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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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  • Margie from Toronto April 23, 2018

    I am so glad to hear that things have improved for your daughter at school - I will keep my fingers crossed that things stay calm as you return to work.
    It was very kind of you to provide food for your daughter's friend - we take it for granted here that everyone has enough to eat and it's a bit shocking when we find out that it's just not so. Someone who lives in this apt. bldg. was having financial struggles about 18 months ago and word got out as she was looking so gaunt - many of us made sure to send down a few meals or drop off gift cards and one woman sat down with her and got her OAS sorted and got the paperwork in for the low income supplement which has made a huge difference. It doesn't take a lot to tip the balance.

  • Ava April 23, 2018

    Rhonda, several of our school districts (specifically the high schools) have programs for students struggling with hunger, or who feel responsible for feeding their own younger siblings. Students can take a backpack filled with food and necessary items (i.e. feminine products) home for the weekend; it looks like any other backpack, so their dignity is respected, and other students are none the wiser. I don't know if your high school has a similar program, but it could be worth exploring for your daughter's friend. I am so sorry to hear of her struggles. As a teacher, it always hurts my heart to hear of students going hungry - how can anyone learn when they're starving? :'( Thank you for helping your daughter's friend, and I wish your daughter, too, all the best.

  • Rhonda A. April 24, 2018

    DD's friend is in primary school (grade 8), but I do know the school she attends has the backpack program. I think she is too embarrassed to tell anyone her family is struggling. I just put it together from some of the comments she made while here and made the bold move of asking her outright. She is worried about paying for her grade 8 graduation trip, too. I told her to talk to the principal about these concerns as there are financial supports they can offer to help her pay for the trip. I assured her this trip was important and worth asking for help. I don't know if she did or not though. Unfortunately, even though the programs are available, it can be very difficult for people to admit they need the help.

  • Athanasia April 25, 2018

    I know that in the grade schools here Kindergarten through 5th, they have a program to fill backpacks for the weekend. Since grade schoolers backpacks are in the hall on pegs and not in rooms a group comes along Friday afternoon and puts the weekend food into the specified backpacks while class is still in session. If you are eligible for the free lunch, milk etc you automatically get a weekend package.

    It sounds like if the mother can't or won't work at getting enough food for the family through available channels the daughter will have to become more proactive. That might be a hard thing for her to do but it is nice that she has your family to encourage her.

  • Monica April 22, 2018

    Brandy, I loved reading the Marriage Proposal story. I have been a long time reader and somehow had missed that post! It was great! I always love hearing about your deals. That is a great buy on strawberries. I just purchased seven plants and materials for a raised bed for them and spend about $40. And I wonder if I would’ve been better off finding a good deal on the strawberries and just spending $40 on them. But, alas, perhaps the plants will do well and I’ll eventually get my money’s worth out of them. PS. I’m hoping your pregnancy is going well! Would love a small update if you feel up to it!

  • I hope your berries do well. Mine burn here, but in a more mild climate, you should get lots of them!

    I shared a photo of myself on Instagram on Friday.

  • Monica April 23, 2018

    Oh great! I wasn’t on instagram last week so I missed it! Will head on over now!

  • Athanasia April 25, 2018

    Monica, good luck with the berries. It is worth it to have your own. A couple years ago my children made me a strawberry bed and last year we harvested more strawberries than would have been affordable to buy from the store or farm stands. I am looking forward to even more this year.

  • Mable April 22, 2018

    1. Finished all the seed starting for this year---over 600 seedlings growing away under lights in our garage. They won't go into the greenhouse until mid-May and the rest outside after June 1. Before that the soil is too cold here in northern Alaska.
    2. Did some volunteer work for a local agency for 30 hours a week for two weeks. I was happy to do it and was surprised when the day I left they gave me a $50 gift certificate and a box of mini-coffee cakes in thanks. The $50 certificate was a nice boost to our grocery budget, allowing me to stock up on a few things I have been needing.
    3. Sold a giant double-clad stock pot for $70. I have another that I seldom use and the one I sold was given to me after a friend's mother died.
    4. a local restaurant supply place had skinless, boneless chicken breasts on a flash sale, for one dollar a pound! This happened once before and I stocked up then but I bought another 20 pounds. Never, ever have paid so little for chicken breasts.
    5. Someone on our local free cycle group gave away 47 cans of a 48 can case of tuna. She didn't like the texture. I was happy to get it for just the price of gasoline to go pick it up.
    6. Cut off three corduroy dresses that had gotten too short after years of washing, to make three shirts.
    7. One of my meds went way up in price. The doctor wrote a prescription for double the dose and I cut them in half. The price of the larger dose was the same as the smaller dose!!
    8. Used the library liberally, for books and DVDs and magazines.

  • Luba @ Healthy with Luba April 22, 2018


    Congratulations on the anniversary of your engagement!

    This week, I stayed at home a few days to save money on gas and to enjoy peace and quiet.
    We had a relative for dinner and used as much food as possible from what we already had at home.
    We used free methods of communication as much as possible.
    We walked as much as possible to save money on transportation costs.
    When we went to the store, we purchased only what we needed.
    We kept lights off as much as possible.
    When we left somewhat under the weather, we used natural remedies we already had at home and did our best to get as much rest as possible to feel better.

  • Lorna April 22, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) .

    I love your flower display and so great you were able to get your son's glasses at such a reasonable price with an added discount Brandy :) .

    Here is what we did this week to cut down on expenses and plan ahead for food storage and other things -

    Financial -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home bank account bringing us to 24.77% of the way there.
    - Banked $80 into our bank emergency kitty to top that up further.
    - Redid our total budget and grocery budget and took it up to account for price rises here to $75 a week for the 2 of us and raised other categories to suit price rises as well.
    - Earned $4 from the sale of silver beet from the gardens which I put into buying apples on special.
    - Took advantage of a free listing promotion on eBay and listed 10 items saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -
    - Found a 3kg bag of oranges on clearance whilst grocery shopping saving $2 on usual costs and they were perfectly fine.
    - Purchased 7.45kg of apples on special reduced from $3.50kg down to $1.99 saving $11.25 on usual prices.
    - Bought 10 tins of long life vegetables and meat on 50% of sale saving $20 on usual costs.
    - Whilst going to a church function in the city we again took our 3 empty fuel jerry cans with us and stopped off at our favourite wholesale fuel service station and purchased fuel for them and to fill the car saving 14c per litre of E10 and 9c per litre off unleaded fuel saving $11.25 on prices we pay here in our small country town. The saving made our day trip free for us and we packed a nice lunch to have together in the park on the way back.

    Gifts and blessings -
    - A friend dropped over a bag of lemons she had picked at the school she works at saving me $14.15 over purchasing them and I in return as a thank you gave her a bunch of silver beet picked fresh from the gardens.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Made 10 bags of apple pie filling using the apples we purchased on special and free lemons saving us $13.54 including our expenses over purchasing tinned apples to make the same amount of pies. So happy with our fruit purchases as it is rare we get apples and oranges so cheaply in our small country town.
    - We zested and juiced all the free lemons and put them in the freezer for future food stocks.

    In the gardens -
    - Trimmed, separated and transplanted canna lilies and native lilies in a newly prepared garden bed so we can amend the soil in the bed we took them out of. We plan to take most of these with us potted when we move into our newly built home to save on landscaping costs.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).

  • Maxine April 22, 2018

    I'm thrilled that you are taking plant divisions from your old house to your new. I am in the middle of this right now. People look at me like I'm crazy when they hear about it. I think I am crazy like a fox, and you, too. I estimate the plants I am taking with me are worth at least $450 and at no loss to the new owners. In fact, the plants I left are much better for being divided.

  • Lorna April 22, 2018

    Maxine I don't think you are crazy at all in fact I think you are very financially savvy for taking your divisions as it saves so much in landscaping costs. Why buy new plants when you have a resource already there that you can use :) is mine and your point.

    We are in a rental at the moment and when we have our home built will have a small mortgage to pay off so every way we can save money is money in our pockets and more we can pay straight off the mortgage.

  • Athanasia April 25, 2018

    Lorna, I have been wondering how your adopted kitty cat is doing.

  • Lorna April 25, 2018

    Hi Athanasia and Tabatha the cat is doing very well and has put on almost 500g in weight and is a real character. She is the best hunter you have ever seen and regularly gets rid of large country rats and mice despite not having developed most of her back teeth.

    I think she may think she is a dog as she follows us everywhere and literally gallops along beside us when we are outside and goes wherever we are. Good to see she is happy and healthy and she adores lots of cuddles and pats and really enjoys a brush. We have now got her so she will let us cut her claws too but it is not one of her favourite activities as with most cats.

  • Athanasia April 26, 2018

    Sounds like you and the cat have really bonded...great for all of you.

  • Jenny April 25, 2018

    Isn't petrol expensive at the moment? I saw it for $1.43 a litre and that was a cheap price, other places its over $1.50 a litre. Fortunately I don't use the car much.

  • Lorna April 25, 2018

    Jenny we have similar prices here in our small country town of $1.44 -$1.50 per litre too with the prices are getting quite ludicrous I think. Wondering how people are affording to fill their cars here at the moment, very sad indeed :( .

    Not sure if you have a Metro service station near you but they sell wholesale fuel to the public and have a few locations around Australia. Well worth looking and seeing if there are some in your area and go there.

    We paid $129.9 a litre for E10 and $136.9 per litre for unleaded which is not too bad at all at the moment. We travel little as well in the car and only used 86 litres of fuel for the car and garden machinery in 4 months.

  • Lorna April 25, 2018

    Oops Jenny typo should have read $1.299 per litre E10 and $1.369 per litre unleaded :o .

  • Libby April 22, 2018

    Happy Proposal Day!
    The flower arrangement is gorgeous. Is that Ivory having a picnic with Octavius? I remember when she was born. She is a beautiful girl and I love how her brother is snuggling into her.

    • I called around for quotes for a sleep study my doctor recommended. My copay will be approximately $800. Not sure how I’ll proceed.
    • Loaded electronic coupons prior to shopping at Walgreens
    • Made swag goal x 1
    • Went to Manhattan for the day with a neighboring family. I purchased a 10 segment bulk ticket for the train, saving us $ plus we took off-peak trains saving more money. I also purchased, in advance during a 20% off sale, sightseeing passes that saved us $100+ over the entrance fees if we paid for each attraction separately. For example, taking a family of four to the Top of the Rock is $150 just by itself! We also did free things such as visit the NYC main library, walked up 5th Avenue window shopping, checked out Grand Central Terminal, and visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It was a wonderful day and we walked for MILES.
    • Used a $20 off $100 grocery store coupon in addition I earned a $25 gift card from grocery loyalty points. I've tucked away the gift card to use later.
    • Redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 amazon gift card
    • Baked a carrot cake for my son’s 21st birthday and drove it to him.
    • Shopped a book sale at the local thrift store 4 paperbacks for $1 or 2 hardcovers for $1. I’ll be able to sell some of them on Ebay for $4 each, not huge but I have the time right now.
    • Itemized and donated items, which I had decluttered from my kitchen, to charity getting a receipt for taxes.
    • Colored my hair at home.

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