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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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  • Holly February 13, 2018

    Ortonville is more like southeast of Flint since both it and Goodrich are south of Davison. The snow is pretty but I am at the point where if I knew the upcoming thaw was this year's spring thaw I wouldn't be sad. The amount of snow people get near Lake Michigan amazes me. Tough people.

  • Kris February 13, 2018

    No way! I grew up in Goodrich! Go Martians! (OK, that only makes sense if you are local to the area ... ). And here we are, meeting up in cyberspace. Went to church in Davison when I was in high school, but went to church in Atlas before that (if you know where that is, you are truly local). Southeast of Flint is accurate. :) Now I'm in Muskegon, yes, close to Lake Michigan and lake effect snow, although this past week you may have gotten as much snow as we did. We aren't tough--ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

  • ElisaB February 13, 2018

    Hi Kris, I spend many happy days of my childhood in Muskegon as that was where my grandparents and other family lived. I loved Lake Michigan and I think I recall my aunt would rake me to Twin Lakes??

  • Kris February 13, 2018

    Yes, Twin Lake is in the Muskegon area, you are right. It's truly a beautiful area out here. We live about 15 minutes from Hoffmaster State Park and spend a lot of time there--for the beach in the summer, and hiking/snowshoeing the rest of the year. There are multiple wonderful beaches and state parks around here and I am grateful to live where we can do so many outdoor activities.

  • Athanasia February 13, 2018

    Holly, we have relatives along the Michigan Indiana border area and up by Grand Rapids and it seems like it would be sunny and clear coming around the bottom of Lake Michigan and as soon we started east and north it would cloud up and begin to snow.

  • Annaliese February 12, 2018

    Beautiful flowers! I am going to try some this year again and hope hubby doesn't mow them down by mistake. LOL! I also want to try some berry bushes too... It has been a slow week but was a little frugal:
    -Gifted some food but we don't eat that kind (high carbs and salt)so I took it to work and set all on the "free table". Regift to someone who would need it.
    - Made homemade pizza 2x and shared with other family members. Had all ingredients in pantry and freezer.-turned in receipts on rebate apps to get refunds and points.
    -Received coupons in mail from a certain store for being a loyal customer. There are a few freebies in the bunch.
    - Used GC to buy Valentine's Day gifts with free shipping.
    -Used coupons for Date Night.
    -Sold 3 items on Ebay.
    -Had to buy a new Instant Pot and hubby found one on Amazon for a bigger size and half off with free shipping due to the box was damaged at the warehouse. We asked for it to be sent in another outside box and it was. When it got here- the so called damaged was minimal and nothing wrong with the appliance.
    -FREE GROCERY ITEMS= 1 yogurt cup, 1 large bottle of sports drink.
    While we were in San Francisco last October, it was Fleet Week. We really enjoyed all the fly overs and sights in the bay. We went to the Blue Angel Air Show one afternoon and it was so exciting! Being an Air Force brat-brought back memories of living near Buckley Air Field in Aurora, Colorado and where my Daddy was stationed. They are going to be here this summer in NC and we are planning on going.
    Have a blessed week!

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood February 12, 2018

    Wow, spring has definitely arrived in Vegas! Sounds like you had a very productive week in the garden.

    My week was a bit quieter than usual, but I still got some things done:
    - I made Quick & Easy Orange & Lemon Scones (http://approachingfood.com/quick-easy-orange-lemon-scones-biscuit-style/) using homemade candied orange peel (made from an organic orange that I traded for a few weeks ago). Using ingredients that I normally would have thrown out (orange peel) makes for a frugal yet fancy breakfast!
    - I redeemed survey points for $5 to my Paypal account, which I then used to reduce the cost of a purchase a gift online. I also googled for a coupon code to use and saved $1.25 using it.
    - My husband’s computer headphones broke so I glued it back together. It should hold until we have a chance to find one on sale.
    - I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 gc to Starbucks (which I add to my registered Starbucks card, to collect points that I can redeem for free items).
    - For Valentine’s Day, I downloaded a free template from the datingdivas website onto pink sticky notes that I bought at the dollar store. It’s a list of 100 things that I love about my husband, and I plan to stick it on a wall in the shape of a heart. It only cost me the price of some sticky notes and printer ink, and it’ll make a big splash. I also have a card that I bought at the dollar store, and some metal puzzle toys that I traded for previously. Very little OOP (maybe $1.50 max all together) but just something to let him know that I appreciate him.
    - I’ve been planning my balcony garden on paper. I can’t plant now, as it’s snowy winter where I am, but am doing research to see whether or not I could add a lemon and/or fig tree to my balcony, where to purchase them, and pricing them out. I know it would take a number of years to produce fruit, and I would have to overwinter both trees inside (the improved meyer in my condo and the mission fig in a cold basement somewhere), but I think it’s doable. Aside from that (and I have a few gift cards to put towards that), a few tomato starts (I’ll try to grow some as well), and a few herb starts, I have everything ready to go! And, I’ve started growing my sweet potato slips using an organic sweet potato I traded for two weeks ago.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  • Jeannie February 12, 2018

    I am interested in what you learn about growing a lemon tree on your balcony. It is too cold to grow them here but I have always wondered if I could grow one in a pot. My concern is that I do not have much sunlight in areas of the house where it would be good to put a potted plant.

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.blogspot.com

  • Signerjack February 12, 2018

    I have a lemon tree in a pot. It has 18 lemons on at the moment, but i do live in Australia.

  • Jeannie February 12, 2018

    Signerjack, is your house sunny inside?


  • Margaret @ApproachingFood February 12, 2018

    Hey Jeannie! I did read that it's entirely possible to grow lemons in Ontario (i.e. in cold and snowy winter weather); one just has to grow them in pots. They do best when outside in the summer and then they have to be brought inside in the winter, and kept in a sunny spot. They do need to be fertilized with special citrus fertilizer several times a year (I haven't gotten as far as figuring out exactly when), and pruned in a certain way so as to encourage them to grow fruit. I believe you're also supposed to pluck off the first fruit(s) when they're very small, so as to encourage the tree to put its effort into growing as opposed to reproducing. It will take quite a few years to get fruit, as the trees are sold quite small (unless you buy a very expensive larger tree). Brandy has some great tips on her Instagram pics of her lemon trees.

    Fig trees are similar -- except that they need to be kept in a dark cool place over the winter. People sometimes bury them over the winter (I believe that was done in Paris a lot 100 or 200 years ago), but that's a lot of work. A garage, a well-insulated shed, or a cool, dark basement is ideal. That said, fig trees are having a moment in home décor, so whether or not they're fruiting, they're super trendy right now. Win-win!

  • Chris M February 12, 2018

    Just a note of caution ... I brought my meyer lemon tree inside for the winter. It blossomed and was the most fragrant thing ever! However, the blossoms were accompanied by an oil which got all over the floor. The next year I made sure to put a drop cloth under it.

  • Jeannie February 13, 2018

    I have never tasted a fresh lemon picked straight from a tree and would love to do it someday. Garden fresh vegetables taste so different from store-bought that I also wonder about lemons. Fig trees will grow outside here but no one does it. I don't know why.
    I will follow you and see what you learn.

  • momsav February 12, 2018

    I’m in the U.P. and have a potted Meyer Lemon tree. It’s in a southern window. I got seven lemons last year. It does drop a lot of leaves before Spring gets here. Last year, when I put it outside on the porch, it was completely denuded Of leaves. I really didn’t know if it would survive. But, it did. It looks like we’re repeating the process this year. I ordered it from amazon. I think it was two or three years old at the time. I’m thinking I may order another potted tree.
    Margaret, I forgot to mention...I followed the link from last week to the pasta dish with basil. It was so good! It’s a keeper! So, thanks for that!

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood February 12, 2018

    Hi Momsav! Yay, I'm so glad you liked the pesto pasta bake! :) And good to know that one can order lemon trees from Amazon!

  • Athanasia February 13, 2018

    Margaret, I tried to find the past pesto bake mentioned above. I found a portobello mushroom pasta pesto. Is that it, because on the post it said you were camping. I mean you could have been camping last week in the snow and cold because I have heard people do do that. Is that the recipe? I make a lot of pesto and 99% of the time I just serve it on angel hair pasta. They like it that way, but I could try to be a little bit more imaginative.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood February 13, 2018

    Hi Athanasia! You are right, it is indeed the Portobello Mushroom & Pesto Pasta Bake (http://approachingfood.com/pesto-portobello-pasta-bake/) I wrote that post last summer; I haven't gone winter camping in years (although I do miss it. I should break out my camping gear and do some snow-shoeing and camping soon!). Take care!

  • Marilyn in MD February 14, 2018

    Years ago, Pizzeria Uno had an appetizer that my daughter and I both make. Split a loaf of Italian bread or sub rolls down the center. Top with pesto, spinach, fresh tomatoes, and shredded cheese (Uno's used Monterey Jack and that is what I usually use). Bake for 10 minutes or so until the cheese is melted. I then usually broil it for a couple minutes to brown the cheese. Take it out of the oven, slice it horizintally into two inch wide pieces, spritz it with lime juice or lemon juice if you don't have lime, and serve it. We eat it as an appetizer or as a main course, especially for lunch.

  • Marilyn in MD February 12, 2018

    We once had a blimp fly over our neighborhood. They look like they are floating when you see them on TV but trust me, they are LOUD! People came out of their houses to see what that strange noise was. Very cool. I’ve seen the flyovers at my parents’ house. The one plane came out of the clouds and was so low that we could practically see the color of the pilot’s eyes.

    My new washer was delivered and it’s very nice not having to wipe up water from the floor whenever I wash clothes.
    I took advantage of my birthday freebies by picking up a free pastry at Panera and an 8 inch Ledo’s pizza (a mid-Atlantic chain) that cost me just $1.59 because I added green peppers and mushrooms to the free cheese pizza. I was also taken out to dinner by friends.

    I found out that my hours at work might be reduced by 20 to 25 percent, possibly as early as May. I’m in a position to handle this financially but I would prefer to not do so since I want to save as much money as possible before retiring in 2 years. My boss and I came up with a plan to keep me on full-time through at least the end of April and his boss thinks she may have an assignment that will fill the gap in hours for me but she’s still checking. However, if I need to go to 30-32 hours a week, my company will still pay the same percentage of my benefits as they do now because I’ll still be considered a full-time employee. Aside from losing the income, it would be nice to have a 3 day weekend every week and I’ll use the Fridays when I’m not working to do things around the house that need to be done and for which I never seem to have enough time. In the meantime, I’m just being very careful with my spending.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 12, 2018

    It seems like every week at least one and often several readers are mentioning having their hours cut or losing their employment completely. I am very sorry to hear this.

    I am glad you were able to get a new washer. What a wonderful perspective you shared about no longer having to mop up the floor!

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