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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Lettuce and Spinach The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested lemons, lettuce, garlic chives, oregano, spinach, and a couple of apricots from the garden.

I cooked chicken in my solar oven, which not only didn't use gas, but it also kept the house cooler.

Peppa Pig Cupcakes The Prudent Homemaker

We celebrated a birthday at home for my 2-year-old with homemade cupcakes.

My son picked more mulberries from our neighbor's tree (with permission). The birds planted this tree in her yard, and while she likes the tree, she doesn't like mulberries. Most of the berries were too high to reach even with our extension ladder, but we had enough to put over pancakes for breakfast.

We renewed library books online when it became obvious that we weren't going to get the books back on time.

My 13-year-old sold a few camp cards to earn money for his Scout camp this summer.

I got some free exercise at home while I pulled weeds and bolted chard plants from the garden.

Elsa Baptism The Prudent Homemaker

My daughter was baptized on Saturday. She wore the dress that I made for my eldest daughter, which each sister before her has worn.


What did you do to save money this past week?




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  • Athanasia May 15, 2018

    Ava, I was watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW on PBS and some one had 6 state fair posters (not the movies STATE FAIR, but posters advertising our state fair) from the 20's and the appraiser said they were worth 400.00 to 600.00 each.

  • Ava May 23, 2018

    Athanasia, WOW! I could wish my husband's posters had brought that much! (Also I'd like to have seen the fair posters, since I love Americana. I'm addicted to American Pickers...) The one he sold (from the original Star Wars movie in 1977) sold for about $100 (after shipping). Since it had been collecting dust in a storage/crawl space, we considered the money a nice bonus, and now someone will have it to enjoy properly. ;)

  • Athanasia May 24, 2018

    Ava, I wonder if you could watch the show on line on PBS website? It was the episode that took place in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The funny thing about the posters, as they explained were that they were "stock photos" which, if you could not afford to do your own artwork etc you contacted companies who could send you a catalog. You then ordered what pictures you want and the wording you want printed on them. They were very nice 20's Art Deco.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada May 13, 2018

    What a beautiful dress you made for your daughters to wear to baptism. I love the sparkle and spirit in your daughter's eyes.
    Beautiful photo, too.

    Thanks for posting the photo of the hummingbirds. So nice to see them grow...

    I am planting lots of seeds that I got on sale: Cherokee wax beans, Scarlet Runner beans, peas, carrots, nasturtiums, etc. I'm wondering, Brandy, if you ever eat your nasturtiums? I've never tried them but some kinds are edible. I have little peat pots that I can start things in except for the nasturtiums which are better directly sowed into the ground. I have been thrilled to see that all of my perennials have made it through winter. From the annuals I bought on sale at 50% off, I will end up with 8 hanging baskets and 7 planter pots. The cost is a fraction of what I would pay if I bought already planted baskets...

    I am not able yet to hold my camera with my broken arm but have tried with the good arm. After, and apart from, the initial investment in the camera, this is an inexpensive hobby. I took photos of White-crowned Sparrows who were passing through on migration. Here yesterday, they were gone today. Today I was being charged by a territorial butterfly. Quite funny! I got lovely photos but the butterfly was tattered by the birds.

    I sorted through clothes to give to charity. I'm busy washing them. I don't have to take a cab to deliver them but the charity will pick them up. I'll save money by their pick up. I am also sorting books to give away, too.

    I'm not sure what to do with old sweaters my mother knit for us when we were children. Not in good enough shape to give away but it's a pity to throw them out. All that work!

    I used plain Greek yogourt on my face instead of cream.

  • Juhli May 14, 2018

    I've seen couch/bed throw pillow covers made out of old sweaters and it makes a lovely keepsake.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada May 14, 2018

    Thanks Juhli for the suggestion. I found a beautiful dress that was my Mother's. It is a beautiful Welsh handwoven material and I'm thinking of cutting it and making a quilt out of it. Your pillow covers sound like a great idea. Ann

  • We have eaten our nastutrtiums, but they are very bitter, so no one really likes to eat them. They sure grow well, though! Soon it will be too hot for them in the garden and they will all die.

  • Laurie in central NC May 17, 2018

    If you've got many sweaters, you might consider making a blanket, lap sized or larger. I've felted wool sweaters and blanket stitched two layers together to make potholders. They came out nice, and work well. I expect Pinterest would have lots of ideas to use them as well.

  • Ellie’s friend May 19, 2018

    Thanks so much!

  • Jo May 14, 2018

    Last week we came home from our long holiday and are settling back into reality.

      My in-laws picked us up from the airport, saving a taxi fare. They had also kindly bought some groceries and a bunch of flowers to get us through the first day.

      Before we left, we had bought some party fingerfood on special and frozen for a quick easy meal when we returned late in the evening.

      We washed two full loads of laundry and dried them inside on racks.

      During our monthly grocery shop, I bought two treats at 50% off, which made coming home a bit "sweeter". ;)

      My husband washed both our cars.

      We clipped our cats' claws.

      As we visited family over Easter, we came home with a bucket load of chocolate. I like chocolate from my home country much better than what is available here so I'm trying not to eat it all at once.

      Most meals were made at home, partially using free products. One lunch was eaten out as we were out most of the day. We kept it cheap.

      I picked up free tomato relish, cauliflower relish, lemons, parsley and chillies from our local produce carts.

      We combined most errands into one day and took our water bottles.

      Some fancy clothes had to be dry-cleaned and we used a 30% discount. I asked the staff to also repair a zipper on my favourite jacket which was not covered by the discount and came in mighty pricy... I really need to improve my sewing skills.

      We submitted some paperwork to our travel agent to be reimbursed for some overcharges during our trip.

      I bought a needed item at the pharmacy and redeemed $4.71 earned with my loyalty card.

      We bought a needed winter coat, winter dress and some picture frames at the thrift store. I had three $2 off vouchers from doing their surveys, minimum spend $5. The fine print said you could not combine them, so I decided to split the transactions. My husband was uncomfortable at first but the cashier actually commented that it was a smart idea so he wasn't embarrassed anymore. Another survey printed off on my receipt and we will also receive a 10% discount next time due to making a donation.

      Unfortunately, we did not find any suitable winter clothes for my husband at the thrift store as men seem to wear their clothes until the bitter end... We bought two items at a regular store and at least one was on special.

      My SIL suggested inviting my in-laws out for Mother's Day lunch and splitting the cost. We had to decline as it is just not feasible with me still being out of work. Instead, we printed out a photo from our trip and put it in one of the thrift store frames. We also snagged some potted tulips for $11 and replanted them in a nice pot we already had. MIL was chuffed and we were happy with the price tag.

      We went for a long walk for free exercise and found a recycling bottle.

      I worked out our winter menu plan with mostly budget-friendly meals. This will save a whole heap of money and time in the long run. I used scrap paper for all my notes.

      We strategically opened and closed blinds and curtains to let and keep heat in.

      We ran a full load of dishes, saved warm-up water when hand-washing dishes and rinsed out suitable Ziploc bags.

      I made yoghurt in the slow cooker. It did not turn out great but will be eaten anyway. Better luck next time! I also made bread and dried some homegrown rosemary while the oven was already running.

      Coming home from lovely European spring weather into the onset of winter was a shock to our systems. As a result, the heater has been running more than I would have liked. But we're working on it now.

      We came home to our car registration, car insurance and yearly pest control being due. :( I'm so grateful we have a sufficient savings account!

    Wishing everyone a lovely week!

  • Shelley May 14, 2018

    Well let's see overall I did stay on budget. I got very ill so staying in bed a few days helped.
    Strawberries are $1.29 a pound here and beautiful.
    Got a cantaloupe for $0.88
    Ground beef is on sale for $1.99 too, so I got some of that
    Every meal was ate at home.
    Also I have been washing all my clothes on cold and quick setting.

  • Athanasia May 15, 2018

    Shelley, I am sorry to hear you were sick but hope you are back to normal.

  • Jenn May 14, 2018

    Congratulations to your DD on her baptism! How awesome!

    I love the balloon on sticks idea in the cupcakes. How festive :)

    It was a quiet week here and I mostly just decluttered and cleaned. However, I did freeze substantial leftovers from two meals to be eaten at a later date.

  • Juls Owings May 14, 2018

    I love the fact your daughter is wearing that dress. My daughters did the same until Daughter4 passed the oldest at age 13.
    I got my exercise by playing outside with the 3 dogs, mainly the pup Charlotte. Also we dug up most of the square foot gardens to be moved to our new home this coming week. I really really miss not having my garden though I did get rhubarb here (will transplant in fall or might leave if the landlord wants it for himself) and asparagus from the new house garden that fed us for a week and I canned.
    Blessed Be Brandy to you and yours and all that read and/or share here.


  • Marcia R. May 15, 2018

    Daughters come in different sizes. When my first was in Brownie Scouts she wore a size 5 dress. Her younger sister wore a size 12 at the same age.

  • Lorna May 14, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) .

    Firstly congratulations on your daughters baptism how wonderfully special for her to have the gift of the holy ghost in her life and the family tradition of wearing the same special dress as her sisters made with love by yourself :) . All of the lovely produce picked from both your gardens and the neighbours all really help with the budget.

    Here is what we did last week in our home to save money -

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bringing us to 25.25% of the way there.
    - Made $5.95 from the sale of dried sage from the gardens on the internet.
    - Listed 10 homemade items on eBay taking advantage of a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 3 chicken Maryland on 50% off special saving $4.63 on usual prices.

    Sewing -
    - Made two bread bags from fabric I had here and listed on eBay in my internet shop.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Made a quadruple batch of honey, almond, coconut, almond and sultana granola saving $27.85 over purchasing the same amount in the supermarkets.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 3 cobs of corn and a bunch of silver beet from the gardens saving $9.10 over purchasing it.
    - Trimmed the sage, lavender blossoms, and rosemary and hung them to dry for more herbs and lavender for home use and some for sale on the internet.
    - Separated more dried lavender making 20g more for our stocks and some for sale saving around $3 over purchasing it.
    - Worked on another lily bed and dug up and trimmed half of the canna lilies and native lilies to put into a newly amended flower bed and put the scraps and trimmings in the bin.
    - Mulched the equivalent of 1 x 9 x 2mt garden bed using half hay and half dried grass clippings and dried leaves raked from the yard and ran it through our ride on lawn mower with catcher. This saves us using and buying so much hay as it is getting rather expensive here.

    I hope everyone has found some ways to save last week :).

  • Cindy in the South May 14, 2018

    I get so excited to see your house fund growing so much every month!

  • Lorna May 14, 2018

    Cindy in the South thank you for your encouragement and we do too :) . Additional funds banked today as well which I will update next week :).

  • Darcy May 14, 2018

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I, too, renewed my library books online. I love having that option.

    We ate all breakfasts and dinners at home.

    We took our lunches to work everyday, including salads, leftover soup from the freezer, and dinner leftovers.

    I made laundry soap.

    I cut my husband’s hair.

    I used a workout video my daughter gave to me and have noticed my level of endurance is increasing. I feel so much better when I exercise.

    We found tomato, pepper, and chamomile plants for $1.49 each at our local grocery store. I went to the local family-owned nursery and found basil and spearmint for $2.49 each. I bought a stevia plant from them last year but they don’t have them this year. My granddaughters loved putting the leaves in their ice tea.

    I planted spinach and lettuce seeds a couple weeks ago and they are coming up!

  • Lori @ MyVintageWhimsy May 14, 2018

    Happy Monday, frugal folks. Last weeks frugal accomplishments: my car needed a new part, so my dad and his mechanic friend fixed it for me, allowing me to use my mom's car to accompany my SO as he moved upstate 3 hours away, and thus not having to rent a car. Additionally, my parents watched my pups for me, so I didn't have to pay to board them anywhere. SOs company paid for the uHaul and $100 in packing supplies and boxes. He didn't have a lot to box up, but we spent the entire amount, and got tons of boxes to use in the future when it's my turn to move upstate. They also gave him $65 per diem so we expensed our trips to the drive thru as we moved. My only expense in my trip upstate was filling up with gas.

    While helping SO unpack and get settled, I saw a new-to-me grocery store chain. They're actually opening the same store here in my town but it's going to be a couple of weeks, so we stopped in to check prices. The store is Lidl -- kind of like Aldi but much nicer (in my opinion!). Do any of you shop there, and if so, what do you recommend? I saw butter for $1.99/lb and if that's a price they'll have at my store, I am definitely stocking up. Aldi butter has been $3.99 in recent months, but i bought some on sale during the Easter holiday.

    I picked a handful of blackberries that are randomly growing in my front yard. There are more ripening. I saw a mulberry tree yesterday at a seldom used park but it was too tall to reach. I used to have huge mulberry trees in my backyard in Maryland but I had no idea at the time what they were or what to use them for. So many wasted years. lol I still don't see fruit on my pear tree. When I first moved into this house in late June 2016, the pear tree was absolutely loaded with fruits. I didn't get a single pear last year, and I'm presuming a late season freak snowstorm that happened in mid-March likely caused that. I have no idea if I should be seeing pears on the tree yet, but I don't. Maybe we're just not there yet? I hope I get more this year, as I'll have the time and inclination to actually do something with them.

    I'm redoing a bedroom that previously my SO's kids used while here but since he's relocated, they won't be coming here much anymore and I desperately need a in-home office, as I've been having to drive across town to my parents house to work. The kids broke some of the slats to a mini blind in that room. I bought a new one, but realized when I went to hang it that I'd picked up a blind that was 34" instead of 35". I had some extra time that night so I disassembled the broken blind, removed the broken slats, put the slats that were still usable back in and was able to hang the old blind. The broken slats were in the middle of the window and there was a lot of excess slats at the bottom, so this worked well. Not a savings in time at all, but hey, I can return the 34" blind now and get $4 back!

    I found a Nielsen survey in the mailbox at SOs new apartment. He was going to throw it out, but I said I'd take it, and found $5 inside!! I answered the questions for him, and mailed it back off, and he should get $5 in return. Not bad for 20 seconds of my time.

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