Iceberg Roses and Honeysuckle The Prudent Homemaker

Iceberg Roses, German Chamomile, and Hall’s Honeysuckle

The weather was warm this week, in the low 90’s. For some, this is a summer temperature, but here, we’re just getting started with the heat, as we have over 5 months of temperatures above 90°. I opened windows and doors at night and in the morning to cool the house, ran fans only when needed during the day, and only turned on the air conditioner in the afternoons when we needed it most.

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy in the house.

I mended two holes in a pair of shorts.

I harvested parsley, oregano, Swiss chard, lettuce, Meyer lemons, spinach, garlic chives, hibiscus flowers, snow peas, and green onions from the garden.

I dried lemon zest and parsley from the garden.

I froze lemon juice from our lemons to use throughout the year.

I watched an episode of “Call the Midwife” for free on

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

I used Zelle to pay my midwife. Zelle is a free way to pay other people through your bank. You just have to have their email address and their bank has to also use Zelle (and most do). You don’t have to write a check or mail it. If your bank offers this service, you can see it on their website when you log in to your account; it should have a “Pay someone with Zelle” option. Unlike Paypal, the recipient is not charged anything to receive the money.

I studied French using free online sources.

David Austin Roses The Prudent Homemaker

Graham Thomas, Queen of Sweden, Claire Austin, and Earth Angel Roses 

What did you do to save money this past week?

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  1. I helped cook for a brunch. I made chocolate dipped strawberries, using chocolate I got on the reduced rack after the holidays, and sale-priced berries. They were still $2.88 for 2 lbs, which is not rock bottom price, but less expensive than other stores. We used a ham I got on sale at the holidays, and had frozen. I made southwestern pinto beans, cut-up fruit, and some gluten-free blondies. My sister made teriyaki chicken, fried rice with water chestnuts, frozen banana punch mix with 7-up, veggie tray, and some other things. My husband made a salmon cheese ball, sent it along and watched the younger children for the day. We had no idea how many people were coming, and were delighted at how many came, and how the food turned out to be the right amount. There were leftovers, but not an excessive amount. I put a picture of the berries on my blog. They turned out so yummy and looked great for a fraction of the cost of buying them. It was a brunch to let people know about a missions trip that my sister and brother-in-law are leading this summer. The youth who are going were there to answer questions, etc.

    I took my niece to her horse therapy afternoon, and watched her while she showed me what she does there. She was proud of herself, and I was proud of her, too.

    We cooked a lot of food for our family, too, including lasagna, salmon (from a frozen package I got for $5), mashed potatoes (my niece made them actually), potato salad, BBQ chicken (Rob did that), chicken taco soup, burritos from leftover southwestern beans from the brunch, and more.

    We attended a matinee of Peter Pan at the Northwest Children’s Theater, and got greatly reduced school matinee prices because we homeschool.

    We logged lots of extra hours watching my nephew, as he was sick one day, and we also took him to the play as an enriching activity. He loved it! It was his first time up there.

    I can’t even imagine 5 months of 90 degree weather. I’m used to moderate, rainy, cool….. Our part of Oregon is like that. I’m afraid I would wilt. I’ll bet you are glad your baby is coming sooner, rather than later when it’s even hotter! I hope you can stay cool and comfortable until he or she makes their appearance!

  2. Stunning photos, Brandy!

    This week’s frugal accomplishments:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Got 30c/gal off of gas using grocery points.
    • Found a penny.
    • Paid a bill online with my credit card I pay off each month. Also set up autopay for same account.
    • Got a free donut and a can of tomato sauce from Safeway’s Monopoly game.
    • Got 5 lbs. of ground beef for $1.72/lb (clearance rack) and 8 lbs for $1.97/lb (sale). Browned 6 lbs. and froze and also froze 7 lbs. raw. Also got asparagus for 77c/lb, so I bought 4 lbs. and froze them as well. Got 3 bottles of ranch dressing for 75c/bottle off the clearance rack.
    • Worked 14 hours contract work.
    • Cut some roses off our rose trees and put in a vase inside. I love fresh flowers and I am happy to finally be growing some.
    • Hubby went on business trip, so he got all meals for 3 days free. Plus the trips went on our credit card, so we got points for that. And he brought home the toiletries from the hotel.
    • I took my lunch both days I went into the office.
    • Found a book on Montessori teaching at Goodwill for $1 that I will utilize when I watch my grandson. Also got a book on home organization ($2) and a Jesus Calling devotional ($2) for a friend who is going through a rough time. It really helped me last year when I was going through some things and I think it will help him too. And I got a picture for my living room for $6 and 2 candle holders for 50c each.
    • Listened to some free music on YouTube.
    • Made a fruit salad for a brunch my daughter hosted and again for a party at my brother’s house. I froze the juice from the cans of pineapple to use in a smoothie and I had fruit leftover from making the salads and brought home the remaining fruit salad from my brothers and I froze those too.
    • Carpooled with my daughter’s family to my brother’s party.
    • Checked out the next book in my quest to read all the Agatha Christie books in chronological order at the library and put a hold on the next one.
    • Different brother and sister-in-law stayed with us one night. They brought me a box of lavender lemon shortbread cookies as a hostess gift.
    • Won a $30 gift certificate at Trivia night and $8 from our team. Our team always plays a tie-breaker question and everyone puts in $1. Whoever wins gets the money and the gift certificate if our team wins one. It is a fair way to split up the money. Also won a $20 gift certificate to another restaurant when one of my teammates and I played an additional night to get our scores up. We will just split that one next time we go together.
    • Got a free tube of toothpaste by combining sale and doubled coupon. Got a jar of Pace Chunky Salsa for $1 by combining sale and 50c Ibotta rebate.
    • My sister and her 2 adult daughters came and stayed with us. Served them a nice dinner with food I already had in the freezer.
    • Got a free taco seasoning and a bag of chips from the Friday Freebies.
    • The circuit breaker for our garage went out. Hubby replaced it for $5. I am so thankful he knows how to do these things!
    • Only ate out once on Friday. We got Olive Garden take out instead of going there, so a bit of savings. Plus we saved the salads and had them for lunch on Sunday. Made croutons with the leftover breadsticks.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  3. I just realized you’re pregnant – congratulations!

    To save $ I packed my lunch for work a few days this week.

  4. I love Call The Midwife, and hope to see some of the newer shows soon. I watched the first episode of The Durrells of Corfu this week, which was recommended to me. I’ll watch another episode or two before I decide if I want to continue watching it. Asparagus, parsley, and sage were harvested this week, and eggs gathered. One of our hens has been sitting a couple of weeks now. She’s thrown 3 eggs out of the nest, leaving 8, which will be a gracious plenty if they all hatch. I’ve been enjoying library books, currently reading Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher, which I believe I may have learned about in a comment here. My first roses have begin blooming today, though nothing as exquisite as yours. Peonies look to be close to blooming. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments, and am joining in here:

  5. Congratulations again on your new arrival!
    We were able to get some good deals this week thanks to using a Perka offer and a customer appreciation discount on groceries. I got to use Checkout 51 for the first time too. Also stocked up on toilet paper and used Ibotta, of course.

    The heat isn’t quite as bad for us – only mid-80s – but I think we’re at a higher elevation than you, which helps tremendously. We may have a few weeks more under 90 (hopefully!!!!!).

  6. Hi to all –
    Last week was a very stressful week for us. It began with both of our surviving parents father on one side and mother on other, falling … one in hospital, other needing surgery and both are on the other side of the country. Both of us will go help and one will move in with us. So lots of rearranging being done.
    We have not shopped a lot – using up things in freezer and cooking big meals, freezing some (we are trying to not both be gone at same time while we help our parents). So we can pulll these frozen meals out when we need to – more work to do.
    I was able to get a lot of swagbucks last week. I earned $20 from a survey site that is coming in the mail which will be for groceries.
    I continued full load washing and air drying. Only went out I think twice. I worked on preparing things for recycling & money back sites – CDs/books to Decluttr and an old iPad to Att that will be mailed this week – $60 back I think for gas for 3 cars.
    Also made cookies for my husband instead of buying them. So thankful for each other, as in our panic modes with our parents we kept each other calm and worked out how to handle our issues.
    I hope all has a good week.

  7. Happy Sunday, folks. Congrats Brandy and family!!

    This week: I moved my new chest freezer into my newly renovated laundry room. The freezer was a gift for Christmas that I’d been waiting to open until the laundry room was done. I’ve already started filling it up.

    I packaged chicken stock into zipper bags from chicken pieces I boiled last week and froze them for future use.

    I sliced a Devil’s food cake giving to my SO by a coworker into individual slices and wrapped in plastic wrap and put in a gallon ziploc bag and froze. This will be great as a quick dessert in the future but enough work to get to that I’m not tempted to eat the whole cake!!

    I earned points on RecycleBank that I’ll use for magazine subscriptions in the future. I signed up for another survey site and took a couple of surveys. For some reason, after years of actively participating in Pinecone surveys, I’ve stopped receiving any mail from them. It appears they’ve disabled my account, except for being able to redeem my points, which I should do soon since I have over 17,000. I’ve tried emailing them to see what the problem is but haven’t heard back.

    It’s been really moderate here weather wise the last 2 weeks. I haven’t had heat or a/c on in at least 2 weeks. I am grateful for this bc usually it’s hot enough to need a/c by now but we’ve had a really long (for SC anyway) winter this year.

    I found more pots that had been stored at my parents house for a couple of years so I brought those to my house, washed them out, and planted some leftover annuals I’d bought a couple of weeks ago.

    I thrifted a few things SO will need in his new apartment 3 hours away. I also found some extra stuff I had here that I’m giving to him, like my extra microwave, some kitchen bakeware, etc.

    I bought some delicious oranges at Aldi the other day. The inside is pink like a grapefruit! I saved the peels and put them in a glass jar and covered with vinegar. I’ll of course use this to clean with in a few weeks.

    Continued to sell items on eBay and Etsy. Have tons to list this week so I’m hoping for sunny days for taking photos!!

    I’m sure there were other things I did throughout the week, but it went so quickly that I’ve forgotten. I can’t wait to read what everyone else has done to save money. Have a great week everyone.

  8. Congrats on your new baby! So exciting!

    Living frugally in urban Seattle:

    – We had a “heat wave” according to local news this week, which was funny because the temps never hit 80, but the sun was glorious. I bought some discounted flowers and planted them in pots with potting soil I had on hand. We also had simple dinners of homemade sandwiches one night and homemade burritos the next, down by the lake near our house. Eating simple foods in a beautiful setting makes a meal seem more special!

    -I received free paint, earbuds, moisturizer cream and moving boxes from neighbors via our ‘Buy Nothing group.’ Spent part of Saturday painting closets with the paint in preparation of our move this summer. I plan to post several things for neighbors this week after doing another round of closet cleaning.

    -I convinced my husband to eat PB&J for weekday office lunches! I have a strange aversion to it, so I won’t let him eat it at home. This way he gets his fix and eats a frugal lunch. He can keep all the ingredients in his office’s kitchen.

    – My husband is having some fungal issues with his feet (gross, I know!), and he didn’t want to spend the money to go to the doctor. I did some research and saw Vics vapor rub can heal fungal infections, so we’ve tried it out with vapor rub ointment we had on hand and it seems to be working so far!

    – I received a $10 Costco rebate in the mail for contact lenses purchased awhile back. It’s always a pain to submit rebates, but $10 is $10.

    – I read two good books from our library this week: The Book of Separation by Tova Mirvis and Your Money or Your Life.

    – We kept this week car free with the exception of the robotics classes I started teaching 2X week. Just too much equipment to carry on a bike, unfortunately.

    – I applied for a new job that I know I would enjoy with better pay and more flexible hours. Fingers crossed!

  9. So I see where congratulations are in order on the newest member of your family. Another boy!!
    Blessings and prayers for all. Can’t wait to see what his name will be.

  10. And I believe you had a baby this week too Brandy!! Congrats and the flowers are gorgeous. Thank you for letting us know on Instagram 🙂

    • This was just one of those ho-hum/block & tackle weeks but all meals were eaten at home including: orange beef stir fry, broccoli, wild rice, cheddar casserole (Smitten Kitchen), asparagus soup, chicken taco soup, potatoes au gratin
    • Made chicken stock in slow cooker using chicken carcass
    • Fixed a brooch by gluing a glass stone back into the setting,
    • Turned heat off until next winter
    • Consolidated errands when I drove 45 minutes away for an interview
    • I would like to have a selection of paint pens to use for crafts, but rather than paying full price and buying them all at once, I have been purchasing one a week at Michael’s using 40% off coupons each time.

  11. Congratulations on the baby! Have you picked out a name yet?

    My husband and I went to Home Depot to inquire about getting a new door. We enjoyed free Starbucks coffee and tea while there. We also looked for a cucumber trellis but decided the one I want can be easily made.

    I used my chick-fil-a coupon to get a free chicken biscuit. I wasn’t very hungry but it was set to expire so my husband and I split it.

    I checked out some books from the library. I then went to the grocery which was right across the street.

    I had cooked too much orzo so decided to use the rest in a lemon chicken orzo soup. It should last for the week if I don’t freeze it first.

    I was given some compost tea by a friend so used it in the garden. So far I’ve only harvested mesclun but this week is supposed to be beautiful so I’m hoping my peas begin flowering.

    I went to Marshall’s to buy a shower gift and found a linen dress. I used a gift card so only spent $5 on the dress.

    I ordered some tubers and bulbs online. The site was having 20% off with free shipping. Now I need to figure out where in the yard to plant everything. The previous owners didn’t do a lot of landscaping so my husband and I have started one plant at a time!

  12. I don’t use instagram so missed the big news! So happy for you and your family on welcoming a new baby boy to your family!

  13. Congratulations on the arrival of your son!
    I finally got my peas, lettuces, beets and radishes planted. Yay!
    I roasted 2 whole chicken legs, saved the bones after and made 6 cups of broth. I also filtered the chicken fat as best as I could and added about a tablespoon of it to a pot of rice (about 3 cups cooked). Personally I think it added more flavor to the rice which was for a “meatless” meal.
    I took a sundress that I adore and keep rescuing from my donate pile and turned it into a skirt. It didn’t work as a dress, and looks so much better as a skirt. I used supplies in my stash.
    Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. I bought the awesome Mister some nice chocolates and we will make steaks for dinner. We had plans to go out, a day trip in fact, but with schedules, parents needing extra care, we are really looking forward to a date night at home.
    Finally, I took some me time and took a few hours to read a book. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. It is clean with a few romantic/sex sentences and a light read. I really enjoyed it. It was so nice to be caught up momentariarliy and sit outside reading for an afternoon.

  14. Jen G: My father grew up in terrible poverty and did not have the money for a doctor to take care of foot infections. If someone got a foot fungus, his mother made the boys pee into a bucket and the one unfortunate enough to have the foot fungus had to soak his feet in the urine. He tried to use that home remedy on us, his children, but we rebelled. Instead, he had us soak our feet in a mild chlorine solution. It seemed to work. Years later I told the urine story to my doctor, expecting a laugh at folkways, but he said that if a person is healthy, their urine is sterile and that his own grandparents were too poor to afford shoes other than the ones for school so in the summer the children went barefoot—but for weeks before summer, they soaked their feet in urine every night, to toughen the soles up for summer bare feet. Then, when I moved to Alaska, I learned that the old style tanning involved urine…So, tell your husband he is lucky you wanted to use Vicks!!

  15. I can’t believe you didn’t mention your, by far, most frugal accomplishment of the week; having a baby at home so no hospital bill. I think that beats pulling up some parsley from the garden. 🙂

    I was reading the titles of your books which are supporting your jar of flowers and noticed Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”, my favorite of her novels. I am currently rereading it in an annotated form. Nice to pick up a few new pieces of information.

  16. 1. Usually make all our bread but this week found a coupon for a local bakery so got a huge loaf of challah for $2. Sadly, it tastes better than my version…
    2. Every morning I drag wagons of seedlings out of the garage into the fresh air, and drag them back in at night. The ground is still frozen, even in my greenhouse, but this will toughen them up for transplanting and means I don’t need to pay for supplemental lighting indoors. Since I have over 600 seedlings now, this is six wagons plus a lot of flats hand carried outdoors. I keep reminding myself of the money my gardening saves (about two thousand a year, after expenses).
    3. Mended a blanket
    4. We ate soup four nights running, to use up sad vegetables. BOring but thrifty.

  17. Congratulations on your newest edition!! Had a great week!!
    Ate from our pantry without needing to buy anything plus took dinner to two families! Oh, how I love having a well stocked pantry!!!!
    We now have 30.5 DOZEN eggs in our fridge and our hens keep producing 7- 8 eggs/day!! Probably time to sell some more! We only have to mention that our supply of eggs is growing and friends are there askingto buy some! That usually pays for the chicken food!!
    I used the homemade anti-static cling spray on Sunday for a skirt that had previous been sticking to my legs as I walked and Voila!, it worked great. Good thing too because I made 2 spray bottles of it!!
    Through egg sales, eBay, our HandmadeinOldeTowne business and also my “zeroing-out” our checking account at the start of the new pay period, I was able to add an extra $500 to our savings account and $500 off one of our last 3 debts! Whatever the “extra” income those things add up to, I split 50/50 and use for building up savings/paying down debt! I do it as it comes in, so my accounts may show $2.50 activity in each one day for egg sales or some other odd amounts, but I can tell you that those really add up!! Our savings account has never been this high and we see the debt continue to decrease!
    Hope everyone else has a great week!

  18. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . Brandy what a blessing to be picking all that lovely produce from the gardens as it really helps keep the grocery budget lower as it does in our home. Your flower arrangements in your home are beautiful and would bring a smile to anyone’s face.

    We have most shops having end of summer season sales here on clothing and I wait until the summer clothing is reduced for final clearance and buy what both DH and I need for the coming seasons. It saves so much money rather than buying clothing at full price and this time we saved a whopping 65- 74% off usual retail prices a number of items of clothing we needed especially as I had put on some weight and needed quite a few items.

    We try and set ourselves up for a few years in advance buy buying clothing at end of season sales so we never purchase any clothing at full retail price and by doing so they are cheaper than buying at our local op shops here.

    Here is what we saved and did to build up our household this week –

    Financial –
    – Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 24.81% of the way there.
    – Downloaded $14.29 from the sale of saved garden seeds on the internet which I banked to top up our pantry stocking budget with.
    – DH earned $50 from a paid gardening mowing and weeding job which we put into our home cash emergency fund kitty.
    – We saved $40 in total on our last 2 quarterly power bills by only turning on the electric hot water system when our water was cold and needed heating twice a week.

    Purchases –
    – Purchased 6 x new short sleeved white shirts for DH on clearance for $3.50ea or $21 total saving $39 or 65% on usual prices. I was over the moon to find clearance items in DH’s size of 3XL which is highly unusual as they are usually in smaller sizes, so we purchased every packet in his size 🙂 . He will be set up for a few years on church shirts now.
    – Bought 7 pairs of new shorts for $6 a pair and a pair of 3/4 embroidered jeans for $9 for a total of $51 saving 74% off usual prices or $145. I am now set up for jeans and shorts for the next years and future years summers as it gets really hot where we live.

    In the kitchen-
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Juiced and zested a grocery bag full of lemons gifted to us and froze the zest and juice for future use and used the peels as compost in the gardens.
    – Blanched and froze silver beet and corn cobs picked from the gardens making 4 more meals of silver beet and 2 more meals of corn for the freezer.

    In the gardens –
    – Harvested 4.5 bunches of silver beet and 6 cobs of corn from the gardens saving $22.95 over purchasing them.
    – Planted a 6mt row of broccoli, 2.4mt row of cauliflower and a 6mt row of snow pea seeds in the garden.
    – Out of saved garden seeds we planted a 12mt row of broad beans and a 6mt row of early Massey pea seeds saving $10.85 over purchasing the seeds in the garden centre.

    I hope everyone has found lots of ways to save in their budget last week and also coming into this week too :).

  19. Did you have your baby?!?

    I had a pretty frugal week. I got my free download Friday from Kroger…Taco seasoning. Also cookies for my sons lunch for 0.99…and chips for $1.49…for my daughter’s lunch… it’s much cheaper to make the kids lunch’s than buy.
    Made all meals at home.
    Stayed under food budget.
    I am trying to be more and more frugal every week.
    Getting ready for a garage sale next Saturday!

    Brandi if you did have your baby congrats. You are amazing!

  20. Congratulations Brandy!

    We moved to our little farmhouse even though it isn’t finished. But it is livable and I am happy. Hired movers because no-one in family can lift much. Packed ourselves. I am working 40 hours this week and I probably will continue that. Happy to have the hours. It doesn’t pay much but it definitely helps a lot. We have done all eating at home except a picnic lunch we packed in our picnic basket at home and ate in the park. Hubby is totally on board with being frugal. We want to keep house. Basil is growing. Grandson will be happy. Want to plant with granddaughter too.
    Went to town together in one vehicle and hubby ran all our errands while I worked. Writing a list of things we need and waiting until I have to go to town for work to get them. Making frugal meals. Using all leftovers. Turning off lights except what is above us. Resisting temptation to buy anything that is not necessary. Even hubby is doing this. Waiting to finish things in house until we actually have extra funds to finish. Planning on having a yard sale soon. Moving made me realize that I have a lot of unnecessary things. Mainly clothes that I probably will never fit into again. Hoping for a nice asparagus harvest. I would like to sell some this year for extra funds. Saving on shower water by sponge bathing. Shower isn’t finished yet. But it is our first priority and I have a sink I am going to wash my hair in. Excited because I have a dishwasher and dishes take hardly any time to load. Happy because I have a washing machine and dryer now. Thinking about things and feeling blessed.

  21. Congratulations on your blessing!

    I made my first gluten-free sourdough starter, then a batch of English muffins. Not only was it cheaper to make my own gluten free bread but the taste was vastly superior to bread that I’ve bought!

    I spend the week cleaning out cupboards, shelves, and the house in general, taking inventory. I’m working on making a garage sale list so I know what I need when garage sale season starts. I’m hoping it will save me money and keep me from getting distracted by all the tempting “stuff” out there.

    It’s too early to plant my garden yet, but the spinach, radishes, and bok choy in my cobbled-together (free) cold frame are growing well.

  22. Congratulations, Brandy! Wonderful news on your baby! I’m impressed that you still found energy to post on your blog!

    My week was fun too. I got some frugal things done:
    – I combined two celebrations, and baked my sister a birthday cake that was also a gender reveal cake ( for the first baby in the family. It was a hit! I bought candy from the local bulk store to keep costs down.
    – I made French Toast to use up some old bread. A lovely weekend treat!
    – I made a batch of Lemon Poppyseed Muffins (Brandy’s recipe) and used two lemons, both zest and juice. No waste!
    – I redeemed swagbucks for a $10 gc to Starbucks
    – A friend gave me a bottle of Mexican vanilla extract. This stuff is not cheap, so I was very appreciative!
    – I planted seeds on my balcony garden: zucchini, peas, nasturtium, lettuce, carrot, swiss chard, and bush tomato. Finally, it’s planting weather! I still want to buy basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, and tomato plants (I don’t think my tomato seeds will result in sturdy plants in the short growing season that we have, but wanted to try anyway).
    – I redeemed Starbucks points (I redeem Swagbucks for Starbucks gc, then add them to my registered Starbucks card to get points) to get a free lunch box. The store isn’t too far from my workplace, so I enjoyed a short walk on the nicest day of the year so far as well!
    – I was able to fix a piece of clothing by sewing in a hook taken from a piece of clothing I no longer wear. No need to purchase anything!
    – My sister gave me several boxes of tea that she no longer wanted. I’ll give these to a colleague at work, as I already have lots of tea at home to enjoy.
    – I went through my closet and set aside some nice clothing that I can no longer wear, to give to my sister. If she doesn’t want it, I’ll either try to sell it (they’re nice brands, like Ann Taylor or Jones New York) or donate them.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as always!

  23. Mable, that’s so interesting! And the Romans had a use for urine too; they collected the urine of slaves and used it to bleach their togas whiter. Who knew? And, I know that during the Great Depression, in order to toughen up the feet during dance-a-thons that would bring in much needed money, dancers would soak their feet in vinegar. Not too much different from your doctor’s grandparents!

  24. Good health and happiness to you and your whole family! So much sharing and caring must be going on in your home now.

    I’m watching the weather closely here for when the frosts are finally done, to plant some flower seeds from clearance sales last fall. And I can soon put clothes out on the clothes line consistently instead of just on occasion. When I hung out bath towels for the first time since winter, they bulked up to about triple their winter-drier thickness in the fresh air. I also realized I could put a short clothesline on my back deck and not have to walk/carry so far to where my long line is.
    Most importantly, it is supposed to be clear and warm for the city-wide yard sales this weekend, and I am planning to get lots and lots of stuff out of my house! Like changing my clothes line location, I need to look at what has become habitual and decide if that is necessarily the best way to do things, including deciding what we truly need of all the stuff we own.

    I like guacamole, though my family does not, and found a grocery deli large container on sale for 99 cents, marked down from almost five dollars. I enjoyed a portion and looked up how to freeze the rest. Even if freezing doesn’t work, I had my treat.
    I also discovered a new product that isn’t what I wanted at all. I bought a bear bottle I thought was honey at the dollar store. Turns out it is a “honey product”, listing corn syrup, another sugar, and honey as the three ingredients. It does taste like very sweet honey, but I wanted the real bee stuff.

  25. This past week was in the 80s, very warm for us this time of year. We also opened windows and doors to get the morning and evening breeze to cool down the house.

    I planted more peas and spinach. Also planted carrots and kale. Harvested green onion and a handful of tiny baby spinach, fun to nibble it straight from the garden with my kids!

    Did a lot of baking again this week: several batches of muffins, banana bread to use up some very ripe bananas, and granola to go with our homemade yogurt.

    I consolidated errands to minimize gas use and time, and I brought snacks for my kids so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy anything if they got hungry.

  26. JenG: I’ve had good luck with getting rid of foot infections and eliminating stinky feet & shoes by mixing cheap vodka and a few drops of tea tree oil. I mix them in a small glass spray bottle and the inside of the day’s shoes are sprayed before being put away.

  27. Chicken soup for lunch each day this week, made using the chicken stock I made early in the week.

    I went to my book club meeting. We have a rule that the club is all about the books. The books must be available from the provincial library system, and we don’t serve snacks, which keeps the cost down. We do meals at Christmas and June, though in recent years this is more often a potluck than a lunch out. I do have the cost of travel since it is in the next town over, but appreciate that we have kept to this rule for the eight years we have been together.

    I attended a meeting on Thursday that lasted so long, I was given a voucher for lunch.

    I sorted out my summer tops, and realized I now have enough for both yardwork and dressier occasions. Now, I’ll need to figure out what other clothing I need. One t-shirt had a large rip in it, so I’ll be able to use it for cleaning rags.

    The snow is gone in my yard now, so it is clean-up time!

  28. Hello Brandy, my name is Hannah and I’ve enjoyed your blog for awhile but never commented. The
    above comments about your midwife cost just struck a chord with me. When we were searching for a midwife to attend our first birth, the midwife we hired found out that my husband had experience raising pigs. She asked if we would barter with her; she exchanged her services for two hogs, raised to butcher weight and delivered to the butcher shop for her! We have done this with our two subsequent births also. It works out great for us and people always get a chuckle that our babies cost us two pigs! Congratulations on your new baby.

  29. Congratulations on your new little one, Brandy!

    I am looking forward to photos and the baby’s name when you are ready to share. What an exciting time for your whole family!

    My husband is the oldest of 9 children and it has been such a blessing to all of us. His family is more spread out than yours – there is a 26 year age difference between him and his youngest sibling. We have celebrated 2 new babies (oldest brother and my in-law’s first great-grandchild) and two weddings (youngest sister and 2nd sister) in the last 12 months and will celebrate a graduation (my husband’s youngest brother from high school) and a wedding (middle brother) for sure in the next 12 months. So much to celebrate and so much love and support. It’s truly wonderful!

    We are finally snow-free after what felt like a very long winter! We had 18-inches of snow two weeks ago but now we are enjoying the green grass and the flowers are growing like everything. I am very excited to start cleaning out the flower beds and readying the garden for planting. That won’t happen for us until right around Memorial Day but I’m busy planning and enjoying the few things that are popping up around. The rhubarb is up but won’t be ready for harvest for about 3 weeks – we’re just starting with asparagus as well. Whoever wishes can read our frugal accomplishments for the week here:

    Congratulations again Brandy! And thank you for sharing your garden with us as well as your family’s life. I am so grateful.

  30. I have been away from home and took cash along for any needs. It felt good to know how much I spent. I was able to buy some extras at the farmers market before going home.
    I have successfully ‘made over’ a men’s dress shirt into a summer top for me. It was a linen/cotton blend fabric in a lovely salmon color. I took it entirely to pieces and used the fabric. It turned out so well and now I know that I can do it, I will watch for more men’s shirts. The bonus for me is that I’m 6 feet tall and women’s clothes are not made for a woman of that height and shoulder width. But men’s shirts in M and above have plenty of length and shoulder width. I also made a pair of pajama pants from fabric given to me, took in a dress bought at thrift store and also altered a shirt from thrift store. It’s been a sewing week!

  31. Congratulations on your newest family member!
    We went camping this week – spent the first two nights in the national forest for free, then two nights at an RV park in Denver, where we met up with friends. We did spent quite a bit in Denver shopping at stores we don’t have access to near us. We made a stock-up trip to Costco, and bought a new pair of hiking boots for my husband for our trip to Alaska in June. I wanted to go to Trader Joe’s, too, so instead of going out to dinner one night, we went to TJ’s and bought stuff for dinner – and other stuff. Definitely a splurge (though we spent about what we would have if we had gone out, and got stuff for several meals.). We really enjoyed our fancy dinner in the camper, but I’m very glad TJs isn’t closer. At another store I found strawberries for 88 cents a pound – I bought 8 pounds to make jam and eat fresh. I was very happy about this. I never made strawberry jam last year because I never found berries below $2 a pound.
    We ate lunch ‘out’ at Costco — $4 for both of us. We had one other meal out at a burger place – I brought half my burger home for lunch the next day. The other meals we cooked for ourselves.
    While hiking we found a like-new dog collar that fits my younger dog – who happens to need a new collar, as her current one is fraying.
    Also while hiking, we came upon an area where people had been target shooting and we picked up a couple pounds of brass shell casings, which my husband will recycle when he goes to the metal recycler. He estimates we’ll get $3-$4 for a few minutes cleaning up the forest.
    I used collected rainwater to water the plants in the greenhouse.
    Ate salad from lettuce and arugula from the greenhouse.
    I used part of an old voile curtain to make four reusable produce bags. I hate all those thin plastic bags from the grocery store, so I’m hoping this will keep me from accumulating them.
    We had some brush chipped and found a great company to do it for less that the cost of renting a chipper and doing it ourselves – two guys with a commercial chipper took about an hour to do what would have taken the two of us all day (not to mention a 45 minute drive each way to rental place.)

  32. This last week we traveled back home after visiting family.

    Our frugal accomplishments:
    * Bringing some food with us so that we would not need to purchase it there.
    * Bringing food on the airplane to eat. Apparently serving meals on flights is a memory of the past.
    * We cooked our own breakfasts and went out to eat only a few times.
    * We ate two meals a day (not hungry for dinner for some reason).
    * Instead of paying for public transportation, we walked shorter distances.
    * I baked two loaves of bread which we brought with us to avoid paying high prices for bread and to have quality bread to eat!
    * We mostly avoided paying for water in the airports; we did not purchase any water on the airplane.
    * I used a $5 of $50 coupon given to me by my aunt to purchase needed groceries.
    * I brought my own cleaner along to avoid purchasing cleaners at our destination.
    * We stayed under budget for our trip!

  33. Congratulations Tammy on moving into your house. That is great news! I am sure you will treasure the house and look forward to hearing your progress with it in the future. Once again, congratulations!

  34. Thanks, Libby, for mentioning that the big news was on Instagram. It was quite perplexing to see most knew of this important event and I couldn’t find It. Well, all I see is pix in Instagram so I’m still missing a beat! I’m hopelessly old school.

  35. Hannah, I have heard costs for hogs, and I think you got a great deal! The midwives in town have set up a fee rate so as to not be cheaper than one another, so that when you choose them they are chosen for other reasons. I have had all of our children at home. My first midwife moved away after my sixth was born, and I’ve had a different midwife for the last three. Prices in town have gone up in the last 16 years, so subsequent children have been more expensive than the first few.

  36. Did you share the anti-static spray recipe in a comment before and I missed it? I don’t like the smell of Static Guard, and we are out. I rarely use it but we have been needing it lately. I went to the store looking for it and couldn’t find any! I would love to just make some.

  37. Congratulations, Brandy, on the birth of your baby boy! Happy news, indeed! He is blessed to be born into your lovely family as much as
    you’re blessed to welcome him!

  38. Brandy I missed your subtle hint 😮 , so congratulations on the new baby (not sure if it is a boy or girl yet 🙂 ) and I hope you are feeling well after the birth. Rest up and enjoy your new addition.

  39. Congratulations on your new baby!

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    While grocery shopping this week my husband snagged a sample and coupon for toothpaste. It is the perfect size for taking on our trip this week to visit family.

    I paid a bill online.

    I trimmed my husband’s hair.

    I placed 2 books on hold at the library and picked them up Saturday morning while running other errands.

    My husband washed and waxed his truck himself.

    We were invited to a friend’s house for lunch for pork, Puerto Rican rice, and fried plantains. It was delicious! We brought some home for another meal.

  40. Oops…got to stop being so hasty clicking submit! I was so impressed by those gorgeous pictures, it didn’t occur to me till afterward to go back and click on what must be the most recent one. Such important news deserves its own blog entry too! Big congratulations!

  41. Congratulations on the newest addition to the family! A sister had 11 children, ten at home. You’re both a wonder!
    Our bay is still iced over. I see on the horizon the tell-tale strip of dark, so open water isn’t far behind.
    It was my husband’s birthday last week. I bought his gift from eBay with money earned from selling something. He wanted to eat at the Friday fish fry at the Moose, so that is what we did. It’s not frugal but we don’t eat out there often. His cake is usually homemade. This time, I bought a boxed, two person mix, which was just okay. I got it free when I called about a problem with another of their products.
    Since the snow is finally receding, there is a LOT of sand left behind. It’s everywhere. I started the clean-up and call that my exercise. I also walked with friends and the dog. Or, sometimes, both!
    I’m still saving water and hanging clothes on the line to dry when it’s above 40*. This week, we may get into the 70’s! (Be still my heart!)
    I’ve been quilting the baby quilt I made for my daughter’s first child. I’ve also been getting my crafty mo-jo going. Almost all supplies have been bought with coupons, sales or thrifted. Not all the fabric for the quilt, though. For such a small quilt, it’s already to the hundred dollar range. But, worth it!
    That’s it for me. Wishing you all the best of weeks ahead!

  42. Anne,
    Thank-you. We sat on the back of the truck yesterday evening and listened to the birds as we watched the moon come up in the sky. This morning we saw a doe and fawn as we headed to town for work. I do love the country and you are right, I treasure our little house. It is a small metal structure. But inside it is home.
    One day I had just thanked God for the little farm. Immediately after there was a rainbow. And a farmer came by and asked us if he could take our picture. We’ve never seen the farmer again. But now we have a picture of us in front of the rainbow on the farm. Something similar happened the day we got married. I’d just thanked God for my husband and then someone says there is a rainbow. So we got a picture of us in front of a rainbow on our wedding day too. It makes me so happy to think about how much God loves us all.

  43. Congratulations on your beautiful new baby boy, Brandy! Amazed at how much you were able to get accomplished this week, despite going through a labour and delivery. Very impressive!

    I’ve been busy this week preparing for my return to work (first day back today). This week, our frugal accomplishments for our family included:
    *Meals made at home included tacos (choice between beef or black bean), breaded chicken burgers with loaded baked potato skins and carrots, ham & cheese crescent rolls with Knorr pasta sidekicks and green beans, cheesy ham and broccoli rice skillet, waffles with peaches and syrup, and chicken low mien stir fry with veggie spring rolls.
    *Cut up 7 bunches of fresh broccoli (bought on sale last week), made some into a broccoli salad, saved a small bag to make stir fry this week, then blanched and froze the rest. We are almost out of all the veggies I froze last summer and fall. I’ve had to start buying frozen veggies again. This year I need to freeze a bit more produce, if possible, so it will last a little longer into the summer.
    *Went to Costco this week to buy something specific. They still didn’t have any, so I walked out of the store without buying anything. Miracles do happen!!! Used some of my loyalty points for $10 worth of free groceries at our regular grocery chain.
    *After we had to throw out an unopened 2 kg (over 4 lb) bag of brown sugar that was swarming with ants, we decided it was time to address our ant infestation! This week we tried a homemade ant poison with ingredients we had on hand (cotton balls dipped in a borax, sugar and water solution). The first night, we had massive amounts of ants feeding off the cotton balls by morning. The second night there were barely any. Now we wait and see if it actually got rid of them!
    *While the weather was good, we set up the square foot raised garden beds we bought from Costco a few weeks ago. Cost a lot for dirt, but this is an initial set up cost we won’t have to endure every year. We laid down cardboard boxes and soiled shavings from the Guinea pig cage for the bottom layer, followed by a mix of black soil and composted sheep manure, and finished with a more expensive garden soil mix specific for veggie gardens. Planted peas and spinach so far.
    *DD attended her first teen group on anxiety through the mental health association. She was very excited to go, until she discovered that a boy she doesn’t like was in the group. He is also on the autism spectrum and was in one of her previous social skills group. The boy is very negative and makes outright mean/rude comments towards people (not sure if he realizes how mean he is being). This, of course, set off an extreme anxiety reaction for DD, breaking her down to tears. Thankfully, she has the support of her mental health counselor. He is going to work with DD on how to handle the situation (DD thinks this is the worst situation ever…I think it may be good to have someone directly support her through this issue). Regardless, she received a $10 mall gift card for attending!
    *Hubby tried to make a case for getting take out one night, as my mom and I were tied up with building the garden and taking DD to group that afternoon. I already had a plan for an easy dinner (the meal was prepared quickly and did the trick), which helped avoid spending unnecessary money. I also told him I had planned for us to eat out another night this week. The knowledge of a pending meal out seemed to ease his desire for restaurant food for that evening.
    *The family, plus DD’s friend attended a local museum for free through the PHIT program. These events are designed to encourage families to physical exercise in a fun way. Hubby, DD’s friend and I had never been to this museum before. It was very small and DD had a meltdown (joys of Autism), so we didn’t stay too long. Glad we didn’t pay to go. Hubby was seriously craving a restaurant meal, so I left it up to him and DD to choose where we would eat out that night. He ended up choosing Boston Pizza, one of our favourite family dining chains here in Canada. Not a totally free night, but it got us all out for an evening.
    *Attended an employee/volunteer meet & greet event at my job along with DD and my mom. It was held in the new barn that we watched being built last summer (1st time seeing inside for me). I enjoyed exploring the new facility, snacking on food, catching up with colleagues, and saying good-bye to those that will be retiring this year.
    *Downloaded free backdrops for my computer. I will now be enjoying a slideshow of stunning photographs of forests scenes every time I use my computer!

    Thank you to all of you for your inspirational comments, kind words of encouragement and sharing of knowledge with all things frugal. Love this community!

  44. Stale urine (which as we all know turns to ammonia) was historically used in the dying of fabric and wool. Urine is obviously quite handy! LOL

  45. Never mind that I said well done for bypassing PayPal fees. I didn’t realise that you have had your baby!!!!

  46. We have our children at home too! (One child surgery delivery was needed for complete placenta previa.) It is not about money and what is best for our family. God always provides the money. You are so blessed to have all your kids at home!

  47. Laurie, I enjoyed the second season of The Durrells much more than the first. It was hard for me to get beyond how spoiled all the children were; the second season seemed more humorous to me.

    Brandy, wow, congrats! I LOVE your pictures in this post but I sincerely hope you are getting the rest you need; it’s ok if we wait a bit to hear more from you!

  48. Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. I think I’ll skip the urine suggestion, but that was a super interesting read, haha! My mom actually had a severe reaction to an anti-fungal medication that almost put her in the hospital. Apparently such reactions aren’t uncommon. Another reason why we homeopathic is probably the best course in this instance.

  49. Congratulations on your newest addition. I, also, cannot wait for baby naming day! I think it is a beautiful tradition that your family has created and perhaps one your children will continue with when they begin families of their own. (Which I know is YEARS down the road, right, LOL)

    Frugal accomplishments were not many this week. We did eat leftovers one night, stayed home most of the week, used buy one get one free tickets to our local zoo for an outing on Saturday. Was treated to lunch yesterday by a family member.

    Most frugal accomplishment was for our upcoming vacation. We are taking a trip to the mountains in June. I am very frugal on trips. I plan meals and snacks. Shop for the lowest priced hotel. We do rent a vehicle so I shop around for that as well. My sister is going with us this year. I text her the other day and told her that I had found a great deal on a hotel and gave her the price. She said she wanted a cabin. I told her we could not afford a cabin, as June is peak season and cabin prices are astronomical during that time. My sister is very successful financially. She paid for the cabin. I was speechless. Our cost is what the hotel room would cost us. It was a very generous gesture on her part, and she did offer to pay for the entire thing, but I refused because her generosity is often taken advantage of. We are super excited because we have never stayed in a cabin on our vacations and we are looking forward to it immensely!

    Have a blessed week!

  50. It was a frugal week. My friend picked up a case of marked down cheese for me, and I paid her back the next time I saw her. My sister gave us a bag of expired food, which was still perfectly fine. There were a lot of snack foods that I don’t buy that my kids were excited to enjoy. Our neighbor aired up my son’s bicycle tire. My brother and SIL took my younger son out to eat for his birthday; a special treat! I used cloth diapers on the baby a little, but it’s hard to keep up with the laundry. I have been researching inexpensive summer activities for when the kids are out of school this summer. Our city offers so much. My dad picked blackberries with my kids, which I’m freezing. I found some Christmas presents at garage sales. My sister gave me two big bags of high end children’s clothing (Matilda Jane) to sell. She lets me keep half of the money, and my older daughter got to pick out a dress to keep.

  51. Congratulations again Brandy and family on the new baby!
    Spring has sprung here in Nebraska but , it is so windy right now that it is hard to get anything done outside. It is supposed to rain off and on this week which will be great to get rid of the dust and dirt blowing around. I did manage to reset the bricks on a raised bed, plant my green onions and clean up the strawberries and move some of the plants. That bed is too big and went crazy multiplying. We bought 1,00lbs of top soil but it is to windy to put it where it needs to be. I want to plant my peas and bush bean seeds so hopefully the wind will die down later this evening.
    We continued to eat all meals ate home,except one, and take lunches and snacks to work using leftovers and food already here. I did have my monthly breakfast with a friend and brought half my omelet home and my husband ate it for breakfast the next day. The only grocery purchases last week totaled $5 for salad stuff and a reduced loaf of french bread for .99. My veggie scrap bag was full so I made 800z of broth. I used my plastic jars to organize my freezer door and got rid of the bags for dry milk, nuts, crumbled bacon, etc. So much nicer and easier to find things!
    I continued to combine errands with commitments to reduce gas and time, stayed home as much as possible, did full loads of laundry and dishes and decluttered the shelves in my closet. There is so much more room now.
    Have a great week everyone!

  52. Congratulations on your new baby!

    Gardenias, wild iris and confederate jasmine are all in bloom at my house. It smells heavenly. Resisted going to see the new Avengers movie and stayed home all weekend.

    Cooked and ate most meals at home. Went to the VFW twice, but only had 1 drink each time.

    Paid less than 50$ total for 5 pair of Lularoe leggings from someone going out of business. Will keep 2 and gift the other to a friend.

    Attended a ballet performance at the high school for free with my faculty tickets. A friend and I attended a $5 wine tasting at a local shop. We skipped going out for dinner or dessert afterwards. Attended a wine dinner, but remembered to give my rewards number so my next trip to the restaurant will be 50% off.

    Scrubbed, Murphy oiled, and polished all of the wood cabinets and furniture in the house. Cleaned all the AC vents, the washing machine, the dishwasher, the dryer, the dryer vent, drains, ceiling fans, and mattresses. Checked the smoke detectors and turned all the water and gas shut off valves in the house.

    Made granola and canned homemade chicken broth.

    Insurance inspector came and said we need a whole new roof. Still waiting to see what, if any, the insurance will pay. But there are blessings! Without asking we were approved for a new credit card through our credit union with far more room than we would need for a new roof and it has 12 months no interest! God is good!

  53. WOW! I am over 6 feet tall, too, and have just worn men’s shirts, never thinking to adapt them. What a great idea; thanks for sharing it.

  54. Congratulations! And, thank you so much for your sweet email. I have already put your information to good use.

    Oklahoma weather is kicking into high gear starting this evening and lasting through Thursday with severe storms and tornadoes. Honestly, I am ready for a good round of spring storms and cannot wait. We had a late freeze (27 degrees) the second weekend in April, and I do not like winter at all, so it cannot warm up soon enough for me.

    Frugal living here looks like: planting delphiniums, zinnias, poppies, and digitalis from seed instead of buying the plants. Planted lettuce, radishes, spinach, and Armenian cucumbers from seed as well. Cleaned out and detailed my car myself, ate lots of leftovers (the kids are getting sick of them

  55. I was really frugal and had both our daughters while my husband was in the mililtary. The going cost at the time was $7. The second one came so quickly I didn’t get to the hospital until after she was born–so got charged for TWO admissions, so she cost us $14. Ironically, the charge was for food, and I was supplying all her food in the form of breast milk, but they charge the extra because it was two admissions instead of one. Mysteries of how the military works! They were both bargains at the price!!

  56. Wow, a lot of seedlings. I wish I had the time and space to grow so much food. And such a saving. Could you check out challah recipes on the internet? Although I still think home made beats commercially made every time.

  57. My week was eventful but not as eventful as yours! My husband has had a pain in his head and after three doctor appointments we are no closer to knowing what it is than when we started. He has had two prescriptions also. Next week he has an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat specialist although I’m not confident that will work. I am feeding him some saved pain pills that were previously prescribed for me (our doctor knows this). If it gets worse we will go to the ER as no one can help us any sooner.
    I also made progress on spring cleaning, seeing as how I had a nosebleed in the middle of the night and had to pull off sheets and mattress pad and use peroxide to remove the blood. I washed them all and mended a rip in the mattress pad (the stretch part around the mattress-and promptly stuck my finger through in a new place getting it back on the bed.) That can wait for next time it’s washed!
    Our local Bon Ton store is closing and it was announced that I only had ten days to use several gift card balances I had from some returns after Christmas. Turns out it was about $40, so I got myself a new bra and a new tee shirt for Spring, and only paid $4 oop. There was a discount but it wasn’t great. They were items returned that were mine, although I would have happily spent the money on new towels if they had had any I liked.
    We ate all meals at home last week, including a belated “birthday dinner” for my husband because we were treated to a restaurant meal on the actual date. We had steak, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and the first sour cherry pie I have ever made and forgotten to put a thickener in. I usually use tapioca. I used nothing. It tasted fine but was a bit runny!! The rest of the week we managed with only having leftovers once–so easy to do lots of casseroles in winter and eat them two nights! Have to get out of that now that it might warm up. We had snow on Sunday but it didn’t last long.
    I am continuing to fight for my husband’s need for more doctoring–I hope he can last another week without rebeling against the paid–it’s already been about 10 days.
    Tonight I’m making either salmon or crab cakes–need to ask which he prefers–both are frozen. Will have oven fries and green beans with that. I did wash the kitchen floor on hands and knees–at 75 that’s not quite as easy as it sounds. I need to spend another day on the cabinets with Murphy’s Oil Soap, too. Never enough time to do everything. We are to have some warmer weather this week so I want to get outside and clean up the yard too.

    So, I guess that’s it for me–time to get my oven fries into the oven as my stomach is telling me it’s getting close to dinner time. Anxiously awaiting naming day for your new little one.

  58. Congratulations on your son!

    This week is showing signs of life reaching a stability that has been missing for a few years – except the weather which has us spending more on heat again suddenly. Work is quite overwhelming at this time of the year; however, it is expected and I am so very thankful to have a job. I like what I do and love the staff. Some are long time friends!

    I see there are more daffodils around than I previously had found. I’ll be moving them (after they bloom and yellow) to bring color to other parts of our place. Glad to have freebies.

    Found a small amount of change. I stopped in at a clearance sale for one item and found an amazing amount of items for the pantry and personal items at pennies on the dollar. Picked up my daughter’s college graduation gift (20% off and exactly what I was looking for…I know they will be worn often and passed down). Since I needed to make the trip, I shopped at Aldi’s and went to a matinee with my son. It was a nice release of stress for us and he has been awaiting the release of this movie quite a while. He wanted to go the day it was out, but waited to combine with the trip in (45 min each way).

    Since we live so far from shopping, I often resort to ordering certain things on line when needed. I ordered aluminum free deodorant with free shipping for the 2 pack and only one was sent. I called and they refunded my money and told me to donate the item. Of course I’m keeping it!

    Was able to buy 14 brand new cloth diapers in pink from newborn to toddler for a dollar each. Babies do not care about the color and clothing covers, so I put them in the baby container I have started. I expect to be a grandmother within 5 years. I expect I’m not the only one here who looks ahead!

    Happy frugal-ing!

  59. I was on vacation last week. It was more of a staycation as we didn’t go anywhere. Wednesday we had to put or beloved 9 year old dog down due to a neck disc deformity that would only resolve with a 5-10K surgery. He was in so much pain. It was absolutely heartbreaking. :'(

    Watched this past Sunday’s episode of Call the Midwife and I just have one thing to say (don’t worry no spoilers) WHY??? I do love this show and next weeks episode is the season 7 finale. Already.

    Thursday was my son’s 14th birthday. My parents and 2 nieces came over and they treated us all to dinner at a local restaurant. Then we returned to our house for cake and ice cream.

    My mom brought her hair cutting supplies and I got my hair cut.

    My husband cut my son’s hair with the Wahl clippers. They’ve already paid for themselves. He cuts his own hair as well with the clippers. So much cheaper than spending $15/month for a haircut.

    I colored my hair with hair color from I’ll get 3 uses out of one bottle of color because my hair is so short. I got a deal when I signed up for half-price customized color. So each application cost me about $3.33 and it’s high quality color. You can get a new customized color every time they ship. I’ve asked for a light brown before…dark brown with reddish tomes. Works great!

    My son is going on his class trip to Washington DC at the end of this week. We’ll have to give him about $100 in spending money for food, snacks and souvenirs. Plus he’s taking some of his birthday money.

    Congrats on the arrival of your baby boy Brandy & family! I can’t WAIT to see the name you’ve chosen for this little guy!

  60. Please let us know how the ant situation pans out. The whole city seemed to have a real problem with them last year (never had them before) so keeping my fingers crossed for this year. I even had to put my swiffer cloths into ziplock bags as they seemed to love them!

  61. So far we are still seeing a few each day, but not nearly as many as before (it was becoming a huge problem!). Definitely worth doing, Margie! Found the recipe on Pinterest…there are several versions. The blog I used said that if the ants don’t seem to like the sugar solution, try mixing borax with peanut butter.

  62. Great job on paying down your debt more. If you have a small emergency fund and are paying off credit cards or car debt I encourage you to start putting all of the extra money to the debt instead of adding to your emergency fund. If it is your mortgage then keep doing what you are doing. I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey and really believe his plan works. It did for me. Good luck getting out of debt. Here is my story:

  63. Pintrest has tons of ideas or re fashioning mens dress shirts into peasant blouses, sleevelss tops, short sleeve tops, back button blouses, skirts, little girls dresses. I have done a few for myself. As my husband has only 1 dress shirt (he wears t shirts and flannel shirts to work) I get the shirts at the thrift store. There is a local store that has everything 25% off on mondays, and 50% on holiday mondays! I can usually get a shirt for between $1.50-$4.00 each. I look for the larger sizes, and take them in if needed.

  64. Congrats and blessing on your new baby boy!! I enjoy seeing your flowers and wish I had the same “green thumb”. Here are my two weeks worth of frugal ways:
    -GH found out he has free $25 of credit for concessions on his movie loyalty card. He had gotten several movie gift certificates for Christmas and when he goes, he always has the loyalty card scanned. —
    -Savingstar app changed today so I went ahead and cashed out at $5.25 and added it to paypal.
    -Sold one thing on Ebay.
    -Received in snail mail: a sample of face lotion/cleanser I was wondering about, a small tube of toothpaste, $10 rebate check I forgot DH sent off for, a set of 4 nice blank notecards with pictures of flowers on them.
    -Gifted a $25 gift certificates from Kroger to help out with groceries from Kroger.
    -Brought leftovers home from Reality lunch: oranges, bananas, and 1/2 of an egg fratata w/sausage, peppers and onions and coolards greens to cook and put in the freezer or dehydrate.
    -Started to rearrange the tubs/containers in garden so when weather decides to get better=I’m ready!!
    – Saved over $75 at store with coupons and loyalty/rebate apps. Plus a lot of free items with the “Quarter Back” sale/rebates at one store.
    -Rained a lot so I put in extra hours at work= more PTO.
    -DH found $5.00 in his work parking lot one night.
    -Turned in points on several rebate apps totaling up to $73.00 to paypal.
    -DS showed his artwork at the annual Reality Center Talent Show. The tickets for 7 people were free and we got to enjoy various types of entertainment.
    -Went thru pantry and donated some stuff since I started a certain diet and those items were temptations.
    – DS was gifted some groceries from his DG since he is autistic and eats different things.
    – Went thru closet and filled a bag (from Threadup) full of business clothes I do not wear anymore. If I don’t get money from the items sent, they will donate to places where other woman can use them.
    The sun is finally out and temps getting warmer in central NC. Everyone have a blessed week!!

  65. I read the books years ago and found them hilarious , especially My Family and Other Animals. I started into the series and realized that the characters didn’t match my memory of them as I read them! Oddly when I read all of the Oz books as a girl the movie didn’t disapoint me – in fact made the books more “real”.

  66. Changing the buttons or adding some kind of embroidered patch or lace or braid on the cuffs or collar could make a big difference without a lot of work. And those things can be found at a resale store or taken from another garment.

  67. I don’t know if this works inside or not. I’ve sprinkled cornmeal in my garden to get rid of ants. Supposedly, they will carry it into their nests and the colony will be killed that way.

  68. Congrats on the baby! Can’t wait to see pictures!

    This past week we did pretty well frugally. I think the biggest thing I did was to ask for help, and friends came through! I had one friend come over to help pack the china hutch, and another came and helped me clean the entire house while the boys were out. Both were huge helps, and it was a reminder to me how many hands make light work. It also reminded me that I need to be willing to ask for help more often, because it really is something that people want to do.

    Here are the rest of our accomplishments:

  69. Janet I am not sure what country you are in but we are in Australia.

    If you are in Australia we got them on clearance from Big W here and I think they were going out of this particular brand.

    I hope this helps.

  70. I actually used the front with the buttons to become the back of my top, and used the back to make the front. I took the arms off completely and took it in at the sides. Also made a lower neckline and removed the collar. It’s unrecognizable that it was a men’s shirt.

  71. Brandy, congratulations on your baby boy! I don’t do Instagram, so hadn’t known when I commented.

    Kris, yes! I’m having a challenge with how disrespectful and fairly worthless the children are. Thanks for commenting. I may give it a bit longer, to see if it grows on me.

    Mary, I didn’t realize the series were books. I’ll check them out. Thanks!

  72. Congratulations on your newest bundle of joy. This week, I picked up the last of the groceries we needed for April and stayed $2 under budget. That’s the closest I’ve ever cut it on the budget! I also..
    ..changed the display on my car to show the instant miles per gallon. By watching that and changing my driving habits accordingly, I’m up two gallons per mile!
    ..bought a birthday present and stayed under budget.
    ..accepted leftovers from my mom. She didn’t like the meal that they’d prepared. Turned out my husband loved it and has been taking it to lunch every day.
    ..took 4 shirts to my grandma to be mended.
    ..combined errands with a meeting I had to attend.
    ..bought a bridal shower gift. The store had free shipping over a certain amount, so I went ahead and bought a wedding gift from their registry, too to get the free shipping. I used 2 coupon codes to get $30 off and went through Mr. Rebates to get 3% cash back.
    ..planted my garden.
    ..cut rhubarb, asparagus, and chives from the garden.
    ..uncovered my strawberries for spring.
    ..made a meal plan that only required $9 worth of groceries for the next two weeks.

  73. Hi Brandy, I hope you are recovering nicely! I’m gonna try to remember a few of my frugal accomplishments from the past few days. I spent many hours in the garden sowing seeds for our summer harvest. Some of the seeds were from last year so I didn’t have to buy the seeds. I didn’t go to the grocery store any even though I was out of a lot of things. I “make did” with what I had. My parents were gone on vacation and they left me free rights to their freezer/fridge, so I got some meat items and they had also given me eggs and goats milk before they left. I sewed a dress for my little girl this week, using a borrowed pattern and free material given to me from my mother in law. This week I made my son some pajama pants from material I had had for years. I made two loaves of bread, I also made a batch of soap from goats milk. I did have to purchase the lard for the soap making but I made enough soap to last us a year (if I don’t give some away, which I usually do

  74. Brandy, I was so happy to see your Instagram post. Children must be the greatest blessing one can bestowed with. It has been 3 years now that my husband and three youngest were loss. I love my three older ones dearly but I miss my 3 ” littles” so much. I am excited to hear his new name and know it will be perfect. College girl was home this week after final exams. She slept round the clock for three days. She woke only to request a favorite meal and eat. Baby girl works hard at medical school. College boy is leaving soon for the military. I have had my A.C./ heat off for three full months now. My electric has finally dropped even lower. I love hanging my laundry out now that the yucky pollen has passed. I have been doing a little bit of yard work each day. I just cannot part with any of our limited funds to pay someone to do it for me. I am making do with what I have. I used an old swimming pool ladder the former owners left behind to climb up and clean my gutters out. I am sure I am quite a spectacle creeping along a foot at a time. It is important to keep the tons of pinestaw cleared so I don’t incurr expensive damage. I used some Swagbucks to buy me a small hatchet to remove some small trees. I will have to work on digging the roots up but at the moment I would just like to clear the lot. This foreclosure sat abandoned almost 10 years and the yard is bad. Thankfully I have all the time in the world to scoot along and do yard work. College boy picked up a second job so he has my car most of the time. Funny thing about staying home is it is quite frugal. He will be leaving soon so it really isn’t cost effective to purchase him a car until he gets to his duty station. I hope everyone is well. The fungus info this week was quite funny and practical. I was happy to utilize it.

  75. Congratulations Brandy and family on the newest little one. Can’t wait for you to share him with us!

  76. I read that not every type of ant will eat cornmeal, which is why it can be hit and miss on working. Borax mixed with a food sorce the ants enjoy getting into is more effective.

  77. Mary, we pray for healing for your parents and easy transition for their care. Multi-generational families have many benefits for all involved.

  78. Yes, Shirley, I kept looking at the picture above and rereading the post wondering how they were getting she had a baby boy? What were the clues I was missing? We do not do instagram or facebook or etc etc and etc.

  79. Thank you! It has been a very stressful time. We are both from large families but all are not available to help. We are making major choices and it’s hard, but for it will all work out. It’s part of life …
    Thanks again.

  80. I am so sorry for your losses, Lilli. I have an older house that I am slowly, but surely, redoing also.

  81. Wishing your whole family a smooth transition and quick recoveries for your parents. Love that you and your husband keep each other calm through the crises. That is absolutely invaluable! I’m going to have to check out Decluttr. Sounds useful!

  82. Tammy, I have lived in the country all my life except for 2 years and then I was in a city of, at that time, about 800.000. I missed the quiet!! more than anything. It is never quiet in the city.

    I loved your story…God’s hand, in heaven and on earth.

  83. Heidi Louise, I don’t see why you can’t freeze the guacamole, maybe in airtight baggies. We don’t get good choice of avocados here so we buy it frozen. You can get it in multi packs. I have one of my children pick up when they are at Costco.

  84. Thanks. We are trying as best we can. It’s just odd that we have to deal with almost same issues on both sides of family!
    Decluttr is best when you have a lot. Also Book-scouter is good.

  85. Congratulations Brandy on you new little baby boy. I hope you and the baby are doing well.

    Last week I shopped for our groceries. I have developed food allergies, so I needed to spend a little more for my shopping and groceries since I cannot eat certain foods any longer~( tomatoes, peppers, onions,gluten dairy) . It has been a challenge but I am so thankful there are other items I can replace them with. I think I have a balanced plan now to try to spend $200.00/ month for my husband and myself including toiletries, shampoo and laundry making ingredients.
    We are purging our garage and sending things we do not need to Goodwill. I will be so happy when we are done. It’s many years of accumulation . Now that all kids have grown and on their own, I can finally let go of so much.
    I found a couple of games to give to our 4 y/o grandson I had put aside. They are not electronic, so hopefully he will like them.
    Last week I have started on my veggie garden. We had such nice weather finally so it was fun to get out in the yard. My young 3 y/o apple tree has quite a lot of flowers on it. So excited to see how much we can harvest this year. Last year , my first harvest yielded 5 1/2 lbs. This year I will only plant 2 tomato plants ( not 4) and have focused more on leafy veggies , beans, peas, garlic, squash, cucumbers, grapes, and herbs. I will go from here to see what else I can plant 🙂

    Have a wonderful week snuggling with your new baby. Looking forward to pictures soon and praying for many blessings to you and your family.~
    Blessings, Patty from the NW

  86. Congratulations on the birthday of your baby boy!
    My big frugal find this week was 8 packages of strawberries for $4.99. Most of them went directly into the freezer. Spring has finally arrived here in Minnesota. Spent the weekend working out in the yard.

  87. Glad to see some others were mystified too! Even with this newfound “knowledge” I’m just sticking to blogs…I don’t need another time drain. Well, maybe once a month or so I’ll check on the picture aspect of Brandy’s as she has such gorgeous photography and it is amazing to see it all lined up.

  88. Lori, the exact same thing has happened to me with Pinecone Research. I also have e-mailed them and have gotten no response. I realized that I havent had aurveys from them since last November. I really am interested in finding out what has happened.

  89. Marcia, I’m sorry I didn’t see this until now. I hope you don’t mind, but I added your husband to the church prayer chain as “Marcia’s husband”. God knows.

  90. Lilli, even though it sounds like your son is quite busy, please get him to do what he can for you before he leaves. I don’t like the picture of you up there on that rickety ladder! Be safe.

  91. Thank-you Athanasia. You are right. Our apartment was on a main road. We heard cars all day long and often firetrucks, paramedics and police cars. The quietness is wonderful in the country!

  92. Been a rough week with my Aunt dying and dealing with also being at 209 for the contractors and dealing with gardens at both places. I harvest rhubarb here and asparagus there and have been processing it for the pantry today and tomorrow. Open windows when the road crew isn’t working and sending waves of dust across the fields,couldn’t have laundry out because of that also but used the drying rack daily to help lower the electric bill. Furnace and Central air both off and on depending on road crew, rain and cold spells…Hubby calls this inbetween season.
    I kept track daily this past week…it helped to focus on being frugal.
    Blessing to all of you here for sharing and you Brandy and your family for opening the door for us to be in this community

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