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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Apricots in White Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested the first apricots from our garden.

 Artichokes and turnips The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested turnips and artichokes from the garden.

Fig Tarts 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I made fig tarts using figs we froze from the garden last year.

I watched a couple of episodes of Call the Midwife on

My husband had some work done on our vehicle. He had everything written out and he paid half down and had the work done the next day. When they had finished, they told him that they replaced the brake pads (something he had not agreed to have done). He refused to pay for it, as he already had agreed upon the work that was being done. They told him the brake pads were under warranty, so he could skip paying for those, but that he would have to pay $200 for the labor. He reminded them that he already had a signed contract with them and had paid half down, and he was not going to pay for more work than he agreed to have done.  He came home with new brake pads, free of charge.

May Flowers The Prudent Homemaker

Yellow Graham Thomas roses, pink Earth Angel Roses, purple rocket larkspur, and Dusty Miller

I cut flowers from the garden for our table.

We were blessed with several new things this week:

My mom brought over several clothing items for my girls that she had found at garage sales for $0.50 each, including jeans and a brand-new coat! She also brought us some books that she found for $0.25 each.

We were given some hand-me-down clothes from my sister-in-law that will fit one of my daughters.

A friend brought by 18 eggs from her chickens.

Grand Canyon The Prudent Homemaker

We took atrip to the Grand Canyon. It's a 5 hour drive from my house. To save money, we chose to make the trip in one day. We brought food with us, including homemade French bread, chocolate chip cookies, almond blackberry muffins (I substituted frozen blackberries from our garden and some almonds I bought in bulk for the blueberries in this recipe), and balsamic vinaigrette. I did not make enough salad dressing for both lunch and dinner, so I stopped at a grocery store to buy a bottle of salad dressing. The kind I wanted was on sale, and a coupon fairy had left a $1 off coupon for me, which I gratefully used!

Route 66

My husband cut my hair (the day after this photo was taken!)

I gave the baby a haircut.

We celebrated the baby's first birthday with a simple party at home. We had ice cream and homemade brownies.

What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Jo May 12, 2017

    Janet, when you find out let me know! Our daughter added both my husband and me to her Verizon plan and won't tell us what it is costing her. We had pay as you go phones before that. That's sweet of her, but I don't feel she should pay for our lines.

  • Kim May 16, 2017

    I was just in the verizon store the other day. They were advertising a plan for $45 a line for 4 lines with unlimited everything.

  • Marybeth May 12, 2017

    I added my sister to my plan 3 years ago. She has a smartphone and uses a lot of Data. We upped our data plan so that we don't go over. She pays me $55 a month. Her old bill was $120 by herself. My other sister has my parents on her plan. They are $10 each plus fees so about $30 a month. They have very basic phones and use no Data. They don't even know how to text and we have showed them many times. I think it is very nice of your son to do that for you.

  • Terry May 12, 2017

    Janet. We have Vorizon as well. We have cell phones but the old flip phone kind where we share minutes. Its just 10$ a month to add another line which also shares the minutes. I believe they also have a program where you get unlimited data and minutes with the smart phone. It is 40.00 a month for additional line.

  • ellie's friend in Canada May 13, 2017

    Enjoyed reading about your trip to the Grand Canyon.

    I don't think I saved much money this week. I splurged on the first crop of asparagus, locally grown and sweet because of our cool nights. The season for it is not very long. $7 per bunch (ouch but worth every penny). Soon when there is more, I'll buy a big bag of the ends to make soup with. I'm not really going shopping much this week, just stocked up on potatoes, spinach ($3.50 for a big bag), and asparagus. I bought a small basil plant that I hope to keep going in the winter, too. I'm not going shopping because of lack of money and I try to only go grocery shopping once a month. It doesn't always work. I stopped at the tile place to return the samples of hexagonal porcelain marble-looking tile ($2.70 per square foot) as it was too thick and would have trapped the dishwasher. Picked up a sample of rectangular porcelain ($1 per square foot). It is sort of an odd tile as the colour seems beige in the house during the daytime, grey in the house at night, and slightly green in the daylight. I don't usually buy Chinese tile (I just prefer Italian or Spanish) but it is nice and is reduced and is thin enough. It goes well with the wall colours and would go well with any carpet colour. I'm thinking of buying them now as they are on clearance and then using them later. Picked up a pack of 12 spring waters for $0.99 total. This is for a drive in the summer. I bought an extra pack as a small emergency water supply.

    A friend took me both to the market and to the tile store which saved me $100 roundtrip by cab, my only other way of doing this. I usually don't like to go with a friend as I feel it is imposing but this time it was necessary. I did some light chores outside as physically I cannot do heavy things. I sat outside at a planter box and looked at the plum trees which are just out in bloom. I worried that they would not be pollinated as it was cool and thought the insects wouldn't be out but there were bumblebees going from blossom to blossom. Yay! I just praised the Lord for the bees and beautiful blossoms. This year I will try to make lots of jam. I envy Brandy all of your produce. We cannot grow apricots or peaches. I'll go to the farmers' market and buy a caseload of peaches, apricots, Italian prune plums and blueberries (all pesticide free and delicious) and freeze them in mason jars as treats for the winter. I am stocking up on flour, too. Although I don't usually bake (as I'm allergic to eggs), I will try making my own bread and I hope to make my own yogourt. I planted spinach and chard. I saw that chard can be harvested by just picking the outer leaves and then the inner leaves become the outer leaves and so on. I'm planting carrots and peas as well. I'm planting the sprouted potatoes as I know they were pesticide free. And a friend gave me her old rhubarb plant. On digging it up, it became about 7 smaller plants. It is a very beautiful rhubarb with reddish leaves and dark red stalks. So I now have 8 rhubarb patches including my original patch. Rhubarb freezes really well and one could have pies in the winter! Or muffins!

    I emailed to our provincial mushroom society to see if anyone here could volunteer to get me started growing mushrooms as I have a very shady yard with lots of dead logs. I hired my window washer to clean out the eavestroughs, get the outside water on, set up the fountain, clean the gravel out of the lawn (from his snow shovelling). He looked at the roof to make sure that it's in good shape. That is good to do, so if we get damaging hail an insurance company cannot claim it's last year's damage and out of time to claim. The fellow who rerouted the downspout is a roofer and he also inspected it and found it to be good.

    Since almost all of the flowerbeds are planted in perennials, I don't have to buy many annuals. I have been buying plants on the last day of the season (the day before our greenhouse closes) when it is 8 perennials for about $16 (as opposed to $160 on average for 8 at $20). It is fun then to see what survives the winter. Two years ago, I got 28 Itoh peonies that sell for $70-$100 each for $2.50 each on the flat sale. Bonanza! I hope they bloom this year. This should be the last year for quite awhile that I have to do that as most of the perennial gardens will have been upgraded. It is hit or miss as to what survives.

    So perhaps after all I did save some money, without shopping very much.

  • Rhonda May 13, 2017

    Brandy, I am curious about how you travel with your large family. We would love to take the grandchildren on a trip, but even with our van we don't have enough room to travel in one vehicle. Do you have a 15 passenger van, or do you take more than one vehicle? This may seem like a silly question, but our family has grown extensively with the grandchildren.

  • Rhonda, we only have one vehicle, which is a 15-passenger van. We took out the back seat so it seats 12 (there are also 12-passenger vans out there) and gives us room in the back.

  • Elizabeth May 14, 2017

    Brandy~ I have enjoyed Call the Midwife for years. It's one of my most favorite shows (I don't watch too much TV so this one is special). A friend from my church mentioned that the books (written by Jennifer Worth) were so much better than the show. I just couldn't believe it since the show is so good. So I checked them out of the library (there are 3 in the series) and my friend was right! The books were WONDERFUL! I still love the show but if you have the time, check out the books. They are under the same title: Call the Midwife. I think you would love them, too.
    PS I bumped into your comment/ question to Erin Benzakein on her blog, Floret Flowers. Isn't she an inspiration!

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