Slide background

Encouragement

Slide background

Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

Header Typography
Inkwell and Pen

The Prudent Homemaker Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
Posted by on
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • 101 Comments

This Past Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Anenome The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut daffodils from the garden for our table. 

I dug dandelions from the lawn. Usually, we only have a few dandelions and I dig them out, but this year we have quite a large number. I still dug them out with a trowel.

My dad bought a Dragon Toes agave plant that had 8 baby plants in the pot. He offered me the two largest, which I accepted and potted in pots I already had and using some of the potting soil I got for free using a free soil with purchase coupon last week at the nursery.

I harvested lettuce, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard, snow peas, green onions, thyme, parsley, and radishes from the garden.

In need of some clothing that will fit me, I went to the thrift store and found a few things that will work for me.

This time of year is the prime time for garage sales where I live. I went to a few sales and found a couple of items of clothing for the family and a few other small things that my family can use. Some items were simple things that I know we'll use and that will save me money on basic supplies: I bought some staples for $0.25 a box, pads of paper that we'll use for spelling tests for $0.25 each, and paper clips for $0.25.

I turned two pairs of a daughter's worn through at the knees jeans into jean shorts.

I mended a dress for a daughter.

 

The thing that brought me the most joy this week was working on a service project for Days for Girls. I was so excited that this was one of the many service project options at a women's service project activity through church that I was able to go to. I have wanted to be involved in Days for Girls for many years. I feel like this is such a life-changing service project and I cannot help but get choked up and teary-eyed every time I talk about Days for Girls and what they are doing.

 

What did you do to save money this past week? What simple things did you do to find joy this week?

Last modified on

Comments

  • Natalie March 26, 2017

    What a coincidence! I happened upon Days for Girls yesterday and looked at some of the stories. I live in the U.K. and it is not well known here. I'm doing a dress for Little Dresses for Africa and perhaps Days for Girls may be calling me too. Joy indeed. Natalie

  • Tina March 26, 2017

    A friend raises her own pigs and had recently butchered one. She pulled out a boston butt...and didn't realize her daughter had also pulled one out. She gave me the extra one! I roasted it and gifted my mother with half the cooked meat, fed my family one meal with it, and froze the other portion for another meal!

    I made homemade croutons with left over french bread.

    Cleaned and rearranged an area in our home. It's a space we don't use much but the room has glass doors and you can see into it as you walk through the house. It had become kind of a "dumping ground" plus I was storing my gifted dehydrator there. I ended up using an old sheet to cover the dehydrator--like a mini-table. A small plant on top of it has made all the difference. Clearing clutter, rearranging, a little elbow grease---and that little unused space is getting used more now....and a lot more pleasant to look at.

  • Gardenpat March 26, 2017

    Got our potato crates/tower planted with our seed potatoes! Our tax refunds came in so I transferred them into our savings account so they wouldn't "evaporate"! Lol!
    Was able to surprise a friend celebrating her 80th birthday with a large scrappy lap quilt filled with bright, happy fabrics and quilted with butterflies! I made it a month ago but hadn't known who it was meant for until this week! She almost crushed my ribs with her hugs!!! And she cried!! It thrilled me to see how happy she was!
    Had to bake some cookies for Church today and so I found a yummy recipe- like a 7-layer bar cookie only in the form of individual cookies! I needed graham cracker crumbs but as I used up what was in an already opened box of graham crackers, I knew it wasn't enough. However, I had the graham cracker sugar cones (again, a partial box of crunched up cones)! Made extra space in my cupboards when I emptied those 2 boxes!!! It called for sweetened condensed milk so I made some from my pantry storage! Result? Decadently delicious cookies! I only needed to take 2 dozen but it made 6 dozen! I will package up and freeze 2 dozen for later, last minute "I need to take cookies to someone" times!
    We had our weekly Friday night leftovers dinner- Sheherd's Pie, Ham and cheese croissants, pizza and salad! Love how that keeps the refrigerator from being over-full where things get "lost" beyond their time of being edible! Lol!
    Tonight we will start our first Self Reliance class time of Starting and Growing your own business! We are so excited that these 12 week classes are being piloted here in our area! Our pallet business is doing well but we are excited to brainstorm with the others in our group and the instructional manual to help it grow even more!
    I was able to sell a couple things on eBay and bring in $40 after shipping! Got another $6 in Pinecone check! Every little bit helps!
    I got another baby quilt quilted this week and into my gift drawer! I'm pleased with the way this one turned out and my actual machine quilting skills are really getting better with each quilt I finish!
    Made more brownie mix for my canister and also made up a big batch of cookie mix for easy to put together, last-minute treats! I do love convenience, but I'm also glad to know what all the ingredients are in the foods I make and things we eat!
    I did our son and daughter-in-law's taxes and was again amazed that with their combined $50k income and 4 kids that they have in 8 years whittled their mortgage down by over $40,000! At this rate, it will be completely paid off within 5 years and it is their only debt!! So proud of them!
    Downloaded on to Pinterest some more recipes, freezer cooking menu plans, quilt patterns, DIY projects for free! I've been actually USING some of them already!
    All in all, a very good week!!

  • Isabella March 26, 2017

    You do have such a lovely garden, but your blog seems to be a gardening blog now! I miss posts and photos about sewing, birthday parties, cooking, home decor projects, other thrifty ideas etc.

  • Isabella,

    This time of year is when I do the most work in the garden. I really want to be able to harvest more this year from the garden, and I have been making major changes out there--ripping out trees, wheelbarrowing in yards and yards of new dirt, planting new trees, running new water lines, and planting. It's a lot more than I usually do each spring, but in the end, I should be able to harvest lots of good things for our table. It's a very important part of the budget in the long run, and it's where I've been spending every moment I can this year, trying to work as fast as I can before the heat comes. Once it gets too hot, I won't be able to do these things again until next year. I don't want to wait another year to harvest more from the garden, which is why I'm spending all the time I can out there.

    And while I still have many things to do outside, in a couple of weeks, it will be too late to do many of them. I am already too late for several things that I needed to do out there. Last year it was 95ºF in mid-April. In other places, that's a mid-summer temperature. Here, it's just the beginning of it being too hot for most plants to produce. By planting as early as possible, I may be able to put more food on our plates.

    I did get a chance to do a bit of sewing on windy days and in the evenings however, and I have a project that I'll be sharing this week. And I have a recipe I'm going to share this week too!

    Thanks for your feedback; I truly appreciate it. I am looking forward to doing a lot of sewing in April and I will have lots of projects that I hope to complete and share. I've also got a few birthdays coming up and I have some fun things planned for the occasions.

    Thanks for your patience.

  • Tanya@blogspot.com March 27, 2017

    I think your posts are authentic as they are. You are living seasonally and frugally and that means your activities follow that. Being a good frugalista means turning your hand and rolling up your sleeves to many, many tasks. A lot of my posts at this time of year are about gardening and preserving but that is where our efforts are concentrated in order to make the bulk of our food for the next twelve months. I'll bet there are readers who wish I would do more knitting projects but I'm being completely authentic and I NEVER knit in summer. Keep it real Brandy, and just keep showing us a way of frugal living that you do with such elegance and grace.

  • Laurie March 27, 2017

    Hi Brandy,
    Out of curiosity, do you weigh your produce that you harvest and then record it with the intentions of seeing how much you would have spent at the store for the same? I think this would be a really interesting eyeopener as to how much intentional gardening pays off.

  • Laurie,

    I tried one year, but it quickly became a huge use of time every day that I just didn't have time to do. When I harvest things like fruit it can be quite a huge amount (Like my very large table and my counters covered completely in peaches, grapes, or lemons) and then for little things like herbs, lettuce and arugula it doesn't weigh much; I just pick what we need as I go.

  • Lorna March 27, 2017

    Hi Laurie from Australia :) , and I record everything we pick from the gardens with weights and write prices we pay in our local shops on a spreadsheet on what our garden saves us in a year less our expenses. It is really an eye opener on what it does actually save us throughout the year.

    We do run into a few problems as well in regard to large harvests such as pumpkins and sweet potatoes but have found our scales in bathroom we weigh ourselves on are useful for the large harvests. I do agree it is very time consuming to do it constantly though.

    Blessed that we have more time to do that as we are empty nesters though. It is our way of doing a gardening budget and reducing our expenses ie a cost benefit analysis. We also save seeds and sell them from the gardens and add the earnings from that to our spreadsheet too. This month alone we have earned $27.60 from selling the seeds we save from our garden harvests and we also save enough seeds to plant our next few crops as well.

    I hope this helps.

  • cathy March 28, 2017

    Brandy, I am truly impressed with your garden and it's productivity. I have moved a few times and had to start my gardens over. I had 4 kids and I never got near the gardens that you have. I can't wait to start mine. I live in Ohio so I have to wait. We have 4 acres so I have a lot to maintain. I am starting over so I want to have time to have a nice one this year. Yours is beautiful. My friend gives me large bags of sawdust. It has helped the ground immensely. Keep up the good work. It is therapy for me. I love watching the plants grow.

  • Athanasia March 30, 2017

    My husband's woodworking business produces a large amount of sawdust naturally. We do not use it in the gardens. It takes a lot of nitrogen to break it down so is taking the nitrogen from your plants to do that. Some of it we compost, some we use for pathways, but we never till it directly in. A good portion goes into the sawdust furnace that heats the building.

    If it is helping your garden, I am glad.

  • Amy in Phx March 29, 2017

    Your garden posts are my favorite. I always learn something. I agree with another commenter it is authentic because your work is seasonal.

  • Rhonda A. March 26, 2017

    I loved reading your list of accomplishments this week, Brandy. I love that you made some worn jeans into shorts, especially when you have warm weather most of the year. It's a good feeling to need to buy clothing because you lost weight. Great buys on the garage sale finds, too! It was so nice of your dad to share is new plant with you. I wish we were cutting things from a garden, but all in good time. I was wondering, though, if you use the dandelion greens for salads or if you've ever made dandelion jelly from the flowers? I love the service project you are participating in, too!

    Our frugal accomplishments this week included the following:
    *I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies to use in my daughter's lunches this week. I made up 5 baggies with 2 cookies in each, then quickly stepped out of the way as the family pounced on the rest! Seriously, what is it about choccolate chip cookies? My daughter enjoyed them so much, she requested them again for this coming week. So on Sunday, I made another batch.
    *Meals made at home this week included breaded chicken patties with tater tots and green beans, hamburger helper with leftover carrots, baked chicken smothered in cheddar cheese soup with broccoli and white rice, tacos/taco bake with salad, breakfast bowls, and breaded stuffed chicken breasts with mashed potatoes and corn.
    *Bought take out one night for dinner as a treat, using a gift card. Only paid just over $3 OOP.
    *Still trying to stay out of stores as much as possible right now to avoid spending too much. I did a larger run to Costco and bought some needed items, including extra of some that were on sale (shampoo, conditioner and peanut butter). Didn't do my normal weekly grocery shopping this week, though I may go early next week to pick up some sale items.
    *Participated in Earth Hour by turning off nearly everything and used candles/battery powered laterns for light. In turn, this should save a bit on our hydro bill.
    *Volunteered at my work again this week. Recevied some bad news that a co-worker (a wonderful lady whom I've worked with closely and very much respect) was thrown from her horse while pleasure riding on Monday night. She was air lifted to a hospital in Toronto for testing and treatment. She has broken vertibrae (neck/spine) but it appears so far that her spinal cord is ok. She is currently in a halo and medically sedated to control movement. We are all hoping she will recover with no major perminent damage.
    *My daughter has had a cold for the last week that seemed to be getting worse, not better. After she woke the household one night complaining her ears wouldn't pop, we kept her home from school and took her to the Dr's. No secondary infections yet, but we will monitor. She cannot take any cold medications as it conflicts with other meds she takes. We can only give her acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help her discomfort. Thankful we have medical coverage in Canada, so no out of pocket expense.
    *Took my daughter to Pokemon Group for kids on the Autism spectrum. My daughter has so much fun socializing with this group. The kids battle each other with their Pokemon games, talk about their favourite subjects (mostly gaming), and laugh. It's almost magical to watch as their little autistic worlds blend together in harmony...even if it is only for an hour and a half. Totally worth the $3 price tag!
    Life's Joyful Moments:
    *In case there was any doubt about how much I love my cats, this should put it to rest. Our youngest male, Albert (A.K.A. "Bad Albert"), doesn't like drinking out of a bowl very much. Every time he watched me drink from my water bottle, he'd get excited and wants to drink from it too. So I decided to get him his own water bottle...like the kind you use for rabbits, or other small animals. I am proud to say Albert LOVES his new bottle! We started by holding the bottle for him while he drank from it. Once he figured it out, we attached it to my "pie cabinet" that I store my spices in (it has an open, metal mesh insert on the door). If anyone else has a cat that prefers drinking from a dripping tap, this might work for you too!
    *"Bad Albert" has also been entertaining us lately with his special kitty powers. He has been jumping up on top of the fridge...as in straight up from the floor. That boy was born with springs in his feet and far too much curiousity! Now you know why he's called "Bad Albert".

    Looking forward to reading everyone's comments! Hope you all have a wonderful week!:D

  • Marcia March 26, 2017

    Our cat, who is 15.5 and actually dying from a couple different things, hasn't gotten the message yet from her body! We have been seeing dusty footprints across the kitchen floor for a couple weeks. Finally my husband followed her to the basement and found that she was drinking from the SUMP PUMP!! Yuck. He covered it, and hopes she will drink from the fresh water fountain that has always been upstairs with fresh water in it!! Cats are so contrary! She is eating as much as she possibly can (prescription food) but her weight is down to just over 6 lbs. She looks like a walking skeleton, but seems to be feeling fine despite her troubles. Still making us laugh just as much as ever.

  • Melissa V March 27, 2017

    Our three youngest terrors/cats prefer to drink from the toilet. I also had to mount a command hook where the dog's water bucket is because 2 of them thought it was great fun to dump it! The other older cats drink from the dogs water bucket and bowl but get very disgusted looks on their faces when the dog slobbers in it.

  • Becky @ Becky's Place March 26, 2017

    Oh my gosh! This is a genius idea regarding the water bottle for the cats! We have been using a shallow plate in a second location, as I'd noticed they didn't drink from the bowl. This would be so much neater. I must give it a try - thank you!

  • Rhonda A. March 28, 2017

    I do have genius moments every once in a while...though few and far between!;) Just a note, if you don't have somewhere to hang the bottle, I'm sure you could easily rig up a stand for the bottle to sit in. Glad the idea may be useful to someone else!

  • Pat March 28, 2017

    Chocolate chip cookies are the best! Plain, with oatmeal or peanut butter! Hum now I think I need to make me some.
    Sorry your daughter hasn't been feeling the best. Hopefully she is on the mend.
    I have 2 cats and the older one will not drink out of a bowl. He drinks out of the tap. He will sit on the edge of the sink and wait for someone to turn it on. We tried one of the fountains and he didn't use it but the other cat thought it was great fun to play in. How big of a bottle did you get?

  • Rhonda A. March 29, 2017

    My daughter is still sounding pretty rough. It's starting to break up in her chest and she has a very wet cough right now. Otherwise, she's feeling much better.

    Our schools are nut free, so I can't do peanut butter chocolate chip. Otherwise, I would make those. But then I would hoard them for just me, because that's my favourite. So, maybe it's better they are just chocolate chip.

    As for the water bottle, we bought it at the co-op store. It is "ferret sized", but a rabbit size is a bit bigger and would work too. I chose a bottle with a wider opening, so we can put a bottle brush inside to clean it. Paid more, but it will be easier to clean in the long run. If you are unsure if your cat will use it and you have a smaller hamster or guinea pig size one around the house (or can borrow one), try that first before investing. However, the smaller ones won't give them much water with one lick and would be too much work for your cat to get enough water. They will most likely give up quickly give up and go back to their favourite tap. hope this helps, Pat!

  • Pat March 31, 2017

    Thanks for answering Rhonda!

Leave your comment

Guest June 27, 2017

 Introduction Sidebar 2017

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

Good Things to Make This Month

Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background

White Bean

Dip

The Kitchen Garden Sidebar
Sewing Project Sidebar
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Sidebar
Grocery Shopping Sidebar
Learn to Can Sidebar
Grow Flowers for Less Sidebar

White Garden Sidebar

Birthdays Sidebar

Frugal Accomplishments Sidebar

72 hour kit sidebar
How To Eat Beans Every Night
Writing a Garage Sale List