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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Meyer Lemon Trees The Prudent Homemaker

We had beautiful, warmer than usual weather last week, and I took advantage of it, working in the garden every afternoon.

I planted seeds in the garden for poppies, dwarf hollyhocks, larkspur, Armenian cucumbers, lettuce,  and alpine strawberries. 

I mended drip irrigation lines that were broken.

I transplanted parsley seedlings into new spots in the garden where they can grow larger. I am completely out of dried parsley and I want to grow enough to dry enough parsley for our yearly use; we go through quite a bit and so I will need to grow it in several spots in the garden. Each year I grow enough parsley, oregano, basil, chives, thyme, and mint in the garden that I never have to purchase them dried or fresh.

I also harvested fresh parsley and used it in a dish.

The century plant I had purchased as a tiny plant at a garage sale a couple of years ago put forth two babies. I dug them up and transplanted them to two pots I already had.

I dug up a small mulberry tree that the birds had seeded in my garden and transplanted it to a pot I already had. 

I dug two boxleaf euyonomus starts and transplanted them to other places in the garden.

I transplanted nasturtiums that had self-seeded to another spot in the garden.

I pulled dandelions from the grass by hand (I never buy a pre-emergent weed killer; I just pull the weeds out of the lawn myself).

I took cuttings from my honeysuckle plants with hopes of starting some new plants to grow elsewhere in the garden.

Johnny JumpUps The Prudent Homemaker

I collected shower warm-up water in buckets and used it to water potted plants on my patio.

I harvested Swiss chard and green onions from the garden.

I picked up my hairspray at Walmart instead of Target. Both places seem to have trouble stocking it (I often have found an empty shelf) but I went to a different Walmart than usual and not only found it, but it was $1 cheaper than Target's price. Henceforth, I'll be buying my hairspray at Walmart.

I picked up the baby registry goodie bag from Target when I went to get the diaper deal, which included three diapers, some baby wash, and baby lotion that I'll use. 

We enjoyed watching the Thunderbirds flying overhead while they practiced. We saw them fly right over our backyard three times in formation; one time as we were watching they released and ended smoke trails all at the same time, which was pretty neat.

Leucojum Aestivum The Prudent Homemaker

Leucojum Aestivum (blooms in May/June in cooler climates)

I read two e-books from the library.

I mended a pillow.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Luba @ Healthy with Luba February 12, 2018

    Brandy, that is so neat that you grow many of your own herbs. I need to be more committed in growing our own dill. My husband and I both love it!

    Here are our frugal accomplishments:
    * Combined appointments on one day so that I was not out and about every day
    * Used our 5% discount at the coop to purchase grapefruits that were also on sale and some meat we needed
    * Grocery shopped for a family member not able to drive right now and for myself at the same time
    * Packed my husband's lunch and cooked him breakfast every day
    * Opened our blinds in the mornings to warm up the house and let sunshine in.
    * Scheduled our tax appointment to be done over the phone rather than my driving 30+ miles. We are glad to use this accountant because he really knows what he's doing!
    * Cooked extra food one day so that we would have leftovers to use the next day
    * Cooked an entire chicken at one time for the same reason as above
    * Purchased paper towels and am making my own "wipes" to use in public places such as the library and stores (shopping carts) to stay away from illness instead of buying wipes with who knows what kind of chemicals in them
    * Paid cash for gas to receive a discount at one gas station and used a competitor's coupon at another gas station

  • Roberta in So. Cal. February 12, 2018

    Love your springtime pictures (even though it's technically still winter :D). How fun to be able to see the Blue Angels fly over!

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Ate home-prepped meals all but one time.

    * Hubs washed our vehicles.

    * Made ww bread, two loaves of "breakfast" bread, ranch dip, hamburger buns, veggie stock, black bean burgers, chocolate chip muffins, cashew chicken, broccoli cheese soup, French bread, Lemon-Cake Pudding (thanks to whoever shared the recipe here; it was a hit with the family), honey-mustard dressing, and cranberry-pomegranate compote.

    * Harvested carrots, a lemon, green onions, parsley, thyme, lettuce, radishes, and rosemary.

    * Colored my hair (it was way past due).

    * Found a quarter while walking the dog.

    * Accepted produce for our hens.

    * Saved rinse/warm-up water.

    * Opened doors and windows (the weather has been beautiful).

    * Cut up scratch paper.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 12, 2018

    Our last frost date is in just a couple of days, Roberta! That means we can plant tomato plants in the ground :) It was in the mid-70's here all last week.

    This week is going to be cooler, which is good and bad. I loved the warmer weather, but I have some things I also need to accomplish inside, so I will be able to focus more on those since there is a cold wind blowing out there right now!

  • Roberta in So. Cal. February 13, 2018

    We've had such a warm winter this year--one of our tomato plants actually overwintered and has blossoms and green tomatoes on it! I'm hoping we'll have enough cool hours for our plum and peach trees to set fruit . . . .

    This week is supposed to be a bit cooler (Mt. Baldy even got snow last night), with nights down into the 40s and even a couple of nights into the upper 30s, so I'm hoping for at least a small crop. Our very low chill peach has lots of blossoms (and even some tiny fruits forming), so I think we'll get some peaches from that tree at any rate.

  • Maxine February 12, 2018

    Susan, my daughter is developmentally disabled and went to a Tim Tebow Night to Shine two years ago. It was fabulous--and free. Our local Specialized Needs Recreation organization puts on a similar "prom" every year and it is a huge event for the very special guests.

    Brandy, I envy you for being able to work outside in the garden. It was 35F here today...20F last night! I got some potting soil and started potting up daffodil and hyacinth bulbs that didn't get planted last fall. Hope to salvage the bulbs for in-ground planting in the fall. The bulbs have been chilling on my front porch since about October. A few had gone soft, but the number of doubles and triples makes up for it. Wish me luck!

    1. I bought the potting soil with a $10 birthday card from Ace Rewards. $10 saved.

    2. Planned to spend $1.79 on store brand cereal but found an even bigger box in the clearance basket for .50. $1.29 saved.

    3. Dropped a $5 HBO add-on to our streaming package. Saved $5 this month--$60 for the year.

    4. Received a $51 gift card from Macy's for participating in their holiday gift promotion. This was the result of my DH buying a suit for DS's wedding. We are going to Hawaii for our 50th anniversary, so I will use this for some summer threads. Only if they are on sale, LOL!

  • Maxine February 12, 2018

    Forgot to mention--got an e-mail that I had 998 points in my Honey (online cashback app) account, with another 2,000 pending. Each point is worth a penny and a minimum of 1,000 points can be cashed in for gift cards. I like Honey because it automatically checks for discounts as well as paying cash back. It saved me $14.25 on a $50 phone a few weeks ago.

    I had 4 no-spend, no-gas days last week (not difficult when you live in a town of 200 people out in the middle of nowhere!). All meals cooked at home--again not hard, for the same reason. We went to a church potluck Sunday.

    Is there a way to edit a message while it is awaiting moderation? I no sooner hit Submit
    than I remembered these.

  • Ann Lee S February 12, 2018

    for Kim Heller: My pineapple top grew well too, after several years it produced two pineapples, great excitement!! One was small, the second tiny ... when the larger finally ripened we cut it open, only to find it very sour. I wonder if I should have put something into the soil, or if the temperatures were not right for the plant. (sunroom, zone 7). good luck with yours!

    Brandy: There are two cookbooks I cherish produced by women of your Faith, one studied Home Ec at Brigham Young U. It is Make-A-Mix Cookery by HP Books Arizona. They make mixes for every possible occasion, the recipes are delicious, their mixes save time and money. Book II has many recipes for seasoning mixes. I include the easy, handy "Ready Hamburger Mix" from Book I.
    4 lbs. lean gd. beef; l large onion chopped; 2 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp garlic salt.
    Brown beef in heavy skillet, drain. Add onion & continue cooking over medium low heat until onions are golden. Add remaining ingredients. Cool. Spoon mixture into four 1-pint freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch space at top. Freeze, use within 3 months.
    There follows many recipe ideas to use this mix.
    Authors are Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward & Madeline Westover. My books are from 1978.
    This book has been a great help to me over the years, I hope it is still available for your readers.

    Ann Lee S, BC, Canada

  • Elizabeth February 13, 2018

    1. Finished up a no spend week on Thursday (It was a great idea, because the rest of Frugal February will feel like a breeze compared to a no spend week)
    2. Bought butter for 1.99 and a few more stock up deals at Kroger
    3. Made a "fun" meal at home instead of buying pizza for family game night. A fun meal involves no veggies:) ***aka the kids idea of what makes a great meal!
    4. Found a new series to read next for my 6 yr old (He just finished his learn to read program, so instead of buying a new book, I found a series called "I read to you, you read to me" at the library..so far he likes it.)
    5. Did our taxes myself...good times...

  • Marybeth February 13, 2018

    We grow tons of herbs also. There is nothing more expensive per pound then herbs and spices. It is well worth the effort.
    -My biggest money saver this week was on my dishwasher. It has not been cleaning well which means I'm using extra water to wash items that weren't coming out clean. So I tore it apart this week and scrubbed everything. I then ran it on the hottest setting with vinegar. It's working great again. Took me an hour to do.
    -I brought some cookies into work that my son had brought home from work. Everyone enjoyed them.
    -A coworker brought in donuts which was a nice treat.
    -Grilled a package of chicken that I got on clearance right before its best buy date. Made a Big salad with some of it for dinner and leftover lunches. Made chicken salad with some for lunches. Lasted several days.
    -Brought water, snacks and lunch to work/school.
    -Used the crock pot 2 days that I worked this week, mushroom barley soup and marinated flank steak. Froze some of the soup.
    -The state sent us a check for a rebate on our property taxes. Put it right into savings.
    -My husband brought leftover food home after a meeting that was going to get thrown away.
    -My son's car wouldn't start at the end of his classes. My husband drove the 20 miles and jumped it. Its been working fine since.
    -Went out to breakfast with friends. Used a gift card I had. Drank water with it.
    -Went to a friend's Surprise 50th lunch. It was very nice. Brought home leftovers as they had appetizers, big salad, an entrée and 2 sides. As favors I was given a box of very good chocolates and a lovely picture frame.
    -Went food shopping and saved almost $40 on coupons and another $1 on Ibotta.
    -It was my husband's birthday. He wanted a tool so I bought it with a 20% off coupon at Harbor Freight. Also grabbed a three pack of micro fiber rags for free with purchase and gave him them too. Got him a shirt from Kohl's because I had $10 in Kohl's cash. Shirt cost me 71 cents. Made him French toast (his request) out of bread that my son brought home. Made him a non dairy cheesecake with cherry topping(one of his favorites). Cherries and pie crust I bought at dollar tree. Made homemade cards.
    -My sister was dropping her dog off for 2 weeks and offered to take us out to eat for my husbands birthday. It was a wonderful meal and we came home with some leftovers. They became dinner the next day with a few other leftovers in the fridge.
    -Gave same sister some bread and pastries since my son has been bringing home a ton.
    -Same sister took littlest sister's computer that husband fixed because she was going to see her. Littlest sister lives over 3 hours away.
    -Made a double batch of dog food since I will have sister's dog for the next 2 weeks. she did bring a bag of dog food which I will mix in when I feed them.
    Have a wonderful week!

  • Allyson February 13, 2018

    Wow, so much to do in the garden! It makes me itchy just to get out there, but the ground is still frozen solid where we are. Maybe next year I can consider starting some seeds indoors. (It's just too much right now with two little boys running around, twirling and bumping into everything!)

    We maintained pretty well this past week, even with the extra expense of $100 worth of supplements for me. The biggest fun frugal thing was the new free yoga class little man and I went to at our local Children's Council. It was fabulous, a dinner provided afterwards, and little man got some great play time with other kids.

    Check out our other accomplishments:

  • Pat February 13, 2018

    Brandy--Kudos for getting so much done in your garden and yard. Your photographs are a lovely reminder that spring will eventually make it's way to the frigid midwest. I lost 25lbs and now I am always cold. Who knew that extra weight was my insulation to keep me warmer!!
    I enjoy reading and getting new ideas from everyone's comments.
    We ate all meals at home this week except a free lunch at my part time job. I work at Omaha Steaks and this was a thank you for all the helpers that made the Christmas season a success. It was for spouses/so and everyone got a door prize as well.
    We were able to stock up on butter and tuna at our Kroger store. We went after the free lunch. We both have cards so we got 10lbs of butter for $1.99 and 10 tuna for $.50. We also found almost 4bs of Golden apples for $1.98 and 4 small yellow squash for $.99. We also bought a head of lettuce and grape tomatoes. Our savings totaled $20.01 and we are done shopping.
    I made a stir and pour bread recipe that we both like so I'll be baking bread now. This recipe takes less than 2 hours start to finish and is very adaptable. The recipe is
    4c ww flour
    2 teas yeast
    2 tbls sugar or honey
    1 teas sea salt/salt
    1 egg (optional)
    1/4 c cream (optional)
    2 c warm water
    Mix all of the ingredients together. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes. Pour into 9x5 greased bread pan and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and cool completely before slicing
    That's it. I got the recipe from Heavenly Homemakers. You can make swirl bread by dividing the dough in 3rds and adding the filling in between. For rolls you scoop the dough into greased muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
    I used half white flour and I did add the egg, It makes great toast too.
    I stayed home as much as possible, paid bills online, only did full loads in the washer and dishwasher.
    We lost our windbreak in a storm last summer and the NW wind blows directly on my kitchen. I have been baking alot to warm it up and run my dishwasher at night to keep the pipes from freezing.
    Have a great week everyone!

  • Penny Swinea February 13, 2018

    What is "ww flour"?

  • Linda Higgy February 13, 2018

    Whole Wheat

  • Tina February 13, 2018

    Whole wheat flour

  • Marilyn in MD February 13, 2018

    Penny, pretty sure that is whole wheat flour but that's a guess on my part.

  • Pat February 13, 2018

    Whole wheat

  • Penny Swinea February 14, 2018

    I must have been having a senior day yesterday. Should have realized that the ww would be whole wheat! Thanks to all.

  • momsav February 13, 2018

    I would love to see the Blue Angels! When I lived in Va. Beach, we were so close to the airport that we had to stop conversation when the planes went by. They were so low that the dogs cringed. It was kind of scary to witness. But, exhilarating, too.
    I used the gift card I got with CC points to send to a niece for her baby shower.
    I made cookie dough for the freezer. I baked six cookies, first. They were so good! These were oatmeal and raisin. I’ve never had much luck with these until a friend told me about using the butter flavored Crisco. It made all the difference.
    I walked at the Tribal Center, around town and did yoga and other exercises at home.
    I listed a few things on eBay and sold one item.
    After reading about Cape Town going dry, I decided I needed to up my water saving game. (It will always be a work in progress.) I’ve started keeping a small tin pitcher by the tub to catch the water from the sink while I wait for it to warm up. I also shower less and just wash “the smelly bits.” (That from meanqueen)
    I bought gas with our local coupons and paid a bill at the credit union and Charged my phone in the car. (That’s when I turn it on and remember that it’s probably dead!)
    I’ve been enjoying yooootooobe documentaries while I stand at the kitchen counter doing my domestic Goddess routine.
    I order cling/sticker labels from my daughter to attach to my herbs and spices jars. I bought a few fresh herbs and spices from the co-op to refill some of my jars. I used the last of a Christmas gift card to pay for most of it.
    I used a washed cereal bag to bash more bread ends into crumbs, used cold water for all wash, saved shower water for the wash or toilet, washed baggies and ate all meals at home. Another good week at the homestead!
    Have a fabulous week ahead!

  • Juls Owings February 13, 2018

    I have spent time daily reading your blog Brandy and am so thankful you share so much. I love the pictures and Hubby even thought about raising fruit trees after seeing how you do yours but 10 yrs from now we will be in our 70s I don't think gathering fruit is going to be what we want to do.Daughter 2 who has been staying with us (gets her place March 1st if not sooner and the guy who she is seeing is moving the lady out) brought home her older son the other night. He has bounced around from place to place since she lost their home. I heard the comment from his dad and stepmom he was too picky of an eater which he isn't as he has acid reflux and IBS, health issues not being a picky eater and the stepbrother and friends said the same thing.... I asked him for a list of what he could eat and went out and bought items to fill in with what I had like my homemade pasta sauce would be too spicy for him and can't eat pork. Still was able to keep in within $60 for 2 weeks of menu plus I got him some snacks that he said he could eat.He offered to pay me for the food which I was proud he offered but was a but frustrated that my 17 yr old grandson felt he needed to pay for his own food. I started seeds from last year's field paste tomatoes we were given and transplanted them to bigger pots. We are still looking for some things for the new house through Habitat to restore and thrift shops. I "cashed" in points for Amazone gift cards at Pinecone research and Swagbucks. Made over 2200 points by meeting goal 7 times and then the points they gave me for my birthday. We had to take the dog food up before Charlotte and Wilbur had surgery and found Charlotte doesn't get us up during the night when we did thats so that's a nightly thing. Not saving any food but definitely are getting better sleep.

  • Melissa V February 16, 2018

    Have your grandson look into the FODMAP elimination diet. It has worked wonders for both my acid reflux AND my IBS - D. It may help him with the anxiety that both issues can bring on. I know what my main triggers are and mostly avoid them - I can even enjoy eating out with some planning ahead. It is not picky eating when eating something causes severe pain (and with reflux it can also cause some severe damage!) as well as bathroom issues!

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