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Frugal Accomplishments for the First Week of February

Snowdrop The Prudent Homemaker

Spring has arrived, and it is lovely.

I planted seeds in the garden for leeks, parsley, lettuce, and radishes.

We harvested Swiss chard and beet greens from the garden for meals almost every day. 

I used two $5 off coupons at the nursery. I bought another Katy apricot tree (which was on sale) and I bought some sod to repair some places in the grass that died last year.

I accepted two hand-me-down cardigans from my mom.

I learned new expressions and words in French from Pinterest. You can find my French Pinterest board here.

I used Duolingo to strengthen my French skills.

I picked up two library books that I had requested.

My husband and I had two date nights at home.

My husband mended my broken metal Kitchen Aid whisk attachment by welding the broken part.

I enjoyed being outside while working in the lovely spring weather. I took several moments to pause and listen to the birds that were singing in the garden.

The beautiful weather has meant a start to garage sale season. My mom went to several sales and brought back a few things for my family that were on my list, including a blue and white vase. Once they added in everything they were buying and renegotiated the price, the vase was essentially free! I've put in on a shelf in the library for now to enjoy without flowers in it.


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

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  • Jamie @ Medium Sized Family February 06, 2017

    Moms are the best! Mine has found treasures at yard sales for me many times, too. Your French Pinterest board sounds like a fun way to brush up on my rusty French skills and learn some new words and phrases! :)

    I'm sorry I missed this series for most of January, but what a busy month that was! Here are my latest 5 ways we saved:

  • Becky February 06, 2017

    The thing I did the most was cook from my freezers, home-canning cupboard and pantry and from a bunch of food that was given to us. I made lots of good things for the family to eat and for the extended family dinner we have every Sunday. I had more time than other members of the family this weekend, so gladly made lasagna, salad and broccoli. Other times, others cook more. It all works out and benefits us all.

    My husband pitched in and helped with cooking, grocery shopping, etc. and helped a lot to keep us on track with the budget.

    I've been working on my garden plans and hope to order seeds soon.

  • Athanasia February 06, 2017

    Becky, we use cottage cheese all the time in lasagna. I have never made it with ricotta.
    I like to have homemade soup handy too.

  • PJGT February 06, 2017

    Making your own ricotta is super easy from milk and vinegar. Perfect for lasagna, stuffed shells or lasagna rolls.

  • Lisa February 06, 2017

    I will have to look that up! I love trying to find ways to make things myself and save a trip to the store.

  • Nancy February 06, 2017

    I'm really enjoying your blog. Thank you. I found a cute blank journal free in one of my storage boxes and use it to write down all the ways in which money is saved each day. This week alone I found pretty heavy material in storage to cover my sofa pillows for Spring. My daughter will help with the sewing. I found pretty pink print felt I will attempt to make small tissue holders for gifts.
    I was able to get a few small items inexpensive to mail out Valentine's grands. I received a beautiful little baby dress and bib and homemade burp cloth out of the felt..a bag and pretty tissue I had all to give as gift. Another needed gift I was given free vera Bradley soaps and found a free bag and tissue.
    Was able to cook from things we had. Grocery had
    10 lbs of potatoes.99. Bought 3. Had shredded cheese
    .99 a bag. Stocked up.
    Used coupon for my husband and I to have a lunch
    Cleaned and reorganize closet.
    Better to see needed items. Watched the geese fly overhead and enjoyed some sunshine.

  • Gabrielle February 06, 2017

    We are starting seeds this week for our cold growers...I am jealous about Spring like weather. Pennsylvania can't make up its mind...But it is warmer this week.

    Our chickens have been moved to their new house which is a bit confusing for them. It hasn't affected egg production. My husband accidentally broke their heated water bowl so it was off to Tractor Supply for a new one.

    My eldest son took a part time job at a grocery store which means he gets first dibs at the reduced baked goods and knows about meat sales before they are announced.

    I'm busy working through many sewing projects. I was asked to speak recently about vetting news sources for a professional group I belong to and it became a blog post
    You can find it here: :
    Hope everyone has a great week!

  • Rachel C. February 06, 2017

    Our frugal accomplishments are
    -we ate every meal at home. Even when I had wanted to not eat at home and eat out. I did the money in my head and said no way we are eating at home even though I feel like eating out.
    -worked on our February budget. Decided to lower our grocery bill to just $60 this month. We will see how that goes.
    -picked up two free grocery items that I hadn't collected yet which was a free can of soup and a free box of macaroni and cheese.
    -received some coupons in the mail for a free jimmy dean sausage and a free Thomas muffins as well as some discounts on some other items. More than likely won't use those coupons for the other items. I had until April to use them.
    -hubby won a free $50 gift card to a BBQ place out here from his work in their monthly raffle they just started.

  • Faith from Indiana February 06, 2017

    big unfrugal of the week- having to purchase a new stove/oven. My husband is a fixer-up guy and we replaced the oven part we thought was bad.. well, turned out to be more than that and almost caught fire!! ... I found a stove/oven on sale and no stores ( I think I called 9!) carry them in stock even though they had floor models - which they would not let me buy. We could not wait the 7-10 days + delivery arrangements :( so we found Lowes had the 'upgraded' (convection oven is the big difference) version in stock. I did purchase online using Ebates so I could just drive there and get it loaded. .. Hubby says he will try and sell it to recoup some cost/

    I purchased the last of the baby items online (using ebates- glad to remember to start using them again, I had forgotten, the link is now in my favorites bar!) and got everything shipped for free. Saving time, and gas and extra store stop... Baby due in 10 days! I think I shall continue to do this post baby for awhile!

    Made 1 batch of banana chocolate chip muffins and 1 batch of pumpkin muffins for the freezer. I wrote out all the food/meal ideas from what I have put up in the freezer for post baby.

    Ate out ZERO times this weekend!!

    Used Best Buy rewards to purchase new ink and computer paper.. only paid 5.31 out of pocket... went through ebates so it was actually less than $5!

    Taxes done and received this last week, just enough money to have hubby take 2 weeks off for FMLA (unpaid) when baby #4 comes, a blessing for me!!

    renewed Costco membership. I made sure to try to stay in monthly budget even with bulk purchases.. the next month or two I should really see extra money in our food category!

    continued using free printables for homeschool ... a lot found via pinterest.

    went through kids clothes. my girls were born may and june, so I was able to dig out old big sisters clothes... I only will need to purchase her some shorts/skirts this summer not a whole new wardrobe!! yay!

    decluttering the house AKA nesting :) I found some construction paper and stickers for the kids. We all will sit down and make each other Valentine's Day cards.

  • Athanasia February 06, 2017

    Rachel, congratulations on the new stove. That's not something you can get by without too easily. You do sound like you are nesting...I pray everything goes well for you the next couple weeks.

  • cathy February 08, 2017

    I love Costco. I find so many things there that I would normally buy. They are carrying organic. I got a 10# of organic carrots for .60 a lb. I always use them before they go bad. They have large bags of frozen fruit, vegetable, flours, grains. It saves on the grocery budget

  • Mariana February 06, 2017

    We had a great week as well. So much goodness, literally counting our blessings.
    The only thing that would make me a bit happier is if spring came early this year. We are still at least two months away.

    My frugal update is up as well:

    Withsjng everyone a great week. Xx

  • Margaret @approachingfood February 06, 2017

    Nothing like a successful week to get you pumped up for the next! I think it's so awesome that your husband was able to weld your kitchen aid attachment. Such a useful skill!

    My frugal accomplishments:
    - Made two batches of my grandmother’s chocolate vla (Dutch chocolate pudding) and packed it for lunches. Egg-free, it’s quite frugal! The most expensive ingredient is the cocoa powder, and it can be made with pantry ingredients (I used real milk, but you could use reconstituted powdered milk). Easy to make, easy to eat, and fancy enough for a dinner party if you top individual servings with whipped cream and chocolate shavings!
    - Made 2 batches of iced tea using tea bags gifted to me
    - Added water to a shampoo bottle to get the last bit out, for two shampoo bottles
    - Baked a spiced apple cake with raisins to celebrate our wedding anniversary (had everything in the pantry and needed to use up some apples). I also put up a paper bunting that says “te amo”, and left little stickies with love notes around the house. Frugal, and it got the job done! (The DH loved it.:)
    - Cut open a hand cream container to get the last little bit out.
    - My workplace provided lunch for me for two days, which is always a little treat
    - Redeemed Swagbucks for $25 to my paypal account
    - Got a $10 Amazon gift card for a survey I did several months ago
    - Made another batch of Swiss Chard soup with preserved lemon, when my sister came over for dinner, and served it with homemade oatmeal bread, plus Brandy’s lemon poppyseed muffins for dessert. Healthy, delicious, and frugal! Plus lots of leftovers for lunches the next day.
    - Sent my sister home with a container of ravioli soup, enough for two meals for her. And I get to clean out my fridge!
    - Used homemade citrus vinegar to clean behind my stove. Cleaned and disinfected for pennies!
    - Made a batch of blueberry jam to mix with my homemade yoghurt, using blueberries from my freezer.
    - Read 17 e-books from my public library system. For free! I do love the library.

    And that's it! Looking forward to learning from everyone as usual!

  • Laurie in central NC February 06, 2017

    I planted snowdrops for the first time just a few years ago, and added more last year. I love them! I've noticed some of the leaves poking up, so hopefully they'll be blooming before long here. I put a pot of dried beans on the woodstove yesterday, which we'll be eating tonight. I haven't been very good about cooking dry beans this winter, and wanted to take advantage of the woodstove to cook them while I have the opportunity. I made your swiss chard soup last week. We had a little left after a few meals, so I decided to freeze it in ice cube trays, and try adding a cube or two to other soups and dishes that could use more flavor. Joining in here:

  • TerriC February 07, 2017

    I saw snowdrops blooming in a yard today...I have just got to break down and go to a proper source for ordering bulbs and get some! Life's too short to live without flowers, isn't it?

  • Angela February 06, 2017

    I keep returning to your blog :) You have a lot of tips about saving money and that's what I need. It's a other way of thinking...but I'm getting there :) I love this section "frugal accomplishments" and I try to write mine down in my Bulletjournal.
    I love the things you make and remake and I also love what your daughter makes (so young and so talented) it's nice to come here and be able to learn a lot from someone who knows what it's like to have a very small budget!!! with warm regards, Angela

  • Melonie K. February 06, 2017

    We've been making good use of the library and our pantry/freezers. I got some really good deals on clothing for my daughter, saved myself some cash on skin supplies I thought I might want (turns out I don't!), and cut out a big TIME eater this week:

  • juls Owings February 06, 2017

    It's so wonderful to sit down with a cup of tea and read your posts and the comments to them. It's like sitting down with friends.

    Yesterday was the first time for the last couple months I was able to walk the perimeter with the dogs. I've had problems with walking between cold wet weather and deformed spine. It was warmer and dry even though the breeze was brisk. We all loved it, especially the older dog,Miss Kira, as it's something her and I did together daily after I brought her home from the shelter she had lived in for 5 yrs. She was spoiled as she had became THEIR PET, long story short..she had been brought back twice due to owners losing their homes and once because she brought the owner a dead duck...she's a lab/retriever...all I could think was DUH, she's been a great dog and helped train Rascal when we rescued him when he was 6 wks old. SHE pranced all the way around perimeter(about 1/3rd of a mile).She's 12-14 yrs old now and he is 4 yrs old. Guess this old woman needs to keep up with the old woman dog . ;) I enjoyed the time I spent with my Dad. I cherish it more since Mom and Pop died a few years ago.

    Frugal work is here

  • cathy February 08, 2017

    I agree. It seems like friends. There is a common bond with these lovely women. I find most people don't want to take the time to save money or cook. They must have more money than time. I get so much information and great ideas. Thanks to all.

  • Amanda Riley February 06, 2017

    I made 40lb of marmalade, some of which I will sell at carboot sale.have renegotiated several utilities, downwards!
    Also potted several spider plant babies for carboot sale.
    Made throws and a skirt for son's girlfriend.

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