This was one of those weeks where I spent a lot, but as frugally as possible!

I purchased oats, popcorn, flour, and sugar in bulk for the lowest cost per pound. Some of each of these were packed for Winter to take with her to college.

Using fabric that I bought on sale at Hobby Lobby last year, I sewed an apron for my husband for his birthday. I bought him a candy bar that he likes, a Milka Mint Oreo Crunch bar that was on sale (half off for $4; it’s huge!), as well as ice cream on sale (3.99 a gallon!). We went out to Red Robin for his free birthday burger, which we split, and I ordered a side of fries with it.

Winter cut out and began sewing a new wool jacket for herself to take to college using the scraps leftover from making her coat. She only had enough because the coat she is making has princess seams, the back is cut from two pieces rather than on the fold, and the sleeves are also two pieces. I realized that modifying a pattern in this way in the future could enable me to cut a bodice and sleeves from leftover scraps for a dress, so I may use the same technique in the future to get another piece from leftover scraps.

I took Winter to two thrift stores to look for clothing for both of us. We found several things for both of us, including several new items. I found a few dresses for my next two daughters, a sweater that I can gift Liberty for her birthday, and a shirt that I can gift Octavius for his birthday. Most items are fine as is, but a couple of items we’ll modify slightly–shorten a skirt, take in another skirt, take in a dress, take in a blouse, undo a hem to make a dress a little longer, and turn a dress into a skirt. I undid the hem of the dress for myself this week; it was a 2-inch hem, and by undoing it and sewing a narrow hem, the dress is now knee-length on me.

I found a beautiful new dress for myself at Ross for $15 that I can wear to church and to photograph weddings. I had been looking online for a dress just like this, and I was very surprised when I found this one at Ross for so little! It’s a light pink lace stretch pencil dress with elbow-length sleeves.

I cleaned and reorganized my closet to see what I have and what things I still need. I have been building a new wardrobe over the last few years in my smaller size (in between having my last two children) that is mostly from thrift store finds. While it is taking a while, I am delighted to have found some pieces that were exactly what I wanted, for a whole lot less. The organization is uplifting to look at; I organized by color and item type (skirts, dress, blouses, t-shirts, and cardigans). Seeing my clothes organized by color, item type, and from lightest to darkest makes my closet feel magazine-worthy, which is a delight.

After cleaning the closet, I did what I call “The Great Clothing Swap” and changed out clothes for the season for the children into the next size up, using the plastic boxes that I keep in my closet. I have one 12-gallon tote for each clothing size for boys and girls on shelves in my closet (coats are kept in other boxes in the garage). I didn’t need to change anything for my three teenagers, which made the process easier this time. My daughters were delighted with “new” clothes and helped put up most of the old clothes, which was a big help to me.

Winter needed a new pair of shoes that she can walk in all over campus. I used a $5 off coupon that Famous Footwear sent me for my birthday towards a pair of Life Stride shoes (comfortable and supportive!) that were on clearance for $20.

My husband and his brother made electrical and plumbing repairs to our home, saving us hundreds of dollars over hiring someone to fix them.

After the repairs were made, I was able to plant a Fuji apple tree to replace my Dorsett Golden tree that didn’t make it. Fuji is a self-fertile apple (so I don’t need another tree to pollinate it) and is a low-chill tree that will produce apples even in climates with very mild winters as we have here. It’s a semi-dwarf tree, so in around 3-4 years I can expect a decent crop of apples.

The local nursery had a deal to buy any one item on Saturday and receive free ladybugs. The manager of the store, knowing me as a regular customer of 18 years, offered me a packet of ladybugs for each child! He said they had so many free ones to give away that he gave me even more–around 20! I needed to buy some more drip line as I am needing to replace more of my 12-year-old lines, so this was perfect timing.

I harvested lemons, Swiss chard, snow peas, and green onions from the garden.

I made four batches of laundry soap, including some for Winter to take with her to school.

Winter received notice this week that she’ll qualify for some grants from the university for fall 2019, Winter 2020, and Spring 2020. These will be enough to cover her required student health insurance. We’re still waiting to hear about Pell grants for that time, but we are happy that she had received these! She applied the day after she was accepted just a few weeks ago. We were too late for financial aid for Spring 2019 term, as they had reopened enrollment, but we are able to pay for her tuition and books out of pocket during that time with money we had saved.

I opened the windows to cool and air out the house. I love having the windows open in spring!

What did you do to save money last week?



Similar Posts


  1. I altered a pair of jeans that I’d bought at the thrift store. I’m 6 feet tall and pants of any type are hard to find. These fit me in the waist and were long enough, but they were not an attractive leg shape. After altering they are not-quite skinny jeans, which is perfect for me. Funny note: the little girl in the home where my oldest rents a room while in grad school, calls skinny jeans ‘tiny pants’.
    We continue to stay with friends while we’re in between houses. I am helping my friend with projects.
    I received several plants for free at a plant give-and-take (you didn’t have to bring any to be able to take). This was put on by the master gardeners. I also separated a house plant that had grown very big and dense. I repotted the piece I will keep, and also potted 3 other pieces which I will give to friends before I move away.

  2. Continued banking swagbucks points; should have enough this month to redeem one $25 card each for Amazon, Target, Safeway & Walmart. Made summer purchases at Walmart for my son using swagbucks gift cards & also at Lowe’s for potting soil & vegetable plants. Accepted some imperfect produce from my mom’s neighbor. My parents dropped by & dropped off some items they picked up at Trader Joe’s, including fruit, vegetables & risotto. My dad treated us once this week for lunch & once this week for dinner. As we will be traveling this week, focused on using food in fridge before it spoils. Also planned our dinner to take with us to eat at the airport. Took inventory of gift closet….my son is invited to two birthday parties this week!

  3. I planted peas, spinach, lettuce, turnips and radishes in my garden. I canned dried beans for the pantry 17 black beans, 12 small red and 3 cans pinto to fill in the load. Stocked up on bargains for the pantry including sugar at 99 cents for 4 # s, I bought the limit of 5 , dial bar soap 3/$1 , shampoo and condtitioner $1 each. Toilet paper at Costco their brand of 30 rolls for $16.99 this lasts my husband and I 6 months even with kids and grandkids visiting bought two to last the web year. Love the creative ways you and Winter do your sewing projects I always learn something new from your posts! I look forward to your posts and all the comments each week! Thank you for sharing Gaila in the NW

    1. But (other than they are cute) why do you want ladybugs? Around here (Midwest) they can be a nuisance!

        1. They sure do! I put an open bag at dusk in my rose garden. In the morning they were all over, happily eating the aphids. After a day or so, they moved on, flew away. No more aphids on the roses for the rest of the summer.

      1. Linda G, real ladybugs are NOT a nuisance. They are a beneficial insect. However they are being run out by the Asian lady beetle which is what you see more and more. Those are the ones you see big clusters of inside and outside the house.

  4. This week I bought 27 more pounds of ground beef on sale for $1.99/lb. Our Kroger’s flyers all were misprinted and said it was the 80/20 grade when it was supposed to be the 73/27 grade. Since I was there the mornin* of the first day of the sale, the manager agreed to let me get the better grade fo4 the sale price. By noon,friends told me that there was a sign up saying it was a mistake-print and only the cheaper grade could be purchased at that price. I saved almost 50% over their normal ($3.47/pound) price! I made 2 meat loaves and have cooked up and crumbled 15 pounds so far!

    I also found 30 oz packages of sliced turkey breast marked down to $3.47/ package! I bought all 8 packages and will make Ranch turkey/cheese wraps with some. Some will be used in turkey sandwiches and the rest will be frozen for later!
    At my produce market, I bought a 20 pound box of tomatoes for $2 and none of them were over-ripe! So we have given some to family and friends and are enjoying them in sandwiches and salads! They also gave me a case (24 heads) of iceberg lettuce “ for my chickens”! Now, we prefer leaf lettuce but free is free and these heads didn’t look wilted or brown! We have used some in sandwiches and are grateful! We also shared some with friends and family.

    My car was really low on gas and I checked on gas buddy and saw that a couple stations near where I needed to run some errands were having a “ gas war” and gas was $1.95/gallon while all the other stations were $2.29 and up! Son and I both went up and filled our tanks! The next day, gas was between $2.59- 2.75/gallon! Gas Buddy on my phone (free app) has been so wonderful!

    So, with our side business, , orders have come in every day this week as we’ve sold more Microwave Soup Cozies, flannel Softies (allergy season is here!)and now Bowl Covers! Great way to use up some of my fabric scraps and add a little bit to savings at the same time!

    Continuing to prepare for hubs retirement the end of May! Exciting, but scary!

    Took out more books from the library. What a wonderful resource our libraries are!

    Hubs signed up to bring cookies to a potluck at work and he wanted to learn how to DIY them. I had him look on my “Cookies” Pinterest board to find some he liked. I went into kitchen with him just to answer questions, but had him find things and make the cookies on his own. He was so excited to see them as they came out of the oven! With only 2 months left until retirement, when he’s found a programming problem at work or when a co-worker is stuck on a problem instead of just giving them the answer or fixing it, he has started to put the problem to all his programmers and will give them a clue or two to get them started. He feels like they need to have those skills after he is gone and not available to “fix” things for them! Not a bad idea! So he was eager to learn how to make the cookies on his own (not that I plan on going anywhere in the near future! Lol!)

  5. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    I am so glad Brandy you have been building a wonderful new low cost wardrobe for yourself and your children, get some new plants, made savings in work around your home with doing it yourselves and was able to stockup your pantry again in some areas 🙂 . Fantastic news about Winter getting some grants too and making herself some new clothing as well. It sounds like you have set her up well to go to university Brandy and planned well ahead too for expenses.

    Our savings added up to $309.84 last week :).

    In the kitchen –

    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Made 2 batches of MOO yoghurt.

    In the craft/sewing room –

    – Priced and packaged homemade items to take to the school fete to sell Saturday as we are had a stall there and volunteered to run one for the local RSL sub branch club too to raise funds for the veterans too.

    In the gardens –

    – Did a yard cleanup and got rid of any rotted wood from the vineyard destruction, old grapevines, venetian blinds that were not working and a broken down fan to the tip. It looks much neater and tidier now.
    – DH mowed and whipper snipped the yard and we mulched around the mulberry, mandarin tree and native shrubs in the yard.
    – DH earned $150 from paid gardening work this week.

    Finances –

    – Banked quite a bit more money into our bank emergency kitty from savings in most budget categories over the last few months, just over $500 🙂 .

    Purchases –

    – Bought a 5 piece fire tool set and flue cleaning kit on eBay saving $175.04 on buying them locally in our country stores.
    – Purchased 10 cotton long sleeved t-shirts for me saving $30 on usual prices.
    – From the hardware store DH purchased out of his earnings from gardening a 216 m roll of whipper snipper cord (the larger rolls worked out to be just over half the price per metre than the smaller rolls) and a 250kg load furniture removalist trolley on special saving $104.80 on usual prices.

    Hope everyone has had a wonderful week :).


    1. hi there lorna
      can you maybe tell me what moo yoghurt is?
      Im from south africa and have been reading this blog for a couple of years and it changed my life to see all the wonderfull advice and acomplishments
      and i always look forward to reading your comment lorna

      1. Hi Laurika and the MOO yoghurt is make your own at home. We use a easiyo yoghurt maker to make it from a started of either shop purchased yoghurt or some from a previous batch of yoghurt we have made at home. It is so much cheaper anyway for us here to make it at home rather than purchase it in the supermarkets.

        Thank you I love reading everyone’s comments too and learn so much from everyone and I love Brandy’s recipes she has in the cook section of this website too 🙂 .

        This lady has lots of Moo recipes so if you type that into her website you will be able to make a lot of items at home rather than purchasing them in the shops too.

        Here is the link to the yoghurt recipe – .

        And the recipe from that site too –

        To make 1 litre of yoghurt you will need:
        A clean 1 litre jar with a screw top lid
        A wide mouthed thermos that will hold the jar
        2 cups milk powder (either full cream or skim, it’s up to you)
        2 tablespoons natural yoghurt (this is the starter)
        Cool water (tap water is fine as long as it’s not really cold).

        Half fill the jar with cool water, add the milk powder and the 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt. Put
        the lid on and shake well to combine. Make sure there are no lumps of milk powder left. Fill the
        jar to the top with more water, seal and shake well.

        Place the jar in the thermos. Pour boiling water around the jar until it reaches approximately 2/3
        of the way up the sides. Put the lid on the thermos, sealing it tight.

        Set aside for 8—12 hours, depending on how thick you like your yoghurt. Once it has reached the consistency you like, place the jar of yoghurt in the fridge to cool.

        Sweeten to taste with sugar or honey and add fruit, syrups, muesli etc.

        Some suggestions:
        Vanilla: Add 1tsp vanilla essence, 1tbspn vanilla ice-cream flavouring and 2 tsp sugar. Mix well.

        Strawberry: Add 2tbspn strawberry topping and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries

        Honey: Add 1tsp vanilla essence and 1 tbspn honey. Mix well.

        Note: If you have an Easiyo thermos and jar, use these to make your yoghurt.

        And a link to lots of other make your own products at home too – just click on the blue links for the recipe you are interested in making and it will give you instructions.

        I hope this helps give you more ways to save money and make more things at home.


        1. Lorna, every time you said MOO yogurt I thought you just meant you were using cow milk as opposed to something else, like goat or soy. Hahaha.

  6. I have been making a concentrated effort to make meals from foods that have been in the freezer for a while. One of these items was several bags of roasted and pureed pumpkin. When I first started reading this blog, several people were talking about roasting and freezing their pumpkins. Since I had bought heirloom pumpkins at the farmer’s market, I decided to give it a try. That was in 2017. I have used some of that pumpkin for muffins, bread and pancakes. Yet, there was still plenty in there. Yesterday was the day to use it up. I was concerned that it might be too old, but it looked fine so I went ahead and made a pumpkin apple soup recipe with it. It turned out absolutely delicious! Fortunately there was enough left for a few more meals this week. I also had some diced turkey from Thanksgiving that was turned into a turkey wild rice soup. I had some pesto from last summer’s garden that I had frozen in ice cube trays. We spread that on some bread I made in the bread machine and served it with the soup.

    I have been eating salad daily with the lettuce growing on my patio. There are three varieties growing along with parsley and cilantro in pots. After just reading about the many health benefits to be found in these herbs, I have been adding them to my salads. Growing them right outside the door has been a very convenient way to tend and harvest my little crop.

    We have been enjoying time spent on the patio watching the birds at the feeder and the bluebirds who are visiting the houses we have set out for them. Fingers crossed that there will soon be little bluebird families to keep us entertained. The patio doors have been opened for fresh air most days.

    I found a beautiful matted and framed picture at the Habitat Restore. It was in colors that were perfect for my house and had a lovely frame. It was marked $5 and was 10% off for the senior discount.

    I sold two things on Ebay and several household items that I had taken to the consignment store. We made a downsizing move last fall and I took a lot of things there. Almost everything has been sold. It has turned out to be a good way to make some money from things I will no longer be using.

  7. We were able to take our girls on a quick trip to Universal Studios. We fly free through my husband’s job and also had a free hotel room because of his being there for business. We scored a deal on the tickets and brought lots of snacks. We were there for 2 days and had a wonderful time. My older children took care of our dogs so we didn’t have to pay someone else to do it. The weather was truly beautiful in Burbank that day – 70 degrees.

    All meals were made at home except for our weekly date night and we used a gift card.

    My daughter is getting married. She decided not to have a reception – evidently it’s not something the groom’s side wants to do either. We are having an open house and splitting the cost of the food with the groom’s family. A family member is helping with all of the food. We did splurge on her dress – but everything else has been very frugal. Our friend is doing the flowers, invites are being bought using codes, friends are taking the engagement photos. We did hire a professional photographer but just for one hour. I found a dress for myself in her colors for $21 on Amazon. My daughter wanted photos of us at the temple done by a professional. I’m happy about how things are being planned. It should be a lovely day.

    *I have been weeding and trimming bushes and spring weather is finally showing up around my place. We are still receiving lots of rain which I am so grateful to see. We even have a snow forecast for this week – which is crazy to me. It will melt quickly though because our temps have been in the 60s. I’m glad I haven’t planted anything yet.

    Love your beautiful post this week! Congrats on all your accomplishments!

    1. Amy, I think the photos are money well spent! I don’t regret paying for photos for our wedding.

      I went to an open house for a wedding once and I thought it was wonderful! The parents and bride and groom stood at the door to greet everyone as they came in. I loved it!

      1. Thank you for the comment. I feel better about it as I’ve talked to people. It seems to be becoming the norm and isn’t unusual to most people I’ve spoken.

    2. Amy, I will have to admit that I have never been to a wedding without a reception but that just may be more my culture. However it is totally up to the couple how they want their day and I think they have done some very fine planning. An open house sounds fun. Blessings to them for a long and happy wedded life.

  8. That was a busy week, Brandy! That’s great that you were able to find so many things at the thrift store, too.
    I hang my clothes by color, but not type. Maybe I should incorporate type as well – that’s a good idea. I love our smallish home (less than 1600 sq. ft.) but the master bedroom closets are both quite small and have steeply angled ceilings. My little walk-in closet has right at 30″ of hanging rod space. My husband’s closet’s hanging rod is about 4 ft., but his closet is shallow and has fewer shelves than mine, so obviously, organization and de-cluttering are key in our closets.
    To save money this week:
    I washed the car myself.
    I pulled some unwanted weeds in an area in which I’m encouraging the spread of wildflowers — less mowing is needed if they fill in.
    I prepped and cooked some of my main dishes on the weekend to save time and energy during the week, since I work outside the home.
    I used my pressure cooker instead of my oven, since the days got quite warm and we are avoiding air conditioning yet. We have windows open too.
    I got a correction on the price of asparagus at the store. Their flyer and the shelf price were off by $2.00 a pound. The clerk called the produce manager over to fix the shelf price as soon as he finished ringing me up, so I saved some other folks some money, too.
    I got a reminder that I still have some store credit left with ThredUp. I’ll be looking for some replacement items for things I have just plain worn out.
    I zested the last of our Meyer lemons and dried the zest. I then juiced the lemons for lemonade. It’s so good!
    I refilled the hummingbird feeders with my homemade hummer food.
    I called and got a reduction on a medical bill.
    One of the things I cooked this weekend was a chicken. I plan to have chicken and vegetables one night, chicken tenders another night (I cut the breast meat off before I cooked the rest of the chicken), and chicken soup a third night. I might be able to get a batch of chicken salad or a chicken pot pie out of that same chicken, too, if I’m careful.
    It amazes me to hear that Winter just sits down and starts a coat or jacket, something I have never dreamed of making. She’s fearless with her sewing, which means she’ll get better and better as she takes on greater challenges. I’m still afraid of zippers, ha.

  9. Congrats to Winter on her grants! That will help a lot. And I love your garden photos as always!

    My frugal week:
    – Using my homemade Knock-Your-Socks-Off Cream of Mushroom Soup, I made Not Your Momma’s Cheesy Mushroom & Pea Casserole ( I made a large pan of it which lasted for three meals. I used up homemade breadcrumbs in it, and some grated cheese from my freezer (purchased on sale). This is a healthy and super-yummy comfort food dish and inexpensive. I love it as a main dish for myself since it’s full of protein, but I serve it as a side dish for my husband.
    – I made some Berry Peach Jam to stir-in to my homemade Greek Yoghurt. I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and peaches, all from my freezer (I buy fruit on sale and freeze it).
    – I made a batch of Brandy’s Rosemary White Bean Soup, using fresh homegrown rosemary from a plant that I am overwintering inside.
    – I baked a loaf of no-knead Rosemary Bread twice. So yummy! I turned a few slices into seasoned breadcrumbs.
    – I redeemed a Starbucks reward for a free sandwich, and another reward for a large salad, so two free meals. I love their salads but would never pay $10 for one, so this works out perfectly! Plus, I love free food!
    – I used a $3 of $10 coupon at Bulk Barn when I was buying about $7 worth of supplies. I remembered that I had the coupon in my email and added in a few dollars worth of Smarties. They’re supposed to be for my baking…but will probably be eaten late at night when the baby is teething and I’m craving chocolate. At least it fits in the budget! I also combined a $3 off $10 coupon with a $3.50 rebate to buy some coconut flour for a reasonable price.
    – My cookbook supper club had a get-together. We chose a cookbook available from the library so that no one had to purchase it, and I made two dishes that used ingredients I had in the house, Roasted Curried Carrot & Coconut Soup, and Roasted Chickpeas. I only had to buy a can of coconut milk, which I purchased on sale a few weeks prior. My sister gave me a teaspoon of coriander from her pantry so that I didn’t have to buy a whole container. A lovely way to stretch our cooking skills, socialize, and have a delicious meal!
    – My dad is in the hospital so I made my mother a meal to take with her to make sure that she is taking care of herself too: rosemary white bean soup, rosemary bread, and a blueberry lemon muffin. I like to feed people. ?
    – I made a batch of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, using the coconut flour I mentioned above, plus chocolate chips from my stash (purchased in bulk at Costco using a work membership), plus eggs purchased last month using my trading app digital currency. Now that’s an affordable gluten-free food!
    – I bought green onions on sale and cut and froze the greens. Now trying to regrow them in water. I plan to regrow them a few times indoors and hopefully by then it will be warm enough outside to plant them outdoors for the summer.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gc to Old Navy.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as always!

  10. I bought new tires and had an alighnment done. It was 632 dollars. However, since my total commute time is 2 hours a day, 120 miles, I guess I should be grateful I have not had a blowout. I went to SAMS and stocked up on nuts, dried fruit, canned corn, green beans, tomato sauce, tomato soup. The tomato soup is an actual treat because I usually make it from tomato paste. I also bought ground beef reduced for quick sale. I do not think it was a great bargain, but I never seem to find deals on ground beef, I made a ground beef , carrot, tomato sauce, and dried bean soup in the crockpot, It actually is sorta like a watered down version of chilli, but I do not like the spices most folks put in chilli, and I prefer it in soup form, so this will be my supper all week.

  11. I’ve been selling items that I post on Facebook Marketplace. I’ve made $1400 since the end of February. That money has allowed us to purchase a gently used executive office set, remodel (I’m doing all the remodel work myself) our guest bathroom, buy ($200) a gently used large dining room table set with 8 chairs, purchased groceries for the month, a few little extras for the house and for ourselves. We have nothing left of the $1400, but it allowed for us to grow a little without touching our checking or saving accounts. My husband purchased a new 50″ 4K Ultra HD t.v. for our bedroom on clearance for under $200 as an early birthday present for me. I know you’re probably thinking that’s too much for a bedroom, but I can explain. We have a large bedroom (550sqft) and I do yoga in our room. I was using our sons old 23″ t.v. to watch my yoga on. It was a real struggle for me to see that tiny t.v.. I guess my husband felt it was time to upgrade, and I only asked for a 32″ lol. I’m happy and thankful for it and for all weve been able to do with that money. We’ve still got the attic and half of our shed to go through, so I’m hopeful we’ll be able to sell more items.

  12. I am still ill so I haven’t left the house. This saves me time and money.
    I. like you, Brandy, have had plumbing and electrical issues in my 100 year old house. Thank goodness for my husband. There isn’t much he can’t fix.
    We are adding a second bathroom to the house. There is a large 8′ x 8′ room in the middle of the house that I assume was a storage room when the house was built. We are building the shower at the moment. I have had to spend around $100.00 to get the shower built. I got the tile for 97 cents a square foot. An amazing price. The tile looks like marble. The toilet and sink are both used and have been bleached to within an inch of their lives. *laughing*
    Once this bathroom is finished my main bathroom will be ripped out. I have had a leak in the shower wall (who knows how long) that has rotted out the floor.
    The price for having these bathrooms built and redone would be thousands of dollars and we will be doing it for hundreds and lots of sweat equity.
    I cooked one large roast in the slow cooker again this week. I will get 20 meals out of that meat.
    I bought a pork loin that will be cut into boneless pork chops. This is so much cheaper than buying pork chops.
    There isn’t much else this week.
    Thanks for all you do.
    I love your pictures.

  13. Love the pictures of your garden! A friend and I cleaned up my backyard Friday and my daffodils (the first of my bulbs) are in bud and will start blooming this week. My friend brought me boxes of hens & chicks and a twirly sedum. I edged a curving path with hens and we planted some of the sedum to be the “hair” of my Zeus wall planter. Now I am passing the rest along to other gardening friends. Speaking of which, 3 of us have a weekly email where we inform the others of gardening deals and steals.

    I bought a 6x2x1 foot tall stock tank planter for $99. It doesn’t have a bottom. It looks like a stock tank for pygmy goats, LOL, and it is cute, cute, cute! We filled it with half-done compost and $16 worth of bagged gardening soil. (We turned the compost bins while we were at it). This doesn’t sound frugal–and even I won’t tell you that it was–but it was an easy fix for a low place in our garden. I also decided to plant in the same area a pear tree I have on order. Pears can take very wet soil.

    We did all of the usual frugal stuff. We had lunch Sunday at a neighborhood cafe and ate the leftovers for dinner.

    Congratulations to Winter on her grants! My mother used to piece/seam pattern pieces, too. If you’re lucky, it can look like it was supposed to be that way! When you get her off to college, I hope your pictures that week are of her modeling clothes she has made, upcycled or altered.

    Have a good week, everyone. BTW, I loved Lorna’s “whipper snipper” name for string trimmers.

    1. Forgot to mention, I used paint I already had to paint a little table for my patio. It has tropical leaves carved or routed into the top. I bought it several years ago at a thrift shop. The paint is a dark sage green/light olive green, and I’m really pleased with the results!

  14. We have been loving our cool spring weather here. I’ve loved having the windows open and having the orange blossoms scent in the kitchen. This week –
    – I used the tops of strawberries to flavor a pitcher of water in the fridge. Normally I would have just thrown them away but it turned out to be a refreshing drink to have after gardening, and for my two girls after school.
    – I redeemed an $40 Old Navy gift card I earned from credit card points. I combined this with a sale and Old Navy rewards points to get A nice pair of Gap pants, 2 skirts, shoes, socks and 2 blouses for $1.40 out of pocket! I’m applying for a job soon so I needed new clothes after being a stay at home mom for the last 6 years.
    – I found a few more places in the garden to plant vegetable seeds. I’m a little worried they won’t get enough sun because of a large block wall but if they come up I should be able to transplant them in a few weeks when my lettuce bolts.
    – My cat mint has gone crazy this spring so I’ve been taking cuttings of it and keeping it in a vase on my kitchen table. It’s nice to have greenery in the house.

    I can’t wait to read everyone’s responses, I get such good ideas from you all. Happy April everyone!

  15. Brandi,
    You might be interested in following Sarah Tyau on Instagram. She shops thrift stores for clothing and then alter’s and modifies them like you can’t imagine. Very impressive seamstress!!!

    1. Thank you SO much for posting this about Sarah Tyau- just went down the rabbit hole of looking at everything on her Instagram. So cool!

  16. Brandy I love how you demonstrate over and over the value of patience and how it helps with frugality. Your wardrobe is a great example of this. The dress from Ross sounds lovely and comfortable. I’m sure there was a sigh of relief when the grants for Winter for the 2019-2020 school year came through.

    • Hung laundry out to dry x 2
    • Sent a get well card from my stash using a stamp purchased before the rate increased in January
    • Read books from library
    • Reprogrammed the thermostat to have the heat on for only one hour, early in the morning. If we have chilly days, then I’ll manually override to turn the heat on in the evening. The outside temperatures are still jumping around with nights below freezing.
    • Started seeds inside and used old popsicle sticks as markers. I had saved a jug from buying distilled water for a CPAP machine. I made a “milk jug greenhouse” out of it. This is the first time I’ve tried this technique. The rest of the seeds are planted in compostable pots.
    • Went to a church rummage sale and found a 3qt Revere saucepan and a DVD for a total of $2.00. The saucepan had gunk cooked onto the bottom so I boiled water with 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda for 15 minutes. I did this twice and almost everything “disappeared”. I was able to finish cleaning the inside bottom with a little elbow grease.
    • Volunteered to work an exhibit table at a professional conference and received a free breakfast and lunch.
    • Washed ziplock bags to reuse
    • Washed the smelly pillows from my son’s bed in my washing machine with a little bleach.

    1. We are very thankful for them. The grants will cover her required insurance payments or pay for her books for those terms.

  17. The thrifty thing I did this week that most pleased me was fixing the zipper on the pouch that holds one of my tire pumps. I had to unpick the stitching around the end of the zipper, pull the slider off, get both sides of the zipper back onto the slider, stitch a new stopper on the zipper, and then restitch topstitch the end. It took just a few minutes. Then I glued the cracked foot back onto the pump with Shoe Goo. This is the third time I have tried reattaching the foot. I am hoping the third time is the charm. Super glue and duct tape worked only temporarily.

    I took in one very inexpensive black Lycra skirt that I bought too large. It had been so big I had been afraid I’d walk out of it some day. Two of my other skirts need new elastic to be as good as new.

    Yesterday, I assembled my mini greenhouse and put it in a sheltered corner of our south-facing porch. A plastic chair never blew away from that corner so I think it will stay put on windy days. But I won’t trust the shelving with my vintage Corning glass planters. I am eager to start planting but we’ve had killer frosts as late as June so I am trying to be patient. I intend to grow herbs and salad greens, things we eat raw, on the shelves. For summer, I will make a mesh door for the cover to keep out critters.

    Grocery shopping was expensive this week. But I saved 30% at one grocery store and over 10% at Dollar General. Our cupboards are full again.

    One doctor has told me to cut all coffee intake down to two cups. So far, I haven’t succeeded. So I ordered four different cereal or beet coffee substitutes from Amazon which I am awaiting. I am hoping at least one I will find drinkable.

    I also ordered an ultraviolet sanitizer for my CPAP hoses and mask because allergy season started and I didn’t see how I could keep all the nooks and cranies of the hose and nose piece clean. I hadn’t wanted a cleaner that generated ozone. But that’s what I inadvertently got. It was less than a third of the cost of the ozone-based cleaner that is heavily advertised on television. My water reservoir doesn’t fit in it but that is easy to clean at the sink. I submitted a review on that made it clear that the sanitizer uses both ultraviolet light and ozone to sanitize so others don’t make the same mistake as I.

    1. Is Pero one of them? It’s made from chicory. You may like that one! Have you tried substituting herbal teas instead? Obviously, it’s cold where you live, so something nice and warm to drink is preferable for you during the day. There are so many wonderful herbal teas!

      I love milk (love love LOVE milk) and juice, but I neither need the expense nor the calories of drinking both all day. I switched to drinking water all day. It takes a while to get used to (especially at breakfast) but I start the day off with a large glass of water, which is very refreshing when you wake up.

      1. Pero is one of them. I am drinking Red Zinger herb tea too, a cup every two or three days. I am trying to drink more water and probably have increased my consumption of water by two cups a day already.

        1. Hubby had to stop all caffeine and switched to Pero. We tried several kinds and it was the best. I buy a case from amazon and it lasts about 8 months for him.

      2. I really love milk, too. When I was really ill a few years ago, with an illness that lasted several years, my doctors told me it was important that I eat cheese, yogurt and drink milk, and none of it was to be low fat. I needed the calories and fat, apparently. I have to say that I miss those days of being ordered to drink full fat milk, as much as I wanted! He even wrote a prescription for a half gallon of milk a day and talked the insurance company into covering it. Free milk!

      1. Roasted dandelion? Hmm, in a few weeks I’ll have access to all the organic dandelion roots I could possibly use. I’ll look up how to roast the roots and try at least one cup. Free is a great price.

  18. This past week was all about saving for us, in multiple ways.

    We found free entertainment on Friday at an area school international arts night festival. It was a lot of fun, but it was packed! We packed a picnic so that we didn’t have to purchase concessions.

    I negotiated a bill with the integrative specialists to cut the cost by $35, which wasn’t huge, but at least a small savings. I also negotiated a deal with the local spa for sauna treatments if I pay up front for 10 sessions and bring my own towel, saving $50. The sauna treatments are expensive, but they’re helping my overall health, I think.

    We volunteered at the food pantry and were able to come home with two boxes of things we could use, including cereal, milk, plain yogurt, veggies, fruit, etc. We are so grateful for this food source right now, because it allows us to pay for the treatments to hopefully recover my health.

    I organized the seeds I’d saved from last year and will probably plan them in containers in a week or two. Many are greens, so they should produce rather quickly, and we’ve been eating a lot of greens, so this will cut our food budget a bit. We’re looking forward to our CSA starting in May.

    Here are the rest of our frugal accomplishments. Please stop by and leave a comment if you do! I love the community here!

    1. Allyson, I was just curious if your spa sauna treatments were an infrared sauna? A health practitioner recommended those to me for a back pain issue. She also thought that an infrared lamp to treat specific areas was a good idea and they can be fairly inexpensive to purchase. Haven’t tried it yet so would love to know, somewhere down the road, how it is working.

  19. I had a pretty frugal week! YAY!
    * I met my best friend half way for lunch and order the lunch specials and split a dessert.
    * I redeemed $15 in swagbucks for an Amazon gift card
    * I made banana bread with some ripe bananas and had all of the ingredients on hand.
    * A family friends son had a birthday and I put together a basket with Red box codes, popcorn and candy for nothing OOP. I had cellophane and ribbon on hand to complete the gift.
    * A friend shared day old bread/bagels/cookies/pastries from a local restaurant. I froze the majority for later use.
    * I used a couple of Target gift cards and coupons to purchase Easter candy for 52 cents OOP!
    * I borrowed a movie and some books from the library and also some E-books for my Kindle.
    * A friend doesn’t use coupons and gave me her coupons from the Sunday paper.
    Here’s to a Frugal and Fabulous Week!

  20. I have been ill so just staying at home trying to finish our little park society’s book. It is incredible how much research can now be done over the internet because so much has been digitized. I renegotiated my phone contract so I will save $50 per month. I am in the process of negotiating for a few other things. You are so lucky, Brandy, to have a handy husband and brother-in-law. It saves not only money but working with and judging and determining trustworthiness of unknown contractors. Such a pain.

    1. I negotiated fixing my front porch, (repairing the concrete edge that crumbled due to putting sand and gravel on it but not realizing that the sand and gravel had salt in it, buying, delivering and putting the stringers in
      and using my historic bricks for a new sidewalk, and re-asphalting the driveway (last done 60 years ago!). I got an excellent price on it all — it is the beginning of this season and they were eager to work. He came down 50%. They had to move three (historic) brick piles off the driveway and then back on again. It is not a perfect asphalt job but good enough. The man came by on Saturday. He did not want a deposit (I would never hire someone who wanted a deposit), and by Monday the job was done. Also, usually I would get references and check the BBB for negative reports. Also I told him he has to show his workers comp papers and his insurance. He had so much of it done early this morning that he did not show them to me by the time I got out there. I would only ever hire someone who had workers comp and insurance and maybe he had them. Fortunately, several neighbours were hiring him, too. I feel I was lucky to have it work out and no accidents. I cannot believe i jumped into this contract but it did work out fortunately.

  21. Hello Brandy and Frugal Friends,
    I hope everyone is having a great start to the week. I love to hear about everyone’s Frugal Accomplishments. It inspires me so much. Here are mine this past week:

    – My husband created a ginormous garden for me at our new house. He used wood and galvanized metal. Now, we just need the dirt in and we will be set. I am so excited to get going on my garden!
    – I have not been to the grocery store in a week or so, as I am trying to use what we have at home and not spend.
    – I have been very faithful with my websites that I use to earn such as Swagbucks, Earning Station, Perk, Ibotta, and Field Agent.
    – I mad a trip to a local store that I never knew was here. It sells canning supplies, feed, seeds and a bunch of other fun stuff. I never even knew it was here! I bought a pack of beans for sprouting and a mesh piece to go over a jar. I have done sprouts before but not for awhile. It should be fun!
    – I sent away for a lot of freebies which are on my site at:
    There are lots of free skin samples, kids activities, and more!
    – My mother in law brought us a meal yesterday because I have had strep and an ear infection. Also, what is a good home remedy to clear a stuffed up ear? It is driving me crazy and ringing. I tried hydrogen peroxide and it didn’t help and made me dizzy. I have also tried a warm compress, hot water? Any ideas?
    – We were not so frugal the past few days with getting some take out while I was sick. I hate to do it but my husband works a lot of hours and I have not felt well. I will get back to the program this week. Ugh!
    – I finished 4 crochet baby blankets for a large baby shower this Wednesday. I am proud of myself for accomplishing this!
    – That’s about all I can think of for now.


    1. I use this for ear infections: It’s willow/Garlic ear oil and I usually only have to use it once. I used it last week and it cleared up my daugther’s ear infection right away! It’s amazing.

    2. Put a really hot, wet, small washcloth in a mug ( rinse in super hot water and wring), and then cup that over your ear for awhile, don’t let the rag touch your ear- it should be way down in the mug. It really helps!

    3. I don’t know if this will help you, but I wanted to put it out there. I used to work in a doctor’s office, and for water-blocked ears (“swimmer’s ear”), the doctor would recommend using a capful (maybe 1/2 to 1 tsp) of rubbing alcohol. Pour it directly into the ear, tip your head over & let it sit for 10-30 seconds, then tip your head back over & let the alcohol drain out. The alcohol will evaporate any residual moisture inside the ear. May not work for all stuffed up ear methods, but if you have issues with water getting “stuck” in there (I do), it is a big help. I do this every time we get home from swimming as a precaution and I haven’t had swimmer’s ear in probably 25 years.

  22. Would you be willing to start adding monthly (or even quarterly) sum-up articles on groceries, like you used to? I enjoyed those as much or more than your weekly posts.

    1. Cindy, we have not been doing a lot of shopping over the last six months, as we have been eating down the pantry and freezers, so there wasn’t much to write about. Several things are getting low now and some things I still have lots of left! I will be shopping at the case-lot sale this month for canned goods and looking for sales on eggs, milk, and strawberries. If pasta goes on sale for $0.49 I will stock up and buy around 100 pounds. I did buy a few things at Sam’s last week (toilet paper, tomato sauce, rice) and bought a number of bulk items (mentioned above) at Winco. I kind of feel like the shopping posts are more repetitive than the frugal accomplishments posts and right now I’m not planning to add them back in, but that may change in the future. I’m feeling pretty stretched thin right now with all that I have going on and so I am posting what I can 🙂 I would really like to add in some other money saving posts in the future as well.

  23. My phone hiccuped and lost most of my notes for all of my savings in March 🙁

    Ones I remembered
    Rented Redbox movies only using codes, saving .50-1.25 each time

    Used the free carwash for Sam’s club members 3 times

    Our internet/DirecTV went up so I called to see if there were any new discounts. Got $38 in discounts

    I get Hulu free since we have Sprint and the oldest asked if we could add HBO for Game of Thrones. She’s splitting the cost since I had planned on adding it so I could watch.

    My mom spent the majority of March in and out of the hospital so she ended up sending a bunch of groceries to our house to use before they went bad.

    Hubby went fishing and caught several fish. While me and the 12yo are not a fan, it was several meals for him and the teen.

    While not really cheap, hubby purchased sausage casings, then used 6 pounds of deer meat to make snack sticks. He seasoned the meat, stuff the casings, and then dehydrated on our dehydrator. I sealed them with the food saver in packs of 5 and now he has snack sticks for work.

    Our vehicle insurance renews next week and it’s going down $76 a month.

    The oldest turned 22 mid March and she just asked if her dad could grill…hubby made ribs and salmon, I made macaroni salad and jalapeno poppers plus a red velvet cake. She went home with half a salmon filet and several ribs(which I think she liked more than her presents, lol). We had leftovers for several days also.

    As usual, combined errands and ate at home mostly the entire month

  24. DH and I had some former co workers for lunch at our house and it was fun and successful. They brought a big green salad and I cooked ham, bean and potato soup (leftover Christmas ham), rice and spinach casserole (for the vegetarian and everyone else, too), whole wheat bread and corn muffins (recipe on the cornmeal bag is very similar to Jiffy mix), and a variety of cookies. I froze the leftover cookies on a tray for an Easter potluck at church. I ate all the other leftovers for the next three days. My husband polished off the brownies.

    We are traveling to the East coast, visiting family in several locations this week. We’ll return for Easter. I always think it is kind of fun to plan for eating the perishable, refrigerated food and plan what to take in the car for meals along the way. I also bake homemade treats ahead to take to the folks who we will stay with and freeze these until the morning we leave. This time we are driving more each day – about 14 hours each day- so we only have one night of motel stay coming and going across the country to our first extended stop in Ohio.

  25. Brandy, thank you so much for the link for the ear drops. I clicked right over and bought a bottle. Sugar cookie keeps complaining and the doctor continues to find nothing wrong. The pollen is heavy enough here to scoop it up and bag it. I made a trip to the salvage store to stock up on Sudafed . At $2.00 a box I am grateful. They average $7.00 in the store. I bought 6 . Sadly I have a profound reaction to Claritin and Zyrtec . So far, we have managed to control the allergies and haven’t ended up with expensive doctor co payments. Arranging for school at the last moment has been hectic. Army boy will be arriving home soon. Hopefully he will be here in time to start this upcoming semester. He also will have various school funding available but I don’t know how much and for what semester. While at the college library, I saw where they were having an open house with free enrollment for that event. I pulled out my trusty power of attorney and quickly signed him up. We are still looking for a car but I am confident we will find the perfect choice. I made a trip to the thrift store to try and locate some desired items. I didn’t find anything on my list. As I passed by the backroom , I saw a Persian rug up against the wall. The lovely manager had it rolled out for me to look at and priced it at $60.00. I was so happy I could have danced in the store. This purchase was a rare find in my area. I recently had to trash mine and was devastated at its loss. This one is perfect for the color scheme in my house. We continue to work on the inside of the house. I’m using all supplies we have collected over the years. I hope to have all blinds and window treatments up this week.

    1. I suffered from terrible earaches a few years ago and doctors could find nothing wrong – finally he ear, nose & throat specialist suggested a trip to the oral surgeon. Sure enough, all my wisdom teeth were impacted and had to come out immediately – no more earaches. Might be worth checking out.

      1. I,too, suffered from mysterious earaches in my left ear and finally consulted an ENT. He diagnosed me with TMJ. Anti-inflammatories and jaw exercises helped. I still get earaches from time to time, but I start in with ibuprofen and exercises right away and the problem resolves.

  26. How wonderful you were able to find the exact dress you were wanting new and at a great price, as well as shoes for Winter and all your other thrifted finds. A friend and I went to an out of town nursery, and I found large plant saucers at much less than I have seen locally, as well as plants both there and at the farmer’s market. She also gave me a number of volunteer money plants (lunaria) from her yard. I’m looking forward to reading what everyone has been up to.

  27. Brandy,
    Congrats on a very productive week!

    We had two old-fashioned mercury lights on either end of our workshop. We replaced them with new outdoor fixtures. This was not frugal in the short run but should save us a considerable amount of money on electricity use in the long run. We should have done this years ago but it finally made it to the top of the to-do list.

    I found some pre-made pie crusts on sale for 25 cents so I bought 4 and used some strawberry jam (handmade from my freezer) and cream cheese for filling and made 4-5 small pies from each crust. They are perfect for packing in lunches. I put them in the freezer and we can just take out of freezer put in lunch bag and heat in microwave for 25-30 seconds and then we have a nice warm pie treat.
    I got a small container of sour cream for free from the Safeway monopoly game.

    I found a pair of jeans at the thrift store that fit me nicely and they were only 99cents!!

    After Christmas I purchased a bottle of fancy olive oil that came in a wooden box. It was marked down so it cost less than a much lesser quality bottle. I painted the box with some 25 cent paint I bought at a garage sale last summer. I then used some left over cotton yarn to knit a liner for the box. I found a pair of really nice handles for the box on clearance at target for $2. This box is perfect for holding all my recipes and looks really nice sitting on the kitchen counter. My previous recipe box was so small it was difficult to find what I was looking for (and yes, I am old-school). I don’t use my tablet in the kitchen for recipes- I may print out recipes and put them in my box though.

    Unfortunately, my husband is having to travel 4 hours north to help care for his father who is currently in the hospital. This means a lot of extra gas, food and lodging expense. He is going and staying a couple days a week taking his turn as his 3 other siblings take their days as well. It is a stressful time. I suggested he stop at the library and get a book on tape to listen to on the long drive.

    Enjoyed reading everyone’s comments as always.

  28. I love that you purchased clothing from a thrift store even though it needs alterations. Not too many people are willing to do that. Doing so definitely widens your options when shopping second hand. I hope Winter does well with receiving grant monies. I have two going to college in the Fall and thankfully they have both received a good amount. They will cover the rest of the expenses through work study and their own savings.

    It has been warm enough here to open the windows and turn down the heat. Today, it got to 79 degrees. That made the greenhouse exceptionally hot inside… almost 90. I was able to keep it cool by opening the windows and turning on the fan. This week I planted the carrot bed. I also planted strawberries in gutters. Still not harvesting anything, but should be soon. If you like to watch garden progress in a green house, you can follow me on instagram @ aplaninmind.

    I managed to only spend $10 on groceries this week by re configuring the monthly meal plan and making things that we already have on hand. It was also doable because I took advantage of some sales and freebies using winning monopoly game pieces from our grocery store. I got free salad and bagels. I also used a $5 target gift card to reduce the cost of toiletries.

    My son took us all out for ice cream using a gift card that his music teacher had given him. He does clerical type work for the teacher. We enjoyed that after the concert which was free. So it made for a nice night out.

    I did splurge this week. I bought an instapot. I hope to use it to make quick dinners so that I can spend more time outside working in the greenhouse. I suppose I could argue that if it makes the greenhouse more successful with additional produce grown, then it could save me money in the long run. 🙂 I think that logic is pretty good.

    1. I love my instant pot! And your logic for it helping to save money as you can spend more time gardening sounds good to me! ?

  29. I’d love to see a picture of your organized closet, Brandy. It sounds inspiring! Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were crockpot beef fajitas with tortilla chips, spaghetti with salads and homemade breadsticks, fish tacos, chili, homemade pizza and tomato basil chicken fettucine.
    *Accepted 6 laying hens and a rooster from my parents.
    *I am providing snacks for the Wednesday night children’s classes at church this month. This week I made chocolate chip cookies using ingredients from the pantry. I also made lemonade with a mix from the pantry.
    *Cooked up 3 pounds of ground beef with garlic and onions when I was making spaghetti and put 2 pounds in the freezer for chili and another meal.
    *Paid a doctor bill in full and received a 10% discount for asking.
    *My son received a ticket for not having a county sticker. We had paid for one, but it never made it onto his car since he was at college. I called and got proof that we paid and sent that to the courthouse. Best case it will be thrown out; worst case we will have to pay court costs. ?
    *Sent a card of encouragement and a birthday card out of my stash.
    *Washed all of my bathroom and door rugs and hung them out to dry.
    *Replaced a torn shower liner with an extra one I already had.
    *Pruned our shrubs.
    *Used extra cookies for bible study snack. Also put out a tray of cut up cheeses and ham with crackers, all from my fridge/pantry. Added dill to leftover fish taco sauce and served that alongside. It was well received.
    *Recorded how much we owe on our mortgage (our only debt) and how much we have in retirement accounts. I do this every quarter for motivation.
    *Ordered birthday gifts for my son and husband online, going through Ebates.
    *Found a free table and chairs for my son on our local FB yard sale page. It’s the perfect size for his apartment! Also found a curtain for .49 to pair with a tension curtain rod I already have to cover the hot water heater in his bathroom.
    *Found a couple of Christmas reindeer and a pair of like-new Sperry’s at a yard sale all for $4.
    *Accepted hostas from my mom, as she was thinning hers. I will use them to fill in empty spots in our flowerbed.

  30. The photos are gorgeous as usual; the flowers are lovely; I really enjoy looking at your work, Brandy. You are an inspiration. I have decided to try again with gardening. My first tiny move this week was to spray the trees for fungus to try to clean them up. I hope the weather stayed dry enough for enough hours, and the trees are not quite as dormant as they maybe should have been. It is a wet week for us. I called two stores and bought the copper concentrate because it was less expensive than the premixed solution. Another effort I am making is to try to waste less food. I am mainly trying to be more vigilant about what needs to be eaten up. If anyone has ideas, I could use them. I shared more of our 69 cent a pound apples and oranges with our son and added leftover peas from one day into the gravy I made the day after. Sugar was on sale here, also. I don’t use much anymore, so the limit was enough to last me through canning season. I have taken to canning fruit in its own juice; it tastes so much nicer, and my family member with diabetes can eat it better. I made blackberry buckle with free wild blackberries I froze last summer with stevia sweetener and partly whole grain flour. I bought a lavender boiled wool jacket for myself from a thrift shop for $6.50 because it was half off. I don’t like the four patch pockets on the front, so I am considering taking my seam ripper to them. I am worried about having marks that show, but I think I will try it. I wonder what I could make out of the pocket fabric. Maybe some finger less gloves–I don’t know. I wish I could sew better. I hope you post pictures of Winter’s completed coat.

  31. I am so glad Winter got Grants. I know how relieved I felt when I was going to college to have some things I knew would be covered. Been a busy week, was suppose to looking at bowel surgery… 3rd opinion was no surgery at this time but a biologic that could run up to $2000/ month for 2 injections. Doctor’s office is jumping insurance hoops and gathering info on getting help with that co pay. Hubby got a livestock trailer at auctions, cost more than we wanted but is worth more than what he paid. We have ate from pantry , since I am not up to going anywhere. Hubby has fixed several small projects that was on the list. We do have gravel coming in on Thursday that is 1/2 of what we had priced at several other places thanks to our Amish neighbor E telling us where to go and then getting us another discount due to the amount we need. Turning the furnace off for 12 hrs a day to make this tank of propane last until June 1st for summer fill that will save us $210 on the tank

    Definitely ready for warmer weather, even with zero energy
    Waiting to read everyone’s comments.

  32. Always inspired and thankful for this site. Spring is coming here in the midwest with the longer days and hopefulness with the snow melting. This week we…..
    -Knocked the temperature on the set back thermometer lower to run the furnace less.
    -Reviewed our bills and made some adjustments. I spent time with our health insurance company going over our bill in details.
    -Made a master to do list of household projects.
    -Rearranged the tarps on some outdoor tables, chairs. The weight of the snow put lots of weight on them.
    -Enjoyed a pedicure at home, purchased nothing, happy with the results and it was FREE.
    Stay frugal everyone.

  33. Hubby bought 3 rotisserie chickens for 1.99 each at Sprouts. It was right before closing & they sold them cheap. He made chicken salad for his golfing buddies. We ate one of the chickens over several days. I made chicken stock with the carcasses. The cat got the chicken skin. No waste.
    I found a number of items when out trash picking such as bed lines & clothes. I wash the items & donate them to my church’s clothes closet. I did keep one thing: a nice ceramic flat iron. My hair is frizzy & the flat iron smoothes it. I dropped my old flat iron & chipped the ceramic plate. (I looked up the price of the new (to me) one online. It retails for 89$. I was happy to get it.
    Had to buy a new lawnmower. Old one bit the dust. Was 400$. We shopped around but the one hubby wanted was same price everywhere we looked. Will need root canal for problem tooth. I’m sure it won’t be cheap even with dental insurance. We save where we can to afford things that run full price.

  34. I’m enjoying reading about the preparations for Winter’s move to college.

    I am taking part in a clinical trial at the hospital where I work at the moment which is looking at ways of detecting testosterone cream on women athletes and I will be paid $250 at the end of it. No I’m not an athlete! Just bring a healthy woman between 18-60 meant I could apply.

    I’m back making my sourdough bread each week and trying to experiment with making each loaf a bit different. This weeks has been olive, feta and rosemary.

    My learner driver son will get his free Keys2drive lesson this afternoon with a driving instructor. I’m in the car as well so I hope to pick up some tips as well.

    1. What is Keys2drive? Driving instruction is expensive and this sounds interesting.

  35. I have been slowly decluttering my closets and kitchen. Most things I will donate to the local thrift store. My goal is to have only those things that I use or wear or things I really love. I have also been carrying a list of things that we need (and want!) that I take when thrift store shopping. That way I’m not distracted by items that catch my eye but not really needing.
    As Spring approaches we are in the process of getting our yard and garden area ready. We were going to rent a power rake for the yard and found out that it costs $90 per day! On Sunday our neighbor was power raking his yard and for $50 he did our yard for us. He later came over with his lawn mower with a grass catcher and collected the dead grass he raked up earlier. There is still lots to do in the yard but that saved us so much time, money, and work!
    For meals this week I made a vegetable pasta with Parmesan cheese using up the vegetables in the bottom of my fridge. I also made minestrone soup and hummus from chickpeas I soaked and cooked myself. I went to the dollar store and found lentils, black beans, and Himalayan salt.
    I borrowed books from the library and audio books from my library’s app to listen to on my commute.

    Have a happy and frugal week!

  36. I am so enjoying reading about Winter’s adventures as she gets ready to head off to school. We had a quiet week last week. Spring has arrived here finally so I hope to get some yard work done soon. This is a busier week with appointments for us so it will have to wait until the following week I guess. I have been taking my Mom grocery shopping has she has not been feeling well and she treats us to the specials at the store that she shops at. Last week this included a large package of ground beef and a large package of chicken breasts. We eat only small quantities of meat with our meals so this will stretch a long way for us. I didn’t do any grocery shopping myself as I am using up a lot of what we have on the shelves and in the freezer. Last Monday, we attended a free event in which there was a free pizza lunch so my husband, son and I had lunch and needed very little dinner. Other than the free lunch, we ate all meals at home and my husband took his lunch every day. At home, I used up assorted tortillas and pitas that were in the freezer to make chips. They are a really good snack and also go really well with homemade soup. I cashed in $20.20 at Checkout 51 and that cheque should be here this week. I will put it directly towards groceries. Our dishwasher broke a few weeks back and we have decided not to replace it at the moment. All our appliances are 15 years old so we would rather save the money for when an essential appliance needs replacing. With only three of us, doing dishes is very manageable. We are thinking of having the dishwasher removed and having shelves put in its place. I believe I read that someone here did this and I really liked the idea. We are always getting good ideas either from you or your readers, Brandy!

  37. Hello All! I am definitely here for encouragement this week as so far April has been the opposite of frugal. We have 4 family birthdays, my dear friend’s birthday, a new family baby & also Easter. I have not been finding what I want/need as inexpensively as I would like.
    A few ways we saved: I received a free coffee sample in the mail, groceries were under $30 since we have a well stocked freezer & pantry, and I prepared my mileage to submit to work for reimbursement. I continue to take lunch with me to work, bring my coffee or drink the free coffee at the office when I’m there, and eat our meals at home. The 1 exception was to take my dear friend out for a birthday dinner & it was entirely overpriced! While I was unhappy with the meal & cost in a way I’m glad because it solidified for me the decision to cut out eating out! We do it rarely anymore & from now on if we do decide to go out it will be 1 of 2 locally owned restaurants that we always get a good meal at and are decently priced.
    Looking forward to reading everyone’s ideas & accomplishments, have a great week!

  38. I would love it if you would write a whole post about everything you have done to prepare for Winter going off the college as frugally as possible! It has been great to read all the little bits so far.

  39. Hello all! Our week wasn’t overly frugal, as we paid our taxes to the IRS (ugh). But, glad that’s done for another year. I don’t have a whole lot to report this time around. We cooked & ate most meals at home. We both took our own coffee, snacks, and lunches to work. My husband picked up some good, usable items from the curb during our neighborhood’s bulk trash week. We have had some nice weather, so have been able to have the windows open for fresh air for several days. Today & tomorrow we will have to run the central air, as it is supposed to be in the mid 90s, but then it looks like we’ll be back to windows-open weather after that. I enjoy this time of year before it gets too unbearably hot. Hope everyone has a great week!

      1. Hi Jennifer! No, I’m in the DFW area, north central Texas. We are supposed to be in the mid 90s today, too early for that! 🙂

  40. Beautiful Spring pictures! Thanks for sharing Brandy.
    This past week was fairly frugal as I was home working on a spring clean up in the yard and projects inside on cooler days. Nothing much out of the ordinary, did all the “usual frugal” things and didn’t spend much money except for a few specials at grocery store. Continue to declutter and down size and earned a few dollars selling unwanted items. I redeemed some SB for Amazon gift card and used it to stock up some items in pantry. I made 3 Easter cards, and sewed up a few mice toys for my kitty. We turned off the furnace, but we are still using our gas fireplace in the mornings in our family room to take the chill off. I am working at Swagbucks and another survey site; I did receive a cheque this week for $20.
    Thank you Brandy for your inspiring site and all those who comment.

  41. I just love reading what everyone does. So inspiring!
    – we were away this week and put the heat on hold and emptied out a lot from our fridge
    – the vacation was a cost, but we rented a less expensive place and cooked most of our meals at home. We weren’t trying to be too frugal on the trip, but didn’t spend frivolously
    – my son’s birthday is coming up and he had been asking for a trailer truck from the movie cars. Actually he just wants anything from cars, haha. I bought him one online that was half price and I waited until they had free shipping.
    – before our vacation I bought myself a bathing suit (a few bottoms actually to see what fit) from lands end using CC rewards, Ebates, and a coupon code. Have to return the extra bottoms which I will do at sears to save on shipping.
    – continue to breast feed and pump at work, although my supply is decreasing dramatically. Bought formula at CVS during a BOGO 50% off sale plus used a coupon.
    – continued to use cloth diapers for my youngest two
    – worked on decluttering our house this month but was really careful to make sure I gave things away to the right places so things didn’t end up in the trash (ie, turned some stained clothes into rags, gave poor condition sheets to the animal shelter, brought some unneeded kitchen stuff to work, and donated some not needed clothes to goodwill). We read the Lorax to the kids recently and it made me much more conscious of being environmentally responsible, which often times goes hand in hand with being frugal 🙂
    – stared seeds I got at the dollar store for some flowers, herbs and veggies. The kids got really into it this year
    – bought a raspberry bush. Now need to find a spot to put it!
    – restarted using our compost bin!

  42. Brandy,
    –Your flowers are all blooming so nicely right now. You love the white ones, and they are stunning when they all bloom! I have a lot of mixed colors blooming right now–mostly yellows, with a few “fancy” daffodils mixed in, which are white, or double, or multicolored. Over the past 2 years, my youngest has enjoyed planting a lot of them out in front of our house from extra bulbs gleaned from my sister’s yard, plus a few small packages of varied bulb from Winco. The previous owners had planted bulbs here and there, and right now some red and yellow tulips are blooming from their efforts.
    –I was only able to work outside for one morning this past week. The weather has been very wet and I’ve been very busy–leaving very little ability for yard work. When I did work out there, I worked on the raised bed I’m making for strawberries. I distributed several bags of coffee grounds my husband had collected for free during the past few month. Some went into the new raised bed, and some were used for top-dressing the old strawberry bed. I weeded, edged, and transplanted old strawberry plants from runners. Some were in the grass! We used a gift card to buy 20 new strawberry plants for the new raised bed. Hopefully, I can finish the bed and start planting this week.
    –I shopped sales, bought what I think we need for 2 weeks, and now may need to just buy a small thing here and there until right before Easter, which I’m hosting. I’ve been trying every-other-week shopping. I’ll see if it saves money or not. I’ve spent quite a bit over the past 2 months on groceries, after a very low grocery spend January, so will stay at or under my budget this month.
    –We fed 35 people at the college-age-group on Tuesday and stayed way under their budget for them. The menu and other pictures of my week are on my blog:
    –My crock pot lid handle broke off during that evening. My husband was able to buy a new pot handle and replace it for very little. This was a free crock pot some one was getting rid of years ago, but it works well, so I’d like to keep it longer.
    –He also fixed a couple of other things around here.

  43. Reading about your and Winter’s sewing projects always inspires me! I’d love to see photos of the jacket when she is done.
    Last week when I shopped, the store was out of the canned mushrooms that were on sale, so I asked for, and received, a rain check. I used the rain check this week to purchase 16 cans for 48 cents a can instead of $1.27 a can. The savings came to almost $13. The cashier was astonished.
    The savings of stocking up when something is on sale was driven home again when we went camping. Usually, I fill the camper with food from my pantry, but this time we had to drive to New Mexico to pick up the camper and had no room to take food for our camping trip, so we bought groceries after we were there – more convenience foods (I’d usually make things from scratch) and items bought at full price. I estimated I spent twice what the same or equivalent items would have cost using my usual combination of making everything from scratch and stocking up when things are on sale.
    A friend is spring-cleaning and gave me a lovely pair of earrings and a really big bath towel in a color she didn’t want, also a book I have been wanting to read.
    Our friends agreed to water our plants in the greenhouse and under the grow lights while we were away camping.

    1. No kidding on how much a well-stocked camper can save! Mine is actually a little overstocked right now, so I spent some time this last camping trip to sort through things and tale a bunch into the house to use immediately after I used what I could on the trip. I got through quite a few things, and now have a goal to replace the things that are totally out. They included a bunch of home-canned jars of food that need to be replaced from the canning cupboard, the mustard ran out, That way, I only have to grab perishables, clothing, projects, and we’re off the next time with a minimum of fuss! I’m sure you do the same.

  44. I’m glad that I am not the only one that delights in a well organized closet! This year I joined a friend in the #40day40items for Lent where you donate an item a day to charity. This challenge has convinced me to finally get rid of some bits of clothing that I have been hanging onto for all the wrong reasons. My closet is starting to look a lot more magazine worthy. 🙂

    Unfortunately, in addition to giving away unneeded articles of clothing, I have had to also give away very much needed money as our bathtub finally bit the biscuit. On the positive side, The Man is very handy and will be able to do all the work himself.

    1. That is an awesome plan for Lent! Just getting rid of one item a day. Hmm. It’s a bit late to start now but I could try to do one item a day later this year as I reorganize some things. I am planning on getting rid of a few clothing items that are too large; I have already promised a dress to someone.

      1. A couple of years ago, I picked a month and began decluttering by the day. One thing on the 1st, two things on the 2nd, and so on. My sister scoffed when I counted things like pens that didn’t write, keys that we had no idea what they fit, etc. It’s true, there were days when nothing very big went out the door. But, when we moved two years later, there were hundreds of items already gone that I didn’t have to deal with when we packed. Also, by the end of the month, there was very little clutter in my home. I admit that it got difficult after about the 20th of the month, but I stuck with it and was glad I did. I made sure to donate items every week so that I didn’t make a big mess.

        I love doing one thing a day for Lent.

  45. Today, my husband cut my hair, and I cut his. He always thinks he doesn’t do an adequate cutting job, but it actually looks better than when I have it cut in a salon, lol! Considering his (almost) bald patch, I definitely have the easier task. We are currently eating entirely out of our pantry and freezers and since there are just the two of us, it may take a while to make room for more food there. The only thing I need is celery, and I’ll wait until the cost is a little lower. I grew up in a very frugal-loving family and my husband and I have continued this lifestyle, so many of the things I read here are how things have always been for me. I have to think quite a bit to come up with anything worth sharing, because you good people have said it all so well! Thank you!

  46. I love “The Great Clothing Swap”! We used to go “shopping in the attic” where I stored the next size up of clothing.
    I was doing quite well with the budget this month and then we had a family emergency that requires air travel, but at least there’s money to cover the emergency.

    1. An attic would be nice! Our house has vaulted ceilings, so I have space on shelves in my closet.

  47. When my now-adult children were growing up, we lived in a tiny (725 sq ft) 1941 house with microscopic everything, including closets. We did the seasonal clothing swap twice a year. I found it was an excellent opportunity to consider whether to keep or discard each clothing item.
    Though that house was very small, it was well-built with quality materials and practical layout. I appreciate older houses.

  48. I know what you mean about having a husband that can fix things, Brandy! I have one of those too. Our microwave broke last week. It is off white as are all of the appliances in our kitchen. I really didn’t want to have to replace it, as they don’t make microwaves in that color anymore. Hubby was able to diagnose the problem and replace the parts and fix the problem. Cost was 1/2 of what it would have been for a new one.

    My other accomplishments this week:
    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and foil and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Ate in 6 times. Hubby had lunch paid for twice and dinner paid for once time this week, due to clients being in town. Ate out once, but used a $30 gift certificate. One of the times, my brother and his wife were here and bought dinner.
    • Worked 18 contract hours.
    • Made chocolate chip cookies from scratch with ingredients I had on hand instead of buying a package of cookies.
    • Sometimes what we don’t do is how we saved. Twice this week I resisted the urge to buy something from the deli in the grocery store for lunch and instead went home and ate something I already had. I probably saved around $15 doing this.
    • Dad and I stopped at Wendy’s for lunch instead of a sit down restaurant, then came back to my house and watched a free movie from the library while I did his laundry.
    • Hubby planted 5 fruit trees, an apricot, pear, apple, plum and peach. All in it was $600, but we saved $500 by not having them planted for us. Hubby did the hard work of digging the holes (here in Arizona, our dirt is hard as a rock.)

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  49. Brandy,
    This is not really related to your post this week – I apologize for that – but I know from reading your blog that both you and your oldest daughter sew quite a lot. During a rabbit-hole web search this morning I ran onto the FB page for Threads Magazine (which looks very interesting, especially for those who enjoy sewing some of the styles from the past.)
    While looking at the Threads Magazine FB page, I found a link to the Commercial Pattern Archive (CoPA). Membership is free (although they accept donations).
    It looks like they have pattern information from the late 1800s through 2014. You may already have this information, but I immediately thought of you when I saw both the Threads Magazine FB page and the info about CoPA and wanted to let you know, in case you did not.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Judith E.

  50. -Put $20 in our cash savings envelope we keep at home. This was money earned through ibotta.
    -Made 2 extra truck payments ahead so we have a bit of a cushion as we adjust to losing more than half of our income next month.
    -Came in under our weekly grocery budget and left the rest as our cushion in our checking account for now.
    -Combined errands with my mom to save an extra trip to town.
    -Not really frugal, but my husband and I started the fence for our garden. We have 2 big Saint Bernards, 9 cats, and an innumerable amount of wildlife, including deer, bunnies, and squirrels who will decimate a garden in no time. So we opted to spend money on fencing. We did get the fence posts free from my mom who had a stack of them laying out behind her garage that would not be used.
    -Received a refund from our old tv service provider and left it as a cushion in our checking account.
    -Returned library books on the due date instead of accruing a late fee. This is one of those small things that I wanted to tackle so as not to waste small amounts of money. We were averaging about $2 per month in late fees, but it was just due to disorganization and being too busy sometimes. But when I try to use a coupon or rebate for even less than that amount, it didn’t make sense to offset my savings with late fees at the library! Lol So I started putting the due dates on our big family calendar and it’s helping us stay on top of them. I also set up our online account with the library so we can jump onto their website and renew, if the items are allowed to be renewed.
    -I put the dish soap in an old wine bottle with one of those pouring spouts added to it. (Found this in the attic as I used to keep dish soap in it but hadn’t found it since we moved here over 6 years ago.) Now I can better control how much dish soap comes out. I also put a ½ teaspoon next to it and am trying to measure it out for a bit so I can get a better idea how much we really need to use. I’m also calculating if it would be a savings for us to hand wash dishes rather than use the dishwasher. That’s one of my summer projects 🙂

  51. There may be a couple of days left of Rite Aid’s ad, so I’m writing. A tube of Colgate toothpaste cost me 50 cents with the coupon from the ad which I found in the store. Almonds were also on sale for $5.99 for a 16 oz. bag. If one bought $10 worth another reward was available. The store is very close to where my husband works, so he stopped there after work. Here also is my recipe for blackberry buckle in case anyone is interested. Turn the oven on to 350 F and put an 8×8 baking pan with 1 T margarine in it in the oven to melt the butter. Mix together 3/4 milk (I use almond milk.), 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup of stevia.) 1 cup flour, 1 and 1/2 t baking powder (I use the aluminum free baking powder.) Take the pan out of the oven and swirl the butter around to coat the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter all over the bottom of the baking pan. Don’t mix the batter in with the margarine. Just pour the batter on top of it. Put 2 cups of blackberries fresh or frozen in a sieve and spray water over them to wash them a little. Drain well and pour the berries on top of the batter in the baking pan. You could do this step first to let the berries drain while mixing the batter. Don’t mix the berries into the batter; just leave them scattered evenly across the top of the batter. The recipe calls for another cup of sugar to be poured over the top of the berries, but I have never done that. Blackberries are sweet enough without that extra cup of sugar. Then put the pan in the heated oven and bake about 30 minutes @ 350 F. I use a toothpick to check to see if the batter is baked enough. I usually double this recipe for my family of five and bake it in a 9 x 11 pan. It is super fast to make, and I have used all whole wheat flour in it. I always use 100% whole wheat if I have nice wheat to grind. I use the hard white whole wheat to grind flour for baking (I like the Prairie Gold variety of wheat the best of anything I’ve tried.) I keep a small amount of ground flour in the freezer left from making bread because ground wheat loses nutrients quickly at room temp, and the fats in the wheat get rancid at room temp. I keep all grain in the freezer. I have found that rice keeps much better in the freezer. Also, oats go rancid quickly. I buy oats by the 25 pound bag, and we could not eat them up fast enough, if I didn’t freeze them. Oats get rancid faster than wheat. I am very blessed to live near Bob’s Red Mill. Eating the whole grains and legumes, etc. from there is a tremendous savings for us. I would like to shop at the bishop’s store house; I don’t know if they would sell to me though, since I am not a member of the church. Usually, we go to the walnut/hazelnut orchards to buy nuts, but almonds do not grow here–at least not commercially. We also buy honey from a beekeeper. It is becoming more and more expensive to buy fruit and nuts from the orchards. We would like to live where we could grow more for ourselves, but every little bit helps, as you know so well.

  52. Hi Elizabeth! You can surely shop at the bishop’s storehouse.. membership is not required, and prices are great!

  53. You do not need to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter_Day Saints to shop in the Bishop’s Storehouse. Any and all are welcomed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *