Frugal Accomplishments for the Beginning of April

Frugal Accomplishments for the Beginning of April

Easter Daffodil Bouquet The Prudent Homemaker

I cut daffodils and nasturtiums from the garden to enjoy in the house.

Lemons and Parsley The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested Meyer lemons, parsley, green onions, snow peas, rosemary, oregano, and Mandarin oranges from the garden.

Octavius Picking Peas The Prudent Homemaker

I froze lemon juice from our lemons to use later throughout the year, and I dried parsley to use throughout the year.

I sowed seeds in the garden for Armenian cucumbers and zucchini in the garden.

I watched three episodes of Call The Midwife on Pbs.org.

I enjoyed reading a book that someone dropped off on my doorstep (a reader, I believe!). 

My husband received a $25 gift card to a restaurant for his birthday from my parents. The restaurant also has a free burger the month of your birthday. We had water to drink, combined the gift card and free burger with an inexpensive sandwich, split them both, and paid for the remaining sandwich plus a tip (for both) on the gift card for a date, using just under $11 on the gift card. We can then use the gift card a second time when my birthday comes for a second date.

We combined the lunch out with our trip to Sam’s Club to save time and gas.

My husband worked from home one day.

I gave one daughter a haircut.

I shared lemons and Swiss chard from the garden with a friend. She surprised me with homemade pasta that she made using some Swiss chard.

We gratefully accepted some pinwheel sandwiches, fruit, and cut veggies that were leftover from a funeral.

We sprayed the house for bugs using spray we already had, rather than hiring a company to come out as many people do here. We found 5 scorpions in the last month (my husband found one touching his hand while he was cutting potatoes!) Warm weather means it’s time to spray again, and it was 92°F (33°C) here on Saturday.

I dug and divided some iris that had finished blooming and had multiplied. I will plant the bulbs in new places in the garden on Monday.

I dug a peony root that has never bloomed. I figured I must have planted it too deep on accident (I had). While digging it, I accidentally broke it in several places. It had grown quite large and so should be fine being divided. I replanted two parts and will replant the remaining parts in the garden in several new places on Monday.

 What did you do to save money this past week?

This Post Has 171 Comments

  1. Brandy, I hope you will share some pictures of yourself while you’re expecting! Your blog is about beauty and there are few things on earth as beautiful as an expectant mother.

  2. Brandy, I had never heard of Armenian cucumbers until I started reading your blog. Then I saw a picture in a seed catalog. Do they really look like a coiled snake that is all smooshed up? Do they taste like regular cucumbers?

    This is what I did last week:

    (1) Stayed home 5 of 7 days. This didn’t really save me any money (or at least, not much) but it did save fuel. It costs $12-$14 in gas every time we go to town. It has also made me better organized in my shopping.

    (2) Paid my bills online and saved $2 in postage..

    (3) Made a $6 offer on an $8 eBay item, and it was accepted. (If a seller invites you to Make an Offer, always do this). This seller was also offering $6.50 regular shipping. Another seller with the same item was asking $10 Buy it Now plus $11-something with faster shipping. Also, last week I was looking for sandals with foot support. My budget was $30-$35. I found a pair I liked with a $70 list price, but most online sellers wanted $45-$55. I wasn’t going to pay that much for what are essentially flip flops, and nobody had them in my size, anyway. Finally, I tried eBay, and got them new in box for $29.99 and free shipping. Do not overlook eBay for new items. My DS routinely buys an OTC drug on eBay for about 40% less than Walgreens. He usually has to buy more than one package to get that price.

    (4) Canceled pet insurance, saving $54.54 per month. I bought it because Hap’s back legs don’t work right. Between this being a pre-existing condition and a $250 annual deductible, we never collected a dime. I can’t believe it took me this long to cancel, which I did online. Since Christmas, I have reduced our expenses by about $150 month.

    (5) I thought the Mayo Clinic owed me money. I contacted them and discovered it had already been refunded by CC, and I missed it. This didn’t save me anything, just a reminder to stay on top of this stuff.

    (6) Took my overdue books back to the library, thus saving fines. Of course, I should have done this by the due date, but at least I stopped the bleeding.

    (7) Continued to collect free plastic containers for moving my plants from my old house. This week I got two milk jugs and a gallon mayo jar to add to my motley collection. I cut them down with a Stanley knife and drill holes in the bottom. I also planted columbine and lupine seeds in the house. I re-purposed a plastic bakery box as a mini-greenhouse. I also will be starting balloon flowers in the house. I have never started perennials before, but I’ve had great luck starting annuals. At less than $2 packet, I’m still money ahead if only ONE comes up…and I’m sure I’ll get many more.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  3. Sounds like a productive week as usual, Brandy! I love that you combine gift cards with promotional offers to get the best value for your money. That’s totally what I do! And scorpions — ugh! I’ll happily take snow over scorpions. 🙂

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – I made three batches of Greek Salad (www.approachingfood.com/only-greek-salad-recipe/) for lunches for the next work week. Brandy, this recipe is probably one you could make quite inexpensively, as you grow your own tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons, and oregano, and I believe you cure your own olives. The only ingredients you’d have to add would be feta cheese (the amount can be reduced to lower the cost) and oil. I think you could also toss the salad with rotini pasta to stretch it even further and make a cold pasta salad, as lemon/oil/oregano mixture would work as a dressing.
    – Two clients brought in treats for the staff at my workplace: brownies, flowers, pears, and pies. Yum! Unexpected treats always make a day nicer. Plus, one of the staff ordered pizza for everyone one day. There was enough pizza for me to supplement my salad lunch for three days, along with pears and pie for snacks. I brought the flowers given to me home, and they’re currently gracing my entrance way table and make me happy to see them. I’ve styled them with some dried baby’s breath, and put them in a silver mint julep cup I got from Amazon using Swagbucks. Style for free!
    – I found chocolate éclair candies for 99 cents a bag, normally $5 – I bought 5 bags! I gave a bag each to three co-workers as a thank you for covering my work when I was ill. They appreciated the gesture, and I appreciated the low price!
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research Rewards for $5 to my paypal account.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 gc to Amazon.
    – My workplace is a (small) sponsor for an art show each year and gets a few free tickets as part of the sponsorship. No one seemed to be using the tickets, so I asked for two, and my mum and I were able to go to the show. Saved us $20, yay! Plus we parked on a side street so no paid parking. It was a nice (and free!) mother-daughter outing.

    I’m spending the rest of the weekend resting, and hopefully next week will be a productive (and frugal) one!

  4. Such a lovely photo of Octavius gathering peas. Gardens and children seem to go together naturally, I think. Last week, I harvested asparagus, rosemary, parsley, violets, dandelion and dock greens, and gathered eggs. Lichens were gathered for medicine and dyeing.
    Seeds were planted for tomatoes, chard, peppers and eggplant. Our potatoes are coming up nicely. The peas need strings put up soon. Always plenty to do in the spring! https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/04/buttons-blooms-frugal-accomplishments.html

  5. Your son is adorable! And once again, your pictures are beautiful!

    My frugal accomplishments:

    • 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.
    • Used up some carnitas from the freezer. Made carnitas quesadillas for dinner then Hubby took leftover meat with some pintos for lunch 2 days. He brought salad 2 more days and ate very cheaply the 5th day.
    • I took my lunch to work 1 of the 2 days I went in. I have been freezing all of my leftovers in serving size containers. This makes it so easy to put my lunch together for work. The third day, my boss bought me lunch.
    • Took my Dad out for our weekly lunch. Had a coupon for the restaurant for a burger and beer for $11. He likes to order a beer when we go out. I told him he needed to have a burger this time, which he was fine with. I had them split the bill, as Ibotta has a rebate for that restaurant, but it can’t be combined with another offer. I used that on mine. Still had money on a gift card, so total for the whole lunch for both of us including tip was $20.
    • Worked 16.5 contract hours.
    • Needed printer ink. Bought the refurbished instead of new via Amazon. We have Prime so shipping was free. Frugal fail, I forgot to order it via the Ibotta app.
    • Got a few other Ibotta rebates.
    • Took grandson to the library for free Toddler Time and checked out some books for him.
    • Found 2 very large pictures at Goodwill to decorate our new home. I went during ½ off day, so only paid $70 for both. These would easily have been $150 apiece in the store. I also got a candle holder and candle for $2.50 and 2 small decorative shelves for $2 each.
    • Cut roses off of our rose tree to display on our kitchen table. Really brightens up the room. You’ve inspired me to want more flower plants outside that I can cut and bring in, Brandy!
    • We hosted an 80’s mystery party and I only needed to spend $3 for a blouse for our costumes. And it is one I can wear again. We had a lot of food leftover, so we will be eating that for the next few days. We also bought rope and posts (theme was an island lodge and Hubby made it look like a gangplank on our front porch). We will use them in future also.
    • We needed a new bed so we went to a mattress store. After picking our jaws up off the floor when we saw their prices, we went to Costco to see what they had. We paid less than half of what the mattress store wanted.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  6. I made several meals from items in the freezer or pantry. I also refrained from going to the grocery store as I didn’t want to spend any money and didn’t need anything.

    I bought a jacket using a 20% off coupon. I also returned a pair of shoes to the store. I purchased the shoes online with free shipping but if I had returned through the mail would have paid $6.

    My husband and I got gas from Sam’s club while we were out shopping. We saved almost 20 cents/gallon. We also stopped at a Home depot we don’t normally go to. They had complimentary Starbucks coffee and tea so we each got a cup.

    While it hasn’t been warm here, we’ve not had the heat run most days so should have a low bill. I’m hoping the warm weather starts soon so I can plant in the garden.

  7. They can curl, but mine rarely do. I’ve shared photos before. They are long, and yes, they do taste like cucumbers. They are the only kind that I can grow here that doesn’t get bitter in the heat (and since it’s already hot, that can be a problem!) Plus, they seem to flower more in the heat, when the others stopped. They’ll still stop once it gets too hot, but we’re not there yet. I hope they grow large enough to start producing before it gets too hot.

    Can you renew your library books online? We can do that and it helps with avoiding fines.

  8. The Greek salad sounds so good; I could eat it every day! Unfortunately, tomatoes and cucumbers aren’t ripe yet, because with temperatures in the low 90’s, I would really enjoy this! I am freezing lemon juice, and I can use it later in salads when those are ripe.

    I did get to cure olives once, but the wind destroyed crops the last few years since then and the other places were sprayed so that their olives wouldn’t produce. I hope we get to have some this year!

  9. I usually fix a ham dish of ham, pineapple, rice and cheese. I substituted figs for the pineapple, and it was fine. I made potato salad with the last of the potatoes. I had a package of hot dogs in the freezer, and I grilled them for lunch this next week. I used up the last of the cabbage head to make a coleslaw to go with it, and used up the last of my sweet pickles. I will have to pay taxes this year, so I am buckling down and eating out of my large food storage for the rest of the month. I dyed my hair and did my nails. I listened to blue grass, blues, and gospel music on the radio.

  10. I love the picture of your little garden helper!
    I cut daffodils from the yard to enjoy in the house.
    We received a surprise rebate from the electric co-op at our former residence, and used the money to go out to breakfast one morning. Otherwise, all meals were cooked at home. I made one meal’s worth of pulled pork stretch to two meals by serving it over baked potatoes one night, and as a toppings for nachos another night. I baked sandwich bread and French bread.
    The snow peas I planted last week are coming up. I have tomato, chard, and broccoli seedlings under a grow light in my spare bedroom, and peas, broccoli, lettuce and arugula are coming up in the greenhouse. Onion sets I ordered were delivered and I planted them. I also planted carrot seed. The rhubarb is also coming up.
    Last year I bought an LL Bean linen shirt at the thrift store for $1. It was marked down because it was missing a button – but spare buttons were sewn into the inseam, so replacing the button was no problem. I love the style of the shirt, but the color – pale yellow – wasn’t very flattering to me. So I used a coupon to buy a bottle of apple green Rit dye at JoAnn’s and dyed the shirt. It turned out lovely and I will get much more wear out of it now.

  11. Maxine, What brand sandal did you buy that offers foot support? Also you might check your library out online. We can renew everything from their website by signing into our accounts. Only things that won’t renew are ones that have a hold on them. This will save you fines.

  12. I so love the colours of the first photograph, with the yellow daffodils against the pretty blue and white dress. Your son looks very deep in thought looking at those fresh pea pods in his hands. Pretty cute helper you have there. I’m so glad we do not have scorpions where we live. It’s bad enough having ants in our house, but scorpions…no thank you!

    Our week was relatively busy, but quiet enough that I was able to do a few thinks I haven’t had time to do in a while. This week, our family was able to save money with the following accomplishments:
    *Meals made at home included cracked out turkey and rice casserole (using leftover turkey) with corn, ham steaks with mashed potatoes and cauliflower with homemade cheese sauce, turkey shepherd’s pie (used leftover turkey and cooked veggies from Easter dinner), cheesy pasta with broccoli and rhubarb coffee cake for dessert (new recipe, see below), homemade lasagna, breakfast sausage “piggis in a blanket” with peas and coleslaw, and breaded stuffed chicken breasts with flavoured rice (mixed white rice with flavoured rice to strectch the more expensive flavoured rice) and grean beans.
    *Added 1 package of leftover cooked turkey to the freezer for later use. The rest of the leftovers were used in 2 different meals this week.
    *After reading some comments about rhubarb being almost ready to pick in some areas (definitely not ours), I decided to pull some frozen rhubarb and make this coffee cake: http://www.givemeneither.com/rhubarb-coffee-cake-recipe/. We make a similar cake at my work, in the wood stoves that is delicious. This recipe did not disappoint…sooo goood!!!!
    *Bought more aluminum casserole pans, so I can make more freezer meals. My mom prefers to only cook extremely easy/convenient meals. By having the freezer meals ready to bake, I’m hoping to avoid the family revolting over the limited variety of menu items. I made 2 pans of lasagna one night, cooked 1 for dinner and added the 2nd uncooked pan to the freezer. We now have 2 pans of frozen lasagna for her to pull as easy meal options, once I start back to work next month.
    *Since we are currently low on poultry stock, I pulled all the chicken and turkey bones, plus the bags of veggie peelings/scraps and cooked up 2 stock pots full on Sunday afternoon (one chicken stock and one turkey stock). After straining the stock, I placed it in our cold garage (our daytime highs are just above freezing right now) to allow the fats to solidify. I also set up a pot of dried chickpeas to soak as well. Monday, I will skim the fat off the poultry stock, then do a big pressure canning session to jar up the poultry stock and chickpeas to use throughout the summer.
    *Took DD to get her hair cut Easter Monday, since stores were open but it was a school holiday. Her last hair cut was just before Christmas and was definitely needing a trim (she refuses to let me cut her bangs). DD decided on her own to get her long locks cut shoulder length, as she was finding it difficult to maintain her longer hairdo. It looks super cute, but is cut in a style that will continue to look good as it grows out, too.

    I have a question that I’m hoping someone can answer relatively quickly. I’m canning chick peas tomorrow (Monday) for the 1st time. All of the blog posts I read up on how to can chick peas say you need to cook them before pressure canning them. My pressure canner booklet, however, only says to cook them if you are trying to speed up the soaking process for the dried chick peas. Is the cooking an unnecessary step, since they get cooked in the pressure canning process? If anyone can answer this, I’d really appreciate some expert advice. Thanks!

  13. Last week was an expensive one. We are in the middle of a much needed furnace repair. This will be over $400. Myself, my husband and his mother are all on the same cell phone plan. This month I paid the entire bill due to my mother in law having hip replacement surgery and moving soon and not having money for her part. That was $200. I am grateful I had the money though.

    I made homemade soft soap, toilet bowl cleaner, fabric softener, liquid laundry soap, laundry crystals. I made banana bread twice and threw in some diced peaches that needed using up. We cooked and ate all meals at home using food we already had. I took my food for work from home as well. I spent less than $15 at Aldi to fill in a few missing necessities in the fridge.
    I borrowed books and movies from the library. I also downloaded some free audio books to listen to at work.
    I cleaned out and reorganised some pantry shelves.
    I sewed a hole in our comforter on our bed.
    Have a great week everyone!

  14. I’m so jealous of your garden. I just want to plant mine, but we’re expected to get an inch of snow here today. It snowed 4 inches here on Easter. It’s rained so much, you wouldn’t even be able to till the garden because it’s too wet. There is standing water in some places .

  15. Made some popcorn, and gave my husband a leftover packet of chili powder from a ramen noodle packet. Waste not want not.
    I bought a few items of clothing and eyeliner from a friend selling them. The clothes weren’t a particularly good price, but the eyeliner was 100CFA, about 20 cents US! And it has brown on one side, black on the other and a sharpener. I can’t remember what I used to pay for eyeliner in the States, but I know it wasn’t no 20 cents!
    We’re leaving for several months, so I’m working on eating up stuff in our freezer and cupboard.
    I’ve been wanting to go to the store for 3 days and keep not getting around to it, but that’s actually good for our money and has lended itself to the above mentioned eating up what we have.
    Made sun tea…just the cost of 2 tea bags and water.
    Today I ended having a no make up day.
    We bought a new to us truck with cash. This is frugal in that, cash means no debt or interest. We bought used, in fact we’ve never owned a new vehicle. It has some small repairs to be done, but probably my husband will do some of them himself. We’re hoping to now sell our other truck.
    I got about 10 children’s ebooks for free.
    I started reading a book to the kids that someone gave us, this should end up being hours of free entertainment. Plus I’m rereading a book I already own, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, its one of my very favorites.
    Love your ideas and inspire Brandy!

  16. Greetings! It’s so green in Nevada! We’re still buried under snow. We’re seeing the occasional 40* day so there’s hope!
    We’ve had a death in the family. My husband had to make several long trips to help. My car needed repairs which are not finished. So, it feels like we’ve been spending, spending, spending. Thankfully, my husband’s been called back to work full time! It’s time to fill up the coffers, again.
    I’ve been reading all of Louise Penny’s books from the library. I’m down to the last two or three. I’m sad at the prospect of finishing.
    I’ve been keeping on top of my sourdough. I have months worth of bread, at the moment. So, when I need to refresh the starter, I make peanut butter cookies with it. I have a recipe for a few other things to try when I get the bug.
    I made oat milk one day. I had about two cups of leftover, milky oats and didn’t want to throw them out. (As usual.) I found a Cook’s recipe using cooked oats instead. They turned out wonderful with the leftovers!
    I tea-dyed fabrics i’m using for my Daughter’s baby quilt. I drink green tea every day so this was a pantry item. It worked like a charm!
    I filled turmeric capsules. I used the last of my capsules so I will need to reorder sometime, soon. I bought them from eBay.
    I shoveled a path to my umbrella clothesline. I got to hang clothes out, in Northern Michigan, in March! So happy about that! I’m sure the neighbors are still talking! (The clothes dried, for the most part.)
    I made raspberry jam from berries I froze last Fall. The same day, I made rhubarb syrup and blackberry/rhubarb bars with frozen fruit, as well. Everything turned out wonderful! It was a first time recipe for the bars.
    We finally! got a recycling company to come through our tiny town. I signed up right away. I can’t believe how much stuff two people can throw away when not recycling! It saves on garbage fees and trash bag fees. I’m surprised at the amount of people who aren’t signing up! It seems a no-brainer, to me. But, we live in a depressed area, even though we’re a tourist town. I hope more sign up so we can keep this business coming.
    Wishing you all a fabulous week!

  17. Hi Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    Brandy how wonderful you were able to have a husband and wife date night and celebrate your DH’s birthday together as a couple. Like you I always look forward to good harvests from the gardens to supply food for our household to use now and into the future by preserving.

    Our savings added up to $791.30 last week.

    Finances –
    – Saved more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 24.72% of the way there.
    – Took advantage of a free listing promotion on eBay to list 42 items saving $69.30 in listing fees.

    Grocery and medical purchases –
    – Purchased 6 tins of lychees on over 50% off discount saving $9.30 on usual costs.
    – Bought 2 x 90pk probiotic tablets and 7 x 100pk of paracetamol at a cheaper chemist saving $33.29 on usual prices. We now have 2 years worth of paracetamol for DH’s back pain and 3 months worth of probiotics in stock.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made 16 spicy fruit buns in our bread maker using zest previously frozen from lemons and oranges we were given or purchased for $3.17 saving $5.46 over purchasing them. We ate some and froze the rest in 6 bags of 2 for future snacks for the two of us.
    – Made a quadruple batch of Anzac style oat and golden syrup biscuits from items in our pantry stocks saving $8.58 over purchasing the same amount in the shops. This will be our week of treat snacks for us.

    In the gardens –
    – Saved seeds from our last of crop cucumbers so we can replant some next season and for some to sell too. We trench composted the remaining pulp and peelings from our juices in the gardens for soil amendment.
    – Picked 5.5 bunches of silver beet from our gardens and blanched and froze them to make 11 more meals for the freezer for the two of us saving $21.45 over purchasing them in the shops.
    – Bought another 3 cubic metres of cow manure for $25 and DH and I spent 3 hours unloading, spreading and ploughing it into 2 more garden beds saving $659.69 over buying it in bags and having a gardener do the work for us.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone and I hope you all find ways to save this week :).

  18. Hi, Laurie! I always enjoy reading your posts!
    What a great deal on goodies at the sale! I can’t wait til we start garage/yard sale season!
    I’m still on the look-out for wool sweaters. I got enough dryer balls made for gifts but i’d like a few more to have on hand. I love them and they are so easy to make! I’m continually amazed at what can be made from home!

  19. The colors are so vibrant in the photo of parsley and lemons. Scorpions – shivers up my spine! In the south of France they often keep lavender in the window sills to prevent scorpions from entering – would that also help keep NV scorpions at bay?

    • Ordered three magazine subscriptions for free to use up a small amount of frequent flyer miles that were going to expire
    • Made a birthday card by printing out a photo I found online
    • Made swag goal x 5
    • Earned 25 swagbucks bonus points from March
    • Returned cans for the deposit
    • Baked Brandy’s blueberry muffins, made beef with barley soup, risotto with arugula and gorgonzola, tortellini alla panna, homemade pizza, orange, and made chili beef stir fry with brown rice
    • My son is turning 21 this month. I organized 21 different people to send a card/letter/postcard/cartoon to him on an assigned day counting down to his birthday. I asked people to write on the outside of their envelope, “X days left” with their assigned day. He called to say he had received three cards so far and LOVES it. My only cost was time to track down various people in his life and ask them to participate – plus a card from me:)
    • Cleaned dryer vent and exhaust hose – machine should work more efficiently
    • I provided RT transportation for a friend who just had surgery and lives 20 minutes away. This put me close to a discount grocery store, which I normally don’t shop. I was able to stock up on olive oil, shredded cheese, potatoes and some other pantry/freezer items at much better prices than I normally pay
    • Frugal fail – I quickly went to the bathroom and left a saucepan on the stove set to high. I came back to find a fire in the saucepan, which I put out with baking soda while carrying the pan outside. I put it down on the asphalt driveway, which melted onto the bottom of the saucepan. Saucepan is ruined but I am incredibly grateful the fire didn’t spread….and I’m moving the baking soda closer to the stove as well as NEVER leaving the room when the stove is turned up that high. Stupid and lucky all at the same time.

  20. I have no clue about the chickpeas, but I was going to say that I discovered our Dollar Tree has aluminum pans (including lasagna pans) for $1 each- I was ecstatic- I also like to fill the freezer. Our Walmart sells them for like $3 each, so it’s a nice savings. Just thought I’d mention it if you didn’t already know!

  21. Apparently, I hit send before I finished my comment!

    We spent $130 of our $200 monthly grocery budget today. But I shouldn’t have to spend much more for the month. We got 16.25 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.49 a pound! We also bought 15 pounds of catfish, 10 pounds of cheese, 10 pounds of potatoes, a gallon ice cream tub, and everything else that we buy regularly.

    I added water to the hand soap to make it last longer. I also made a batch of laundry detergent. It costs me about $30 to make a batch, but the last time I had to make one was Feb 2017.

    My grandma gave me a soup mix packet that had been gifted to her. It was tortilla soup and she knew my grandpa wouldn’t eat it. I made it and added some corn I canned from the garden last year, some crushed tomatoes, and some rice to make it heartier and stretch it longer.

    I decided to do without some things I thought I “needed” – like a bunny cookie cutter and some makeup.

    I traded some sugar cookies for some applesauce cookies with my grandma. That we got a little variety, but didn’t have to have all the ingredients to make both.

    I paid some bills online.

  22. Rhonda, I’m not sure if your chickpeas are dried, but for all other dried beans, I have a simple method that works for me. I soak them overnight. Drain that soaking water off. Fill pot with fresh water over the beans and bring to a boil. Immediately drain again. Refill with fresh water a second time. Bring to a boil again and boil beans 5 minutes. Then fill your hot jars about 3/4 full and add clean boiling water (that you’ve boiled in another pot), within half inch of top. Debubble and adjust liquid, if necessary. Wipe off edges of jar, before adding lid and ring on and process according to your canner directions. (Usually 75 min for pints, 90 for quarts). I’ve done this with pinto, great northern, dried black eyed peas and dried Lima beans. Never had any problems. I know it may seem like a little extra trouble to boil and drain etc. but I really believe it helps with the “gassiness” of the beans. I’ve done this lots of times and they always turn out good. It’s so nice to open a jar and have them ready to eat in just a few min instead if hours or to make a small batch of refried beans that are better than a store bought can. I usually get about 4 pints from a pound of whatever kind I’m doing, (give or take). Hope this helps, good luck.

  23. Rhonda, I’ve never cooked mine – just soaked over night and pressure canned. No problems.

  24. Your photos are always wonderful Brandy and I am very jealous of your garden and your warm weather – I was still wearing my parka when I left for church this morning! It should start to warm up a wee bit later this week but just barely at normal – around 45F to 50F – no gardening here I’m afraid for another six weeks at least.
    – I had a day out with a friend at some greenhouses here in town that are open to the public and are completely free – beautiful flowers. We then had lunch out and she treated as I normally entertain her at my home but she prefers to treat others to a meal out.

    -I went to see “Come from Away” on Friday night – I get a yearly theatre subscription so this has been paid for for ages and because we get the subscription (and settle for the cheap seats) we see shows that normally cost in the $80 range for just over $20. We did eat out and it was a frugal fail as it wasn’t very good.

    -Used up more of the litre of buttermilk that I have in the fridge by making a sweet soda bread (with the last of the raisins & currents) for the first time – it was delicious. I sliced it up and put 2/3 into the freezer or I would have eaten the lot! I’m going to make buttermilk salad dressing with the little bit that’s left.

    -Went through the freezer and sorted out meals for the next week. I only need to buy a bit of veg to get through to next week when I’ll do a stock up for both the freezer and the pantry.

    -I’ve been gifted with free tickets for a talk by John Cleese tomorrow night so I am looking forward to that. I’m taking a friend along and we’ve decided not to go out to dinner beforehand but will grab a fancy coffee afterwards.

    .Had a bad allergic reaction to some new shampoo this week (I have a lot of allergies & sensitivities) so I’ve decided to stick to baby shampoo from now on. I’ll be passing along the shampoo that I had the issue with to a friend (have more in stock) so at least it won’t go to waste. It’s not the shampoo – it’s a popular brand – it’s just me so at least someone will get to use it.

    Hope everyone has a lovely week.

  25. This has been a crazy weather week! Snow, 70 degrees, snow, rain, snow, 60’s!
    But our chickens are still giving us 4 dozen eggs/week which we are loving!! We’ve been able to let them forage in our raised bed veggie gardens just to clear out weed seeds and bugs before we start planting much! The chickens and the garden benefit!!
    I got a box with 5 pounds of mixed salad greens for $1 which my husband used for his lunches this week and the extra went to my chickens! There were also 6 plastic clamshell containers with “living artisan lettuce “ that they sold me for $1 total! I picked off most of the leaves from the 6 lettuce plants to use in our sandwiches and then I put the lettuce plants in little glass jars for the roots to take hold. Then, tomorrow, I will plant them each into our veggie garden! Since the weather is still “iffy”, I will use my recycled plastic gallon milk jugs (with the bottoms cut off) as mini-greenhouses to protect them but since our raised beds keep the soil warmer, we can be successful getting these lettuce plants producing! I will plan seeds too, but this will allow us to start harvesting quickly while waiting for the seeds to germinate and give us more lettuce to harvest!
    I just made more of my “Softies” (the flannel Kleenex substitutes) for our online Facebook shop- HandmadeinOldeTowne. Hopefully, these will generate some more side income since we just got our hospital/doctor bills from my husband’s heart surgery this week! Our insurance brought the $90K bill down to “Just” under 7K that we owe but we will tighten our belts to get that paid off as quickly as we can!
    We have been eating almost exclusively from our freezer and pantry wth just some fresh produce that we bought! The only things I bought this week besides produce were 5- 8 ounce chunks of extra sharp cheddar cheese for 99 cents each as well as 5- jars of Prego spaghetti sauce for 99 cents each!
    I just dried another 5 pounds of diced carrots.
    I’m looking forward to a better week of savings!

  26. momsav– I learned about Louise Penny books from the “what are you reading” post on this blog a while back, and have thoroughly enjoyed them! Our library has them all so I could read them in order, (which I don’t think is necessary but helpful for the character development), and have only one left. New one comes out in November.
    I agree with you about recycling. We are fortunate to have free curbside pick-up in town, and as trash can stickers only go up in price, we make good use of it.

  27. I can renew online, too…I just forgot. I put the book in a drawer and you know how that goes…out of sight, out of mind. The shoe I bought is the Propet (brand name) Hartley (style name). Just Google it, and search for it on eBay. Ebay seemed to have the best selection, at least in size 7M. It is also available in N and W widths. It comes in lots of colors. I wanted the denim blue, but ended up with a melon color.

  28. Rhonda, I’ve never canned chickpeas or dry beans, but some time ago I asked someone who does it all the time, and she does not cook them beforehand. I don’t know if she soaked them. If I were you, I’d follow the instructions in the booklet. I don’t generally mess around with pressure cooker instructions, LOL.

  29. If you get olives,have you ever tried marinating them in a little olive ooil and lemon or orange uice, then heat them slightly before serving. so good!

  30. * Mom and I ate at a co-op buffet (versus a restaurant) to save lots of money and our digestive systems. 🙂
    * I combined several errands to save money on gas.
    * We used food we already had on had to feed company and to make a soup for a potluck.
    * We unplugged the computer at night.
    * I prepared my husband’s lunches for him to take to work.
    * Instead of driving to an appointment, I arranged for it to be over Zoom, thereby saving time and money.
    * I stayed home most of the week.
    * I purchased most of our food for two weeks in one shopping trip to save money on multiple store visits and money on gas (and time too).
    * I was glad to make cough syrup for myself and for a client with what I had on hand at home.

  31. Congratulations on finishing Louise Penny’s books. I just finished the first one for me and loved it.

  32. I discovered how invaluable friends, true friends, are as each jumped in to do a different chore to ready my home for my return after my 8 week absence. Dusting, tidying, floor washing and today one sneaked in to put her extra sheets on my new bed. i am trying to figure out what to stock my fridge with that i can cook easily with 1 hand/arm. I will ask a friend to loosen jar lids for me. Another friend discovered bread made in peanut free facility (made in British Columbia). and so I will be able to have toast and sandwiches for the first time in years. Luckily I still have frozen sour cherries in the freezer as well as blueberries, slices of cooked meat, etc that should be easy to use.A friend will pick up apples at $1 per pound. I went way over budget on having the sidewalk and driveway shovelled but what can one do when it is a historic record snowfall year?
    There are still 3 feet of snow outside! Brandy, as usual your photos are superb and little Octavius is so charming!

  33. Wow, Libby…so glad you are ok and the fire did not spread.

  34. I was able to buy a set of 3 pans with the paper lids for $4.50 at the grocery store (Canadian No Frills). We have a Dollar Tree here, but everything is $1.25, not a dollar like in the States.

  35. 1. Managed to keep all the food in my refrigerator cool during an 18 hr power outage by placing ice from the freezer in strategic locations
    2. Discovered the stain removing wonders of Fels Naphtha and was surprised at its low cost
    3. Found a hidden pair of jeans in my closet during a decluttering marathon
    4. Remembered to redeem a free item coupon at Bath and Bodyworks(before it expired)
    5. Conserved gas by running errands in the city while my daughter was at a homeschool event (my son really wanted to go home but I kept him distracted with fun shops and Burger King…not exactly frugal, but fun!)

  36. Laurie, I also live in piedmont North Carolia. Our dock is huge and tough already. Do you use it for tinctures or cooking?

  37. I “found” free roses in my own yard! More details on my blog.

  38. We had a cool, rain-soaked Saturday, so instead of refilling my bird feeders, which were low, on Saturday as I usually do, I cleaned them out and filled them on Sunday, so the seed would stay fresh longer and wouldn’t spoil right away.
    With all that rain, it was easy to stay in, clean house, and avoid the stores.
    I picked a cabbage from our container cabbages and made cole slaw using vinegar, sugar and oil instead of mayonnaise. It will last longer in the refrigerator that way. The fresh cabbage was so sweet and delicious that my husband and I each had two big servings of slaw.
    I made mint tea from my mint plants, which I will drink chilled.
    I bought a nice chuck roast on sale and sliced two “chuck eye” steaks from it, then cooked the rest as a roast in the pressure cooker. The roast was served as roast and gravy one night, then lunch for me at work, then the leftovers will go in a pot pie. I cooked the steaks in my cast iron grill pan for another meal.
    The flowers and fruit look lovely. The photo of Octavius investigating peas is adorable!

  39. Does your library offer auto-renewal? I signed up through Library Elf. You can choose how many days before the book (or other material) is due you want notification and then renewal. Then you get an email telling you the new due date. It’s saved me many times!

  40. I should add that auto-renewal is great, even if you’re planning to get to the library the day something’s due or even the next. If you don’t make it, the item is already renewed.

  41. This was my husband’s last week off work after the birth of our 8th baby. We used several of the meals I froze while pregnant as well as meals from family members. I had my regularly scheduled kitchen day and made strawberry almond instant oatmeal, English muffin bread, peach cobbler muffins, breakfast sandwiches and burritos for my husband on work days, mini strombolis for his work lunches, and cooked 4 huge ham hocks for the meat and broth.

    We also accepted food items that my mom wasn’t going to use including more ham broth (great for stretching the meat), frozen raspberries, homemade cinnamon rolls, and most of a gallon of ice cream.

    I kept up with laundry and household chores which contributed to a wonderfully peaceful environment (maybe not frugal but very nice! ).

    My husband and sons dug a 50 ft ditch and made a French drain to stop water leaking into our garage. The only expense was $30 worth of stone as we had plastic and pipe already.

    Restocked our van snack bin with items the grandparents gave to the children for Easter. We often need something to hold over the little ones when we’re out and about and the children don’t need store-bought snacks at home.

    Returned unneeded items and used the money for a few groceries.

    Recorded all of our spending so we can make informed cuts.

  42. I have pressure canned chickpeas and other legumes. I do soak them first (that also helps because they swell and you know how many can go in a jar), then add the chickpeas, fresh water and a bit of canning salt and process according to the instruction manual. I find that the heat of the canner finishes cooking the chickpeas.

  43. They can be read as stand alone but it’s better to follow along in sequence if you can as the characters evolve and relationships change. I am currently reading the latest “Glass Houses” – just love this series so much that I vacation din the Eastern Townships last year in “Three Pines”. 🙂
    I want to a Mystery Writers/Readers Conference here in Toronto last Oct. and Louise Penny was the guest of honour. Saw a number of panels where she was featured and she was just delightful – so funny and well spoken. I signed up for her monthly newsletters and the writing is also amazing – she talks about so many different things. Heartily recommend it to any fans.

  44. I am glad you are home. There are a number of gadgets for sale on Amazon com for one-handed jar opening. You might want to check out your options.The tool I like needs two hands unless you were to hold the jar between your knees or in a vise but I have only failed to open one bottle in my adult life with it using it with two hands-and it was a bottle of old nail polish whose cap broke off. https://amzn.to/2IG9NGb

    I am not signed up with Amazon to get anything for referrals. It is just that this is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

    Mom and I are keeping on keeping on. It has been such a long winter. No major frugal saves but no major frugal fails either. I managed to make it to age 60 without ever roasting a whole chicken. No longer. The one we bought on sale was simple and delicious. We had chicken and gravy on mashed potatoes for a second meal and a bean and noodle chicken soup (standard soup vegetables of onions, carrots, and celery) for a third. The leftover soup will be our supper tonight, our fourth meal from that chicken.

    Brandy, I loved this week’s photographs.

  45. Libby, I love your idea for your son’s 21st birthday. I plan to use a variation of that for one of my grandsons.

  46. Jess, I had a bunny cookie cutter when my children were small. and I used it to make Easter themed cookies for school parties and for various potluck around Easter time. Also at home. So maybe it’s not a frivolous thing to buy. One time when teaching Sunday School, I made Easter baskets for each child and included a bunny cookie in each basket, so they are kind of frugal.

  47. That is such a wonderful idea for your son’s birthday!

  48. Thank you everyone for your helpful advice. I am using dried chickpeas I soaked overnight, which is a first for me all the way around. I was concerned that maybe chickpeas [b]had[/b] to be cooked first. However, your experience has confirmed that cooking first is a personal preference, not a necessary step. I decided to go ahead and can the chickpeas without cooking and see how they turn out (I also left out the optional salt). If I find they cause excessive flatulence, I might try cooking them the next round. Hoping all my canning turns out OK…7 quarts of turkey broth, 6 pints of chicken broth and 7 quarts of chickpeas (plus I cooked about a pints worth of chickpeas when I realized I couldn’t can it in the same batch with the chicken broth). Took 2 days to do it all, too!

  49. Happy birthday to your husband. I hope you had a fun date night. Hubby and I also had 2 date nights this week. We had both received GC for Christmas so we picked up our food of choice and brought it home and watched a movie we rented from the library. Both of our kids were out. The second night I cooked pasta with home jarred sauce and we watched another movie.
    Over the weekend we went to visit our oldest daughter and stayed with her saving $ on hotels. We had a great week. You can read all about here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/04/my-frugal-list-week-of-april-2-2018.html

  50. Expensive couple of weeks, but hopefully it will mean less expenses down the road.

    Dogs knocked over and broke one of our dining room chairs. I took a picture and measurements and saved them on my phone so I can hunt the second hand stores for it. Also gave the info to a friend who travels to two other nearby cities for work so she can check for me. I am resisting the urge to buy a new dining room set, but will keep my eye out while in the thrift stores, as besides the broken chair there are a few rings and scratches on the table.

    I had to buy a bunch of new clothes, as I threw out all my stained and threadbare summer things last year. I shopped online clearance, Zuilly, and sales so I did ok. Resisted buying more Lularoe – even on clearance.

    Took the train visit my husband to Miami (He’s finishing his doctorate as a nurse practitioner in August). It took a bit longer than driving, but cost less. I got to nap and read instead of fighting traffic. I packed a sandwich and some water so I didn’t buy lunch on the train. Steward brought me a cup of hot water and some sugar so I could have hot tea with a tea bag I packed.

    Borrowed a book for the trip. Turned down the water heater, turned off the AC and opened the upstairs windows while I was away. I paid a local girl to watch my animals while I was gone, saving me $100 a day in kennel fees.

    That was the frugal part of the week; then I was on vacation!

    We spent too much money eating out and having boat drinks during the rest of the week, but it was important for us to reconnect.

    I also bought a ‘new to me’ car while in Miami and drove it home. My old one was nearly 16 years old and had 296, 000+ miles on it. It had multiple issues that would be over $3,000 to attempt to repair with no guarantees. We had hoped to wait until August, but the car scared my husband when he drove it last month and it has no AC ( a must in the south!).

    We financed the new car. Paying the note will improve our credit rating. We will pay the car off in full in 1 year, which will make the earlier purchase easier to swallow. The new car is a diesel and gets much better gas mileage than my old one. It still has 8 months of the manufacturer’s warranty on it and I purchased an extended warranty, as this car has ALL the bells and whistles. The dealer included a box of supplies (cleaners etc.) and a bottle of the blue def you must add to diesel cars periodically.

    The dealer was Off-Lease Only. I highly recommend shopping with them. The process was seamless and there was no pressure. Actually buying the car took us less than 90 minutes and that included signing for the financing and getting real (not temporary) plates.

    Went to a botanical garden in Miami that is usually $25 per person. I went after 1:00 and asked if they had a military discount and they let me in for free!

    Made all my meals for the upcoming week from the freezer and a few fresh vegetables.

    I restocked cat food and litter (1st time since the beginning of November) as they were on sale and there was a coupon (my neighbor gave me hers too) so I did 2 separate purchase to make use of both coupons.

    Attended a free movie preview and a $4 movie this weekend. Brought in a bottle of water and some fruit snacks rather than buy concessions.

  51. I, more often than not, read everyone’s weekly accomplishments but don’t create a list for myself.I learn so much from everyone in this community and am always so inspired! I tended to keep a mental list of my frugal accomplishments instead. Writing my accomplishments for the last 2 weeks has really opened my eyes. I now realize I was doing a great disservice to myself and I feel this was my greatest frugal fail.
    I do not have to be accountable to anyone but I have been missing out on the community support that your blog creates especially since I do not have that support locally. I really appreciate what you have created with this blog.
    Putting my list in writing has put it in “black & white”. Looking at the hard copy helps me to see what I do well and what I can improve on. I am strong in the planning stage…it’s the follow up where I need to improve on. My goal for my listing is to set up my game plan for saving money.
    so getting off my soap box here is my list for the last 2 weeks:

    only went to town 1X each week combining errands & shopping. Saving on gas and impulse buys
    cut $30 each week in spending
    gave husband & 1 son a haircut
    1 daughter had an opportunity for a free trip to NYC through school. Only cost to her was for souveniers which she paid for.
    used up all leftovers in 2nd week–no food waste–which is a big win here
    husband brought leftovers to work all week and heated them in his truck. Also refilled plastic bottles for his drinks.
    I also ate leftovers this week at lunch or frozen diet meals leftover from work days
    In addition to our Easter ham I bought 3 additional hams for freezer at 57 cents/lb. Will stretch to eat one every 2 months in time for Christmas sales.
    had phone interview with unemployment office for determination of benefits
    Both our middle and youngest daughters had birthdays in the last 2 weeks. I had purchased the budgeted presents while I was still working. Our older daughter had previously won a local charity singing competition so we spent her birthday at the final competition (I also had purchased tickets for this event when I was employed). Since the competition was about an hour away from home I packed both lunch and supper for the family. The Charity found out it was her birthday so over 800 attendees sang happy birthday to her while she was on stage. She is shy so was embarrassed about it but hey, you only turn 16 once, so enjoy it. It was a wonderful event and the charity raised $20,000.
    My younger daughter wanted a lot of presents. I purchased a lot of smaller presents for the same budget amount and wrapped them individually in some Christmas wrap she had outgrown.
    Both girls had homemade cakes made with sale priced mixes from my pantry. I always use candles that are numbers. Once used I wash & keep in a container to use as needed. After over 20 years of birthdays I have all the numbers. I just replace as needed plus I can easily tell which birthday it is by the candle used.
    we used a gc to pay for gas for both vehicles
    I continued to heat the house with wood during the day and only oil late at night while we slept. The afternoons have been warm enough that I have even let the wood heat die down to use the sun to keep us warm thus saving on wood. We did have 2 days that we used only oil due to 1 foot of heavy snow one day and high winds the next. Our system will overheat if we lose electricity so we decided not to take the chance.

  52. March has been a better than average month for my saving and stretching. I’m still wasting money but not as bad as I used to.

    We got several free items from the grocery store Monopoly game which amount to $25 savings. I also won $5 from the Monopoly game as well. I took surveys and got a $2 off coupon to Dollar General that I used. We saved $7.50 on gas from earning rewards with our grocery store. Our mortgage company sent us a check for overpayment which we sent to pay down debt. We were able to transfer some debt to save on interest cost. I admit that I have been overwhelmed lately with our finances and am stressing a lot more than I know I should. Transferring some of our debt will help ease the burden. I have also been researching ways to stretch our dollar even further. We are eating cheaper meals, less meat and trying to get a garden going. If anyone knows how to increase the ph of soil naturally (I can’t buy anything right now) I’m listening. My seedlings start growing but stay thin and don’t develop into strong plants. I’m really new to planting still and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

    Thank you for sharing your stories. I seem to always learn and be encouraged every week.

  53. My uncle grows Armenian cucumbers in Zone 4 with no irrigation. They seem to curl quite a bit.

  54. Thank you for sharing this! I just got a pressure canner specifically for canning beans. Knowing that 1 lb = 4 pints is very useful.

  55. I agree! I love having this option.

  56. I have always worried about using aluminum cookware, pans, soda cans etc because of the acid foods (like tomato) leaching aluminum into the food or beverage. Does it bother anyone else?

  57. Hello, dear friends (that is how I think of this community I’ve never met),

    A couple weeks ago, someone asked Brandy how she got so much done. Part of her reply had to do with taking a vitamin B-12 supplement, and a couple people responded that they did, too. Based on that, I perused the vitamin shelves at the grocery, saw bottles of B-12 that were 500, 1000, or 200 micrograms, and I bought the 500 mcg one. I tried it for a week, and the effect was *impressive* — I had so much energy, and I got so much done! But then I realized that the RDA on this is actually something like 2.6 mcg so taking even 500 mcg was a huge dose. And there were a couple of nights I had trouble sleeping (though this could have been just life stuff going on). Anyway, I felt uneasy with this and decided to stop it for a few days. Now I have resumed it taking a quarter tab each day (125 micrograms) to see how I feel with that. May I ask those of you who are taking it how much are you taking, and did you start because you had a known deficiency of B-12 or just because you wanted more energy?

  58. I do, Athanasia. I have to pick my battles, though. I use glass baking dishes for most cooking but aluminum pans for freezing things like meatloaf, lasagna. I did try to freeze in glass pans, remove it when frozen, then wrap in aluminum foil without the pan. (Does that make sense?) But, I was back to aluminum. Do you do something different? I’m not a fan of plastic, either. I got rid of my non stick pans years ago except for a griddle that I use about once a month. It seems that nothing is safe anymore.

  59. Margie and Ellie, I would LOVE to visit/live/stay in Three Pines. I just finished A Great Reckoning. I had to wipe my eyes, yet again, at the wonderful story and writing. The acknowledgments at the back got me going, too. Louise Penny sounds like a wonderful human being that we might all learn something from. I can’t praise her books enough!

  60. I have burns on my hand/arm from doing the same thing at 15yrs. The fire was so hot that soda did nothing.When I tried to put a lid on it, the flames just flipped it over and off. We had no insurance so I knew I had to get this outside. My mother was sleeping upstairs. She heard me screaming and got the door open for me. Needless to say, no more homemade French fries. Ever! The funny/sad thing is…months later I had surgery. When I got up to use the bathroom, my Aunt was two beds down from me. She had gone roller skating. Someone had run headfirst into her. When she fell, she landed with both arms behind her and broke both arms! She was much worse then I ever was. The things you go through….

  61. Gardenpat, I always picture you hitting the floor, running, everyday! It seems you accomplish so much! (Like Brandy!) Smart idea with the lettuce!

  62. Congratulations on baby #8!

  63. Thanks, Momsav! I’ve made lots of dryer balls too, some for gifts, and some to sell. I’ve even deconstructed nubby wool sweaters to use, which worked great. The dryer ball I’ve been using at home started unraveling, so I put it in a piece of pantyhose, and added it to the wash with the other things I was felting. I suppose time after time in the dryer must unfelt it?

  64. Jean, lately I’ve been using the dock to eat with eggs, but in the past I did tincture some. I’m in Seagrove. Where are you located?

  65. I think I will make some as I am in need of dryer balls. Do you have any insight? I can find directions on the net I expect.

  66. Pauline, I take B100-Complex, which includes B-12 at 100 mcg, because I’ve been a vegetarian for over 30 years, and it is hard to get B-12 from non-animal sources. I’ve never been told I have a deficiency, but am just trying to be proactive. I do have lots of energy most of the time, but not sure if it has anything to do with B-12, or other causes.

  67. Hi Sarah,
    What sorts of snacks do you keep in your van? I would love to know what your family likes for ideas. Thanks!

  68. So happy to have sick days again. I came home sick today with the same thing my son had over the weekend. It’s nice to rest up when not feeling well. Nothing extra spent.

    Saturday I had to drive into town (45 min each way) to pick up something that had to be redone. It was a free repair and I stopped to shop at Aldis saving enough on milk alone to cover the gas. Just cost my time.

    I claimed a free unopened bottle of dressing from the faculty room, started receiving my free magazines, found a few cents, ordered some dehydrated food with a friend to avoid paying shipping, and turned down some bread I know would just lead to excess eating.

    All my checkup results are in and no problems. There is still the extra weight to keep at. Such a struggle this winter!

    My son was run off the road and managed to not hit the other car or get hurt. We replaced the tires and the tire place was able to hammer out the rims for us. A little damage and we will have to buy 2 more studded tires next winter, but not nearly as bad as it could have been. He’s a good driver and saved a lot of damage and cost by avoiding the other car and only hitting the guide rail. The other driver just drove off! So thankful and we are rather blessed!

    Enjoy frugal-ing!

  69. Margie, I had several reactions to different cosmetics before I figured out that the allergy was actually the green dye in them. It took me until my early twenties to find the culprit!

  70. I am always so happy to read all the happy tidbits that everyone shares. I have about ten dollars put aside for each week to spend when I take my daughter out for lunch. We usually eat somewhere inexpensive and often use coupons to make our budget stretch. We use the last couple of dollars to shop at the grocery stores and at the thrift store. This week I found an antique chair that goes beautifully with an antique desk in my bedroom. I was delighted to get it for 3.00. We picked up a few odd and ends for 20 cents a piece. College girl came home for several days. She ate and slept the whole time. I got many extra freezer meals put away with all the extra food that got prepared. The puppy princess had to go to the vet. Her allergies went berserk and she was scratching and licking non stop. I checked around on prices and saved over 50% by going to a vet much closer to our house. I was also able to use a bottle of prednisone I already had at home for her. I downloaded a free Audible book to my Kindle and several other free books and magazines. I saw a new game at Swagbucks called swagbucks IQ. I downloaded the app to my phone. The game is at 8 pm and consists of ten multiple choice questions. I won 125.00 of swagbucks last night. The game isn’t hard and I think being a heavy reader my entire life has filled my head with trivia. This game lasts about 4 minutes. I am loving swagbucks more than ever.

  71. Brandy your pictures are lovely!
    I want to get out and work in my yard and gardens but it is still cold, wet and windy! Maybe in May.
    Last week we ate all meals at home. I combined all my errands in one trip. It was a big circle thru my part of town. I stayed home as much as possible and only bought what was on my list at each store. The Fresh Thyme store had broccoli for $.69 lb. I bought a case of it and a couple of sweet potatoes to see if they last longer than the bagged ones I normally buy. When I got to the car I looked at the receipt and the cashier had charged me $.99lb for 19lbs of broccoli. When I went back in and told the manager she gave me the $18 back so the broccoli was free! I blanched and froze 25 sandwich bags full, roasted some and we ate some the first night steamed.
    I also paid my bills online, turned down the heat during the day and only did full loads of laundry and dishes.
    Have a great week everyone!

  72. They are actually scorpions, not spiders. Both scorpions and spiders aren’t killed by spray, but you can kill their food, which helps. We’ve never had this many scorpions at once, and never in the kitchen. Dollar Tree sells blacklights so we may end up getting one and going scorpion hunting at night to find them (they glow under a blacklight).

  73. I grow lavender but it won’t grow in the kitchen. My husband is sensitive to scents, but your reminder (which I knew but had forgotten about) makes me wonder if I could put a few drops of lavender oil on some paper and put it under the edge of the oven, where they seem to be.

  74. I have started perennials in containers, and then planted them in the garden at the end of the season, and they bloom the second season. Best way to save on perennials is to trade with others—one of the garden clubs in this area have a sale every year, but if you make friends with gardeners, you can swap for free. Especially certain plants that multiply easily–mini-iris and Stella D’Oro lilies have done wonderfully here for me.

  75. A lower interest rate will definitely make it easier to pay off your debt faster as well as save money! Good for you!

    Is your soil very acidic? Lime is usually what is added to make soil more alkaline. I don’t know another way to change that. Are you sure that you are having a ph problem? Perhaps your plants need something else in the soil.

    We have the opposite problem here with very alkaline soil and water.

  76. I am very allergic to Yellow Dye #5 so it’s probably that – I’m usually very careful about reading labels but guess I got careless this time. I use a lot of products that are designed for babies/toddlers (soap/laundry detergent/sunscreen) so I’ll just add shampoo to the list! 🙂

  77. Definitely get the jar lids loosened but put a note on the fridge or cupboards so that you remember – I learned that the hard way!
    Also – get someone to open a carton of milk for you or pour milk into smaller, easier to pour containers – you can’t pour a 2 litre container with one hand and the bags tend to fall out of the holders! (Bagged milk is a Canadian thing)
    I had time to prepare so had a lot of individual meals in the freezer but perhaps some individual freezer meals (I know it’s processed food but it will be easier for you given that it’s an emergency).
    Ask a friend to slice up things like cheese or veggies for you – anything prepped ahead of time will make life a lot easier. Anything that can be portioned up so that you can just put it in the oven or microwave would be good i.e. quiche, meat pies or even things like chillies or stews that have been portioned into single servings – it’s lifting things that are heavy and cutting that is awkward. Also – if you can eat it with a spoon it makes life a lot easier. Good luck – hope you get well soon.

  78. When my kids were teens, one of them turned to me one day with a pan of oil that was burning. She was between me and the baking soda, so I told her to carefully set the pan down on the floor and she did it without spilling a drop and I put a lid on it. It made a lovely scorch mark on the linoleum, but I just felt so good about no one getting burned that it never bothered me for a minute. It stayed there in front of the stove until we redid the floor the next time around.

  79. hi Holly,

    thanks for the suggestion! I’m not sure about using it with only one hand but it sure looks useful for afterwards. I am staying at a friend’s for a few more days but then I’ll be back home. I bought her a ham for $24 and we had 12 meals from it. thanks again!

  80. i was informed in library that they have annual “no fines” week for overdue books. I´ll remember that for future!

  81. Congratulations on the new car. It sound like you really got every last mile out of the old one!

  82. If you have access to wood ash (from a fireplace, fire pit, or woodburning stove) that can help raise soil ph. Also, composting your vegetable scraps and using the compost in your garden can help bring the soil to a more neutral ph. Composted manure is also a good addition (if you have anyone around you who keeps animals you might ask for manure. If it is fresh, you’ll have to let it break down before you put it in the garden.) If you have poor soil it can take a while to develop it into good soil.

  83. I also take a B-complex. I used to write articles for medical magazine. Once I was assigned to write about B vitamins and I learned that most people over age 50 (I know Brandy is younger than that, so this doesn’t really apply to her) have trouble absorbing enough vitamin B from food, so taking a supplement can help. I do find I feel better when I take it.

  84. Congratulations on the SwagIQ win. I am an ignoramous when it comes to movie trivia and modern authors so my hopes of ever duplicating your win are small. But I have had fun getting a few points each time I have played that game. I now have an alarm on my phone set to 8 p.m. Eastern.

  85. Glad you are ok. A pan can be replaced. Love you idea for your son’s birthday.

  86. I love the spring pictures. Our area is just starting to bloom a little bit. So nice to see spring coming 🙂

    *I found a brand of laundry detergent we use on clearance. They were marked 1.99 and I had 6 $1/1 coupons that were expiring that day. I purchased 6. They had another bottle of the same brand (the bottle size was different) for $2.49. Each washed the same amount of clothes and the ounces were the same. I don’t know why the other was marked higher. I was glad to find those for .99.

    *I picked up my weekly free item from the grocery store.

    *I still menu plan but I find that I’m not using it as much. Since some kids have left for college and others work – leftovers and trying to figure out how much to make has been a challenge. I find myself reworking my leftovers quite a bit. Last night I used leftover broccoli/cauliflower/carrots that had been roasted into a cream soup. Not in my menu plan but better than tossing out food. And it was good.

    *My birthday was last Friday. My kids made me breakfast, a friend took me out for a treat and we went out to dinner using gifts cards we had.

    *My college came home and wanted to make me a birthday dinner. We made dinner using ingredients and items I already had on hand.

    *My daughter needed new glasses. I ordered from Zenni using Ebates. She picked two pairs. We paid $15 for both because of discount codes and using a credit we had on their website.

    *We went swimming 2x using our membership that was discounted because my child works as a lifeguard at the facility.

    *My children were on Spring Break for school. We didn’t spend any money on activities. We had friends come over and also visited family. We watched movies we already had and did some work projects around the house. My kids all said they liked having a non-busy week because the rest of the school year can be so hectic. It was nice to relax and take a break.

    * All meals were made at home, except for the birthday dinner.

    * A friend gave me a basil plant that has started to sprout!! I haven’t grown herbs before. They are in my windowsill. But it’s really fun to see the green shoots coming up.

    *I found a few things in a closet that I have been cleaning out that I had forgotten I had. I used the pictures my bookshelves for a new & free decorating look.

    * I reused a wreath from last year for my front door. I keep reusing the same grape vine wreath that I have been using for years. Fake flower plants that I don’t use in decorating I hang onto. The flowers on the wreath get so faded because of the sun. But instead of buying something new – I just dig through my box of old flowers and create a new wreath. It’s cheerful to see when I drive into my driveway. I always save ribbon and also use leftover ribbon to create a new wreath with the old/new flowers.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week 🙂

  87. I love the large bouquet of daffodils – so Spring! As we don’t have a yard to grow flowers I have been buying $3.99 bouquets of carnations. They will last at least three weeks.

    I am almost finished with my fourth scarf that I am knitting to add to my next Christmas gift box. Also trying to finish my quilt. In the free area of our condo complex I found an unopened box of beautiful botanical print notecards. Into the gift box they went.

    I made a large quantity of cooked pinto beans in my Instant Pot. My husband roasted a chicken . For the two of us, one chicken will be about 5 meals since we use the leftovers for soup and tacos. We haven’t eaten out for almost two weeks, partly because of bad colds over Easter.

    I bought some chard starts and planted them in a big pot on the deck. Since the weather is starting to warm up, I think they will do okay.

    Did the usual frugal things like watching a show on Amazon Prime and reading books from my Kindle. I just started a mystery series by author, Anne Perry. I am really impressed by what an excellent writer she is. Also cut my own hair and did a manicure. Since we are planning our Sweden trip, I was able to find two Sweden travel books at the library. For exercise we have been going on long walks, when it isn’t raining hard. I guess that is it!

  88. 1. I colored my hair myself at home using henna and indigo powder.
    2. I planted about a dozen more scallion root ends (saved from cooking) in my garden.
    3. I redeemed $7.79 in cash back rewards from our credit card. We never carry a balance, so this is free money for us.
    4. I purchased something from Amazon and chose the slower shipping option in exchange for a $1 digital credit.
    5. I made ricotta cheese from half a gallon of milk that had just started to turn.
    6. My husband continued installing insulation in our attic, which will save us money on heating and cooling costs.
    7. I picked up several free books from the Little Free Libraries in our area.
    8. I made washing soda from baking soda in my toaster over. I use this washing soda instead of traditional detergent in our dishwasher.

  89. I did remember a solution for lowering pH. You can add crushed eggshells. They add calcium and make the soil more alkaline (which is why the local gardening classes here speak against using them, as our soil is already too alkaline).

    Lime is high in calcium and magnesium. Epson salts add magnesium to the soil.
    You can rinse out milk jugs and add that little bit of watery milk to your garden.

    Coffee grounds add nitrogen, but they acidify the soil.

    You can use food scraps buried in the garden to help the soil as well (trench composting). This will add organic matter.

    Are there worms in your soil? If you are not finding worms, then you need to add some. Depending on where you live, you may be able to dig them somewhere and add them to your garden. They will need those food scraps to have something to eat. Where we live, there are no worms, so I had to purchase them for the garden.

  90. Pauline, I take extra B-12 as well as extra iron to prevent anemia during pregnancy. My midwife has intructed me to take it. I take a multi-vitamin that contains both, but that is not enough. I take several additional sources of iron as well as 1000mcg of B-12 each day while pregnant. If I forget and miss three days, I can really see a drop in my energy. It’s important that I keep my hemoglobin numbers up so that I can safely deliver a baby, and both iron and b-12 help with that. If I don’t take them, my hemoglobin numbers dip too low; I had issues with this in previous pregnancies with a different midwife. This midwife has been very dilgent about making sure I take these; in fact, she will be checking my hemoglobin levels again today.

    Your body does expel extra b vitamins in urine (your pee will turn flourecent yellow) so you should be able to see that. So I don’t worry if I have more than I can use.

  91. momsav, I use freezer paper a lot. Also, I have multiples of glass casseroles and baking pans, just collected over the years. I either freeze right in the glass pan or I will lay freezer paper in the pan, let it hang over the edges, then when frozen, lift the contents out and rewrap totally in freezer paper. Then I can write directions, contents etc right on the outside of the paper. I buy the Reynolds brand 150 ft coated rolls. Smaller items like stuffed peppers or double baked potatoes I wrap individually then place into a ziploc bag to contain them.

  92. This week was Hubby’s birthday. I took him out to eat on Sunday (Used a gift card I got at Christmas) I took him out to eat on Monday used a great coupon I had (Meal was supposed to be 70 dollars cost me 18.00) We had divided the meals in two so last night we ate Sunday’s second half for dinner and we are now having second half of yesterday’s lunch today for lunch. Tonight I am making fancy dinner at home and Thursday and Friday we will go out again. It is a big year and things have been tough but we can afford to have a few meals out if done right. I will use another gift card and a coupon for the other two meals out as well. Then next weekend we will make the rounds at friends and family and he will have had an entire week of celebrations!

  93. I try to keep things that are dry (no chocolate as it melts), fairly firm (no chips as they end up crushed), and won’t require my children to end up with “dust” on them (nothing with cheese powder, powdered sugar, etc.). We like to keep crackers, hearty granola bars (kind, larabar, etc. that we buy at discount stores), nuts, and dried fruit like banana chips. We also keep small containers for giving individual portions if necessary, though I prefer things that are already portioned. When we have young babies or toddlers who require softer foods, I like the applesauce pouches (I don’t let them have them while we’re driving since they have a tendency to value them for the entertainment of squeezing it everywhere…just in a parking lot where I can keep an eye on them.) or nutrigrain type bars.

  94. Thank you!

  95. If I had a bunch of bake pans with lids, I’d use them. Unfortunately, the cost of buying enough of them to use for freezer meals makes it not an option. I have seriously thought about it though. We do reuse the aluminum pans, but they eventually get destroyed and need to be replaced. I’ve never worried about the metal leaching into our food. If I worried about everything that reportedly could kill me or make me sick, I wouldn’t eat, drink, breathe or leave my house!

  96. Jess, I have a bunny cutter and I use if every Easter. Growing up we used it too with our Christmas cutouts, along with a duck. Now I have separated them out into a box of spring cutters…cross, basket, duck, carrot, flowers, eggs. My girls always liked the decorating part of the cookies and it was a fine way for them to spend a couple hours keeping busy, when younger. They still try to get together to decorate…I just mix up the dough, make the frosting, collect sprinkles and have ready for when they are. Joann has some nice decorations…I buy them when I get those coupons for 50 or 60 or 70% off an item. A couple years ago I found a bottle of google eyes and use those on the duck . They are very cute. I have some pink heart shaped sprinkles and they work perfect for the bunny nose. So, in our family, these are important .79 to .99 items…in others, the impulse purchase of a cutter might just sit unused.

  97. I don’t use aluminum anything for cooking. For my freezer meals I cook in cornishware, either present or op shop and put appropriate sized portions into plastic containers for the freezer.
    I was always told aluminum could contribute to Alzheimer’s disease in old age.

  98. Here we are in Autumn and dry leaves are beginning to clog up the street drains and blow across the roads and paths. Days are lovely and warm, but once the sun sets, it’s cold. The tomatoes have finished in the garden.
    My freezer meals for this month include the following :- lasangna, pasta carbonara, smoked cod casserole, porcupines (meat balls with rice), chicken cashew stir fry with rice, moussaka, and sweet and sour chicken with rice. I still have kale and herbs in the garden, but that’s about it.
    I bought a waterproof jacket on gumtree, a free listing shopping site for $35.00 in preparation for winter. It’s a US brand I’ve never heard of, newport rhode island. Apparently the jacket has only been used once. And I’m looking at some waterproof sneakers. My current waterproof sneakers are a bit shaggy and beginning to let water in the tops. In the shops these sneakers can be well over $100.00 so I’m hoping to do better via online sites.

  99. Pauline, I had gastic by-pass surgery a few years ago, which means my body is not able to absorb vitamins properly now. I must take a regime of vitamins every day and will for the rest of my life. My regime includes taking B-12, 1200mcg every third day, as suggested by the gastic by-pass medical team.So, if the tablet you have bought is too high of dose, you could try taking it every second or third day, instead of cutting the pill and taking every day. I mark it on the calendar, so I can check each day if I need to take it or not. Just like Brandy mentioned, if you forget to take it, you WILL notice your energy levels dragging. Just another thought, anyways.

  100. Hmmm, you can buy milk in a bag here in U.S. Midwest….I can remember back at least 30 years. You can pick up a pitcher at the store it slips into.

  101. Is the chair not reparable?

  102. Way to go, Lilli! That’s quite an impressive win. I’m sure that $125 will seriously come in handy.

  103. Wow, 19lbs of free broccoli is an amazing score! What a nice addition to your pantry stock, Pat.

  104. I bought a dodad that mesasures the soil wetness and ph. I am trusting that it is right. It says my soil is at a 2. I will add some lime and see. I think I have a bag that I bought last year sitting somewhere! When I prepared my soil last month I added what I thought was good compost, some of the bead fertilizer and mixed in some grass clippings. Really I’m trusting the tester I bought but maybe things aren’t doing well for another reason. I’m such a newbie that I need gadgets to help me figure out what is what in the gardening area. Thanks for answering! I appreciate it!

  105. Thank you for your suggestions! I may be able to get some manure from a neighbors family that farms as well as some ash from my next door neighbor. Thanks again!

  106. I have plenty of egg shells to use! And coffee grounds. Thank you for everything! I don’t have any worms as these are raised beds and all the reading I have done states raised beds get hotter than the ground. Living in zone 6b means we have hot summers. I was worried about cooking the worms! I also read that for gardening we should use certain worms and I left off feeling confused on how to proceed. Thanks again for all the advice!

  107. If you have a pH of 2, do NOT use the coffee grounds because they will only make it more acidic.

    Worms can live in raised beds (regular garden worms, not red worms for composting) in hotter climates than 6a. I live in a zone 9a and we have 116° summers (and hotter, most years). It is 90° here today. You can buy worm castings to add to your soil, but having worms is a sign of healthy soil, and they help add nutrients to your soil as they break things down. I bought worms at my local garden center. However, in your case, I would work on making the soil more neutral before I added worms.

    A pH of 2 is EXTREMELY low. Acid-loving plants like blueberries and azaleas still want around a 4.4. If your soil is that acidic, the plants can’t take up the nutrients. You definitely need to change the pH to make your garden able to grow. Most plants prefer a neutral pH (6.5 to 7), which is much higher.

    On a positive note, berries should do well in your area, once you’ve upped the pH a little 🙂

    Wood ash will quickly change the pH; lime can take some time. This explains: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/newsdetail.cfm?NewsID=12505

  108. Thanks Rhonda! I was a little shocked when she handed me all my money back. If we eat broccoli once a week it should last us about 6 months. The only other veggie I’ll look for a good sale on is green beans . The last time I bought them there was 28lbs in the case for $22. I didn’t think I was ever going to finish them!!

  109. Hi Margie,

    thanks for all of your suggestions! I have individual sized portions of cooked meat in my freezer. We don’t have bagged milk here (that’s mostly an Eastern Canadian thing, I think). I think I’ll ask for opening cans and jars to be added to my homecare list.

  110. I will start at the beginning of her novels –– thanks for the tip!

  111. Make sure they don’t feed their farm animals on land that has had herbicides applied in the last two years. The poisons can remain active even when passed through the cattle’s stomachs and, even if aged, can stunt or kill plants.

  112. That’s high praise, momsav! Thanks! I find that I’m waking up by 5:30 every morning so I adjust my “working hours” to make the best use of that time! I can plan out my day and then, often, I will start working downstairs in the kitchen making and preparing meals, mixes, etc ahead! That little bit of quiet time really is worth it to me because it saves me time and money in the long term with the convenience of “ready-made” in the freezer, fridge and pantry shelves!
    I suspect we all have those “magic” times that are perfect to invest so that we reap the benefits later! For some it might be early morning, others mid-day. Others late night. But whatever the optimal productive time is for you, then use it to your advantage!
    Because, as I tell other people, i’m Basically lazy and cheap so if I am doing it, then anyone can!!
    Thanks, momsav for your kind words! They brightened my day!!

  113. It sounds like both of your daughters had lovely birthdays.

  114. I needed a long foam roller for PT exercises, and found one on eBay for much less than at Target.

    I bought fabric to make cloth napkins for a wedding shower gift. The fabric was on sale.

    I’ve been eating homemade gluten free sourdough pancakes for breakfast every morning, instead of buying expensive gluten free bread (like I used to ). The pancakes are delicious, and it’s another fermented food in my diet. I’m allergic to oats and wheat, so breakfast choices are limited.

    I sold an old used textbook on eBay.

  115. I should clarify that I already have a bunny cookie cutter! Haha! This one was just cuter. But it was also $5. I thought I’d check back after Easter to see if they had it on clearance if I still wanted it. I have a large collection of cookie cutters, many that were my grandmas. I used my bunny, egg, tulip, and butterfly cookie cutters to make Easter cookies.

  116. I never considered getting OTC mess from eBay, good to know. Sam’s club seems to have the best deal around here for generics.

  117. Someone that commented on my blog recommended reusing cereal bags to wrap things in to freeze as a no waste option with good results. I haven’t used it yet but I plan to. We are on a cereal strike right now. My kids are burnt out on it.

  118. Nope. It shattered and sheared off at the joint. A competent carpenter might be able to recreate the bentwood frame, but that is not something in my or my husband’s wheelhouse.

  119. I keep granola bars, oatmeal cookies, apples or applesauce cups, peanut butter crackers water, and a few sodas in our van. It does save even if we are out the full day and I buy sandwiches then I use these as sides. I do not buy full meals. I also sometimes keep pretzels but when I do I put them in a shoe box this way they do not get crushed. Sometimes I will keep fruit type candies like skittles or something like that.

  120. We bought a new car at the end of last year. Right after Thanksgiving I wrote every dealership in the area for the type of car that we wanted. I also told them our budget and told them we were going to buy from someone before the end of the year (dealerships pay on the inventory after Jan 1 ) WE got $15,000 off of our brand new car just by holding tight to what we wanted!

    I got my colors and all the features I wanted as well.

    This works!

    Additionally the process was very easy because the head manager/ owner sent me an email with my ID number of the car and the price that they would sell it at . We printed that took it to the dealership. And we paid cash.

  121. Laurie, I feel like I may of met you at a Christmas sale/bazaar at the big Church in Elon across from the college last December…If not, do you got out and set up at church stuff like that?

  122. Happy Belated Bday to you Hubby and glad you two got a date night. All your flowers and veggies look so beautiful and hopefully this year I can have a yield in our garden. Trying to get out there today for a little bit to start to clean out. Here’s my frugal ways from the last two weeks:
    *2 weeks ago…
    – Received a snail mail coupon for a free Lindt Easter product- went in DH Easter basket.
    -Free table at work=1/2 pkg of Oreo’s.
    -Freebies from store= used a $6.00 reward to get 3 lbs of ground beef and a ham steak (used with coupon) free.–
    -Stayed out of work one night-thank goodness for PTO hours.
    -gifted $100 DMIL to help with getting new tires. Hubby found a friend at work whose son is manager at a tire store and we got 4 practically brand new tires for $50 a piece.
    -Gifted leftover Easter dinner from family. Enough for a couple of lunches and dinners.
    – Dehydrated more greens and orange peels.
    -Started making DIY fruit/herb infused water to keep in fridge. Cutting down on other types of beverages.
    *Last week…
    – Sent a request for $23.55 rebate check from Checkout51- coming in snail mail later.
    -Invested in another lamb wool dyer ball to help lower dyer usage cost.
    -Sent 2 free bday cards to a friend from a large stash inherited from a late family member.
    -Local store is holding their annual 25 cent rebate on their name brand sale for the month. Making lists and visiting them to stock up pantry. Hopefully to last thru the summer.
    -Went to in-laws for spaghetti dinner. Came home with leftovers.
    – Brought home more orange peels from Reality. Made DIY orange cleaning spray.
    -Started a challenge to get rid of 100 items this month.
    -Made 3 new recipes from pantry/freezer supplies.
    -Freebies from store (used sales and coupons) one 8 oz brick of cheese, 1 high end energy bars (blueberry/lemon and it was good!), 2 bags of chips, 1 bag of high end chocolate and pnut butter Popchips, 2 candy bars, 1 small container of yogurt.
    -Another store had Super Double Coupon week up to $2.00 and these are the freebies from it= 2 containers of yogurt, 2 dozen of eggs, 2 pkgs of smoke sausages, 2 small bottles of eye drops (for allergies), 2 pkg of chocolate ice cream pops, one can of pineapple and 1 can of mandarin oranges.
    -Started walking around our house and land for exercise instead of paying for gym fees. It’s a little less than a football field around the house and land.

    Hope everyone has a blessed week!

  123. Brandy, hunting scorpions with a black light in one’s house sounds like the plot of a horror story to me 🙁

  124. Whoa, $5? That was a pricey cutter.

    Oh ja, I have a butterfly too. Forgot about that one.

  125. Margie, and others, are these the Inspector Gamache mysteries? I have wondered about them but never read one. Are they clean?

  126. Libby, that is a very nice idea about the card countdown. Especially for some one who might live out of town or in a college dorm. Real mail is always so nice to get and he has tangible evidence of how much he means to so many people.

  127. Margie, oh my, John Cleese?! I used to watch his shows when they ran them on the public TV station in the 80’s …FAWLTY TOWERS and the MONTY PYTHON FLYING CIRCUS one. I hope you enjoy the show.

  128. Yes Sarah, blessings to you and your family on the new baby. Boy or girl? I hope he or she will be a contented easy baby for you.

  129. Oh, that is too bad. I am married to an extremely talented carpenter and he has been able to repair so many items for folks, but it does take some special tools some times too that not everyone would have in their garage or workshop.

  130. Yes, they are, Athanasia. Chief Inspector Gamache deeply loves and cherishes his wife, and other relationships that evolve among the regular characters are treated respectfully. No gratuitous sex scenes here. (Maybe I should qualify that with “so far,” as I am in book 11 of the series.) They are murder mysteries, so there is that gruesome aspect, but the murders always happen “off stage,” and the violence is not “witnessed” by the readers, only in its reconstruction as the mystery is solved.

  131. Additional thought for you, Athanasia. Since I am only guessing what your definition of “clean” might be, you should know that, among the regular characters in the series, there is a gay couple in a very committed and caring relationship. If this makes you uncomfortable, better to know ahead, yes? There is also one complex character who swears a lot, but has many endearing qualities as well.

  132. pH ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Most plants like 6 to 7 pH. If your soil is really a 2, that is very acidic…similar to lemon juice and vinegar, which will kill plants.

  133. The daffodils are so pretty, the peas look delicious. We still have snow but it is disappearing quickly as the sun has been out daily and the daytime temperature has been getting into the 40’s and low 50’s F.

    Our biggest news is the birth of our latest grandchildren, to daughter Eliana and her husband Theo…twins Daniel and Miriam, born late Sunday night. All went well, normal delivery and they were just over 6 lbs each. She is doing good with nursing but also got an electric pump this time around. She had never pumped before other than manually the occasional bottle if she had to leave Dora. Dora now wants a 2nd baby doll to go along with the first as she wants twins too.

    We did all the usual of using up leftovers, mending, composting, recycling. Finished up the last of the Easter leftovers too. We have missed our woodstove these still somewhat chilly evenings as we took it out prior to Easter and put it into storage in the old garage until next Fall. Just frees up the space in the living room. Husband and our tenants built a wood frame to fit around the seedling tables/grow lights in the old garage and then stapled on heavy duty plastic sheeting to make a greenhouse type effect.

    Sent in a rebate for 3.00 on a purchase; received a rebate for 70.00 on a previous purchase. At the grocer used a coupon for a free pack of cookies, 1.00 coupon off a body wash that youngest likes. Bought 2 egg dye kits from the seasonal leftovers for 75% off each…they were a little different but they each had stickers and those little shrinky wrap things. The little children had fun this year with the egg dyeing so I think we will do again next year. Picked up 2 dozen eggs at the farm.

    Made pea and ham soup with the ham bones and put 5 quarts into the freezer and we have had the rest several times and I took 3 quarts over to my daughter for her family’s use. It was quiet again after Easter as everyone went back home and it is just the 2 of us again. I feel like the house has an empty echo in it now. Made 2 pans of stuffed shells and put one pan in Eliana’s freezer for future. Right now they will get plenty of meals from church members and friends so they will not need to think about cooking for a couple weeks. Theo is OK in the kitchen if he has detailed instructions. Baked 4 loaves white bread, pumpkin scones with pecans and white chocolate chips, peanut butter cookies, rice pudding. Mixed up 2 pans of overnight egg dishes, baked them in the morning and then Levi ran one pan over to the children. I like those and there is enough for a few mornings breakfasts. So half of everything I made pretty much we took over to them the last couple weeks so they had minimal cooking to do.

    I am glad twins “skip” generations. I am glad to never have been pregnant with them, that is for sure. My daughter is a very fit, very active young woman but even she was having difficulty getting around, moving etc, the last few weeks. And then before that there was the flu and the recuperation. She says she feels great now!

  134. Hi, PJGT! This was the first time I made dryer balls from deconstructed sweaters. It’s a bit of a process, time consuming. I went on line and looked at a few video’s. I used the crockpot instead of the washer. But, try what looks good to you! The hard part for me was finding the sweaters. I looked again today and came up empty. So many people are buying up the 100% wool for various projects, I guess. Good luck! I feel such a sense of accomplishment over things like this!

  135. Thanks, Athanasia! I forgot about freezer paper! We bought half a pig last Fall that came wrapped in freezer paper and I never made the connection! I’ll have to add that to my list.

  136. Athanasia! Congratulations on the twins! Twice the love!

  137. Annaliese, the only show I do in December is Handmade Holiday in Asheboro. We’re probably kindred spirits though :o).

  138. Thanks Momsav,

    I love the idea of using a cockpot! I’ll start collecting wool sweaters which, I hope, might be more available in my rural cold weather area.

    What other projects fo people use the wool sweaters for? Just curious.

    Trish

  139. Congratulations Athanasia!

  140. Seagrove…I had distant relatives that were the Coles of Cole’s pottery. Many fond memories spent at the Seagrove potteries during my childhood 🙂

  141. I suspect that the pH is NOT 2. Either the doo-dad malfunctioned, or Douai used it improperly. I would call the county extension service and ask a Master Gardener what is the usual pH in the area. Douai’s soil may be a bit higher or lower, but this would be a good starting point. I would not start adding things to the soil until I was absolutely sure of the pH.

  142. Blessings x2!! Congrats!

  143. Congratulations Grandma! Such wonderful news.

  144. Been a while since I posted. Where does the time go?

    Want spring so bad! Forecast for winter storm again this weekend! Wondering if I will ever find my garden? The blessing is the snow melts and we should have plenty of moisture.

    Meals- Greek farro salad, squash apple soup (canned last fall) with grilled cheese sandwiches on homemade rye bread, spaghetti and home canned spaghetti sauce with home canned green beans and garlic toast, chicken pot pie, steak and baked potatoes. Trying to eat from freezer and canned goods in hopes there will be more to put up this summer and fall.

    Sewed summer PJ’s for 2 grandkids with birthdays early May. Have their toy gifts bought earlier on discount. Did some mending.

    Sold some clothes given to me that either were too large or not my style to Clothes Mentor. Now I have a credit there. I did get a pair of sperry tennis shoes that were marked $10-so they were free to me! These were high end clothes. Things I probably wouldn’t buy however now it will give me some free money for clothes.

    Trying to clean and declutter. Taking a room a week. Except kitchen that will probably be done over 2 weeks. A bit at a time I’m getting things done.

    Bought mandarin oranges $1.99 for 3#. Bought 5 bags and canned 25 pints of fruit.

    Need to do some beans now.

    Have a great week!

  145. My brother went on December 30 (with cash) to buy a car. Went to walk away and they dropped the price thousands. Mine just wouldn’t wait that long!
    besides, I got features I never would have demanded in a new car but now love.

  146. That’s what I thought too! I get most of mine for around a $1. I did pay $4 for a tractor cookie cutter one time. But I think that’s my most expensive one.

  147. The Goodwill stores in mid-Michigan never, ever seem to have wool sweaters for sale. I have a suspicion that they get better prices for them by selling them in batches to a place up north that recycles sweaters into pricy patchwork hats and mittens by felting them and then cutting them up.

  148. I’ve had good luck finding all sizes of glass baking pans for $1 or less at the local Habitat for Humanity thrift store. This is a good price for me to grab them to use in freezer meals and also when cooking foods for others just in case the dish doesn’t find its way back 🙂

  149. I keep cereal bags to reuse for stuff like flour and seasonings for dredging chicken pieces, making cracker crumbs, and also freezing. It’s like a free resource if I’ve already bought the cereal! lol

  150. Hi Pat,
    I read about your broccoli score!!! That was totally awesome! It reminded me that I had a funny “score” myself. I came across 40 pound boxes of ripe bananas for $3.00 which is 7.5 cents a pound. I only took one box and they are now peeled and frozen (some sliced for smoothies). You just never know what you will come across. Maybe I should have snagged another one 🙂 Have a great week!

  151. Does she use God’s name in vain? I do not read books or watch movies where God’s name is used in vain.

  152. Thank you! They are 5 days old now 😀

  153. Thank you. We are very happy 😀

  154. Thank you. Yes, 2x everything…divided and conquer 😀

  155. Thank you. I do love being Grandma 😀

  156. I’ve felted old wool sweaters, and blanket stitched two layers together for potholders.

  157. Lynn, I love living here, among all the creative folks. I also think it’s really beautiful. One of my earliest pottery purchases, before I lived here, was from Cole Pottery. I used it for many years.

  158. As a mother of twins (they were 44 yesterday!), I thought both you and your daughter might appreciate this quote from Mark Twain: “Sufficient unto the night is one baby. No one in their right mind would every pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot … and there ain’t any real difference ‘tween triplets and insurrection.” Are you laughing? It gets better.
    Mama k

  159. There is a quote by Dorothy Parker, “Infinity is a ham and 2 people.” Ha! Now that it is just my Hubby and me, I believe it!

  160. That is awesome! We moved into a house a few months ago that has 3 rose trees and I want more, as I am loving being able to cut the flowers and bring them inside. We’ll definitely try this!

  161. I keep a running list of my accomplishments so I can post them to this blog. Once I started doing this, it was incentive to me to do even more, as I wanted to add to my list!

    Thank you, Brandy, for providing this forum of sharing and inspiration!

  162. There are indeed many creative people in that area. I’m sure that would be inspiring. I’ve got plenty of the Cole cobalt blue pottery (my favorite), along with their special red, plus pieces from other potters in the area in my collection. The nearby Why Not cemetery has become the final resting place for generations of our family. It’s so pretty there in the foothills.

  163. Laurie, I’m sure you know, keep your mattress receipt. Costco has an amazing return policy when the mattress becomes worn.

  164. I can’t imagine hunting scorpions! I’m glad you are braver than me though and taking care of it.

  165. Kathy, thank you. That is very funny. In the grade school my mother taught at she had a set of red haired boy triplets…2 years in a row…she was the 2nd grade teacher their first year, then moved up to be the 3rd grade teacher their next year. She still mentions them once in awhile.

  166. well…..not necessarily……..I’m a twin,and my moms a twin!!!! So glad i only had single babies.

  167. Are you playing a different Swag IQ game than I am? LOL! It’s at least 15 minutes, if not more. I do find it fun, though a little irritating with the many glitches that have become a Swagbucks norm, unfortunately.

    Congratulations on the big win, though! Wow…the best I’ve done is 48 cents and I consider myself to be a fount of worthless knowledge. 🙂

  168. Congratulations Brandy on the blessing of a new baby boy!

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