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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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  • Andrea April 22, 2018

    What beautiful flowers! And what a wonderful picnic lunch to have with such good company!

    You are always an inspiration. Thank you Brandy.

    Andrea from Canada

  • Laurie in central NC April 22, 2018

    Brandy, with your eye for beauty and arrangement, I could seriously see you as a floral designer once your children are all grown. Your creations are always so lovely. Gifted and bought plants were planted this week, and asparagus, parsley and oregano harvested. We have a broody hen sitting on 11 eggs, and are hoping to have little chicks in a couple of weeks. I made a cake using Meyer lemons I'd picked up at Aldi's, and am considering trying to start one from the seeds. I had great luck with doing it with regular lemon seeds, so am thinking it's worth a try. I'm thankful for you, and all the commenters, for such an uplifting place to visit. Joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/04/flowers-fair-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • Cindi April 22, 2018

    The flowers are so beautiful. And a great score on the glasses! I love the pair I got from Zenni.
    I'm hoping we'll get strawberries at that price -- I'm watching.
    I cut daffodils from the yard for an arrangement in the house.
    We enjoyed salads made with lettuce and arugula from the greenhouse.
    I planted carrots, parsnips, radishes, collards, and English peas under plastic in the raised beds, and more lettuce and arugula in the cold frame. The day after I planted we had almost a foot of snow (and the next day it was mostly melted) so I shoveled some snow into the cold frame and the hoop house. As the snow melts it will keep the seeds moist and help them germinate.
    I washed all our ski clothes and gear and stored them away for the season. (Frugal because not taking care of this kind of thing is expensive and wasteful.)
    I baked bread, pizza dough, and cookies (chocolate chip-coconut to use up coconut left over from Easter.)
    I mended a pair of jeans and a pair of pajama bottoms, finished the baby quilt for my niece, and worked on the quilt for our bed.
    I watched Call the Midwife online, we listened to baseball games on the radio, and my husband and I read library books (both print and ebooks) for entertainment this week.

  • Becky April 22, 2018

    I love your flower arrangements, and the picture of the kids is priceless. What fun they are having!

    Our week was filled with returning from Washington D.C., getting a lot of groceries from 3 different stores, and spending some time with friends by going to the beach for a day.

    I have been posting about our trip, mostly in an effort to get it all down quickly before I forget any of it. I don't plan to be back there any time soon, and I want to cement the memories in my mind.

    We saved on the beach day by taking the smaller car, and packing food. So, we only had to pay for gas and then we did ice cream at Dairy Queen on the way home. I have pictures on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/weekly-update-and-saving-money-april-22-2018/

    Then I had 3 appointments in 2 days once I returned, a friend staying for the weekend, and so I plan to use this upcoming week to get school rolling once again, and get this house whipped into shape. We did get the lawn mowed and a small amount of yard work done. It's been too wet and soggy to work outside, but this week promises to be good for that. I loved my trip, but I really love to be home, so I'm looking forward to all my activities for the coming week.

  • Laurie in AZ April 22, 2018

    Brandy, your flower arrangements are beautiful! So are your children!

    Here are my frugal accomplishments:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • We had cooler weather than normal here too, so we were able to open the windows for part of the day.
    • Walked for exercise 4 times.
    • Sent a get well card I had received free from a charity to a friend who had rotator cuff surgery.
    • Daughter had a conference this week in town. I went down there for a day and spent the night with her. It is held in a 5-star hotel, so that is a nice treat. This is the company I used to work full time for and still do contract work for, so it was nice to visit with some co-workers who live out of town. Received free lunch, dinner, drinks and dessert and 3 cookies (individually wrapped.) Hubby stayed home and had a jar of pintos and jalapenos I had canned.
    • I was reading Brandy’s site and found the page about Operation Christmas Smile and it inspired me to do a few of my own. I already have 3 shoe boxes and had combs, lip balm, pencils and pens on hand. At the conference I picked up some promotional items from some of the sponsors including travel cups, sunglasses, and bracelets.
    • Daughter collected all the daily toiletries from the hotel for me. Also took the tea bags and coffee out of the room. I didn’t mean to, but I forgot my toothbrush and toothpaste. The front desk gave me these for free.
    • We need window coverings on all our windows. The windows didn’t have trim (very common in the Southwest) but I like the look, so Hubby is trimming out the windows himself before we buy the blinds. I am so grateful to have a husband who can do everything himself. I can count on 1 hand the number of times over the last 36 years how many times we have had to pay anyone to do anything around the house or on the cars. And the bonus is that he actually enjoys doing it!
    • Resisted the urge to drive thru a fast food place and ate at home instead.
    • Ate in every day but Monday (as mentioned above) and Tuesday, our trivia league night and there I had the $6 Tacos. Dinners included steak, baked potato & zucchini (twice); grilled chicken with spaghetti & sauce; grilled pork chops, baked potatoes & spaghetti squash; and smoked sausage links, au gratin potatoes & green beans. All of the ingredients were from my freezer or pantry or fridge.
    • Sewed buttons onto 2 pajama tops, fixed the hooks on 2 bras and sewed up a seam that had come undone on a pair of yoga pants.
    • Got a great deal on coffee. It was on sale for $3.99 if you bought 5. I had a $1.25 off coupon for one of them, and a store coupon of $1 off if you spent at least $5. It is a brand I really like too. I immediately put the 5 bags in the freezer where it will keep forever. Also got 4 cans green beans for 29c / can, 2 # of strawberries for 77c/lb., a 6 pack of paper towels, regularly $7.99 for $2.50 and 6 packages of cheddar little smokies for 50% off. I froze those right away too.
    • Hubby brought his lunch to work 4 times and I brought mine the 2 days I was in the office.

    Have a wonderful, frugal week everyone!

  • Terri April 22, 2018

    Hi Brandy, I just wanted to say that I love the pictures you've been posting on your Instagram! I've been blogging my frugal accomplishments each day at my blog, but here are a few highlights from this week:
    1. I've been working on the Spring cleaning at home. This is taking a long time to get done with two small children and a cat underfoot and making more messes as I clean, but it's getting done, bit by bit.
    2. Our Roomba vacuum was having issues charging and I was so frustrated with the constant mess on the floors that I was ready to go purchase a new one at a price tag of over $300. My husband talked me down from this impulse purchase by suggesting that we try replacing the battery, which would only cost around $30. It turns out that did the trick and I'm now enjoying delightful clean floors.
    3. I picked up several things from members of my Buy Nothing Group, including some brand new Care Bears for my kids and feminine hygiene products for myself.
    4. I downloaded two free digital audio books from the library. I like to listen to these while I am doing boring housework.
    5. I made a huge batch of washing soda from baking soda in my toaster oven using Penniless Parenting's method. I use washing soda instead of dishwasher detergent in our dishwasher. I purchased my baking soda in bulk from Costco, which has the cheapest price I've been able to find for baking soda.
    6. I have been unsubscribing from spam emails, thanks to your inspiration, Brandy! I often find myself desiring products I see in these emails, even though they are things I don't need.
    7. I redeemed several free coupons for various items, including a chicken sandwich, a box of pasta, a candy bar, and a bag of chips.

  • Elizabeth M. April 22, 2018

    Peonies are one of my favorite flowers, so I especially enjoyed this beautiful arrangement, Brandy.

    Although I have a turkey in the freezer, I have been stretching my remaining food to last until Monday, when I have more cash. That way, the turkey will be there for a special occasion or a greater need. So, I have made chicken broth, using the carcass from a chicken i roasted a few days ago and one from the freezer, to make chicken stock. I used carrots give me in the fall, and onions bought in bulk on sale to make the broth with, too. I've cooked orzo pasta in it and will be making chicken soup for several meals. I scraped the last chicken off the carcasses after making the broth and the two cats and i will be sharing that mixed with some rice until I can buy cat food tomorrow too. I've also made some oatmeal cookies and some pancakes. I still have an egg or two left, which taste good with some stir fried vegetables and brown rice.

    I am reading a library book to prepare for my book club meeting on Tuesday evening.

    This week has seemed long and a bit discouraging, but I am just trying to put one foot in front of the other. The smell of chicken stock simmering was good for my mood. We have had some warmer weather, so a lot of snow has melted, and I was able to open the window one afternoon this week, which is always good for morale.

  • Darcy April 22, 2018

    The flower arrangement is beautiful!

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I gave my husband a haircut.

    I colored my hair myself.

    We went out to eat using a gift card.

    We borrowed books and dvds from the library.

    I bought two like-new tops for $2.00 each at the thrift store on their half-price day. I can wear them both to work and since losing weight I've been in need of new clothing.

  • Cindy in the South April 22, 2018

    I made mulberry cobbler, with my frozen mulberries. My tree is full of new berries, and I think they will start ripening in early May, so I need to clear out my little freezer (the kind on top of a refrigerator) of all the mulberries from last year. I cooked up all my chicken that I had in the freezer. I had purchased it for 49 cents a lb. I made a variety of chicken dishes. I cut off a pair of blue jeans to make shorts. I am hoping to not have to buy any summer clothes. I walked at the local park by the river. Because of the recent rains, the flooding on low lying areas prevented me from walking everywhere I normally walk, but it was great to see the trees in full bloom. It will be in the 70's here all next week, so no air and no heat...that is a blessing. I just sat in my backyard, and enjoyed looking at all the birds, wild flowers, and the trees in this beautiful weather.

  • Pamela April 22, 2018

    I have recently discovered your blog. I have been referred to as frugal by friends even though my husband makes a very good living. We are of a "certain age" and we were just raised to want not/waste not by the generation of the depression. I don't even think of our choices as frugal, just sensible and normal and being good stewards of the resources we've been blessed with. I like reading all the comments for ideas. This week I lined dried our bed linens as I always do since it's sunny where we live. For a dinner party I made home made bread and salad dressing and served raspberry sorbet with homemade strawberry jam. I mended some small tears in the corners of our fitted bed sheets. I gave myself a mani-pedi instead of going to the shop. I sewed slipcovers for the arms of our 25 yr old wing chair that we recently had reupholstered. Read the book I checked out from the library and magazines I paid 25 cents for from the library resale store. I took all my old magazines to my mom's nursing home and when I grocery shopped I bought only the items on my list plus a candy bar for my mom.

  • PJGT April 25, 2018

    I agree, Pamela! Being frugal wasn't a label, but just the way of life growing up. Things were cared for and used up. I didn't realize anyone else lived differently until college. What an eye opener. Still, I live my own way and that has made all the difference (as Frost said so simply and elegantly). Happy to have found a home here of like-minded people.

  • Pamela April 22, 2018

    Oh Forgot! My husband repaired my sewing machine!

  • Lisa in GA April 22, 2018

    The strawberry price in your area is better than here in GA! They are currently $1.50 per pound at Kroger, and I thought that was pretty good. The strawberries are from CA and are very large! Maybe the prices are a little bit higher here in GA, since they have to travel farther than where you live in NV? I too am stocking up by cutting and freezing them.

    Your children are beautiful and quite photogenic! I am glad they were able to enjoy some time outdoors in your lovely garden, before your temperatures are much warmer.

    My frugal accomplishments this week were sticking to my usual plan of making my grocery lists based upon sales + coupons. I also saved $1 per gallon of gas at Kroger, using my points that have been saved up. My total cost for 12 gallons of gas was $19.96, which is good, considering that gas prices in my area of GA are $2.64 per gallon as of Saturday night (April 21).

    My husband and I are having a date night tonight (Sunday) by attending a marriage/parenting program at our church. We had thought about going to a restaurant for dinner afterwards, since we rarely eat out, but I decided to instead have our meal at home because 1) it will cost much less, 2) I prefer to cook...not only to save money, but also to ensure we are eating healthy ingredients that will make us feel good, and 3) I want our son to eat well, too! Therefore, I am satisfied with the church program being our "date".

  • They are on sale at a few different stores this week here for $1.25. Some years that is the lowest price. I look for the .99/.97 a pound price in April and then I get as many as I can.

    Transportation costs do result in higher prices. The strawberries here are coming from California.

  • A Housewife Writes April 22, 2018

    I was invited to a Mennonite short-dated food sale and picked up some bulk groceries, including 25# of pepperoni slices for $25. (!) I'm selling several pounds to friends and family to recoup my costs, then freezing some, and canning the rest, which is a new experience for me, but seems to work out well. I also got a case (48) of yogurt for $1. We'll eat some, then I'll freeze the rest before they go off for smoothies this summer. I also got single serving packs of P3-snacks of cheese cubes, meat, and cashews, (10 cents each) which make great toppings for main dish salads.

    I also bartered homemade lotions for 10# of grass-fed hamburger...we both felt like we got the better end of the deal (but I think I did!)

    I was able to use the chives in my herb garden, after a late spring, and air my quilts, blankets, and bedding on my clotheslines. I also walked to do some errands instead of taking the car.

    Finances will be tight the next few months, so I'm looking for ways to watch every penny.

  • Shelley April 22, 2018

    I was so lucky to get two boxes of cereal for $0.50 each after coupon.
    Also I buy tortillas that are raw... usually $1.69 for 12...they were $0.89 because of nearing expiration date.
    Shopped the store ads for food this week...as usual
    Ate all but 2 meals at home...one was date with the hubby.
    Trying to make a gas tank last longer than a week.

  • Rhonda A. April 22, 2018

    What a beautiful flower arrangement, Brandy. Your photos are just so lovely. Is that your youngest daughter in the picture? She is getting so big!

    Though life is still rather crazy around our house, the school situation is improving slightly. I'm still a tad overwhelmed as I will be returning to work on April 30th. I only have this week to get some things organized before returning, I'm having some anxiety over DD with the school situation, and I sure hope the weather improves for when we start cleaning up the historic buildings (specifically warmer temps and less muddy ground). Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly when I return to work! This week, our frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included pasta with choice of red or white sauce, crock pot meatballs in gravy with mashed potatoes and corn, "make your own" pizza, beef French dip sandwiches with coleslaw, chicken breasts baked smothered in cheddar cheese soup with mashed potatoes, broccoli and mini pastries (from the freezer) for dessert, and breaded fish with herb roasted potato chunks, leftover corn and the last of the coleslaw.
    *Pulled out a chocolate cake mix and a container of whipped chocolate icing from pantry and baked up 24 iced cupcakes. Used them for DDs school lunches and dessert for several nights this week.
    *I pulled out some frozen hummus and cold meat, that I had bought on sale a while ago, for DD to use in her school lunches this coming week.
    *Cooked a couple batches of hard boiled eggs this week. We keep them in the fridge for a quick and frugal breakfast item and/or lunch time option.
    *Picked up some great pantry restock deals this week, including 3 bags of penne pasta for $0.75/900g [2lbs] bag (could have bought more, but we already had lots in pantry), 2 bottles of Kraft BBQ sauce for $0.88/bottle, 2 baguettes marked down to $0.75/baguette (for making beef French dip sandwiches), 8 packages of bacon for $2/pack, a brick of pitted dates for $2.88 (regular price was around $3.50), 2 bags of frozen unbaked mini pastries for $1.99/bag (over 2 dozen pastries per bag), 8 bunches of fresh broccoli for $.97/bunch, a 6 lb bag of apples for $3.97, and 6 cucumbers for $0.50/cucumber.
    *Hubby and I had a free date night playing Bingo this week. My MIL gave us free tickets to attend the fundraiser event when we saw her at Easter. We ate dinner at home and took snacks from home. We didn't win, but it was nice spending some one on one time with hubby.
    *DD returned to school this week and things seem to be going better so far. Some of the school board support staff (ABA specialist and behaviour consultant) spent the week at the school to show the school support staff how to best support DD. DD now has a new routine that is more sensitive and retains her dignity. She even attended a school assembly (a talent show), with proper planning. This was the 1st time attending an assembly since starting high school. Usually they tell me they cannot support her and make alternate arrangements for her (like having her stay home). DD was extremely anxious about going, but I talked to her ahead of time about the plan and assured her she could leave early if she wanted/needed to. DD stayed for 1 hour, then left because she found it too noisy...a lot longer than I thought she would! Fingers crossed that they continue to support her properly from now on!
    *DD had her friend sleep over on Thursday night, as they both had Friday off from school. We are aware that her family struggles financially and home life is complicated. Her friend made a few subtle comments about not taking a lunch to school and not having much for breakfast. So, I asked her if her mom was having a hard time buying groceries right now. She admitted there wasn't much food in the house, due to her mom not being able to keep a job. She often stays for dinner when she comes over. I think her mom has been encouraging her to hang out at various friends homes, because her daughter is offered food when visiting. Makes my heart break. So, I kindly offered to give her some food from our pantry to take home. She very gratefully accepted my offer. We filled up 4 bags with a variety of items, from food to personal hygiene items. While picking out the items to take, she told me how hard it has been to go to school and watch all the other children eating delicious lunches while she sat silent and hungry. Even though there is a food program in our schools, people are still reluctant to use them for fear of others finding out their struggles. I have already told her that if she does go to the same high school as DD next year, and she has a lack of food in the house, she can let me know and I will happily send 2 lunches with DD so she can give her one. So glad I have a well stocked pantry to share when others need help.
    *Finally had nice enough weather this weekend that we actually opened a window and the patio door a crack to let some fresh air in. DD and friend even went for a walk in the neighbourhood! Snow from earlier in the week is almost melted and weather man predicts warmer temps for the next few days. I think we are finally entering spring here...YEAH!!!!

    I look forward to catching up on everyone's accomplishments, as usual. Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!

  • Rhonda, that is my second youngest daughter.

    I am so glad you were able to help out the girl and her mother. I imagine her mother cried in gratitude when she opened those bags from you.

  • Rhonda A. April 23, 2018

    We live in a country that has plenty of food to go around. In my humble opinion, no one should be hungry. It's just not right.

  • Mable April 22, 2018

    How thoughtful you are, Rhonda!

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