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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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Comments

  • Cindy in the South February 12, 2018

    Brandy, I also have noticed that many folks seem to be commenting on their work hours being reduced or losing their jobs. It seems to me that widespread stable employment is a thing of the past, and it is more important than ever to have rainy day savings and food storage.

  • Marilyn in MD February 12, 2018

    Thanks, Brandy and Cindy. I work on federal government contracts and the one project just has fewer hours available for the next 6 month period. As I said, we are exploring various options for me to work on and stay full-time but if it happens and I'm cut back, I am at least in the very fortunate situation that I can handle the income cut. My daughter is now out of college and self-supporting (except for being on my medical insurance). I worked on budget projections this weekend and will still be able to save some money, just not as much as I like. However, I can use the time for projects that I would probably hire out, such as painting my home interior. I'll have the time to do it now. :) In the meantime, I'm making sure I have all the toiletries I will need and stocking the freezer with some extra chicken and other items.

    Two years to retirement! Maybe cutting back some now will show me if I'll have any difficulties living on my projected income/budget after I retire. Hopefully it will show me that I'll be just fine.

  • Louise February 12, 2018

    Hi Marilyn. I had my hours cut a few years back. With the additional time at home I was able to concentrate more time on saving/cooking/planning. Along with a little extra time for myself and no gas $ spent on those days, I think I came out ahead and it worked out better for me than I could've hoped. Im so glad you are financially in a good spot and I hope this is an unexpected blessing of more time for you.

  • Marilyn in MD February 12, 2018

    Thanks, Louise. I already work from home full-time, which I love, but I think the extra time will be good for gardening, maybe shopping on a non-weekend day, etc. It could just possibly work out really well.

  • Mari at the Jersey Shore February 12, 2018

    Marilyn in MD, the March 2018 issue of Kiplinger's magazine has a terrific article, "Retirement Reality Check: Are You on Track?" that contains a graph/chart to help make your personal $ calculations. We subscribe to this magazine (also Money which also has great articles on finance & retirement); you can check their website at www.kiplingers.com or perhaps your library carries it. We retired early 5 years ago (I was 55 and dh 60) and have enjoyed every minute of it.

  • Marilyn in MD February 12, 2018

    Thanks, I will check that out. I am fairly certain I am on tra co, but it never hurts to check.

  • Juls Owings February 13, 2018

    Marilyn in MD... as we are retired and buying a new house and doing rehabbing on said house the best info I can give anyone looking at retirement down the road is start living on what you would have then NOW. We even put back what our health ins was estimated to be (I rolled it up). We just came out of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and are doing good because of that. Even when I told the mortgage guy the payment couldn't go over a certain amount as that was all the budget would allow (and not put us in a crisis when the stock market drops). He loved it. Changing from a weekly paycheck to one once a month wasn't as hard as I though it would be. My daughter told me to divide it by how many weeks in the month and base things on that. Daddy told me to pay all the bills even if not due and just hold the check, then you really see what you have left.

  • Libby February 12, 2018

    I was let go from my job right before Christmas and am still actively looking. I am deeply grateful for the food I have in storage, the money in the bank, the knowledge of how to live frugally, and that self worth is not net worth.

    One thing I've noticed from reading blogs written by 20 somethings is they often talk of having multiple streams of income so they are not entirely dependent upon one job. I have been ruminating about this and how to do it in my life.

  • Sarah February 12, 2018

    Hi Libby, my husband and I both experienced a job loss while I was pregnant with my first. Since then, we've both found employment and he experienced another job loss (and was hired into another job), but through all of it we've always had a second source of income. It's can be exhausting, but having a cushion and being able to get ahead on our debt while we both have jobs, makes us feel like we're making hay while the sun shines so that in the event (god forbid) of another job loss we'd be ok.

  • Janet February 13, 2018

    When I was very young I worked a doctor's office reception area during the day 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM I worked nights doing in home care for the elderly 7 AM to 7PN went straight to my day job from this. would go home from my day job shower grab food and clothing and go on to my night job worked Monday through Friday on my night job On Saturday I cleanned the halways and laundry room and lobby of an apartment complex and in the evening I babysat. Sundays I would cook food for my family as I was never home and then Sunday evening prep for the entire week again. I never missed a day of work , I never missed church , my home was clean everyone ate and life went on for years this way. I was able to sleep on my night job when the older people were sleeping , I had to get up if they had to go to the bathroom or needed medications. I just thought this is what Moms do when children are small and they still go to work so it was never a big deal and I never felt like woo is me I just did it. I purposefully picked jobs that I could do even if I was ill . So it really was not that tough. You can do it if you really put your mind to it.

  • Marcia R. February 12, 2018

    That is interesting. My granddaughter, who is almost 26, has 4 jobs that she is working right now. I thought it was just her--didn't know it was a trend.

  • Mari at the Jersey Shore February 12, 2018

    Libby, good luck with your job search. You have such a positive attitude. I am sure good things will come your way soon.

    Several of my cousins' children are in their 20s and they also speak of having multiple streams of income. They are all college educated and have good jobs but they also believe in the "sharing" economy. For example, one of them is working very hard to save money for a down payment on a house - he drives for Uber & Lyft in his spare time to earn extra money.

  • momsav February 13, 2018

    My husband was laid off atChristmas 2010. Being 51 at the time, his prospects for a job, especially in his field were zero to none. He was one of hundreds that got the ax. It took two years to find any job at all. These days, we both have several different income streams. No matter how small, it all adds up. I think attitude is everything, as well. My daughter works two teaching jobs and buys books at auction to turn into book credit. She also has an Etsy store. Although, I think i’m Her biggest customer. One son is a meat manager at Kroger and processes deer during hunting season. We all try to have more than one income to put away extra. Living in America is not what it used to be, that’s for sure!

  • Cindy Brick February 13, 2018
  • Luba @ Healthy with Luba February 12, 2018

    Brandy, people working jobs with seemingly excellent job security are getting laid off left and right. I was offered a job for a gas/oil company back in 2011 (I was a temp). God just did not give me peace about taking it. Well, since then, they've laid off hundreds of employees, and of course I would have been one of them, since I would have been so new.

  • Laura Lee February 12, 2018

    A friend gave me some fabric and it was enough to cover our 18 year old throw pillows that were falling apart and cover a foot stool.
    My husband brought home a scrap of plywood from work to mend said footstool as the top had been broken. I used scraps of batting to cover the plywood and screwed it all back together. It looks so nice and this was a free project as these were items that we were given to use for things we needed. So pleased and it adds a pleasant new light to have fresh fabric in the living area!

    Also ordered potato starts, yeah spring is coming!

    Our new little farm was approved for a Maple Syrup license which is so exciting! We should have at least 20 gallons of syrup to sell this year!

  • Athanasia February 13, 2018

    Congratulations LauraLee on starting the sugaring business. My husband's family has a home business doing that. He gets paid in syrup for helping.

  • Tracy February 12, 2018

    Your lemon trees are amazing! How old are those trees? I’ve been trying to get my citrus trees to grow for years but am not succeeding. Any advice?

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 12, 2018

    They were at least 2 years old when I purchased them in 5-gallon pots. I planted them 10 years ago.

  • Holly February 12, 2018

    I forgot to mention that my main project this week has been sorting through my mom's wardrobe, throwing out the completely worn out items (and shoes stiffened by age), hand-washing all the wool skirts and sweaters to avoid dry cleaning bills, mending sweaters (I can mend little holes in cashmere invisibly and finally sewed on the knit elbow patches I made long ago to cover the large holes mom had worn in the elbows of one favorite lambs wool sweater.), sewing a dozen (!) matching buttons I found in our button box onto a dressy cardigan that had lost a few so mom can continue to wear it in the spring. I have been consolidating items by type so mom will easily be able to find what she wants to wear. Right now, her knit tops are in five neat piles on the spare bed. I have about a 18 inches of closet rod still to fill along with four empty drawers and three cubbies in one closet so I don't think we will be storing the out-of-season tops in the basement. Some of her tops are too big and some of the waistbands on her skirts are too small but I haven't yet convinced her to spend time and energy trying things on so that we can take the items that no longer work for her to Goodwill. 94-year-olds don't always have a lot of energy to spend. I still have some of her hemming to do and a few things left to machine wash and dry. But I am getting close to wrapping up this long-postponed project and look forward to keeping this part of our life organized.

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