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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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  • K May 09, 2017

    I wanted to thank everyone for their congratulations on my graduation! I really appreciate them. Also, the commencement ceremony was fun, many of my extended family members and friends showed up to watch!

    Our frugal accomplishments for this week:

    * Went shopping at Aldi to fill in the gaps on the last of the meal plan and for the meal prep for my friend’s freezer. I’ll probably go one more time near the end of the month to pick up some diapers and wipes and such to give to her as well. We’re planning to spend under $100 this month again on food/household, and we’ve got $40 left after that shopping trip.

    * My SO picked up a 5 dozen package of eggs again from Walmart for under $3. I’ve been eating a lot of eggs for breakfast and we have eggs on the meal plan for dinners, so I figured we’d get through them before we move at the end of May.

    * I used apples from the freezer to make applesauce and I cooked a chicken and made broth with the bones. I also made jello from my pantry and I dug through the freezer to find all of the remaining popsicles in there. Lastly, I picked up a 6-pack of store brand Ensure. My SO had wisdom teeth removal today (Tuesday), so I’ve prepared lots of foods that are easily eaten without chewing. The surgery went well, though we had to go back in to get stiches again on one side as he was bleeding heavily. He’s doing much better now (and is currently taking a nap!)

    * We took my SO’s car to a different mechanic under a friend’s recommendation, and they determined that the other auto shop (that quoted us $1300 to fix a timing belt and a power steering leak) was likely lying to us, as the timing belt on my SO’s car was perfectly fine and they couldn’t find a power steering leak. We had them look into a muffler issue, and they recommended a muffler shop to repair a small hole. So, for under $300, we fixed the muffler issue and “fixed” the timing belt/power steering. We’re still debating becoming a one-car household, but in the meantime, at least we know that both of our cars work.

    * I took the bus to campus several times this week, saving wear and tear on my car.

    * I started my herb garden and my spinach and lettuce plants. I’m hoping for lots of spinach plants!

    I hope everyone else has been having a good week!

  • Carolyn May 09, 2017

    Your garden is producing already! Here in the northeast US, we had snow squalls yesterday morning. The blossoms have been on the apple trees for over a week, I hope they don't freeze. Blueberries, and gooseberries are starting to bloom. I wont be putting any tomatoes, peppers or other warm weather vegetables in until after the end of this month. We put in four new raised beds and four more this coming weekend. Planted raspberries and strawberries last month. Wont see much on those until next year. Hubby gave my boys each a much needed haircut a couple weeks ago, he trimmed mine last weekend and my mom is coming over Saturday to have me color her hair after my hubby does her haircut. I really don't have the time for the salon or barbershop, let alone the high cost. I'm with you, hubby can do the job, so I tell him when I want it done and he does it. My mom fired the salon a few months back after the lady who used to cut her hair retired, moved south and the new girl cut her hair poorly, too short and charged $20 more. She said she had it with that place and my husband has cut her hair for her twice since for her. She likes his work, he does a nice job, cuts it as she wants, and she likes the part it is free. She used to think it was horrible that I had him cut my hair, but she came around and realized not only do I always get great looking hair, but it saves me a lot of money. My mom is retired now, so the savings are now more important to her.

  • tadpole May 09, 2017

    Good for your husband for insisting that his contract be honoured!
    One day, I will get to the Grand Canyon. It is on my bucket list. One day.

    This week we did a lot outside as the weather has finally warmed up. Our activities included hanging the laundry on our clothesline and working in the garden. I planted several plants that I got free from work, either as "expired" seasonal flowers or bits of veggies that I know I can use to regrow a whole plant.

    The hummingbirds have returned. We are supplying a homemade nectar in our hummingbird feeder and they are providing hours of entertainment.

    I have started walking again to get back into shape. I took one long walk down my big hill to pick up a DVD from our mobile library. The DVD provided a night of free entertainment for The Man and me.

    I bought a bread maker from our local Facebook buy and sell. I am going to try and make my own gluten free bread instead of paying almost $9.00 for a loaf.

    Have a great week everyone!

  • Melissa V May 14, 2017

    Pamela's has an awesome bread machine mix - i have had it come out beautifully every time I make it. It's still not cheap but the loaf you get is bigger and has a texture and flavor closer to wheat bread. I don't use oil - I melt butter instead and always use whole eggs which might be why it tastes so much better than the store bought loaves.

  • TerriC May 09, 2017

    Lovely photos as always. I join in with all the others: that the baby is a year old is absolutely dumbfounding, lol, and indeed you do look terrific. I truly mistook you for Winter for a few moments until I realized it was YOU and not your daughter. I have been doing a good deal of spending this past week. Not typical but there are seasons when one must purchase things and this is apparently my season.

  • Krafty Momma May 09, 2017

    Aldis had close dated chicken drumsticks marked down to $.35 a pound, so I bought 20 pounds. Apples were marked down to $.33 a pound, so I bought 12 pounds. This will stretch my grocery budget for the month.

    We mostly ate out of the pantry, so I only spent $25 on groceries this week to fill in the gaps.

    We went with a friend to the zoo who has a season pass so we got in for free. We brought our lunch, so other than gas to get there, it was a free outing.

    Our dishwasher broke, so I found the parts online to fix it ourselves for $17.

    Despite 86 degree weather and being 36 weeks pregnant, we have yet to turn on the air conditioner.

    I cut up the chocolate Easter bunnies given to my kids to use as chocolate in granola bars.

  • Hilogene in Az May 09, 2017

    Hello Brandy,
    It was lovely to see you three in the photo, Octavius is so big! And you are so tiny, you look wonderful! Congratulations on getting into shape.

    Now for frugal activities:

    -Planned May dinners based on food in pantry and using up freezer meals. Decided on five new recipes this month. First three were great and will get added to the successful pile of recipes ;)
    -limited electric usage of major appliances (dishwasher, showers, washer/dryer) to off peak hours
    -stayed out of the grocery store last week! Goal is to limit the whole month to $100 and after the first week, have spent $24. I have tried to limit to $100 before, earlier in the year, and went over when I found "extraordinary" deals....this month I am going to ignore those "incredible" deals. I can stock up later in the year.
    -made homemade fabric softener
    -ate all but one meal at home, many meals I cooked extra so that I could freeze extra portions for future meals. We are eating a lot of soups lately (split pea, navy bean, turkey noodle, black bean) so extra portions are easy to use.
    -made homemade bread, sliced it and froze in ziplock bags for future use.

  • http://Jen @ Healthfulsaver May 09, 2017

    I enjoyed your beautiful pictures and I always enjoy coming and reading all of the comments each week. I was glad last week to be able to use some Extra Cash at CVS on peanut butter. My daughter and I enjoyed watching a Hallmark series for entertainment. A spring virus is making its way through the family so we have been keeping meals easy and using what we have on hand.

  • Leslie May 09, 2017

    That is a difficult situation that you had with the mechanic. I wonder if the best way to of handled that would of been to split the difference on the bill. We all make mistakes, and showing an extra measure of grace would of probably been much appreciated! And you would of had a new brake job for $100 and the mechanic would not of lost too much.

  • They had a written contract on what was to be done and my husband had already paid half of the bill. The brake pads did not need to be replaced yet and he did not agree to have them done--just the other things that were clearly stated in writing. It felt very much like a bait and switch; they did work that they were not supposed to do and then wanted to be paid for work that they were not supposed to be doing. The brake pads were still under warranty so they did not cost the shop anything. It was the labor for which they were charging--labor that should not have been done. They also replaced the pads with a kind that wears down faster. While I understand a mistake, this seemed like a trick. We only agreed to have work done that we could afford to pay for. As a business owner myself (and the long-time employee and daughter of self-employed parents as well), I understand that sometimes we have to eat our mistakes.

  • Cindy in the South May 10, 2017

    I agree with you Brandy. If they thought they were going to have to do brake work that was outside the contract, they should have called you and asked for permission. That was not done, so they made the mistake. The fact that they did not call you, would really raise my suspicions. I would not use that mechanic shop again. I would also not pay for unapproved work outside the contract.

  • Melody in OR May 17, 2017

    I agree with you Cindy and would have done the same exact thing as your husband did Brandy. Have a great week!

  • VanessaKC May 09, 2017

    I work in an auto/body shop. $200 to replace brake pads is ridiculous. Please find a new shop to do your work in the future. I drive a high performance vehicle very hard and pay considerably less.

  • They didn't really need to be replaced yet, and their price was too high, which was why my husband didn't agree to have them done in the first place. In the past he has felt this place has been much more honest about their pricing, so we were surprised they did this.

  • Jennifer May 10, 2017

    Your photos are beautiful as always!

    I am always interested in food prices around the country... I believe our food prices here in North Texas have started to go down. Is anyone else experiencing this trend? Here are some prices to give you an idea (all prices are from the new Aldi that opened last new - it is an amazing store and has significantly reduced our grocery bills):
    -a dozen eggs .59
    -chicken thighs .69 per pound
    -baby carrots .49 per pound
    -strawberries .99 per pound
    -organic ground beef 5.29 per pound
    -boneless pork roast 1.99 per pound
    -American cheese slices 1.49 for 12oz
    -yellow mustard .59 for 20 oz
    -infant formula 12.99 for 22oz
    -cream cheese 1.29 for 8oz
    -orange juice 2.19 for 59oz

    We do not purchase all the items listed but I wanted to pick a variety of things. Do these prices seem high, low, or about the same as yours???

    Endless blessings to everyone!!!

  • To me, those are ideal stock up prices! A few are lower than what we see here on the lowest and best sales.

  • Cindy in the South May 10, 2017

    I have never understood why I can buy chicken for between .39 ,.69 or .89 cents a lb. and eggs cost me a $1.00 to a $1.25 for a dozen...sigh. Yes, those are good stock up prices for my neck of the woods also.

  • Marybeth May 10, 2017

    I'm in New York and our prices are no where near that good. I would stock up too.

  • Roberta in So. Cal. May 11, 2017

    I agree. Those are great prices. An Aldi is scheduled to open in our area next month. I can't wait.

  • ann lee s May 10, 2017

    Hi Jennifer, its hardly fair to compare between countries, but for fun here are my prices for a few of your items here on Vancouver Island, BC Canada: (remember our dollar is way down at 70 cents to your dollar)
    dozen eggs, regular lg. size: cheapest price is just under $3. per dozen at lg. box store.
    carrots are 99 cents per lb. this week.
    Kraft cheese slices, 24 thin slices, on sale price lowest is $2.98 per pkg.
    Philadelphia cream cheese on this week for $2.98 round 8 oz tub.
    Simply Orange juice is just under $6. for the largest container.
    I did buy 3 strip loin beef steaks at $7.77 per lb. last week. 3 were just over $20.
    I have a daughter in North Dallas, so hear Aldi prices from her, I get so frustrated!! however I love my home and country, so it all works out.
    My budget for a senior lady is $320. per month and I do manage to eat healthy food on that. with planning.
    ann lee s

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