again.
    I mended 3 pair of pants.
    I roasted 1 whole chicken for dinner (and leftovers) and poached another for meat and broth. Will make more more broth poached bones and roasted ones.

    My husband was home for several days. We ate mostly at home and only did 1 pricey afternoon out. This is an improvement for us.

    We did some house hunting (at new developments) to see options as we will be moving within in the next 2 years. We hated everything we saw so we will probably build.
    Has anyone ever built a custom home from a steel/metal building?

    We had torrential rain and something fell and hit the roof, causing a leak. Another reason I want to build new. The ceiling in the loft caved in. Called a local roofer who arrived with 30 minutes to patch the hole and called insurance. The inspector will be here tomorrow and I've already lines up estimates (gotta love a small town). Gratefully, I had taken the day off so I was home to catch the leak/damage.

    While I won't get a whole new roof, they should pay to repair that quarter and replace the ceiling and insulation.

  • Jess April 25, 2018

    I live in a metal building! My husband needed shop space for his business, so we were going to be building a shop anyway. We spent about $12,000-$15,000 more to add some living quarters. That got us out of renting! We love it!

  • Taryn April 24, 2018

    The sun finally came out this week much to everyone's delight!
    --I had a low budget/pantry grocery week and used the extra grocery money to buy two more blueberry bushes. This will bring us to a total of 5. I would eventually like to get 3 more.
    --We weeded around the blueberry plants to get the ground ready to plant.
    --We re-planted some volunteer raspberry plants. (I'm in no way a gardener, but am trying.)
    --My dad gave us some rhubarb starts that we got in the ground. I'm looking forward to making rhubarb BBQ sauce with them this year. I know nothing about rhubarb but they seem to be growing rapidly.
    --I used some chives from the garden.
    --We spent a gorgeous day at the park/beach. We invited another family that brought a lot of yummy food. We ended up with so much that we were able to have leftovers twice!
    --I tried a delicious new recipe, curried chickpea salad. Super easy and affordable. The whole family loved it!

  • Christie April 24, 2018

    After years of reading how yummy your museum pasta salad is, I finally made it! It did not disappoint. I've already had 2 portions today. I had spinach in the garden, so I added that to it as well.

  • Kim April 24, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    Wonderful photos of the flowers-love the urn they are in. I also really enjoyed the photo of your kids.

    My husband and I had to make a 5 hour drive north to visit his 94 year old father. We brought snacks for the drive up and stopped at grocery store for healthy snacks for the drive home.

    My son is wanting to fix up his yard and gardens so last night I went with him to my parent's house and we dug up several plants that she wanted removed and then went to his house and helped him re-plant them in his garden. Free plants are the best!!

    My co-worker's pants had a seam that ripped out yesterday so I offered to make the repair for her on my sewing machine. This will give her much more wear out of those pants.

    We are having a week of warm weather here in the Pacific Northwest so I would love to line-dry my clothes but there is so much pollen in the air that I can't risk it due to my allergies.

    I said no to a very expensive mother's day trip my sisters, mom and niece wanted me to attend. I don't have the big pay checks they do. I will enjoy a simple mother's day at home.

    I enjoyed reading everyone's comments again this week.

  • tanja April 25, 2018

    Hello everybody on the other side of the world. Read your blog every week to keep me inspired to be frugal.
    Her are some frugal accomplishments from my home.
    Bought a 15 kg bag of patatoes from a salesman that comes to your door, 11,00 euro's for 15 kg is not bad. And I do not need to carry it from the shop to my house.
    Accepted some clothes from somebody I know. It was: 2 paer of jeans (must be shortened) 4 nice blouses, a cardigan and 7 t-shirts, so I am good to go.
    Almost always cook from scratsh, ate leftovers and some leftovers from the freezer. Mended a pair of jeans for a son. Made shorts from long trousers for my sister. Took home leftovers from a diner in our communnitycentre.
    Hoosting a big birthdayparty at home in our garage and some partytents. My husbands 50th, my 51st and our daughters 17th birthdays. We rent a BBQ and a big fridge to keep the drinks cool, our son will be the BBQ master and I will decorate the salades and making some some other snacks. We invited about 60 people.
    Bought 30% off bread and meat in the last couple of weeks. (as my husband works at Aldi's he is always there when stuff is going out of date)
    We bought a nice big corner shape couch of leather at the thriftstore for just 50 euro's. It looks lovely and is easy to clean with a dog, 2 cats and 5 people sitting/living on it. Also bought 2 lampshades for 0.50 eurocent each! Made some halfway cutains (google transelate says:valances) for al our downstairs windows from an old bed/quilt cover. So our livingroom is redecorated for a little money. For now I am busy seeding indoors and in the vegetablegarden (some seeds need to start indoors because of our klimate)
    I alsways feel good when I actually write down al the frugal things I have don, we may think it is normall but fot a lot of people it really is a big deal.
    Greetings from the netherlands

  • Lynn from NC Outer Banks April 26, 2018

    Hello Tanja. I love reading the posts from all the people outside the US-so fascinating to me! Sounds like great plans for the party. Enjoy!

  • Kelly Paulo April 25, 2018

    How do know if the glasses will look good on you and fit well when you buy over the internet? Takes me trying on many pairs to find a good look.

  • Kelly, there are a few ways to know if the glasses online will look good on you. One is to buy something in the same shape as glasses you already own and like. That's what I do. They give measurements on each pair, so you can see if the lenses are the same/a similar height and width as ones you have. The pd mesaurement also helps you know if they are the correct width for your face. You can also upload a photo of yourself to the site and then they will show you the glasses on yourself that way. I haven't done that but my husband did that for his last pair. He had also looked at glasses at a glasses place and had tried several pairs on, finding a new style that he liked (different from his previous pair). When they told him the price at the store (3 times what he ended up paying on Zenni for his first pair of progressive lenses) he decided to order online. He ordered some glasses that looked similiar to the ones he has liked in the store. Zenni doesn't have as many options as a store does, but we have always been able to find something that will work for us.

  • momsav April 25, 2018

    Lovely flowers! Still a lot of snow here. The bay is still frozen but is showing signs of thawing, finally!
    Frugally, i’m still walking and exercising at home and around the neighborhood. With a dog, I have no excuse not to go for a walk.
    I finished hand sewing a baby quilt. Just today, I got on the floor and basted everything together for quilting. I may add appliqué and/or embroidery after I quilt it. My daughter and Son-in-law will find out the sex of the baby in May. Once I have that information, i’ll decide what I want to do.
    I’ve been able to hang clothes out a few times in the past several weeks. Anything over 40* and dry is decent drying weather, in my opinion. I absolutely love the smell and not sending money to the gas and electric companies!!
    I’ve read all the Louise Penny books from the library. I’ve re-read a book I bought some time ago. My neighbor lent me a book about the U.P. So that’s next. I keep notes about books i’d Like to read. It’s about time I went through all my (little) scraps of notes and see what looks good!
    I’m still on a tear about keeping our water usage down. I have good days and not-so-good. But, i’m hanging in there. Our water bill is estimated every other month. (Which makes no sense since we’re, literally, three blocks away.) It seems that every estimated bill is high til the next month. I could call it in but i’m lazy and forgetful. (And, I hate dealing with the city.)
    And, i’ve been entertained by watching yoooootuuube video’s. Oh, the wonders of the internet! It’s mind boggling, I tell you! I’m always amazed at what what I find.
    Wishing everyone a fabulous week!

  • mmckms April 26, 2018

    Thanks Brandy just order a new pair of eyeglasses thru your link/recommended site and ebates..total cost for mine were $23.50! BTW I have tape on the pair I am typing this email with bcause my eye dr office wanted $375 for a new pair and I just couldn't/wouldn't do it when I had tape at home!!! Wahoo...thanks for the HUGE savings today!

  • It's such a huge savings, isn't it? I remember paying several hundred dollars for glasses for myself before. No longer!

  • Jodi April 26, 2018

    Could you share where you bought you yellow peony? It is beautiful.

  • Jodi, the yellow flower is a David Austin rose named Graham Thomas. You can buy it from the David Austin website. The peony I am growing is white with red flecks in the middle, and it called Festiva Maxima.

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