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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Daffodils in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I watched the bees working on the apple tree blossoms.

I sowed seeds for lettuce, Swiss chard, alpine strawberries, New Zealand Spinach, nasturtiums,  zucchini, butternut squash, radishes, and artichokes.

I planted some asparagus crowns in the garden.

Pea Vines on Trellis The Prudent Homemaker

My son and I took apart some old tomato cages and flattened them. We had made them from the 6-inch concrete mesh that you can get on a roll at Lowe's. I am using the wire mesh to grow beans, peas, and cucumbers instead. We attached these to stakes (that we already had) that we pounded into the ground where we needed them.

Radish Bouquet The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested lemons, lettuce, arugula, green onions, radishes, parsley, lemon verbena, Swiss chard, and the first couple of snow peas from the garden.

Lemons on Cutting Board The Prudent Homemaker

I juiced lemons from the garden and made lemonade.

I returned several pots to the local nursery. They give a recycling credit for the larger pots. I used my credit towards the purchase of some bulk topsoil.

I used a $15 off $50 coupon at Target for trash bags and stain remover. Since these items rarely go on sale (and when they do, it's usually just a tiny bit off) and these are items I buy anyway, I was happy to have the coupon to lower my total cost.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

My husband cut his own hair. I trimmed the baby's hair.

My husband recovered one of our boy's bicycle seats using a scrap of leather we had left from recovering our living room chairs. He removed the staples from the old seat, drew around the existing worn cover on the leather, cut it out, and used a staple gun to staple on the new cover.

I paused to watch the jets fly overhead. I see them often when I am working in the garden. 

I took time to enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

I enjoyed the hummingbirds in the garden. They visited the blossoms on the lemon trees. The lemon tree blossoms smell wonderful, and I was able to enjoy them while I worked under them almost every day this past week.

 

What did you do to save money last week? What simple things brought you joy?

 

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Comments

  • Hilogene in Az March 06, 2017

    Brandy, I really enjoyed your comments today where you mentioned noticing how lovely it was outside as you were working. Reminded me of how important it is to see the beauty around us and listen for it. Thank you.

    For last week's frugal activities, I started a list since I find it hard to remember after the fact. Frugal first week of march:
    -made a batch of chicken noodle soup from Costco chicken carcass and had lots for the freezer
    -made a batch of black bean soup and put extra in the freezer
    -used antique frozen veggies in soup (they were old and had fuzzy icebergs all around the mixed veggie clusters but tasted great in the soup)!
    -used electricity off peak
    -did the usual monthly check of tire pressure, car oil level, added windshield fluid (took my husband 25 years to get me in the habit to do this)
    -car trunk remote wouldn't work, repaired it ourselves!
    -did a lot of eating from freezer and pantry.
    -tried some weird looking noodles I got on sale in the soup, worked fine
    -picked up free Friday Fry's giveaway.
    -braved the crowds of crazy senior citizens that shop on senior day at the market, but to save 10 percent, I was brave ;)

    Each day I walk our dog once or twice and have focused on seeing how beautiful it is outside and I try to remember to say thanks for a lovely life and the time I can spend outdoors.

  • TerriC March 06, 2017

    My husband and I made a trip down to south Georgia so he could 'meet' his newest grandson. I do love seeing that big burly man of mine holding a tiny baby in his arms. Babies just love him, lol! Jets...I watched them flying through the skies. We live near an air base and they practice over our area so we get to see them quite often. I can tell which are practice and which are from airport.
    Here's my listing of things I did last week: http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2017/03/frugal-friday-savings-at-home.html

  • Gardenpat March 06, 2017

    This week we delivered our next pallet project to our customer and he gave us 2 more orders - a coffee table and a frame. The coffee table is almost finished already! We will be making more Spring inventory of our pallet products- planter boxes, outdoor benches, etc. to put up for sale in the next two weeks since Spring will have to arrive sometime!!!

    A friend gave us a flatbed trailer full of wood that he wasn't using but "knew" that we would put to good use! This means that we won't need to buy any materials to build our chicken coop this week and there will be several benches and other landscaping uses that we are excited to begin!!

    One of our daughters was planning to replace the linoleum flooring on their first floor with oak hardwood and found someone on Craigslist who was giving away 400 square foot. Their whole project only takes 600 square foot total! My hubster remembered that we still had some oak hardwood that he was storing in workshop but had been hoping to get rid of to gain more storage space. It was about 200 square foot and amazingly is an exact match for the flooring they just got from Craigslist!!! So they will replace their current flooring for free!!! Plus, we have more space in our workshop!!!
    We were given some plain bagels so I made ham,egg and cheese breakfast bagels for easy grab and go breakfasts!
    I made homemade whole wheat dinner rolls that were light and fluffy to go with our loaded potato soup and with the leftover rolls, I put ham, egg and cheese in them too as a breakfast option!
    Made up 18 roast beef, horseradish dressing, cheese and lettuce wraps and 12 turkey, ranch dressing, cheese and lettuce wraps for easy brown bag lunch options!
    Made a big batch of peanut butter cookies and froze 2 dozen for a later time. Did the same thing with some no bake oatmeal, chocolate, peanut butter bars!
    Got a $21 rebate in the mail! Used $12 in Pinecone $$ to pay down a hospital bill (Don't laugh! It's amazing how those little bits of money can pay off a bill faster than you would expect!) ,
    Cooked up 4 more pounds of ground beef with minced onion and measured it into 5 quart size ziploc bags for convenient freezer use!
    Our electric bill for this month has gone down by $80!!
    Love the rain/snow flurries we've been getting this week!

  • Krissy in Sacramento March 06, 2017

    How wonderful about your daughter's oak flooring! I LOVE when things work out like that! Such a blessing!

  • momsav March 07, 2017

    Our electric bill went down, too, but not by $80!! Good for you!!

  • Elizabeth M. March 07, 2017

    I always love hearing about your pallet projects. That is a wonderful gift of the trailer of wood.

    I wonder how long the person on Craigslist and your husband saved that hardwood just to be ready for when your daughter was planning to replace flooring. One of those things that was meant to be!

    This is inspiring me to get going on some projects of my own.

  • Roberta in So. Cal. March 07, 2017

    Sounds like you had an awesome week! :)

  • Rhonda A. March 07, 2017

    Gardenpat, I'm curious about the wraps that you prepared. How do you keep the lettuce from wilting and tasting bad? I find the dressing makes the lettuce go soggy and freezing the lettuce would do the same. I love the idea but not sure how they would taste after a day or two.

  • Athanasia March 11, 2017

    I am wondering that too. Answer???

  • Gardenpat March 13, 2017

    I typically make up wraps and put them in labeled containers in fridge and they are usually eaten within a week or so. If I am making more to freeze, I just omit the lettuce until I pull them from freezer and after they are defrosted, I add the lettuce, rewrap them and put them into the labeled container in fudge! Hth!

    It's a constantly rotating inventory in my freezer and fridge so that very little gets wasted!

  • Lisa from Maine March 07, 2017

    years ago when we added a bathroom to our basement my mom gave us about 1 1/2 boxes of ceramic tiles that were leftover from a project at her house. We did not have enough tiles for the room so we sent our carpenter shopping to find some tiles that would work with what we had so that we would not waste what we had. Our tile was very glossy which was no longer "in style" so he bought additional tile in similar coloring, set the 2 different tiles in a diagonal pattern. Looking at the floor, one would never know that we were starting with ceramic tile leftovers.

  • Roberta in So. Cal. March 06, 2017

    Such beautiful daffodils!

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Continued to work through the pantry/freezers to keep grocery shopping to a minimum.

    * Ate mostly home-prepared meals (all but one).

    * Made granola, blueberry compote, blueberry muffins, bread, trail mix, and yogurt.

    * Hubs made a new chicken coop ("The Old Clucks' Home") so we can separate our two older hens from the younger ones.

    * Hubs worked from home one day.

    * We've been saving empty milk and vinegar jugs to use as cloches in the garden.

    * Harvested green onions, lemons, Swiss chard, lettuce, and our first snow peas as well.

    * Turned the heater off and opened doors/windows on days that were over 70F.

    * Watered w/ rinse water and water from our rain barrels.

    * Accepted a bunch of bread rolls and produce (to give to our chickens).

    Simple Joys:

    * Listening to a very cheerful mockingbird.

    * Listening to my son play the piano.

    * Going on long walks w/ my husband and our dog.

    * Noticing new leaves on our pomegranate bush.

    * Attending a high school production of West Side Story (the daughter of friends was among the cast).

    Have a great week, everyone!

  • Marcia March 06, 2017

    My crockpot developed a hair line crack but my husband put epoxy on the outside of the crock and it holds just fine. It was a fairly small crack but it's been good for over a year now. Not sure it's food safe but by putting it on the outside, I hope we've solved that problem.

    This was the week of the never-ending pot roast. It lasted for three nights, but each meal was different. The first night regular pot roast, the second night a sort of stew--cut up meat and gravy and fried the potatoes and carrots. Husband likes to put the meat and gravy on top. The third night (not consecutive) it became noodles with beef and gravy and a different vegetable. As far as household things--I did an extra day's laundry to catch rugs, pillows and such. Still need to do some curtains too. I looked at curtains today when my daughter and I went to the mall--Sears and Penney's both had some good sales, but not on what we were looking for. She did manage to buy a baby gift using a coupon, but we didn't find anything else on each of our lists. (Granddaughter turns 25 this week--I only have half her gift so far.) Still, I did have a chance to look for some things and know where NOT to go next time. Online shopping is so convenient, but looking for linens (both of us) and we like to see and feel the fabric. Penney's doesn't carry many curtains for kitchens and baths any more. I think I will have to look online for those.
    The rest of the week involved a couple days out, lunch with my sisters, a visit to a sick friend, and my normal yoga classes twice a week. Tomorrow is the instructor's birthday and we are giving her a card shower! I have mine and one from a classmate who is going to be away tomorrow. It should be fun.

  • Athanasia March 08, 2017

    Marcia, pot roast sounds good! I should do that this weekend as I know I have a chuck roast left in the deep freeze. It's a 4 lb one so we will have lots of extra. I never turn it into anything else. We like a large amount of vegetables in ours, sometimes we have to add more. If I still have meat and gravy left I will put that into the freezer for a later meal, adding new vegetables when I serve it.

  • Florrie March 06, 2017

    Last week was a busy, fun week that was filled with frugal activities:
    - I collected some clean rain water in stainless steel mixing bowls on my patio table. The water will be used for my steam iron and for
    drinking water for my elderly cat. She prefers this tasty water as opposed to tap water. I do not collect during first rainfalls due to
    impurities in the air.
    - I refreshed two pillows by turning the cotton inside out and covering the cotton by sewing linen from the unworn sides of old bed sheets. I added more cotton from my stash to fluff up the pillows. What a transformation from stained flat pillows to fluffy, non stained fabric!
    - As part of my gift to my loved ones, I offered service to mend their clothes and socks! It was very satisfying to see my grandson lounge around in his mended matching bathrobe with his dad.
    - Whenever I peel potatoes, I leave the eyes on the skin. I bury the skin to grow more potatoes. Last week the plants shriveled up, so I dug up about a dozen small new potatoes. (Red potatoes are most prolific.) I added them to my pot of stew.
    - I made scrambled eggs for breakfast, and added a whole lot of small pieces of ham, chopped left-over vegetables and left-over grated cheeses. Just two eggs were used, and a plateful of protein was enjoyed with our toast.

    Thank you, Brandy, for being hostess in this wonderful place to share!

  • Jen March 09, 2017

    Florrie, your frugal accomplishments helped me a lot.
    1. I have a pillow I wanted to re-purpose, but would have sewn a new liner. If I flip the fabric (printed on one side) I will not need too!
    2. I would love to grow small batch potatoes, and didn't know you can do that with the skins.
    Thank you!

  • Mr Home Maker March 06, 2017

    I managed to eek out another $40 a fortnight from the budget (after a lengthy stare at the budget spreadsheet!). your photography is just beautiful too.

  • Athanasia March 08, 2017

    Mr. HM, I see you order from Lehman's. They are a good source for off the grid items.
    My son in law has family there so when my daughter and her family go visit they always bring me something back.

    I am glad to see you listened to your wife's advice re' those mushrooms!!

  • Lorna March 07, 2017

    Hello Brandy and all from Australia :) .

    What brought us Joy this week was watching the wonderful birds being our new juvenile magpies, there are twins this year, warbling their happy bird song in our gardens. We also have a noisy minor that loves to get on top of our drip irrigation hose in the gardens and walk sideways across it all the way up the garden bed.

    Our frugal accomplishments for the week are -

    Financial -
    - Banked another $156.31 into our saving for our home with cash fund bringing our savings up to 18.36% of our total.
    huo- Saved seeds from our gardens and kept some for us and others to sell and made $20 profit from selling 1000 of these on the internet which I will put into paying off some of our new juicer when it is credited to my bank account.

    Kitchen and power savings -
    - Cooked a smoked lamb roast and home grown vegetables on the BBQ with the meat lasting for 2 teas for us and one lunch for DH's sandwiches.
    - Used our solar lanterns to light our home at night instead of using mains powered lighting.
    - Did all our washing later at night in cheaper electricity times.
    - Cooked all of our meals and bread from scratch.
    - Had 2 friends over for tea and made a tinned chicken, home grown vegetable and pasta bake with handmade white sauce costing around $3.50 to make or .75c per person. We followed it up with a homemade apple pie for dessert costing around $5 to make and half a pie fed us all , we sent a quarter of the pie home with our guests and we will still get dessert for ourselves tomorrow night out of it. Not bad for 8 meals or .062c per serving.

    Garden -
    - Planted 1 x 4mt row of silverbeet, spinach, turnips, broccoli and parsley seeds in the vegetable gardens.
    - Planted 1 x 2mt row of beetroot and hunter brown onion seeds saved from our previous onions grown in our gardens.

    Water savings -
    - Hand watered our lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machines all week.
    - Due to rain we missed 3 hours of watering saving 703.5lts of town water use.

    -

  • Mandy March 07, 2017

    The last two weeks I have spent my free time de-cluttering! I have taken two car loads to the local thrift shop and I have a load waiting for the local food pantry ( they are only open when I am at work). I have recycled LOADS of paper and other stuff we don't need, given toiletries, cleaning items, and food that we won't eat to family, friends, and a co-worker who's family is having a tough time right now. I have also switched all the bills I could to email delivery rather than paper, bring a small hand towel with me to work to not use paper towels, make sure to bring my reusable cup to work to avoid paper cups, etc. I have also done a "digital detox" and unsubscribed from several blogs and websites that I didn't look at, unfollowed same on facebook and Instagram (will probably delete Instagram soon), and cleaned out my email folders. This brings me peace :)
    Hubby took apart the vacuum and cleaned it out. We have a dog and cat that both shed enough daily to make a whole new animal. Now I don't need a new vacuum! I also vacuum more often.
    I made a lentil/adzuki bean/veggie soup, stir fry, power balls, larabars, coconut milk, chicken breasts with potatoes and veggies, sloppy joes.
    Stayed at work despite being offered the opportunity to go home due to no work (seasonal employment)
    drank water, free coffee at work or home brewed, and hot tea
    I made vaporub and an essential oil blend to help my daughter get over another cold and have been using the essential oil diffuser
    Used reusable feminine care products rather than disposable
    Made some new family cloth out of old shirts that couldn't be worn anymore to add to our supply
    Made reusable, all natural, cleaning wipes (instead of using Clorox wipes) and stored them in a glass jar
    Use apple cider vinegar in the rinse cycle when washing laundry and hung most of the laundry to dry
    We spent some money on: a new shower head with a built in filter, a new furnace filter that is supposed to help reduce allergens in the air. We also need to replace our bathroom medicine cabinet (with built in lights), we haven't found one we love yet so we are continuing to look around. The ones we looked at also look cheaply made. We purchased a new lamp shade for a lamp I got for Christmas (it didn't come with a shade). I put it in the living room and put the one that was in that spot in our bedroom where we desperately needed a new lamp (no ceiling light).
    We have had periods of unusually warm weather here in Northern Illinois, so I turned our heat down and unplugged the heaters in our bedrooms
    Grocery shopped at Aldi and saved a lot of money and picked up a few items at the local organic store by refilling my own jars from the few bulk bins they have.
    Have a great week everyone!

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