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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Roses in Enamel Buckets The Prudent Homemaker

It's been a very busy week here, and on top of everything we've had our foreign exchange student here. I wasn't sure ahead of time how much English he spoke, and so while we help him to learn new words in English, we've also needed to converse quite a bit in French. I've had a lot of French study this week! I especially used Word Reference to look up words for both of us, and I've pinned a good number of French language pins on my Pinterest board. My French comprehension skills have really increased this week; there were only a couple of times I didn't understand, and that was usually because something was said too fast or too quietly.

I enjoyed a couple of video chats with friends in France. It continues to amaze me every time that video calling exists, and I love that it is free!

I cut peonies and roses from the garden.

I harvested lettuce, spinach, snow peas and Swiss chard from the garden.

Several of my children (and our houseguest) enjoyed climbing and rappeling on my nephew's climbing wall. It's pretty amazing that he has a climbing wall in his backyard, and it was great fun for everyone.

I downloaded a free Photoshop app to my phone to use to edit pictures on my phone.

My husband cut his own hair and a son's hair this week.

I turned a pair of torn jeans into jean shorts by cutting them off and hemming them.

I had a number of teens over for dinner. I made a large pot of minestrone soup and some French bread for a frugal meal.


What did you do to save money last week?


Note: I misplaced my camera battery charger recently, which is why there was no post last week and no additional posts this past week. Now that I can use my camera again and we've worked out a "new normal" with an additional teen in the house, I should (hopefully!) be able to get back to projects and more posting this week! If you want to see more photos, check out my Instagram account, where I have been sharing photos from my phone during the week.



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  • Margaret @approachingfood April 25, 2017

    I hope this posts in the correct spot -- my computer is showing this reply section rather oddly, so I wonder if it will appear as a respond to Jennifer's request for a kale recipe.

    Jennifer, here's a kale recipe! I usually just drink it in a cup, and quite frankly, you can leave out the seeds, berry powder, and dehydrated greens powder. The smoothie will be green, but you won;t be able to taste the kale! (Just don't use the stems, as they're too fibrous).

  • Jennifer April 27, 2017

    that looks interesting. I'll give it a try. Thanks.

  • Laurie in central NC April 29, 2017

    My favorite way to eat kale is raw. It needs to be local/fresh or one of the baby kale containers, or it's too tough. One we often eat is from Food Babe: I use walnuts instead of pine nuts, and chop or cut it by hand. Here's another we like: I don't care for it cooked. Maybe you'll like it this way.

  • tadpole April 25, 2017

    I am always glad when I take the time to read here. I learn so much and I always come away inspired.
    This week was a pretty calm week at our house.
    This week I:

  • planted free plants in my garden. Some of these I started from kitchen scraps. One was a leftover Easter Lily that I hope takes.
  • made muffins using stuff saved in my freezer
  • covered a cardboard box with fabric to make a pretty and practical storage container for my sewing room
  • fixed an old clock and The Man fixed his computer. Fixing stuff not only saves you money but it also keeps things out of the landfill.

  • Have a great week everyone.

  • cathy April 25, 2017

    I tried not to shop much this week. I want to go to more garage sales too. I just can't believe how much prices went up again. I did find a 4 lb. bag of pinto beans for $2.00, organic coconut oil for $5.00. Some other things for 50-75% off. I am going to the chiropractor tomorrow. I hate going to a MD now. So expensive and I don't like the theory behind what the believe anyhow. I am using essential oils and natural cures. So far, I like it. I am using my pantry items and food from the freezer. I am going to make soups and casseroles. I have mending to do too. I have been putting my clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes and then hanging them. My husband has clothes poles to put in for me. I am going to get started on my garden soon. That should help. My dill, cilantro and some onions came back . Take care.

  • Pat April 25, 2017

    Brandy your flowers are beautiful as usual. I saw your Instagram picture of Octavius and he looks so grown up! Were any of your other children blonde as babies?
    I really enjoy reading your posts. You and the commenters give me lots of ideas to make the most out of what I have already.
    I am still participating in a Pantry Challenge. I had so much meat and frozen veggies in my freezers that I have only purchased 10lbs of ground beef and 20lbs of chicken breasts since January and we have been eating very well. I've only been buying perishables and fruit and have been averaging $150 a month. I must add that we have 3 foster boys in our home and they qualify for free breakfasts and lunches at school so I don't have to worry about those meals during the week. They are also typical troubled youth who prefer junk food and protein and don't eat many fruits or vegetables even tho they are available. They are 17 and 18 years old so I know they won't starve.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher April 26, 2017

    That's so neat with the French practice! The best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself with native speakers. I've always been rotten at speaking German, but a week spent with my German-speaking friends had me speaking in broken sentences (an improvement!).

    This week:

    1. I'm cooking extra of all our meals so we can have a bigger variety of freezer meals.

    2. We harvested salad greens and radishes from the garden. Mr. Picky Pincher pickled the radishes. We gave a pint to his sister and still have quite a few!

    3. I took on some extra freelance work yesterday and made an easy $140. Not bad!

    4. I plan to do a solo trip to the zoo next week and I'll use my zoo pass, which makes the trip free!

    5. I cooked chicken stock, beans, pita bread, and tarts from scratch.

  • Terri C April 26, 2017

    What beautiful roses! I've been busy working on my porches readying them for this warm season.

  • http://Robbie at Use Resources Wisely April 27, 2017

    Hello everyone.
    This week is my daughter's play week. Which means lots of craziness. I'll be glad when Monday is here and i can rest!
    Being on meals committee, dinner is now covered for my kids and I this week. Leftovers are good for school lunch.
    Have been heavily documenting all my volunteer related errands for next year's taxes.
    Carpooling at nights with neighbor.
    Mailed a balance transfer offer so hopefully i can reduce debt load.
    Started seeds in garden.
    Making prayer shawl for hospital with leftover yarn.

  • C April 27, 2017

    I saw eggs on sale at Target for .75 cents a box for a dozen large eggs. Since there is only the two of us newlyweds, I restrained myself and only bought two. While my husband loves eggs, I am not particularly fond of them. I think it is better to buy less and actually eat that amount than buy too much just because it is on sale and have the food go to waste!

    My mother also took some asian pears that were starting to get soft and turned them into pear sauce. She shared two jars with me!

  • Sabrina April 28, 2017

    Look up how to make crustless quishe for the freezer. You would have ready meals at a cheap price. I do it with all my eggs my chickens lay.

  • Mommy of boys April 27, 2017

    Hello everyone! This is my first time posting on this blog and in need of a little help.
    I'm a stay at home mom of two boys and we're on our debt free journey. We only have my student loan left which is about 14k. I'm looking for something that I can do from home. I've been reading this blog for about two years and everyone always have great frugal ideas and ways of making extra money. I'm really ready to be done!
    I've also been thinking about starting a small garden, but I don't have any idea on what to do. We live in Ohio. I would prefer not to plant in the ground because we're renting at the moment and have plans to purchase a house in the near future.

  • Holly April 27, 2017

    Some of the nicest tomato plants I've ever seen were grown on a second floor balcony in ice chests. You might be able to obtain free chests if any of your friends order meat or insulin. If your new house is near to where you live now, you could bring your "garden" to your new home. You could start very small with a few herb plants or a tray of microgreens. These are expensive to buy in the store and take up very little space.

  • Margaret @approachingfood April 27, 2017

    Hi Mommy of boys! Welcome!

    Earning money will depend on where you are located, I think, but selling sewing on etsy etc, seems to be a portable side project.

    As for growing a garden, what about planting in pots? You can use ice cream buckets and such to avoid purchasing pots, and the dollar store often has seeds for super-cheap. Or, try to regrow from items that you have already purchased: green onions are the simplest thing, and little kids love to see them grow. Celery and lettuce heads can also be regrown. As Brandy says, grow open-pollinated heirloom seeds so that you can collect the seeds for the next year. And, save your kitchen scraps to make compost or compost tea to enrich your garden pots. If you are creative in reusing plastic tubs for containers, at least to start the plants in, all you would be out would be the cost of seeds and dirt. Depending on where you are living, dirt can sometimes be scrounged from the neighbourhood, or even purchased cheaply with coupons from a local nursery. As for what seeds to buy, I would look at what would do well in your area (zone), and what would save you the most in terms of grocery bills. For me, that would be lettuce, as I eat it every day, but tomatoes or herbs or zucchini might be best for you. And don't get discouraged if the first trial doesn't work -- green thumb are made, not born!

    Best of luck on your debt-free journey!

  • Mommy of boys April 28, 2017

    Thanks Holly and Margaret! Those are great ideas for planting containers. I just don't no where I could put them in the yard. Our yard is on a slope so when it rains it collects water near the house and we have lots of stray cats that roam through the yard. So I'm worried they would knock the plants down and eat them.

  • Lilllanna Pickles April 28, 2017

    I believe that Clark Howard has a list of legitimate companies in his website that has work at home positions. I saw this week that is hiring at home customer agents. Might be worth looking into. I just started buying used text books and reselling them. Made 200.00 this week .

  • Mommy of boys April 29, 2017

    Thank you for the reply! I'm interested in what you actually do to resell the text books. It sounds like a can do something like that. I have to be careful working for a company because if they offer insurance I would have to take it and I wouldn't be on my husbands insurance any longer which we have excellent coverage. Thank God! So if you could take me through the process, I would love to hear.

  • Lilllanna Pickles April 29, 2017

    Happy to help. I use I downloaded the app to my phone. I scan the IBN number on the book and it tells me who will pay the most. The buyer pays the shipping so all I have to do is print the mailing label and ship it. I pay an average of 1.50 for each book at the thrift store. I make 5.00 to 50.00 average per book . I have time but not much money so this helps. I like the stores closest to the colleges. This is really easy. Some pay by check and it paypal.

  • SJ in Vancouver BC April 28, 2017

    When I moved into my apartment, I bought 5-gallon food grade buckets at Home Depot. I also have gleaned pots when other residents threw them away. I grow herbs, rhubarb, strawberries, berry bushes and green onions. I'd grow salad greens but I am also have garden space in a community garden. I second the suggestion of getting seeds at the dollar store.

  • Mommy of boys April 29, 2017

    Thanks for the info! I'll definitely keep in mind the dollar store for seeds. Do you know if the dollar store has any quality planting pots?

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