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Last Week's Garage Sale Finds and Frugal Accomplishments

Nasturiums The Prudent Homemaker

I cut nasturiums from the garden and brought them in to arrange in a vase. All of these nasturiums grew from self-seeding.

I bought strawberries for $0.97 a pound, made strawberry shortcake, and canned strawberry jam.

I bought 90 pounds of potatoes at $0.10 a pound.

Herb Roasted Chicken The Prudent Homemaker

I made herb roasted chicken. By cooking the chicken breast-side down, the bird makes its own broth right in the pan.

Lemon Parmesan Penne The Prudent Homemaker 

I made lemon parmesan penne.

I picked lettuce from the garden and we had several salads last week for lunch with homemade dressings.

I cut garlic chives, parsley, thyme, green onions, and Swiss chard from the garden.

Red and White Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker

I picked red strawberries and white alpine strawberries from the garden.

Ivory and Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker

I sold several more items via Facebook garage sales, which gave me more money to spend at the community garage sale.

I love the community garage sale. There is a close by community where there are thousands of homes in suburban tracts, and they are allowed (per HOA rules) to have a garage sale only two specific weekends a year. This means I don't have to drive far to find a lot of sales. Usually as we drive through the neighborhoods, we can park the car and walk to several sales at once. My mom and I go together to these sales.

I found several things on my list at the community garage sales. My dad said to me that it's amazing that I make a list and then actually find things on that list, but I do! From my list, I found a new in the package sink strainer for the kitchen sink ($1; ours had broken last month); 4 shirts for Winter ($1 each); a silk wrap around skirt for Winter ($3); 2 pairs of jeans each for Wren, Elsa, and Ivory ($1 a pair); a sheet set for Winter's bed ($5); a stainless steel pie server ($0.50); a silver-plated pie server ($5); a crystal pitcher ($3)--I was looking for a glass one but crystal was wonderful; a plastic pitcher ($2); 4 taper candles ($0.50);  sewing needles ($0.25); a small stainless steel box ($0.25); this one came with a candle in it and had a dragonfly on the top);  two enamel tubs ($1 each; like small wash tubs), and 3 games ($1 each).

Roses in Glass Bowl The Prudent Homemaker

To my surprise, I found something that I had taken off my list, since I hadn't found one in several years. I found a crystal footed bowl for $2! A few hours later, I found a smaller, pressed glass footed bowl for $4. I cut flowers from the garden to fill both of these. The glass one is pictured above.

I also found 4 vintage metal embroidery hoops. I prefer the metal ones for hand-embroidery, and they have not been made for many, many years. I paid more for these than I have ever paid before, but they were just the smaller sizes that I wanted. I paid $5 each for them (when I have found them before, I have paid $1 or $2 for them). These are always on my list. 

Some of these items, like the pie servers, have been on my list for over a year. I usually find things, eventually.

Having a list of wanted and needed items helps to keep me focused on my priorities. I also bought a few great deals not on the list, too.

Items I bought that were not on the list included a Shabby Chic twin-size comforter ($6), a clock ($1), 1 3/8 yards dark blue stretch velvet ($5); 3 yards of a sheer blue print fabric that Winter can use to make a scarf for herself, plus more to make some for gifts for friends ($2); a small whisk ($0.25), a lingerie bag ($0.10); two sheer white curtain panels ($0.50 for both); a cashmere-looking scarf ($2); a vintage rug beater ($2); a glass and metal jar with a lid ($2), and a large metal vase ($2). I found a ring that I'll give to Liberty for her birthday ($0.75); earrings I'll give to Winter for her birthday ($0.75); and  two books for $1 each. I also found a brand-new Camelbak (these hold water for hiking) for $10 that I will give to Cyrus on his birthday. 

What did you do to save money last week?




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  • Tiffany E. April 12, 2015

    I picked up 10 containers of strawberries when they were on sale.... we ate a lot of strawberry shortcake for dessert (and breakfast) last week. My youngest daughter would live off of strawberries if I let her. I also purchased two 10lb. bags of russet potatoes for $.99 each.... we had scalloped potatoes with our Easter dinner; skillet potatoes for breakfast several days and I will be making loaded baked potato soup with the left over ham for dinner this week (froze the ham leftovers). I used my Target cartwheel app and coupons when I shopped the other night.... only four things on my list didn't have a coupon or Cartwheel discount... combined with my RedCard, I saved almost $50!

  • Tina in the NW April 12, 2015

    Beautiful pictures, as always. I love nasturtiums. Do you ever put them in salad? I like to eat them right out of the garden.

    This week, there was one day that it was sunny, so I decided to visit a local botanical garden that I had not been to since I was a child. I took the bus and then walked about a mile to get there. I packed a lunch and enjoyed it sitting in the garden. Then I wandered around admiring the beautiful cherry trees that were in full bloom, and all the other plants. I sat for a long while and read a book too. It was a really nice day.

    I did some planning work on the garden project I am working on for our condo complex. Now I just need to wait for other people's feedback.

    I continued cleaning out drawers and closets. I donated two bags of clothes and household items to the thrift store, and received a 15% off coupon in return. I found some good deals at the thrift store: a skirt, two t-shirts, a pan to replace one of mine (which has a cracked handle), and a jar. With coupon, the total was only $13.

    I recently started writing to a friend of the family who is in prison. I have known this person for most of my life, and went to school with him and his siblings. He has been in and out of prison since young adulthood. He will not be leaving prison anytime soon, so I thought I would write and see how he is doing. It has proved to be an interesting correspondence so far. I enjoy writing letters (does anyone do this anymore?) and he is happy to have a pen pal.

    I got my twice-monthly vegetable box, and ended up with more zucchini and asparagus than I could use (my husband won't eat asparagus). So I made a big jar of fermented vegetables. I've never had fermented asparagus before, so I am looking forward to tasting it.

    Looking forward to reading about everyone else's week.

  • We live in a semi-rural setting, so I don't garage sale very much - it can use a lot of fuel and I come up with nothing. However, the local facebook page has been wonderful for me - I can see the item and price, 'claim' it, and not waste gas so much. Your flowers are beautiful in your footed bowl! The nasturtiums are lovely too - I am going to plant mine soon.

    My frugal accomplishements and blessings are here:

  • MaryG April 12, 2015

    I cut my husband's hair and trimmed my own (with some assistance from my daughter). I gave my dog a bath and trimmed her nails. I made granola twice and bought some inexpensive seed packs from Aldi. Also while shopping at Aldi, I checked my receipt before bagging up my purchases (something you have to do at Aldi, but I don't mind), I noticed that the discount of one dollar was not taken off my ground beef package. After bagging up my groceries, I checked with the cashier about it. I was expecting to receive the dollar that wasn't deducted from my item, but apparently the store's policy is to give you the item for free (up to 20 dollars, I believe) if they over-ring an item. So the ground beef was free. I paid several bills online to save postage charges. I bought myself three trade paperbacks for 50 cents each at a local thrift store. Oh, and my Panera reward is to receive a free cup of coffee daily. I'm not really a coffee drinker, but my husband has been enjoying getting large cup on his way to work. Most days, he hasn't gotten anything else while there. He has picked up a bagel once or twice, which are pretty small ticket items.

  • Debbie in Florida April 12, 2015

    My frugal accomplishments:
    Free in the mail – a sample of Gevalia coffee, a coupon for a free Seeds of Change organic product, and a JCPenny catalog with a $10 off $10 coupon.

    I had a mystery shopping assignment at a restaurant for dinner on a night SO was working. I’ll get the cost of my meal reimbursed.

    I started thinking about and planning my daughter’s grad school graduation. Making my own sandwich platter, fruit salad, side salads for a light lunch for just the immediate family. Afternoon graduation. Then dinner out also for the immediate family. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to get a flower arrangement in her school colors that won’t break the bank. I have already put aside her graduation gift money plus some extra from my tax refund to cover the dinner out.

    I got caught up reading Money Saving Mom and entered codes in Kellogg’s Family Rewards.

    I completed a Pinecone survey.

    On my day off when SO was working I did a mystery shopping assignment at a grocery store (purchasing things I will need for my daughter’s graduation lunch – and I stayed close to what I will get reimbursed) and at a restaurant (I will get reimbursed for my meal and a few extra dollars).

    I picked strawberries and black raspberries from the garden. I watered everything using the rain barrel and fertilized using free fertilizer I got last year. I transplanted some volunteers that had come up in mounds I made for the watermelons and cantaloupe using my compost. They are probably peppers and/or tomatoes. I cleaned extra water hyacinth out of the pond and added that to the compost pile.

    A while ago I made lime-ade popsicles that were way too tart. When I was working in the garden, I put one of the popsicles in my giant Tervis (plastic stick and all), filled the rest of the glass with ice cubes, added a bit of sugar and then filled the rest of the glass with water. It flavored the water perfectly and was nice and refreshing while I worked in the garden.

    I cut the dryer sheets in half, and after I had used them in the dryer, I used them for dusting furniture and polishing up my shoes.

    Have a great week Ladies!

  • TCR April 12, 2015

    If you have a Kroger affiliated store near you, try their floral dept. When my nephew was in high school and going to a bunch of proms and cotillions I always got his corsages for the young lady at Kroger. They were always as cute as those from the florist, the current fashion and about 1/3 price of florist. A friend who arranges flowers turned me on to them and I decided to give it a try, so successful that I used them for 4+ years. Periodically I would ask for store manager and praise the floral dept manager and she always remembered that next time I placed an order.

  • I second the grocery store florist. We ordered all of our wedding flowers from the grocery store. Check around; some stores are lower priced than others, and it's not always the place you think; I find that the more expensive grocery stores often have lower-priced flowers. Sam's Club also has a floral department. You can check Sam's prices for many things online.

  • Michelle S April 12, 2015

    If you have a Costco nearby check there for flowers.

  • Debbie in Florida April 12, 2015

    Thank you for the suggestions for flowers. I'll stop in at Publix and ask. They have beautiful flowers and a small floral department near the produce but I didn't know if I could special order something - I will check it out!

  • Heather in L.A. April 13, 2015

    I am a florist. Usually the least expensive route is also the easiest. Use greenery from your yard and only use one type of flower in a single color in mass. And don't be afraid to check with a flower shop, we aren't out to gouge you(well not all of us are)...lol but they can order your desired flowers and you can get them loose, just bring them home and place them in a clean container with water after cutting off the end a bit. If the shop doesn't give you an additive, just use a bit of Sprite. So if the school colors are maroon and gold, use dark burgundy carnations or snapdragons and accent with a golden yellow from your yard or solidago, it looks like goldenrod. What are the school colors? And don't forget potted plants. Those placed in interesting containers along a table with framed school photos would be great also, and you can plant them in your yard. I hope this helps

  • Denise April 13, 2015

    Last spring my daughter graduated from high school. For her centerpieces, I found square vases of varying sizes at thrift shops. Went to Costco for flowers. A florist told me that Michael's sells flower spray paint. So I was able to make the flowers her high school colors. Lots of complements and the flowers seemed to last forever (a couple of weeks actually). Don't know if the paint made them last longer or not. A hint to really make the party nice....we rented table linens for the tables instead of using the plastic ones that rip, don't absorb spills :), and really made everything seem even more special. Also we used her high school colors for the guest tables and used one of her college colors to display things like her acceptance letter....it was nice to "bridge" the two together.

  • Mary April 12, 2015

    Lovely photography! You continue to be an inspiration to me. Everytime I "need to shop" I think twice about going to the store and "shop" my home instead.
    -interesting about cooking chicken breast side down-I do the same but with turkey. I don't know if it's my imagination, but it does seem juicier. I also "brine" my turkey for at least an hour prior to roasting, by liberally sprinkling kosher salt on the skin.
    -My neighbor gave me some oranges from her tree and I made Giada de Laurentiishttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/spinach-salad-with-orange-vinaigrette-recipe.html' citrus vinaigrette
    I took some spinach and the vinaigrette along with some turkey soup to a sick friend (the turkeys were found just after the holidays for 50 cents/lb.)
    -I went to an estate sale and found two summer tops ( $2 each, one still had tags). They are a size larger than I need, but with a little trimming and a straight stitch they should do nicely for our hot Texas summers. I did a slight alteration on a shawl like covering I bought at the Goodwill. It will be perfect for wearing when sitting in chilly rooms.
    -I bought eggs for 99cents. I plan to mix quiche mixture and freeze. I also plan to serve omelletes, bacon & egg sandwiches and deviled eggs.
    -I plan to make some handkerchiefs for my husband and as a gift for a friend. I'll add some embroidery to the gift. I'm thinking I may have seem a tutorial that you did at one time on diy handkerchiefs so I will search for those.
    -I cut a pretty pink rose for my table
    -I noticed that I have many bulbine and zinnia plant volunteer seedlings which will help to fill my butterfly and hummingbird garden. I was inspired by your white garden and did a variation on the theme-orange and red.
    Thank you for your beautiful post.

  • Rhonda A. April 13, 2015

    Mary, last summer I learned to embroider and started making handkerchiefs. I found this tutorial on how to sew a rolled handkerchief hem by hand:


    I love this stitch so much I thought I would share. It goes very quickly and if you are careful to do small stitches, they barely show. Hope you find this useful!

  • SCo Mary April 13, 2015

    Hi Mary - this is Mary (in SCo). How do you make a quiche mixture to freeze? That would be a great way to use up some of my 99cent/doz eggs.

  • TCR April 12, 2015

    Love the picture of that sweet child eating fresh strawberries. I don't do garage sales but your finds really make me want to start except for the whole I don't get up early on Saturday thing. As far as frugal goes, I'm headed to Oxford MS, home of my university for a few days. Author that I like is speaking at public library in middle of day on Tues so I decided to make a little vacay of it. My friend has a condo that is mainly used during football season and on weekends so she is allowing me to stay there M-T and I'm taking a few groceries with me. They have two movie theaters (we have none for 40+miles) and I still have money on gift cards so will be catching up on movies and Netflix at night (I live too far in country for Netflix streaming to work). Big meal out each day will be lunch with local friends and I usually have enough left-overs for light supper. Tons of great thrift shopping, try to go that way each year right when school lets out. College kids throw away and donate tons of great stuff when they are moving out for summer. Some people even make the rounds of the apartment dumpsters that week knowing there will be great finds. I just try to hit the thrift stores that week in May. I have fallen in love with tv show LONGMIRE but only after it went off tv, so I got all 3 seasons DVD's for free from library and binged on them. Now anxiously awaiting season 4 to broadcast.

  • If I will wait I can usually find it too. The sink strainer is the neatest thing you found though. It's so fun to go to all those sales!
    Our garage sales will probably be out in full force this next weekend because the weather is getting better. I found a few things at a estate sale (inside) though.
    You can read more about it here:


  • Mandy April 12, 2015

    Love the crystal bowl! it's beautiful! Last week:
    My husband replaced the brake pads on our vehicle himself, saving over $100
    The Vet bill for my cat ended up being $748.00, so my savings is now empty. However I am grateful that I was able to pay to save his life. I have to rebuild my savings.
    I was able to shut off the heat several days this past week. I also washed LOTS of laundry (my cat leaked urine everywhere, yuck, but that's normal after a catheter. But that created lots of laundry. I hung as much outside as possible, which was several loads.
    I was able to save our mattress from the above mentioned leakage due to purchasing an enzyme eater product specially for cat urine off of amazon for $23.00.
    I found a website that I can purchase the special cat food he now required for less than I can purchase it around here. I think the site is chewy.com. I will be purchasing better food for our dog as well just to be safe. I had been feeding them Purina One.
    I saved some scrap paper for lists, doodles, etc.
    I saved $13 using coupons at the grocery store. I received two free Tofurky products and a large bag of mixed produce for .99 cents. I will give the radishes that were in that bag to my mom, her household loves radishes. I spent half of my budgeted amount.
    My daughter played some free games on nickjr.com
    We prepared and ate all meals at home. I did not eat out at work and took all my meals to work. I drank free coffee and water at work. I did have some food waste due to my husband not eating the leftovers (foods I won't eat), but for the most part I was diligent about using up leftovers.
    I made whole wheat bread, cinnamon raisin bread, power balls, veggie stir fry, cooked a large pot of black beans and a large pot of rice to be the base of several meals, a new batch of citrus vinegar, lentils for tacos ( I'm a vegetarian), and coconut flour muffins.
    We transplanted our surviving seedlings to the garden: squash, tomatoes, and possibly lavender ( he forgot what he planted LOL) . I planted the squash in a different location to hopefully help with a higher yield and powdery mildew. My lettuce and arugula seeds have sprouted and my one surviving Brussels sprouts plant is doing well. We will be fertilizing the garden this week and then next weekend planting more seeds. I also planted flower seeds in different locations and tore out some plants that did not survive winter. We planted our three new blueberry bushes (we had two that should've fruited this year, but something ate them down to stubs.) We will be creating a cage for all the bushes this year to avoid that problem again. One bush has pink blueberries!
    Several green onion plants over wintered and are growing well now.
    That's all I can remember right now. I look forward to reading everyone else' s accomplishments!

  • Linda April 12, 2015

    Thanks for the cat food website. My cat had a bladder stone surgery and is now on Hills Rx C/D diet. So expensive times two, since both cats now eat it. They don't get it about whose bowl is whose!

  • Melissa in MD April 13, 2015

    We've been getting our dog food from Chewy.com for about a year now and are very happy with the company. He eats "Taste of the Wild" and it's about $5-10 dollars cheaper per bag than buying it locally. Shipping is free since we are on a 6 week automatic shipping and get 2 bags at a time. However, our cat is also an a special food for urinary crystals, Purina U/R. It is very expensive and we can get it cheaper from the vet's office than we can on Chewy.com. I always keep a look out though, because if the vet's price increases we will be having that shipped as well.

  • Athanasia April 13, 2015

    We buy dog food (Fromms) at the feed store and it is cheaper than the pet store and anywhere else. I checked the chewy site mentioned and it was a bit more than what we pay. Maybe you have a feed store or a farm store in your area.

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