May Arrangement ThePrudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden for the entry table. I put them in a $2 urn that I bought a couple of weeks ago at a garage sale (the mirror is the $20 mirror I bought at a garage sale the first Saturday in April; my dad recently hung it for me on a hanging bar, which will keep it sturdy, close the wall, and unlikely to be knocked off by passing children).

I shortened the shirt sleeves on another one of the shirts that my husband was given.

I hemmed the dress I bought for myself a few months ago on extremely deep clearance (79% off!)  and wore it to the symphony on a date with my husband (the performance for which I bought discounted tickets recently). My husband wore his “new” $0.50 tie that I bought at a yard sale. I shared a photo of the two of us over on Instagram.

Peaches and Cream The Prudent Homemaker

I sliced and froze peaches from the garden.

Blackberries in bowl The Prudent Homemaker

We picked peaches, apricots, lettuce, a few cherry tomatoes, alpine strawberries and blackberries from the garden. The blackberries are ripening a few weeks later than usual and they are burning before ripening (as you can see from the red burnt tips). The heat makes them very tiny (about 1/4 the size of blackberries from the store). I covered the bushes with old sheets (pinned on with closepins) to keep the berries from burning completely so that I don’t lose the harvest.

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

I turned a garage sale necklace that my mom had bought and given Winter (and that Winter didn’t want but knew that I would use)  into a pair of earrings just like ones I was wanting to purchase.

I used several 20% off coupons to purchase gifts for two weddings. Both couples were registered at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which allows one store coupon per item, and accepts expired store coupons. The store has a free gift wrap station, with boxes, tissues, and paper, so I used these to wrap the gifts.


What did you do to save money this past week?

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  1. Here’s my frugal list for last week –

    * Gratefully received a small bag of home grown capsicums. I’ve chopped them and frozen to use in casseroles.

    * Fed the chickens lots of weeds from the veggie garden.

    * Saved a few glass jars from condiments in the fridge. They will be reused later in the year for jam and relish.

    * Made lots of cards at the Cheapskates card making weekend. I used supplies I had on hand so there was no extra cost.

    * For three days running I kept the heater off and the curtains open when the sun was shining.

    * Bought 3 Winter tops at the Savers 50% off sale.

    * Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

    * Pruned the fruit trees and bushes. I’m hoping this will promote healthier growth and more fruit.

    * Gratefully received lots of 30 x 30 card stock from a friend.

    * Baked an orange cake using pureed orange from the freezer.

    * Gratefully received some bread bags. I used these to line the bathroom bins.

    * Jessica and I filled up our cars with petrol at $1.14 per litre just as it started going up to $151.9 per litre.

    * Sold one dozen eggs.
    * Fed the worm farm with veggie peelings.

    * Saved the pink plastic and display box from my Mother’s Day flowers. The flowers lasted 13 days from the time Jessica bought them.

    * Wrote a menu plan for the next three weeks or so.

    * Sorted out my craft ribbons into same colors and stored them in snap lock bags. This has given me a little room in my craft cupboard which is quite small. Hopefully this organisation with lead to more ribbon being used instead of hoarded.

    * Darren picked the last of the iceberg roses on the bush.

    There are a few photos of these tasks on my blog

  2. This week has been amazing and wonderful! Our 2 hens are laying 1-2 eggs a day every day and we no longer have any store bought eggs! Our local grocery has been letting me take home (for free) as much produce discards as I want for my chickens as long as I come when they are culling and restocking the produce ( between 7 and 7:25 AM at my store) AND as long as I am willing to go through their rolling bin of discards myself so that I’m not slowing down their restocking efforts. In return, they will give me a big empty banana box to fill and I can pick and choose what I take home for my hens! I am truly grateful!!
    My veggie garden is producing wonderful amounts of greens for our salads- lettuces, spinach, Swiss chard! The peas are blooming and getting pods so I’m excited about my 12 foot row of them!
    I weeded and planted more tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and zucchini. I used Marivene’s method of filling a 5 gallon bucket with weeds each day or two and this has made an incredible difference in my gardens! It makes the weeding much more manageable!
    We mulched the fruit tree beds and berry bush beds. Our grandson’s scout troop were selling mulch and we bought a gift card to support them. We used $20 of it to buy 20 bags of mulch that were on a special holiday weekend sale so that saved us almost 70%!
    We were able to recycle some concrete brick paver blocks that we made into an alcove surrounded on three sides by lilacs so that we can put a bench and small table there. This was a way to beautify an area but also remove an unsightly pile of blocks! We hired some friends to dig out an area to expand our brick walkway in our side yard. The digging was something that would have taken hubby and me a long time to get done through the Ohio clay and we would have been pretty sore afterwards, but these teenagers did it within a couple hours! It was well worth it to us and tomorrow we will level and over the area and lay the bricks ourselves. The bricks were recycled from various little stacks around our side yard so there was no cost for that part and the hiring of friends to help with our landscaping efforts for three hours was paid for with the election pay that we received a couple weeks ago so it didn’t knick our budget at all!
    We leveled and laid large concrete pavers in front of our rain barrels and cleaned out another stack of “materials” in the process!
    A friend sent us a photo online of some DIY wood benches that fir around a fire pit and so tomorrow’s task is building one for around ours. Cost? Zero!! A friend gave us a bunch of long 2 x 10’s that we will use for the actual seating part and the 2 x 4 framework will come from our recycled pallets! Screws, water sealer/stain are all from our supplies here at home too! Plus- it will use up some of the stacked wood that we were given!
    You may notice a theme for us right now! Use it up!!! It’s one thing to accept gifted or free things, but the best part is actually USING them so that our home doesn’t look like Ma and Pa Kettle live here!!! Lol!!
    Our side business is going well- we took in another $300 this week in profit with another order coming in. We love going to our free self reliance group for creating and growing your own business that the Church has initiated in our area! We have learned so much and our little side business has become so much more organized and profitable!
    I made breakfast burritos and sausage, egg and cheese mcmuffins for easy breakfasts. I bought a box of 4 dozen ears of corn for 8 ears/$1 on Saturday. We are eating some and freezing the rest! I discovered that this is my best price point for the corn. I thought that 4 th of July would be better, but it doesn’t go down that low! So this was my weekend to stock up and that will keep our frozen corn at a year’s supply level.
    This morning I am buying two flats of strawberries at their 99 cents/pound sale price and they will be frozen. I’ll get another flat on Tuesday to slice and dehydrate for granola. How I love this time of the year!!
    By applying for and receiving an Amazon Prime Visa (which we will use for our business to keep our business and personal finances separate), we were given a $70 Amazon gift card. So far we used the gift card for a replacement part for our band saw (which is a vital tool for our business) and printable hang tags for our products that we will print our logo and website info on. These are things that we needed to buy for our business but were free because of this promo!!
    We added more honey to our food storage from Sam’s club as well as buying more shredded cheese, 2 large take and bake pizzas for free because of an $80 gift card they gave us when we bought tires for our car there a couple weeks ago! We still have $$ left on the gift card too!!
    We are also overseeing a service project at church of making sleeping mats for the homeless. This has been a great activity that will continue through the summer crocheting plastic grocery bags! This reuses the grocery sacks and also has taught us some basic crochet skills while giving us some evening together with nice fellowship!
    Life has been very, very good to us!

  3. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    Finances –

    – Withdrew $100 out of the grocery money this month to top up our bulk grocery cash stash at home.
    – Paid $375 off our lounge chair purchase on the credit card and that included $40 I earned from a sale in my internet store. The extra money will be banked into our house savings account.

    Household Purchases –

    – Purchased a new triple layer vegetable steamer to replace one that was worn out. We purchased this on special saving $60 on usual prices.
    – Purchased new underwear on special for myself saving $8.

    Garden –

    – Harvested carrots, capsicums, green and butter beans and cherry tomatoes from the gardens. I see some nice carrot juices coming up 🙂 .
    – Washed , diced and froze 10 bags of beans and blanched and froze the beans to make 13 more packets in the freezer for advanced food stocks.
    – Used composted lawn clippings to mulch a 10 x 5mt garden bed we are putting to rest over the winter instead of buying hay saving $70.
    – Used rain water in our tanks to add a tonic of Seasol to our vegetable gardens rather than use town water.
    – Reused vegetable washing, blanching and cooling water to fertilise one 9 metre garden bed.
    – Turned off the sprinkler system to a large 10 x 5mt garden bed now we have harvested everything saving us around 180lts of town water a week.

    General frugalities –

    – Cooked all our meals and bread from scratch.
    – Watered the house lawns all week with saved grey water from our washing machine and showers.
    – Used our slow combustion fireplace to steam our vegetables and make hot chocolates rather than use the electric stove.
    – Heating our home with free to us firewood cut and sourced by us.
    – Using our solar lanterns to light our home rather than using any mains powered lights.

    Craft –

    – Used $40 earned from selling my handmade items online to pay $40 off the new lounge chair we purchased for DH.
    – Took advantage of free listing promotion on Ebay to list 101 handmade items saving $151.50 in listing fees.

    Fuel –

    – Whilst out of town we filled up our empty jerry cans saving us $1.80 or nearly .04c per litre over the prices we pay here.

  4. That is a stunning dress you wore to the symphony, Brandy! Thank you for providing the link in your post. The urn you bought at the yard sale is so beautiful with your flower arrangement, too.

    Another busy week, but I think we’re starting to settle in a bit. At least we didn’t eat out as much this week! Our frugal accomplishments this week were as follow:
    *Meals made at home this week included taco bake, breaded stuffed chicken breast with flavoured rice and lefover mixed veggies, BBQ chicken breasts with mashed ptoatoes and corn, a Costco chicken pot pie (these are so good but we don’t get them often!), make-your-own pizza on naan bread, BBQ hamburger’s and hotdogs with salad, and breakfast bowls.
    *My mom made some homemade apple crisp from the freezer to have for dessert while my brother was up visiting on the Victoria Day long weekend. However, my brother bought butter tarts as a treat that same day. We use the apple crisp as our lunch treats and dessert one night this week, instead.
    *We’ve been enjoying yummy treats at work all week as the new interpreters are learning how to cook over an open fire or with the wood stoves.
    *Mixed up a package of chocolate pudding (using powdered milk from pantry) and divided between 5 reusable containers for DD’s lunches this coming week.
    *Opted to say home on the holiday Monday with my daughter, while my mom and brother went to visit a family member who lives an hour away. We both had a very busy week and really needed the down time. By not going, I avoided spending money at the chocolate factory they planned to visit on the way and yet another dinner out (we’ve been eating out way too much lately).
    *We took both our cars to Costco for cheap oil changes. While waiting for them to be done, we shopped for some needed items. Among all the amazing food samples, I was also given a swiffer duster and a magic eraser as free samples to take home! DH and I enjoyed a cheap lunch together as well ($1.50 hotdoge & pop, $3 slice of pizza and a bottle of water for $0.25), which was the only eating out this week (seriously huge accomplishment!).
    *Despite having 2 medical appointments for DD on the same day, I insisted we not go out to eat for lunch or dinner. DD was annoyed and disappointed, but accepted her fate.
    *Replaced broken hooks on 2 of my bras. They are still in excellent shape, but the hooks keep getting broken during laundering.
    *Found some good deals on clothes while shopping. For DD, I bought 2 pairs of shorts @ $8 each, 2 sleeveless tank tops on sale for $5 each, and 2 pairs of long pants for next fall on clearance for $10 each. Also found a summer top for me, but there was a small hole in the seam (only one in my size). I inquired if I could have a discount and received $2 off making it only $10! I also received a $10 off coupon to use this week. I’m hoping to purchase a couple more pairs of shorts for DD, and maybe another pair of clearance pants. Then she’s good for summer and a good start for school clothes!
    *My daughter’s class started “Perryville” this week. I LOVE that her teacher does this at the end of every school year, when most students are just done with school! The kids have a blast doing this project too!!! They create a fictious town (called Perryville) and everyone draws for an “occupation”. This year DD pulled the highest paid person in town, the othodonitst…she gets the dreamy pay of $95/hr! Even at this high of income, she’s trying to find a roommate to live with (she almost ended up in a house with 4 boys, but teacher shut that down, LOL). The students have $3000 to buy what they need to start their “home” (they create a list, with prices, for furniture, linens, kitchen stuff, etc. needed) and then create a budget for all their monthly living expenses. I know she was working on a grocery list this week. There are even cards they draw from (called “up and down”) that throw in some of life’s unexpected expenses or bonuses. BEST SCHOOL PROJECT EVER!!!

    Have a great week everyone!

  5. Mended my sons jeans for the third time (he has worn this pair the entire school year)
    Stood in line for a local artist giveaway and got a free art print
    Sold items on eBay
    Bought items at a local thrift store with tags on the them
    Mended my husbands golf shorts
    Accepted free canned goods & soaps from a friend that is moving
    Received a $50 gift card at work
    Played golf for free on Mother’s Day

  6. I changed my extended health care to a package that provides less coverage. No coverage of existing medications is the main change. These have been stable dosages for many years, so the net savings should be $38 a month. In two years, I am eligible for the government’s seniors’ plan, and those medications will be covered again.

    Quite a few “plain” meals this week, like pasta and sauce from a jar or scrambled eggs with stir-fried vegetables, using the last bits of fresh vegetables in the fridge. I drank coffee black several days. I am having oatmeal for breakfast almost every day now.

    I like to have a glass of wine with dinner, but stopped this a couple of weeks ago. I was thinking I would start to have it on the weekend only, but I don’t find I miss it, so I think it will be for special occasions only.

    I didn’t have any snack food in the house and was short of ingredients to make any. One evening I made tortilla chips from scratch. The recipes assumed that you had left-over home-made tortillas, which I didn’t, so I made a small batch before I made the chips. I liked them, though the taste was more like warm, fresh corn chips than tortilla chips. On Saturday, I had cash again and bought some eggs and milk, so I could make blueberry muffins.

    My bank called me and suggested a couple of changes to products I have that would save me money in my circumstances.

    I went to a meeting where dinner was served afterwards.

    We have had beautiful weather every day but one, so I have been outside working in the yard. The best thing is that the lilacs have just started blooming. I have a bank of lilacs in front of my house, and lilac trees on either side, so the yard smells wonderful. The yard still needs lots of work, but I am making some progress.

  7. Brandy your flower arrangements are becoming more and more professional! this one is gorgeous. loved the long blue dress you wore to the symphony! ann lee s
    all the fruit looks SO good, we won’t get local fruit until later in the summer.

  8. Your date to the symphony sounds so wonderful, Brandy, and you look gorgeous in that dress. Please share how you made the earrings from a necklace — I would love to see that.
    This week I harvested lettuce, arugula and rhubarb from the garden. The peas are blooming and I hope to have some soon. I planted squash, herbs, and two tomatoes to replace those that froze last week. I cut the buttons off one of my husband’s shirts that was beyond repair, then cut the shirt up for cleaning rags. He usually wears flannel shirts, and they make wonderfully soft cleaning rags.
    I dehydrated a pound of carrots. I use these all winter in soups and stews and they are delicious. I watched a couple of programs for free on and downloaded free audiobooks from the library. I let out a pair of pants that were too tight and mended the lining in a jacket. I cut flowers from my planters for an arrangement for my dining table. We donated a large box of items to the local thrift store. While there I found a pair of rain pants and a matching jacket for $8. These have been on my ‘wish list’ for a while, so I was very happy to find them.

  9. A beautiful flower arrangement, and thank you for the link to your instagram photo! The two of you looked wonderful. I used to grow blackberries in Oregon, and not surprisingly, never saw them burn…those blackberry plants of yours must be wondering how they ended up in Las Vegas 😉

    Frugal week activities:
    -Ate at home for most meals, continuing to eat from the freezer and pantry. The freezer is now about 2/3 empty, I hope to finish by the end of summer so i can defrost and get ready for the fall sales. With only the two of us, it takes a long time to work off all the stored food 😉
    -continued to shift usage of major appliances to off peak hours to reduce electric bill
    -used homemade laundry detergent, fabric softener and granite counter top cleaner
    -finished up May doing really well following the May list of 25 potential main meals (I made the list at end of April to plan out May dinners using what I had in the pantry and freezer). Overall May spending is at $175, including sundries. Higher than I wanted but I am okay with that spending since I didn’t waste any money on packaged or prepared foods.

  10. I never knew that Bed Bath had wrapping facilities. I’ll keep an eye out for that! This week I took advantage of all of the sales on condiments, hot dogs, chips, charcoal and other summer cookout needs. We may be hosting Father’s Day, and if so, we will be in good shape. I also took some time to relax and enjoy the cool breezes in our sunroom. Sometimes the most frugal thing of all is just enjoying what you have. Details are at

  11. Eight ears for a dollar?! Our sale price in Fairbanks this week was 10 ears for 10 dollars–so, a dollar an ear. Corn on the cob is strictly a rare treat item at our house; how I envy you! I went to grad school in South Bend and gained 30 pounds in two years, and I am sure it was that I ate corn twice a day during corn season. (Maybe the butter had a little to do with it…)

  12. This was at Meijers in the Columbus, Ohio area! And we are grateful!! The corn is delicious!!

  13. Hello All,

    I have not posted anything in a long time. Without going into details most of the last many months of my life has been revolving around a sick child. She is stable now.

    My frugal accomplishment is working two jobs this summer do I can pay off some bills.

    Hopefully next week I will have a list of frugal accomplishments.

    Happy Memorial Day!


  14. I love that they are learning about practical budgeting. They have find an affordable place to live, furnish it and budget for monthly living expenses all keeping within their weekly pay and the $3000 start up money. They have to think about all the things they need for their home (furniture, kitchen items, bath items, etc.), look up prices for all of it and decide what they can afford. They have to create a meal plan for the week and look up prices for what they need to purchase. They have to decide how they will get to work and budget for those expenses. They have to budget for heat, hydro, phone, internet, cables costs, etc. They even have to look for job postings for the “occupation” they pulled and make a resume to apply for the position. Then there is the “up and down” cards which throw in the unexpected, the good and the bad. This project is really a great introduction to what will be expected of them when they leave home. The kids love doing this project too! As I said, BEST SCHOOL PROJECT EVER!

  15. Congrats on your wedding, Laurie. We went to England and Scotland for our honeymoon as it was on our bucket list. It was the first time either of us had traveled abroad. So glad we went! We’ve since been to Rome, Italy. All vacations are now compared to our Rome excursion. What an amazing and beautiful country to visit!

  16. Last week’s post apparently never made it, so this is what I can remember of the past 2 weeks.

    Utilized nearly all of the 2 crowns of rhubarb, making multiple cobblers & crisps, including a very large crisp I baked & took over to our oldest daughter’s house for part of the meal after our oldest grandchild graduated from high school. We have also made a concerted effort to use as much of the fresh lettuce as possible from the garden. This year, we are trying to utilize “most” of the items we grow as “fresh”.

    The bean plants are up & growing, & the pea plants are in flower. I handwatered these last week, using the wash water from the rhubarb & lettuce we ate, but now they are watered with the hose & sprinkle, along with the lawn. Replanted the carrots.

    Harvested the first of the ripe strawberries from our patch.

    Since we went over for the graduation ceremony, I also dug some of the yarrow out of the yard, since our daughter wanted some for her new herb garden, & took it with us. The graduation was outdoors, in the stadium, with quite a stiff wind blowing. I took my digital camera, & was able to take some nice pictures of our granddaughter as the class walked in, as she received her diploma, & with the family afterwards – for free.

    Continued to set 3-6 Lodgestones per day in the back perimeter bed wall. I have set all but 11 stones at this point, so I should have set those by the end of the coming week.

    Continued to weed, & to thin peaches from the 3 trees. They are carrying far more fruit than they can ripen without breaking branches.

    Used a gift card from my youngest daughter (for Mother’s Day) to buy the rest of the Holland pavers needed to soldier the edge of the front bed by the driveway.

    Dug out a volunteer start of moss curled parsley for my neighbor. Dead-headed the purple iris & the yellow iris beds.

    Continued to knit on a grey baby blanket for “Little Brother”, due this fall.

  17. Here’s my list for the past two weeks:
    -mended a cardigan sweater
    -completed a few Pinecone surveys
    -downloaded a 2x weekend fuel points at Kroger. Used last months $0.60 off a gallon of gas to fill up our van for $26
    -my husband borrowed my parent’s tiller and tilled the garden. We planted various varieties of tomatoes, tomatillos, zucchini, beets, herbs, sweet peppers and jalepeno peppers
    -my aunt & uncle gave us a bag of bean seeds to plant
    -received free zucchini and jalepeno plants from my neighbor
    -harvested rhubarb from our patch. froze some for later use and used some to make the MOST delicious Rhubarb Coffee Cake!
    -the baseball and softball fields/diamonds are in our backyard, so our family has been spending a lot of time there for free entertainment!
    -attended a free Art Show at the local high school
    -my husband is continuing to pick up his ‘Free Daily Bagel’ at Panera for the month of May
    -free BHG in the mail
    -cut Irises and brought them in to use as a centerpiece on my table
    -continued with our usual: library for books/DVD, recycling, composting, heat/AC are both off, turned lights out, hung clothes on clothesline to dry.

    The first crop of strawberries are here, so I will be freezing those and making strawberry jam in the next week!

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  18. Ann Lee, Were you able to negotiate a better phone plan? When I was talking to Rogers, they said to wait till the month before school starts or also November as the phone companies usually have deals during those periods.

  19. The flowers are beautiful!!

    I’ve been sorting clothing (again) for donation. I’ve decided to create and sew a capsule wardrobe for myself over the summer so I’ve been looking for patterns and fabrics. Much will comed from my stash.

    My husband added two more large planting boxes to the garden and extended the fence line (protecting the garden from the rabbits who have been snacking on my celery). It looks very nice.

    Although it has not happened yet, next week is our great southside sale at the University where my husband works. Many of the students are international and don’t take the majority of their possessions back to their home country. You can find things like bikes and microwaves for $5.00! My husband is required to wear a university shirt often (they are $25.00 in the college bookstore) but they can be found at the sale for .$25 each! I am making my adult son stock up on items for his future apartment. We have volunteered to work the sale but we get there when it opens at 9 am. My friend has two high school aged sons who basically plan their entire wardobes around this sale. Last year, one left with a brand new ralph lauren pea coat for $5.00!

    Over the weekend, we visited the hex sign trail to see a bit of our Pennsylvania dutch history. In keeping with the spirit, I made a dozen red beet eggs today for snacking throughout the week.

  20. Someone brought donuts to work and I was able to take the half dozen left over at end of day as no one else wanted them. My family ate a few and I ended up slicing the leftovers thinly and cooking them at 250 for 10-15 minutes. Donut chips—yummy!

    When I could get very little out of my Oil of Olay bottle, I cut the bottle in two wiht a knife and was able to get over a weeks’ more product off the inside of the bottle.

    My daughter experienced an allergic reaction to a bee and we were told to get an EPI pen. Even with insurance, our OOP was to be over $600!! I called the doctor and asked if there was an alternative. They prescribed a generic and gave us a discount card. OOP after these 2 things—$10 for 2 pens!!!

    I used all leftovers to make new meals…no food waste.

    We received a scholarship for my son to attend driver’s training. This will also reduce our insurance cost when he receives his driver’s license.

    I purchased 2 glass jars for food storage at a yard sale for total of $4. The owner had asked for $7 but I asked if he would be wiling to take less…and he did. Unfortunately, I promptly broke one of jars when I arrived home…just slipped out of my hand! But glad it was the $2 jar and not the $15 jar as I see them priced in the store!

  21. We were very busy during the first part of the week doing normal activities such as work, school, and many, many doctor/dentist/appts. I was also getting ready to go camping, which we did on Friday. While we camped over the holiday weekend, I was able to get some rest, have fun with family, and enjoy a beautiful weekend in the great outdoors. I wrote about how we had a great time and still stayed frugal on our trip on my blog:

  22. Love all your photos as always, Brandy! And the photo on Instagram of you and your husband is great — you both look so, so happy! I’m glad things are a bit easier for you now, and allow for a fancy date.

    My frugal accomplishments:
    – I made a big batch of vegan ginger snaps! ( I came up with a recipe to use up some spelt flour I had in my pantry, as well as some frozen ginger that I had. So, so delicious! No refined sugars, flours, etc.! You could easily use regular flour in the recipe instead; just increase the amount of liquid that you use. And while I used maple syrup, I think that could be replaced with (much more affordable) honey or molasses. I gave a bunch to my parents, and will bring some into work for a colleague who loves gingersnaps.
    – Went through the house and set aside some things to sell online (furniture) or to donate (clothing). The DH also went through his clothing and donated some items to charity.
    – I rooted some more slips from my sweet potato plant, and planted some more pepper and nasturtium seeds.
    – I dried out my amaryllis bulb that I saved from Christmas, put it in the fridge to chill, and reused the dirt in my balcony garden.
    – When I made potato bread last week, I baked the potatoes in the microwave and scooped out the insides for the bread. I saved the potato skins (I did leave some potato on them) and froze them. I used them this week to make broccoli and cheese stuffed potato skins. No food waste!
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $3 gift card to Amazon and a $5 gift card for Starbucks.
    – I cat-sat for a friend for some cash and she also gave me a couple of canning jars she wasn’t using which I promptly popped on top of my pea sprouts on my balcony garden.
    – Roasted up a tray of root veggies to be used as a side dish for the next few days. Roasted potatoes and carrots mixed with herbs and oil makes for a delicious and frugal dish! I would have thrown in onions and any other roots veggies I had, but I ran out. Eh, this was still delicious! I ate it as a side dish for a few days and used some to top a salad with as well.
    – I baked a loaf of whole wheat bread and a batch of buns, most of which went into the freezer, to be pulled out for lunches.
    – I packed snacks for when I went shopping (long trip to get there) instead of buying a snack.
    – I made a batch of yoghurt for breakfasts for the week. I really love homemade yoghurt with homemade jam! Add in some sliced bananas and it’s worth getting out of bed for!

    Love learning from everyone else, as always!

  23. Marivene,
    How far into June are you able to plant/harvest carrots, peas and lettuce? Do you have any varieties that are better for withstanding the heat? We’re at ~4700 ft in SLC and it often hits 100 before the end of June.

  24. Mylan, the company that makes Epipen has a coupon card on their website. You answer 2 or 3 questions which tell you if you/your child qualifies for the card. If you do, it will save you up to $300 per two-pack, and you can use the card up to 3 times. Even though the full cash price for Epipens is higher, the allowable amount on our insurance is $250, so we’ve paid no more than $5 OOP for several years now. We have two kids with anaphylactic food allergies, so the savings has been considerable. As long as it’s affordable, I like to have two of the two-packs per kid so there’s always a back-up.

  25. Brandy the 2 of you look wonderful. I am glad you had a great time. This week has been a roller coaster and the month of June is packed with out of town trips we will have to take . I’ll am looking at ways to keep things under budget. We made our goal in the savings for May.
    We found that if we sell my car and put full coverage on the truck we could rent a car and not have to buy the rental company’s ins. Even with renting a car only when we need it (like when we go get my dad that can’t get in the truck… or in laws as I noticed MIL struggling to get in her SUV… about 7 times a year we would need to rent) we would save money. AS we pay cash and the rental company doesn’t take cash, we are going to the bank this week to see about getting a secured credit card. I am sitting down and making a list of goals for June today.. rest is here

  26. Wow! Great job saving money this week! I’m envious of your fruiting trees. 🙂 We planted ours this spring, so it’ll be a while before we get anything from them. Oh well!

    This week:

    1. We two bikes on Craigslist for $75–which is more than 70% off what they retail for. We bought helmets, aired up the tires, and gave the bikes a good wash. Good as new!

    2. I got a free NEW pair of Converse sneakers and two t-shirts from an old college friend.

    3. I went to the thrift store tag sale and paid a whopping 50 cents for two nice pairs of yoga pants.

    4. Mr. Picky Pincher cubed watermelon and cooked waffles for later.

    5. I made a batch of yogurt and lemon-flavored kefir.

  27. several members of my family are needing new tires, including me. I have done some research, and requests from my friends on facebook, and think I have come up with adequate recommendations for my kids. The one who is about to get rid of his truck in a year or two, he will go get reasonably priced ($30) used tires. The one who has had his vehicle for 10 years and will keep it until it is a classic, will go get new tires. I am still debating on my tire purchase. This weekend was Decoration Day at the very small, isolated country church where my momma is buried. There was to be an all day singing and dinner on the ground (lunch). I was on call and could not, unfortunately, attend. However, I did race up there after work one day this past week (it is a three hour drive one way) and decorate mother’s grave, as well as the graves of my maternal great grandparents, great great grandparents, and great, great, great grandparents. This next weekend, I will go four hours north and, along with my cousin, decorate my maternal grandparent’s graves, and the graves of my granddaddy’s parents at the other “family” church. I just did the things I always do, packed my lunch, ate at home, visited with my kids, and worked. I did go walk at the National Forest this weekend and that was lovely.

  28. What lovely flowers!
    We are doing the usual things of foregoing take out when we are tired, packing leftovers to work, using cloth instead of paper towel, cooking from scratch, container gardening, using durable silicone covers or bees wax coated muslin instead of foil or plastic wrap, doing our own yard work and home improvement, and avoiding the stores.
    Since I am leaving on a mission trip in only a couple of weeks, I have made a few purchases for the trip. My big score while shopping for some suitable outdoor work clothes for a somewhat cool, rainy season, was to find a pair of Keen sandals in excellent shape at our local Goodwill.
    We kept the long holiday weekend low key, worked outside a good bit, babysat two grandkids one evening, watched pets for another adult child out of town all weekend, grilled ribs we already had in the freezer, and made homemade ice cream.
    Our blackberries are finally ripening, but only a couple at a time so far. Fortunately, they are big and juicy, because we’ve been able to keep them watered in the dry springrtime we’ve had.

  29. It seems like forever since I’ve posted.
    My husband was diagnosed with diabetic keto acidosis on May 10th and was in the hospital for 4 days and we have spent the rest of this month learning how to manage his insulin dependent diabetes. He is doing really well controlling his blood sugars and has adapted well to a new way of eating. He still has multiple doctors appointments to check out the other body systems affected by diabetes to check them out, as well as weekly checks with diabetes specialists at his doctors office and thru his insurance company.
    My grocery total for May was $384. This does include $39 for fresh ground beef at $1.92lb, $20 for chicken breast at .99lb, $20 for ground pork at $1.66lb and $5 for ground turkey at $1.25lb. We spent $8.28 for 18 dozen eggs at .46 a dozen. The rest was spent for fresh foods and multi grain bread products, etc. Hopefully June will be lower since we will not need to buy meat.
    I am still combining all my errands to save gas and time. Now that school is out I am only using a half a tank of gas a week instead of a tank and a half.
    We ate all meals at home this month except 4 for me while he was in the hospital and 2 for the both of us.
    We are in the process of slowly cleaning out the garden and should be able to get the plants in the ground this week. We have started getting strawberries out of the garden and my grandchildren thought it was pretty neat to eat them straight from the plants.
    Brandy your photography is amazing and I really enjoy looking at all your pictures. I am glad you were able to attend the symphony and hope you enjoyed the performance.
    Have a great week everyone.

  30. What a lovely floral arrangement!

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Received a 10% discount from our son’s orthodontist because we were able to pay cash for the balance not covered by our insurance. I’ve been putting $50 per month into the credit union since our son was three, knowing that he’d need ortho work. I figured that even if we didn’t have the full amount, we would at least have a significant portion. Then, just as our son started his treatment, our insurance started covering orthodontic services. God’s timing is perfect!

    * Made bread.

    * Harvested green onions, radishes, and lettuce. Made homemade salad dressing.

    * Collected eggs from our hens. They’re giving us 3 to 4 eggs per day now.

    * Accepted produce for our hens.

    * Either composted or fed the hens our own produce scraps.

    * Used coupons from the Vons “Monopoly” game to get a free birthday card for Hubs and a free donut for son (to celebrate the last week of school).

    * Used Swagbucks points for a Starbucks gift card and then used the card for cold drinks to celebrate the end of a successful school year. (Thanks to the reader/commenter on this blog for the idea! I usually cash in Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards, but this time I went for the celebratory splurge.)

    * Used a graduation card from my stash.

    * Used Sunday comics and reused wrapping paper to wrap birthday gifts.

    We are in “party mode” from Easter to Father’s Day, so we still have two more celebrations in the coming weeks (son’s birthday and Father’s Day). This happens every single year, but–somehow–it still always seems to catch me by surprise. I think I need to add a “Spring Celebrations” line item to our savings account–especially now that our friends’ children are getting to the graduation stage (then it will be the wedding stage, then the new baby stage . . . . ) I also need to plan better for quick meals to get us through all the end-of-the-school-year events so we don’t eat out as much. :p

    Have a great week everyone!

  31. Anna, good to hear from you again. Was your daughter able to continue with her studies? I pray her health issues be all in the past.

  32. One frugal thing that lasted a couple weeks was catching a cold. Really put a damper on my appetite–and I only spent $35 at the store this week, even after being away for several days. And we’ve managed to eat every day in spite of it! The meals have been quite simple but no one starved to death, and no one even complained! Meatloaf-baked potatoes-winter squash is a favorite oven dinner, and I have a kitchen aid mixer so all I have to do is throw the meatloaf ingredients in the bowl and turn the machine on for a minute or two. Since receiving it as a gift a couple Christmases ago, I have really noticed how simple it is and suddenly meatloaf or meatballs are no trouble at all! Not that they ever were that difficult, but apparently the thought of mixing them by hand used to affect the frequency with which they were served! My husband prefers old fashioned, plain food, so he thinks I’m going out of my way to make him happy. Tonight I will use the rest of the meatloaf, frying slices for hot meatloaf sandwiches on homemade rolls, with steamed broccoli on the side. We had a couple sandwich and side combos this week as a result of my feeling under the weather. I finally am starting to get some energy back. Not that feeling under the weather gives me a “pass” on anything—I still do as much as I am able to. But definitely more things go undone! We grilled Italian sausages the day I made the rolls, and I just added a fruit cup on the side and that was the meal. I did fry some frozen peppers and onions to go on the sausages as well. Simple can still be good and filling.

    Our gardening has barely started. Record breaking rains in April and May have seen to that. I have weeded and planted a decorative circular garden in the front lawn, but that is really the only spot high enough to weed so far. My husband has started turning over the veggie garden, but I haven’t even put radishes in yet as it was just too wet. I probably will do this week what should have gone in in late March–lettuce, radishes, chard. As soon as he gets a section turned over one of us will weed and I will plant it. While spring has been late the past couple years, so has winter, so hopefully we will again get some extra weeks on the other end of summer.

    It seems strange to me that you have strawberries and peaches at the same time. Here strawberries usually start about the 4th of June, and peaches signal to me that the best of the season is past! I love apples, but I love peaches more, so once the peaches are gone, it feels like summer is over to me. Apples are picked here between mid-August and November. I use them to the fullest but I won’t buy one until convinced that there are no more peaches to be had. We can usually get peaches into early September. We have good controlled atmosphere storage for apples so we can get those fresh just about year round, being a big apple growing area. Love living in a rural area–although I loved growing up in a city too. Both have advantages! Brandy–your date dress is gorgeous on you!! So glad you found it at such a great discount.

  33. Yes, she did what was called home-base school for quite awhile. I don’t home school but this seemed like it. She had 2 surgeries in the last year. She like school and is keeps her grounded. She goes back to regular school in the fall.

    Thank you for your prayers. I appreciate them so much.

  34. Cathy, it depends on the year. We are south of you, in south Utah County. My lettuce bed is shaded between a semi dwarf apple tree at the edge of the garden & a columnar apple tree. My last head of lettuce is about to bolt, so I will pick it within a few more days. The peas have just begun to flower. I generally do not harvest the carrots until fall, so it is still within planting time thru most of june – the biggest problem there for me is the wind, since it dried out the soil & the carrots must stay moist for about a week, or the sprouts die.

  35. Hello Ellie, I think you may have confused me with another writer, as I am not looking for another phone plan at this time ….
    I use, for $15 mo. I get free long dis tance to any other Shaw user. I’d love to get rid of TV charges though!! and internet (not fast) is $62 per month.
    ann lee s

  36. I am only off work for 2 more weeks 🙁 I am really not looking forward to going back to work even though we desperately need my very small income. I have to do almost everything here at home – hubby has never been any help with the house and yard and thinks my “projects” are silly (such as planting flowers to make things look nicer, and weeding and mulching and growing produce…..Sorry – I am in a bit of a snit right now because I am tired, sore and doing more than I should be after my surgery)
    * We only bought milk and a bit of produce at the main grocery store and my gluten free bread and bagels at Trader Joe’s (there products don’t contain other trigger foods) I vac sealed the bagels in single packs and froze them all. The bread I was making in my bread machine was causing IBS symptoms so I had to find an alternative.
    * Each day I am putting out more of my starter plants – I ony had to buy some cukes at the greenhouse cause the cats apparently thought my started ones tasted good :/ So far I have put out: green pole beans, cannelloni pole beans, 2 types of summer squash, the cukes, sweet red peppers, tomatoes, 2 types of chives, baby blue hubbard squash and one of the pumpkin varieties. Tomorrow I hope to put in the rest of the winter squashes and pumpkins, the last of the potatoes from the basement and hopefully the rest of the bean seeds. I also will be moving some of the marigold volunteers that are coming up all over the garden 🙂 I always love it when that happens! I also have to get my hot peppers out but they are not doing well at all – very small – I think they must be more heat dependent than the bells I chose – Hopefully using the juice bottle “cloches” will get them growing better.
    * We have started caring for my BIL’s Great Pyrenees when he has to be out of town or working extra long days. She is for the most part pretty well behaved – no fights really have broke out between our 3 and her – but she is AWFUL about chasing cats (we have 5) so she has to be leashed in the house which is kind of a pain to have a dog tethered to you all the time! He is paying us a small amount which helps us out.
    * We took advantage of “customer appreciation days” at our local pet food store – 20% off everything in the store so we stocked up on pet food which will hopefully get us thru a couple months.
    * We helped our daughter move to her new apartment which saved her from trying to find someone with a truck to borrow and we managed to get it all there in one trip with our small trailer. Hubby and I agreed that we would get rid of most of our belongings before we move and she doesn’t even have a couch, TV or a table and chairs yet!
    * I made myself some new head bands from scrap t-shirt type fabric. Most headbands I find are too tight on my big head so start slipping back – putting the grippy dot fabric (the kind that you use on the bottom of the footie pajama feet) on the underside helps to keep them in place.
    * I went to several garage sales and a huge flea market over the holiday weekend and found alot of odds and ends – screws, drill bits, mason jar and 20 rings, elastic, snaps, a bag of emergency life jackets still in their plastic (it is law in MI that you must have enough life jackets on board for all passengers) – I think I paid $6 for all of that. And at the flea markets the Amish were selling maple syrup and honey. My maple syrup supply was down to only 1 cup and I wasn’t sure how I would get any more since it was a bad season and the price shot up to $55-65 a gallon. I had to go back to our vehicle to drop off the life jackets and when I came back, he surprised me with a gallon of syrup and it was “only” $38! That was the last of my “play money” that I had saved for going to the greenhouses with my mom and sis (I had already gone to the greenhouses with them on Friday)
    * Hubby traded a rifle for a 22 ft 1984 Chris Craft boat – it’s interior needs to be gutted but everything – including the motor – works. It sat in this guys barn for 15 years. It even came with a trailer. I am not thrilled with another project right now but we did come out ahead on the trade since he already sold the down riggers that were on it and made back over half of the trade value. When finished, it should be worth 10k.
    I think that’s about it 🙂 Hope you all have a wonderful week!

  37. Oh perhaps I do have you confused with someone else. Sorry! A while ago someone named Ann Lee asked
    how I got my plan so I thought it was you! Sounds like you have things under control!

  38. I agree whole handedly, Jen. I have to remind myself to enjoy what we have and not to always focus on my to get or to do lists. We are working to get our financial life in order…I think I’ll add home activities to my lists! Might help with inspiration now that we have college aged children.

  39. Love reading everyone’s successes as always!
    – continue to breastfeed and pump at work as often as I can. It’s not easy to sneak away every 2-3 hours and I usually only get 2 ounces, but every drop helps! We still haven’t finished the free formula samples I asked for and the baby is 4.5 months so this has already worked better than what I did with my first!
    – continued to use cloth diapers. Trying to hang them out more on the line now that the weather is getting nice
    – went to visit my best friend this weekend! Our husbands played a round of golf which isn’t very frugal but we are at home and got to spend quality time with them which was worth it.
    – cashed a few checks from surveys and deposited those into my daughter’s college fund
    – have been checking craigslist daily for a new patio set. Ours has almost rotted out in spots.
    – packed all lunches and made most dinners at home
    – rushed to the grocery store after work yesterday but managed to remember to use a $5 off coupon
    – tried to remember to use swag bucks daily
    – not frugal but we have someone cleaning the house occasionally for us. It lets me spend a few extra hours studying and it makes my husband SO happy so it’s worth sacrificing some “fun money”
    – keep trying to exercise at home. It helps me sleep better, it’s healthy, and it’s free!
    I know this isn’t for goals but I need some accountability! This week I NEED to sort my daughters hand-me-downs so we put her in things before she grows out of them!

  40. The village just opened last week, so stay tuned for more stories from my job, Laurie. We’ve already had a family from England, a lady from Holland/the Netherlands, and a group of ESL students from the college (the girls I talked to were from Columbia) visit our site, as well as the usual school children and Canadians (one from out of province). I am always surprised how many international visitors we get. It’s one of my favourite parts of my job!

  41. Have you ever done a post on how you do your floral arrangements? They are absolutely beautiful!

  42. Since I am 3 weeks of work away from finishing my master’s degree, I felt safe enough selling a few nursing textbooks on Amazon. We had to buy a new pink dress shirt for my son to be in a wedding, but I turned around and listed it on Ebay as soon as the wedding was over. My mother also brought us a ton of fresh fruit,ham,and milk, so much I had to cancel our Green Bean delivery for the week.

  43. Pat, as the spouse of a 64 year old Type I diabetic, sister-in-law of another, and great-aunt of yet another, I wish you and your husband much success! It can be frustrating, but help is available. My husband found his best control using a pump, which our insurance helped pay for, and when he got in with the VA, they covered his new pump entirely. He and I discovered we have to be his strongest advocates, as endocrinologists don’t always know what it’s like to live with diabetes — not too many of them have it themselves, and sometimes they just can’t understand things like dealing with highs and lows.
    Hang in there!

  44. It was actually my rifle 🙂 I am more comfortable shooting a rifle over a hand gun – I don’t feel like I have any control over a pistol but we still have another rifle I can shoot. We found out the bathroom is fully functional too so that part won’t need to be gutted – YEAH 🙂 I still can’t believe we got it for so little but the boat was the guy’s Dad’s so there was sentimental value in it to him and he wanted someone who would fix it rather than part it out. It even has a full camper canvas so we can actually go out for the weekend on it. Since we are in Michigan, there is no lack of lakes and rivers to use it on. I already have the fabric and vinyl I need to recover the foam so there will be minimal cost in bringing it “back to life”.

  45. Last week, we had a bad wind storm and heavy rains. So this week I bought lobelia on a manager’s special for $1 per pack of 6 plants. So for $12 (usually about $36) I bought 72 plants (2flats). They are slightly traumatized by the wind but are recovering nicely. I bought other plants for $14 for 36 plants. Then I found fuchsias for $2.99 each. So I assembled 12 hanging pots for $3.99 per pot instead of paying $15 or more per pot.

    I bought a 1.8 kg box of frozen blueberries for $9.99 and saved $6.50. I should have them eaten just in time for the fresh ones.

    I will be going to the farmers’ market for treats of fresh locally grown asparagus and maybe, just maybe apricots…which I will freeze.

    The Swiss chard I planted is up. it’s tiny but hopefully the hare will not find it.

  46. I highly recommend a visit to Pompeii if you go back!!! We booked a 1 day bus trip there while in Rome. It was just amazing and definitely one of the biggest highlights of our trip!

  47. Melissa, if you are ever looking for a place to visit with your boat, I live in Peterborough, Ontario. We have the tallest lift lock in the world here, which is on the Trent Severn Waterway. You can look it up on-line, but it is pretty impressive and rather fun to have a ride up or down! This waterway is accessible from Lake Ontario in Trenton, Ontario and travels all the way up to Lake Huron in Port Severn. It’s a really beautiful all the way along the system!

  48. Hi all! I love reading everyone’s post and learning new things from others.
    The last week has been a big week for us with our daughter graduating from high school and having my mother here for a long fun weekend. Not very frugal at all but that’s ok since we were prepared for it. It was lots of fun and exhausting!
    Frugal things we did using what we had, washing and hanging laundry, running fulll dishwasher and baking a lot with things we had.
    Now for June … since we will be moving I’m trying to use what we have so we will see how it goes.
    Have a good weekend!

  49. Thank you for the encouragement and kind words Jo!
    He had a recheck today with the lady in the doctor’s office and she was very pleased with his progress so far. She told him that she can’t find the tests to show that he is actually type 1 even tho they are treating him as such. Sounds like more lab work is necessary! His blood sugars are ranging from 150 down to 86 and have been 80-150 for the last week on insulin so at this point things are going well.

  50. Michigan actually has a chain of lakes and rivers that cut across the whole state (Huron to Lake Michigan) and it has multiple small locks on it 🙂 We will probably not be taking it out at all this year since gas is necessary for the vehicle for me to get to work and using it in the boat would not be real frugal or responsible although right now I could REALLY use a break from my life.

  51. Brandy,

    How do you get your flowers to stay put in your pedestal vases? Do you use a frog? You may have answered this question in a previous post, but I don’t stop by very often. Your flower arrangements always look like they should be in an old Dutch painting.

    Debra from SENC

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