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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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Comments

  • Athanasia April 24, 2018

    Brandy, they were the real big berries too, so that there is less actual weight in the quart then if they were the smaller berries. Not a very good deal.

  • Athanasia April 26, 2018

    Brandy, our grocer flyer just listed them as 3 boxes (pound size) for 5.00. Hopefully they look good as my husband saw the flyer and has decided he'd like strawberry shortcake for Sunday get together lunch. I will need to buy all three and make an angel food cake and shortcakes (biscuits) as my family like both. Now that the weather is warming up ( we should be in 50's today) and a good bit of that snow has melted everyone is thinking spring.

  • Joanne in Birmingham UK April 22, 2018

    Long time reader, first time posting my frugal accomplishments, here goes!

    Spring has finally arrived here in the UK and we’ve had temperatures in the high 60s which is very good for us. I’ve divided hostas in the garden to fill out my flower bed, repurposed an old wooden sandpit into a raised bed and will be planting spinach, lettuce and rocket in there later today. I unpacked my summer clothes and packed away my winter jumpers and cardigans so I feel like I’ve suddenly got a new clothing wardrobe - hoping the creases will fall out soon so I don’t have to iron too much!

    I shop online for groceries - I budget better this way - and decided to try and shave my budget down a little so I can top up at the Lidl next to where my son practices his American Football on Sunday to save on fuel. My food and household budget for 4 - me, husband and 2 athletic sons aged 16 and 14 is £80 per week - around $113 I think according to Google

  • I April 22, 2018

    We did a house exchange in England 2 years ago and I really enjoyed shopping at Lidl-great prices compared to the regular grocery stores there. I cannot say we have had a frugal week as we bought new tires for the car. I will be driving 11 hrs each way this week through the mountains, which can still be snowy at this time of year, to pick up my daughter and her gear from uni. Yesterday we had a quiet celebration at home for my DH's 65th birthday-BBQ'd steak as a treat, went for a bike ride and to a second hand book sale. Last week I worked 24 hrs ( I am retired) so that should pay for extra gas and tires.

  • Lucy April 23, 2018

    Joanne, I'm just down the road from you in Solihull! Whereabouts in Birmingham are you?

  • Joanne April 29, 2018

    Hi Lucy I’m actually in Stourbridge about 12 miles from Birmingham!! I love this blog and find it really useful reading the posts. I’m so thankful for our NHS each time I read that someone has to pay so much for medical treatment themselves! Nice to know there’s another reader from the UK!

  • Sarah April 22, 2018

    We've been busy and absent on posting with sick kids and working. Brandy your flowers are so beautiful! We're finally headed into nice weather and I'm battling a rabbit that things eating and digging up my garden is his day job. Joining in here: https://frugalfive.com/2018/04/22/frugal-5-4-20-18/

  • Nancy April 22, 2018

    How wonderful you saved so much on eyeglasses. Your photos are beautiful. Thank you for ideas on frugal things. Here are a few ways of frugal accomplishment this past week.
    . Brought eye if round roast for 1.99 b. Limit 1. My family went in store several times that day to stock up. These will be cut up and made into several meals.
    . Found eggs .99 dozen Meier's ..bought several. These prices had jumped with egg recall out here.
    . Able to get Free items offered at Jewel grocery. Free cashews in a can. Free coffee pods.
    . Used our carpet cleaner to clean carpets at home.
    Washed rugs carefully that I wasn't sure would go in machine. Turned out great.
    . Made scones..muffins...bread this past week.
    . Deep cleaned n organized linen closet and several spots in kitchen. This will make things flow better.
    . Found a large wreath at thrift $3. Will use for spring front porch.
    . Let fresh warm air through the house .

  • Megan Z. April 22, 2018

    Beautiful flowers. I love the arrangement of them.

    In some ways I feel like this was an unfrugal week but I’m trying to focus on the positive and do better in the week to come.

    We put together another raised bed. Although the upfront cost was high for the wood and soil, I plan on growing a lot of flowers and veggies so saving money in the long run.

    We renovated our bathroom a few months ago. When my husband took the toilet out it dropped and chipped the tile. We didn’t have a spare tile to replace (and it is an unusual color). My mom bought some paint from Hobby Lobby and for under $2 she was able to paint the tile to match. Unless you know the crack was there, you don’t notice.

    I put some books and a dvd on hold at the library. I picked them all up at the same time (they had come in on staggered days).

    I had my emissions done for $15. Most places are $20-25. During that same outing I went to the nursery. They were running a 20% off sale so I picked up some herbs.

    I cooked corn on the cob one night and saved the water for my garden. It’s supposed to rain the next 3 days so I’m saving on water costs.

    I brought some iris buds in to flower inside. They make me happy whenever I look at them.

    My mom and I had an afternoon tea using my grandmother’s China. I made cream scones using frozen whipping cream. It was a fun and frugal afternoon activity.

  • Laurie in AZ April 22, 2018

    I love afternoon tea! Before they passed away, my mom and my sister and I used to get together every week for tea. The tradition of tea has passed down to our daughters, but unfortunately we are not able to get together that often. But every year, my daughter and I have a mother-daughter weekend and we to pick a city that has a good afternoon tea place.

  • mable April 22, 2018

    The King Arthur website has a great recipe for home made crumpets. If you make them, proof for about an extra half hour though, or the dough is a bit thick.

  • Laurie in AZ April 26, 2018

    Thanks for the tip! I've never made crumpets before.

  • PJGT April 22, 2018

    Love your flowers. I've decided to have more cut flowers and have found a flower frog and florist foam for 25 cents each. I used to always have flowers from the garden but, in the past couple years, it just made me more sad. I'm ready now, and the beauty of your flowers is such an inspiration.

    This week, I found a few cents on the ground and added it to my piggybank, managed not to buy sweets when anxious (a huge success both health and money wise!!!), asked a friend to save boxes so I can start a garden, made a salad dressing from leftover salsa and olive oil mayo I accidently froze, and saved the glass salsa jar for storing foods.

    My daughter broke her strand of pearls at Mom's brunch and I took them in to be restrung before graduation. Because they are graduated and have fewer knots to tie, they are 60% less to restring than mine were just last fall. We planned to buy her a matching pair of pearl earrings for graduation as I only had one pair and didn't want to pass them down ( we gave our daughter one strand of family pearls for her 21st birthday). I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough money with the restringing costs; however, the lower cost plus a sale next week on the earrings make the cost just a little over what I have budgeted. Wow!

    The really big news is...

    1. My parents are giving us the piece of property with a barn, roadway and pasture adjacent to ours. Now we can move along here at camp with our self-sufficiency plans.

    2. We found a place to rent back home that fits all our needs! We are still saving up to buy a place; however this will suffice until we can. Finally, stability!!!

    God is always good! Happy frugal-ing!

  • Ellie's friend April 22, 2018

    While recovering, andstaying with my friend, I noticed that when she cooks veggies, she saves the cooking water in the fridge so has no need to make or buy vegetable broth. She just pours in the 2 or three jars she's saved to make soup. It doesn't work for me because I steam my veggies. She doesn't have water saving showerheads etc. but flushes her toilets with grey water from her kitchen sink. I have very little grey water because I have a very low-water-using dishwasher which uses less than if I washed them myself. She is using the habits of water-saving practices in arid areas.

    Brandy, I'm enjoying your flower and veggie photos. I still have 3 feet of snow on my garden. I am eating all of frozen blueberries and sour cherries I froze last fall. So good. I'm looking forward to enjoying fresh asparagus when the snow goes. I buy it to support the local grower as it traditionally haas not been grown locally. With our cool nights, it is sweeter than some. I am hoping that the 22 Itoh peony plants I bought 2 years ago for $2 each ( usually $80 each) will have survived our brutal winter and will all bloom successively and concurrently to form a mass of blooms. If that happens I will try to sell some of the blossoms to a florist.

  • Heidi Louise April 22, 2018

    My Mom said that "peonies are a sign of a settled neighborhood." Once they settle in, they are there for ages! I hope yours come back. I think florists charge a lot for them. If that doesn't work, you might check with a church or venue that has spring events, such as weddings, showers, etc. If you can predict when they will be in bloom, you could provide them directly to the customers. Or offer your yard for a photographer to use for backdrops. I would buy them from a Farmer's Market or post on a facebook group.

  • Maxine April 22, 2018

    I have been told that you can pick budded peonies and refrigerate them for weeks...they will open when removed from the fridge. I don't know exactly how this works, but maybe you can Google it? I would have loved to get in on the $2 peony deal! I love peonies! I divided and moved some from my old house. I understand that peonies resent being moved, but they will get over it!

    When we blew in from Hawaii Friday, the first thing I did was check the perennial seeds I planted indoors just before we left. About half of the lupines are up, it's too early for the columbines, and the balloon flowers haven't done a thing yet (which is worrisome). Lots of things are budded, and all of my perennials are showing green. Most of the packaged hostas from Costco look pretty good. On the frugal front, my monkshood threw two babies this year that I wasn't expecting. There will be lots of shade at my new house, so two free plants that are tall and like shade are very welcome. (I might be able to divide 3 larger plants this fall).

    All that food the guys bought in Hawaii--we ate just about all of it! I never dreamed we would. Of course, we had to eat 3 dinners in the condo to do it. But DS (who has never, ever cooked for us) and DDIL did all the cooking, and it was wonderful. I tore open the Monopoly game tickets from the big Safeway shop and won a 3 pack of organic microwave popcorn, 8 ounces of sour cream and a package of Ferrero Rochet chocolates, plus 2 free game tickets. I plan to redeem them tomorrow.

    We were able to check 3 suitcases on the way home for free, as expected, saving another $75. This is an actual saving, not theoretical, because we would have checked our luggage.

    Brandy, great pictures (as usual) and I love the roses. I was given a pink David Austin climbing rose for my birthday and it is currently residing in a pot on the porch. I made a little trellis for the pot. Cost: $0.

  • Ellie’s frirend April 22, 2018

    Maxine

    Thanks for your comments about the peonies. I had not heard about keeping them in the fridge when they are in bud. But I had heard that putting them upside down in the fridge overnight is a good way to get rid of the ants that sometimes climb on Peony flowers. It was purely by chance that I was able to buy 22 Ito peonies so. greatly reduced. One of our local greenhouses reduces its perennials by about 50% at the very end of the season. However, on the very last day that the greenhouse is open, which is never announced but only found out by phoning in every morning until you find out that that is the day, the perennials are put on sale for a flat of eight plants for about $16. It was just by chance that on that day we raced down to the greenhouse where I saw the Ito peonies. As only one or two have bloomed so far, I have not made up my mind whether I would like them as much as garden-variety peonies. But I am hoping that I do. Please forgive typos as I am dictating this on my new phone due to my broken arm and have not yet mastered the art of having the phone understand what I am saying.

  • Ellie’s friend from Canada April 22, 2018

    Thanks for your suggestions, Heidi. I have some old garden-variety peonies but they may be coming to the end of their long life. So when I saw the Itoh Peonies on sale, I bought about 22 of them. Each plant is supposed to have up to 80 blooms in a season so I should have some to spare once they start blooming prolifically. Peonies do last a long time in the garden. In fact sometimes you can tell where Old homesteads have been by discovering very old peony plants. Thanks again for your suggestions.

  • Heather in L.A. April 23, 2018

    Florist charge a lot for peonies because they are expensive for us to purchase. Unlike roses which are pretty stable and usually come from farms in California or South America, we literally chase them around the globe depending on the time of year. Do not think the cost is haphazard, orchids are even cheaper to purchase than peonies. I hope this explanation helps when considering the cost. A good florist can provide alternatives that are lower cost such as double bloom garden roses that often last longer as well.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada April 23, 2018

    Heather,
    thanks. so much for your comment –– I had no idea that peonies were so hard for a florist to locate. I wonder what a fair price for each stem. It is mind boggling to think that if all plants bloomed to the maximum at once that I would have 1760 blossoms. not likely to happen. Today one of the snowdrifts. has melted so I can see part of the flowerbed and there is the first new growth of one of the peonies! yay

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