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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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  • Cindy in the South May 14, 2018

    I convinced my son to NOT take me out on Mother's Day, I dislike crowds. I made lunch of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas with garlic bread. My other kids, all contacted me. They are all working out of town, my oldest is on the river barge, my daughter is in Utah, and my middle one is well, I really think he overslept, but maybe he was working out of town...lol. My youngest surprised me with Pioneer Woman bowls, which are so pretty! I promptly sent home leftovers to him in them. I did have a frugal fail, the neighbor was weedeating, and a rock flew and shattered my car window. It is below my deductible, so I will have to pay to fix it. My neighbor did agree to mow my lawn this summer, up to the price of the window. I am harvesting mulberries. They are small this year, so I have put sheets down on the ground, and I am gathering them that way.

  • Susie May 21, 2018

    Forgive me if this sounds rude (not my intent in the least) or ignorant (it happens...) but why isn't your neighbor liable for breaking your car window? Wasn't it completely his fault? I would think he would have to pay for it out of pocket, or file with his home owner's policy.

  • Kris May 14, 2018

    You have a gift for making frugal parties look professionally done. Love it. Also ... the gap-tooth smile your daughter has is too precious, and the dress is amazing. You are one talented mom.

  • Jo May 14, 2018

    I'm surprised your lettuce is still good, too. It's awful by this time in Florida.
    I made a five-gallon bucket of laundry detergent; that will hold us for a good while. I found that Zote soap sells pre-flaked white soap at Walmart, making the whole process much simpler. I was grating about 5 ounces of soap each time, so now I just measure out five ounces by weight. The price is not bad -- a 17.5 ounce box of Zote to make 3+ of the five-gallon batches of soap costs about $2.80 here.
    I paid some medical bills by phone. Some websites charge "convenience fees" but using the phone for these bills was free.
    I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot and pulled the meat off of the bones. Today I have the bones cooking in the crockpot to make bone broth.
    I hung out most of my laundry.
    I trimmed my bangs.
    We didn't go out to eat for Mother's Day, keeping it frugal for my kids. Plus, the restaurants are so over-crowded!
    I love the white dress as well. It looks very sweet on a very sweet girl.

  • It's bolting, but we had a cold spell earlier in the year that slowed it all down, and so much of it is just now ready--and of course, bolting because of the heat. It's starting to be a bit bitter but we are eating it anyway.

  • Juls Owings May 14, 2018

    My Brother just reminded me that Mother would cook bolting lettuce like greens...just an idea for you Brandy

  • I did that once--and just this month I saw another cooked lettuce recipe. NEVER AGAIN. It was so nasty. No one in my family would eat it and I ended up throwing it out.:( I guess some people care for it , but I will stick with salad.

  • Jenny May 14, 2018

    We spent Mothers day at my parents place because it's good to spend time together and we don't need to go out to do that. In truth we usually spend time together at least once a week, not just on Mothers or Fathers day.

  • Marybeth May 14, 2018

    Your daughter looks beautiful. Congratulations to all of you. I cannot wait to start getting lots of food from my garden. All I am getting right now is kale and I am grateful for that. I had a wonderful Mothers Day. I was spoiled. I hope you enjoyed yours. We did our first fire pit of the year. It was a beautiful night and we roasted marshmallows and listened to music. The rest of my list is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/05/my-frugal-list-week-of-may-6-2018.html

  • Kim May 14, 2018

    Frugal accomplishments for last week were as follows:

    - The peonies came into bloom so I picked a bouquet for my kitchen counter.

    - I noticed some plants growing in a container that I thought was empty. I thought they were weeds, but decided to let them grow a bit longer. They turned out to be white petunias so I transplanted them into a pot and set them on the patio table.

    - I sold one item on Ebay and listed another item.

    - Received a check from the consignment store I had taken things to.

    - Completed one PineCone survey and received credit for it.

    - My son sent me a beautiful bouquet of roses for Mother's Day. Despite putting them in water upon arrival, several of them wilted and fell apart the next day. My son called the company he purchased them from and sent them a picture. The company agreed to send a replacement. In the meantime, my tea roses began to bloom in my garden so I cut a few to replace the ones that had to be tossed.

    - I thought the jarred salsa my husband bought could used a flavor boost, so I went to the garden and snipped some cilantro to add to it. It won't be long until the cilantro will bolt here as our temperatures are now in the 90s.

  • Kerry May 14, 2018

    Congratulations on your daughter's decision to be baptized! She looks so precious in white!

  • Samantha May 14, 2018

    Congratulations on your daughter's baptism. You have many wonderful things to celebrate lately in your family!

    This last week has been a rough one. Our cat (who is a rescue now between 18-20 years old) was diagnosed with oral cancer and advanced kidney disease. He very suddenly lost weight, hesitated when eating, and generally declined to a cat very unlike himself. We're pursuing a 'last ditch' treatment similar to dialysis this week in hopes that it extends his life and comfort, to some extent. We're both very surprised by just how difficult this is, particularly given the suddenness of it. We can rationalize that he's an animal, but he's such a significant part of our home and lives even still. I'm glad we've been frugal and set aside an emergency fund to ensure we have one less thing to worry about when surprises strike. It's quite the blessing.

    +I purchased some pineapples to freeze for smoothies and fruit salads at .97c each.
    +I redeemed my freebies from Safeway's monopoly game.
    +Attended our non profit community garden plant sale and purchased a few plants that failed in the cold frame including tomatoes, some herbs I needed, and a couple of flowers and spent well under half what I would've at a nursery- all to a good cause.
    +Continued making sun teas (chamomile, green, sleepytime, and black) to enjoy.
    +Celebrated a frugal mother's day with my mother in law and mom with home cooked meals and gifts baskets that I've filled by buying reasonable goodies throughout the year. I also bought each a gift card to go in the basket and bought them at my nearby grocery store for fuel points.
    +I'm helping my senior parents manage their budget and helping them through a debt snowball process. They are on a fixed income in retirement, and my mom has a spending/shopping problem, and they need some help managing.

    I hope all the moms on here had a great mother's day with their families, and that everyone has a great week ahead!

  • I'm sorry to hear about your cat, Samantha. I'm sure your vet has already spoken with you about this, but cats with kidney issues are recommended to be on a special kidney diet. Hill's Prescription foods has k/d (kidney diet) in both wet and dry forms (wet food is better as it contains more water, but dry food is generally cheaper. ) and Medi-Cal Royal Canin has 3 types of wet food (in both pate and stew form) and two types of dry food. You can experiment to see which your cat prefers. If your cat has very high kidney values, the doctor might suggest putting him on a drip for a day to try to lower the values, and then can teach you how to administer fluids (lactated ringers sol'n) at home (much cheaper than bringing the cat into the vet every few days). Administering fluids will go a long way to lowering the kidney values, helping your cat live longer, and helping him feel better. In terms of weight loss, dry food will have more calories, but wet food can be heated in the microwave for a very few seconds to heat the oils in the food and make it smell more appetizing to a cat. As kidney cats need a lot of water to help flush their system, you can experiment with ways to increase their fluid intake. Some prefer fresh water, some distilled water, some tap water, some water with ice cubes, some water with a tiny bit of tuna water added. I've seen cats live a long time with both kidney disease and oral cancer, by the way. Best of luck with your cat. I had two cats with kidney issues myself.
    Oh, and since the cat food companies stand behind the palatability of their food, you *should* be able to return opened bags to your vet, and they should be able to return them to the sales rep. Might save you a few dollars at some point. Some vets will also let you return unopened cans, but I think that depends on the vet.
    Oh, and one last thing, if you buy canned food from the vet, they should be able to give you a lid to keep the canned food fresh, free of charge. They should be receiving them from their sales rep. Again, best of luck!

  • Rhonda A. May 15, 2018

    Samantha, I am sorry your beloved kitty is sruggling with some serious health issues right now. You are very lucky your cat has lived to this age! As I've mentioned before, I was a vet tech for over 10 years. I know you love your kitty very much and I respect your decision to treat. However, I would like to offer some words to consider as you proceed with expensive treatments. Kidney disease is one of the most common ailments that cat often pass away from as they get older and cancer, any many humans can atest to, can be very painful. Treating a 20yr old cat is like realy like treating a 100yr old person. No guarantees they will live many more years, even if you are successful at treating this round of problems. When making decisions for your cat, please don't make them for your sake...make them for your cats sake. I have watched many of owners insist on treating their beloved pets because they couldn't let go, all while the animal was suffering immensely.

    On the flip side, I have worked in an animal shelter and have had to euthanize perfectly healthy animals because there were just not enough homes to take them. You will never forget how special this beloved family was to you. No one will deny how much you loved them. There are many more animals waiting to find a wonderful family like yours who will love them as much as you love this cat.

  • Samantha May 18, 2018

    Thank you Margaret and Rhonda for your thoughtful responses. We only went through one day of treatment, and then my kitty passed away naturally. He went to sleep, and just didn't wake up. We are certainly heartbroken, yet very grateful for a peaceful passing and so many great years with him.

  • Rhonda A. May 19, 2018

    So sorry for your loss, Samantha. I guess it was definitely his time, but I'm glad his passing was peaceful.

  • Pat May 19, 2018

    So sorry for the loss of your cat, but grateful you had so many wonderful years with him.

  • Lilli May 14, 2018

    Dear Brandy, I love the photo of your daughter. Baptisms were very special in our family and all the children wore the same outfits handed down from previous generations. I am a sentimental fool. I hope that baby Simper is nursing , sleeping and being quite content.
    Mothers Day started out well. The girls and I went to the thrift store and picked up some random odds and ends for pennies. We actually bought chili slaw dogs and drinks for lunch. We had planned on an outing to Olive Garden but that didn't work out. Sugar cookie became very ill and we spent the day in the emergency room. Thankfully this center is staffed around the clock and she had necessary scans done at two in the morning. We will be making the rounds again with oncology as soon as they can schedule her. I am grateful to be cared for by such an amazing team in this ER. She is feeling better today. I can only imagine that this was not a frugal visit. On the other hand, when you owe many thousands, what's a few more !
    I collected greeting cards from my stash and mailed out to various loved ones for Mothers Day. I actually processed a jar of pennies at the coin star and cashed out for postage stamps. I gave my neighbor a gift of Bath and Body works from my gift closet. I have pretty much stopped giving gifts and my stash of presents has about run out. I purchased some diapers for my son's friend who is a soon to be dad. My Amazon account is coming up for renewal and I am not renewing it. Instead, I will share benefits off of said friends account and continue to find him deals for the new baby. I did receive a welcome baby box from Amazon from the items I purchased on my account. I have no idea what is in it, but I forwarded it on to a friend. Sugar cookie asked to go to the movies. I used a promotion on yogurt and bought 4 packages to redeem for two Fandango movie tickets. I will use the yogurt to make frozen pops for her. College girl has told me that my frugalness knows no boundaries. While out with her, I picked up a red coke cap off the ground. Then at the pet store, I walked past a front door mat on the ground. It was covered in white dog hair. When we came out of the store, I stopped and looked at it. I don't have one. I would like one but it's not on my list of needed items. I decided I wasn't to proud to take it home. I put it in the trunk and my son cleaned it. It looks brand new and is beautiful. College boy has a movie and dinner date with a friend. I suggested he do the yogurt deal for the movie tickets or go to Sam's Club and pick up the 50.00 dollar gift cards they sell for 40.00. I reminded him that a late lunch would be cheaper and that he should check for a coupon. I downloaded two books for free from Audible while at the hospital. At the moment, a sliver of encouragement was much needed. I chose Wayne Dyer. I hope everyone is having a great week. I am enjoying the red birds in my backyard. I have male cardinals everywhere. I hope to put up some type of feeder this week.

  • Becky May 14, 2018

    I hope your daughter is all right! That must have been scary for you all.

    It sounds like you were able to save a lot of money here and there all week. Good job! That's great that you could get movie tickets from a promotion.

    I think red cardinals would be so lovely. We are on the west coast, so we are not in their range.

  • Athanasia May 15, 2018

    Lilli, I am sorry to hear of your struggles. I pray for strength for you to handles whatever comes.

    Amazon even suggests you share accounts with another. They are fine with that. Also there are several ways to get discounted accounts...college students with .edu can get them for, I think, half price. There are also ways to pay piecemeal for the portions of their service you want, rather than pay for the complete service. I just received this in an email from them.

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