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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Dividing Paperwhite Bulbs The Prudent Homemaker

I dug small paperwhite bulbs from the garden (that had multiplied) and transplanted them to another spot in the garden. In a year or two, these bulbs will be big enough to flower.

I carefully dug up and transplanted beet and Swiss chard seedlings that had self-seeded, and transplanted them into rows in another spot in the garden where they'll have room to grow fully.

Lettuce Seedlings The Prudent Homemaker

I dug lettuce seedlings, separated them, and transplanted them in the garden. 

I dug and potted 2 small euyonomus bushes that I started last year by tip layering.

I planted seeds for spinach, snow peas, mache, parsley, radishes, lettuce and larkspur in the garden. This is a bit late for planting snow peas normally, but I am trying a new kind (also open-pollinated) that ripens in 30 days instead of 85 days. I hope this will allow me to have a larger harvest before April, when it gets too hot for peas here. My seeds came in the mail on Saturday, so I planted them right away.

Gallette Des Rois The Prudent Homemaker

I finally was able to make the galette des rois that I had been planning for the beginning of the year. It involved making my own puff pastry. I found a quick version recipe (in French) that I followed, and it turned out delicious! It was also rather inexpensive to make (the two crusts used less than a stick of butter each--200 grams, to be exact), which gives me hope to try making more recipes that call for puff pastry in the future.

I cooked a large pot of pinto beans in the crockpot, which we ate over several meals.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

Our lawn needs to be aerated. We looked at the price of buying a hand-held aerator versus renting. Renting a powered machine would make quick work of it, but it was $176 a day to rent! (Half-day options were also available, but still expensive!) Instead, we purchased a hand-held aerator for $30. The lawn needs to be aerated every 2-3 years, and we've never done it (the lawn is 9 years old), so it is getting thin, and the last time we overseeded, much of it didn't take because of thatch. Now we have a tool that can be used every time we need to do this. I'll be overseeding it in a few weeks (our last frost date is only 3 weeks away!)

What did you do to save money last week?

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  • Mariana January 25, 2016

    My last 2 weeks were very frugal for me, I am energized and off to a good start this year (as far as saving money and living frugally).
    1. I did all the cooking (all except one breakfast) for the last two weeks. It is a big deal for me!
    2. Got some extra cash added to my Ebates account
    3. Got $5 rewards from Staples
    4. Got a free and super cute basket from a gift basket that we received at work over the Holidays. I saved it from trash
    5. Super frugal weekend because of the snow storm. Zero $ spent :)
    My full update can be found here:

    Stay frugal friends!

  • Peggy Grasso January 25, 2016

    Two of our neighbor's cut down their Meyer lemon trees last week. They sent out an email to the neighborhood letting everyone know to help themselves before green waste pick up. There were hundreds of lemons on the cut trees. My husband & I were able to gather 30 lbs of fresh lemons! I took a bag to share with my coworkers and I am juicing the rest of the majority to freeze for the future. We've been enjoying fresh lemons in our water & I will make several lemon based recipes this week.

  • Sharon January 25, 2016

    Meyer Lemons are delicious! We do not have citrus growing here in CO. I did purchase some Meyer Lemons at the store and am trying to plant the seeds. I'm not sure if they will do anything, but it's worth a try :)

  • Leigh January 25, 2016

    I also live in Colorado, and am planning to buy a small lemon tree this weekend. I have read that you can keep them indoors in the winter, and they will just barely survive, but then place them outside for the summer, and they will grow and thrive then. My husband tried growing small lemon and lime trees inside (year round) several years ago, but had all kinds of problems with them. I'm hoping that taking them outside for the season will help them become more hardy.

  • Sharon January 26, 2016

    Hi Leigh :)

    I probably need to just up and buy one :) I thought I would give the seeds a chance first. We purchased a very small fig tree and have that growing inside. It is doing pretty well if we keep it in one particular window :) May I ask where in CO you live? We live in SW CO :)

  • Laurie in central NC January 31, 2016

    Sharon, I started lemons from seed the year before last, and now have 3 seedlings that are a foot or more tall. They live outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter, and like you, I'm hopeful to someday have lemons.:)

  • Renee McCrory January 26, 2016

    Lucky you! I just read on the Food Network site that you can freeze lemons whole. You can zest off the frozen lemon, if you need the juice simply microwave 10 sec. I had an overabundance so I decided to try. HTH

  • Susan in So Cal January 26, 2016

    That's awesome! I've never even thought to try freezing lemons, and I freeze so many things!! Thanks for the info.

  • Amy in Phx January 26, 2016

    Yes, you can freeze lemons and limes! I always freeze them and then simply defrost in the microwave for about 10 to 20 seconds and you can juice or zest as needed!

  • momsav January 26, 2016

    What a great gift!

  • Caitlin January 25, 2016

    We went to a birthday party and gifted books that my son has read and loved. We wrapped the presents in a paper bag we cut open and colored on. Believe it or not, it was the hit of the party because my son had put so much thought and love into the decorating of the wrapping paper. :)

    I got sixteen gallons of milk for free a couple days ago, and I've been canning it with my pressure canner. I found a couple of methods I felt were safe, and I went for it!

  • Jenn in Indiana January 25, 2016

    I would love to know how this turns out. I am wondering how it holds up over time, and how it tastes. I have only ever heard of people freezing milk.

  • Erika January 25, 2016

    I know some people are comfortable canning milk, but after reading all of the material from the FDA and the cooperative extension service, I wouldn't suggest it. Botulism is nothing to mess with and dairy with it's low acidity (inconsistent at that) and natural sugar content just seems like too much risk to me.

    I hope it works out for you and such, but I just wanted to add my "worry wort" bit in there.

  • jenny January 25, 2016

    I'm curious to investigate canning milk further. Do you have any links/sites to share regarding this?

  • Sharon January 25, 2016

    Books are a wonderful gift :)

  • momsav January 26, 2016

    I love the gift of books; good for your son!!

  • Jane January 25, 2016

    We made a big pot of pinto beans too.

    Other frugal accomplishments:
    Canned 28 pints of meat that we got on sale. Sirloin roast was 2.69/lb, hamburger 2.19/lb, chicken breast 79cents/lb and bacon was 16.90/10lbs. Also 16 pints of broth, and rendered the fat for soap making.

    Made a doll sized quilt from scraps.
    Mended some clothes.
    Bought a few articles of clothes at the 50%off sale at the thrift store.
    Sprouted some greens.
    Baked crackers.
    Hand washed a wool skirt instead of dry cleaning it.
    And all the usual things like heating with wood, using our wringer washer, line-drying our clothes, etc.

  • Karen January 25, 2016

    I used one of the smaller turkeys I bought last Thanksgiving to make soup. I use my recipe for chicken noodle soup—just substituting turkey for chicken, and increasing the amount. I ended up with about 30 quarts of soup, most of which I froze.

    It was a great week for produce sales; I got a 5-lb bag of potatoes for $1.00, 2-lb bags of carrots for 59¢ each and 8-oz packages of fresh white mushrooms for 69¢ each. I purchased a 2.5-lb package of stew beef on sale and using lots of vegetables, was able to make about 15 quarts of stew. I froze most of it for future meals.

    The grocery store closest to us had a Buy 2 get 3 free sale, which enabled me to get egg noodles for 87¢/package and blocks of cheddar cheese for 1.27 each. The same store had marked down ribs and Vienna bread, which are things we don't normally buy.

  • Roxie January 25, 2016

    Had a frugal week here. Ate at home. Had a good weather week. Hung laundry to dry. There were several really good buys at the grocery store. Ground beef, buy 1 get 1 free. Chicken breast 88 cents a pound, and Fab laundry soap was 99 cents if your brought 5 at a time. There was also a coupon to save $5.00 if you spent $30.00. I got 30 pounds of chicken, 30 pounds of ground beef, and 10 containers of laundry soap. (enough for a year)
    We laid out our garden. Made a list of the plants we will need. I got some seed potatoes ready. Cleaned out a closet and started a box of things to donate. Got things together to start taxes.
    Cleaned the linen closet. Again found a lot of things to donate. Some things were not good enough to donate. I made those into rags for my husband's use. I also got some clothes ready for donation from my closet.

  • Rhonda A. January 25, 2016

    Your garden activity is starting to make me think about when I need to start planting seeds indoors. I'll have to check when they need to be started so I can get them big enough for transplant in spring. Thank you for the inspiration, Brandy!

    We've had another quiet week here. I went out a little more this week than last week, but still kept my spending under control...yeah! My frugal accomplishments for this week are as follow:
    *Home cooked meals this week included meat balls with mashed potatoes and veggies, chicken souvlaki (homemade and frozen) with rice and carrots (that I bought on sale, then blanched and froze), chicken burgers with spicy potato wedges, hamburger helper with veggies, chocolate chip pancakes with breakfast sausages (breakfast for dinner), and roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli and coleslaw. Left overs made for great lunch options and the left over pancakes were put in the freezer for a quick breakfast option.

    *We had some good successes with my picky daughter's lunch this week. I took some cold leftover pasta in the fridge and mixed it with a bit of oil and Parmesan cheese for one of her lunches. She really enjoyed it (I told her this was basically cold pasta salad, but she refused to let me mix in any herbs). She also took a baggie of banana chips that I had made in my new dehydrator as a test run. She made sure to tell me that I "must make more" when she came home. Apparently I will need to make a big batch of dried banana chips.

    *My daughter stayed home from school one day this week as a cold caused her to loose her voice. Being on the Autism spectrum, the frustration of trying to communicate would have most definitely caused behaviour problems at school. Of course the day she stayed home was pizza day (which we had prepaid $2 for a slice). So we stopped over at the school while running errands and picked up the pizza slice. My daughter enjoyed it with her dinner that evening.

    *By shopping the sales, I was able to stock up on 4 boxes of my daughter's beloved fish sticks at $3/box. They normally cost $7/box, so I was thrilled to get them at this price! Fish sticks are her all-time favourite meal, so we often make them for her when we have something she won't eat...like anything with ground beef.

    *Found boxes of Crunch'n'Munch (caramel popcorn with peanuts) on sale for $.50/box. Bought 2 with the idea that I can repackage it into a cute baggie and put it in my daughter's Easter basket (and yes, I'm already preparing for Easter...it pays to plan ahead).

    *My mom's newer car refused to start one very cold morning, even with a boost to the battery. I then had to rearrange my plans for the day to "drive Miss Daisy" to her dental appointment and then to the dealership where her car was towed...a 1/2 hour away. At least she has a really good warranty on the car and they replaced the battery for free.

    *Inspired by another commenter and blogger, I have been trying to slowly working on using up some items in my pantry/freezer items that need to be used up. I made up an expired cake mix into 24 cupcakes to use for dessert and for my daughter's lunches. They tasted fine despite being 5 months past the best before date.

    *My husband and I went to our local mall and did some mall walking. It's a warm place to get some much needed exercise during the cold snowy winter and walking around is free, therefore saving us the high cost of a gym membership.

    *Watched lots of free movies on our Android box, which saved us money by staying home. I highly recommend the movie "Room", though the subject matter is definitely aimed at a more mature audience. This movie is based on a book, for those who prefer reading. I can see why it's up for awards, though...very compelling and captivating story line.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone's comments this week. Thanks for the inspiration, and have a wonderful week!

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