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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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  • Athanasia March 08, 2017

    Mandy, do you ever inspire someone else, like at work, to be more recycle responsible? I hope it catches on, even if just a little. Every little bit helps. Our church only uses the disposable plates and flatware when we are having outside gathering. Otherwise we use real dishes and silverware. Who ever signs up for clean up includes running commercial dishwasher and hand washing kettles etc.

    Our church decided not to unplug but just not to plug in in the first place. The IT committee maintains a website for community info, we have a small computer lab for the school that is supervised, most folks have email and computer access and are all connected via a church email chain. Some folks have family blogs and many follow blogs like this such as I do. I try and stick with blogs that don't have advertising all over them. But the instagram, the Facebook, the Twitter, the Pinterest are worrisome, not so much for the original intent, but for all the extras that they pull into our lives and the time that they can take out of our lives so it was decided that those be avoided.

  • Mandy March 09, 2017

    Athanasia - I try to inspire by letting people see me "do". I have noticed my mom has made some changes. At the job was I at a year ago (I worked there 5 years) I started the recycling program and inspired a couple of co-workers to bring lunch from home in reusable containers rather than order out daily. Mostly people around here think I am "the weird hippy lady" lol and I'm ok with that.

  • Athanasia March 11, 2017

    Mandy, I do enjoy reading all the minimal/no impact things you accomplish.

  • Mandy March 09, 2017

    I hit submit to soon lol
    I have deactivated Twitter and Instagram, although I am on Facebook sometimes (not nearly as much as I used to be) and Pinterest is very useful to me. I try to do more around the house, spend more time with my daughter, read an actual book or, rarely, watch a documentary or something funny. I also supplement my daughter's public school education with homeschool work, too. She's 6 and loves it so I figured why not take advantage?! We do that later in the evenings a few times a week.

  • Athanasia March 11, 2017

    Yes, parent-child reading together is a good way to spend that unplugged time.

  • Lynn at Quaker Hill Farm March 07, 2017

    Love to hear how you have saved! My biggest savings last week was talking to our utility company in regards to our bill. It was almost $800 for one month yikes! I called the utility company about it and asked for an explanation. The person I talked to said it sounded out of the ordinary from the rest of our bills. I read the meter called them back and without even really questioning said the meter had been read incorrectly and gave us an immediate credit of $500! Believe me from now on I will look very closely at their meter readings and compare it to what I see!

  • Mary March 07, 2017

    Hi all. I continued with cooking, baking using what we have and hanging clothes to dry. We have not had to turn on the heat or air, suppose to be 90

  • Mary March 07, 2017

    Not sure what happen to the rest of my post.
    We are suppose to hit 90 by Friday so the air will have to go on.
    We will be changing our budget soon, as we have 4 people here and in a few weeks will have 3.
    I deposited a small check from declutter. I'm happy to deposit what I can!
    I finished reading A Dogs Purpose and enjoyed it.
    That is all I can think of for now. Have a good week everyone.

  • Jo March 07, 2017

    I made more laundry detergent but ran out of the flaked Zote soap I use to make it, so I found an old bar of olive oil soap and grated and used it. So far, so good!
    I scraped the last dabs of several stick deodorants out of their containers and melted them, pouring it back into an empty container. Ta-da, more deodorant that I can now actually use.
    I attended a mission trip training meeting with a friend who is also going, and my friend and I stopped at Chick-Fil-A on the way home, as it was 7:30 p.m. when we got done and we had a long drive ahead. I suddenly remembered I had a couple of old gift cards with a little left on them, and used them. They just covered my meal.
    I put blood meal and bat guano on my cabbage plants; I'm hoping to get a few good heads before the weather gets too hot.
    One joy I've had was the pleasant weather, so nice before the high heat and humidity of summer hit us. Another joy is celebrating the birthdays of two very young grandchildren who were both born in early March. And finally, watching those charming little wrens building their nests again, right where we can watch them.

  • Wyoming Gal March 07, 2017

    I find it very interesting to learn about utility costs and savings in various places. We pay for electric, water, sewer, trash removal and recycling ( a surcharge but no curbside pick up) through our city but we never pay more than $120/month or less than $100/month regardless of the time of year. They do meter electric, water and sewer but with a mostly 2 person household (occasionally 3 person for a month or so) and all electric appliances and central air conditioning but natural gas heat and water heater, we mostly use the minimum charge. Our house is 3000 square feet, but new, well insulated and with efficient appliances. Our natural gas bill ranges between $30 and $90 a month, with an average of about $50. I live in Wyoming where we have had a very cold winter. I am amazed at what huge water bills some of you must have (if you save $50 or $80 in a month). Our very small yard is watered separately, from water in an irrigation canal, and not included in our city bill. We keep our house in the low 70's all the time - day and night.
    We do run full loads in our front loading washer and in the dishwasher. Other than that all we do to save energy is that I hang a good portion of my laundry to dry, rather than run the dryer. The part of Wyoming I live in is semi-arid and above a mile in altitude.

  • Pat March 07, 2017

    What lovely pictures!
    The weather here is on the warm side again so the furnace has been off for two days!
    We ate all meals at home except one. Continuing to use up meat and veggies from the freezer.
    I budgeted the full $450 for this month but don't think I will use it all. I've spent $142 so far and that includes restocking baking supplies, 20 lbs of chicken breasts at $1.69lb, 20lbs of potatoes at $.17lb, 15lbs of asparagus at $.99lb and 10lbs of butter at $1.68lb. Unless there is a super stock up price I will only be buying perishables for the rest of the month!
    Have a great week!

  • momsav March 09, 2017

    Wow! Butter at 1.69 lb.!! I haven't seen that price in years! Good for you!

  • Jlynn March 10, 2017

    Butter in Minnesota USA is over $4 per pound if it's not on sale and close to $3 per pound if it's on sale

  • Suze Clark March 07, 2017

    Hi Brandy, this week I finally overcame a fabric scrap hurdle. I'm making a baby quilt for friends. Have been struggling with the design and method but got it figured out HaHaHa! Let me say that the scraps are small but I just can't bring myself to trash them. I love the fabric too much.

  • Shara March 07, 2017

    I think my biggest frugal accomplishment this past week was finding new jeans half price for my daughter. I had to hem them, which took no time at all.

    I was given two packs of seeds to plant in pots on my patio, and I am looking forward to a few more weeks passing so I can plant them safely. My husband and I have also agreed to plant a few tomato plants. I can't have a full garden, but even a little fresh from the back patio will be nice.

  • Terry March 08, 2017

    Pantry challenge continues although slowly since there are only two of us. A whole chicken was cooked in the pressure cooker other than the breasts which I froze for later. Meat was deboned and used for chicken pot pie and sandwich spread. The broth was used to cook pasta and the rest used to cook rice. The pasta made veggie bowls as well as veggie lomein. With some left still for Chinese noodle soup. The rice was breakfast one day and fried rice another. The bones and skin went to our hens. The dog got some of the broth over her food. My bountiful basket has provided many veggie meals already plus sliced pears for eating fresh. I called our internet carrier over our bill and received a 45 dollar credit. The hens are laying at about50% now giving us all we need plus some to share. Two of our renters have contacted us this month expressing a desire to purchase their homes. The sale of those two rentals will pay off our home. God is good!

  • Lynn from NC Outer Banks March 08, 2017

    Terry, I think we are both doing the same pantry challenge;) That is great news about possibly selling your rentals and paying off your home! I hope everything will work out for that.

  • Jennifer March 08, 2017

    Not having a great couple of weeks.

    I brought down my summer clothes only to realize that most of them were too badly worn, stained or ill fitting to keep (and these were the ones that "made the cut" to even get put up last winter). So...I splurged on a couple of pieces from Lularoe and purchased a bunch of new clothes and shoes other places (mostly on sale and with free shipping). I also didn't have the time (or energy) to hunt thrift stores or yard sales which I know I should have. So I spent far more than I should have. BUT I haven't bought new summer clothes in several years and I bought quality items so I don't feel too badly about it.

    Went through my cocktail, formal, and work dresses and put aside most of them for not fitting. Gifted them to a colleague who will take what she can use and pass them along.

    I continued to eat out of the fridge/freezer except one night where I worked really late and went out for dinner. It was late enough that the late night happy hour was on! ( i had gone in at 6:30 am!) So I splurged on a nice glass of wine with my dinner and used my military discount for the meal.

    I was able to host company for dessert 2 times this week, including the missionaries. I made a cake out of my pantry and then sent the leftovers home with them. I went to a friends' for a BBQ and took appetizers I found frozen from the holiday season. The appetizers were enjoyed by all.

    Caught a meal deal on the frozen fish that I planned to buy anyway (buy the fish, get frozen onion rings, ice cream and a bag of frozen vegetables for free). I stocked up on egg noodles, as the brand I prefer went on BOGO this week. I got what egg noodles I could and then got a rain check for some more. With the rain check quantity added, they should last me a year.

    Made more reusable wipes in a second container to keep upstairs.

    Made a new, much larger "smelly bucket" (I have an elderly dog with a neurological and bladder issue and another one with bladder stones) so I can do fewer loads of laundry each week.

    I sewed more mop covers to reduce the frequency of laundry as I must mop the downstairs floor at least twice a day.

    I beat out the door mats and then took them to the car wash to run them through the floor mat machine. For the cost of a base car wash I saved 4 door mats and the time and water of washing the car myself.

    Put on a sweater the 2 nights it was cold to keep from putting on the heat. Kept the windows open the rest of the time to keep the AC off.

  • Terry March 08, 2017

    Went to cash and carry today to pick up their special on red bell peppers 25# box for$9.99. They're on sale till next Monday if anyone is interested. Red peppers don't grow well in my garden and I use lots in canning in the summer time. I also got a 5# bag of kielbasa sausage marked down to $5.00 each sausage makes a single meal and there are 20. I used the last of the nacho cheese sauce and the last of a gallon of milk in my bread dough today to make hamburger and hoagie rolls. Got the peppers and sausages vacuum packed for the freezer....we're eating lots of pantry meals. Still a long ways here till we can think of gardens...just happy that the snow has finally melted.

  • Terry March 10, 2017

    A little spring housekeeping in the chicken coop yesterday. Pulled out all of the old straw and spread it on the ground. Filled the hen house and nest boxes with fresh straw. Today I only found 2 eggs. We have 11 hens. I couldn't figure it out. Finally looked under the coop. There was a nest with 6 more eggs.....I guess the chickens want their old straw. So much for spring cleaning. The hens are laying well enough that I have been able to start sharing eggs again. Organic brown eggs are 4.99 a dozen here so I am pleased to share ours.
    Bought several new garments at the thrift store today including a really cute robe for one grand daughter. Cooking from the pantry and eating lots of leftovers this week. I dropped off a quilt I made for a friend having a baby shower tomorrow. I try to have a couple of baby quilts always made in my gift closet. Time to start a couple new ones so they will be ready for the next event

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