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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Meyer Lemons and Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

I picked more lemons from the garden.

I gave the baby a haircut. 

I used Recyclebank points to get a free two-year magazine subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.

Our bank decided to start charging $5 per paper statement. We changed to get online statements, for which they do not charge.

I have been trying on a few different items of clothing each day to see what will fit and what will not. Most everything no longer fits, and so I have been putting it aside to donate. I am keeping some things that are too large to either try taking in or to just keep wearing until I can find something to replace them. Some things still fit, but fit better. Those will stay.

I studied French using free online sources.

I made a decision to not purchase two things that appeared to be needs. I realized I could make do with what I have and save myself a few dollars.

From the garden, I harvested lettuce, arugula, and radishes, which we used in a couple of salads.

My Swiss chard plants are huge and starting to bolt. I offered Swiss chard to several people. I was able to give huge amounts away to a couple of friends, who told me they like to saute it with garlic and also use it in homemade ravioli. I plan on trying cooking some both ways!

I harvested Swiss chard for us and used it in two frittatas, steamed it as a side dish, and in a stir fry. 

I cooked a large batch of black beans in the crockpot and made taco soup one day and bean burritos another day. 

Snow Peas The Prudent Homemaker

I made museum pasta salad using green onions and snow peas from the garden. 

I mended a hole in a sweater. I mended a dress.

Eagle Scout Project The Prudent Homemaker

My son was able to get almost all of the supplies (save for $4 worth) donated for his Eagle Scout project, which happened this past week.

My mom went to a few garage sales and came back with 4 large boxes of books for $15! They are for grades K through 2 from a retired teacher. My girls have been enjoying having several new books to read.

My mom bought a skirt for me at a garage sale for $0.50. The skirt isn't quite my style, but it has shell buttons. These buttons would cost more than that, so I will keep the buttons and use them on a blouse.

My parents were given a large lot of men's shirts, several of which were my husband's size. He chose the ones he liked and we will donate the rest. They are long-sleeved shirts, and I will turn most of them into short-sleeved shirts, as that is what he needs for most of the year in our climate.

After 17 years of not having a cell phone (I had a work one paid for by work company 17 years ago) I switched our home phone for a cell phone. Our home phone had gone up and I wanted to change it before the next month's billing. I went with Metro PCS, which is who my husband uses for his work cell. Their lowest plan is $30 a month for unlimited everything (that includes taxes) and there is no contract (you pay each month and can leave at any time). Since we combined our plans together, they have a discount of $5 per line, so my husband's bill went down $5 to $25 and I now have a cell phone for $25--just under what my home phone had gone up to--plus I have the ability to call long distance (which was becoming needful as many people I need to call for church have moved in and kept their out-of-state cell numbers). They had a phone deal where you can get a free phone (though you still have to pay sales tax on the price of the phone).  

I downloaded several free apps, and I'm on Instagram now; you can find me under "theprudenthomemaker".


What did you do to save money this past week?

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  • Marivene April 03, 2017

    reet, your English is incredible for not being a first or second language. It is much better than my French, which is my second language.

  • Mable April 03, 2017

    Reet: I live in Alaska but am from Lithuania. I love onions on dark rye bread but with lard, not butter!

  • Becca April 03, 2017

    Your English is very skilled. I'm glad you could fix your children's boots.

  • momsav April 03, 2017

    reet, Your English is better than some Americans!
    It sounds like you had a nice frugal week in Estonia.

  • Ann Lee S April 03, 2017

    It is exciting to see Brandy getting mail from Estonia!! your English is super reet, write more and often!! its interesting to learn of people in other countries and hear how they live. thanks for sharing with us. Here off the west coast of Canada we are preparing seeds, beginning to plant, so much we share is similar. Ann Lee on Vancouver Island BC Canada

  • Athanasia April 05, 2017

    Hello Reet, your English is very good, much better than my German. Besides English and Estonian, what other languages do you speak?

    Rye bread is my favorite.

  • Lynn of NC Outer Banks April 07, 2017

    Reet, your English is great! I'm jealous of your multiple languages:) Like another poster, I love reading about life and savings in other countries. I think Brandy has had people post from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and now Estonia, and there may be others I've forgotten. The internet is a wonderful thing!

  • Terry April 03, 2017

    Made all meals at home. Shopping for the most part out of my freezer and pantry. Trying to not purchase anything I can get along without. Lots of egg breakfasts...salads for lunch and dinner. Hens are laying well so we can share. Surely spring isn't far away. I certainly am ready

  • Becca April 03, 2017

    Your posts and comments are inspiring. I have a large financial goal that will only be accomplished by lowering spending, so I will be reading. :)
    This week:
    I washed and groomed the dog, cut the boys hair, made all meals at home. I requested a book from the library for a book club. I shopped at the end of season clearance sale at the thrift store and added the things I bought to my clothing inventory note in my phone. I made many soups, breads and casseroles so far and bought most of the food on manager special. I need to be more intentional with groceries and meal planning.

  • Marcia April 03, 2017

    I love your photo of the bicolor lilac. I have been looking at that in the plant catalogs for a couple years. I really want a dark purple one but I might settle for the bicolor one as I have not found the dark purple anywhere.

    It was cool enough to make soup again this week--I made a large pot of sausage and lentil soup. It makes about three meals for us--one went into the freezer and the other extra meal was eaten a couple days later. We really enjoyed it. It is a copycat recipe from a soup that Carrabba's makes. I keep getting it closer to the original--still needs a bit more crushed red pepper, but I am almost done tweaking it.

    I was also careful to use chicken at appropriate intervals. Made a chicken and pasta casserole, and another night chicken cutlets. Was seriously overstocked on boneless chicken breasts.

    I have also decided to cut down entirely on the food stores I have been keeping in the freezer. With only two of us, I really don't need to stock quite so far ahead, and I don't want the occasional freezer burn either. I have been cutting it off and it doesn't waste very much, but faster turnaround on the freezer supplies would be even less wasteful. I had requested and received mini bread tins at Christmas time and have managed only one recipe of banana bread so far--and there is only one mini loaf left. I need to get busy with baking a couple more kinds so there is more variety. The mini loaves are perfect for two people, and you get at least 3 meals from each loaf. Sometimes a full sized loaf does not get used entirely before it's no longer edible. I am trying to avoid any waste.

    We had faster internet installed yesterday (Yes, I was surprised also to have installation on Sunday) and today I cancelled the former way-too-slow internet. We are slowly changing over but will now experiment with what TV shows we can pull in with Fire Stick before deciding if we can cancel satellite TV service. At 74, you can manage to watch a lot more TV than we used to. The faster internet is wonderful so far, and we've barely started to experiment with our options.

  • LB April 03, 2017

    What did we do to save money?!?! Sold our house that has been on the market for almost a year!!! Now to pay off some debt with some of the proceeds.

  • Athanasia April 06, 2017


  • Roberta in So. Cal. April 06, 2017

    That's huge! Congratulations!

  • TerriC April 03, 2017
  • Tracy April 03, 2017

    I am starting to find my groove again in saving money, especially in the grocery department. We used up 90% of what we had before purchasing anything. I have also learned to only allow my self to shop up to twice a week: one at Hy-Vee to get 10% off Health Market items (my girls and I are dairy free due to allergies, and I have many more food allergies/sensitivities) on Wednesdays, and then to Aldis on Saturday or Sunday. I've also have been forcing myself to make a menu each week to use up what we do have on hand and add the rest through Aldis (love that store:). Last night we had Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and getting ready for this week, so I put a whole chicken in the crockpot for supper. After supper, I added left over veggies to make chicken bone broth.

    In addition to saving money on groceries, we have borrowed books from our library, I have been taking surveys daily on Inbox, made most of my coffee at home and when I have a coffee card available (due to my birthday last month), I will use that. Every little bit helps.

    Our next step is to save some money so we can replace our siding on the north and south side of our house. It needs it badly. After pricing materials, etc. I think we are going to go with masonite siding (not vinyl siding) so it matches with the front and back. We will do the labor ourselves (with some help from family and friends right now). The exciting part is choosing which color we want :)

  • Jennifer April 03, 2017

    Rainbow Swiss Chard is one of my favorite vegetables. It's nice to read about here. Here is Minnesota spring has arrived but it isn't quite warm enough to grow any yet. In season, I like to sauté it with garlic, olive oil and a splash of balsamic. I added some to a newer (to me) recipe, spoon bread. (King Arthur has a good basic recipe.) I was delighted to have a nice frugal meal that is low effort. Sauté whatever ingredients you want to add and set aside. Stir 1/3 cup cornmeal and 1 cup of milk with pinch salt over medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens to a pudding like consistency. Set aside. While that cools, wish two eggs and add the other ingredients. Combine all together and back for 30 minutes. A little cheese/butter can only help, as they usually with food.
    Thanks for the food and home inspiration!

  • Athanasia April 06, 2017

    Jennifer, that sounds so easy. I know my daughter grows chard all winter in a cold frame so I will ask her for some.

  • Mitzie April 03, 2017

    I ate or made most of my meals at home. I am working on cleaning out my pantry and freezer. I've decided that I can only change one area in my life at a time. So for now, I've decided to purchase "convenience" items such as pre-cut vegetables and bagged lettuce and some meats already seasoned. And not exclusively shop sales. I always have such good intentions and fail at them and waste so much food...I am hoping that if I have these easier things ready to go I will eat better. I've got a meal plan so there will be little waste, just mostly foods that are already portioned and mostly prepared. I'm on a low sodium diet and trying to do it all at once just isn't working. I'm going to try and ease into it slowly trying one new recipe a week. I'm single so I can afford to do this, and in the long run it may be cheaper.

    I think that I have kicked my two or three cans of coke a day habit. I am trying to drink more water. I only have a Coke when I eat pizza and I've told myself that I will only eat pizza if I'm with someone. So it will be a treat and I will socialize which I need to do.

    I've found a very short cruise affordable cruise for Christian women next winter and I've talked my Mom into going with me. It leaves from Tampa for three days and one of those days is in Mexico. She has a friend who winters in Tampa so we might have a place to spend a night if we want to sight see. Mom will be 75 and has arthritis, but is game to go and I think if we don't we'll regret it.

    I took another car load of stuff the local thrift store.

    I am walking my dog three times a day and increasing what I do. Soon I'll add bike riding to this also.

    I gave my dog a haircut. Good thing it grows back and that he doesn't care. But it is better then the last time. :p

    I used the library to borrow books.

    I got my sewing machine out and set up!

    I am going through my things again to continue to lighten the load. At the same time I'm trying to find multi purpose uses for things I already have. I finding that fewer better made things are best.

    I am making a bug out bag, an every day carry bag and a winter car bag. Brandi your preparedness post was helpful, well except for the winter kit that involved snow...I had to look for guidance elsewhere.

    I am also working on some self care which I haven't done in a long time.

    Hope everyone has a good week!

    I am saving

  • Athanasia April 06, 2017

    Mitzie, the cruise sounds fun! I trust you and your Mom will have a great time. My Mother went on a cruise in her 70's and the staff were very attentive to her.

    My youngest girl and I gave up soda about 3 years ago now. We used to keep track of the money we were saving and it was nice to use it for something else instead. We always keep a little in the house though, because as you say pizza and soda go so goood together.

  • Athanasia April 06, 2017

    Oh, are you really an Esther in given name? I had a great aunt named Mitzi who was an Esther.

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