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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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  • Jeannie February 12, 2018

    What was even funnier was me on the phone at Aldi's standing in the aisle trying to write it all down. I gave up since I was already giving in and just bought the cheapest junk I could find. I silently wished they would get tummy aches and feel ashamed of their behavior. Nope.

    The junk is almost all gone now and I feel no sympathy. Yesterday was a crockpot full of pantry vegetables (close to expiration dates) in soup with homemade crackers. They are not suffering at all.


  • Rhonda A. February 12, 2018

    I know your pain, Jeannie! Whenever I ask my husband to help me decide what to have for dinner, he always suggests take out. Not helpful!

  • momsav February 13, 2018

    My husband is the same. If I die first, the man is going to starve or go broke.

  • Rhonda A. February 13, 2018

    Haha! My husband is a cook. He's more likely to go broke than starve.

  • Jeannie February 13, 2018

    These men are so lucky to have us.

  • Jeannie February 13, 2018

    My husband is no help either. He will suggest eating out so I don't have to cook. He won't do take out because it will be cold by the time we get home. We have a microwave but it is not the same he claims. He likes his food hot and will put his cup of coffee in the microwave until it boils. The cup cools the coffee down. So as for me, getting dressed, driving to a restaurant, waiting for the food, eating, then driving back home, does not help me at all.

    Lately, I am not asking what anyone wants. Our meals are being determined by the expiration dates on the packages.


  • Juls Owings February 13, 2018

    Frittia , beef roast followed by hash the next day, pasta and then breakfast and then Popcorn for Sunday night supper with apples and grape juice..that's Hubby's standard answer... helps he was a single parent with custody of the kids.

  • Cindi February 12, 2018

    It was a quiet week in Lake….
    Oh wait. Wrong comment. But it was a quiet week here in the mountains.
    I mended a pair of tights.
    I bought 5 lbs of butter for $1.49 a pound when City Market put them on special.
    My wireless on my phone went out and my husband spent most of two days getting it to work again. The wireless store was no help at all. I was afraid I was going to have to do without wireless, but he is stubborn and persisted until it was fixed.
    I made bread and cooked all meals at home. I turned some leftover rolls into croutons.
    I made homemade Valentines for my husband and my best friend.
    I cleaned out the bathroom cabinet and threw away empty bottles, expired products, and samples I know I will never use.
    I spotted my husband’s name on our state’s Found Money website and he applied for and will receive a $39 refund from a check that was apparently lost.
    While looking in our safe for some other paperwork, I came across a $100 savings bond my father gave me many years ago. It is no longer earning interest, so I cashed it out and put the money in our savings account.
    We checked out ebooks, audiobooks and print books from the library.
    We have a neighbor who was taken very ill and has been hospitalized for a couple of weeks. All the neighbors have been pitching in to provide meals and take care of the house. One neighbor is keeping her dog, another is feeding the cats -- my husband is keeping the driveway plowed. I am so proud to live in a neighborhood where so many people are willing to pitch in and help.

  • momsav February 12, 2018

    Community is everything! (After family..)

  • Jo February 12, 2018

    I hemmed some Goodwill work pants I bought for my upcoming mission trip.
    I buried some more compost in my back yard. I save it in a compost container in a compostable bag, then bury the bag. It composts amazingly well when I bury it, but takes 40 forevers when I try to make a compost pile above ground. The nicer, fresher scrap veggie and fruit pieces go to the worms living in my worm farm (stacked buckets). We have very poor soil, and this is part of my program to improve it -- compost and worm castings.
    I trimmed my bangs again.
    I was in need of a huge gift bag this past Christmas, and although someone gave me a plastic bicycle-sized bag, it tore from what little use it got on that one gift. I was hunting for a cheap fabric to make a giant bag for next time I needed one, when I remembered the sheet set with the pattern I love, which I finally had to quit using. One sheet and one pillow case are still in good condition, and I think they are about to become a Christmas gift bag.
    I made too much gravy the other night. It's been saved, and will become part of a casserole or pot pie.
    I sent a small present to my sister for her birthday, some Thieve's Blend anti-microbial spray. I had the essential oils and a small bottle to make it, already. I was able to borrow the tiny amount of grain alcohol that it needed. She had asked for the spray so I know she wants it. I added a birthday card I already had in my card stash.
    Since joining a larger county's library, I've been happily listening to audio-books on my commute and reading hard backs in the evening when I have a few minutes to spare. My husband has planted the free seeds we got from their seed library.
    The lemons and flowers look lovely!

  • Sarah February 12, 2018

    Brandy I'm still living vicariously through all of your beautiful pictures! Lots of snow here at the moment. Do you have good luck with your mulberry trees? I'd love to hear more about what you do with them. It's been a busy week for us, but we're gaining more traction on our giant house clean out. Joining here https://frugalfive.com/2018/02/12/frugal-5-friday-2-9-18/

  • Andrea Q February 12, 2018

    I've been researching mulberries, as we love berries and want to have more fruit in our yard. I think I've settled on a dwarf, as they are a shrub rather than a 50' tree!

    There are male and female mulberries. Males produce a ton of pollen, but no fruit. Females produce fruit; but some varieties will have infertile seed or seedless if there are no males around to pollenate them. You can't tell if a seedling is a male or female until it starts flowering...which takes 5-10 years. As an aside, male mulberries have been prohibited in Tucson, El Paso, Las Vegas/Clark County and other western communities for decades. We used to live in Vegas and the pollen was horrible in the spring between the mulberries, olives and pines.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 12, 2018

    Andrea, not all mulberries and olives are prohibited in Clark County. Fruitless mulberries are prohibited unless they already exist on the property. You can buy fruiting mulberries at Star Nursery. I had not read about male and female plants so I will have to look into that to see if it is worth keeping this seedling. My neighbor has a fruiting mulberry that the birds planted in her yard and it has borne fruit in the past, though I haven't seen any on it the last two years (usually she has us pick it). There is a white fruiting mulberry that Star Nursery sells that I think would be ideal as it wouldn't stain and the birds wouldn't know it was ready.

    I think a dwarf tree would be ideal. The seedling I have is tiny and in a pot. It's the second one I've had from the birds; the last one died when we missed a day of watering the pot in summer. This one may not make it, but if it does, for now it can be a fun topiary.

    What I liked about my neighbor's mulberry tree is that it is ripe in early April. That makes it ripe before EVERYTHING I have in my garden--even my super-low chill Katy apricots. I want to have fruit throughout the year and having something ripe when nothing else is ready yet is pretty fantastic.

    You should be able to have so many berries there! If I lived in your climate I would grow gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, currants, sea berries, cranberries, blackberries, and bush cherries. Have you checked out Jung Seed's catalog? They have a lot of plants for cold climates. https://www.jungseed.com/

  • Andrea Q February 12, 2018

    I'm not sure if you're asking me or Sarah, but I haven't checked any catalogs. I stopped requesting catalogs because they just give me the wantsies for things that aren't in the budget! We also try to buy trees and shrubs that are locally raised. I don't think mulberries are popular here, so it may be a challenge to find one, in which case, I'll try to keep that catalog in mind. Thanks!

    We have blueberries, native wild blackberries and non-native black raspberries. We've created an area to build a bed of black raspberries and will attempt to transplant some this year. They grow like weeds, so it should be fairly easy. I have a spot with an invasive shrub and a dying azalea that would be perfect for a self-fertile dwarf mulberry, so hopefully it will find its way into the 2019 budget. Our lot is heavily shaded, and it isn't cost effective to spend $10,000 on tree removal in order to enlarge the garden. We have a couple of trees with dying tops that need to come down and I have my fingers crossed that that will open up enough canopy to have two or three apple trees. Right now, I only have enough space for one.

  • LynnDinKY February 13, 2018

    Ladies, I have three mulberry trees in the backyard. They are growing IN the fence. :( I "discovered" them last year. I was gonna make jam/jelly but they went rotten on me before I could do it. Do you pick them, freeze them and then can them? or do you eat your berries whole? I would love to take advantage of all this fruit.

  • Andrea Q February 13, 2018

    For berries in general, I have gleaned and foraged in the past for pies and jelly. I have also frozen them and then made berry-applesauce for canning in October when the apples are in season. Except mixed with apples, I'm not a fan of canned berries. I have also frozen berries with a bit of sugar and then used them as a topping for ice cream. There are recipes for syrup, too. But mostly, we just eat them fresh.

  • Cindy in the South February 13, 2018

    Wow, I have never heard of any type of trees being prohibited here. I have a huge mulberry tree (actually it sits on the neighbor's side, but drops half of its mulberries on my land and they never gather them and do not care if I gather them) and I gather mulberries in May and freeze them. I have no idea what kind it is, mulberry trees are common here, as are pecan trees.

  • Andrea Q February 13, 2018

    Cindy, check your state's invasive plant list. Most states have a list of things that nurseries can't sell, including trees. The laws usually say that no one can propagate/move/transport specific plants, but usually have no criminal penalties for homeowners. And there's always a grandfather clause. Where I live now, burning bush and Japanese barberry are prohibited (among others). I have both in my yard. They were planted years ago by the previous owners before they were prohibited, but now it is technically illegal for me to transplant them. Norway maple, privet, a few types of honeysuckle and over a dozen other plants are also prohibited by my state.

    Male/fruitless mulberries are prohibited in many western communities because they make so much pollen, but the females that produce fruit are still allowed. The existing trees typically don't have to be removed, but nurseries can't sell new ones.

  • Cindy in the South February 14, 2018

    Thanks, I went to the list. Kudzu is prohibited here ( I was not surprised at that) but I do not know anyone who would want to plant it....lol...I did read that that Kudzu was edible on another website! Wow, I do not know how much nutritional value it has and I noticed there were several other invasive plants, like privets, which smell good in the springtime, but grow everywhere down here.

  • Susan Oltmans February 18, 2018

    Kudzu blossom jelly is lovely and yummy. You first make a tea of the blossoms. The ya is a nasty looking color. But when the sugar is added it turns a beautiful pink.

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