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Larkspur in May The Prudent Homemaker

I cut larkspur from the garden for my table.

Desert Gold Peaches The Prudent Homemaker

We picked peaches from our Desert Gold peach tree. We ate lots of peaches this week; I made fruit salads and peach clafoutis.

I sliced and froze peaches from the garden for us to eat later in the year.

We picked a few white alpine strawberries from the white garden.

I cut Swiss chard from the garden.

I also found some powdery mildew in the garden, which I combatted by spraying with Neem oil (an organic spray for bugs and mildew).

The warmer it is, the more bugs that are out. I sprayed the foundation of the house with bug spray that I had bought a couple of years back for $5 at Walmart. Most people here pay a monthly fee for a service to come out and spray their home, which is around $25-$35 a month. I find that I can spray less than a full bottle and it lasts for several months to keep the bugs down.

I made cheesecake. I cooked pinto beans in the crockpot and made burritos

I bought some more strawberries for $0.99 a pound, bought tomatoes for $0.88 a pound, and bought eggs for $0.77 a dozen.

I donated several items to the thrift store. While I was there, I bought a couple of clothing items for my daughter. I also bought a linen blouse for myself ($3) and an everyday dress for myself ($6).

I resisted the urge to buy things three times this past week, instead deciding to make do with what I had at home.

Larkspur in May 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I made and sent some homemade gifts along with my foreign exchange student home to his family (who are my friends).

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

 

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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White Larkspur The Prudent Homemaker

For the first time ever, I have apricots and peaches ripe at the same time (usually the apricots are ripe first). This past week we enjoyed both from the garden.

I watched a few shows on pbs.org for free.

I harvested a few white alpine strawberries from the garden.

Strawberries were on sale for $0.99 a pound with no limit at Smith's. I bought 24 pounds. I froze berries and made strawberry popsicles made chocolate covered strawberries.

I went to several garage sales with my parents on Saturday morning. I found a few clothing items for our family, each priced between $0.50 and $2 each. I found a small urn for $2 (an item that has been on my list for a while). I found a garage sale where the books were free! I brought home several free books for my children and one for my husband (a photo book about Prague). I also purchased a few books for them between $0.10 and $.50 each. I found a small basket for $0.50 that I will use to organize some things in my sewing room. I found a lightweight coat for my husband for $5. I found a small purse ($0.50) and some decorative bobby pins ($1) that I will save for gifts for Winter. 

I found two games for $2 each. One of them was Stratego. My friend's son (our exchange student) has loved playing this game while he has been here, so I bought it for him to take home. When I sat down in the car, I noticed the front of the box was in English and French! I peeked inside and noticed that there were instructions in both languages inside, and also that the board was marked in both languages! When I got home and double checked to see that all of the pieces were there (something I should have done at the sale but had not), to my surprise, the pieces were still sealed in the original bags--the game was brand-new!  (The other game, 7 Wonders, also looks to be brand-new as well!)

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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Apricots in White Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested the first apricots from our garden.

 Artichokes and turnips The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested turnips and artichokes from the garden.

Fig Tarts 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I made fig tarts using figs we froze from the garden last year.

I watched a couple of episodes of Call the Midwife on Pbs.org.

My husband had some work done on our vehicle. He had everything written out and he paid half down and had the work done the next day. When they had finished, they told him that they replaced the brake pads (something he had not agreed to have done). He refused to pay for it, as he already had agreed upon the work that was being done. They told him the brake pads were under warranty, so he could skip paying for those, but that he would have to pay $200 for the labor. He reminded them that he already had a signed contract with them and had paid half down, and he was not going to pay for more work than he agreed to have done.  He came home with new brake pads, free of charge.

May Flowers The Prudent Homemaker

Yellow Graham Thomas roses, pink Earth Angel Roses, purple rocket larkspur, and Dusty Miller

I cut flowers from the garden for our table.

We were blessed with several new things this week:

My mom brought over several clothing items for my girls that she had found at garage sales for $0.50 each, including jeans and a brand-new coat! She also brought us some books that she found for $0.25 each.

We were given some hand-me-down clothes from my sister-in-law that will fit one of my daughters.

A friend brought by 18 eggs from her chickens.

Grand Canyon The Prudent Homemaker

We took atrip to the Grand Canyon. It's a 5 hour drive from my house. To save money, we chose to make the trip in one day. We brought food with us, including homemade French bread, chocolate chip cookies, almond blackberry muffins (I substituted frozen blackberries from our garden and some almonds I bought in bulk for the blueberries in this recipe), and balsamic vinaigrette. I did not make enough salad dressing for both lunch and dinner, so I stopped at a grocery store to buy a bottle of salad dressing. The kind I wanted was on sale, and a coupon fairy had left a $1 off coupon for me, which I gratefully used!

Route 66

My husband cut my hair (the day after this photo was taken!)

I gave the baby a haircut.

We celebrated the baby's first birthday with a simple party at home. We had ice cream and homemade brownies.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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Oregano The Prudent Homemaker

Oregano from the garden

I harvested lettuce, spinach, New Zealand spinach, Swiss chard parsley and oregano from the garden.

I cut roses from the garden for the table.

I sowed seeds in the garden for New Zealand Spinach, zucchini, and acorn squash.

New Zealand Spinach The Prudent Homemaker

New Zealand Spinach

I cut the sleeves down on two of the long-sleeved shirts that my husband received as a hand-me-down a few weeks ago and turned them into short-sleeved shirts.

I did the same for a blouse for myself that my daughter gave me that she had received at a clothing exchange a few years back. It fits me now and she was going to donate it, but I liked it and decided I would like it as an elbow-length blouse, so I turned it into one.

I saved the extra cuff buttons from the shirts in a button jar, to be used as needed for mending or on future projects.

On Sunday, I said to a woman at church, "I like your dress!" 

She replied, "Thanks! Do you want it?"

I was astonished! She told me the dress was a little too short on her when she sat down and that she was thinking of getting rid of it. She is about 4-5 inches taller than I am. The dress is a pretty navy blue lace dress with short sleeves. She came by on Tuesday morning and gave me the dress! I will take it in slightly, but I can wear it as it is, too.

I thanked her again yesterday, and when I did so, the woman standing next to her (who is about her same height) asked the woman which dress it was. She said that she had bought the same dress and had the same problem, and had given it to a sister who is shorter than she is!

I cut up a linen skirt that I have rarely worn in the last 13 years since I bought it (and that is now too large). I cut the back two sections into pieces for a pillow that I plan to embroider for my bed. I found a free vintage pattern to embroider via Pinterest that I will trace onto the fabric.

I gave one son a haircut.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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Roses in Enamel Buckets The Prudent Homemaker

It's been a very busy week here, and on top of everything we've had our foreign exchange student here. I wasn't sure ahead of time how much English he spoke, and so while we help him to learn new words in English, we've also needed to converse quite a bit in French. I've had a lot of French study this week! I especially used Word Reference to look up words for both of us, and I've pinned a good number of French language pins on my Pinterest board. My French comprehension skills have really increased this week; there were only a couple of times I didn't understand, and that was usually because something was said too fast or too quietly.

I enjoyed a couple of video chats with friends in France. It continues to amaze me every time that video calling exists, and I love that it is free!

I cut peonies and roses from the garden.

I harvested lettuce, spinach, snow peas and Swiss chard from the garden.

Several of my children (and our houseguest) enjoyed climbing and rappeling on my nephew's climbing wall. It's pretty amazing that he has a climbing wall in his backyard, and it was great fun for everyone.

I downloaded a free Photoshop app to my phone to use to edit pictures on my phone.

My husband cut his own hair and a son's hair this week.

I turned a pair of torn jeans into jean shorts by cutting them off and hemming them.

I had a number of teens over for dinner. I made a large pot of minestrone soup and some French bread for a frugal meal.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

Note: I misplaced my camera battery charger recently, which is why there was no post last week and no additional posts this past week. Now that I can use my camera again and we've worked out a "new normal" with an additional teen in the house, I should (hopefully!) be able to get back to projects and more posting this week! If you want to see more photos, check out my Instagram account, where I have been sharing photos from my phone during the week.

 

 

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Fig Tarts The Prudent Homemaker

Most weeks I save by making do at home and not shopping. This week involved a lot of saving on items I needed and wanted while shopping:

I love the symphony. Starting from the time I was 13, I used to save all of my babysitting money (and most people paid me $2 an hour) to be able to buy season tickets for myself and a parent to purchase season tickets to the symphony every year. I did this for years as a teenager and I loved going. 

My husband and I went to the symphony once--on our first date. It's been over 17 years since I've been. The Las Vegas Philharmonic has been sending out coupons in the local ValPak for individual performances for several months. I looked online, saw what pieces they would be performing, and decided that the one I really wanted to see the most was their last performance for the season in May. I waited until the coupon deal came: 25% off tickets--and I bought two of the least expensive seats they have. I am very excited to get to see the symphony again!

I even have a dress to wear! The week before last, I decided to check out the Dillard's clearance center after three people told me about it. I found a formal dress there (and dresses were on additional markdown that week) and paid $54.06 with tax (the original price was $238!) I'll be able to wear it on other occasions as well--and hopefully to the symphony again next season! (Apparently, the sales were even better at the clearance center this week: on top of the clearance prices, dresses were buy 1 get 2 free! For Las Vegas readers, it's the Dillard's in the Meadows Mall that has been turned into a clearance center. It's one floor only, and they are open Tuesday through Sunday, 12-7 Monday-Saturday and 12-6 on Sunday, and you can get their app to see what additional markdowns they have each week.)

My husband dropped off our clothing donations while out running an errand in the same part of town. We always try to combine errands (even close ones) and by so doing are able to use under 10,000 miles a year (and often under 6,000 a year) on our vehicle.

I started another group of bags to take to thrift store to donate. As the children are outgrowing clothing and I now need a smaller size, I continue to make up bags of clothing and other items to donate. 

I planted three tomato plants that I started from cuttings from another tomato plant. I had broken off the lower branches to plant the plant deeply. I've had them in a cup of water on the kitchen counter for a few weeks and they have rooted. Hopefully they will all take.

I planted seeds in the garden for Armenian cucumbers, red noodle beans, and Hubbard squash.

I cut Swiss chard, lemon verbena, lettuce, green onions, and arugula from the garden. I also pulled radishes and picked snow peas from the garden.

I accepted some free Dutch iris bulbs from someone who was dividing them. I shared Swiss chard and nasturtium seeds with her.

I am making a diligent effort to use up food from the freezer to make room for this year's harvest and some great sales that I can find. As part of this, I made some fig tarts using frozen figs. I've never used the figs this way before and almost everyone in the family liked them this way. I have a number of frozen figs to use up, so I'll try measuring the next few times I make these so I can share a recipe.

I took in a dress that was too big to make it fit me. 

I redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 Sam's Club gift card, that I will use towards our groceries this month.

My boys continued to sell camp cards for Boy Scouts. This is the first year our troop has opted to have boys sell camp cards to earn money for camp. As Boy Scout camp is fairly pricey (around $400 per boy, depending on the camp), it can take a lot of odd jobs to earn the money for camp. (This was a great deal for the buyers: the cards cost $5 and the buyer gets a $5 off coupon for a grocery store, plus many other discounts at other businesses (including a free oil change--user just pays tax and the disposal fee).  Half of the money from each card goes to the boys to pay for their camp. If boys sell a certain number of cards, they can even earn a free week of camp at a local camp and a free day at a water slide park!)

Swinging The Prudent Homemaker

I went garage sale shopping with my parents at the semi-annual community garage sales in my area (there were at least 6 community, i.e. neighborhood, sales in my area and we went to 5 of them). I found several items on my list, including jeans, pants, and shirts for several family members for $1 each. I found a tie for my husband for $0.50. I bought a dress for a daughter for $2. I bought several history and science books for the children for $0.25 and $0.50 each. 

My dad always find it amazing that my mom and I make a garage sale list and actually find items on our list! Eventually, I usually do find items on the list, and this time I found a few items that had been on my list for a while: some wooden children's hangers (several for $1) and some 5-pound hand weights ($1). I found a small glass bowl that matches another I found at a garage sale a couple of years ago ($1).

I bought a couple of mirrors; one was $3, and the other, a long, beveled mirror, was $20. I found a small bulletin board with a fancy frame for $3 and a large picture in a nice frame for $7. As much I liked the framed bulletin board as-is, it was just about the right size for a picture that I needed framed, so my dad took the bulletin board out and added a piece of glass and a mat that he had (one of his scraps, as they closed down their framing business last year) and framed the picture in it for me. 

One of the sales we went to was an estate sale (where we bought several items). The family had 3 large #10 cans of tomato puree out with the other items in the house. We asked if they were selling them and they said we could have the canned tomatoes if we could use them. As these were items on my grocery shopping list this month, I was delighted! They also gave use some other pantry food items that were in the house, including two containers of juice, a box of cake mix, a container of icing, two boxes of pudding mix, 4 bags of pasta/rice mixes, and a bottle of tabasco sauce.

What did you do this past week to save money?

 

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