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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Meyer Lemon Trees The Prudent Homemaker

We had beautiful, warmer than usual weather last week, and I took advantage of it, working in the garden every afternoon.

I planted seeds in the garden for poppies, dwarf hollyhocks, larkspur, Armenian cucumbers, lettuce,  and alpine strawberries. 

I mended drip irrigation lines that were broken.

I transplanted parsley seedlings into new spots in the garden where they can grow larger. I am completely out of dried parsley and I want to grow enough to dry enough parsley for our yearly use; we go through quite a bit and so I will need to grow it in several spots in the garden. Each year I grow enough parsley, oregano, basil, chives, thyme, and mint in the garden that I never have to purchase them dried or fresh.

I also harvested fresh parsley and used it in a dish.

The century plant I had purchased as a tiny plant at a garage sale a couple of years ago put forth two babies. I dug them up and transplanted them to two pots I already had.

I dug up a small mulberry tree that the birds had seeded in my garden and transplanted it to a pot I already had. 

I dug two boxleaf euyonomus starts and transplanted them to other places in the garden.

I transplanted nasturtiums that had self-seeded to another spot in the garden.

I pulled dandelions from the grass by hand (I never buy a pre-emergent weed killer; I just pull the weeds out of the lawn myself).

I took cuttings from my honeysuckle plants with hopes of starting some new plants to grow elsewhere in the garden.

Johnny JumpUps The Prudent Homemaker

I collected shower warm-up water in buckets and used it to water potted plants on my patio.

I harvested Swiss chard and green onions from the garden.

I picked up my hairspray at Walmart instead of Target. Both places seem to have trouble stocking it (I often have found an empty shelf) but I went to a different Walmart than usual and not only found it, but it was $1 cheaper than Target's price. Henceforth, I'll be buying my hairspray at Walmart.

I picked up the baby registry goodie bag from Target when I went to get the diaper deal, which included three diapers, some baby wash, and baby lotion that I'll use. 

We enjoyed watching the Thunderbirds flying overhead while they practiced. We saw them fly right over our backyard three times in formation; one time as we were watching they released and ended smoke trails all at the same time, which was pretty neat.

Leucojum Aestivum The Prudent Homemaker

Leucojum Aestivum (blooms in May/June in cooler climates)

I read two e-books from the library.

I mended a pillow.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Jamie | Medium Sized Family February 12, 2018

    I always love seeing flyovers. There's something special about watching it go over your house. I love seeing your pansies! We are home for an ice day, and pretty flowers brighten everything.

    Here's how we saved last week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-week-110/

  • Natalie February 12, 2018

    Many years back, when we were stationed at RAF Wittering, I used to go near the runway and watch the jets take off and land.

  • Anne February 12, 2018

    We don't have flyovers, but we live in hot air balloon country, and frequently on weekends the skies will have a number of hot air balloons floating by.

    Also, we are about five miles from a world famous (for some reason) sky diving airport. We will be driving by and look up to count a dozen or more people floating down from on high. Always fascinating.

  • Natalie February 13, 2018

    Anne, I bet watching those sky divers is really great!

  • Samantha February 12, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    You had many wonderful accomplishments last week, and I'm also ready to get started in the garden! Unfortunately, we still have a good deal of snow falling and temperatures hovering around the twenties. I will have to practice patience, but it gives me time to plan for the garden and begin my seed starts.

    Last week, I continued working on our 72 hour kits largely off your previous post! You did an excellent job getting to the essentials. I've been working on these kits for awhile, and I feel like the time is right (and critical) to finish these. I'm also trying to make two for my elderly parents, which should be feasible since I bought multi-packs of many items to fill all bags. I'm trying to also fill our long term food storage, and plan to use some surplus funds to slowly build our supplies. I'm having a tough time planning quantities, as I know in a real emergency that our house would be filled with our nearest and dearest (most of whom do not prepare).

    We enjoyed all homemade meals last week. I try to incorporate one new, frugal meal each week to add to our family favorites. Last week I made a new recipe from food storage: Mexican Lentil Stew from Budget Bytes, and it was a hit (although I decreased the amount of spice/heat a little). Some are hits, and others misses. It's fun to try something new and experiment in the kitchen. We've had a few days with internet outages in our area, and it reminded me that I need to be sure to have recipes written down offline, and other important information offline as well. I plan to consolidate info into an 'offline essentials' binder.

    I enjoyed a library ebook, Ender's Game, and cooked a meal and dessert for my mother's birthday at her house. I used saved Swagbucks to purchase her gift, and we all enjoyed a relaxing afternoon together. This week, I'm glad to work from home for a nonprofit while it readily snows outside! I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

  • Melonie K. February 12, 2018

    Kudos to you, Samantha, for working on those kits and helping prepare for others who would come to your house! It's always heartwarming for me to see that others feel this need and follow through with it.

  • Andrea Q February 12, 2018

    There's a whole series of books about Ender. We like them because they appeal to a wide range of ages.

    Great idea to put together a binder. I'm working on one for camping, but it would be good to have for home, too.

  • Marybeth February 13, 2018

    Rice is very good for bulking up food supplies. As long as you have a water source. It is cheap and most picky eaters I know will eat it plain. Good luck.

  • Samantha February 13, 2018

    Thank you ladies for the encouragement! I am enjoying your blog, Melonie K. I didn't realize that there was a series to the Ender Game book- how exciting! It was a fairly family friendly book (some violence PG-13), but still kept my attention. Adding rice is an excellent, low cost idea. I do have some family members with gluten issues, and they seem to enjoy and tolerate rice (beyond an emergency even). I was struggling with what to store for picky eaters, and I think you hit the nail on the head Marybeth. Thank you!

  • Madeline February 12, 2018

    Watching Olympic ice skating on TV with hubby is a nice free date night! Made homemade spaghetti and meatballs for our son’s visit and had enough to freeze for future meals. Will be hiking the San Tan mts. Today using our state park pass which gives us free entry.I have to pay a fee for the pass each year but we hike in a lot of state parks and I consider this a less expensive alternative to a health club membership, plus time in nature=always better than anything! AND it supports maintenance of our beautiful parks.

    Am eating down our groceries and pantry and watching food waste very carefully.Am tracking grocery spending this month as I got a little spend in Nov/Dec/Jan.

    Going to a concert at local high school next week with a girlfriend (John Denver cover!!) and instead of pricey meal out, we are both making food to share a nice dinner at home before the concert.I will use a roast I got on sale during holidays that I have in freezer.

    Giving up coffee! I lost my taste for it and prefer a nice red zinger tea in the mornings now.. and less expensive than coffee!!

  • Laurie Sarina February 12, 2018

    Hi Brandy, It's been awhile since I've visited. Always love hearing what you have done in your garden. It's so inspiring. We are still pretty cold up here, Portland, Or; so i haven't really thought much about putting out any posies just yet but the primroses are in the garden stores now. I'm thinking I might get some!

    I always plant an oregano plant but have never harvested it. It winter's over pretty well though so I might do that when it gets a bit warmer.

    I love your lemon trees!
    We are in the middle of re-doing our laundry room, new cabinets etc. So It's been a difficult couple of weeks with all my stuff everywhere. I am still cooking from home though. And our favorite neighborhood restaurant just closed forever so no "I forgot to take something out for dinner" going out to eat. Just using what I have here.

    Have a great day!

  • Laurie in AZ February 12, 2018

    We used to live near Williams Field Air Force Base and the jets would practice right above our house. We loved it!

    Had a pretty good week.

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Ate in most of the week. Ate out twice. The first time we had a gift card to offset the cost and the second time my daughter and son-in-law paid as a thank you for all we do for them.
    • Hubby took his lunch to work 3 out of 4 days this week. I worked in the office 3 days and took my lunch. I took leftovers from last Saturday’s dinner twice and one was a single serving of spaghetti I had frozen.
    • My brother gave me $50 in gift cards to use when I take my Dad out for his weekly lunch. My brother lives out of town so is not able to help as often. I actually asked him if he would mind doing it, since it is an expense I incur and he doesn’t. He happened to have the gift cards already in his wallet and was happy to give them to me. Also, for my Dad’s birthday present, my sister gave him a gift card for Applebee’s and said it was so he could take ME to lunch one week!
    • Made whole wheat pancakes with mix I had gotten on clearance and served with real maple syrup that I got for free as part of a white elephant gift at Christmas.
    • Cut open bottom of empty toothpaste tube to get the very last bit out.
    • Worked 22 ½ hours contract work.
    • Got another 10 lemons from work. Squeezed and froze 4 – 1 ½ cup ziplocs for lemonade made 1 quart of lemonade with the ¾ cup leftover. Also zested them and froze the zest.
    • Frugal surprise: I had bought Arm & Hammer laundry detergent pods at Walgreen’s a while back for only $1 per package. I use 1 pod per load. Just realized this week that for our washer size they recommend 2 pods per load. Our clothes have been clean enough with only using 1 pod. So I inadvertently was saving 50% per load. Haha! Was able to buy 2 more packages of the pods and 2 bottles of the liquid detergent for 99c each.
    • Other good purchases this week: Got over a free sweetarts packet for the Friday Freebie, 5 lbs. of butter for 99c each, 8 lbs. of chicken quarters for 40c / lb., the butt portion of ham for 87c / lb., 8 lbs. of bananas for 44c / lb. (I put those in the freezer for smoothies), 2 deodorants for 99c each, 2 containers of cottage cheese and 3 containers of sour cream for 99c each, 4 lbs. of asparagus for 87c / lb. that I blanched and froze, instant oatmeal for 50c / box (good to take to work), a container of ketchup for 89c, 2 cans of tomato soup for 39c each and a bag of cocoa krispie type cereal for 99c (saved $4 on that.) I eat it for a light dessert. I also had 2 - $25 off $25 coupons at a jewelry store. I got a sterling silver chain for me (needed for a crucifix I received for Christmas) for $10 and a sapphire bead for my daughter’s charm bracelet for $5. She will get that for Christmas.
    • Since my Dad was here last Saturday for his birthday party, I did not drive the 45 minutes to see him on Wednesday and did not have to pay for lunch out.
    • Tried making homemade window cleaner for the first time. Worked fine and I had all the ingredients already.
    • The house we bought in October has 2 rose trees in the front yard. One is yellow, one is dark pink, which is wonderful as my china pattern is Royal Doulton Old Country Roses so they match perfectly. I cut 2 and put them in a bud vase for a nice indoor decoration.
    • Got some Ibotta rebates in.
    • Had to buy paint for touch up around the house. Found a 15% off coupon in the paper. Yay!
    • Checked out a book from the library.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful, frugal week!

  • Alissa DeLucio February 13, 2018

    Wow! I recognize Kroger (or family store of that company) deals! I got the sweetarts & 5 of the butters as well, but looks like I missed a bunch of deals. I have only recently expanded to shopping there. I need to step up my game ;)

  • Laurie in AZ February 13, 2018

    Not all the deals were at Kroger. I went to 3 different grocery stores this week. I shop by the ad and only run in and get what is on sale and check the clearance racks. The chicken, ham, bananas, ketchup, tomato soup, oatmeal and cereal were all on clearance. And I got extra lucky on the oatmeal because it was marked down to 99c, but the boxes had a coupon on them for $1 off 2! They are pumpkin spice flavor, but I don't mind eating that at different times of the year!

  • Amy February 13, 2018

    Alissa - I started following a blog called KrogerKrazy.com that matches coupons and digital coupons with the local Kroger ads. It's helped a few times with some really great deals at a Kroger store. She posts a lot of stuff everyday and I don't need/use most of it. But it's helpful to me - I hope as well to you.

  • Athanasia February 13, 2018

    Laurie, the gift cards sound like a good help for you. I am glad you asked your brother.

  • Holly February 12, 2018

    Your garden photos are lovely Brandy. I love seeing them.

    I once worked near Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. One year, the Blue Angel practice flyovers were so low that we could see the contrails below us-and we were no more than three or four stories high. That was a bit unsettling. There was a bad accident in Italy not long thereafter in which civilians were killed, and after that, the flyovers were not so low.

    The Flint area has received twice as much snow as usual this winter, over five feet so far. So we have spent a lot of time in the house. Last week was no exception. The only grocery shopping we did was so not frugal. We ordered a home-delivered two pizza and pop special that was $22 including tip. Our incredibly kind around-the-corner neighbor plowed our driveway again so all I have to do is dig out the car and we will be able to run errands when the weather is nice Tuesday and Wednesday. If we limit our pantry restocking to $53, we will stay within a half-of-USDA-Thrifty grocery and restaurant budget for three weeks running. I think that is a very realistic goal.

    The thriftiest thing I did this week was turning 2/3 can of leftover Campbell's chunky beef vegetable soup and some mashed potatoes into a four-serving shepherd's pie by making a whole wheat pie crust with oil and milk, pouring the soup into the crust, placing the mashed potatoes on top, and baking it. Mom looked at the pie in the oven and decided to improve it by adding a slice of sharp cheddar cheese to melt on top.

    I just took a call from my sister that reminded me of the importance of life insurance for family breadwinners. My nephew's boss, after working a normal day, went home and dropped dead while talking with his wife. He leaves behind at least two young children, no older than kindergarten age.

  • Gertrude Ezell February 12, 2018

    Also, having an up to date will and a current power of attorney is so so so important too.

  • Kris February 12, 2018


    Your comment caught my eye as I grew up south of Flint. I'm now located on the west side of Michigan, which I sometimes refer to as the Land of Perpetual Snow. It was a shock to me to deal with the amount of lake-effect snow we get over here. I bet you and I are both winter-weary. It was nice to see Brandy's springlike pictures today.

  • momsav February 13, 2018

    I grew up in Ortonville, south of Flint, too. Well, my version of south...maybe more like southwest? Directionally challenged, here! My sister lives in Goodrich.

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