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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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Comments

  • PJGT February 20, 2018

    Cindy in the South,

    I understand how difficult this is. My Healthy son developed an illness that is all over now (he will have to maintain all his life, but the difficult part is done) he is just now back to college. It's the reason I'm here with him. And, at the same time, our soccer playing daughter in college suffered 2 serious head injuries that have resulted in a lost semester three weeks before the end of the semester and a lot of medical bills. She graduates this spring!

    Praying for you!

  • Cindy in the South February 20, 2018

    Thank you, I will pray for you also.

  • Megan Z. February 20, 2018

    My husband and I made a big trip to a farmer's market. We tend to only go a few times a year and stock up on a lot of things. While initially it isn't that cheap, we are able to get so much for our money including spices that are usually less than $1 (and last forever). As we had done little trips here and there to the grocery, we were definitely due.

    Our dogs have to take pills 2x/day. We buy the generic pill pockets from Costco and then cut them into thirds. This way they last a lot longer and save us money.

    Although our heat is still "on", it has been so warm that it has not clicked on so we should have a much cheaper bill coming up. I'm hoping that March will be cooler than usual or at least normal as we typically don't need the AC or heat on then.

    I planted daffodils and irises in the fall. The daffodils are budding- I hope to cut some to bring inside for a free floral arrangement. Although the irises are growing, they haven't budded yet- I'm assuming that they have a later bloom (I've never paid attention in the past).

    I started seeds indoors and also planted some mesclun lettuce outside. I've never tried the lettuce before- it would be nice if we can forgo grocery store lettuce for awhile.

    My husband and I have been planning a trip for our 10 year anniversary. We were all set to go to London when an amazing deal opened up for Germany and Austria just before Christmas. We will get to go to the Christmas markets. I can't wait as this has been a dream of mine for awhile.

    Have a great week!

  • Marcia R. February 20, 2018

    I have one more suggestion to anonymous who wants to start sewing with her daughter. Reader's Digest puts out a basic handbook of sewing with great pictures that demonstrate how to do various tasks. It's Called "The Complete Book of Sewing" or words to that effect. It is a hard back but not an expensive one and maybe your library carries it. I've been sewing a long time and I still use it as a reference book. It's very helpful.

  • Becky Pratt February 20, 2018

    For anonymous who wants to sew with her daughter. My first thought is to contact your local Extension Office. The often give sewing lessons for free or very inexpensively. I think we often overlook the Extension agents for information. I worked in the Montague County Extension Office almost 20 years ago. They have all kinds of information and lessons that you can use.

  • Ava February 20, 2018

    We made meals using what was in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. I tried a vegan sweet potato/lentil soup recipe (because I had those items and they needed to be used). It turned out to be delicious. (We are not vegetarian ourselves but two of our children are vegan - I love the challenge of making vegan food options they can eat not because it's the only option, but because it's good. Or that those of us who aren't vegan can eat and enjoy too.)

    Decades ago, my husband had a sports car, and he acquired a LOT of literature associated with it. The car is long gone but the magazines and ephemera were still in the garage, collecting dust. He decided to see if he could get anything for them on eBay. He not only cleared a huge amount of space, the items sold for a startling amount of money. (Apparently they have become very collectible.) He has set aside every penny, considering it a windfall.

    I took advantage of several "freebies" from Shutterfly, to create personalized gifts for future birthdays and Easter baskets. I put "freebies" in quotes because Shutterfly does charge tax and shipping, so while you're technically getting the items at no cost, you're still paying.

    Now that the Lenten season is upon us, I will start decorating the house for Easter and Spring. I have plenty of lovely things I can use without spending a dime, and am looking forward to opening my boxes and getting creative.

  • Jo February 20, 2018

    Your flowers look lovely! We are still in the process of ripping up the mess the old owners called a "garden" but I'm looking forward to planting all the pretty things one day!

      I made yoghurt in the slow cooker.


      I walked somewhere I had to go instead of driving even though the weather was hot.


      We picked up free fresh and dried parsley, cherry tomatoes, eggplants and plums from our local produce carts.


      I splurged and bought two fast food lunches from my allowance this week. One was planned because I knew I would be in the area of my favourite Vietnamese Salad restaurant which doesn't happen very often. Another day, I bought Subway in the spur of the moment to cheer my husband up who didn't have a good day. At least I made sure the food was healthy. ;)


      We were invited out for lunch and dinner once. I only had to contribute a bottle of wine to the lunch. All other meals were made at home, using up all leftovers, partially using free produce and items bought on special. I bulk-cooked rice and free vegetables for lunches. My husband took lunches to work all week except for one day when he bought something from his allowance.


      I normally don't buy a card for Valentine's Day but did so this year as it was the first time as a married couple. I found a nice cheap one and re-used wrapping materials from our stash for the small present for my husband. Instead of going out for an overpriced dinner with a set menu, we ate at home and then went out for ice-cream for which we paid mostly with a leftover gift card.


      I bought some needed clothes at the thrift store and didn't pick up anything else!


      I volunteered twice and did my first catalogue delivery round along with my husband. Both activities will be reimbursed. We also found two recycling bottles on our delivery walk and added them to our bag.


      We combined errrands and appointments whenever possible and took our water bottles.


      I got fuel and received a 4ct discount per litre thanks to my grocery store loyalty card.


      We did not need to use the air-conditioner all week! *happydance*


      I de-cluttered the house once more, donated items to friends or via a local FB page and repurposed others in our house.


      My husband changed the brakes on our car which saved us a small fortune compared to what the mechanic quoted!


      I received a brand-new handbag for free via a local FB page. It has a long strap and is just the right size to fit important things in for when we go on our holiday and will be walking around a lot. It will be much more practical than my current handbag which is huge and only has short handles.


      As part of our holiday, we will be having a second wedding reception in my home country for everyone who couldn't attend our wedding. I started making place cards using leftover cardboard from our actual wedding.


      We watered from our rainwater tank and skipped watering once due to sufficient rain.


      We only ran full loads of dishes and washing, mostly at the cheapest time of the day. All washing was air-dried and we're making a conscious effort to reduce the amount of dishes and washing we produce.


      We have to hand-wash our dishes very frequently at the moment as we're battling with ants in the kitchen. We only half-fill the sink and save all warm-up water to soak pots and pans.


    Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

  • momsav February 20, 2018

    I love the sunny, bright pictures. We won’t see much sun for awhile, yet. Even pictures help moods.
    We got to FaceTime with our daughter and son-in-law. They surprised us by announcing they were expecting! My daughter has had health issues and didn’t know if she would ever have children. I am over the moon for them! This won’t be frugal for visits as they’re about 1,400 miles away. But, i’m won’t dwell on that!
    I took another little side job. I’ll be watching the same three children I nannyed a few years ago. This time, it’s just an hour or two after school, much more doable. The pay will help fund future Fl. trips. (Try saying that three times!)
    I’ve worked my way through two wool sweaters for making dryer balls. I need to wrap more of the yarn into balls. I’ll take the yarn to the laundromat to wash and dry. I may have enough for everyone, already. Two adult sweaters have quite a bit of yarn!
    I cut a toothpaste tube in half and got several more days from it.
    I added a cabbage core to the broth bag in the freezer.
    I finally washed my car this Winter. (Rinsed it, actually.) I found 51cents on the ground there. (Where is the cent sign on an iPad? Am I the only one who uses it?)
    I make my veggie tacos with a very spicy (to me) pre-made mix. I used cooked lentils to cut the heat and stretch the filling. Because I was out of lettuce, I used kale in it’s place.
    We had our credit limit lowered on one of our (two) credit cards. I don’t know that that was ‘frugal’ but it’s peace of mind. My husband wants to keep it where I want it to go. (We keep our cards paid off.) We use the other card because it offers double cash back where this one doesn’t. After having it reduced, they sent us a notice about raising it! Clearly, these banks don’t have a clue!
    I made wild blueberry pancakes and chocolate mousse for Valentines Day. The pancake mix was used up so I made another batch and put it in the freezer.
    Our taxes are done so I shredded the oldest ones in our files. (Ten years.)
    I paid a bill at the bank saving time and a stamp.
    I listed a few things on eBay and one item sold.
    We also FaceTimed with our son and his family. I love that we can see everyone in real time.
    That’s about it except for the baggies that were washed, water saved from the shower and waiting for hot at the sink and watching more documentaries on yooootuuube. It was a good week.
    Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

  • Jennifer O. February 21, 2018

    The AC went out and getting the estimate cost $159. Then came the cost to fix - $2500 to make both units work again. Ugh. 2 new units are $4000 to $5000 EACH so we’re going to take a chance on repairing rather than replacing. Parts have to be ordered, so we are without AC until they arrive. Gives the house a good airing out. Thankfully, the temps are dropping a bit and it will only be in the 70’s – unlike the 85 it was this weekend. The refurbished units with new thermostats should lower my electricity bills too. So bonus!

    Yes, I’m trying really hard to convince myself that this is good.

    I was treated to a weekend away at Universal Studios by my mom and her companion. It cost me the gas to get there (1 tank total there and back), the dog sitter ($75) and a small treat or two. They refused to let me pay for meals and such or the tickets or the room. So an inexpensive (for me) weekend away.

    Beginning of Lent caught me by surprise (don’t know why), but I had some vegetarian options available in the pantry and freezers.

    As we were away or I was on my own for several meals, I didn’t grocery shop and probably won’t this week either.

    Due to working late, I had to skip my chiropractor appointment. As I am on a month plan, they just shifted me back a week.
    I went to the spa school for a deep tissue massage, which not only feels good, but will help with the chiropractor too. Because it is a school, a 1-hour massage was only $35 and you are not permitted to tip. Purchased a groupon for a manicure at the same school for only $8. Tonight I go for a 1-hour European facial, using a groupon that I bought before Christmas for only $11. At a regular spa, this would easily by $150 plus a tip.
    Made homemade beniegts for Mardi Gras.

  • Roberta in So. Cal. February 21, 2018

    Your pansies are so cheery!

    Well, last week was not terribly frugal around here. Too many doctors appointments and prescription medications--plus Valentine's Day and my birthday--for that. However, I'm very thankful for good medical insurance, good reports from my oncologists and other doctors, a loving husband and son, and another year! I'm also thankful that our frugal habits enable us to have weeks like this without throwing us into a crisis.

    And, even with our unusual expenses, we were able to do a few frugal things:

    * Made French bread, cooked up a turkey roast that Hubs then ran through the meat slicer for sandwiches, and made a loaf of breakfast bread.

    * Harvested lettuce, rosemary, and a lemon.

    * Had a Valentine's lunch out with Hubs (rather than dinner).

    * Used a gift card to cover part of my birthday dinner.

    * Hubs found a place that sells compost in bulk. He was able to fill the bed of his F-150 for $18. Our garden should be more productive this year.

    Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

  • Cindy in the South February 22, 2018

    Wonderful news!

  • Sheena February 21, 2018

    Trying to remember everything.

    Hit reduced racks here again.

    Found ham ( the nice thick deli slices) and roast beef ( also from deli) reduced. I went to the bread section and found pitta bread reduced. This enabled me to make son his pitta bread breakfast sandwiches he insists on grabbing as he runs out the door at 7.00 am. He eats with friends on the bus.

    Found pastrami reduced. Ate that on wraps (delicious). Froze it when its use by date hit. Tasted great heated up.

    There was an Amex offer of £5 off £10 here at Aldi. There is no Aldi near us but it was near some freelance work ( paid mileage). I went there on way home and bought basics. Sorry to offend all Aldi fans but it struck me as very similar to Lidl.

    Used reduced shelf chicken ( to make freezer space). Cooked and shredded meat. Used bones for stock. Gave dog leftover flesh ( squished through fingers to check for bones). He loved it and I saved on his food. Used stock to cook up reduced shelf mince meatballs. Will make 5-6 meals at least for non-veggie children.

    May post again as I recall things.

    Happy frugality all.

  • Holly February 23, 2018

    I rented a booth in January and do embroidered items. Well, 2 weeks in and my machine died. My hisband has always been abke to fix it, but the sensor we ordered didn't fix her. So, he talked me into a new embroidery machine. We had savings to buy it. So, I am trying to put the savings back.

    I cashed out Swagbucks for a $25 Walmart card. I used that to buy bunnies that I embroider names on the ear and sell.

    We put everything on a credit card that gives cash back and oh the balance off every month. We just cashed out $400 in Wal-Mart cards that we can also use at Sam's and on gas. I like Aldi for vegetables, eggs, milk, and my gkuten free bread, so I will stretch this over a few months buying staples and gas.

    I have been going through and making a point to list a few items each day on the yardsale site and EBay. I've made $238 in the last few days. I used $80 of EBay money to buy ladies raglan shirts to embroider for my shop and online sale. Today I will buy some kids raglans. I had a lady pick up some items off the yardsale site and she ordered 2 shirts I didn't have her daughter's size so I am ordering the preteen size today and will put them online and in my booth to sell. I have bunnies with floral headbands, floral unicorns, and He is Risen, Blessed Y'all, and I am so loved with a cross to put on shirts.

    My husband is building me a 6 foot and 5 foot desk that makes an "L". I have a couple of desks to sell once he is finihed that should pay for the lumber. I bought two bookcases off the yardsale site for $50 and comic book boards and have been wrapping fabric in the boards and organizing it on the shelves. I have a 3rd bookshelf I have organized blanks that I embroider like burp cloths, diaper covers, tea towels. My space is coming together. Oh, I used my PayPal credit to buy rolls of stabilizer off amazon, too.

    I have always had a full pantry, but am getting low on things. I have for the first time in iver 10 years run out if things lately. I have flour and beans and brown rice I need to eat through. They've been around awhile. So, I will cook up a couple if different beans and a bag of brown rice and put up in my freezer in 1 cup portions. I love to do this, ready to throw in a soup or meal.

    I've cooked from what I had so week. We had omelets one night when I didn't feel like cooking.I made chicken in the oven and my husband wouldn't eat it leftover saying it was too dry. It is fine, he just wants it grilled, so I have 4 tender strips I put in the freezer. I will chop them up and use the in a Mexican chicken soup later.

  • Allyson February 23, 2018

    Wow, loving the spring photos! Spring is arriving early for us, but I am worried that some of my flowers might be emerging too early. We often get snow and cold in March and even into April, so I'm hoping we won't have trees begin to bud and crops not fruit.

    Last week was up and down for us, with a great date night at home and visits to the doctor's office for two of us. We're beginning to feel better, which is good, and are grateful for the support of family nearby to help with child care to provide us a date night for free.

    Here are the rest of our accomplishments for last week. I hope you'll stop by and leave a comment! I love the comments here, and all the support!
    https://liveandsave.blogspot.com/?_sm_au_=isV48v87F7jqWPkQ

  • Jennifer Osborn February 28, 2018

    My eyesight is failing and when I googled your site, I saw the first photo in this post with the caption and it looked to me like it said $56 worth of pansies! I was quite flummoxed that you would spend $56 on pansies until the page loaded and I could see that the caption read .056 cents!

    Thanks for the ongoing inspiration.

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