Frugal Accomplishments

Frugal Accomplishments for the First Full Week of March

Royal Apricot in Bloom The Prudent Homemaker

I went through more drawers and cabinets. I straightened what I wanted to keep and added anything I haven’t used in the last year to the garage sale pile. I reorganized my kitchen drawers in a way that makes more sense for how often we use things. It was such a simple rearrangement that I can’t believe I didn’t do it years ago; it only took a bit of time and some thought to make things more organized and future time spent in the kitchen more pleasant.

My mom also went through her cabinets and closet and added more to the sale pile. Our piano teacher gave me a bag of clothes and some shoes that she no longer needed which I added to our sale.

We kept a few items from my parents’ stuff (including a staple gun, a clock, and some scotch tape) and two onesies from the piano teacher’s items.

I had my garage sale for 2 days (Friday and Saturday). I moved up my sale a week as the weather was supposed to be warmer this weekend than the following weekend (by 10 degrees Fahrenheit). March, April, and October are the big garage sale months here as that is when the weather is nicest (come the first weekend in May, it is too hot to have sales). I wanted to have my sale early enough to use some of the money I earned to go to the many community garage sales in April (the HOAs here allow several communities to only have sales twice a year, most of which are the second weekends in April and October, but there are few communities who have theirs the first weekend and a few the third weekend).

Friday was beautiful and the sale was busy. Saturday was overcast (but still beautiful) but my garage sale was very quiet with fewer customers. I still made $310 between the two days (most of it on Friday). I’ll take the rest that didn’t sell and donate it next week (and get a receipt to use for next year’s taxes).  I made enough to put some aside for future garage sale shopping in April (I shop with a list of needs and wants), purchase the two fruit trees I’m planning to buy this month (I’m waiting for them to go on sale for $25 each), purchase tomato plants this month, and put the rest towards other needs.

Daffodils on Table The Prudent Homemaker

I cut daffodils from the garden for the table.

I harvested Swiss chard from the garden multiple times.

My husband worked from home one day, saving gas to his office and back.

My eldest daughter attended a free performance with a friend.

I added water to my lotion bottle to get lotion from the bottom of the bottle. This gave me lotion to use all week (the bottle is too thick to cut open).

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

I took the dried fir needles off the branches I have been saving since December (from the free cuttings I had) and added them to the white garden under my rose bushes to help acidify the soil.

We celebrated a daughter’s birthday at home. I made lemon meringue pies for dessert per her request using lemons from our trees.

 

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

 

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113 Comments

  1. Congratulations on a successful yard sale! I have had them in the past but never made anywhere close that that much money. Congratulations also on reorganizing the kitchen. A few years ago, I hung up a rod with hooks on my kitchen wall to hold my most frequently used kitchen utensils. I had bought it at Ikea but never got around to hanging it. My daughter came home from college, did a little cooking and came to me and asked why I waited so long because it was so convenient! I didn’t have a good answer.

    We’ve had rather changeable weather in Maryland for the last few weeks – record high of 80 a couple weeks ago, snow last week that all melted by the end of the next day. My first crocuses and daffodils are blooming and they are a welcome sight. I’ve picked daffodils several times and don’t see buying flowers at the store until November or so. I’ve also been able to turn off my central heat most days, using just the gas fireplace in my office area when I am working. I just can’t wait until our weather warms up consistently enough work outside in the gardens and yard.

    I had my hair cut and colored by the same woman who has done it for over 20 years. She left the salon where she worked and is working only at home now. She called some customers to let them know and give us an option of coming to her house or the salon and a different stylist. I chose the house option (as did everyone else apparently) because I was going there for her, not the salon. She charged a little bit less at her house and since it’s all income to her, she’s not taking tips. As a result, my service cost $20 less than previously. I know some people will say I should do this myself but, uh, no. I don’t have that talent and I’m not going to frustrate myself by trying.

    I’ve been combining errands on Saturdays and am doing a big grocery shop one week and doing a smaller one two weeks later for perishables, such as fresh berries, veggies, milk, and eggs plus anything that is on sale. The trick will be to not eat all the “good/yummy” food during the first week and want to stock back up on those items. To that end, I am freezing a bunch of food. I used a $5/$25 and two $1 coupons at the Wegman’s location that opened last year. These are weekly coupons for just that store and will stop eventually but right now when I have enough items that I can get at only Wegman’s (Dole Dippers chocolate covered pineapple, their store brand peanut butter, etc.), I go there and use the coupons to buy what I need and stock up for the future to reach the $25 minimum. Combining errands has also worked to keep my gasoline use down. I’ve driven my car 136 miles in the last 16 days; when I worked in the office (rather than at home as I do now), I would drive 136 miles in 3 to 4 days.

    We have a Sprouts grocery store opening up this week. They are new to this area, but looking at sales flyers for other locations, they appear to have some good deals. Anyone have any advice on getting the best deals there?

    I went to the mall on Sunday to use a coupon from Bath and Body Works to get a free small bottle of hand lotion for the car and walk 4,000 steps since it was a little cool outside. I now remember why I never go the mall. I was tempted to buy lunch but knew I had tons of food at home.

    I did a lot of food prep on Saturday and Sunday – cutting up peppers, celery, spinach, and lettuce for salads, shredding both mozzarella and cheddar cheese, making meatloaf using peppers chopped and frozen last summer, and teriyaki chicken more peppers frozen last summer, mushrooms that were just this side of not being good anymore, snow peas, baby bok choy, and using left over dark meat from a chicken I cooked last week. I also made cottage cheese rolls in the bread machine and used half of them to make overnight French toast topped with frozen strawberries from last summer and blueberries. I’ll freeze some of the remaining rolls and use the others with the tuna salad and Sloppy Joes from scratch using diced red peppers and onions that I froze last summer (noticing a pattern? It’s great having all these items in the freezer and not having to cut them up for cooking). I also made strawberry cream cheese (to spread on English muffins) and red pepper cream cheese (to stuff in celery for a snack). I wrote a menu plan to remind myself what I have in the frig and I froze a lot of servings since most items serve four so I know I’ll be eating well for the next few weeks even if I do no other shopping or cooking.

    I made my first ever lemon meringue pie from scratch and it was wonderful. I used Meyer lemons from Aldi’s and am just sorry I never tried this before. It will be on the menu a lot this summer. I gave half to my neighbors because it doesn’t keep that well after a couple days and I do not need to eat an entire pie.

    My neighbor got some free firewood because a hardwood log that was about 4 feet long with a diameter of 2.5 feet apparently fell off a landscaping truck and landed in the middle of the road, about 3 feet behind my car; fortunately, it did hit my car. Two guys stopped and helped her move it into her yard (I used the excuse of being older to avoid helping!) but they would not accept a small tip for doing so. Her uncle brought over his chainsaw and they cut it up in fireplace log size.

    Finally, in the February 20 comments, I mentioned putting a stressful concern of mine in my God box (something for God to handle) and it was heart-warming to see a few people respond to that, saying it was just what they needed and thanking me for posting it. I didn’t respond to the responses from Melonie K., Janet, and Allyson but I do want to say that I’m very happy and touched that it helped you. If anyone is interested in the idea and missed it, look on the first page of comments the 2/20 Frugal Accomplishments post.

  2. Brandy I’m delighted for you that your yard sale did so well. I know how much work is involved in having a sale and the outcome is not certain. 🙂

    • Earned 65 bonus Swagbucks from making daily goals in February.
    • Used the coupon database on Money Saving Mom and printed coupons to match up with items I was planning to purchase
    • Hand washed a wool sweater
    • Hung two loads of laundry up to dry
    • Bought $81 worth of vitamins for $7 OOP: vitamins were buy one, get one 50% off, then I had 4 x $1.00 off coupons, and then I used $50 of Walgreens reward points, which I had been saving
    • Lights started flickering at 5:00 pm on Wednesday with the Nor’easter snow storm. I filled up several containers of tap water and put in bathroom and kitchen for easy access in case we lost power. I have bottled water in the basement for emergencies but if we don’t have to use this supply it saves us money. Kept the heat up when I went to bed. We lost power at 10:30 pm. We were lucky that the power was only out for 12 hours. Temp in house was down to 56 by the time heat came back on. I need to figure out how to turn off the water supply and drain the water system and then how to turn it all back on in case this happens again.
    • Decluttered the cabinet in the hallway and found 4 gift cards worth $25 each – I hope they still have the full value and 55 unused USPS stamps ranging from 26-44 cents each, which made me feel a little foolish for not using them back in the day but grateful to have them now.
    • Hand shoveled driveway
    • Made swag goal x 2
    • Tried new recipe: crispy broccoli with lemon and garlic from smitten kitchen – delicious

  3. Sprouts’ sales run Wednesday to Wednesday, so Wednesday’s are double ad days. That would be great for your less frequent shopping! Just be prepared for it to be busy those days. They have fabulous sales on produce. I get most of my mine there. I’m in CO and they regularly have US (not imported like some stores) grass fed ground beef for $3.99/lb, which is an excellent price for grass fed.

  4. Aside from milk & eggs I only purchased grocery items that I would receive loyalty points for and actually needed. I also remembered to defer items on the loyalty point list from last week to this week when I’ll have space in the freezer. I then used loyalty points already accumulated – $40 – to pay for 90% of the bill.
    I had a free lunch at church on Wednesday when I attended a lecture and service for Lent. I had a free supper the next night at church when I attended the planning meeting for the next 4 months worth of classes for my volunteer group. And then yesterday it was another surprise lunch provided after church (it’s usually just coffee and treats during fellowship) but as yesterday was the AGM and they wanted people to stay longer to vote on items in the report they provided lunch. It meant that I could have a nice walk around downtown afterwards and not get home until 3pm. While it was still cold enough to wear my parka it was sunny so it was a pleasant walk.
    I’ve been eating a bit lighter this past week but still had some veg that was getting past it’s best by Friday so I turned it all into a quick pot of soup by adding some stock from the freezer, cutting up the last two slices of turkey from the freezer, adding the last 1/4 cup of chickpeas in the fridge and finally a 1/4 cup of orzo to bulk it out a bit. Took 2 servings to my elderly neighbourhood and yesterday he told me it was delicious! There are still 2 servings for me. Since I had been eating more salads I didn’t make the usual hot meals that I would have taken next door but I was able to find 2 meals already prepared in the freezer which I defrosted and took through to him.
    I had a lot of granny smith apples in the fridge that were getting to be a bit past their best so I peeled them, chopped them up and then cooked them with a bit of butter and sugar to soften. They already topped a bit of pound cake to have with a cup of tea last night and if I don’t use them up in the next day or so I’ll pop them into the freezer for later.
    I did buy 2 new dressy t-shirts & a dressy shirt (although they are new arrivals there were still some discounts) but I haven’t bought anything along this line in nearly two years and I will need a couple of new things for going back to work (hopefully) and I know that I will get a lot of wear out of all these pieces and they will mix and match well with what I already own
    so I don’t regret it. I’ve never had much luck at second hand shops (I’m short & round and never seem to find anything) so I just bite the bullet occasionally but I certainly don’t buy much – it’s usually a Spring and Fall outing – buy what I need – and that’s it.
    I think you did really well at your garage sale! They won’t start here for another few months – it’s really a summer thing – and since I sold so much last year I doubt I’ll do one this year. But there is always tidying up and re-organizing to do so who knows. Have a good week Brandy._

  5. We got a couple of really nice days this weekend. Just seeing sun made everyone so cheerful and didn’t cost a dime:)

    I worked a bunch of extra hours. Later in the month, the kids I work with are going to be on vacation, so although I will have a much smaller paycheck in April, the extra hours will help even things out and it won’t be as small as it would have been.

    I made turkey-rice soup from some turkey we had cooked and frozen a while back. I also used some of it to make turkey enchiladas, and used up the last 6 corn tortillas that were languishing in the fridge. I let the fridge get quite empty and then washed it out thoroughly. I planned to not shop much this week, and instead just save the grocery money, but somehow on Sunday, when cooking, I realized I was out of all kinds of odd things, as well as usual things. Worchestershire sauce, A1 steak sauce, water chestnuts, mustard, maraschino cherries???? So many things that are only bought once a year or so, and all out at once???? Strange. So, I went ahead and took the grocery money and used it. While I was at it, I tried to buy enough produce and dairy to last 2 weeks. It worked pretty well to skip shopping last weekend, except for a small handful of items. I am not in the habit of shopping on Sunday night, and was amazed that Winco was actually out of both pineapple chunks and 1/2 and 1/2, so I still need to grab those. My grocery month is over mid-month, and I will refill the grocery envelopes when I get paid then. I was thankful that I had been shopping carefully for the past 3 weeks, and had the money to really fill things up again. I am very aware that Worchestershire sauce and A1 are not needs, neither are some of the other things I bought, and if I had not had the money in the envelopes, I would have skipped them for now. But, I like to keep on top of the pantry when I can, so am grateful that I could do it this time.

    Yesterday, we hosted family Sunday dinner. The other day, my sister who usually hosts made me feel really good with a comment she made. She said they have saved a ton of money since we moved here 2 years ago, just by copying how I shop and cook at home more. She’s a really good cook, and a great shopper, and always has been, but she said she just needed the encouragement. She has also told me that eating as a family on Sundays has saved them so much money. My husband and I usually take their autistic daughter for a Coke after attending 1st service, then head over and finish up dinner while they help with the teens 2nd service. They often have meetings in the afternoons as well, since they are so involved with the high schoolers. So, they used to eat out almost every Sunday. The cost was enormous. She’s so glad she’s not doing that any more, and it made me feel really good that I was part of the solution.

    I’ve been tending my baby plants in my greenhouse, and have done quite a bit more transplanting. I’ve been able to use green onions from the garden a few times. They overwintered and are growing a bit now.

    We drove down to the beach for an afternoon. I just don’t always remember that we live so close to the ocean, and it doesn’t have to be a big project, or expensive to go down there. I had some money I had been given a few months ago, and used that to take everyone out for dinner. Otherwise, we just enjoyed looking at the water, the seals on a dock, and the sunset. It wasn’t warm enough to play in the sand, and we didn’t have time anyway, but it was fun for everybody even without that.

    I put a picture of the seals on the docks at Newport on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/weekly-update-saving-money-march-10-2018-star-wars-food-edition/.

    We spent the weekend with our nephew. His mama got him a super cute Star Wars cookbook to bring along. We made several recipes. By the end of the weekend, we were just giving everything we cooked a Star Wars name. He had so much fun with his Star Wars Cooking weekend. I put pictures of the foods on the blog as well. Part of the time when we watch him, we are paid as PSW’s for him. Part of the time is auntie and uncle time. I really try to make sure that he gets enriching, mind-building, skill-building experiences during the time I’m being paid for, as that is the intent of the job, as well as helping him with his personal care, etc. So, he was a little miffed at me for not letting him watch as much tv or play the Wii as much as he wanted, but he got a little time on those things, and I shooed him outside to play croquet a bit, gave him a few chores on Saturday, had him “help” uncle in the shop for an hour, and read out loud a lot. We are now far into “On the Banks of Plum Creek,” the 3rd in the Little House series. Last fall, his school teacher asked that chapter books be read to him to develop his mind more. That job fell to me and we are on our 5th or 6th book now. It’s just part of our routine on my regular work days, and he is now wanting it other times as well. It’s working!!! There were a couple of times when he said, “Auntie, I need you to read some more. I just HAVE to know what’s going to happen next to Mary and Laura.” Those were rewarding moments. He’s really making strides! I am very blessed to be able to have this job. There are moments when it is very hard, don’t get me wrong–he takes an enormous amount of attention and care, but there are others when I feel like I’m being paid to have fun.

  6. I bought 5 lb of chicken drumsticks and and 6 lb of onions in a two for one sale. Half of the onions (1 bag) have gone into cold storage in my back hallway, which will be cool for another couple of months.

    I am trying the store brand of baking powder, which was $1.50 less than the name brand. I imagine they are the same, but I don’t do anything that sensitive with baking powder for it to make any difference.

    Brown sugar is cheaper for me to buy than make, but all the bags in the store were rock solid. I decided I could find some molasses in the back of my fridge and make my own this time.

    A meeting I attended had a dinner served afterwards. The group was more sociable than usual, so it was an enjoyable supper followed by an interesting speaker for a short period. I brought home a bottle of lemonade, which I had with my meals the next day.

    I had done some clear-out in the house and had extra bags of garbage, beyond what fits in the weekly garbage pick-up. I was going to take the bags to the landfill, which costs in gas and a per bag charge. Instead I left them in the back hall for the week, and they were picked up this morning.

    I found lots of free TV shows on the online version of CBC. I’ve been watching The Durrells and Burden of Truth. I selected the version with ads, which is free.

  7. This morning I handed mom two graham crackers, one from the name brand box and one from the Walmart generic box. A half hour later, I asked her what she thought of the graham crackers. She liked the Walmart brand as much as the name brand. They cost $1-something instead of $3. Score one for current and future frugality! She eats a lot of graham crackers. If we are going to stick with the half of thrifty food budget, we can spend only $26 on food this week because of last week’s splurges. Kroger has provided some free coupons, which will be helpful along with some weekly sales on things we want from the produce and dairy departments. We have many meat options left in the freezer. I will be making hot cocoa mix from items we have on hand and baking bread to stretch the $26. Mom has been drinking more fluids because of a doctor’s instructions regarding an antibiotic she is taking and because we bought an herb tea, apple cinammon, that she really likes. The additional fluids are helping her feel better. We have to drive through snow showers to a specialist today. The route home will take us past a Trader Joe and a hispanic-oriented supermarket but I think we won’t be stopping at either place. We will spend less overall if we only make one supermarket stop this week.

  8. Productive morning. That’s what happens when I’m up before the littles. I made a loaf of bread (experimental so only one loaf this morning), a batch of muffins and a batch of cookies for lunches this week, fruit salad and pancakes for breakfast. I also cleaned out the refrigerator and saved egg shells and scraps for my neighbor’s chickens. I had some fruit that was past its prime so I cut it up and bagged it for smoothies. The littles are taking a bubble, giving me a moment to breathe. We’ll have a play date with some neighbors in about an hour. The littles enjoy the time away from the house and playing with the others their ages. I enjoy the company of another stay-at-home grandma.

  9. *Used home bottled chicken chunks, broth, carrots, green beans & tomato sauce with dehydrated cabbage, corn, onions & parsley to make a gluten free vegetable soup when my oldest daughter brought her son over for the big merit badge pow wow, & her husband came for a scout planning meeting. This was an easy meal that our oldest daughter, who has celiac, could eat – plus it is one of her favorites. I buy a package of GF rolls for her, & repackage them for the freezer so she can always have a roll or two with her soup, & I always have some in the freezer. Our youngest daughter came to see her sister, & they traded some clothes.

    *Set the small glass cloches out to warm the soil for a few days, then planted some lettuce.

    *Sprinkled crushed egg shells on the garden. The garlic is up & growing, & the parsley is coming up, too. The daffodils are about to bloom.

    *Checked to see if the dry needles could be stripped from the fir branches along the back perimeter. Almost, but not quite. The heavy snow we had a week or so ago kept them from drying out as fast as usual, but we needed the snow & I am grateful for it.

    *Our oldest daughter took home some of the books her father had sorted out. She will keep some of them, & the rest will go to her community center.

    *I used a 25% off coupon to buy a resin Easter decoration of the open tomb. It is so hard to find Christ-centered Easter decorations, & I was glad to find this one. Most of our Easter decorations are ceramic lambs found over the years at thrift shops.

    *Continued to knit on a baby blanket for a future gift.

    *I was sick for several days, & was glad to have a full pantry that included Gatorade & other clear liquids, so I did not have to go to the store at all.

  10. Wow, great job on making so much money with your yard sale, Brandy! That should definitely help you buy needed items for the family, especially at the prices you find at other yard sales. The daffodils are beautiful on your table. Such a nice touch of spring in your home. I hope your daughter loved the presents you made her. They looked lovely from the pictures you shared last week. I hope you will share more photos of the final products when you get time.

    DD started March Break on Friday. Looking like a pretty busy week coming up for me! This past week, my family’s frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included breaded fish with coleslaw and choice between sweet potato fries or onion rings (hubby made homemade tartar sauce), crock pot meatballs in gravy with mashed potatoes and corn, breaded chicken fingers/patties with veggie spring rolls and homemade fried rice, hamburger helper with carrots, homemade cream of broccoli cheese soup with garlic bread (homemade garlic spread on hamburger buns) and brownies, and ham steaks with mashed potatoes and cauliflower with cheese sauce.
    *I’ve been preparing boiled eggs and putting them in the fridge to use for a quick, easy and frugal breakfast protein or to make egg salad sandwiches or deviled eggs at lunch. I usually make a half dozen at a time, so the eggs get used up before they start tasting old. This week, my mom expressed how much she appreciates me doing this!
    *DD baked up a brownie mix as her “cooking practice” this weekend. I tried to have her do it on her own, but she asked for help. Not quite confident in her abilities yet, but she’s getting there!
    *Stocked up on more pantry items with groceries this week, including 12 jars of crunchy peanut butter @ $1.25/1kg jar, 2 cases of bottled water @ $1.88/24 bottles, 11 blocks of cheese @ $3.77/450g, fresh cucumbers @ $3.77/bag of 5 cucumbers (they are “imperfects” which are fine with us!), 4 cans of generic brand cheddar cheese soup @ $0.57/can (we prefer this as our “cream of” soup in recipes), a bag of pearl barley @ $0.99/450g bag and my favourite deal…2 boxes of breaded chicken (strips & burgers) on sale for $4.97/800g box minus a $4 coupon/box, so I paid $0.97/box.
    *I had a complicated problem (involving a rather sketch business practice) with an order from Amazon. Had I not filed a complaint, I would have been out about $43 for a product that I sent back to them. Although they were slow to fix the problem, they have now returned $113 to my credit card to cover those costs plus extra as an apology for the inconvenience.
    *We had our taxes completed by a professional ($120 total for both of us). In our experience they are always very good at manipulating the info to maximize our refunds. Our tax return will be over $4000 between the two of us (about double what we got last year), so we’re pretty happy! We plan on putting all the money into our “house down payment” saving this year.
    *This past weekend, I attended a seed exchange event put on by an organization in our city, called “Seeds of Change”, that promotes healthy food initiatives and better food security for low income families. There were lots of local seed vendors present, but I chose to skip them for now. Instead, I went directly to the seed exchange area, where I was able to pick up several packets of vegetable/herb seeds to try in our garden we will be building this spring. Made sure to pick seeds that were open pollinated/heirloom so I could start to collect seeds to reuse each year. Cost per packet was a $1 donation. Also bought 1 package of rare heirloom pole bean seed, from the 1800s, to try for $2. Picked up the card for the organization to pass along to my work as well. It can be hard to find seeds from the 1800s to grow in our historic gardens! By the looks of things, this event was VERY well received, so hoping it will happen again next year. I’d love to slowly add new food varieties as I get my gardens more established. Really hoping for a good growing season this year!!!

    Looking forward to catching up with all my “frugal friends”. You all inspire me so much every single week!

  11. Great sale, Brandy! I remember living in LV years ago and there were some great yard sale finds. Sitting here in central NC waiting for the snow to come. It has been sleeting off and on for a couple of hours. Hubby came home early since he works in Raleigh area and they are only having rain. Leftover hamburger/vegie soup and pimento cheese biscuits are for lunch. Doesn’t look like I will be going to work tonight- thank goodness for PTO!!
    Here are my frugal ways for last week:
    -Stayed at home and worked shifts at night= saved on gas.
    -Gifted 3 1/2 qts of chicken, mushroom and rice soup (re-gifted some to one of my MIL), 6 tangelios, 1 apple, extra cooked rice, bag of potato chips (for Jayme), several premade, pkg cinnamon rolls (re-gifted to Jay’s work) and our bill paid by a manager at a restaurant we are loyal to,
    -Made homemade pizza again for supplies already in house to watch ACC Tourney.
    – Sold 3 items on Ebay.
    – March is a big bday month in family so I have been buying gc’s from Swagbucks and collecting points to account. Most have an extra point deal on them. Saving points to get a Walmart gc for a big stock up sale.
    – Super Double Coupon week at one of the stores here- Got a lot of FREEBIES: a bag of fancy chocolate covered cookies, 3 containers of yogurt, 1 pkg of cream cheese, a big bag of salad mix with dressing and on ins, 6 bar box of frozen strawberry pops, a Lindt chocolate egg, a Cliff bar, a dozen of brown eggs, 4 boxes of fancy tea, a pkg of fancy hotdogs and a box of Truvia sweetner.
    – Collected points and rebates from phone apps for future gc’s and pay outs.
    -Eating lots of soup, salads and sandwiches. Mostly putting leftovers together or using what is in freezer and pantry.
    – Looked up recipes to start to dehydrate extra veggies from the 5 lb box I get every other Saturday.
    – Cut up some damaged towels into dish clothes.
    *** Not so Frugal but a Must!** We got my Mustang back with the new, better engine and clutch back home after 5 months and 2 engines from Ford later (the ones installed before had oil leakage problems.). They gave us another 3 year warranty on it which is a good deal. We got our tax check in the same day and we paid off this bill- had $45 left. Ah well, we have a dependable car available now!!
    Have a blessed week!!

  12. I feel like I didn’t make many accomplishments this week as it was just so busy! I did make 6 curtain panels for our front room (I still have another 6 to do).

    I made homemade barbecue sauce instead of purchasing.

    I recorded all of our spending.

    I threw 2 birthday parties (my son’s 13th and my mom’s 50th) fairly frugally and was able to return some unused items (got back $48).

    Now, I’m in rest mode before our baby is born.

  13. Your spring flowers are a lovely sight. We are 31F today, sunny, no more snow in the forecast for awhile. We are to have a 40’s day on Saturday, best as weathermen can say that far ahead of time. Are those palm trees in the background? Can you grown dates? I just finished up a package of dates a cousin brought me back from California. They were delicious.

  14. This week I was able to dehydrate another 10 pounds of fresh green beans that I was given!

    At the same Produce market, they gave me a bushel box filled with red sails lettuce bunches for my chickens and 4 big bags (with 5 bags each inside of the big bags ) of green onions.

    I put 5 green onions in a glass yogurt container with water to become an “everlasting” source of green onions in my kitchen. I planted the rest (after cutting most of their green tops off) into my raised bed gardens outside. Even though we had a dusting of snow in the days after planting,they should make it through which will give me about 100 green onions this year!

    My 8 chickens continue to give me about 4 dozen eggs a week so I sold 4 dozen from my reserve for $10. this week!

    I got a 25 pound box of tomatoes for $5 and we are enjoying them in salads and in some of our meals. Any extras as the week progresses will be diced and canned for my pantry! I find that when I can them as diced tomatoes, I can convert them to salsa, sweet and sour sauce, Rotel, etc when I need to at a later time!

    In keeping with your Use it Up challenge, I made a new lap size quilt top from scraps. Free tutorial from MSQ- Summer Camp block. Funny that it didn’t seem to diminish the volume of scraps I have!! https://pin.it/pbzhxulcyvzhz4

    Took more of my plain yogurt and made a quart of strawberry yogurt and a quart of caramel apple yogurt which also used up some of my fruit spread and jam. This will be a nice breakfast or snack.

    I took 20 minutes the other morning and made up 12 ham,egg,cheese McMuffins and 12 lemon poppyseed muffins to fill up our breakfast-to-go container!

    Another $200 came in for a quilt I made so, after tithing, I took half of the remainder and paid down a debt and the other half went into our savings account! https://pin.it/toeq4252ujldy6

    It’s fun to see how little bits really add up!
    I’m hoping that Spring is just around the corner!

  15. Like Sarah, I buy produce and grass-fed ground beef at Sprouts. I also really like their bulk bins for grains, nuts, dried fruit, and spices. If you go on their website and choose your store location, you can also comparison shop before you even leave your home. They also have an app for coupons, but I’ve not yet tried that.

  16. Congrats on the yard sale’s profits!

    We signed onto a lease with a new apartment complex, which is more expensive than our current one but also won’t have the issues we’re experiencing now (bugs, neighbors blasting music, dogs barking at 4am every morning, etc) and it has a better commute, so we’re reevaluating the budget to find places to cut so that we can retain our desired savings goals. Also, since we’re moving, we’re trying to get rid of the stuff we haven’t used in a year to lessen the amount of stuff we will have to move. I wish I could sell some of it in a yard sale, but my apartment complex doesn’t allow those sorts of things and I not sure I have enough high-ticket items that it would be worth it sell in a Facebook sale. I do want to try and sell some items though, as I have things like cast iron cookware, patio furniture, etc that would fetch a decent amount.

    In the meantime, here are our frugal accomplishments for the past few weeks:

    * We signed up for Project Fi for our cell phone plan- my phone officially died last week, and my SO and I have been looking to get off of our respective parents’ plans, and this was by far the cheaper option compared to getting something like Verizon or AT&T or even prepaid. We’ll be saving $1000 in the first year on new phones/service combined.

    * We’ve decided that we are going to sell my car once we move in May, so that we will not be paying the extra $100/month to have my car (plus maintenance costs). I already take public transit to work and I will now be very close to the Aldi I usually shop at, so between mass transit and my SO’s car, I should be just fine getting around.

    * Since we’re moving again, it’s time to eat down the freezer, pantry, and fridge once more. This will lower our grocery bill significantly, offsetting some of the new expenses. To do this, I took an inventory of our freezer and pantry and am planning our meals around those. This also means that I will be delaying our usual trip to Sam’s Club until after we move, so that I don’t need to haul around nearly-full containers of beans and rice.

    I think that’s everything major. I hope everyone else has been having a wonderful March! 😀

  17. Hi Rhonda,
    Heritage Harvest Seed is out of Carman,Manitoba. They specialize in rare and endangered heirloom vegetable, flower and herb seed. Unfortunately they only ship within Canada.All their seed is open pollinated, non-hybrid, non GMO, untreated, natural seed.
    They have huge varieties of tomatoes and beans amoung other seeds.
    Best wishes,
    Polly Wog

  18. Thanks, Sarah. I buy organic chicken and meat, so I’m really hoping we get that same price on ground beef. It’s currently $5.29 at our Aldi’s and $6.99 at Wegman’s (unless you buy 3 pounds at a time, when it’s $5.89 a pound or thereabouts.

    I don’t usually shop on Wednesdays, but I might start if the overlapping sales are good. Thanks, again.

  19. Thanks for the info, Roberta. We have Wegman’s in some areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England and Sprouts sounds similar but with better meat prices. I’m really looking forward to trying them out. Fortunately, they are only a few miles away. Of course, that could take 12 minutes to reach or 45 minutes depending on the time of day and traffic! I’ll definitely be stopping in this weekend.

  20. I love neighborhood yard sales, I need to see if there are any big ones in my area. I’ve been blogging my frugal accomplishments every day on my blog. Here are some of the highlights:
    [list]
    [*] We used my husband’s quarterly bonus and a refund we received on our mortgage escrow to buy an energy efficient clothes dryer and insulation for our attic. I’m looking forward to the lower electric bills!
    [*] We used the remaining bonus/escrow money to make an extra $3,000 payment toward our mortgage principle.
    [*] I cut camellia flowers from a tree in front of our condo and out them in a vase on my dining room table.
    [*] We’re getting a case of chicken breasts from Zaycon Fresh on Thursday. I’ve been clearing our our freezers and making plans with what I will make with 40 pounds of chicken. (And suggestions would be welcome. I have a list of what I’ve already planned on my blog.)
    [*] I’ve been working on getting my garden space ready for planting when the time comes.
    [/list]

  21. Those are my neighbor’s palm trees. They have a couple of Mexican fan palms and two date palms right there. Dates can be grown here, but I don’t want to grow them. The trees get very, very tall (more than I can reach on an extension ladder) and palm trees are full of scorpions. My neighbor’s house is actually graded much lower than ours, so those trees are planted much lower than ours. They don’t cover the dates when they are growing and I don’t think they want to harvest them, so the birds eat them. Date palms are often planted decoratively here; there is a huge one in the parking lot of my husband’s office. It’s way too tall for anyone to harvest.

  22. Thank you for the info, Polly Wog. The organization that I bought the heritage seeds from is called Pollination Canada (www.pollinationcanada.ca) and has many different companies/individulas connected to it across Canada. I remember she mentioned that many are out of Quebec. All of the people involved are dedicated to preserving these rare heritage seeds. It sounds like you have an interested in this. I’d encourage you to look at their website!

  23. I haven’t had a sale in four years, so it was time. The last few years we have donated items, and last year I donated enough items to have a sale, but I wasn’t feeling up to having one then.

    Our temperature on Friday was around 22 C, so plenty warm enough for a sale, and a summer temperature in other places. Come May it is so hot that you will get burned touching items for sale at garage sales (glass, metal, etc.) and it is just too hot to sit outside. That’s why most sales here are spring and fall.

  24. Oh my, sickness at your house must be horrible, with so many it can run through. I’m sure you have your hands full! I’m looking forward to seeing the photos once everything settles down and you have the time. Thanks for letting me know.

  25. Sounds like a super-successful garage sale! I’m always impressed with how much you make when you hold a garage sale. I’ve never made that much, let alone that much on a regular basis. V. impressive!

    I had a quiet week but still got some frugal stuff done:
    – I used the whatsapp voicecall feature to call my family long-distance, for free! As my parents were currently on vacation with my husband, this was a great way to stay in touch, especially as I’m dealing with some health issues just now.
    – One thing that helps settle my stomach is homemade yoghurt, so I was pleased that I made a big batch (www.approachingfood.com/easy-slow-cooker-yoghurt-good-gut-health/). I let it culture for 24-48 hours, so that it’s almost lactose-free.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 giftcard to Amazon.
    – I asked my sister to pick up a few grocery items for me when she came by to check on me. I’m so thankful for my wonderful family! My sister knew where to get one of the items at a cheaper price (a local bulk store), and gifted me another item (organic pears).
    – I managed to make a no-bake cheesecake pie this week, using the last of some graham cracker crumbs that I had traded for previously. We celebrated my husband’s birthday with this pie instead of cake. It was an inexpensive celebration, just tea and cake (aka pie), but still lovely to celebrate with family. Or, more correctly, lovely to hear the celebration while I lay sick in bed! Was just nice to have the company.
    – I redeemed some reward points (earned free) from harlequin.com to download a free e-book. It’s from a series that my mother likes as well, so I’ll be able to share it with her. And I re-read some e-books I already had.
    – I spent a lot of time in bed, and watched two gardening series on tv while resting. I picked up a number of gardening tips that I hope to implement once I can get to balcony gardening.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  26. I make Thai chicken which is quick , easy and delicious.

    Saute 1 lb cut up BLSL chicken in a tablespoon or two of olive or vegetable oil
    Add 1 tsp salt, 1/4 cup regular peanut butter and one can of regular coconut milk(not low fat)
    Add 1-2 tbsp. of Siracha chili sauce depending on how much you heat you like.

    Serve with rice-makes about 4 servings and only takes 15-20 minutes-can also add some green onion as a garnish for last couple of minutes of cooking if desired

  27. Three of us had a combined yard sale this weekend, too. We don’t yard sale in the summer either — it is way too hot and humid for that, so you see most yard sales in the spring and fall here, too. We do one pretty much every year and I average about $100-150 per sale for my items. What I can’t believe is that I always have more items to sell, yet I’m not constantly buying things. I guess that means I used to buy too much! I made right at $100 this time. My goal is to keep de-cluttering until everything is in my house only because it’s useful or because I truly love it (or both).
    We had some grape tomatoes getting a bit wrinkly, so they are dehydrating. My husband keeps “checking” them for me — I hope I have some left by the time they are done. He wouldn’t have eaten them if I’d left them wrinkling on the counter, but he’ll eat older tomatoes that aren’t spoiled if I dehydrate them.
    I’m painting the furniture I bought at a yard sale recently. I could pay someone to do it and get it done faster and easier, but I can do this myself, for the price of the paint.
    I had to toss one piece of fruit that had molded, out of a bag of fruit. The rest of the fruit was fine, which leads me to think there was one old one in the bag. I’ve been doing pretty well at not tossing any food.
    I found a dollar on the ground, which surprised me, because I’ve been finding nothing on the ground, for months now.
    I cooked a chicken. My husband doesn’t like chicken that is roasted, broiled, grilled, pressure cooked or boiled! I sliced up the breast meat and made tenders with that for one meal, then I cut wings, thighs, legs and upper back to make southern fried chicken for a second meal, and finally cooked the leftover raw carcass to make chicken soup. It worked — he ate every offering of chicken.

  28. It is frustrating to go to sales where the sellers don’t notice what the sun is doing to their merchandise! Melting candles, video- and cassette- tapes, plastics, and over heated wool sweaters sitting in full sun will not sell. My Mom always had very successful sales, and some was because she would get up often and “merchandise” the tables, condensing and putting like things with other like ones, etc. She also said that things should be stacked just a little, like two or three picture frames or plates, and a bit crowded, because people would pick one up to see what was underneath, and be more likely to buy after having made that small effort.
    I go to a lot of sales and appreciate clean merchandise, from non-smokers, with no strong smells, with no pets underfoot, where the families have planned how the children can help or be kept busy otherwise. My, this makes me sound grumpy! Yet I will spend more at those places.

  29. I cooked entirely out of the fridge, freezer, and pantry. I made mashed potatoes, greens peas, meat loaf, bbq baked beans, and took most of it to one of my sons, who was very appreciative. I had enough left over for me also to eat all week long. I bought two $2 skirt suits at a thrift store for summer. They are in excellent shape. One suit is bright pink, and the other suit is bright green. We have to wear jackets in court, but many of the lady lawyers, court reporters, etc. in my age group, wear very brightly colored suits in our area of the deep South, so I fit right in with these colors….lol. I also bought a blouse for a $1.00 to wear with the suits. I so appreciate this website, Brandy, and all the lovely folks on here and their wonderful ideas! Y’all have a blessed week!

  30. Brandy,
    I am so glad your garage sale went well and I hope your family is feeling better soon. I will also be praying that you are successful with your garage sale list when the time comes.

    I cleaned out our greenhouse yesterday. I planted 3 containers with basil seeds and hope they come in strong. I got two containers ready for the tomato plants when it is time. I had a few pots of flowers that wintered over nicely so I cut out the dead stuff and gave them a bit of plant food and water. In a few months time, they should look great.

    I wanted a large grapevine wreath to hang on the patio fence but when I saw the price for the size I wanted was over a hundred dollars, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, my husband used the clippings from pruning the fruit trees and made a wreath out of those branches and I added boxwood and heather from our yard. As a finishing touch, my husband found a perfect old bird’s nest while he was pruning so I added that to the wreath. I have to say our team effort paid off and the wreath looks so cheerful and nice. We can enjoy it and so can our neighbors. The cost was just our time which we both found enjoyable.

    My girlfriend was kind enough to pick up some of my fiber gummies at Costco for me- (I don’t have a Costco membership). This gave me twice as much product for the price.

    I had Friday off work so my girlfriend and I took our grand kids to the children’s hands on museum. My daughter has a family pass so we all got in for free which was a huge savings. Both kids really enjoyed the outing but us grandmas were tired.

    I am praising God because this time of year I have severe allergies which usually put me out of commission but so far this year, I am doing better than normal. I still don’t feel well but I am able to accomplish more which is awesome. Last evening, I wasn’t feeling well but knew I didn’t have much for our lunches for the week so I went to the kitchen and made a chocolate cheesecake. I had fruit and sandwich stuff so now we have lunches for the week.

  31. This was my last week in Houston with my in-laws. My FIL was able to come home from the hospital Sunday and my BIL is recovering well from his heart surgery and will be home Wednesday or Thursday. I got home Saturday and my husband will fly home Wednesday.
    One thing that struck me during the three weeks I was with them was how our frugal habits have become so ingrained. My husband and I, with no discussion or really thinking about it, always carry a water bottle with us when we leave the house, and we pack lunches to take with us. I offered to pack food for other family members who were at the hospital, but they preferred to buy food in the cafeteria or from vending machines. We automatically turn out lights, eat leftovers, conserve water, and do lots of little things every day to save money. His family lives very differently, but we are happy to keep up our frugal ways.
    My FIL has poor circulation and complained of his lower legs being cold often. I bought a man’s large sweater at Goodwill ($3) and some knit cuffs from Jo-Ann’s (I used a gift card I received for Christmas) and made him some leg-warmers to wear under his pants. He loved them and said they really helped. I cut the sleeves off the sweater and sewed the knit cuffs on, so I was left with a tube of fabric with cuffs at either end that he can slip on and off. The sweater is a thin knit with fleece lining, so very warm, but not heavy.
    While he was on antibiotics in the hospital, my FIL had no appetite, so we got into the habit of taking some of the leftovers from his dinner tray home to eat later. I knew the food would just be thrown out and we were able to use some of it for lunches. (We let his nurse know what we were doing, as she needed to keep track of what he was actually eating.) I also made food and took it to him several times (with permission from his doctor).
    For the two-day drive back to Colorado, I packed food to eat on the way. A couple of days before I left, we filled bags with ice and stashed them in the freezer and used these for my ice chest instead of buying ice.
    My husband booked his flight into a nearby city, saving $100 – I have a doctor’s apt. in that city in the afternoon, so I will wait for him and pick him up, saving an extra trip and extra gas money.
    I am very happy to be back home.

  32. I lowered the temperature on my water heater. I check the weather often to try and find a brief window away from the rain and get my clothes line dried. We are all using allergy medicine to try and prevent the usual ear and sinus infections. I have been using all the leftovers that college girl created while home for the week. Sugar cookie and I found some great deals while at the thrift store.
    * 2 cool gel orthopedic pillows for $2.29. ( encased in dust mite covers and looked brand new)
    * A Columbia hooded pull over for $2.00 . ( the last two months of solid rain makes me cold at night. I sleep in this.
    * I found two candles in tins from a mall candle store and a puzzle. All 3 brand new and for $1.60 . I will save these for college girl.I
    My phone fell in the toilet. My stupid mistake . I will try to replace it next week.
    No matter how hard I try, there always seems to be an issue I cannot control. There is an issue over medicare that I have to explore. Honestly it is like a kick in the head. Sugar cookie has had no change in her income so I am not sure why they want us to pay her medicare premiums when it has always been covered. Grrr . So frustrating.

  33. Our week’s frugal activity revolved around preparing to leave town for about six months. We’ll leave in about 4 weeks. We are preparing for a family member of a friend to stay in our house for part of that time. So we cleaned out and sorted many items – kitchenware and dishes, linens, clothes and so on. We are leaving a basic amount of dishes, linens, utensils, pots & pans for the person staying. We are packing the items for 6 months away – but they must fit in our two vehicles for the cross country drive. (We’ll stay in a furnished rental.) And we may sell our house part way through all this, so everything else that can be packed, will be packed.

    So I home dry cleaned all my wool coats, my cashmere sweaters and some of my blazers before moving everything to a walk-in storage closet in the basement. (The Woolite dry cleaning worked pretty well for the coats.) I polished my good leather dress boots. I cleaned a great deal of gold and silver jewelry (most to be locked up but some to travel across country with me.) I packed all the clothes that will go with us. Now I am wearing, cleaning and putting into storage the items that are left in my closet. Only about 20 outfits are needed before departure time.

    We put items up for sale on Facebook – with some sales – but certainly not everything. We took a car full of donations to the local charity shops and got a receipt (but we usually don’t have enough to itemize for taxes with no mortgage.)

    I worked on the pantry by cooking and baking for a church coffee hour coming up where I am the sole “cook”, making a double batch of brownies, a double batch of lemon loaf pound cake https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/236779/copycat-of-starbucks-lemon-bread/, peanut brittle, chocolate peanut butter bars and whipped shortbread cookies. When we get to the week end of Palm Sunday I’ll make deviled eggs and prepare raw vegetables and dip. I also made crockpot southwestern soup. I tried a baked oatmeal recipe to use up the Quaker Steel Cut oats that I didn’t care for. The baked oatmeal is better than using the oats for regular oatmeal- but I still don’t care for this brand much at all. I am trying hard to buy very few groceries. This week I bought only milk, eggs and 3 other items.

  34. Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    We pulled the last turkey from the freezer and made several meals from it. I also made bone broth from it and have enjoyed it so far in our taco soup. The rest I froze for future meals.

    Our daughter came over for spaghetti and meatballs. We had the sauce and ground beef in the freezer and the pasta in our pantry that we bought several months ago for 49 cents. I also made a cheesecake for our dessert and had everything except one package of cream cheese and sour cream to make it. I got both of those items from Aldi for $2.50.

    I also restocked my freezer with soaked and cooked (in the crockpot) pinto beans. I have enough for several meals now.

    Whenever we go to Food 4 Less we check the clearance rack. This week we found quart-size freezer bags for 49 cents and artichoke and pepper bruschetta for 99 cents.

    I cut my husband’s hair. My daughter cut my hair. I colored my hair at home.

    I ordered our vitamins online with free shipping.

    I made a list of items I will be looking for when I go to thrift stores and yard sales. I also have a line in the budget for it.

    I cut down on my coffee consumption to one cup each day which will save us some money. I am drinking more herbal tea and hot water with lemon. I think sometimes I just want a hot drink and not necessarily the caffeine.

  35. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :). So happy that you were able to earn such a lot in your garage sale Brandy as it will go a long way in your budget towards buying other things and topping up other needs for you. Praying the children heal well and recover quickly.

    We are still playing catch up on our budget through having to buy a new mattress, the car battery died and had to buy a new one and also our large pantry stock up we did before all of this happened. Pleased though that both DH and I have earned extra income this month to claw back some of these expenses and to bank more into our home savings account. We are concentrating on pulling in our belts well and truly and being hard on ourselves until we recoup some/all of this expenditure. Thank goodness for emergency funds being one cash one in the home and one in the bank too is all I can say as they come in so handy 🙂 , now just to build them slowly back up again.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    Financial –
    – Banked more money into our saving for our home bank account bringing us to 24.09% of the way there.
    – DH earned $50 from a mowing job which we put in the home cash emergency kitty to replace some car battery replacement expenditure. I earned $56.16 from the sale of saved garden seeds and handmade items on the internet which I banked to recoup some expenditure from our bulk grocery stockpiling purchase.
    – Saved $44.55 in eBay listing fees by listing 27 handmade items taking advantage of a free listing promotion.

    Purchases –
    – Replaced our battery in our car after 9.5 years from new after it refused to start from our roadside assist club who came out and replaced, fitted and cleaned the terminals for us. As we are members of the club we saved $20 as they offer a discount on the batteries and a further $5 in EFTPOS fees by paying in cash from our home cash emergency kitty.
    – Bought a long handled microfiber car windscreen cleaner on eBay using a 10% discount voucher and a further 5% off sale from the seller saving .60c from earnings from my internet sales.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made a double layer devils food cake with cream filling and buttercream icing with items from our pantry as a treat for us saving $19.86 over purchasing it in the shops.
    – Made a loaf of fruit bread in our bread making machine saving $3.70.
    – Made all other meals and weekly bread from items we had in the pantries.

    In the gardens –
    – Planted a 3.5mt row of silver beet and beetroot seeds in the gardens and thinned out and transplanted tomato and silver beet plants growing too close together.
    – Trimmed basil plants and spade edged and removed weeds from around and in 4 herb, rose and berry gardens in the front yard.
    – DH spade edged our soon to be garlic garden bed and ploughed it and added composted grass clippings to it to add organic matter to it, now just to buy some more manures to add to it and plant shortly.

    Electricity savings –
    – Saved the usual $7.50 from only turning on our electric hot water system when needed and using our solar lanterns to light our home at night.

    Water preservation –
    – Used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the lawns when it wasn’t raining.
    – Missed one scheduled garden watering from beautiful rain falling and hand watered new onion, beetroot and tomato plants growing in the gardens.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  36. * I went to a swap and picked up some things for my son: a hat, painters apron, a plastic roman soldiers helmet. I was also able to snag a few things for my friend who couldn’t attend. I got rid of two Costco sized bags of things I no longer needed.
    *I was able to find a way to go to the wholesale market instead of the supermarket for fruits and veg.
    *I ate lunch at home or work instead of going out.
    *I hung up some laundry to dry.
    *Throughout January and February we did an Eat-from-the-pantry Challenge. I got creative with things we had on hand and emptied the cupboards and freezer.
    *We went to the park instead of spending money on entertainment.
    *A friend gave my son a big bag of school supplies. We didn’t have to buy any for the new school year. School starts in March here.
    *My friend gave me a lamp and some prints as a house warming gift.
    * I cooked dinner every night.
    * I take a thermos of coffee to work each morning instead of buying it.
    *I bought some nice coffee beans to use in the coffee maker at work.
    *I was able to find a workawayer to stay till summer to help with pick up and drop off times.

  37. Lemon meringue pie…oh how heavenly. I love lemon desserts like tomatoes love sunshine.

    I finally found out how to make a budget with my inconsistent paychecks. I am thankful for this, as the writing is on the wall my employer will not be able to bring up my hours.

    Last week, I was trying to figure out where we could save a little more. Just when I think we couldn’t, all the talk of gardening (here) got me thinking about planting more food. Which got me thinking about what I could squeeze (money wise) to create a raised bed, which then led me to remember the one raised bed I have is now in a too shady of a spot.. therefore I could/should move it to the “new” sunnier location. All that wonderfulness because of the comments on this blog.

  38. Brandy, congratulations on a successful garage sale. 🙂

    * For dates, we joyfully took long walks together.
    * My dear husband thankfully took a homemade lunch with him to work every day.
    * I was thrilled to receive a free adjustment as part of a one-to-one (business meeting) with a chiropractor. He’s going to get some business from that adjustment. 🙂
    * We gratefully used a gift card combined with a store promotion to purchase some needed supplies.
    * We were very blessed to purchase whole chickens without hormones and have been baking and eating them.
    * I joyfully cooked a meal from ingredients I had on hand for the church potluck.

  39. Congratulations on the garage sale. It has to feel good to have more organized home and extra money in your pocket. I hope the people who are sick get better soon.
    We continue to save money by eating all meals at home. Leftovers were eaten for lunches. My husband takes his lunch to work. I have continued to combine all errands when I had to already be out and about. I kept the heat turned down during the day. I unplugged appliances that were not being used and turned off lights. I paid bills online.

  40. I am proud of me! I met my girlfriends for our bi-annual trip and I packed my food for the whole weekend. One of the ladies wanted to eat out at a nice restaurant which I had heard was not very good, over-priced and poorly managed. I shared what I had been told and said I chose not to go (I trusted the source of information) but they were welcome to go without me. I chose to stay behind and eat the food I had brought. It was hard to say no without feeling cheap, but I did. They did not pressure me to go with them. When they returned, I was VERY glad I did not go with them. The restaurant ran out of food because they were changing menus. About all they had left was prime rib, oh my! Of course, that was all they had left at their high prices. When my friends returned to the room, they said the food was delicious, the server was wonderful and they had a great time. I am glad they enjoyed themselves but I am glad I did not waste the money.

    * Grocery shopping did not go well. I went to get the weekly specials but the store was suddenly closed. It had flooded due to a bad rain storm and perhaps because of road work right beside the building. It was not worth the gas to drive the distance to another discount store so I shopped at a higher priced one. I only got what was necessary.

    *I have started planting seeds to get an early start on some of my plants in the garden. I received an email from one of the seed companies offering a good customer discount of 20% if you ordered quickly. Since I had already put the seeds I needed for my Fall/Winter garden on my wish list, I was able to add them to the order form. This saved me 20% on everything plus shipping in the Fall.

    * Life is once again quickly changing. My youngest son Reese has received a job offer 450 miles away. He will be leaving in about 2 weeks so we will be once again packing him up to move and I will be falling apart crying. It is like kindergarten all over again. My second son Dustin is getting interviews but no offers (of any worth) yet.

    * I have shared about Reese’s dream of owning his own aquaponics business someday.

    http://getmetothecountry.blogspot.com/2018/03/aquaponics.html

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.blogsot.com

  41. I live in Phoenix Arizona so I completely understand about the prime seasons for sales. Our HOA only allows a community garage sale four times a year. January, April, July and August. It’s far too hot to do one in July. Although we do have year round sales, I find going in the summer months, May to October it’s easier to go early like 6 am to 9 am. Too hot after that. Thanks to you keeping a list, I have begun to do the same. I am being mindful of what is being purchased and what is needed. It’s kept me focused on not purchasing just because it’s a great deal. Happy hunting for hoodies in April. Community sales are the best!

  42. Congratulations on your yard sale!

    [list]
    I bought make-up to be able to do my own for our “second wedding reception” overseas rather than paying a stylist. Some of it even was on special!
    [/list]

    [list]
    We are still a bit more spendy than usual but I’m trying not to feel too guilty about it. This week, I bought a thrift store top, an eyeshadow and a beautiful reduced necklace so it could have been much worse. 😉 The big expenses this week were the bachelor/ette parties of our dear friends and their wedding. While we did not participate in the expensive escape room adventure and dinners for their nights out, we did join them for drinks afterwards and had a cheap fast food dinner beforehand. Luckily, we were able to park for free at my husband’s work. The wedding was completely catered for but a group of us ended up in town afterwards which was a fun – but expensive – night. Oh well, it happens less than once a year for us. We split the cost of the wedding present with one of our friends, her and I did our own make-up and I had a manicure and pedicure at home.
    [/list]

    [list]
    A friend invited me out for lunch and another friend invited me to a cat café where she bought us milkshakes and covered the entry fee.
    [/list]

    [list]
    I received free succulents and planted them in the yard.
    [/list]

    [list]
    We found three recycling bottles.
    [/list]

    [list]
    My MIL started to teach me how to use a sewing machine. We plan on having regular sewing days so I can learn the basics.
    [/list]

    [list]
    My husband borrowed a tool from his parents to remove our old letter box and replace it with a new one that was gifted to him.
    [/list]

    [list]
    I picked up free plums, nectarines, lemons and grapes from our local produce carts.
    [/list]

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    At the fruit and veg store, the owner gave me 2kg of strawberries for free because it was near closing time and they were about to go off. I sorted them that night and yielded 800g of usable fruit!
    [/list]

    [list]
    I completed some online surveys and also some surveys on the receipts of a thrift store for a discount.
    [/list]

    [list]
    There is another wedding coming up towards the end of the year. We knew what present we wanted to get for the couple and when I saw it at 60% off, I bought it straight away.
    [/list]

    [list]
    I received 4cts/l off fuel thanks to grocery store loalty points.
    [/list]

    [list]
    Apart from the meals mentioned above, all food was prepared at home. We are still strategically eating down our supplies before going on holidays. My husband took leftovers to work each day. Half a container of cream spoilt in the fridge though…
    [/list]

    [list]
    The air-conditioner ran for 17 hours.
    [/list]

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    I caught the bus once to avoid parking fees and then car-pooled home with my husband.
    [/list]

    [list]
    My new habits are starting to stick consistently: Running only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine during off-peak times and sweeping our tiled floors instead of vacuuming. All washing is air-dried, warm-up water saved, Ziploc bags washed and curtains kept closed to keep the house cool.
    [/list]

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  43. We have a ton of expenses coming up in the next month…none of them fun….like taxes, annual home insurance premium, annual life insurance premium, annual computer virus protection service, etc. So I am really trying to be strict on my weekly budgeting for the next two months to avoid taking out of our savings to pay for all of these “fun” bills:) Some of the ways I have saved this past week include: encouraging my husband to take my car to work to save on gas, finding great books to add to my gift stash at the library used book sale, and reorganizing my kitchen to assess which food items we have so I can avoid buying duplicates…which happens a lot!

  44. Congratulations on the successful yard sale, Brandy!

    Here are my accomplishments for the week.

    • Used free tea, coffee and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Got a jar of salsa for $1 on clearance.
    • Finished doing my taxes and for the first time in a long time we are getting money back on Federal and not paying. I know that this is because I quit my job last May, so we didn’t make as much, but it is still nice to be getting something back. I will apply the refunds to my mortgage when they come in.
    • Got a free can of tomato sauce from the Safeway Monopoly game.
    • Found another piece of décor for the house for under $7.
    • Hubby had 3 work dinners and lunches. I just ate food that I had frozen as individual servings those nights. He brought his lunch one day, so he only ate out 1 day this week. My friend bought my dinner at our Trivia night, as I have shared food with him in the past.
    • I have saved up a lot of stickers that I have gotten for free over the years from charities I support. My grandson is using them now. He loves sticking them on paper.
    • Had a last minute change to a trip we are taking next weekend. Used airline points for that.
    • My Dad had a gift card for our weekly lunch that my sister gave him for his birthday.
    • The house we bought in October came with a refrigerator. My husband noticed that the coils were covered in pet hair…and we don’t have pets! He spent an hour removing it all. Hopefully it will run much more efficiently and save us some money.
    • Got some good Ibotta rebates. I needed new sandals and shirts for the coming warm weather and they were having a 3x the points deal all weekend. I will get back about 18% average on what I spent. Not bad!

    Have a wonderful, frugal week everyone!

  45. Marivene, I misread your line about NEEDLES being dry as NOODLES. I thought that maybe the tree gave the noodles a bit of a fir taste. What my brain comes up with, I swear….
    Good idea about the Gatorade. I bought some bottled juices to have on hand. The flu has been treacherous this year!

  46. I grow grapes at my house, so I made a big grapevine wreath for my sister, which she hung on the tall wooden gate to her fenced back yard. The funny thing is that birds built a nest in it! She and her husband had to quit using the gate while the birds nested, and go through the house instead. Keep a watch on your wreath, you may get the real thing. Some of our local birds re-use nests each year, just adding a little more to them.

  47. Lilli: I have read that drying clothes outside brings in outdoor allergens. Have you considered running things in the dryer for a final brief heat-up to clear that up, at least for pillowcases and face cloths?

  48. With the new tax laws, and the increases in personal deductions, it’s harder to go over the personal exemptions. It’s always rewarding to donate, but it was more fun when we knew we’d be getting a tax break.

  49. Don’t know if you have a Dollar Tree nearby but I have been getting A1 there lately. It is a 5oz bottle. I email and call the company and tell them how much I love their product. They send me coupons. They are for any size. Dollar Tree also sells Worcestershire sauce and maraschino cherries. I don’t eat water chestnuts so I don’t know. Mustard is cheaper at the supermarket on sale so that’s where I buy it.

  50. Congrats on your successful garage sale! The thought of holding one makes me cringe (that comes from experience, lol!).
    I hope you and yours feel better soon! We’ve been very blessed this year in that hubby and I both have stayed well.

    I’m sure this has been discussed here but I noticed our Kroger having 5 lb bags of potatoes for .88! Today is the last day of the sale and if I weren’t cutting out carbs for a while, I would have snatched some up since I haven’t seen a price like that in a good long while. I don’t recall them being in the sales flyer, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t, since I’m trying not to look for sales on things I’m not eating right now, too much temptation, lol! Plus, Kroger sometimes has great sales that aren’t in the flyer.

    I did take advantage of the asparagus for .88 lb! I love, love, LOVE asparagus!

    Have a wonderful week everyone! ~TJ

  51. Heidi you are so right! My allergist has told me not to line dry as the pollen settles on the clothes, sheets or towels. My son and I have enough problems with our allergies that I won’t even attempt it, even though I love how they smell and feel.

  52. So sorry you haven’t been well! It’s tough to feel poorly and not be able to be with family. I hope your dietary changes, like yogurt, help. I know I’ve found great relief by eating more veggies and fermented veggies like The Body Ecology diet recommends.

  53. Well, it’s actually a kind of cheater recipe, Cassandra. I put frozen meat balls in the crock pot (just enough for the number of people eating), and make up enough of our favourite powdered beef gravy to just cover the meat balls when dumped in, then cook on low until meat balls are cooked through. We’re pretty simple with meals at our house. Having said that, you could definitely make your own meat balls, and add in homemade beef gravy if you have it. A mushroom gravy would work well, too. I used to make it the meat balls with Diana’s Sauce (a BBQ sauce apparently only available in Canada), but DD refused to eat it. Both hubby and DD like the meat balls in gravy, so I switched. By the way, there is usually enough gravy with the meat balls to put some over your mashed potatoes as well. Made with BBQ sauce or gravy, this is a perfect dish to make if you are feeding a large crowd or for pot lucks too.

  54. Did you try drying out your phone? Take the battery out. Put everything in a bag of rice for 48hours fully covered in a sunny spot. Put the battery back in and fully charge. Don’t ask me how I know this but it has worked for 3 different phones of ours.

  55. It never crossed my mind to look there for A1 or Worchestershire! Or cherries! I only had to pay $1.58 at Winco for the cherries and thought that was good, so that would be a savings, if the size was comparable. These are things we don’t go through very often–I might buy them once a year, or even less for some of them, so I really don’t know what’s a good deal on some of them. I tend to stretch out some of these items, as well, such as water chestnuts–the recipe I had thawed meat for was Asian meatballs, and used some ground pork I had had for way too long, and it called for 2 cans, but I only used 1 and they were really good. One of the reasons I was caught off guard was because some other family members had used a few things while I was at work, over the months, so I was just assuming they were there, when they weren’t. Because I rarely use those things, I had assumed they had gotten pushed back behind things. That’s ok. I’ve very grateful for any help I get with cooking from anyone around here at any time.

  56. Here are some chicken recipes that we enjoy:
    http://mandysrecipeboxblog.com/chicken-bacon-ranch-pasta/
    http://www.plainchicken.com/2016/05/cracked-out-chicken-tater-tot-casserole.html
    https://thecookinchicks.com/2015/11/melt-in-your-mouth-chicken-bake/ (Just tried this recipe this week and LOVED it)
    https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/greek-chicken-souvlaki/ (We do not use skewers, just cook in a bake pan in oven until chicken is cooked. Secret to great tasting souvlaki is letting it marinade for a good 12 – 24 hours. We make up a bunch of fresh chicken cubed in the marinade, let it sit in fridge for a day, then freeze it uncooked in meal size portions.)
    http://www.plainchicken.com/2013/04/cracked-out-chicken-and-rice.html (We make it without the bacon, though I’m sure it would be amazing with it!)

    Also loads of chicken based recipes on Pinterest. I have lots of other pins that I haven’t tried yet but hope to eventually.

  57. What a super idea for leg warmers!! I am going to steal that for a friend of mine who always has cold legs. Thanks for posting it!!

  58. Becky, you might be interested in the website littlehouseontheprairie.com They have a newsletter that gives you updates on the actors from the show, crafts and recipes inspired from the books, festivals around the country related to the Ingalles/Wilders and Little House in general. I used several of their crafts last year in my summer reading club that had a pioneer theme.

    I too enjoy reading your posts here. I am glad you are getting so much family together time in your new location.

  59. “Like kindergarten all over again”–I remember that! When my eldest started kindergarten, I cried for a week. When my youngest started, I cried for a month, LOL. Good luck on the move. My youngest lives 575 miles away but we manage to see each other 4-5 times a year.

  60. I was shocked to discover that the battery was unremovable . It shorted out almost immediately. I will be shopping around for a deal tonight. My luck seems to be on karma badside lately.

  61. I am attempting to cut back to one 16.9 ounce bottle of Diet Pepsi a day, rather than 2 or 3 to save a bit of grocery money. It will definitely add up over the year. I find it is easier if I start the day with water or hot tea and have the soda in the afternoon.

  62. Congrats on a successful yard sale! This week we:
    – made stuffed peppers, which is a super cheap meal for us since I use all garden items and meat from deer we killed. All I have to buy is some spices (which I usually already have on hand) and cheese. I add extra rice to make the filling go further.
    – paid 3 bills online
    – my car had an issue, but I think my husband was able to fix it for the cost of the part, which was $4.99. It seems okay now. Let’s hope it truly is fixed!
    – Paid extra on our mortgage, bringing the total to 29% paid off in 10 months.
    – Continued to eat mostly from the pantry. I bought chips, milk, eggs, and strawberries.
    – received 4 quarts for strawberries for free
    – made zucchini bread for breakfasts this week
    – bought a baby gift for a coworker using a gift card from a returned Christmas present, saving about $15 out of pocket
    – I also thought I broke my phone this week. But it seems to be working now. Hopefully, it will hold out. I only have one more “payment” on it through our provider. After next month, our bill should go down $40/mo.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  63. Not a frugal two weeks (too many dinners out), but I think I am back on track now.

    I did spend some unbudgeted money this week. I found new curtains for our bedroom (5 large windows) for only $10 per panel, and then I used my Bed Bath and Beyond coupons to bring it down to about $8 each. The curtains I replaced were nearly 20 years old, sun bleached, and kitten attacked.

    I traded in my old soda stream cartridge. I like to keep an extra one as it always goes out at the worst times. We drink more homemade soda and cocktails during the summer, so I am preparing early.

    I had to order some classroom supplies, only about $25, but still… I work for a great school system that provides us most of our needs(including all of the top of the line technology classroom items). I shudder to think what other teachers have to provide out of pocket.

    I bought 3 summer dresses from Zuilly. I donated/threw out most of my summer clothes last year due to them being threadbare, so I have major holes in my summer wardrobe.
    Not a good thing when you live somewhere that is 85+ for 6 months of the year. I keep a minimal wardrobe so the pieces I have get heavy rotation. I hope that they will be of decent quality and last at least 2 years.

    Great sale on bs chicken, country ribs, and Italian sausage. I bought several packages of each for the freezer. Otherwise, I am eating out of the freezer, as I want to clear out the last of last year’s vegetables.

  64. Great job on the sale. I love getting rid of stuff while making some money.
    -My husband did some work on his new to us truck. We are in the process of selling his old one.
    -My husband fixed the arm rest in my mini van with items we already had.
    -Went food shopping. Got free gum and cottage cheese. Got several clearance items, used coupons matched with sales and used a GC for the $12 balance. Came home with 3 full bags with no $OOP.
    -Made chicken soup with leftover chicken parts. Needed a side dish so mixed some leftover corn and mashed potatoes with and egg and some flour and made corn fritters. They were a hit.
    -We have had snowed twice in the last week. School/work was cancelled one day so we all stayed home saving on gas. My husband and son did our driveway with a very old snow blower that my husband got years ago for free. Costs about $15 a year to keep it going.
    -Son and husband did our neighbors driveway also. They brought us donuts the next day as a thank you.
    -Sold 3 items on eBay.
    -My husband and I went away Friday to Monday for our 25th Anniversary. My sister let us use her timeshare that she rarely uses. It had a full kitchen so we cooked 2 meals a day and only ate out once a day. Since we rarely eat out it was a very special treat. All of our souvenir/gifts brought back were food item except for 2 used CDs that cost $3 each.
    -Went to a farm that was making maple syrup. Got a free tour and to see the whole process. It was very interesting. They had lots of free samples of many items made with the syrup. We did buy some to bring home.
    -Did lots of free activities at the time share, played ping pong, played air hockey, went in the hot tubs, watched free movies, walked all around the property. It is right across from a ski slope so we watched that too. It was nice and relaxing. Hubby even took some naps. I read while he did.
    -My sister stayed at our house to keep an eye on everything. I left plenty of food but they choose to eat out a bunch instead. We brought some leftovers home with us so we had leftovers all day yesterday which worked out well with me unpacking and cleaning.

  65. After I posted, I thought of a few more:
    *garlic chicken wraps – sautee diced chicken seasoned with seasoning salt (cheap version of Lawery’s) with a tbsp or 2 of oil and a generous helping of fresh minced garlic. Use thoroughly cooked chicken in a wrap with favourite toppings. I like lettuce, cheese and ranch dressing on mine, but use whatever you like or have on hand (cucumber, tomato, mushrooms, bean sprouts, salsa, rice etc.). Can also eat the chicken on the plate with sides.
    *Chicken Shepherds Pie – mix cooked diced chicken (leftover turkey can also be used), cooked veggies (leftovers are fine or canned will work as well, but I often cook up a pot of mixed frozen veggies to use), and chicken gravy, pour into greased casserol dish, top with mashed potatoes (leftover or instant work fine), and sprinkle with a little grated cheese (optional). Bake @ 350F until bubbly, about 20-30 minutes.
    *Hot Chicken Sandwiches – thoroughly cook seasoned chicken breasts (grilled or oven baked, or warmed up leftovers work as well), slice up the cooked meat, place on bread slice, cover with second bread slice (optional – I prefer 1 slice to minimize carbs and reduce bread usage) and cover with chicken gravy. I usually just serve this with veggie sides, as the bread is my carb for this meal, but you could add a side of potatoes if desired.
    *Baked Chicken smothered in cream soup – place chicken breasts in greased pan/casserole dish with around a 1 inch high side. Mix 1 can of favourite cream soup (our favourite is cheddar cheese soup, but chicken, musroom or broccoli will also work), with 1/2 a can of milk and 1/2 – 1 cup of cheese (optional), then scoop mixture over each breast to coat evenly. Bread crumbs could be added to give some crunch, but not necessary. Cook in 350F oven until chicken is thoroughly cooked (cut into breast to ensure no pink left), which can vary from 30min to 1 hour depending on how thick the breast is and how well your oven cooks (our old stove was fast, but our new one takes much longer). When I make the cheddar cheese soup, I make broccoli so we can scoop the extra “cheese sauce” over it, giving it double duty!

    I hope these ideas are helpful to you as well. As you can see, we eat a lot of chicken breasts at our house!

  66. Though it could be a blessing in disguise, Lilli. You never know, so keep thinking positive. Perhaps you will find a replacement phone that is much better for a cheaper price! If nothing else, there are always the lessons we learn from our mistakes, like don’t take the phone in the bathroom, or if you do, place it in a better spot. Or even the lesson of how to work the budget better to accommodate for unexpected expenses! Sucks to have to learn these lessons sometimes, but they do make us better people if we can learn from it.

  67. I have two sons and three grandchildren that live 400 miles away. My daughter is about 1300 miles away and is expecting her first child. I hope we can move (at least) closer to our sons before we’re too old. I feel for you! I cried a river, too!

  68. I checked back with the company I do business with and lo and behold, they were on sale this wrek. I am so glad I waited to order it. I searched the internet like crazy and got the best deal possible. I am grateful that it was just the phone. I always think it could of been the car, household appliances or the water heater. I know that being careless is wasteful. Over the years, I replaced quite a few on the jobsite . Working on the construction sites was brutal. I will take the money out of our spending money next month to cover the savings I robbed for the purchase. Sugar cookie suggested I tie it around my neck. I rarely put it in my back pocket so I hope to not repeat the foolishness. Hope you and the family are having a good week.

  69. Your daffodils are displayed so nicely in the blue vases.
    It has been a quick week with warmer temperatures. The sun is shining and the snow is starting to melt.
    -Did some batch cooking and ate meals at home.
    -Went shopping for supplies and brought snacks/coffee along to enjoy.
    -Sewed an Easter basket for my DSIL with colorful pastel fabric I had in my stash.
    -Made banana bread, apple bread, and chocolate chip cookies. Restocked the freezer.
    -Turned the heat down to 62 during the day while we were running errands.
    -Repotted some house plants and placed them on the window sill of a sunny south facing side of the house.
    -Using large tote boxes we had in our attic for our recylables rather than buying a recylacle can for the garage.
    -Checked the air in the tires of our car.
    -Said a thankful praise for all that we have.

  70. Happyhappy-
    I would love to make apple bread (anything baked with apples … oh my!), would you mind posting the recipe you have? I make apple muffins and apple cake but have not tried apple bread.

    Mary

  71. Good work with the sale! Love the photos! The quality of your photos, Brandy, lifts your blog higher among similar ones in my eyes!
    I made granola and melted chocolate into it. My daughter loves chocolate granola but when I buy it I tend to snack chocolate pieces out of it. Hope this works better!

  72. I cut up envelopes and other scraps of paper to stick in my diy-notepad of scrap paper pieces in a paper clamp.
    I reused the bags that diapers and paper rolls come in for trash bags in the bathroom.
    I bought train tickets ahead of time at a third of the usual price.
    I knit a pair of baby socks for a present, from a bit of left over yarn.
    I made drool bibs for the baby from my husbands old button down shirts, which cost me about 10 cent a piece for the button, compared to more than 20$ a piece for the same type of bib from the fancy children’s clothing brands.

    I splurged on a take-away coffee, which satisfied my shopping “urge” for the week 😀

  73. Thank you, Maxine, for the encouragement. He is excited but a bit nervous. He will do fine, I know it. I will cry and cry and then get over it. It is just so far away.
    Jeannie

  74. Thank you Momsav for commenting. We stopped at the grocery store yesterday and I bought him anything he wanted. Frugality was thrown out the window – I am preparing his “last meal.” His oldest brother is off this weekend and is coming home to visit so all of us will be together.

    Next week we begin cleaning out his closet and his room. Trash bags. Trash bags. Trash bags. I told him he will do it before he leaves or I will get out my garden shovel after he is gone and do it myself. Next week will be rough.
    Jeannie

  75. I’m having a yard sale at the end of the month, I hope to make that much too!
    Your yard is so lovely!
    xo
    Kate

  76. I make my own baking powder out of baking soda and cream of tartar. Very easy to make and no aluminum nor additives. And one less thing to store

  77. Jennifer, I read on Frugalwoods.com about using a large CO2 canister instead of the smaller and much more expensive soda stream cartridges. My husband followed their directions and we’re saving tons. Just something for you to consider.

  78. I’m not suggesting you buy rock-hard brown sugar, but if what you have at home hardens, tear up a slice of bread and seal it in a plastic bag or jar with the hard brown sugar. It will be soft by the next day. Leave the bread in with the brown sugar until it is gone, and it will stay soft. It’s the moisture in the bread that does it. A couple of slices of apple also will work.

  79. From experience I knew that the last couple weeks before Easter they sell the chocolate rabbits BOGO. My family has asked me to limit their candy to one rabbit this year and my DD will make some small chocolates from the mold I bought her last summer. (I will do Easter brunch too, just LESS chocolate.) My DD, SIL, and DGD all are cutting back on sweets! So today I bought them at BOGO prices. Cutting back will be a moneysaver too.
    Went to Sam’s Club this week and spent on just what I needed from my list (plus husband’s chibatta rolls, which he always has to get there. Picked up a couple things for my DD too–it’s a 30 mile trip so we consult each other before we go. Any time I get out of there for under $100, I feel like it’s an accomplishment—under by about $20 this time. Then I didn’t need much at the grocery store on my regular run today, so got milk and fruit and BSCB on sale. Had bought whole chickens at Sam’s and had two meals from the first one already. Made about 2 qts of broth from the carcass and still have chicken and gravy and plain chicken for chicken salad. It’s gonna be a chicken-y weekend! Also managed to calculate and file my taxes this week–that took surprisingly longer than I thought it should (I do them every year.) so there is some housework left for the weekend, and my DGD’s birthday to celebrate (her 26th, and the first one she wasn’t at home for.) She and 2 girlfriends went to a writing conference in Tampa last week and had a surprise party for her before they left. We will celebrate on Sunday, a week and a day late! Also had lunch with my two sisters, and a doctor appt for me and everything was fine! No wonder not much housework got done.

  80. I’ve used the apple trick, which gives baking a nice bit of apple taste. I’m very glad to know about using bread, though, since I am more likely to have that in the house.

    I don’t understand how a shelf-full of sealed bags of brown-sugar could all be hard, though.

  81. Congrats on such a successful yard sale! That will be such a blessing to your family. We don’t live in a very yard sale friendly area (neighborhoods are spread out with the mountains and windy roads), so we have more success listing things on Craigslist or eBay. There’s probably a little more work involved with writing up the posts, but we’ve already successfully sold several things this year, enough to cover the cost of our CSA share and hopefully an unexpectedly high medical bill.

    This week, our successes were frugal birthday celebrations at home, eating all meals at home, and cleaning out a few more areas of the house. We did receive a really high bill for some testing that we had for our baby (he had chest congestion that wouldn’t clear for weeks, so we did the recommended testing, which was thankfully negative). The insurance didn’t cover nearly what we thought it should, but the billing was right. We’ll work with the hospital billing office to work our an interest free payment plan.

    Check out more of our week here. Please leave a comment if you visit; I’d love to know you stopped by!
    https://liveandsave.blogspot.com/?_sm_au_=isVFqrkkVT4sq51f

  82. Elizabeth, when the sugar in the store is rock hard, it just means it is old. It is still good. Once when we had just moved, the store here had a cart full of one pound boxes of brown sugar, hard as a rock, or 25 cents a box. I bought them all, took them home & opened enough to fill a larger Tupperware canister, then set a sugar disc made of terra cotta on top. By the next day, all the sugar in the canister was soft. You can buy the terra cotta discs for about a dollar each online. One year I gave two of them to all my children as an extra stocking stuffer. You just plop the disc in a bowl of water for a few minutes, dry it off & put it in with the sugar. Works great, & 25 cents a pound for sugar works for me!

  83. The first time I came here I was up about half the night reading most of the old blog posts! Lots of great ideas…

  84. I love everyone’s comments. Congrats on your yard sale – it sounds like you did very well.

    *Made all meals at home. Spent some time looking up recipes to use up stuff I needed to be used. Discovered a new favorite.

    *Combined errands. Also have been able to request many books that I wanted to read at the library.

    *Repaired small tears & loose buttons on various clothing items

    *My youngest is in a play where we have to help supply costumes. Used what we already had on hand

    *Our daughter is taking a sewing class. For her next project we were able to use fabric that was never used by the older daughter. I don’t have a stash of fabric because I don’t sew much. So this was a great blessing. Same daughter got her first job at a place that is close enough to walk/bike if needed.

    *My husband did all our taxes and our children also did all their taxes using Turbo Tax. Our taxes aren’t complicated and it is worth it to buy it when we can 5 people do their taxes using the program.

    *One of our toilet handles broke and my husband had the part already and fixed it quickly. Running toilet sounds drive me bonkers so I was very grateful.

    *Bathed our dogs instead of paying someone else to do it. We all end up wet after the experience 🙂

    *Shopped sales and clearance items. Kept under budget again.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week. Thanks again for all the ideas and encouragement!!! You are all amazing 🙂

  85. Your daffodils are just beautiful. Ours are a couple months out still.

    Still stocking up little by little. We have fallen back into stress eating and do not look or feel our best. Midterms for DS and work stress for me. It’s amazing how quickly we fall back into bad habits. One thing that does make me feel better is looking for ways to not spend. I’ve been staying home as usual and enjoy being cozy in our cabin while the snow piles up by the foot and the bitter winds blow.

    DS has next week off and I have the following one off. DH and DD do not. That keeps the dogs out of their kennel, but also saves on gas and spending. We continue on our mission to return to zero…my dental cleaning is done and all my preventative annuals are scheduled. DS has his dental cleaning next week. We have great insurance now, so that is good and mostly free. Still paying off medical bills from when our insurance wasn’t very good.

    Paid on our credit card bill and kept up with other bills. The electric bill is higher as a result of the extreme cold weather we had last month. Although I had hoped to have paid off another bill this month, I am much relieved to have stocked up on dog food, paper products, food, oil and a couple of other needed items.

    Found a penny, ate leftovers, reheated leftover coffee, washed one load less than usual, I soaked off the label and cleaned a glass salad dressing bottle to use as I work on making my own dressing, I accepted a new toothbrush and packed it in my shower bag, I reused an envelope that was stamped and not sent, and I continued to use scrap paper and envelopes for notes (clipping them together as a “pad” is a good idea!). We continue to use scrap paper goods that would be thrown out to start our woodstove fires. Picked up a number of free paperback novels for emergency reading.

    We are still enjoying the birds from our bird feeder. Such a joy. We have been getting our exercise by snowshoeing for free.

  86. That would be a great deal! This was full shelf, all at full price. Someone had actually stocked the shelf that way.

    I would have thought that the sealed plastic bag would have kept the moisture in no matter how long the bags sat, but clearly that’s not true.

  87. I’ve noticed that beet sugar goes harder faster, as well as store brands with thinner plastic bags. C&H cane sugar can last a long time in our dry climate in the bag without going hard.

    I use a terracotta brown sugar bear in a plastic container with a lid to keep my brown sugar soft. It will soften hard brown sugar, too, as Marivene noted above. I prefer it to bread (no bread crumbs in my sugar) and it can always be resoaked and used again.

  88. The changes to the US tax code will make it so that far fewer people will have enough deductions to itemize. It’s going to be a big change for many families!

  89. Wow, you act like a mom about to give birth, LOL. I can’t imagine having a garage sale–let alone reorganizing the kitchen–for any other reason. From the number of responses you’ve already received, I’m guessing we all logged on to see if your baby had made an appearance yet. Here is my list.

    (1) Trashpicked a 3×5 ft. doormat. There were actually 3 available, so I snatched up the best one and vamoosed before I got caught. This might have been the high point of my week, LOL.

    (2) Spent $8.96 at thrift stores for merchandise worth at least $160.

    (3) A double play! I have been pricing garden trellises online and haven’t been too thrilled with either the selection or the prices. At ShopKo, I found a wrought iron trellis I loved for $39.99, which was actually a good price. They were on sale for 30% off, and I had a coupon for $10 off $25 or more purchase. The final cost was $17.99–I saved $23! And I LOVE the trellis.

    (4) I placed a wanted posting on freecycle at least 2 months ago for plastic nursery pots. Thursday I got a response and picked up about 25 containers.

    (5) (1) Saved $75 in airline baggage charges on our return from Hawaii because we have the airline’s branded CC. We are too old to schlepp our bags through the airport, onto the plane and into the overhead bins, so we would have paid to check them.

    (2) Trashpicked a 3×5 ft. doormat. There were actually 3 available, so I snatched up the best one and vamoosed before I got caught. This might have been the high point of my week, LOL.

    (3) Spent $8.96 at thrift stores for merchandise worth at least $160.

    (4) A double play! I have been pricing garden trellises online and haven’t been too thrilled with either the selection or the prices. At ShopKo, I found a wrought iron trellis I loved for $39.99, which was actually a good price. They were on sale for 30% off, and I had a coupon for $10 off $25 or more purchase. The final cost was $17.99–I saved $23! And I LOVE the trellis.

    (5) I placed a wanted posting on freecycle at least 2 months ago for plastic nursery pots. Yesterday I got a response and picked up about 25 containers.

    (6) Today I potted up a dozen yellow columbines. I had been thinking about taking them to a plant swap next week, but they are so small and pathetic I’m not sure I’ve got the guts! I can always plant them at our new home. You have to pot up or transplant columbines when they are tiny so that you don’t break the tap root. (I might go to the plant swap empty-handed and see if any leftovers are offered).

  90. My mom also went through her kitchen and closets in preparation for the garage sale and she definitely wasn’t pregnant! We both were frustrated at too-full drawers and closets, and the neighborhood garage sales are the second weekend in April, so when I have a sale I like to have it before then to have enough money to go out to the sales. Plus, then we have room for anything new we purchase. I won’t buy new kitchen items at garage sales unless I get rid of something else in the cabinets so that I have a place to store those items. This made it easy to know if I had room when I went shopping. I made enough for that plus the money I needed to purchase some plants for the garden which go on sale in March, so the timing was perfect. If I didn’t have the garage sale, I wouldn’t have had the money to go purchase things we needed at the garage sales in April nor the fruit trees and tomato plants. Im just happy I didn’t have to use the money on the utilities; I almost did. There are other reasons to clean things out and have a sale.

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