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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Oregano The Prudent Homemaker

Oregano from the garden

I harvested lettuce, spinach, New Zealand spinach, Swiss chard parsley and oregano from the garden.

I cut roses from the garden for the table.

I sowed seeds in the garden for New Zealand Spinach, zucchini, and acorn squash.

New Zealand Spinach The Prudent Homemaker

New Zealand Spinach

I cut the sleeves down on two of the long-sleeved shirts that my husband received as a hand-me-down a few weeks ago and turned them into short-sleeved shirts.

I did the same for a blouse for myself that my daughter gave me that she had received at a clothing exchange a few years back. It fits me now and she was going to donate it, but I liked it and decided I would like it as an elbow-length blouse, so I turned it into one.

I saved the extra cuff buttons from the shirts in a button jar, to be used as needed for mending or on future projects.

On Sunday, I said to a woman at church, "I like your dress!" 

She replied, "Thanks! Do you want it?"

I was astonished! She told me the dress was a little too short on her when she sat down and that she was thinking of getting rid of it. She is about 4-5 inches taller than I am. The dress is a pretty navy blue lace dress with short sleeves. She came by on Tuesday morning and gave me the dress! I will take it in slightly, but I can wear it as it is, too.

I thanked her again yesterday, and when I did so, the woman standing next to her (who is about her same height) asked the woman which dress it was. She said that she had bought the same dress and had the same problem, and had given it to a sister who is shorter than she is!

I cut up a linen skirt that I have rarely worn in the last 13 years since I bought it (and that is now too large). I cut the back two sections into pieces for a pillow that I plan to embroider for my bed. I found a free vintage pattern to embroider via Pinterest that I will trace onto the fabric.

I gave one son a haircut.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  • Marcia May 08, 2017

    One year before he got too many grandkids, my Dad made cradles for the four girls, and I (the sister who sews) made mattresses, pillows, sheets and blankets out of edges of worn out stuff mostly, and four little girls got cradles and linens for their dolls for Christmas. I bet those cradles are still around somewhere in the family--the grandkids numbered about 30 some last time I counted, and there are great-grands also. What a fun project that was! I have knitted and sewn many doll clothes also.

  • Steph. May 01, 2017

    Those photos are amazing! I am always impressed with those who sew well. My mother is an amazing seamstress but only one of us girls really took to it (my middle sister).

    My big accomplishment was gardening related. There is a nursery going out of business near us. I bought a Crepe Myrtle tree for $20, and I bought 12 small rose bushes for $2 each! Very exciting. We planted everything yesterday.

    I also made a double batch of your granola and it is pictured on my Instagram if you want to check it out!

    I am well stocked for food and will only replenish produce this week if needed. I made bone broth yesterday which will turn into soup for tonight. :)

  • I love that story so much! I think it's so important to speak kind words to others, but rarely do you hear of it literally paying off like that. haha!

    Here are the ways we saved last week:

  • Melissa in Washington May 01, 2017

    I love the picture of the oregano set against the polkadot dress. This week I:
    - continued to receive meals from friends at church. We had one day that someone said they would bring dinner but forgot. We were ok though, because another person brought dinner that same night unannounced!
    -used up leftovers from those meals for lunches and nights we didn't have dinners
    -transplanted tomatoes, eggplant, marigolds, and alyssum from plants I started a few months ago out into the garden
    -planted zucchini, crookneck squash, and cucumbers
    -used oj jugs to make cloches for the seeds and tomatoes
    -stayed home

  • Athanasia May 02, 2017

    Melissa, I like the picture too, but at first glance I thought it was a big bowl of blueberries behind the bunch of oregano!

  • Cindi May 01, 2017

    How wonderful that the woman gave you the dress. You are frugally accumulating a wonderful new wardrobe.
    The weather here has been cold and damp -- still frost at night, so no new planting in the garden yet. I did plant two blueberry bushes. The Colorado Agricultural Extension Agency had an online presentation about growing blueberries and they suggested planting each bush in a bale of peat moss, so that is what I did. I made homemade bread, chocolate chip cookies and granola. I thinned the lettuce and arugula in my greenhouse and cold frame and used the baby greens for several salads. We had steak salad for dinner one night – a good way to make one small steak feed two people. I also made Brandy's chicken fried steak, which we love. We had our house re-stained and it turned out great, but it ended up costing a little more than we had budgeted, so I'm watching the grocery bill very closely to make up the difference. With snow expected, I cut the last of my daffodils to enjoy inside. I also made an arrangement of geranium blossoms and ferns for my table. I worked on some mending -- a never-ending chore. My husband changed the oil in his truck. He saved money by doing it himself, and was also able to use a $10 off coupon at the parts store where he bought the oil. The local thrift store was having a clearance sale and I bought 6 bundles of fabric of various sizes for 25 cents each and a new harness for my dog (which he really needed) for $1.50, and a water timer for $1.50. I checked out several books from the library that I am really enjoying.

  • Debby in KS May 01, 2017

    How wonderful to receive a new dress, and even better that it is one you admired enough to say something about!

    I've been in the business of clothes-remodeling, as well. Last week I turned a dress into a skirt for summer. This past week I cut off sleeves to make a 3/4 sleeved dress (too hot for KS!) into a sleeveless dress to wear around the house. I also cut down a long sleeved blouse and need to hem those to make them short. The sleeves have always been uncomfortably short so cutting off the wrist cuff should help. i'm hoping to have about half a dozen *new* things for this summer. Now, if I could just figure out a way to make me some new Aravon sandals......all for $15.

    I've got dozens and dozens of beautiful purple Iris bloomed in my backyard and a heavily weighted Peony that has about 50 buds ready to open. Beautiful!! Oh, and I was given a nearly dead hydrangea stump last fall. I had my doubts about it surviving, but planted it anyway. It's now about 5 inches tall!! :)

  • Oh what a blessing that was Brandy! It made your whole week I bet! We have been busy with Spring time here. The temperatures have been warm enough for me to hang some laundry.

    Here are the rest of my frugal accomplishments:

  • Juls Owings May 01, 2017

    April was a struggle for me.I harvested rhubarb , the first cut of the season and cooked it with strawberries from the freezer from our berry patch last year. I planted Little snowpea white peas (hope they do as good as yours Brandy), different leaf lettuces, spinach, radishes, green onions(aka scallions), basil, oregano (ours didn't make it through the winter but the chives and thyme are doing well) cilantro, flat leaf parsley and curly parsley( possum ate it), peppermint, choc mint and spearmint (mints didn't survive either). I've been getting some magazines and after reading them donated them to our doctor's office so there is some NEWER ones LOL. I changed the pattern of the afghan I am making my great grandson so I didn't have to go buy more yarn or start over as I couldn't match lot number of what I had.

    I started listing what I want to get done in May and I still need to check on what I need to buy food and non food. Hubby decided to retire out this year and when he does there is a 4 month gap of NO income until his retirement kicks in. I don't want to wipe out the savings acct during those months so I am looking to see what I should have/need to make it through.
    Thank you Brandy for all the work and wisdom you have shared. I am definitely rereading everything again
    Blessed Be you and yours

  • cathy May 09, 2017

    That's tough when your husband retires. Mine retired 5 yrs. ago. You just don't have extra money. We are okay though. I just keep using my frugal ways. I found a bag of rock salt by the street for garbage. I use it around the yard when I don't want any weeds or grass to grow. Most people wouldn't have taken the time. I also found straw by the field and I used it around the trees.

  • Jenifer May 01, 2017

    What a wonderful gift of a dress!
    A few weeks a go I cut a small bouquet of what was blooming from my yard as a hostess gift. Thank you for teaching me to look at what I have.
    My husband brought home leftovers, about a 1/2 of a rich soup and 4 tiny pieces of gourmet pizza. I was able to stretch into a meal for 2 by adding a basic salad from the garden. We thought we would be hungry after, but weren't.
    I picked a few things from the garden.
    Joy this week was sweeping the patio under a cloudy sky and enjoying the wonderfully strong smell of Lily of the Valley blooms by the patio.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  • Jeannie May 01, 2017

    This week I decided to celebrate Mother's day early. My Mom is my biggest fan and checks my blog daily. If there is not a post, she is disappointed and wants to know when will there be another? So as a gift to her, I am posting daily until Mother's day. I asked her what she like best and she replied, “Pictures of Scooter and cheerful things.” Scooter I can do, cheerfulness is a maybe.

    Already this week I have posted, Wheat Grass or Wheat Lawn? A frugal neighbor decided to eat their front yard! I took pictures without stepping on their dinner.

    Then I shared about being caught trespassing in a stranger's front yard while taking a picture of a rock in their flower bed. I knew I would get caught someday and it finally happened. It was worth all the trouble because it was an “O”utstanding Rock.

    Yesterday I shared my monthly update on the progress in my garden. Sadly, it hasn't stopped raining so I took pictures of the mud puddles in my garden. I never said posting daily would be exciting, I only promised it would be everyday. Even Mom was a bit bored with that one.

    This morning I shared a tiny disaster in my flower bed; however, thankfully, I think this one has been solved.

    As for being frugal this week, I have been good. We have almost finished eating the food that was about to expire. Hubby is quite tired of eating out of the pantry but I have shown no mercy. Food will not be wasted as long as it is edible. I have not grocery shopped at all. This past week was declared a success. Next week is going to be rough. We are getting the door replaced on the garage (termite damage), the plumbing in the master bath has started leaking and it looks like a major repair (taking showers upstairs), the refrigerator has started making a humming sound and food has spoiled (hubby didn't mind throwing it out for me). I turned the temperature colder and then everything in the freezer froze into a solid mass. The big deep freezer (25 years old) has started having condensation drip down the outsides. Why does everything break down at once? Oh well, I choose to be happy. Hey, I might get some great Mother's day gifts, a new garage door, new pvc plumbing pipes, a new refrigerator motor, and maybe a new freezer door gasket. First world problems.

    Everyone is welcome to visit, but after two week of typing, I don't promise to be sane.


  • Athanasia May 02, 2017

    Jeannie, maybe the refrigerator and the freezer just need a good vacuuming out around the coils...underneath etc?? They are always dust collectors.

  • Jeannie May 05, 2017

    Are you implying my house is less than immaculate? That there might be a spot of dirt in my house??? :D

    I followed your advice and checked my refrigerator. The coils are completely enclosed on the back and we can't get to them. The deep freezer in the basement, well that is another story. As soon as the plumbers finish cutting holes in my bathroom wall and decides to leave, I will take a look behind the freezer.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  • K May 01, 2017

    I've been so busy lately, it feels like I haven't had time to spend money! I'm really excited that it's May, now- I'll be able to start my plants soon (even though it's still snowing at the moment!) so that I can make my own herb garden and start my lettuce and spinach plants. I also need to fish my chive plant out of the garage, as I'm sure it's eager for another year of growth.

    Our accomplishments for the week:

    * We're still eating down our pantry, and we're definitely making good progress! We've got lots of empty room in the pantry and freezer.

    * I went through our pantry and freezer and started making plans for meals that I will make for my friend's freezer in preparation of her baby coming in a few months. I still need to come up with a few more recipes using chicken breast, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd definitely appreciate them!

    * I made quesadillas using several kinds of beans, as I had just a little bit of each and wanted to use them up. They make for great lunches.

    * I made more Arnie Palmers with lemonade I had in the freezer and homemade iced tea.

    * I made peanut butter cookies for the office to celebrate the fact that I'm graduating! Everyone loved them and I got to use up peanut butter from the pantry.

    * We're debating becoming a one-car household. My car is doing fine, but my SO's car is facing some significant repair costs. If we became a one-car household, we'd save about $100/month on parking and insurance alone (since our new apartment will be charging us for parking). I'll be taking public transit to class, as it's easy and convenient for me, so I would just need to coordinate errands with my SO's work schedule. We haven't fully made the decision yet, but we have a month to decide and sell the car.

    It's hard to believe that I'll be defending my master's project in under 2 weeks, and it's even harder to believe I'll be graduating! I actually almost completely forgot that I have the commencement ceremony this weekend, since I've been so busy with finals and finishing research. I'm really excited to move onto the next portion of my life though!,

  • BB May 02, 2017

    Congratulations on the accomplishment of completing your masters!

  • PJGT May 02, 2017


  • Athanasia May 03, 2017

    K, congratulations on achieving your Master's degree.

    It sounds like one car would work well for you.

  • Laurie in central NC May 01, 2017

    I cut several bags of swiss chard from the garden last week. I save buttons too, if a piece of clothing is no longer wearable or altered, and look forward to seeing the linen pillows you create. I've repurposed clothing into other things quite a few times as well. Sometimes they're not good enough for anything but the rag bag, but they're useful too. Joining in here:

  • Allyson May 01, 2017

    We are really enjoying our spring weather and more time outside in the yard and garden! Little man is loving trying things straight from the garden, so it's tempting to put up more of a fence to protect things from the rabbits and deer to encourage him to eat more veggies. Anyone have success with keeping rabbits out without a fence? What do you do?

    Here are all of our accomplishments:
    I'd love for you to stop by!

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