May Day Roses The Prudent Homemaker

For those who missed the announcement on Instagram, I had a baby boy on Friday, April 27th. I’ll be sharing photos and details in an upcoming post. We’re still deciding on a name for this baby.

We enjoyed some rain on May first and second, which is rather unusual here–especially in May! I turned off the drip irrigation systems for three days and put out buckets to collect rainwater on the two days we received a little rain.

The rain brought cooler weather and we were able to turn off the air conditioning for four days.

My husband gave two sons a haircut.

I said yes to some formula samples that someone I know offered for free on Facebook. We used them to feed the baby until I had milk, which took 5 days.

My largest frugal accomplishment was making sure to pump to help me to have enough breastmilk for my baby. I’ve written about this before, but I have to pump in order to have any milk for my babies. I’ve tried all the supplements, but they made no difference in my supply. I hired a lactation consultant with my third baby. Pumping and drinking lots (and lots) of water are what I need to do to make sure I can feed my babies. I don’t have letdown (I can count the number of times I’ve had letdown with 9 children on two hands) and the day my milk came in, I was able to pump only 3/4 of an ounce. Still, I persevered, and now my body is producing enough milk for my baby. Pumping made it so that I was able to nurse my last baby for 16 months (with my first baby, I had no milk by 9 months, and with my second, I ran out of milk at 5 months; since hiring the consultant, who instructed me to pump and for how long, I have been able to nurse each of my subsequent babies over a year).

I wore a support wrap for after birth that I had purchased at a garage sale for $1 last October. I have seen these for sale for $35. This gave me back support and will hopefully help with healing my diastasis.

The baby surprised me by being a boy! Since we had only planned on having 8 children, I had given away most of my baby things. I had been given some hand-me-down girl clothes, but needed something for a son. I used the 15% off registry coupon from Target to purchase a 4-pack of onesies for him. I also went to a community garage sale on Saturday morning, where I found a few things for him for $0.25 cents each.

At the garage sales, I also found a Christmas wreath and some more ornament hooks ($3), a couple of fancy hair combs that I’ll use as a gift for a daughter ($0.50 each), and a 5-strand pearl necklace for $1, which I purchased with a laugh after the old woman who was selling it said to me as I picked it up, “You too can look like Barbara Bush.”

While at Target, I used two $1 off coupons towards my purchase of shampoo and also used Target cartwheel for an additional 5% off. I brought my own bags to save $0.05 off per bag.

I picked up 5 containers of sour cream on sale for $0.89 each. These were on my list for the month, but I purchased them elsewhere than I had planned since these were a better price. They also had more shampoo on sale in the kinds that my children like, so I picked up a few bottles of shampoo there also.

I went to the local nursery to purchase two herb plants for my garden. One of the regular employees let me know they had one lilac left; someone has returned a plant, and all but one branch had died. They had been watering it and keeping it alive, and it was recovering. I was offered the lilac for $2. Originally the bushes were $40 each (when they were large and healthy). I bought the lilac and will find a place for it.

My husband picked up a free, new-to-us small fridge that we are using to replace our second fridge. The fridge that we have been using (also given to us) works really well, but it is almost as old as I am. This newer refrigerator was made in 2007, so it should be much more energy efficient. We’ve been looking for someone in need of a second fridge who would like it for free, but if we don’t find someone, I will list the fridge for sale online (if any local readers are interested, send me an email, and the first person to contact me is welcome to it).

I watched a couple of hours of a free class online.

My eldest tried a reader’s suggestion from last week to use witch hazel as an anti-static spray. She said it worked great! We will use witch hazel from now on.

My son picked a few mulberries (with permission) from a neighbor’s tree. We ate them over homemade pancakes.

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy inside. We also harvested lemons, lettuce, parsley, and spinach from the garden.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  1. I can’t believe how active you are only just over a week after delivery! I would be in bed, with my husband playing nursemaid. Or so I’ like to think! Glad you were able to get a bunch done, despite a newborn and all the usual responsibilities.

    My frugal week went pretty well:
    – I made Greek-Style Lemony Potatoes (, which is pretty frugal as I bought inexpensive potatoes and used lemon juice from a bottle. Brandy, you could probably make these quite inexpensively yourself, since you grow your own lemons, and the olive oil can be replaced with cheaper vegetable oil! My husband loved these so much that he ate ALL the leftovers for dinner the next day. Needless to say, I plan to make these a regular dish at my dinner table!
    – I saved the (vegetarian) chicken bouillon & garlic stock after boiling potatoes in it when making Greek-Style Lemony Potatoes, and used some of it to cook Arborio rice in (which essentially became a risotto). I turned the risotto into arancini (breadcrumb coated, cheese or tomato-filled, deep-fried Italian rice balls). I didn’t have cheese in the house and didn’t want to open a jar of tomatoes, so I defrosted a few pieces of ham from the freezer (from a trade many months ago) and used that as the filling. My meat-loving husband was happy to bite into the rice balls! I plan to use the rest of the stock for a soup base.
    – I met with a friend for coffee and a catch-up at Starbucks, using my gc from Swagbucks. Lovely way to treat a friend without paying OOP. Plus, I treated my friend on a day when purchases counted for double points towards rewards, and when a certain number of purchases meant extra points. Basically, I utilize Starbucks offers to get the most out of the gc I get from Swagbucks. I would never actually pay for Starbucks OOP.
    – I treated myself to a frappuccino on a particularly humid day, using my Starbucks card from swagbucks. I used an email offer to get it for ½ price.
    – Utilizing these offers meant that I received enough reward points from Starbucks that I could redeem for a reward from Starbucks for a vegetarian protein bowl. A free and healthy lunch! I calculated that this week I used about $12 worth of gc to get about $27 dollars worth of food and drinks.
    – I redeemed Swabucks for a $5 gc to Amazon.
    – Clients and staff brought in pizza, appetizers, and dessert to work, so I ate that for two lunches and saved the lunch I had brought to for my dinner.
    – I got a small bonus from my workplace and applied it to my mortgage.
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research points for $5 to my Paypal account.
    – I redeemed Air Miles for $10 worth of groceries. Cheese, bread, and fruit for lunches for the week.
    – I planted some garlic cloves in my balcony garden. This is the first time I’ve tried growing garlic, and I hope it works. My radishes are sprouting nicely, and what I think are carrots, swiss chard, and peas (I didn’t draw a garden diagram in my gardening book this year, so I’ll be guessing what the sprouts are until they’re a bit bigger). My blueberry bush is covered in green leaves, which I’m very happy about! Soon it should be covered in white flowers, and then delicious fruit! I still need to buy tomato starts, herb starts, and strawberry plants. I saw an ad for blackberry and raspberry bushes in large buckets and am thinking of putting those on my garden wishlist for next year. I wasn’t able to find a fig or lemon tree in the city (and Amazon doesn’t deliver citrus to Canada due to cross-border regulations), but it’s pretty crowded on the balcony as it is. I’m hoping my mint revives from last year. Usually it’s impossible to get rid of mint; my parents plant escaped the bucket it was planted in and spread across the garden until they decided to get rid of it all last year. If my mint doesn’t come back, I suspect there will be a survivor in my parents’ garden and I’ll try to get it before they pull it out.
    – I made fettucine Alfredo to use up some of the whipping cream in my fridge that I had had for a while. My husband was happy about that as he loves creamy sauces. I really appreciate that my husband appreciates my cooking! I plan to use the remainder of the whipping cream to top homemade chocolade vla with (Dutch Chocolate Pudding – )
    – I got several lbs of butter for $2.99/lb, which is the best sale price you’ll ever find here. I can only buy 4 at a time, so I plan to go back and buy at least 8 more (along with the DH) and freeze it all. If I buy enough, I can make it last until the next time it goes on sale. Regular price is something like $5.99/lb. (Canada’s dairy prices are pretty high.)
    – I bought some dried fruit and nuts at a local bulk store and used a $3 off $10 digital coupon. I try to only buy from the bulk store when these coupons are available, and there are sales as well, to get the best price possible.
    – I made a batch of laundry detergent, using an old bar of soap that my husband was given many years ago that he never used. Now it’s laundry detergent, and there’s one less thing cluttering up my condo!

    Looking forwards to learning from everyone else, as always!

  2. Congratulations on your baby!

    We ate all meals at home or picnicked when going somewhere. Shower is in so I am enjoying showers now. Husband is helping me cook. Dishes are easy with a dishwasher now.

    Not purchasing anything other than a bit of food and toilet paper.
    Enjoyed a picnic with grandchildren at park instead of McDonalds, Kids were happy.
    Thinking of things we can do at home, probably online to earn money.
    Family gave us some vegetable plants they didn’t want. We will plant that.
    Son fixed our computers for us and put in extra Ram for early Mother’s Day present!
    Enjoying doing things around the house.
    Writing a list of things we need to do and doing them all in one trip to town.
    Enjoying the sunny days and cooler air in evening. Opening windows when it is cool and closing them when it is hot. Enjoying the fresh air.
    Looking up recipes online to use up food we have on hand. Using all leftovers. My husband is entirely on board with being Frugal. So glad for that.
    One set of parents had us over for Lasagna and the other for Steak. Enjoyed both very much! Hadn’t had either in a long time.

  3. Brandy I am sorry to hear about the complications and hoping that you are able to get some relief from the support wrap you purchased until your diastasis heals. It sounds like you have got some sound advice to suit your situation on breast feeding and it was money well spent. Congratulations on the new baby boy and I will pray for your fast healing :). We are not on Facebook so didn’t know it was a boy until you put it here.

    Finances, earnings and internet listings –
    – Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 25.20 % of the way there.
    – Listed 30 homemade and saved seed items on the eBay using a free listing promotion saving $49.50 on usual listing fees.
    – Made $21.21 from the sale of some saved seeds and a homemade bread bag which I downloaded to recoup money in our pantry stocking budget after a large stock up in February.

    Gifts and blessings –
    – Received a bag of lemons from a friend who had too many on her tree saving $9.18 over purchasing them.

    Household organisation –
    – DH and I sorted out the baskets in the vegetable freezer and put like vegetables with like and sorted them out by date putting the oldest at the front of each freezer basket. It is amazing what a mess a freezer can get into and we found we still do have homegrown diced capsicums in there 😮 .

    Purchases –
    – Purchased a roasted chicken on special saving $4.15 along with some hot chips and some sarsaparilla from home to the park to celebrate our 5th temple sealing wedding anniversary and my birthday.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made 1.682kg or 5 jars of orange and lemon marmalade from free lemons and oranges purchased on discount saving $22.41 over purchasing an equivalent no preservative brand in the supermarket.
    – Made 3 bags of lemonade concentrate from free lemons and free honey we get from our apiarist friend who has hives on our property. This will be enough to make 9lts of lemonade when we get into hotter weather.

    In the gardens –
    – DH put some cow and horse manure into the empty flower bed and plowed it in. This is now ready for us to transplant some lilies into from the other side of the house.

    Hope everyone had a wonderfully frugal week :).

  4. Brandy, congratulations on your sweet new baby boy! I hope the back support you found at a bargain is very helpful. I wish I would have discovered those for my second baby, as I’m still struggling with lower back pain that has not gone away since my pregnancy with her, and she’s 12.

    We, too, have been enjoying lovely weather here in the Missouri Ozarks. We’ve had some nice rain to settle the dust, although we were near to having some minor flooding so I was thankful it stopped just in time. We are able to have the doors and windows open without air or heat. I’ve been leaving lights off with the sunshine being bright enough for most rooms and hanging some laundry out on the clothesline and other laundry inside on the drying rack.

    I found a decent meat and frozen vegetable sale the last week of April so we are eating out of the pantry and freezer for the most part. I also stocked up on some baking and canned items at ALDI last week. I will only buy the usual items we run out of, such as milk and half-and-half for coffee, but will also check the sale flyers for stock up prices. We have an appointment scheduled in town on Wednesday so that’s the day I will do errands and shopping. We live 30 miles from the big “shopping” town so it saves a lot of gas and wear and tear on the car to combine errands! My mom lives next door and we often go together to split the cost of the travel.

    My 12yo daughter will be out of school for the summer on Thursday. I love summer break! She will be in 7th grade, junior high here, next year, and she is already asking nearby family and neighbors if they have any work she can do over the summer so she can buy her own clothes. Our older daughter will be out of college this week also for the summer. She will be leaving the local junior college and heading off to the state university 4 hours away to finish her bachelor’s degree. She has a full award so she will be getting through her entire degree without having had to pay anything for school (tuition, room, food and books all paid for) with sports and academic scholarships. That is a huge blessing, and we are very thankful!

    My husband has been doing a part-time carpentry job for the last year and picks up small jobs to compensate. He has a new small job starting this week so that will make him full-time hours again until this job is finished. I will plan ahead to get his lunches prepared so he will not eat out at fast food or the gas station. I will also plan ahead for snacks and lunches since our girls will be home during the day for the summer.

    My husband and I recently set a big goal to save enough to pour the concrete for the very large shop we want to build here on our property. We are 40 years old, and my husband’s body is getting tired of construction! So we are planning to transition to rebuilding transmissions here at home. It will take $5000 for the concrete for the building so that’s our goal by the end of July. Then we’ll focus on the rest of the materials that are needed.

    I have picked up some subcontracting work for this month so I’m working a few more hours than usual. I’m a virtual assistant and work from home so it’s no extra cost for me to pick up extra work. Winning! I’m also taking an online course I bought to learn how to use Pinterest for online businesses and bloggers and hope to have that offered as a new service by June 1. Any extra money I make is going straight towards the shop fund since it is not needed to meet our monthly budget obligations.

    Hoping everyone has a lovely week!

  5. Hay Brandy, congratulations on your new baby boy. Always surpriced how you just pick up your live after having a new baby! I find it strange that you baby does not have a name yet. In the Netherlands we know the name long before the child is born, and now a days they even know if it is a boy or a girl, wich to me is a pity. I remember the surprice if it where to be a boy or a girl. We have 2 boys and a girl, I would have loved to have 4 childeren but my husband said that is not practical ( wich mother thinks about that?) we have only 4 bedrooms and then we need a bigger car(…….who cares….you can sleep with 2 on a bedroom and he always wanted a little van. ) But raising a family is something you do together….,so 3 kids is was. (and still feeling blessed with my family)
    Here are some of my frugal accomplishments.
    The birthdayparty (of 3 of the family) we hosted ourselves, turned out fine, though the weather was bad. Lots of rain and 10 Dg celcius. We had partytents and we have a veranda with a woodstove ( and borrowed a terrasheater from somebody). You needed your coat but then it was okay. Now we have enough leftover bbq meat for ourselves to bbq a few times. And not needing to buy soft drinks and beer for the coming weeks
    I bought parsley and oregano plants to harvest this summer and also seeded basil. Seeding a lot in the Green beans, carrots, beets, mais, cabbage 4 divered species, cucumbers and more…! Knitted socks for somebody I know. And stil knitting socks.
    I cannot think of more accomplishment as cooking from scratsh, line dry al washing and riding our bikes to school and work is normal in our household.
    Greetings From the Netherlands.

  6. I am looking forward to seeing pictures of your new baby boy, Brandy!

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    My husband and I, along with one of our daughters and two granddaughters, went to Tennessee to visit my parents. My dad is in assisted living due to his Parkinson’s and dementia. My mom is having her second hip replacement surgery on May 8th. It was a quick trip of only 4 days but I am so glad we were able to go. We had put money aside into a special savings account each week since the beginning of the year in order to fund the trip. We took food with us on the way down to save on stopping to eat at a restaurant and went to Aldi to pick up snacks for our trip back home. We stopped at the grocery store after dropping off our daughter and granddaughters and found pork chops in the marked-down bin and made that for our dinner.

    We have gotten into the habit of using our debit card for grocery shopping which has made it easy to overspend. We have decided to stop at the ATM before grocery shopping each week and take out our budgeted amount. If we don’t spend the entire amount we will use it for the next week’s groceries. Whatever is left (if any!) at the end of the month will go towards debt or savings. I am really hoping this will help our budget.

  7. Congratulations on your 9th baby…wow!
    *This week I scored three bath towels at Kohls for just $1.33 (total price) by combining sale prices and Kohls cash I received for just being a loyal customer.
    *I picked up $.25 wash clothes at Walmart.
    *Went to a clinic to have a wellness checkup, so that my husband’s company will put $2000 in our HSA…I have never had a high deductible plan before, so it’s a little crazy trying to figure out all of the rules and requirements
    *I picked up a used science book at a co-op sale for a great price
    *We are trying out a standardize testing service that allows me to give the test in our own home, so I can avoid paying someone to give it to my child

  8. Congratulations again! I’m glad you are able to nurse the baby. I nursed all 3 of mine and it was so worth it. We did lots in the yard and garden this week. Some of the wood around my large garden was rotting out so Hubby used treated cedar that we had gotten from my sister’s old swing set and used that to fix it for free. The blueberry garden is all cleaned out and they look like they all made it through the crazy winter we had. I found london broils on sale for $1.99 a pound. I bought 4 packs so far and I’m hoping to get more this week. The rest of my week is here:

  9. I noticed you pinned some baby girl clothing ideas on Pinterest and wondered if you were expecting a girl. Although you will need to buy some clothing, at least you know to save the clothes from Octavius for his little brother from now on. Baby clothes tend to be pretty cheap when bought used. It’s when you get into the bigger sizes that the price tends to go up. Glad you were able to find some lovely items for both the new little one and gifts for your other children at the garage sale!

    Well, I’m sore and tired from cleaning houses in the pioneer village last week. We received a 3 day weekend, which we were all thankful for. I have 1 more full week of cleaning to do this week before it’s pretty much done. This week, our frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included shepherd’s pie, BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs with roasted seasoned potato chunks (1st BBQ of the season!), “make your own” pizzas, crockpot meatballs in gravy with mashed potatoes and carrots, breaded chicken fingers with onion rings, white rice and broccoli, and roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans.
    *I made an extra large batch of white rice (I used 2 cups of uncooked rice) with dinner one night, with the plan of making some fried rice with the leftovers to use in lunches. DD (who claims to not like white rice that well) and her friend ate so much, there was not enough left to make the fried rice! So I left it as is. Good thing it is cheap!!!
    *My MIL asked my mom and I if we could make 4 treat trays again for the kids bowling banquet (even though DD did not bowl this year). We will be paid $30/tray for them. My mom and I have been making batches of treats this week in preparation.
    *Groceries this week were kept to a minimum, as I did a bigger shop the previous week. Hubby and I did stop in to a local grocery store that sells luncheon meats and other items super cheap (often short dated, but I usually freeze it). We picked up 2 packages of mustard seed salami, 3 packages of a pizza variety pack (has sliced rounds of pepperoni, ham and salami), and 2 black forest hams for $3.50 each (800g). I cut the hams with our meat slicer into shaved luncheon meat, put some in the fridge for lunches this coming week and divided the rest into 5 packages for the freezer. With warmer weather arriving, I figured cold luncheon meat would be a good thing to stock up on.
    *Started back to work this week. It was nice to see some of the returning staff, catch up on what happened to those who didn’t return and of course meet a few of the new ones. As one of my co-workers stated, we are really like a big family. Many of the students I have been working with for a few years now are finishing school, but are returning for the summer as they have not found jobs in their chosen fields yet (a common plight for most youth these days). For me, it is fun to see them grow and mature into amazing young adults!
    *Attended the mandated orientation for my work on Monday. Came home with a bunch of freebies…a reusable water bottle, a pen with a tip you can use on cell phone screens, 2 sticky note pads, a magnetic clip for the fridge door, a candy sucker, a small container of playdough and 3 little pompoms that our youngest cat loves to play with.
    *Hubby and I had a date night on Friday night. We went out for dinner and a movie. Not frugal, but really nice to spend one-on-one time with my man. It was good timing as our house lost power minutes after we left due to a storm with high winds. Grandma ended up taking DD and her friend to McDonald’s when power stayed off over dinner time. I did buy the movie tickets at Costco, which is a savings compared to buying at the theatre.We watched the new Avengers movie which was very good with an unexpected ending.
    *Planted an heirloom leaf lettuce, heirloom/open pollinated romaine lettuce, beets and Swiss chard in one of the raised garden beds on Saturday.
    *DD’s friend mentioned she was in need of some clothing. I had bags of DD’s old cloths that didn’t fit (her friend is smaller in size). I went through them and pulled items for her to try on. She picked out the ones she liked and fit well. She took home a garbge bag full of clothing for her and some men’s T-shirts for her brother. I saved some sheets to use as fabric for sewing projects. The rest were rebagged and put directly into my vehicle for drop off at a thrift store. It feels really good to finally let go of all those bags and help someone out at the same time.
    *Cut my bangs to extend time between haircuts. I need my hair long for the summer as I am required to put my hair in a bun for my job at the pioneer village.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s accomplishments. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

  10. How lovely the nursery folks offered you the lilac at great savings. I’m sure they appreciate your business, and the beautiful garden oasis you’ve created in the desert. Reading about your week, I kept thinking how amazing you are, doing all these things after you’ve just had a baby. I have some nasturtiums blooming, which make me smile and think of you. As with everyone else, I look forward to seeing your little boy, and hearing what you decide to name him.

  11. Spring has finally arrived, which means garage sale season has begun! I’m determined to be very careful this summer and not buy more than I need. I spent a whopping $3.50 this weekend and bought a bundle of 5 (2 pairs and a spare!) new garden gloves, a new pair of nylons, an Auto-Bridge (solitaire bridge) game from 1957 in near-new condition, a summer skirt, and 5 spools of ribbon.

    I realized yesterday that I went over my grocery budget during April but I got some great bargains that will carry us through May and likely beyond. So this week I won’t buy more than a few basics, then see how long I can go without grocery shopping this month. I have some spinach, bok choy, and radishes in the cold frame doing well so that will give us some more fresh vegetables.

    My favorite buy of the week was a bag of Godiva chocolates for $2 at the scratch and dent store. They had such a large quantity they wanted to get rid of them and marked them down that day from $9.99. I looked them up later to find them listed at $22 on Amazon. 😀

  12. This week I got ready for my trip to the West Coast to visit daughter for a week by making ahead 6 days’ worth of freezer meals with list and directions for hubby and son while I’m gone. That will ensure that they don’t just get take-out because they don’t know what to make at the last minute! Everything to make these meals was in my pantry!!!

    I bought tomato, cucumber, lettuce,parsley and zucchini plants-4 packs were 89 cents each! Next weekend , on their big annual sale, the 4 packs will be 69 centsbut, unfortunately, I will be gone! I spent $17 but for the number of plants I got (more than 68 because I looked for 4 packs that had “extras” in them!!), it will help me have plants going sooner than if I had to wait until my return to plant!
    Sold another 2 dozen eggs! Made 11 ham, cheese, egg breakfast rolls on some free Asiago cheese rolls I was given!
    I made 13-1/2 dozen oatmeal raisin cookies- 5 dozen went for upcoming events that I will miss but wanted to support. The rest will be treats for hubby and son while I’m gone.
    I got a lot more finished on our extended brick walkway, using the bricks we got from Freecycle! I must say that it’s looking good!! It looks like we will have a fair number of bricks left over so we are starting to make plans for them too!
    It has been a very good week!!!

  13. Congratulations on your baby boy! I have been checking this blog daily to see if the baby had arrived!

  14. Over the weekend we rented a furnished 2 br apt in Vancouver for Sept 1 for DD as she is on a very long WL for residence where she stayed last year. We were able to find a furnished apt including alll utilities, close to UBC with a nice landlady and we only had to commit for the school year. It was within our budget and just nice to know there will not be a mad scramble at the end of summer, competing with thousands of other students in a tight, expensive market. She will share with one roommate. Unbelievably, the house containing the apt is worth 2.9 million dollars!!! Good grief, I really don’t know how people afford to buy a house there. Location, location, location I guess.

  15. Hi Brandy, so happy for your family and can’t wait till you post the baby update post! I’m so glad you persevere with the nursing although I’ve been reading several years now and can see that that would be your personality and conviction!

  16. Congratulations on your baby! I also had a baby the same week. His name is Alexander. When I got home I saved money by pulling things out of the freezer for hubby to bake/roast that I made in advance. We are struggling to curb our ordering out and I knew the postpartum time was going to be tempting. It’s much healthier to eat my own cooking as I cook leaner than local restaurants, plus gestational hypertension is easier to control by reducing sodium. Takeout is almost always high in sodium.

    Blessings on your family.

  17. This was an interesting week. I reported a few weeks ago that I had divided and transplanted plants at my old house and expected to go back this week to dig them up. I tried to get this in writing when we sold the house, but things got crazy and it didn’t happen. The new owners have been very difficult, apparently because the furnace died not long after they moved in (it passed their home inspection and we had never had any trouble with it in 20 years). They have now said, through their realtor, that I can’t have my plants. Some of these have sentimental value. I have decided to have nothing further to do with these people. If I just showed up with a shovel, they are the type that would call the police.

    My friends are coming to my rescue. Everybody seems to have a little bit of something in their garden to share for our new house (it will be finished around the 4th of July). And my best friend, who lives in Portland (I am in northern Idaho) invited me to come the first week of June to sew with her and dig plants. She has a beautiful garden and some of the plants I lost came from her 20 years ago! My DS did not get what I was so upset about. But my DDIL did, and she told me they would be giving me plants for Mother’s Day. When we go to Portland, we will be staying with DH’s cousin.

    On the frugal side, I’ve been taking care of my perennial seedlings (columbines, lupines and balloon flowers) and the packaged bareroot hostas I got at Costco for about $1.29 per plant.

    I paid my bills online and saved $2 in postage. We got a propane delivery and the price was .20 less per gallon than the last time. This saved us nearly $50 on heating and cooking fuel.
    We had 4 no-drive, no-spend days…but on one of the drive days, we bought a new Honda Pilot (the basic model), which was anything but frugal. (Our minivan was parked all winter because it was no good in snow). I’m sure this will be our last car, since we are in our early 70s, and don’t plan to replace the pickup when the wheels fall off! (That is normally how long we drive a vehicle). We wanted to get Weather Tech mats and a trailer hitch. I found a $500 Groupon for $249!

  18. Congratulations on your new baby! Best wishes for continued good health for you and your new baby boy.

  19. My husband was so tempted to order pizza one night, but I helped him with ideas to cook for dinner that night of things we had. He was finding it hard to keep up with the cooking, so I was very glad when some people brought by meals three days after the baby was born.

  20. Maxine, I’m sorry you didn’t get to get your plants. I think you are going to end up with some wonderful new plants, though! I often wish I had dug things from my old house; the owners covered everything in rocks and hundreds of bulbs were just wasted. I mostly wish I had dug the David Austin roses, which I imagine are dead now (they tore out all of the front landscaping–everything–grass, trees, bushes, etc.) and I don’t think the back fared much better.

    I have a beautfiul garden now, so I know things will work out for you, too!

  21. Congratulations to your oldest daughter! The extra effort she put forth in her academic endeavors, as well as participation in extra-curricular sports, is paying off handsomely in tuition awards, isn’t it? Keep up the good work!

  22. I’m amazed at how much you get done every week and now with a new baby to boot? Incredible!

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons whenever possible. This week, I found free cold medicine, free toothpaste, free avocados, free Vivarin, bread for $0.49 a loaf, free Loreal lipstick and more. On Saturday, we went to a free pet party at PetSmart and received a bunch of samples. All of my deals with price breakdown and pics here:

  23. I’m so happy for you! The suspense is killing me regarding his name! I’ve been checking here and Instagram several times a day in anticipation! Wishing you all the health and happiness in the world!

  24. Brandy, I think it’s great you wait until after your baby is born and get to know him/her before you pick a name! It makes the naming seem more special to me.

    Living frugally in urban Seattle:

    -Awesome weather week. No driving except for to my robotics classes and my son’s faraway Saturday track meet. I took the bus downtown to meet my husband for a work event and I figured out why he prefers to bike. There are some crazy things happening on that busline! Biking is free and great exercise, so that is fine by me, even if it takes him longer to get home.

    -We get one tiny compost bin from city of Seattle (probably the size of a medium-sized garbage can? One you might have in a small kitchen) to put all of our food scraps and compostables for the week, which is fine until we need to do yardwork. We are charged $6/bag to put out additional compost (plus cost of the compostable bag). So when I trimmed our cherry tree and did some weeding, I had a huge pile of yard debris that Ive been trying to get into our compost without paying extra. A neighbor told me that the city would take tree branches cut and tied a certain way for free. So I spent part of my Saturday doing that. It will be great to get them out of my yard! While I was weeding our side yard, which faces a busy street, a guy approached me with his business card and said, “You need a MEXICAN to do that!” I just shook my head because I am MARRIED to a first-generation Mexican. He is a very hard worker, but more of the work-on-my-laptop variety of hard worker.

    -A neighbor gave me all of her ripe bananas, so I made a ton of banana bread to eat and freeze. My kids love it and its great to eat for dessert, breakfast or even stick in a lunch.

    – I gave away several pieces of nice furniture which we don’t want to take on our move to our Buy Nothing neighborhood group. They were popular items this week on the site – I was happy to give back considering everything our family has received from this group of neighbors over the years. We have a really nice Pier One bench next to our bed that I bought several years ago, before I was so frugal, but one of the doors broke several years ago, so Saturday I pulled off both doors and all the screws, touched up the paint and added some fabric baskets to the shelf. It looks great! But I still don’t anticipate needing it for our new house so I will give that away too.

    – I got more free moving boxes from a neighbor and a few more at my neighborhood Trader Joes. Apparently they keep an area in front full of giveaway boxes that I must have passed a hundred times without seeing over the years???

    – I bought two shirts and a pair of pants from the REI garage sale, with a 25% coupon. With all discounts, I paid $40. It’s been awhile since I bought any new clothes and I typically only shop at thrift shops. But I’m trying to be smarter and more strategic with my clothing purchases….buying only high quality things that will last and that I love, whether it be from a thrift store, garage sale or retail store. It is hard to sometimes predict what will last and look good over the years, but I think I’m getting better at it. I probably won’t buy retail (even highly discounted retail) again for awhile, but no regrets on these purchases!

  25. Brandi can’t wait for pictures of the baby. Last week was less than frugal…washing machine $279 to fix… daughter fell off bike and I thought she broke her arm $160 ER visit. Other than that I was under budget. Hopefully this week will be more frugal. My husband and I are headed with the kids to Florida in two weeks. I talked him into a hotel half price over what he wanted. Also informed him I would be packing our breakfasts, lunch, and snacks. We are lucky to have a friend to get us into Universal Studios FREE!

  26. How wonderful that you were able to obtain another lilac at such a good price.
    I made 2 pints and 5 half-pints of strawberry jam from the strawberries I bought on sale last week, and a half gallon of strawberry ice cream.
    I cut arugula and lettuce from the green house for salads, and shared some with a friend.
    I baked sandwich bread and made granola. I turned some bread ends that were going stale into bread crumbs.
    I cut daffodils from the yard to display in the house.
    I used collected rainwater to water plants.
    I hung clothes out to dry.
    I gifted a friend who has been ill a jar of homemade strawberry jam and some lettuce, presented in a gift bag I had saved.
    When I was in town running errands, I really wanted to take my dirty car through the car wash. Instead I came home and washed it myself a couple of days later, saving $9.
    A wind storm last week brought down two trees in the park in our neighborhood. My husband obtained permission to cut the trees for firewood. Our goal this year is to not have to buy any firewood and so far we are well on our way to meeting that goal.

  27. Congratulations on your baby boy!
    This week I was especially happy that I read the fine print and am willing to slog through to find buried forms online. We switched to a different, cheaper medical plan for supplemental insurance (retired federal employee plans) now that we are on Medicare and in researching it I found that they reimburse up to $600 per person for Medicare costs. I sent in all the paper work and as of this week we have that $1200 in our account.
    This hardly seems frugal as it is turning out so tasty. I have both buttermilk and cream to use up after making a special chocolate cake to take to an elderly aunt & uncle. I did freeze the cream in ice cube tray portions but have come up with a buttermilk banana bread, buttermilk and cream spinach quiche and will also do buttermilk pancakes. I also learned to make enchilada sauce which came out delicious.
    We went to a free artist’s studio open house and really enjoyed talking to various artists. Only brought home a free postcard.
    We had to replace a plant in our small patio bed and found one on sale.
    I agree to cat sit for a neighbor who will not let anyone do it for free. She was insistent so I will use the money to treat us.

  28. Containers of soft cream cheese with a use by date of the day I shopped were a quarter each at Dollar Tree. I bought two. I thought I was going to be using them in cheesecake but then I read online that sometimes the soft cream cheese makes grainy cheesecakes. We used one-half of one container for cracker spread and felt spoiled.The next day, I doctored up a lemon bar mix by adding the rest of the soft cream cheese and four ounces of yoghurt instead of water. It was delicious and not the least bit grainy.

    My mom hates drinking cool coffee. Consequently, she wasted about 2/3 of every cup she made.
    Since she alsonneeds to up her fluid intake, tossing all those cups away was a problem for both her purse and her bloodstream. I turned Microsoft Bing points into Walmart gift cards into a 17-watt mug warmer. So far, so good. She might not drink more coffee but she will be spending much less on making it.

    We enjoyed pizza when one pizzeria had a $3 special.

  29. I always try to find the ones that have extra plants. My dad taught me that when I was a kid. Have a great time at your daughter’s house.

  30. Margaret, you can keep milk-based dishes from burning/scorching in the pan to start with by first allowing an ice cube to melt in the bottom of you kettle, just sitting there at room temperature. Then add your ingredients and cook as usual.

  31. Congratulations on the new addition to your family, Brandy.

    My frugal accomplishments are as follows:

    – I sold two items on Ebay.

    – Renewed my subscription to Cooking Light with points earned through Pinecone Research. I also made two recipes from a previous CL magazine and liked them a lot.

    – Paid close attention to the weather and watered my vegetable garden seedlings when needed.

    – I cut a bouquet of azaleas from the garden and cut some lemon balm which I added to our dinner salad.

    After 19 years in the same house, we are preparing to put the house on the market. Our children are now raised and the time seems right to downsize. This has meant cleaning out many closets and attics. Hard to believe how much has been languishing behind those closed doors, yet there have been frugal lessons along the way …

    – In one attic I found $7.75 in change.
    – Also found many pens, pencils and drawer organizers. I selected a few that I can use and donated the rest.
    – I have been staying home a lot to work on this project. When I do find myself in a store, I am only interested in buying necessities. After dealing with so much stuff at one time, I aim to live with much less in the next house.
    – I filled a box with unwanted cords and electronic items. Much of this was left by my sons. They no longer want it and I have no idea what half of it is. I recently learned that Staples will accept this type of stuff and then recycle it so, my husband delivered it there yesterday.
    – I have sold what I can at local consignment shops and donated or recycled as much as possible.

  32. Congratulations on your new baby boy. Our little guy (#8) is already 6 weeks old and time is just flying! I don’t usually think of the frugality aspect of breastfeeding, but I can only imagine how much it would have cost to buy formula for all my children. Thankfully, I don’t have to work as hard at it as you do!
    We didn’t accomplish anything exceptionally frugal this week….just normal things.
    I have been working on my children’s clothing inventory so that I know exactly what we need (clothing, shoes, & outerwear) for the next couple of years. We have one thrift shop where most items are $0.50 or less and 2 others that each have $5 bag sales one week each month. I plan to go to each store once per month. Those prices are lower than garage sales in our area and less hectic with 8 children in tow.

  33. Congrats to you and your family on the new baby boy!! So exciting.
    We went to the beach cabin this weekend to mow our lawn there. It was really over-grown but my husband got it cut and I weeded and spruced things up and it now looks so much better.
    While he was mowing, I went down to the local cafe to purchase 2 bowls of clam chowder for our lunch. I thought we deserved a treat after all the yard work. I was blown away as the woman in line ahead of me paid $70 for lunch for her and her husband. Nothing fancy- two orders of fish and chips, chowder and two beers. Wow! I left with nothing but my two bowls of chowder and took it home and my husband drank a coke from the fridge with his and I drank water.
    I am so happy to say I have a nice full pot of basil growing in my greenhouse now (started from seed). I can clip a bit at a time and use for meals as needed. I plan to start another pot of basil soon and hope to have enough to make pesto for the freezer for the winter.
    I bought ingredients to make my own weed killer for our yard and for our son’s yard. Ingredients are vinegar, salt and Dawn dish soap. My son will use in his driveway and walkway and I will use for our driveway and front gravel path. This is very effective and only has to been done twice a year and keeps all weeds out. Much cheaper and environmentally safer than some commercial products.
    I have been watching some excellent gardening shows on Netflix.
    I had the cutest brown bunny right on my patio last evening but then he went into my planter and started eating away -darn Peter Rabbit had to be chased away.

  34. I can’t believe how productive you are after just having a baby!

    My Frugal Accomplishments include…
    ..making deer steak stir fry for a couple meals. The deer steak was from a deer I had killed last year. I used peppers and onions that I had frozen from the garden last year. All I had to use from the grocery store was a cup of rice, a dash of soy sauce, and a few seasonings. Made for a pretty cheap meal!
    ..Picked asparagus and rhubarb from the garden. Our rhubarb is doing exceptionally well. I have chopped up and frozen 8 cups, plus 4 cups that I used to make rhubarb dream bars. On top of that, I shared about that much again with my grandma. Not bad for it only being it’s second year!
    ..Planted some items from seed, which was cheaper than buying transplants.
    ..Found a few mushrooms in the woods near our house. I will make them with supper tonight.
    ..bought some plants for the garden while they were on sale. A local farm store had 4 packs of plants on sale for 69 cents. I already had everything I needed for the garden, but I did buy some flowers for my pots. I also bought some petunias and marigolds to plant in the garden to deter bugs. I also bought basil and mint.
    ..cut some Lilacs from my grandma’s bushes to enjoy indoors. She has 8 lilac bushes around her house. When they are in full bloom, you can smell them the minute you step out of the car. They are beautiful.
    ..did not go out to eat at all this weekend. We usually go once a weekend, but we skipped this weekend.
    ..skipped my weekly coffee treat last week.
    ..did not go to church this weekend, which saved us gas and the offering. But I honestly would’ve rather went to church. We haven’t missed a Sunday since Jan 28th.
    ..paid our mortgage online saving a stamp, check, and envelope. We also paid extra towards the principal to reduce interest.
    ..asked my grandma to mend 4 shirts for me that had holes in them.
    ..made some extra money from my online store.
    ..ate lunch that was provided a work today for teacher appreciation week. The PTO served us soup today. Tomorrow they are bringing in pizza and Wednesday they are bringing donuts for breakfast. Also on Wednesday, our Board of Education is grilling pork chops for teachers. I am taking a personal day Friday to watch my sister graduate with her Masters Degree, so I will only have to come up with lunch one day this week! 🙂

    I’ve only spent $8.13 on groceries so far this month. We are out of a few things, but I told my husband to make due. I wasn’t going to be in town this weekend, so I didn’t want to make a special trip. I have to go to town tomorrow evening, so I will get a few staples then. The local bulk food warehouse has a $10 off a $35 purchase coupon going on right now. So I might make a trip there to get a few things. You can’t really go there with a list because you never really know what they are going to have, but you can find some great deals.

  35. Beth thank you for your encouragement 🙂 , but sadly I don’t have a blog as I am so busy doing everyday things and caring for my husband.

    If you want any of the recipes from the above I am happy to provide them to you here. We slice our fruit in the food processor and make our jam in the bread making machine.

    Have a great week 🙂 .

  36. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see the post:)
    We ate all meals at home using ingredients we already have in the pantry, fridge, or freezer. I took my breakfast, snack, lunch and coffee to work with me and drank free water or coffee while at work. I made zucchini muffins and power balls for snacks this week, along with fresh fruit in the fridge. Our 6th wedding anniversary was last week so my husband made my favorite dinner, orange chicken, from scratch.

    I accepted a flash drive from a co worker filled with audiobooks. All i had to do was copy them onto my laptop and give her flash drive back. I also received 1 free audiobook from Audible.
    I downloaded a free kindle book
    I started seeds in my breezeway and planted onions, garlic chives, dill, and several varieties of flowers outside.
    I made more whipped body butter
    That is all I can remember. Have a great week!

  37. Ellie’s Friend, you can make the weed killer with just straight vinegar & it will work, although adding a squirt of the dish soap will make it stick better. I never add the salt, because it is not good for the soil. Remember in the classics when Odysseus was judged as mad for sowing his fields with salt? The ancient Romans also salted the fields of those they conquered, to keep them from being able to grow food.

  38. Hi Marivene,

    thanks a lot. really interesting about Romans salting the fields of their vanquished! Ann

  39. Kim, we are in the process of downsizing. I know exactly what you are going through! We sold our house last fall and have been living in our vacation home while we have a new home built. I didn’t have a yard sale…too much work, and the wrong time of year. I advertised stuff on craigslist and sold about $2,700 worth and donated the rest. If you read my other comment, you know about the new owners refusing to let me come back for plants I had set aside. Moral: anything you want that is out of the ordinary needs to be in writing!

  40. Women’s bodies are just magical that we can grow babies and then make food for them. I’m so glad the pumping solution works for you Brandy. I’m thinking this must have the added benefit that other family members can give the baby his bottle.

    Here are my fruggles for the week:
    • Washed plastic bags to reuse
    • Used a 40% Michael’s coupon to purchase one paint marker to expand my collection
    • Returned an item to Walgreens that I didn’t need
    • Made swag goal x 5
    • Picked daffodils from my garden and left May Day posies on the doorsteps of five neighbors in the wee hours of the morning – no cost to me other than time….and some sleep.
    • Made lemon asparagus risotto, pad thai, rhubarb crisp, and black beans & rice
    • Used a $25 grocery store rewards gift card that I had earned to stock up on meat and chicken

  41. Oh my, you are right back in the saddle! It seems you do not rest much after giving birth. Congratulations on the birth of your little guy!

  42. I cut my Husbands hair and like you it was 2 days of cooler weather and no AC and patio doors open! I have been educating myself on YT on how to shop for almost free at CVS for non food items.. I am doing pretty good at and now blessing my Daughter and her family with some items too. (they live in Oregon and its very expensive there). I learned to make pita bread instead of buying them and was very pleased at how well they turned out. Took my golf cart to pilates class last week instead of driving so I was saving on gas. I also was blessed with a sourdough starter from a snowbird from Idaho. He gave me a few pointers and last week I made pancakes with it. They came out so fluffy! Next I tried biscuits.. Very light ! I also regularly make homemade tortillas and said why not try with the sourdough? They came out yummy ! You can see the photos on IG as Living Planning Doing! Glad to hear your milk came in and on a side note, my DD who just had her baby in October was having problems with him not gaining weight.. Come to find out she has NO fat in her milk whatsoever.. She had to give him formula to plump the little guy up.

  43. Congratulations on your new addition! Enjoy this time. As you know, they grow up too fast.

  44. It sounds like you are recovering from the baby’s birth. I’m glad to hear you did not cook last week. Go hubby! I’m so happy for you, that you have a new little one to cuddle and hold.

    This past week, I got a lot of free things from the Safeway Monopoly game. The checkers were giving out stacks of the pieces to everyone, and on Saturday night, a woman gave my daughter a HUGE amount of tickets because she enjoys playing the game. So, yesterday, I redeemed the coupons I had been saving and received aspirin, tomato sauce, French bread, gravy mixes (which they were out of and I was told I could have any other gravy mix I wanted, so I got gluten-free), bagels, sour cream, yogurt, animal crackers, a can of corn, and have a Redbox movie coupon. I also had a coupon loaded to my app for a free meatless entree, which I got for my daughter. It was normally $4.99. I hope to go redeem the coupons I got yesterday tonight or tomorrow and get one more stack of them before the game is over.

    I also got my Fred Meyers freebies from the past 2 weeks and inexpensive items. One thing I bought there was 49c/package tortillas. I bought 5 packages and will use them in an upcoming brunch I’m helping with. In each store, I purchased a few things I needed anyway, or to store if they were an exceptional deal.

    I found a ham for $1.29/lb and got the items my niece and nephew will eat, since they were spending the weekend. I made the chicken-rice soup my nephew likes.

    My husband took my daughter’s senior pictures. A very few of the 200 or so he took are on my blog:
    There is some editing to do on a few, plus a lot of sorting and choosing. So many turned out well. I’m delighted. He has a knack for photography and we love that he can do it. He had broken his lens a while back, and was able to find a refurbished one on the internet for a good price, rather than purchasing a new one.

    I worked in my garden for 4-1/2 hours Saturday morning. There is still a lot to do, but it was amazing that I got that much time in one day to be out there. Boy was I sore!

    I gave my sister and my aunt tomato plants that I had grown in the greenhouse. I planted 18 of them in my garden, too. Tomorrow, I plan to plant a couple at my sister’s house in pots on her deck. I still have a few left, but think I’ve found homes for most of them. I still need to plant my pear tomato and my chocolate cherry plants, peppers, and a lot of seeds.

    I have worked many, many extra hours this past week.

    I bought 2 new sets of sheets with 40% off the clearance price. One set is twin, and one set is King for us. Mine are in very bad shape, as was the pair on the kid’s bed who gets it. I have a yard sale list, and hope to pick up at least 1 more twin set there. But, since I only paid about $8 for the brand-new twin set, I wonder if I will beat that by much, even at a yard sale. I would have bought 2 twin sets, but they didn’t have 2 in twin size, and I only needed 1 in King size.

    I cooked many items this week, including pulled pork, chicken-rice soup, pizza, sandwiches, and more.

  45. Congratulations on your new little one! Your positive spirit and industriousness are an inspiration, and I so enjoy your writing each week. I hope you have a fast recovery, and get the rest you deserve.

    *I enjoyed many hours in the garden preparing seeds and transplanting seedlings. This year we are again growing: fava beans, Edamame, bok choy, kale, lettuce, lemon balm, mint and spearmint, lavender, blueberries, apples, spinach, peaches, onions, leeks, garlic, radishes, snap peas, asparagus, potatoes, chamomile, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries in our backyard in zone 5.
    *We had a garage sale for three hours last weekend that earned us a little over $100 which should allow us to get some needed items at other garage sales this summer.
    *I enjoyed two ebooks from the library including Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
    *I shopped a case lot sale at our local Safeway last week and for $30 I bought a 30pk case of paper towels, a case of black beans, a case of canned sweet corn, two large beef roasts, and canned artichoke. I also earned 42 monopoly tickets which allowed me to get 4 free aspirin bottles, 6 tomato sauces, 3 free bagels and I won $5. The clerk noted that I saved more money than I spent. It was nice to stock up and get the best prices I could. I never would have done this if it wasn’t for this site and making a price book!
    *i donated all our garage sale leftovers to the thrift shop for a tax receipt.
    *We had a terrible wind storm with winds at 70mph! It tore down a large juniper branch in our backyard and rather than hiring the job out (like my neighbor) I used a hand saw and loaded up the debris in our pickup for a run to the local yard waste center saving $280 (what my neighbor paid for his).

    All in all a frugal week. I do have a question for the group: does anyone have a frugal dishwasher detergent (powder or gel) that they buy or make? I have an old dishwasher and the great value brand at Walmart is no longer stocked where I live and they are out of stock online. Thank you for any ideas! Have a great week.

  46. Brandy , I am so happy you shared the news about you and the baby. Naming children in our family was a huge to do. It almost caused riots. Mine were all named two weeks after delivery. Those were some of the hardest decisions I ever made. I can’t wait to hear his name and anticipate it will be spectacular. I sent you an email. We managed a frugal week for the most part. I made a new price list and used it to buy our supplies for the month. Each item was purchased at salvage or at the lowest price possible. I have recently found my small alottment of spending money for the month wasn’t lasting all month After checking all my bills, I came across several surprise , sneaky fees that were showing up in various places. 30.00 worth. I immediately cut those that I have control over. My budget is set in stone and to accommodate any price increases something has to be cut back . It is imperative that I stay on budget so I can build my savings for emergencies. I cashed in some Swagbucks and used some for gifts. Babies, graduation and Mothers day. It is always so nice to bless friends and family. Sugar cookie spent time searching for each perfect gift. We utilized free shipping where we could and packing supplies from home. I used brown Aldi’s paper bags and package tape . Quite frugal . I shared a bag of food with a needy couple . I have started couponing for baby items for my son’s bestfriend. The few pennies spent will alleviate the stress on him while he finishes college. I miscarried 13 times and truly believe there are only blessings in the addition of a child. Timing is off, but love abounds. I was blessed in an interesting way this week. My house sits on a 5 sided lot. The new neighbor put up a new fence down our shared property line. This is something I had planned on doing. That length was $500.00 worth. The remaining segment will cost me less than a hundred. I wish it was a privacy fence but I will take the blessing and be happy with it. Yesterday, I wanted to buy a loaf of bread but my local store was selling it for almost $6.00. I just refused to pay that. Today, while out at the local thrift store, a church van pulled up. The lady said their mission had way to much bread from the local bread company and to take anything I wanted. Oh my gosh, sugar cookie was so happy. She got raisin bread and hotdog buns. I got four lives of organic sprouted seeded bread. I will put them in the freezer and I was so happy. Blessings come from some strange places. The lady said the bread truck arrived on Fridays at 2 pm and to please come anytime even if we didn’t need other food. I had an epic failure this week. While college girl was home, we went to visit my dad. We took her puppy with us. Puppy and I came home with 9 million fleas and bites. ( dad swore he never had been bitten) . Puppy and I have now had 4 flea baths. I sprayed my mattress and foundation. All bedding was washed and dried at laundry mat at high temperatures. Pillows too. Fogged bedroom tonight. Bought puppy 30.00 flea pill . If it would make me stop itching , I would have bought me one too. Those critters have ate me up. I must have 200 bite marks. I have tried every treatment I could Google. I may be allergic.I just refilled my prescriptions so since my visit was only 3 days ago, I can go back with no additional payment. Meanwhile, dad needs to not be stubborn and take care of his issue. I cannot go back over there. 10 people there that day and I was the only one bothered by them. It must be that I am extra sweet.

  47. You should be very proud of your daughters! I have 12 yrs old daughter (the eldest) and I know her holiday “plans”… aarrrrrgh! 🙂

  48. Here where we live in Europe we have 1 month time after birth to give baby a name officially. Most people take 2-3 weeks. I had 4 weeks! Maybe 1 couple out of 20-30 have name ready before the child is born…

  49. I was in bed for almost a week! My husband and daughter cooked, we were given meals three days that provided leftovers for lunches and other dinners, my husband did the haircuts and got the fridge, my son unloaded and moved items from one fridge and freezer to the other, and the same son picked the mulberries. I only ran a couple of short errands at the end of the week (stores are only 5-7 minutes from home) and ventured as far as the backyard to cut flowers for a few minutes over two mornings to cut flowers.

  50. These are actually from the last few weeks – I just haven’t had much time to post since Spring is finally here!
    **We found 2 anchors for our project boat at a barn sale for 1/4 the price of new. I also found a vintage “Swing-a-way” jar opener which will prove useful – my hands have lost a lot of strength over the last year and are always stiff and sore. I also picked up a antique camping stove lighter. It wouldn’t spark but I knew there had to be a way to replace the flint – nothing back then was made to be thrown away. My husband found the storage area on it and it still had one flint – he replaced it and now it works! I only paid a $1 and according to Ebay I could turn around and sell it for $25! We won’t – we’ll keep it for our bus RV.
    **Since the barn sale was near the HUGE greenhouses, we stopped there to pick up the veggie plants that hubby wanted. I lost a night of sleep though worrying about them freezing in the greenhouse over night – it was “severe clear” and got quite cold early in the night. The plants we bought were just fine – but all my started peppers and tomatoes were not 🙁 so I replanted all of those that I still had seeds for. I now have in the greenhouse: tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, cantaloupe and multiple types of squashes and pumpkins, basil, oregano, cilantro, sage, lemon grass, rosemary and for fun one peanut plant (LOL) + sweet william, marigolds, zinnias and sunflowers as well. The peas have been moved outside and all the sprouted potatoes from the pantry are in the ground. I also planted carrots and radishes with seeds I already had.
    **In order to keep some heat in the greenhouse overnight, I collected juice and milk jugs, filled them with water and spray painted them black using paint I already had. Those now line the south wall and heat up nicely in the day and then release the heat slowly throughout the night.
    **I repaired my son’s hammock chair – the fabric was beginning to rip out in the pressure spots. I also repaired a rip in my Jeep’s seat cover.
    **I used paint I already had to repaint my sewing room shelves and moved a dresser no one was using into the room to use for more storage. I also painted my magazine holders with paint I already had to better match the room’s color “scheme”.
    **We used 2 coupons from our pet stores loyalty program to purchase the dog’s and cat’s food saving $15 + the dog food bag had a coupon on it for free 3 cans of their wet food which I added to their BoB for emergencies.
    **We bought 40# of boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.19 a pound. I vac sealed it all but then had to make room in the freezer 🙂 So I canned raspberry jam and cooked 2 whole chickens in the crockpot. I still have to make the strawberry jam. (I freeze berries in the summer when it is too hot to be running a canner in the house and then can during the fall, winter or spring months) We also picked up burger for $1.69 a pound and NY steaks for $4.99 a pound (had to buy the whole loin and then the butcher cut it however thick you wanted). The steaks will be for a couple special dinners with our parents. We also purchased 5 pounds of legs for .29 cents a pound – and they are BIG legs, not the really small ones they usually have!
    **I took a huge pile of stuff to Goodwill and got the receipt for a tax writeoff.
    **Due to increasing nerve issues in my arms (worse in left than right) I had an x-ray and then an MRI of my neck. I now know why it’s happening and have started physical therapy to try and correct the muscle weakness which may be contributing to it and I wear splints on my hands/wrists at night which has helped tremendously. When doing the MRI they also found a nodule on my thyroid so I had an ultrasound for that – there is actually 6 nodules but they are nothing to worry about at this time. Unfortunately – like another poster said – I don’t know how much longer I will be able to do my job as it is very physical with a lot of lifting and bending at a level that puts a pretty big strain on my neck and shoulder muscles. For now, we are going to try getting by on just his and my own disability checks to see if we can actually make it on just those. It will be tight but I know we have many areas we can cut back in (unfortunately, he won’t cut cable as TV and internet gaming are his only “hobbies” :/ )
    **I picked up the black raspberry and blueberry bushes I wanted on sale.
    **I repaired my garden fence’s top rail with 2 pieces of a pallet which meant I only had to buy 2 more pieces to finish the project.
    **I clipped all the dog’s nails again which saves $30 over having a groomer or the vet do it.
    **I repaired a huge pile of dog “stuffies” and when my daughter went thru all her old stuff she gave them 2 more.
    **We went to the YMCA’s annual “white elephant” sale and found a new drapery rod for over our new living room windows – Now I just need to make the drapes. We also found 2 leather chairs, planting pots, upholstery fabric for the boat and carpet for the boat. I also found 3 tank tops in colors to go under blouses I already own.
    **Our new windows were installed which should help with energy bills – the huge front one that our bigger Dane put her butt thru has already made a big difference in the road noise and we paid a bit more to get the slider side windows so we could get better airflow. The old window over the kitchen sink was warped so bad it no longer sealed and was only a single pane – again we paid a bit more for that one to be a crank out and we chose the direction for it to open based on where the wind normally comes from.
    **I put my big canning pots up for sale – I can no longer lift them (and neither can my husband) so I’ll stick to smaller batch canning from now on. I will probably do the same with my pressure canners for the same reason. Dehydrating is much easier on my hands/wrists/arms and shoulders! I also will be putting my daughter’s toys she didn’t want up for sale and a bunch of items from my fabric stash. Unless the physical therapy helps my wrists hands and neck, I will also have to shutter my sewing business so most of the upholstery fabrics will need to go other than those for our personal needs.
    **Our 22 year old son was in a motorcycle accident with his girlfriend – someone pulled out right in front of him and he couldn’t avoid her. She was given a ticket – thank goodness for the people who stopped. He has a broken kneecap in three places and a complete ACL tear as well on his left leg. His girlfriend landed on him and though she was very banged up, she is okay. It could have been soooo much worse. He is in an immobilizer brace for now and has to wait 3-4 weeks for the ACL repair surgery. His bike, that he just purchased in January, is totaled but he had good insurance which paid for the bike and their gear (they were wearing all their protective gear which saved them from more injuries and severe road rash). He is now having to drive my Jeep to work because his little car is a stick shift. We found a walker for him to use to get in and out of the shower at a garage sale for $5 and small rubber backed rug for him to hop onto after he gets out of the shower (he has already slipped and fallen once :/ ) He is also talking to a lawyer to get his co-pays and oop costs for the medical stuff covered. He is really annoyed that his summer is effectively ruined and that he’ll have to take time off for surgery but very thankful as well that it wasn’t much worse – it was a huge relief to him that his girlfriend is okay (she may be “the one” – we love her too)
    **Since I lost my heavy lifter for the summer, I had to get creative to move my duck coop. I used PVC pipe we already have as “rollers”. It was a bit of work to get them under it each time (Had to use a 2×4 as a jack) but it rolled right across the pen perfectly and now I can start building the pond for them using materials I already have. The water will circulate thru 4 very large pots filled with lava rocks and cat-tails and rushes which should filter it and I am planning on having the pond discharge onto my raised beds whenever I have to drain it. Since ducks are so darn messy, I plan to build a deck around it using old decking from the kid’s play-set to keep them from adding too much mud and rocks to the water.

    I can’t wait to see the new baby photos and hear about his name! Congratulations 🙂

  51. I quit using our credit card to buy groceries and switched to shopping at Aldi instead of our local big box chain grocery store. I’d think that if I didn’t use all my allotted cash this week I could save it but I learned that any extra money at the end of the week had to be taken from the grocery/gas/doctor envelope to save or I’d just spend it. Out of sight out of mind works very well with the household money.

    Congratulations Brandy!

  52. I’m not sure of the validity of this, but I just read yesterday that primitive tribes ate quinoa to help increase their milk supply.

  53. Hi Melissa,
    Glad your son is ok- very scary! Where we live, I feel like traffic has gotten worse and I’m so disappointed when I look over at other drivers and see them staring down at their phones instead of driving safely.

    What kind of greenhouse do you have? We live in zone 5 and get heavy snow and wind but I would love a greenhouse!

  54. I’m a bit behind on posting, but finally made it to get one going. Our big news was that two of us passed the ARRL Technician licensing exam and are now “ham” radio operators. Woohoo! Hubby joined the ARRL and got a handful of freebies. I didn’t quite make it this time, so I’ve downloaded free resources to get through the next test successfully.

    We were also able to break the $100 mark on cash back on Ibotta – a decent chunk to put at the principal of the car note soon! YAY!

    Hope everyone has a good week!

  55. Brandy, congratulations on the new addition to your family! I can’t wait to hear what you name him!

    I don’t have too many frugal things this week, as we spent 4 days in Mexico with 2 other couples, but here are mine:

    • 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.
    • Worked 16 hours contract work and took my lunch the days I went in.
    • Kept the air conditioning as warm as I could stand it and used ceiling fans as often as I could.
    • Ate in most of the week except for Trivia night, where I used a $30 gift certificate we had won.
    • Paid a couple of bills online.
    • Got a few Ibotta rebates on items I was purchasing anyway.
    • Since I saw my Dad on Saturday and my sister helped with the errands he needed done, I didn’t go out to his place on Wednesday, so I saved on gas and the cost of his lunch.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  56. Hi

    I live in the UK and use the eco egg to wash fabric-really good value and good for the planet. They have brought out a dishwasher one on QVS here. Only reason I don’t have it is cost of p&p.

    I don’t know if you have ecoegg in the states but if you do ( and can find better p&p than I currently can) I think it is well worth buying. I may buy the dishwasher one soon and swallow the cost.



  57. Maxine
    I have hauled plants around 4 moves, my M & MIL have been gone for over 10 yrs. Alot plants I got from their yards and every year when they bloom or come up it is a gentle reminder of two sweet ladies whom I loved dearly. Over the years I have lost a few and reached out to her friends (whom she shared with) who gladly shared again. Her best friend told me not long ago that my mother gave her a book called Passalong Plants that gave a listing of the best most hardy plants to move. That was way before the internet, but she and I both share beautiful memories of M and her BFF. It is always a beautiful thing when a flower can represent so much. Keep moving your plants and I know that this Mother’s Day the new plants will have new memories.

  58. My mint is in the process of taking over about a quarter of my vegetable garden, so I would be happy to send you some in an envelope if you can’t salvage some from your parents. I have mailed it before (though not to Canada) and it survived just fine. I put a damp paper towel and plastic wrap around it and my friend planted it right away when it arrived. I’m near Buffalo NY so it wouldn’t have too far to go–just e-mail me if you need some.

  59. Welcome to Little Baby Simper! I’m hoping Mama can get some well-deserved rest. And how nice it will be for Octavius to have a little brother to pal around with. 🙂

    Can’t wait to see pictures!

    Blessings to your whole family.

  60. Do the children get a vote, or it is just you and your husband? (I would use “limited choices” if giving my children a vote under those circumstances–from two or three we were considering. Mine two were only 18 months apart so there was no help from the older one when the younger was born.)

  61. Maxine, thank you for the tip about putting things in writing. I will bear that in mind as we go along with our move. Just today I was working in my perennial garden and thought it might be nice to take some of the plants with me. I was sorry to read about your experience with your plants.

  62. I managed a couple frugal things in an otherwise expensive week. My husband supplied a large dental bill and we paid in advance for a summer trip we’re planning. My granddaughter broke the screen on her computer—well, her cat managed to help it fall and get broken—and she needed it for work so charged it to our joint account (mine & hers) because she was certain her insurance would cover it. It did not, despite her utmost efforts in that direction. So I’ll be paying that bill for the moment at least. We ate all meals at home although one included purchased subs. (We shared one.) I did a few surveys and won a $10 Amazon gc for one of them. I bought two sets of towels at Land’s End using their % off days, getting them for 50% of the regular price. I was worried about the color which looked very different between the catalog and the online photo, but they came and are exactly the color I wanted! I will wash them and use them a couple times before deciding if I want to order two more sets. I might just get out some other ones I already have that I’m less fond of and try using them for a while and see if I can learn to like them. Spring has finally arrived here, the trees are starting to get leaves, and all my spring flowers have bloomed almost at one time, from daffodils to tulips, at least. I planted three new alstromaria (will be shrubs, now are just roots) and have 5 columbines to add to the north side of the house as soon as I have time. Some beautiful days have been spent taking care of my husband–our fourth doctor appointment today finally yielded a diagnosis—shingles along the right side of his head to the very top. The diagnosis was complicated by only ONE blister breaking out, instead of the normal rash all along the nerve. It was one of the diagnoses we considered but were unsure of until today. He finally has (his third prescription) something that should work to relieve the pain! It will make him sleepy–which is already happening as he appears to be asleep and still chewing gum in his recliner at this exact moment! I’ve never seen anyone do both at the same time before.
    And my step-grandaughter in law should be having her baby by C-section at any moment. She went in to be induced yesterday (10 days overdue) and today they discovered a kidney infection and stones. They had to get some antibiotics in to her before the C-section could be done. She will be happy to have the baby but not so much the kidney stones!! Her 4th child and first C-section. Spring is time for babies everywhere.

  63. That’s so sweet of you Marcia! I’m pretty sure plants aren’t allowed to cross the border, but I really, really appreciate your offer! Thank you so much! I think that mint just doesn’t like growing on my balcony. But I’ll try again this year with a survivor of my parent’s garden. 🙂

  64. Brandy, sugar cookie told me tonight that she was positive that Octavius had a brother named Magnanimous. I asked her how she knew that and she said she watched them in a movie. He will be a super baby brother !

  65. I don’t know the brand – we have not been able to find ANYTHING on it – not even a manufacturing code. My hubby surprised me with it – it was free on Craigslist and he and my MIL went and took it down and hauled it home for me. I am THRILLED as I have wanted one for years but could never justify the cost. It has hard plastic sides and roof that sets into a metal frame. I had to repair where someone weed whipped around the bottom and put a new piece of plexi-glass in one section (Gorilla tape held up thru the entire winter and is still holding strong!) We are also zone 5 but we put it in a fairly protected area so the recent high winds didn’t harm it at all and it has a steep roof pitch so snow slides right off. This year is experimental but so far most things are doing well.

  66. Melissa, my DH is an old retired guy and TV addict. We were paying about $120 month for satellite and it was considered sacred. I got him to try streaming right after Christmas, and he has more choices than he ever had with DirecTV. This is what we are doing:

    We bought a digital indoor/outdoor antenna for $50 and installed it on the satellite bracket. You can get antennas for as little as $20, but we live 50 miles from the towers. We get 13 channels–the local and educational channels, plus some add-ons–all for FREE.

    We subscribe to direcTV NOW’s $35 plan and get all of the channels we got before except for sports. We don’t watch sports. You can get all of the sports channels in the $45 package. direcTV NOW sent us a free Roku stick so we could stream.

    From time to time, we have accepted offers for free streaming. The only one we have kept is Netflix, which I believe is $10.99 month. I paid $4.99 month for a couple of months for Acorn TV, so I could get my Brit fix.

    We have Amazon Prime and have access to their video library, some of which is free. When I order something from Amazon, sometimes I am offered a $1 credit if I will accept slower shipping. I have $4 credit at the moment, in case DH wants to watch some of their paid programming (in 4-1/2 months, he has done this once).

    I can’t believe how easy this is (the Roku remote is so simple even I can use it) or that we waited so long. My DS lives out in the sticks in Wyoming and they only have Netflix and Amazon Prime and they don’t feel deprived at all. (He accepted a direcTV NOW offer to watch the Olympics, then canceled). I hope this helps someone else.

  67. Another boy, how wonderful! We are looking forward to another grandchild this coming fall. Our eldest unfortunately miscarried her last pregnancy around Christmas time, but is pregnant again and so far, all is going very well. They don’t want to know the sex of their children before birth, making them a rarity in their crowd of friends and family. They also refuse to tell anyone what names they are considering, but they do have names picked out for a boy and a girl by the time of the birth.
    I planted our garden this past weekend, and we have had no rain since then, plus unusually high temperatures. I’ve been watering it — it’s a good thing we are on a well. I hope we can get a decent crop out of this. All the plants were started from seed, some of which was saved seed, so that saved us some money. I have been steadily trench composting for a year in the area that we planned to use for garden, plus I added worm castings from my worm farm made out of old buckets.
    It’s just over a month before my mission trip, and I have most of the stuff I need gathered up to pack. I’ll still need a few things, such as baby wipes — most bathrooms won’t be supplied with toilet paper, so we carry some sort of paper or wipes with us. I always watch for good sales on such things, as the time approaches.
    I repaired a couple of seams in a top before they actually separated. It’s a lot easier to fix when the threads first start to go.
    I found some items at the Walmart in the town where I work are actually cheaper than in the Walmart where I live.
    I cooked a chicken in the crock pot. I’ll make chicken salad and chicken soup from it. I probably will have enough left over to make a pot pie for two. I carved the breast meat off before I cooked it — I use that meat to make my husband’s favorite fried chicken tenders.
    With the dry weather, I’ve been able to hang out all of my laundry.
    I have taken my lunch to work every day for so long, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t.
    Congratulations on getting so much done with a new baby, and congratulations on successful nursing. I know that is a great relief!

  68. * We ate most meals at home. I sent my husband’s lunches with him every day.
    * We helped friends who were moving. My husband put in many hours of painting, and I headed up the cleaning crew. For the cleaning portion, I used our very economical cleaner. Most people there were amazed at how well it cleaned the floors, windows, and bathrooms.
    * I got a great deal on kale, spinach, and tomatoes at the co-op and used them to bring a salad to a potluck. My main course was also made from what I had on hand at home.
    * I purchased a big bag of flour at a decent discount to save me trips to the grocery store. My husband loves bread, and when I bring meals to clients or friends, I like to include a loaf of homemade bread.
    * I gladly kept windows open and blinds partially shut to keep the house cool.
    * I thankfully accepted an excellent hair cut at a very reasonable price (and tipped her well).

  69. It isn’t just TV – he needs high speed internet for gaming and it is bundled with our TV. Satellite isn’t an option for gaming – the lag time makes it impossible to play the fast paced MMO games. He also watches mostly shows on the high end channels – HBO, Cinemax, Showtime etc. Honestly,with all his health scares/issues over the last 2+ years, he can keep his entertainment. There isn’t much else to do if you are very limited in the amount of walking or standing you can do (nueropathy and a foot ulcer spot from diabetes that is currently healed but it wouldn’t take much to open it up again) + he also has nueropathy in his hands and heart damage (caused by chemo).

  70. Well that explains why William and Catherine wait to announce the name of their babies. How fortunate for us they don’t wait like the rest of Europe. We wouldn’t be able to stand it. LOLOL. Thank you for explaining that.

  71. My mom brought me some strawberries on sale, which we enjoyed. I got a couple of free snacks from work, for teacher appreciation day. Shared one with my dad. I bought a spiral ham for half off at Aldi, which I froze to use later this summer. I got a raincheck for the eggs on sale when the store was out. Once I finally got said eggs, my younger son somehow pulled them down out of the refrigerator when reaching for something. About one third cracked, but I managed to save as much as I could. Stocked up on salsa and tortillas at good prices. Ate pancakes at home when I really wanted to take the kids to get fast food. Bought gas at the cheaper gas station when I was nearby. Shared some baby formula samples with a friend with a new baby. Have been gathering up things for the consignment store and will start selling more on facebook and ebay when school gets out for the summer.

  72. Holly, same with me, I don’t like lukewarm drinks that are supposed to be hot. But I like to drink my beverage over a bit of time, not all at once. I have a little plug in mug hot plate that works well for me at work. I have access to a microwave but it’s not handy to my room. I wonder if that is what you bought her.

  73. Samantha, we buy Hytron brand from our farm store. It works best with our well water, which is softened, and we use only 1/2 to 1/3 of the recommended amount. It comes in a large tub and we just keep refilling the smaller tub that we originally bought it in. I think we have used it about 15 years.

  74. If you need another British fix, you can try a month of Brit Box for free. I didn’t like it as much as Acorn, but it had some shows Acorn did not. The costume drama on Tutankamin (I know I am misspelling it but I am too lazy to look it up) was very nice.

  75. Maxine – if you look at it from the prospective buyer’s perspective, taking out perennial plants/ shrubs/ bushes (not annuals) is akin to removing lighting or othe “fixtures” in the house! Perennials are considered “built-ins” and may have been one of the features buyers were buying!
    If there are perennials you want, it’s better to remove what you want BEFORE you list it for sale or even BEFORE you have any sales photos taken!
    Sorry, but we’ve had sellers strip the fixtures and landscaping and it’s really disheartening.

  76. I make the arancini in the oven. Sometimes, it blows a side out but it’s always a hit here, too. I always make extra for freezing or extra meals. It’s kind of messy to work with so I may as well make more!

  77. That’s hilarious! Kids sure think of the funniest things sometimes. What would be even funnier is if the new baby’s name was really Magnanimous. Guess we will all find out before long:)

  78. I bought 4 packages of Black Diamond cheese slices for half price. I also got three bunches of bananas for 49 cents each bunch (usually it would be about $2 per bunch or more). Today I went to the greenhouse I have known since I was a child. After being in business for 100 years, it has been sold to a developer. I bought 12 packages of seeds at half price and the geraniums, petunias, lobelia also at half price. I will have enough to plant 8 hanging baskets and several pots. I need a few fuchsias for the baskets. I did not go to the perennial section as I felt that I had no more money to spend and didn’t need any more since I had one to the flat sale for 3 years. That is when I got a flat of 8 itoh peonies for $16.00. and that year I bought 22 Itoh peonies (for $2 each). Today they were $35 each at half price. So I was so glad of my previous purchases with unbeatable bargains and lament that there will be no future flat sales. I would have liked to get a few honeysuckles. The hummingbirds love them. My neighbor saw the first hummingbird two days ago. I put up my feeder yesterday. Today it is down by a quarter. i bought some scarlet runner bean seeds today as the hummingbirds love the red blooms.

  79. Brandy,

    The photo of your baby on instagram is beautiful. What a lovely baby! Ann

  80. Thank you. There are about 195 more to choose from, but those are some of the ones that caught my eyes right away. I need to get on that project, so we can have the invitations to her party made up and handed up. Almost every day, we are getting one in the mail from other seniors. It’s time!

  81. How thoughtful of you for the May Day posies! My mother and I used to deliver a small treat to our neighbors for May Day. I was surprised my coworkers had never heard of the tradition.

  82. Mable, was it EGYPT? We watched that on Netflix and it was really good. I especially liked the episodes about the discovery and translation of the Rosetta Stone.

  83. Congratulations on your baby boy. My Granddaughter’s birthday is also on April 27. She was 14. They grow up so fast. I enjoy reading your blog and all the comments people leave about how they have been frugal for the week. I already do a lot of the things they suggest, but I’m always on the lookout for something new. Since the weather finally got better I have been hanging out clothes, and opening windows. Hopefully my electric bill will go down since the furnace won’t be used much now.

  84. Thanks. Now someone used the abbreviation “DG” in a post…anyone know what that is? (I forgot which post or I would specifically ask that person)

  85. Melissa, your life sounds so busy. I am glad to hear your son and his girlfriend are doing well and healing.

  86. I am looking forward to seeing the baby picture and learning the name. Our new grandchildren, twins Daniel and Miriam are now one month old and they are doing wonderfully. My mother lives with my daughter’s family, and while she does not feel comfortable carrying them around as she is worried about falling, she is an extra pair or hands and an extra shoulder to rock and occupy one while the other is being tended. I go there (next door) every day as needed and went along to the baby checkups and we did a joint trip to the grocery store. Big sister Dora is now 2 1/2 and is pleased as punch with “her” babies.

    We did all the usual of cooking at home, using up the leftovers, washing out ziplocs, composting, recycling, hanging up some clothes to dry. Our snow has all melted, but a week after the snowstorm it started raining and raining, then we had 3 days of sun, then more rain. Everything has turned green, the trees budded out, my daffodils are blooming and so are some of the tulips. The stores have all optimistically opened up and put out their annual flower/vegetable displays. Last frost is 5-15 here. It is sunny and 61 now. We may get into the 70’s even next week.

    We have been moving the potted herbs and the lemon tree and the geraniums out onto the patio during the day when warm enough. The patio raised bed and pots have been planted with radishes, lettuce and spinach. I will wait another couple weeks for the tomato plants and pepper. They are on the south-east side of the house so they get lots of sun. In our large gardens, the rhubarb and asparagus are coming up. My husband brought in one meal of asparagus already. Our fields dried enough as we have sandy soil so we have put in the peas. A few more days of warm up and they will plant more seeds…beets, carrots, onion sets. Our tenants are helping so much and are handling all the seedlings growing in the makeshift greenhouse. Eliana went back to work at the egg farm just 1/2 day each week so I come over and my mother and I watch the babies Thursday afternoons (right now! They are sleeping and so cute.)

    Rummage sales are starting to appear here and there. I am looking for little kids ride-on toys to put in the garage and use when the grandchildren are here. Our drive is gravel but we have a very large garage apron and patio that they can play on. Anything I had like that from my own children was too worn out by the end.

    Oops, I should have knocked on wood or something…I hear babies. To be continued.

  87. Congratulations to you and your family on the birth of your baby boy. I am so happy for all of you.

  88. Jenny,
    I don’t know if they have this as an option where you live. But here in San Diego you can get left over concrete for a big savings. We graded and formed. Called the Concrete Company and told them we would like the leftovers from their jobs. You have to be ready to finish it. When my husband had a day off he would call them. It took a couple pours but saved us a lot of money.

  89. My husband and I had a downtown Seattle day last weekend. We took a couple different bus lines so your comment made me smile. Yes, there is some craziness going on! Just wanted to mention an idea about clothing – have you tried “Last Act” at Macy’s? It is an area in the store where everything is marked down 75 to 80%. I have found some new high quality items at little more than thrift store prices.

  90. Brandy, I am hoping you can share some help in the computer area. I remember reading recently about your computer dying and you getting a new one. My son is leaving for college this fall and I have been searching for the best deals and am shocked at all the prices out there. Any advice from anyone on how to get the best deal is greatly appreciated. MMCKMs

  91. Hi Athanasia, Thanks for this recommendation! I’m excited to try this, and I’m impressed by the price point. It will save me at least $50 a year and probably more if I use 1/2 the amount like you recommend. Thanks you so much!

  92. Hi Sheena, I haven’t heard of the eco egg for a laundry detergent before. I am using up the last of my laundry stash and was going to try Brandy’s recipe and price it out. The appeal of a $22 eco egg for 3 years of use is significant and I think I’ll give it a try! Thank you for your input!

  93. I’m so glad to hear that you’ve had great results with it even in zone 5. That is so encouraging! I hope to have one soon for a reprieve in the winters and a jump on our short growing season. That hubby of yours sounds like a keeper! 😀

  94. Ach, I need to proofread better….Dora is 1 1/2 not 2 1/2. They grow fast enough as is. By this summer nephew Henry and granddaughter Anna Joy will also be toddlers. So I’d like some ride on toys like scooters or trikes.

    At the grocer I bought more butter, lettuce, red salad potatoes, celery, half and half, baby wipes, cucumber, radieshes, bandaids, peanut oil, milk chocolate bars, marshmallows, Breyer ice creams 4 at 1.99 each, cottage cheese. Picked up the free item. Used sales and the electronic coupons. Bought 2
    gallons of milk and bananas at the gas station and picked up free coffee drink with reward card.

    Some of the food I remember making the last few weeks…cream of broccoli soup with frozen garden broccoli, spaghetti and meatballs. Regular and meatless meatballs. White bread and rye bread. Peanut butter cookies, banana cream pie, lemon bars, banana nut bread, chocolate pudding. Cheese pizza. Garlic bread twice ( I make it ahead of time and put in freezer). Husband’s back to fishing so we had grilled fish once and pan fried once. Coleslaw. Baked potatoes. Grilled cheese. Cheese and onion omelettes with hash browns.

    Went to a funeral with lunch after. Made donation to memorial. Johanna and Olivia drove home for the weekend so all of us were able to go to wedding shower of a church girl they grew up with. Nice lunch was served. We went in together on the present of bed pillows and pillow cover protectors off the registry and the Skip-Bo card game and the large size of M&MS . I won one of the prizes in the shower game we played—hand lotion .

  95. I went to the rock garden club meeting last night (first time in 6 months due to illness). I won one of the raffle prizes –– alas, not the gift certificate for plants at a greenhouse but instead a beautiful mug illustrated with Redouté roses. Redouté was a great botanical illustrator for Queen Marie Antoinette. His rose paintings are exquisite. This will be a great mug to use for starting the day!

  96. I suspected as much. We go back and forth a fair amount and plants and certain fruits are big on the no-no list. Right now we let our passports expire (not on purpose) so we need to remember to go get an enhanced license pretty soon or we’ll be confined to the US OF A all summer!

  97. Congrats on your beautiful new baby ❤️

    We’ve been plugging along doing the same things to save money. Frugal fail was all my seeds I started went kaput.

    Love reading everyone’s posts.

  98. Melissa, try looking up the android boxes on Amazon. They essentially turn your TV into a computer and allow you to stream just about any show or movie available, including current ones (no waiting for the current season to show up on Netflix…just watch the next day after it airs). The cost for the box is only a 1 time fee to buy the box (no monthly fees) and there are YouTube videos that will help you with installation, how to use it, etc. The fancy remote controls are not necessary…a cheap wireless mouse works great! If someone in your family is good with computers, they can help you out. It uses your high speed internet, so as long as you have that (which your husband wants for gaming anyways), you’re fine! We learned about this device from our computer guy and LOVE IT! Of course, another option is to connect a laptop to the TV and use that for streaming. Many of the streaming sites are free to download. Not sure how to do that myself, but I’m sure there are YouTube videos for that as well. I highly encourage you or your husband to do some research into this idea. It may save you quite a bit of money!!!

  99. Lorna, happy birthday you you. You picnic sounds like it was a delicious double celebration. Happy anniversary to you and you husband and I wish you many many more years together.

  100. That is going to be one busy Mama! I’ll bet she is ecstatic to have the help of her Grandma with 3 such young children:). What a blessing.

  101. I often win more than one prize at each meeting but usually give the second prize to be re-drawn so someone else can win. I know winning a mug isa very small thing but you are right that is seems more fun to use. Ann

  102. My granddaughters are twins 2 in March they are not allowed to do ride on toys , slides, sings anything but a play pen it’s really really sad. Almost all toys are taken they get very very upset! This same child raises children so that they are not allowed to do almost anything until they are almost four it is so odd and so sad. They do know all there abc , can count to 20 and are starting to read so I guess there is that.

  103. Congratulations on your new littlest one. I can’t wait to see what you name him. You pick such unusual and lovely names. I was wondering if you have found anything that helps with your diastasis. I’ve looked online but it seems everyone wants to charge for their knowledge.

  104. Yes, we have always been lucky to have 3 and sometimes 4 generations around in our households.

  105. Susan, that gross motor development with the climbing and running and working brains and limbs together is very important. Of course they will take a couple or more tumbles but as long as they are playing on age appropriate toys they should be good, along with supervision. We have that squarish jungle gym with the little slide and the hidey holes under. (Little Tikes?) I bought it last summer at a rummage sale) Dora can climb and slide almost all by herself, the other 2 almost toddlers just loved to be lifted over and over and swooped down the slide. So much laughter. We have it in the middle of the sunroom but will put it in the yard soon.

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