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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Yellow Pansies The Prudent Homemaker

$0.56 worth of pansies cheer up this pot and I can see them from inside the house.

I began sewing a birthday gift for a daughter using fabric and a pattern I had on hand.

My dad had leftover scraps from his back patio/deck (which runs right into our matching stairs between our backyards) to redo our stairs. Last year, a leak developed in the water line underneath the stairs. The only way to get to it was to take the stairs apart (and redoing it would be difficult, as the screws strip the boards when being removed). My dad cut holes in the stairs and my husband repaired the leak. My dad will redo the stair treads using his scraps this week.

We celebrated a fun Valentine's Day at home. I used some mini heart-shaped cake pans that I inherited from my grandmother to bake lemon poppyseed muffins for breakfast.

I used a small amount Rit Dye I had to dye a table runner pink. The table runner was ordered online years ago and was supposed to be a cream color, but was more orange, and I never really liked it. Dying it pink made it perfect for Valentine's Day and upcoming daughters' birthdays. You can see a photo over on my Instagram feed.

I spent some time organizing things indoors. While I organizing, I was able to find a place for some things I had been keeping in a basket. I didn't want to buy another basket, but I also needed a place to put the items that were being stored in the basket. The basket will be repurposed to what I used to use it for (diapers for a newborn). 

I asked my 11-year-old to go through the baby girl socks that I have. I figured most of them (if not all) were too old and had the elastic shot, and that if I have a girl I would need new socks. She went through them all, threw out the ones that were no longer any good and any that didn't have matches, and I still had socks that were good left, so if I have a girl, I'm set for socks (plus, I gained some space in the drawer where the other socks were being kept).

I got rid of some things I no longer needed, which made my existing storage space in my closet more effective.

I was wondering if I could get rid of enough items for a garage sale. I decided to clean out several closets (with family help) and we reorganized the linen closet and the games/dress up closet. I went through the girls' clothing boxes from sizes 6 to 12, keeping only the nicest items that would fit in each box and that were liked by the girls (I had enough in some sizes for more than one box, so they needed to be narrowed down in order to fit in the storage space I have). We put several things aside for a garage sale in March.

I still don't have enough of my own things to sell, but my mom was going through her closets this week as well, and she has a ton of stuff she no longer wants, so we piled her items on a table in my entry (with my stuff filling in under the table) to prepare for a sale. This next week, we both plan on going through more closets and cupboards and getting rid of things we are no longer using. I plan on using whatever money I make from the sale to go to the community garage sales in April to get things we need. I recently updated my garage sale list, so I am ready to go shopping with specific needs and wants in mind.

We cleaned the inside of the dishwasher and the vacuum cleaner so that both will run more efficiently.

 Pansies in White Garden The Prudent Homemaker


$1.13 worth of pansies to fil in my urn.

I went to the local nursery to purchase some more drip line for the garden. While there, I noticed they were clearing out their pansies for $0.25 each (regular prices is $0.98 each). Pansies grow here from October through April/May. The manager came over to talk with me, and he told me I could have a flat of pansies for $3 (saving an additional $1). I purchased 16 pansy and viola plants for $3 ($0.1875 each), which will fill in a couple of spaces in my garden until warmer weather will permit me to plant something else in their place. I had specifically been looking for annuals (as well as the drip line) to go in the center urn for my white garden, but most of what I wanted would not be available until mid to late April. This filled in the spot nicely and gave me flowers for a couple more spaces in the garden. This was the only money I spent all week.

I harvested garlic chives and green onions from the garden.


What did you do to save money last week?




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  • Darcie February 19, 2018
  • Katy in Africa February 19, 2018

    This week:

    Trying to turn off fans and lights when leaving a room. It's getting hotter, so our fan use is going to go up.
    I've been reusing rinse water to water plants.
    Not frugal...we have an occasional leak.
    We have visitors and are feeding a lot of people. But I'm reminding myself of an article I read that talked about the difference between hosting and entertaining. It may not be the most luxurious meals, but there's plenty and its a joy to have guests!
    We picked some mangoes today.
    I got an email offer for 2 freebies from Shutterfly. I looked at it, but decided the $6 of shipping cost wasn't worth something I really don't need.

  • Kim February 19, 2018

    I did see that Star nursery had their citrus tree's on sale but I never came across the coupon. Did you receive it in your sale ad's on Tuesday?

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 19, 2018

    I haven't seen any coupons for them this year! I have been looking! I prefer to have coupons whenever I go in the spring. I couldn't put off this purchase of drip line any longer, so I went.

    If you buy citrus (on sale through Wednesday) I would put them inside until Thursday to plant them because of the possibility of a late frost. It's really unusual but this cold front is predicting a freeze, even though we're past our last frost date.

  • Kim February 21, 2018

    I have two great coupons for Lowes but they didn't have the citrus tree's I wanted when we went Saturday. I know they are still stocking the garden center. I'm loving the cooler temps and I'll remember this weather when it's 115!!!

  • JoannaT February 19, 2018

    Received free candy at work for Valentine's Day.

    My mom came to visit for the weekend. She repaired a cookbook of my daughter's that had a plastic spiral notebook type binding that had come apart (tied through the holes with strong crochet thread). She also brought a fleece zip-front vest that had belonged to my grandmother and that my mom no longer wants. It fits me.

    Paid off summer camps for my daughter through a nice Grandma contribution plus the remaining "refund" from last year's dependent care FSA (probably the last year we will use that service).

    Took a Pinecone Research survey and checked my balance. Signed up for getreferred.com based on Money Saving Mom's post.

    Was notified that my Disney Movie Rewards points would expire if I didn't do something with them; redeemed some for a $5 concession cash coupon that does not expire until end of this year.

    Finished three library books. (Ginny Moon is quite good.)

    Mardi Gras dinner was a modified shrimp pilau recipe from my dad using some shrimp and bacon that had been in the freezer. Another meal involved thawing some of the leftover pulled pork we took home from extended family Christmas dinner and using for sandwiches. Made rhubarb coffee cake using rhubarb from freezer. I also made a recipe I've had and wanted to try for a while, grapefruit pie. It's a cold pie, using a strawberry jello base with grapefruit slices in it. It was all right, but I probably won't make it again. Daughter made pumpkin bread earlier in the week (and ate most of it herself).

    I am in the midst of a trial run of a local yoga studio which offers a "$30 for 30 days" special for new students; you can take up to 2 classes a day during that timeframe. I tried one of the classes with a new-to-me instructor this weekend.

  • Kim Heller February 19, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    I love the great price you got on the pansies- they sure provide some nice color to your wonderful garden.

    I was able to get some top quality garden seeds designed especially for our area for a buy two get one packet free. These are very expensive seeds and this is the first time ever that I have seen any kind of deal on them so I was happy about that.

    I also got a can of spray paint for $1.50 on sale so I can freshen up my patio chairs.

    We had 3 inches of snow yesterday so made a pot of home-made beef and barley soup which we had for dinner and will use for lunches this week.

    Other than that, just doing the usual stuff we all do every day. I will color my hair this week myself using hair dye bought with coupon so total cost of less than $5.

    Brandy-hope the garage sale goes well.

  • Marcia R. February 19, 2018

    I did a lot of cooking and a lot of staying at home this past week, and also the one before. I do my grocery shopping and other errands on Thursdays, after my yoga class. (Hope you enjoy and can manage yours--I've been going about 4 years and really like it. It keeps my arthritis from taking over my joints and keeps them lubricated.) So for the past two weeks I have been home by 2 PM on Thursday and not been out of the house until Tuesday morning. This allows me to get quite a lot done--although not compared to Brandy. I'm 75 and not as quick as I once was. I cooked a beef top round and managed to make three meals from it, and later in the week made spaghetti and meat balls, with enough meatballs and sauce left over to make broiled meatloaf sandwiches with sauce and melted mozzarella another night. That was served with broccoli salad, upon which I splurged to buy it ready made from the deli. I had purchased a panel for a Christmas wall hanging when we visited the Amish area in Ohio last summer. I managed to go to Joannne Fabrics with a coupon and bought the Christmas fabric with which to back it, as well as a crib sized batting on sale, which was more than enough, so I have some width left for potholders. I really need to replace my potholders soon. The wall hanging has now been sewn together and ironed and is ready to be quilted. I would like to finish it by Sunday to give it to my daughter for her birthday, but I'm not sure that will happen. She will get it eventually, just not sure it will be finished for her birthday. My food shopping budget has been kept to a minimum since the beginning of the year, but it is starting to creep upwards again. That means some of my stock is getting used up along with the surplus food left from the holiday entertaining. I do not see prices like others are getting. Most weeks I can find 16 oz of pasta for $1 a box but rarely less than that-- 88 cents a box is the absolute lowest I have seen. I can't wait until locally grown vegetables are available again--spent $3.99 last week for 3 beets which fed the two of us for two meals. At that price, Brandy would have to spend the week's budget to feed her family! Broccoli was on sale for 99 cents a pound. I buy that almost every week but not at that price. Usually more like $1.50-1.70 a lb. Carrots and cabbage are featured frequently on my menus, as they are certainly more affordable, although I use carrots often enough to get tired of them, even though they are a favorite here. Meat can be purchased more cheaply than vegetables at times. I have been getting boneless pork loins on sale for $1.68 or $1.69 a pound for the last few months. Beef runs more like $3.69-3.99 on sale. Chicken (boneless breasts) for $1.89 a lb on sale. We eat meat most nights, but often have small portions or made in a casserole type dish, and most casseroles will feed us for two meals. I plan it that way to make cooking fast the second time! I do have Aldi's, an Amish grocery, and a large produce market as well as the grocery store chain. Aldi's produce is not the best in our local store unless you will use it in a day or two. We do have Walmart but I prefer not to go there unless I really desperately need something. Parking is always crowded there among other problems I have with them.
    Can't wait to see fresh flowers here--but our nurseries don't even open until mid-April. I'm glad you post pictures weekly so I know that spring really will come again!

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 19, 2018

    Our nursery is open year-round (in December they sell Christmas trees). I can't imagine having the nursery close, but I can see why that would be necessary in plenty of places.

  • Rhonda A. February 19, 2018

    Marcia, our produce prices in Canada goes way up in winter as well, because it has to be shipped in from warmer countries and that costs money. In the summer, I buy up produce when it is cheapest, then blanch and freeze it or can it up to use in winter. This can be very difficult and overwhelming at times, as I work a seasonal job, full time during the summer. So I'm often doing this on my days off when I'm tired I'd rather be resting. But, if I do it right, we have a nice variety of fruits and veggies and don't need to purchase much fresh produce over the winter, saving us a ton of money. So I suck it up and do it anyways.

  • Marcia R. February 20, 2018

    Actually I do the same but probably with fewer vegetables. I used to grow quite a nice garden and canned and froze as much as I could, but since I hit my 70's the garden has been shrinking some. Last year it rained until about July and I couldn't get much planted when I normally do (beginning of May.) But I do buy some produce at harvest time and preserve it for winter use--not as cheap as growing your own, but still a savings. I froze a few beets but didn't have too many of them. I did buy some butternut squash but only a few----most years I get a half bushel but I still had some left in the freezer so I just added some to it. Our nurseries for plants close in mid to late October and don't open again until April--the sign says April 14th for this year.

  • Rhonda A. February 20, 2018

    I watch for sales in the summer on fresh produce my family likes and buy a bunch when it's cheap to blanch and freeze. For example, when broccoli and cauliflower are around $1/head or bunch, I buy several to process. I try to buy a dozen corn on the cob each week when it's in season, cook all of it for a dinner once a week, knowing full well it is more than we can consume, then cut the corn off the remaining cobs for the freezer. At the farmer's market, we asked about buying a 1/2 bushel of green and yellow/waxed beans and got a great deal for buying in bulk. I processed the full 1/2 bushel for the freezer. I also pick up a few squash at the farmer's market when they were heavily in season and being sold per squash, instead of per pound. I picked out the biggest ones and saved big time! Every fall I see beets, carrots, onions and turnip go on sale for around $2/10lb bags. Way too much for most families to consume before it goes bad. But I will buy 20-30lbs of carrots, for instance, cut them up, then blanch and freeze them to use through the winter. We also have 1 grocery store in our city that advertises preorders for bushels of roma tomatoes and peppers or large boxes of peaches that are 2nds for really cheap prices. We buy a bushel of apple 2nd from a roadside farm stand to process into apple pies and apple crsip for the freezer and apple sauce that I home can.

    Even without a garden, it is still possible to home preserve cheap produce. Of course, every area has different produce available for different price points. You just have to watch for the sales and in-season offers for your area. Of course if you know someone else who gardens, you may be able to barter for their extra produce or score some free produce...like when they are overrun with zucchini and begging people to take it away. At 70 years young, I can understand and appreciate how tending a large garden would be getting more difficult. You may start to find it easier to do it this way. It's just a different planning technique than what you have done in the past. I hope this is of help to you, Marcia. I'd have a hard time with eating limited variety because of budget too. I'm feeling your pain and frustration!

  • Cindy in the South February 20, 2018

    I have frozen figs and mulberries from my trees (and my mother's tree) that I use during the wintertime. I also use a lot of cheap canned vegetables like green beans, carrots, peas at 50 cents a can from Dollar General. I buy cabbage, potatoes, onions, carrots, collards, and turnip greens in the winter here, since those are the cheapest fresh vegetables here. I seldom buy broccoli because it is expensive here, although I really like it.

  • Erika @ The Make Do Homemaker February 19, 2018

    When it comes to decluttering, I completely relate, and I don’t have a little one on the way...just having a need to Spring clean with winter in full swing outside.

    Hope all goes well with your yard sale preparations :).

    My list for the week can be found here...


  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 19, 2018

    Well I wouldn't call it nesting! April is our big garage sale season (there are at least 5 community sales the second weekend in April, and a few the week before and a couple more the week after), and if I want to have money to go, I need to sell some things! I have done garage sales in the past in March in order to have money for needs this time of year, including going to the April sales, which is my primary motivating factor this time (I usually have a garage sale with a specific goal in mind). My mom is busy decluttering right now, and I knew if I didn't speak up, she would have donated all of her things to the thrift store. When I called her the other day, she said she hadn't donated anything yet, but I was afraid she might have already done so! She had mentioned wanting to have a sale to me. My dad told her he would pay her not to! So I figured I had better ask about her stuff right away! I don't have anyplace to put it other than right in the entryway, and that is going to drive me nuts, so I am going to have to go through my house quickly to add to it, because I can't stand the piles of stuff just cluttering up the house (nor can anyone else here). This means having the sale as soon as possible.

  • Sue O. February 19, 2018

    We realized our kitchen needed painting. From that we realized both the ceiling and cabinets also need painting.sowre we would never do this after the lat kitchen remodel 20 years ago in an old house. But, we are committed to accelerating payments on a new vehicle we recently had to purchase. So, we are doing the work ourselves which will be a savings of around $2600. Plus the paint was on sale for 30% off plus an additional $10 was taken off the price. Very glad for a well stocked pantry and freezer during this time, but have also realized the need to have more prepared meals in the freezer for quick meals. They would have come in real handy since the kitchen is presently totally out of commission for at least the next week. Still, so thankful to the Lord that we still have the health to do a major job like this even if it takes us much longer than when we were younger.

  • Luba @ Healthy with Luba February 19, 2018

    This week was a trying one. However, it has deepened our relationships.

    To save money, we did the following:
    * Ran multiple errands at one time
    * Went with a family member who has a Costco card to purchase an item for church
    * Made our tax appointment over the phone to save time and money on gas
    * Combined appointments to have more than one at a location to save on travel time and on gas
    * Cooked a whole organic chicken and used it in several meals for three days
    * Ate home cooked meals instead of eating out
    * Cooked extra food to have leftovers (fast, easy meal)
    * Took our natural remedies faithfully to stay well

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker February 19, 2018

    I'm sorry you had a difficult week, but happy that something was gained from it.

  • Elizabeth February 20, 2018

    1. Learned how to make sushi at home, which will save me a lot of money on date nights.
    2. Only bought groceries this past week
    3. We have been having really warm weather this past week, so we used no fire wood or electric heat
    4. Made party decorations for Chinese New Year from supplies I already had
    5. Bartered babysitting services for random groceries I needed to make it to my designated grocery store day (My 27 year old autistic sister is a handful for my mom to take into stores)**I do not charge my mom, she just gets a kick out of bartering with me for things she gets for cheap...she is a mega couponer:)

  • PJGT February 20, 2018

    Online order came in a box in a plastic bag...that I put in my emergency toilet bucket. I can order some foods online for less and not have to drive about an hour to shop.

    Turned down tons of cookies and cupcakes from school this past week...stuck to the diet. Usually I would have brought some home for my son; however, he is losing weight as well. He needs to be at a certain weight for the Air Force and is so muscular that it is going to be a struggle as he's on the shorter side!

    Used up an (old, but not yet spoiled) extra hamburger to spice up the dogs' food after an especially long day in their kennel.

    Didn't have to do any laundry last week. Washed full loads this weekend. Next week we are going to my husband's Great Aunt's for lunch and she said to bring laundry. Not sure when we will have enough water pressure for the washer (even though it is a low water user) to be hooked up. Glad to have a dryer. It has been so very wet here that I would have had to use the dryer at the laundromat.

    Found a sale on a cooked whole tasty chicken for less than the chicken itself cost on sale!

    Have collected A fair number of boxes to use as fire starters. Am planning on really reducing the electric heat use this week when I'm home and using the woodstove.

    Found an in-network dentist and am making appointments for everyone. We are behind on our cleanings due to a lack of insurance and funds.

    My freezer is mostly full of grains to keep them out of reach of the mice. I took the final 2 frozen food items out, am dehydrating them (peas and hash brown potatoes), and have turned the freezer off. I try not to buy a lot of freezer foods. Early this winter we were gifted with a bit of food from my inlaws that needed freezing. Very blessed to have it!

    Not fully frugal but kind...a young friend has started a subscription tea company out of her house and I am not interested in a subscription, but would like to buy something to help get her started. I mentioned that I'm a coffee drinker but that my son loves berry teas and English Breakfast ones as well. She has put together a mix for him that should arrive around midterms as a great treat - and I am able to support her efforts. Win-win

    Found 2 pennies and gladly added them to the change container. Mended 2 items. I am on a mission to reduce my spending, so today I am off to a friend's house to color my hair and have her daughter trim my hair. Last fall when I tried this myself it was a disaster. Praying it goes better with help

    Finally, we have had some bad news that I pray will turn into a blessing. Where we live in Wyoming is extremely expensive and our rental house that we share is coming to an end May 1st. I've just finished convincing my DD that it would be a great benefit for her to come back to Wyoming after she graduates and work for the summer to be better prepared financially to move out on her own. DS and I are heading back home for the summer where we have summer jobs or commitments as well. And my husband and I have a plan to start a part time business that is summer oriented. We need housing that is not so expensive that we cannot afford it. Trusting God!

    Happy frugal-ing!

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