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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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  • Susan M. February 19, 2018

    I need to really limit my use of refined sugars due to previous high blood sugar problems, so for Valentine's Day I made a sweet treat of "Chocolate Bites." It only uses dates to sweeten, yet gives me that chocolate flavor that I do love! Best of all, I normally have all the ingredients in my kitchen, so no special trips to the store for unusual ingredients! The recipe is on my blog here: http://tnquiltbug.blogspot.com/2018/02/chocolate-bites.html

  • Jen February 19, 2018

    We purchased a 1/4 beef (about 200 lbs hanging weight) at $3.45 a pound for all cuts of meat from filet mignon to 90 % lean ground beef--an awesome deal in our area. We filled the extra freezer with the meat, displacing a turkey that had been in there a while, so we cooked the turkey and I made 4-5 meals from it throughout the week.

  • momsav February 19, 2018

    Jen, Wow! That seems like an awesome price on beef! We paid just over 3.00 lb for half a pig. This same farmer also sold beef. With just one meat eater, pork seemed like the better option for us. I think our price was quoted higher, though. Two hundred pounds is a LOT of meat all at once!

  • Jennifer O. February 21, 2018

    Yikes! a 1/4 cow here is almost $10 a lb. Great buy.

  • Mandy February 19, 2018

    !I cannot wait for Spring here!
    We went out to dinner for Valentine's Day. This was the first date night my husband and I have had in at least a year, probably longer.
    All other meals were eaten at home. I took breakfast (oatmeal) and lunches and a snack to work with me. I drank free ice water at work.
    I cleaned out and organized my chest freezer and the freezer on top of the refrigerator. I also made an inventory list of what we have and which freezer it is in. I also cleaned out our pantry shelves and reorganized them. I went through our filing cabinet and my little area I keep my checkbook and other papers. I have 3 bags of food to donate and a big pile for Goodwill.
    I have been using inbox dollars (it's like Swagbucks) and I have much better earnings. I have over $9.00 in just a few days.
    I purchased a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt for $3.00 each. I also purchased a pair of jeans. I desperately need more clothing and my old jeans (my only pair) had the zipper teeth fall out.
    I earned a $5.00 credit for Amazon for choosing no rush shipping. I used the credit to purchase a cd of my favorite music (that does not play on the radio here) and only paid .49! I am going to put the music onto my (very old) ipod to listen to at work (data entry). This is my husband's old ipod he's had for years and does not use anymore. We cannot have any device that connects to the internet and we cannot have our phones in our work areas.
    I put some items I received for free into the present tub for Christmas.
    I changed our Netflix subscription (no cable or satellite) to one device, saving me $4 a month.
    We had a truck we bought used. 2 months after we bought it it needed a new engine. We had a rebuilt one put it. 9 months later that engine started going out. My husband arranged for a trade with someone for their car. All issues with the truck were disclosed but the man's wife wanted a truck exactly like ours and "the wife gets what the wife wants " lol. The new to us car is a Taurus and I love it. The insurance is cheaper, gas mileage is better. It needs a couple minor repairs that won't cost much. Those will be done in spring.
    I have built up our emergency fund! I am loosely following Dave Ramsey's baby steps. I say loosely because our situation doesn't exactly fit into his "mold', however i can still follow his plan. I have been paying extra on our other car to get it paid off as early as possible.
    I also follow two other blogs and used their tips and suggestions for grocery shopping. I saved close to 50% last Friday night on my bill! I also used cash. Except for 2 items I only purchased items that were on sale for very good prices. I also had a few coupons I printed making some items super cheap. I had 4 coupons for free larabars (our favorite snack) that i used. On the items I don't purchase organic (which is mainly down to certain fruits and dairy and meat when it's on sale or the Aldi brand) I paid close attention to price and purchased the best deals for my money. No processed foods.
    Have a fantastic week everyone!

  • Laurie in central NC February 19, 2018

    The table setting with your pink runner is lovely. I've got a few old linens soaking in a lichen bath right now, to see what shows up. It will be brown/tan tones, with the added benefit of an amazing scent from the lichens. I hope to do more experimenting with natural dyes this year. I finished sewing my scrub top, so I now have a new set of scrubs to wear for massage work. Hubby and I both have the flu. Eating very little and staying home is frugal, but I hope we'll be healthy soon. Reading everyone's comments brightens my day. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/02/a-bit-of-yellow-cheer-frugal.html

  • momsav February 19, 2018

    Laurie, Wishing you and your husband a speedy recovery! My walking buddy has had the flu this week. I’m walking upwind of her!

  • Wyoming Gal February 19, 2018

    I used a bottle of wine colored dye to freshen a wine colored silk Coldwater Creek twinset and to dye off white (with some staining) scoop neck tee shirt and corduroy jeans. I wore the cord pants and tee with a v neck cranberry cashmere sweater to church on a very cold day with lots of snow. I was inspired to crochet a wooly beret in cranberry yarn (leftover yarn) to match the muffler I crocheted a few month ago. I have five main winter coats - wool coats in gray, royal blue and black and ski parkas in purple and hot pink. So I have quite a few hats, gloves and mufflers in neutrals and colors for the different coats. The cranberry works with gray best and also with black.

    I cut down and hemmed an oblong tablecloth into a round one. We often have no leaves in our dining table so I wanted something that fit the round version of the table better.

    I did accept a seasonal job on the East coast at the same national park where my husband will be working. I am retiring from my year round career job in 6 weeks. After more than 30 years as a human resources manager - often with my "hair on fire"- it is time. I am looking forward to a summer of exploring new things. We found rental housing in our summer area. We will rent our house to the relative of a friend for much of the time we are gone. So we are cleaning, packing, planning and of course, trying to eat the food from the freezer and pantry.

    I home dry cleaned 14 garments - mostly pantsuits and blazers using the Dryel system. You spot clean the items then put them in a special purchased vinyl bag with a special damp Dryel cloth and dry in your dryer for 30 minutes. I had supplies for a number of loads that I purchased some years ago. I was satisfied with the results for most of the items.

    Does anyone have experience with the Woolite home dry cleaning system? With these materials you just put the cloth and your garments in the dryer - no vinyl bag needed. I am thinking of using this for my heavy wool coats in March or so.

  • S. CO Mary February 19, 2018

    Wyoming Gal! Congratulations on your retirement from a 30 HR career. I finally fully retired from many years as an HR manager and director last July. It is truly a 'hair on fire' job and it took me awhile to adjust. I had retired twice before - returning to HR twice. Love Monday mornings now!

    I'll be interested in any responses to the question about the Woolite dry cleanign system. I like the Dryel system and was lukcy when my local King Soopers had packs of the Dryel system half off so I am set for awhile. However being confined to the bag does mean I can't do my heavier coats - which can cost a lot to have dry clean.

  • Jessica February 19, 2018

    I haven't posted in a few weeks, but I'm still trying to stay frugal! On Saturday, I finished what I hope will be the last of my grocery shopping. I'm still $66 under budget even with buying everything I needed for another batch of laundry detergent. My recipe makes enough for a year, so I shouldn't have to worry about it again for awhile.

    My husband has been taking the car to work most days, which saves gas over his truck. I don't have to work today, but I do have to take the dog to the vet. But it should still save some gas cost.

    We've been eating from the freezer and pantry a lot. I used some frozen bananas to make banana bread for breakfasts last week. Today I will make blackberry muffins for breakfasts this week.

    I'll also make one of my free whole chickens for supper tonight. We'll eat the leftovers tomorrow, too.

    I've been working hard on my online store. It made an extra $710 last month for our household. Unfortunately, our LP tank needed refilled. So that ate all that profit right up. But at least we didn't have to touch our savings!

    My husband and I treated ourselves to a night out for Valentine's Day instead of buying gifts for each other. We tried a new restaurant that was pretty affordable. The portions were very large and we each got three meals from them.

    The heater wasn't working properly in the car and my husband was able to fix it himself. It just cost us $44 in parts. I'm lucky he's so handy!

  • Gertrude Ezell February 19, 2018

    I'm a long time reader, and really look forward to these posts. We celebrated Fat Tuesday last week, and with previous stock ups, we made Krispy Kreme knock off doughnuts with no extra cost. We then celebrated the Lunar New Year and only needed to buy some noodles and egg roll wrappers. We ended up making so much that we are having the leftovers today. We had a freezer cooking day a month or two ago and had extra lasagna filling and sauce that we froze immediately and used those to make stuffed shells for dinner yesterday. We also started our tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts seeds for our garden (all counted 98 seed starts). Our recently purchased Aerogarden in doing great, except for the dill and parsley seed pods, so I'll be calling to get those replaced. We did splurge for Valentine's day in getting flowers for everyone, but since my Mom, my Aunt and myself are all single and my grandparents are still doing very well at 80, everyone deserves a treat. (Everyone got a bouquet of roses, 2 of which came for Aldi's and I bought myself an orchid plant for $9.99 - way cheaper than any other store here. And the Aldi's bouquets look great for 3.99!) I did receive some socks for my sons from my Aunt also and her unwanted/unused grocery coupons. We stayed in at the house most of the last week due to weather. Thank you for all who post!

  • Cindy in the South February 19, 2018

    My son became very ill again and had to drop out of college, with only two semesters to go. He has always made either President's List or Dean's List, no matter how long he is hospitalized. The good news is that he is on the mend, slowly, but surely, and he will go back, but probably only one course at a time until he is feeling better. Life is full of hills and valleys. This is simply a detour. Of course, whenever a child is ill, I help them out even if they are grown, and that makes for a tighter budget. I bought eggs and evaporated milk. The temps are in the 70's during the day now, so I have turned off the heat. That will help as far as the power bill. I enjoyed walking at the river park, and the river is a little bit above flood stage, so it is nice to see all the water fowl enjoying the temps and the water. Our tulip trees, buttercups, and various wild grasses are in full bloom, signaling early spring. I am so glad because it has been such a cold winter for here. Other than having to buy my car tag this month, I have generally just had the usual things.

  • Jamie | Medium Sized Family February 19, 2018

    I'm looking forward to flowers this year after our #yearofno made buying them impossible for the past couple of years. I hope I find a deal like you did!

    Here's how we saved last week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-week-111/

  • Elizabeth M. February 19, 2018

    Had a craving for chocolate, so I made pan of brownies, remembering to undercook them a little so they were nice and chewy. It was a larger batch than I needed, so I cut the batch into four pieces and froze three for later.

    Made turkey divan from the last packet of Christmas turkey, mushroom soup bought on sale and cheddar cheese from the freezer. A little leftover turkey from the packet was added to a stir fry.

    Took baked squash, mashed with a little dried ginger, to a potluck dinner at the next town over. Used squash given to me by a friend and gas in the gas tank, so no out of pocket cost. There was no squash left over, so it was a popular choice. I thought of it because someone on this blog had mentioned bringing mashed potatoes to potlucks. Thanks for the idea! This potluck is a monthly Sunday supper for people who don't have much family around for traditional Sunday suppers. We had a lot of fun and I got to meet a few new people and get to know some others better.

    I've left my job at the library. Also, my computer has been in for repair all week. Not an expensive repair, fortunately, but a couple of weeks of transcription income have been lost. The next few weeks will be tight as I adjust. Fortunately, I had a little money left from last month and have a good supply of food in the house to help keep me going while I make up for this lost income.

    The car wouldn't start during a very cold spell a couple of weeks ago. I waited until thing seemed to be warming up, and just before my AAA membership expired to get the car boosted. It has been working really well since then. I'll renew the AAA membership once cash flow improves, since it always seems to pay for itself with me being by myself and having an older car in a remote location.

    Found lean ground pork on sale in a manager's special on large packs, so bought a 3 lb package, divided into 1 lb packs for the freezer.

  • Laurie in AZ February 19, 2018

    Hello everyone! Beautiful picture as always, Brandy!

    I had a pretty good week.

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times. Hubby was hunting this weekend so instead of making a whole pot of coffee, I just used some free instant coffee I had.
    • Got 1 jar of peanut butter, 1 box of cereal and 2 containers of yogurt for free. Also got a good deal on clearance dishwasher detergent and dish soap at 50% off. I stocked up.
    • Made homemade disinfecting wipes. Only had to buy the paper towels.
    • Ate dinner in most of the week. Ate out twice this week but had a gift card for the 2nd time. Brought home the leftovers and had them for dinner the next night. The other night was at our Trivia League night. We also won $30 gift card for that restaurant to use a different night and $7 on a final bet our team does.
    • I watch my grandson twice a week and he needed some new toys for my house. He is 2 now and most of my toys are for younger. He loves cars so I went to Goodwill and bought 6 toy trucks/cars and 1 toy airplane for under $12. I disinfected them when I got home. He loves them!
    • Sewed a button on a pajama top, repaired a sock and sewed a button on a shirt. I lost the button from the shirt and I didn’t have one to match so I cut the top button off and sewed it to the middle. I never button the top button anyway and I don’t think anyone will notice.
    • Sister-in-law gave me some Rose Congou loose tea. Delish!
    • Found a quarter.
    • Took my grandson to the library for a free Toddler Story Time. His first time and he loved it. It was my first time for something like this also. We will go again.
    • Grandson didn’t eat all his applesauce or apple one day, so I threw it in my smoothie.
    • Put some carrot peels and tops into my freezer stock bag.
    • Made a homemade Valentine’s card for the Hubby with materials I had already. For the inside sentiment I found a love poem online and used it. Gave him the packet of free Sweetarts I had received from the Friday Freebie last week.
    • Got 2 lemons free at work from someone with a tree. Sliced them and froze them on a tray. I will use these either in beverages or when cooking chicken, I'll slip them under the skin for flavoring.
    • Got free pizza for lunch at work one day. Then the pizza place had provided parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes with the pizzas. I was able to take them home. It amounted to 3 c. of parmesan and 1 cup of red pepper flakes! Brought my lunch the other 2 days. Hubby brought his lunch 4 days also.
    • Worked 21 hours contract work.
    • My daughter came over and helped me hang up pictures and decorate. She helped me take things I had and think about them differently and use them in a different way. I still have a lot of walls that need décor, but I will take my time and purchase items at Goodwill, on clearance, at garage sales or create them.
    • Finished off a box of cereal. Saved the bag.
    • Hubby went hunting this weekend. Instead of picking up items to bring to eat, he “shopped” in our food storage. Some of the things weren’t his preference, but he brought them anyway.
    • Signed up for mail order pharmacy, so I will get 3 months of meds for the price of 2.
    • Sliced up the ham I got last week for under $7. Was able to freeze 2 ham steaks, 3 packages of minced ham for sandwiches (1 serving per package), 5 packages of sliced ham for sandwiches (2 servings per package), 1 ham bone and 2 packages of the outer portion to use for flavoring soup. The minced ham and sliced ham will be for taking our lunches to work. That’s a lot of servings for $7!

    I'm thankful for this blog, as it reaffirms the positivity of frugality for me. It reminds me that saving money is fun and not deprivation!

    Hope everyone has a wonderful, frugal and FUN week!

  • Ava February 20, 2018

    Laurie - yes, exactly! The challenge is fun! And so are the tangible/quantifiable results! :D

  • Terri February 19, 2018

    I've been logging my frugal accomplishments every day at my blog, The Frugal List. Here are some of the highlights of my week:
    I reduced our monthly electric bill from $139 in January to $80 in February!!
    I've been working with my kids to teach them to turn off lights when they leave a room. This might not sound like much, but they are little and scared of the dark and turn on sooooo many lights and then leave them on when they leave the room.
    I went grocery shopping at The Grocery Outlet and stocked up on 20 boxes of breakfast cereal that were on sale for 99 cents a box.
    I started my seeds indoor on my window sills.
    I hung all our laundry up to air dry.
    I hand dried all of our dishes.
    You can check out the rest at: https://thefrugallist.wordpress.com/

  • Jo February 19, 2018

    I planned a weekly meal plan, mostly using what was in the freezer and incorporating leftovers.
    I found a light jacket I needed at Goodwill. I can't believe I live in Florida and somehow managed to end up without even one lightweight jacket.
    I am going through the house and cleaning out, too, planning for a yard sale with two other people. Every time I have one, I realize I should have put in this or that item but forgot. I'm trying to write down my ideas this time, and start pricing earlier, because pricing takes a longer time than one realizes.
    I pulled Valentine cards from my stored stash for my husband and grand-kids.
    I put my name in a drawing for a very nice backpack. I might not win, but one never knows!
    I made a quart of tasty, golden, collagen-rich broth from chicken bones and necks.
    We are starting seeds for a few veggies for spring and summer gardening. My husband will trade some of the plants for produce from a friend's winter garden.

  • Jeriann February 19, 2018

    Brandy, this blog is my absolute favorite. I've been reading it faithfully for many years and I feel like I should contribute. I'm a frugal person by nature and while I haven't learned many new ideas here I have felt encouraged and supported in my chosen lifestyle of frugality.
    This week I have:

  • Exercised each morning using Jessica Smith TV. I've used her website and videos for years. It is free and there is a lot of variety of workouts and levels, plus I like her personality.
  • Finished repairing some large holes in the basement walls, due to a pipe bursting because of the cold weather. We have only lived in this house for 8 months and were un aware of this problem with that particular pipe. We had a plumber come in and reroute the pipe and put in a shut off valve so we could drain the entire length leaving no water to freeze in the pipe through the winter. This pipe only supplies water to the outside faucet.
  • After the the holes were all mudded and taped and sanded smooth I painted everything with leftover paint for the accent wall and mixing some differnt Oops or mistint paint that I had from other progects for the remaining walls. All the paint colors I use are so similiar that I was able to mix enough paint almost the exact color of the walls which allowed me only need to paint the wall with one coat. There was no out of pocket expense for this.
  • Also in the basement, I have a very long flat wall which needed some kind of decor on in it. I didn't have anything. And being in our movie/playroom we wanted something fun like movie posters or similar, but those get really pricey quickly. I could also see any framed picture getting bumped while people were playing pool or when the grandkids run around down there. They use that area as a race track. So I decided to use some of my paint to make a crazy wall by painting it white then taping a random design and painting each shape a different shade of gray with a few random red shapes. This makes the wall the art and nothing needs to be on it. I'm about a third of the way done painting it and I think it is coming together. And if I don't like it I can always repaint it. Lowe's and Home Depot have grays and tans in there mistints all the time for $9 a gallon.
  • Got my car washed for free. It was really dirty from snow and the chemicals that are put on the roads during the winter.
  • Had my husband work shoe repaired. The leather was coming away from the sole. Cost $15. A good deal considering that new shoes for his work run about $130+.
  • All meals made at home.
  • Watched Wonder from Redbox for $ .27 with a code. We really enjoyed that.
  • Son (15) wants to watch all the Marvel movies in order by story, not by release date before the Avengers 3 comes out in May (we have free movie tickets we are saving to go see it). There are 15 movies and we own only 1 and we found three others between Amazon prime and Netflix. I then checked our new library and they have all of them in the system. I'm very excited about this. We have pizza (homemade) and movie almost every Friday, but lately we have not been able to find things that are interesting or appropriate. So this Marvel Marathon will be fun and free.
  • Read two books from the library.

  • Enjoy your week!

  • Melonie K. February 19, 2018

    We used the Ibotta app for our first grocery shops and it went better than I expected. I combined it with store sales, coupons, and Cartwheel offers and am quite happy with how things turned out. I'm sure I confused a few employees as they were stocking in various aisles and I stood there figuring each deal - is 10% off this brand ACTUALLY better price than 5% off this brand? My 10yo son was fascinated though because often the 10% off was not the better deal, it just sounded like it. I was giddy the whole way home as I scanned our receipt right there in the parking lot and all told we saved over $40 and earned a rebate of almost $5.

    Other fun things this week included a car principal payment for Valentine's Day. Trying to get things set up to bring in some income again - my submissions dried up for 2017 due to our move, so it's time to get back to work!


    Wishing you all a lovely week!

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