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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Helping Grandpa The Prudent Homemaker

We had the most beautiful weather all week: temperatures of 70-75ºF/21-24ºC. I opened the windows and we enjoyed fresh air in the house all week.

We enjoyed lemons, Swiss chard, oregano and parsley from the garden.

I enjoyed working in the garden in the record highs for this time of year. Usually, I'm still sporting long sleeves and a jacket while I do the busy work of January and February in the garden, but this year I'm in a short-sleeved t-shirt.

I used stakes and concrete mesh wire that I already had to add another vertical growing space to the garden. I planted Armenian cucumber seeds under it.

I planted seeds for alpine strawberries and poppies.

I opened the house up to air it out for several hours each day.

I stocked up on pasta (I bought 96 pounds) at the lowest price it gets here ($0.49 a pound). This price only comes around 2-3 times a year. When I was leaving the store, I picked up a dime I found in the parking lot.

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a Target gift card. I'll use this to reduce my out-of-pocket expenses for February's shopping trip.

I read two e-books from the library.

My two eldest downloaded a combined 12 free songs from the library through the Freegal program.

We enjoyed watching the last bits of the lunar eclipse early in the morning.

I gladly accepted a hand-me-down infant car seat and matching stroller from a reader who lives very close by.

Nap The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Sounds like wonderful weather. I can't believe how big your little boy has gotten. What a cutie!
    We received over 5 inches of snow last night and it's very cold (Michigan). I wish I could garden like you and I would love to see your vertical creation when you get done! Right now I'm concentrating all my time on sewing and crocheting. I usually let these go by the wayside in the Spring/Summer season so I can be out in the garden. Here are my frugal accomplishments for this past week:

  • Holly February 05, 2018

    Your little boy has gotten so big. It is so nice to know and see that spring has sprouted somewhere in North America.

    We have the same 5 inches of snow as Vickie and I am wondering where she found a farm still selling apples in February in her part of Michigan. She mentioned in her blog that she had just bought a bushel of apples.

    I gave up on the WW2 clothing ration points exercise I started months ago because we have only purchased for money one pair of support hose and for a Kmart promotion with zero out-of-pocket several pairs of undies. We haven't even been making the rounds of the local Goodwill stores to take advantage of $1 items on Sunday-and inexpensive used clothes required zero ration points anyway. I consider the exercise a success because it raised my consciousness about consumption
    And no, I am not planning a clothes shopping spree. We still need nothing. About the only thing on my wish list is a pair of non-binding socks for mom.

    We spent about $55 on groceries this week. I still have not stocked up on hamburger and chicken. The local grocery store was out of the specially priced family pack when we shopped at dinnertime one day. We learned the butcher always leaves by three so there was no 6 pm restocking. The chicken at that store is not visually appealing so we passed on that too. There is a small chicken and egg farm about a mile east of us. Buying from them won't be frugal. But it certainly will be local. I told mom we should give them a try to see if the meat is of higher quality.

    Dollar Tree carried popcorn kernals in the fall. But neither they nor Dollar General have it now. It is a seasonal item. News to me. I priced it at our local Kroger online (nice tool for comparison shopping) and their two pound bags are either $2.19 or $2.29. Air popped popcorn is so easy to make. I am surprised at the popularity of microwave popcorn. When we venture out of our village for groceries, we'll stock up on old-fashioned popcorn. Does anybody else love popcorn and milk for breakfast? My dad loved it, and only recently did I learn my maternal grandpa loved it too. Mom leaves the breakfast popcorn to me, but she enjoys it as a snack with butter or cheese powder.

    The snowy weather has been keeping us at home, saving us money. I installed several Swagbucks video-viewing apps on my Android phone during the last few days. I can only earn 10-12 cents per app daily. But I was able to watch tv (our small screen in the living room) and earn a few dimes (in Swagbucks) on my cell phone yesterday. Occasional Swagbucks and Bing gift cards come in handy.

    I hope you all have a lovely and thrifty week.

  • Heidi Louise February 05, 2018

    I love my air popper! It is decades old, but still makes a great inexpensive snack.
    A friend used to serve popcorn topped with roughly equal parts of lemon juice and melted butter. Unusual but very good!
    (I thought it appropriate to write this with all the talk of lemons on this website).

  • Lynn February 05, 2018

    My Grandmother fed popcorn with fresh raw milk to my mom and siblings during the Great Depression. Growing up anytime we had left over popcorn without butter on it we would eat it for breakfast the next morning.

  • Allyson February 06, 2018

    We love air popped popcorn at our house. My favorite is with salt and a little cayenne pepper. The boys like it with butter and cinnamon sugar (kind of like kettle corn). We've enjoyed it as a breakfast cereal as well, when it's leftover.

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden February 08, 2018

    He had two peck of Apple's stored in his refrigerator. We bought one of them. I've had to use them up quickly my storage is not as good as his or maybe that's why they were just $5! We have enjoyed just eating them and making desserts.

  • Holly February 08, 2018

    Thank you for the explanation.

  • Sarah February 06, 2018

    Vickie, I am in Michigan too! I am looking forward to warmer temperatures.

  • Debi February 06, 2018

    Vickie and Sarah - I'm from Michigan as well. A transplanted Yooper now, and boy do we ever have snow. So far for the winter, our snow total exceeds 100 inches (I'm between Marquette and Escanaba, the U.P.'s banana belt).


  • momsav February 06, 2018

    Debi, I’m in the U.P., too, Munising. We’re at about 12 ft. so far. It wouldn’t be so bad if we got sun more often. We’re like the walking dead, here!

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden February 08, 2018

    We had Sun here yesterday! We made sure we had the blinds in e house opened. Recently I've started taking vitamin d.

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden February 08, 2018

    Oh my 100 inches is a lot! Im going to look up how many inches we've had. The snow total
    in our area can vary wildly this year. We can have 6 inches and just across town they might only get 3 or 4. Stay warm!

  • Melissa V February 08, 2018

    I'm from Michigan as well but just North of Grand Rapids. We are [i]only[i] at 55 inches - although we are supposed to get quite a bit more over the next few days. I am sooooo in need of sunshine right now - this day after day of gray is really wearing on me right now! (I also up my vitamin D and C in the winters)

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden February 08, 2018

    Me too more snow expected this weekend. Spring will come!

  • diana February 06, 2018

    Oh my....that has got to be the sweetest picture. I am an only child and only have a daughter so no experience with really little boys but learned when my first grandson was born how special and dear they can be.

  • Roxie February 05, 2018

    Your pictures are precious. That young man looks like he had a busy day. Children that age are just too cute.

    I did all of our normal things to save money. At Aldi this week I made an extra 50 cents because I put two baskets back where they belonged and collected the quarters. (some one left them in the parking lot) I have kept to my no spend plan, just buying milk and eggs at Aldi. We are going to eat down the freezer and pantry this month.

    We are having nice weather too. I hung out the sheets and pillows on Saturday. I washed the pillows and let them air dry in the sun. We have had no rain, my rain barrels are empty. My grandsons and I had to re-stand the barrels. (our soil moves with the drought and the barrels had started leaning away from the house. We have them re-blocked and under the down spouts as they should be.

    We cooked all meals at home and I made some double casseroles to freeze.

  • Jamie | Medium Sized Family February 05, 2018

    He is just adorable!! I took advantage of that pasta sale, too. It always makes me a little giddy when I find it for 49 cents!

    Winter has returned to our area, and just in time for our goats to be due. I'll be bundled up and in the barn a lot over the next couple of weeks!

    Here are the ways we saved last week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-week-109/

  • ShellyinAZ February 05, 2018

    My oldest son has an old MacBook to do his schoolwork on. The charger broke this week. A new one from Apple costs $80 so I called the repair place we bought it from (used) a couple years ago and they had one for $35. When we got to the store they were able to replace just the prongs and then told us there was no charge! What a blessing!

  • Rhonda A. February 05, 2018

    I guess all that hard work in the garden really wore out your little one! Thanks for sharing the cute pictures with us. I'm glad you finally were able to restock your supply of pasta in your pantry. You've been waiting for that sale for a while now! As for your weather...I'm totally jealous! We had some warmer weather that melted most of the snow. Then yesterday we had a huge dump of several inches of snow, which will be followed by temperatures dropping to well below freezing again all this week. Did I ever say how much I hate winter!?!

    Anyways, the cruddy weather really makes me rethink going anywhere. I guess that is somewhat of a positive. Here are this weeks frugal accomplishments for our family:
    *Meals made at home included homemade cream of broccoli soup with homemade french bread, gourmet grilled ham & cheese sandwiches (used homemade bread and garlic butter) with salad, pasta with choice of red or white sauce and brownies for dessert, waffles with bananas and strawberries (from the freezer), and meatballs in gravy with mashed potatoes and carrots.
    *I made 2 loaves of French bread this week, 1 made with white bread flour and 1 made with multigrain bread flour I had picked up @ 50% off recently. DD is not a fan of white bread, so this was a first time try with multigrain. It rose a little less than the white, but tasted amazing!
    *DD baked healthy peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal bars (recipe link: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/healthy-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-bars/) for her school lunches this week. I will be having her make her school treats as part of her chores from now on, to further develop kitchen skills. She also learned how to vacuum this weekend and will be responsible for cleaning her "play room" as part of her weekly chores as well.
    *Hubby celebrated his birthday this week. We went out to dinner at the restaurant of his choice, as is our family custom. Last minute, my MIL was invited to go (she is always welcome to come, it just happened we didn't tell her until last minute). After dinner, she insisted on paying for all our meals. Not expected, but much appreciated!
    *DD had a friend sleep over at our house on Friday night and she stayed until after dinner Saturday night. The first night we enjoyed a frugal but very tasty meal of homemade waffles. We watched the original Jumangi movie on our Android box as entertainment. On Saturday, we decided to splurge and buy pizza for dinner as a treat before her friend went home. I think DD had a really wonderful time with her friend and is in good spirits to start the new school semester on Monday.

    My reflections on January:
    Over the month of January, I restricted my grocery budget to 1/2 my normal amount, in order to help replace money borrowed from a saving account to pay off a larger credit card bill from some necessary car maintenance. Here's an update on how it went and what I learned:
    -I was able to stick to this budget, with the help of gift cards and grocery store loyalty points. I was still able to add to my pantry/freezer stock, which is very improtant to me. Going forward, I am going to try reducing my monthly grocery budget by $100.
    -To help me make it through the month, I created a list of 38 possible meals (more than I needed to ensure flexibility) that I could make just from pantry/freezer stock I had at the beginning of the month. As we ate a suggested meal, I crossed it off the list. Couldn't believe how well this worked for my family!!! Almost every day, I would discuss what we wanted to have for dinner with my autistic DD, using this list, and she helped decide what to have that day. I had things on the list that I questioned how I would get the family to eat it, but somehow those meals were incorporated with no arguements. DD even shocked me by eating things she normally refuses to eat (like sausage!). We did repeat 1 meal during the month, only because I was exhausted one night, it was super easy to make and a family favourite. So, from now on, this is how I am going to meal plan.
    -Past experience has taught me that some of the recipes I use makes too much for our family of 4. I end up eating the leftovers for days, with no help from the family. Eventually I get sick of eating the same thing for lunch and we end up throwing out food. So with this in mind, I split these recipes by preparing a second pan (unbaked) to freeze for future meals. I now have several freezer meals ready to cook on days we have no energy or have appointments that restrick our dinner prep time. Will definitely continue to do this as it makes a huge impact on our food waste and future meal prep.

    Looking forward to learning and being inspired from everyone's comments. Hope you all have a wonderful week full of frugal adventures!

  • Cindi February 05, 2018

    Rhonda, I often meal-plan that way, too -- take inventory of everything I have, then write down all the possible meals I can make using ingredients on hand. I find it really helpful!

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