Meyer Lemon Meringues The Prudent Homemaker

I used lemons from the garden this week to make lemon curd, which I used to top homemade meringues, along with pomegranate arils. I’ll be sharing this recipe later this week.

I dug up and moved several plants to help them to get better sun exposure/less sun exposure (some were burning in the sun and others were failing to flower). Moving the plants made it feel like I’ve put new things in the garden. (You can see some recent pictures of the garden over on Instagram.) I planted two bushes that were started by tip layering several years ago to the pots by the front door.

We have been working on making our raised bed smaller. About half of it was on the east side of the house. It wasn’t getting enough sun, and we want the space for bicycles. I ran new drip irrigation to the remaining part of the bed (the old irrigation had become clogged with calcium and salt that is prevalent in our local water). As I evaluated the bed, I saw that I could install the lines closer than they had been before, allowing me to almost double the number of rows in the remaining space. My lettuce and green onions can grow closer together than they have in the past.

I planted seeds for lettuce, spinach, green onions, snow peas, radishes, nasturtiums, sunflowers, and pumpkins in the garden. We’re expecting record high temperatures this week (70F/23ºC), and with our normal last-frost date only two weeks away, it’s warm enough for warm-weather crops to germinate in the garden.

I transplanted parsley seedlings from where I started them in a pot in the white garden to several shady spots in the garden. Parsley will burn here completely in the sun come April, but will grow year-round in the shade.

I covered vegetable seedlings with jars to protect them from being eaten and to speed up growth. Glass jars act as miniature greenhouses in the garden, and I’ve found that the seedlings grow three times faster when covered than when not.

I updated my garage sale list. I usually print my list and take it with me. Now I have the list on my phone, so I’ll have it with me always, and I can update it more often as I both find things and think of things we need. Garage sale season usually starts in March here (and is at its peak in April and again in October, when HOA’s have their semi-annual community sales).

Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake The Prudent Homemaker

I made a crepe cake for my son’s birthday (my children choose the meals for their birthdays, and this was his request). He asked for a crepe cake with lemon curd, Nutella, and whipped cream for breakfast. I still had heavy cream left in the fridge that I bought a few months back that was good (whipping cream lasts months, unlike milk) which was perfect to top the crepes.

I checked out and read four e-books from the library.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I made homemade hair detangler/leave-in conditioner. A small squirt of conditioner in a squirt bottle and water work just as well as Infusium leave-in conditioner.

I said yes to some free clothes hangers.

My husband cut my hair for me.

Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake 2 The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money last week?


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  1. Last week was the start of the BIG purge. I have been mentally working up to it for months. Storage areas need to be reorganized and it will involve getting rid of things we are no longer using. Of course, some still have monetary value and others are just sentimental=, but whatever the case if they are just taking up space then I want to get rid of them. The easy thing would be to just clear it out and give it away, but I have trouble with that scenario. That is why it has taken me a long time of mentally purging before I actually start boxing things up to give away. I know how good it will feel when I see tidy organized storage areas again. I can hardly wait.

  2. The last couple weeks have been hard on the checkbook – our truck needed repairs and even though it is an old truck, it was still cheaper to repair than to replace it. Unfortunately, it wiped out our emergency fund and now I need to focus on building that back.

    We have new insurance through my husband’s company this year. A little bit more out of his checks and I’m having money taken out for an HSA account. My husband was/is able to complete health assessments, etc. to add $$ to our HSA and he completed one of them last week which earned $75.

    Our energy bill was $60 higher this month than last which was all due to heating. Everything in our house is electric except the furnace and the water heater. It was bitterly cold here last month.

    Have been keeping steady on the grocery budget and making more meals from scratch. Offered to pay for my daughter’s books for college since it is her last term – lucky me, she doesn’t need any books this term (I didn’t know that before I offered).

    Love hearing about your garden – sounds so lovely (and warm!).

  3. 70 degrees in January! You will get things to come up with those temps! And, maybe it will give some things a long enough time to make fruit/flowers before your super hot summer comes. It’s been quite warm around here, too. (Pacific Northwest). So, I got out and trimmed and pruned another “greenie” bin full of clippings to put out. I’m trying to fill it each weekend, but it was a challenge to get it done this weekend.

    Several people got very sick with the bad kind of flu and other things. So, I spent a lot of time making soup, smoothies, etc. and washing extra blankets.

    I cleaned and shopped for the 20-25 people who were supposed to come through here this weekend–2 sets of visitors. None of them came because people got sick, but we have enough food for the week, for sure:). I did not buy groceries at all last week, but instead saved my weekly grocery budget. Thank goodness. I used all of that, this week’s and some more. I got citrus, orange juice, soda, and quite a few items for my autistic niece and special needs nephew who were spending the weekend.

    Before he got sick, I took my nephew swimming at the YMCA, where he loved the swimming and playing with a Mr. Potato-Head they had there. They gave him a free book, too. He was thrilled. I read many chapters of 2 books to him. We finished “Betsy’s Little Star”, and continued reading “Little House on the Prairie,” which I finally found in my swimming bag (after looking for a solid week for it–how did it get in there?). That’s how it’s been going around here:). Because chapter books are a new thing for him, he is still exalting in the fact that we were on page 140, 165, etc. He’s very proud of us, and has decided he “loves” Mary and Laura.

    I sent my husband back to school this morning on the little special needs bus he rides as part of his job. He has been so sick. When he tried to go back last week, he had to be picked up at school mid-day. I’m hoping and praying that he can make it today. I’m going to clean up the train wreck of a house that I have here, due to the weekend we’ve had. I’m going to wash a bunch more bedding to discourage germs. Every square inch is covered with either a discarded toy, a dropped blanket, some unfolded laundry, some bones cooking in the crock pot, dirty dishes, clean dishes, shoes, and game pieces. We have cancelled home school today, as one is still running a fever, and so I’m going to tear into this mess this morning, and go to work this afternoon. I’m expecting my husband will be wiped out this evening, so I’m going to make a casserole to leave for his dinner. Obviously, the greenhouse didn’t get finished. He will work on it this coming weekend.

    I put pictures on my blog:

  4. Both the meringues and your crepe cake look beautiful and yummy! I tried a new recipe for a pomegranate cranberry compote, inspired by one of the commenters here. I put a glass cloche on a celery end I was trying to grow in the garden. I usually only plant them in the warm months, so I need to get out there and see if the cloche worked. I may try planting some parsley in shady spaces here. I rarely seem to have enough of it. This weekend, we finally went through our seeds, and ordered the few things we needed. I’m looking forward to getting back to digging in the dirt.

  5. I came across a late post-Christmas sale of canned cranberry sauce and boxes of 12 candy canes at Dollar General for 10 cents each. Two dozen fruit-flavored candy canes soon will be heading west in a box along with a get well card to a sweet great niece who, shortly after recovering from the flu, broke her arm badly (bone through the skin) on her trampoline. While even the littlest flat rate priority mail box costs over $7 to send now, it is much cheaper than the most inexpensive gift basket. Her mother prefers kids’ gifts that don’t stick around long-term.

    We almost had run out of chocolate candy in this house. Horrors! But our local grocery store came through with over 15 ounces of individually wrapped Ghirardelli dark chocolates for less than $5, about 1/3 the current cost on We bought just one package but, if we can, we will be buying another two or three later this week after the snow ends. Mom likes to enjoy a little piece of dark chocolate daily.

    We shopped infrequently this month because of the snow. Fortunately, our nearest Walmart has lowered its prices on many of the groceries we buy, and our local grocer had a sale on the fresh vegetables we needed. I had thought about driving 30-miles roundtrip to our nearest Aldi but decided the drive wasn’t worth it. I am happy that I put off buying items that weren’t on sale at our nearest grocer this weekend because, after the shopping trip, I looked over the ad for the sale that starts today, and several of the things we wanted are on sale now. Patience pays.

    I almost forgot the thriftiest thing I did this week. The latch on my walk-in closet broke in a stuck-shut position. I took the knob off but couldn’t get the insides to budge no matter what I tried. I also couldn’t unlatch the door by inserting a putty knife. I tried sawing the latch with a metal saw blade by hand but made little progress. However, a couple of years ago, I had bought a set of “cute” cordless 12-volt power tools. I went to our wonderful family-owned hardware store and they sold me just one very short saw blade (even though it comes five to a package) for the oscillating saw attachment for $2.50 and tax. The blade supposedly could cut an i-beam. I had put shims between the door and the doorframe to widen the gap enough for a saw blade. Finally, after just a minute or so, the latch was sawed through and the door opened. A little sanding and some paste wax will fix the one-inch or so of the edge of the closet door that the saw scratched. I still need a new door knob to replace the fifty-year-old one. But $2.50 is over $75 less than what the local locksmith would have charged for a house call.

    I enjoyed reading all the book suggestions posted this week.

  6. I attended a fundraiser mystery dinner with a friend whose husband couldn’t attend. We each won a door prize (she a gift basket, and I a $25 visa gift card).
    Had friends in for Sunday dinner (ingredients mainly from the freezer). My guests brought the wine. I sent home leftovers, but still have plenty for myself for several lunches/dinners.
    I attended the high school talent show/ scholarship content for free (faculty privilege).
    I attended a wine tasting event. It cost $15, but it included heavy appetizers, a lovely selection of high-end wines presented by the winemaker, and fellowship time with friends. Not frugal – I ordered 3 bottles.
    Went to the VFW once for a drink and dinner (again, a fundraiser).
    I used my chick fil a calendar card and a free fry on my app for an inexpensive dinner one night.
    I am looking forward to a slower, quieter week at home this week before my mother arrives for a several week visit!
    Got a letter from the IRS saying we owe more money. Contacted the school (the issue is an education tax credit) for documentation and sent the whole thing to the tax attorney. It isn’t much money, but it is the principle of the thing.
    Groceries were kept under $30 for the week.
    Only ran full loads of laundry and dishes and hung one load of towels as a test.

  7. Applied for a free $25 gift card that a Canadian grocery chain is giving out because it participated in long-term price rigging on bread with a number of other chains. (Other Canadian posters mentioned doing the same thing.) I’ll use it for stocking up on sale items.

    Bought four whole chickens on sale, which filled up the small freezer in my fridge. I like to cook one once a month and then get creative with the leftovers.

    Bought a new travel mug, so I can take coffee with me as I drive to other places. (The last one lost its lid.)

    Reading lots of library books, including one for my book club that meets this week.

    Bought a $10 ticket for a fundraiser for the local regional college’s food bank. Students run out of money at this time of year and for many of these rural students, this means no food on the table. The students get their meal free and other community members pay for their meal. We are all encouraged to sit with people we don’t know, so it will be fun to meet some new people in the community. I also will buy some items on sale to bring for the food bank stocks.

    The hard drive on my computer failed, so I had that replaced. I’ll have to start putting money into savings to bring my emergency fund up again after all the repairs I’ve had done.

  8. Both photos just speak “SPRING!” to me. The colors are gorgeous.

    • Drove 7 hours RT to have lunch with a friend. Totally not frugal but very rewarding. I brought homemade lunch for us to eat. I also brought snacks and water for sustenance during the trip.
    • Kept the heat down and worked with a blanket over my knees.
    • Had an interview which was a 2 hours RT drive. Brought snacks and water for the trip. Also remembered to have parking ticket validated.
    • Went clothes shopping in two stores and didn’t buy anything.
    • Made swag goal x 2.
    • Redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card.
    • Made butternut squash soup in slow cooker, baked goat cheese & leek tart, lemon squares, almond shortbread cookies, blueberry muffins, knockwurst & sauerkraut, pommes dauphinoise, and zucchini chips.
    • Spent $18.59 on groceries this week.
    • Frugal fail – I have cat food on automatic delivery with They were recently purchased by Petsmart. Chewy used to be the cheapest source for both the wet and dry cat food I use. I let the January delivery happen without realizing the HUGE price increases that Petsmart has put in place: 12% increase on wet food and 28% increase on the dry food price. What used to cost $25 a bag now costs $32. The search has begun to find a new place to purchase cat food.

  9. When I wrote “our wonderful family-owned hardware store,” I meant “our town’s wonderful family-owned hardware store.”

  10. I love lemon curd but lemon trees don’t do well in our zone and far too expensive to buy lemons or the curd on a regular bases. I am thinking about trying to make orange curd…as I have oranges that need used up.
    I would have to say the best frugal thing is what I did today…make a menu for the next week for bfast,lunch,dinner and snacks/dessert. BASED menu on what I HAD.Checked what I really NEEDED…and then CHECKED the grocery sales and matched coupons… few things got bumped off as I wasn’t going to spend that $$ since I didn’t have a coupon.Tomorrow we will go to the store even though we don’t have anything else to do in town. Might run through Goodwill and see if they have anything for the house we are going to rehab. Rest is here

  11. I went to Sam’s Club and bought milk, eggs, bananas because they were cheaper than our store price. I bought a #10 can of nacho cheese sauce for my son for $6.88. At the grocery store they are $3.59 for a small glass jar. It was on his birthday list. He was thrilled with the can. This is an indulgence and only bought for birthday/Christmas time. But I was happy to find the larger #10 can for him. My daughter and I saw it – looked at each other and said – That’s perfect!

    I needed to also go to our local grocery store but just stocked up on sale items that were needed. I stayed under budget again. I love putting the extra money in our grocery savings.

    A shirt I wanted on Amazon went on sale. I’ve been watching this shirt for months. I bought two for myself.

    We needed a new mattress. So we have been researching and had a set budget amount. This past week we found what we were looking for on sale and were also able to buy two new base boards and a mattress cover and stayed $11 under our budget amount.

    My daughter is taking a sewing class. I saved the supplies from when my other daughter took the class and will use those to fill the required items for the class.

    I paid all bills online.

    I combined all errands. I had $1 off gallon of gas up to 30 gallons again. I had coupons for quadruple points for gas for the entire month. I held off as long as I could to fill up again and just filled up last week. The coupon is good through this Wednesday so I am going to adjust my shopping schedule to use it one more time before the coupon expires.

    We had two birthdays this week and everyone was happy with their gifts and the family time. We have a total of 3 birthdays in January. It feels just as busy as December! It was fun but I am happy that things will calm down in February.

    I have a strange questions – does anyone have foot pain that is not alleviated by inserts, surgery and the doctors can’t find a cause? I can’t stand or walk for more than 10-15 minutes without foot pain. It’s not related to any illness or disease. I’ve been to over 20 ortho doctors the past seven years and can’t figure it out. I do have flat feet and I do wear inserts. But I wonder if any one has ever heard of something like this and if there was a solution. I miss walking…. Thanks if anyone has any ideas. This has been such an expensive experience. I would like to find a solution so I can stop throwing money around 🙂

    I’m so happy for you and your growing garden Brandy! The pictures are again beautiful. I can’t wait to see all the yummy food you grow. 🙂 Love following you on Instagram.

  12. Your crepe cake with lemon curd looks so pretty and delicious. Your always inspiring. Here are a few frugal accomplishments this past week:
    Bought $1 pkg of spongy Valentine’s (I needed some to be weatherproof) picked up branches in our yard..
    Took red n white ribbon and hung Valentine’s from the branches I had placed in my tall white pitcher and on our outside branches in a container on the porch. We (grand daughter and i) hung ribbons and V. From the light above the table.
    . My daughter sewed burp cloths for a baby gift I wanted to give. Bought a bag to send in for. 25
    . Made soups and meals at home. Made a loaf of bread.
    . Do my nails n toes at home.
    . Open windows for fresh air from germs going around.
    . Had guest in. Washed bedding. Ironed top sheet and pillowcase to make fresh and ready. Made up nice homemade soup ahead and a salad so I could visit.
    . Took veggie leftovers and made into a healthy omelet for my husband and I.
    . Took leftover bread for soup. (Brandy recipe)
    . Sent Valentine’s to grands far away…50 for card
    $1. For stickers I split..some other cute paper thing..
    And $1 each so they could get a treat!
    . Was given free 3 different breads from church box.
    . Making Tuscan soup tonight with free bread.

  13. Those meringues and that crepe cake look INCREDIBLE! I didn’t realize whipping cream could stay good that long. I assume only if it is unopened, right? Looking forward to the new recipe!

    My week was nice and busy:
    One of the groceries stores in my end of the city had an Air Miles promotion: use 95 Air Miles ($10 worth) to buy groceries, and get 50 Air Miles back (i.e. $5 worth). So I was able to get some items that I was out of, for free (a box of hot grain cereal, some garlic, and a container of parmesan cheese)! I also checked my husband’s Air Miles card and he had some on there, so we ordered a movie ticket deal: two tickets, two drinks, and a popcorn, with no money out of pocket. Will make for a nice date night!
    Using the hot grain cereal I got for free, I came up with a recipe for a Honey & Whole Grain Quick Bread! ( Am very pleased with it, and plan to make lots more, in an effort to slowly switch from white flours to more whole grains. Super-quick to throw together, given that no rising time is needed (it’s a quick bread, so no yeast).
    I made yoghurt for breakfasts for the next two weeks.
    Using my local trading app, I traded some tea gifted to me, for a bag of ribbons for my craft/decorating stash. Perfect, as I was running out of ribbons. I should be set for a couple of years now, I think. I also traded a dozen buttercream-topped cupcakes for a large CSA box of delicious organic fruits and veggies; a very good return on investment, in terms of cost and labour, as I put them in a box that I had traded for, in a re-used clear plastic bag from my workplace, using wrappers I had purchased using Swagbucks gift cards, eggs I purchased using a gift card, and sprinkles given to me by a friend. I estimate that my OOP cost was just over a dollar.
    I candied the peel from one of the organic oranges I traded for, and then used some of the juice from that orange in a batch of Brandy’s orange balsamic dressing. I also used the sugar syrup leftover from making the candied orange peel, in a batch of iced tea (using tea gifted to me). No waste!
    I cooked one of the back bacon roasts that I traded for last week. The DH was very happy! It made for several meat and potato type meals, plus some sandwiches, and then I chopped up the rest and froze it to top pizzas with, toss into omelettes, soups, etc.
    I bought several months worth of vitamins and supplements at my local drug store, and got a $20 gift certificate. I later used the gift certificate to buy some food on sale: ice cream (stocking up for comfort food eating, because it’s def. a thing), eggs, cheese, and milk. I was pleased to find a way to avoid having to use my grocery budget for a bit longer.
    I went to a work-related conference and got some swag: a stuffed toy which I will gift to a family friend, several full-size chocolate bars and small chocolates which I set aside for baking with (I picked up one small chocolate – ex. a chocolate kiss – at each exhibitor booth, and by the visiting all the booths, I ended up with several handfuls of chocolates, enough for a batch of cookies.), a lip balm, several packages of mints, a gel eye mask (I’ll gift it to a family friend), a t-shirt (I don’t care if it’s branded; I’ll use it as a pj), a cloth bag and an EOS hand cream (which I’ll likely bring to work and keep at my desk). I also received another cloth bag but won’t use it, so I deconstructed it and plan to turn it into a re-useable cloth wine wrap/bag, to fancy up a bottle of wine gift. I also set aside two perfect condition candy boxes to re-use.
    I filled a prescription at a new pharmacy, and they were able to find a way to process the request so that it was covered by both of my insurances (I’m covered under both my work insurance and my husband’s), so it ended up being no cost OOP!
    I made a batch of hummus, using canned chickpeas, and saved the water it was canned in. I plan to use it to make vegan meringues (the chickpea brine – aquafaba – acts as an egg substitute. Something to do with proteins and such.) I served the hummus with the organic sweet peppers I had traded for.
    I made a batch of Swiss Chard and Preserved Lemon Soup, using the organic swiss chard, onions, and parsley I had traded for, and some home-preserved lemons. I set it aside for lunches for the week.
    I worked out at home, using yoga videos on Youtube. I can definitely see a difference in my flexibility, after several weeks of doing this.
    I made Brandy’s herbed crepes with mushrooms and cheese, using some of the herbs that were in the box of fruit and veggies I traded for, as well as some of the cheese and eggs I bought earlier in the week using my gift card.
    I dried some of the herbs as well, and added it to the herbs in my pantry.
    I sewed a tear in my husband’s shirt.
    And that was my week! Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

  14. Those desserts look so beautiful! And I am living vicariously through your gardening stories, since it will be months before I can do anything here.
    The really big money saver for us this week involved my husband repairing my sewing machine. I have a Pfaff 1475 that was made in 1998 that I love and use several times a week – sometimes daily. I love this machine, but it’s pretty much impossible to get parts for, and being computerized, no one in my half of the state will work on it. My husband repaired it once before, but when it stopped working this time, he feared the circuit board was damaged. I researched and found another machine and we agreed this was worth taking money out of savings for, so I ordered the machine on Amazon. Meanwhile, he took the old one out to his workbench and started messing with it – thinking he might sell it for parts on eBay. A few minutes later he came in and said he had discovered all that was wrong was a little gear that had jumped out of place. The machine works great again – and I was able to cancel the order for the new machine. I am so pleased and thankful!

    I made this recipe:
    to use up a bag of lentils. We generally do not like lentils, but I’m happy to say this dish was a big hit!

    We went skiing one day, using passes we purchased at a discount pre-season, parked in the free garage, and packed a lunch to eat. The resort has a very nice yurt that is heated, with picnic tables and cubbies for storing lunch bags – and we almost never see anyone eating in there. I don’t know why anyone would pay $18 for a hamburger in the resort restaurant (Yes – that’s the price for one burger.)

    Thanks to the book discussion here last week, I have a long list of books I want to read. I stopped by the library after church yesterday (it is around the corner from the church) and checked out a couple to start with.

  15. Yummy looking crepe cake Brandy. I think that would be my choice of birthday cake as well.

    Its been stinking hot in Melbourne, Australia. Over the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we were hitting temperatures of 39c/102f. Normally the heat of the day would dissapate overnight, not this time. Most nights were above 30c/86f. And the humidity. BLAH. Melbourne does not usually get humid, its more of a dry heat. Yesterday it rained and the temperature remained over 30c. Any way all this weather meant that I bought nothing, because I spent the weekend indoors. However the fan was going for most of the weekend, and the fridge door opened regularly for frozen ice sticks.
    I don’t want to think about my utility bill.
    I think I have found a cheaper hair dresser so I will go to her on the 21st February and see. She operates out of her home.
    The week ahead looks good and busy with work and church. And it will be cooler, thankfully.

  16. It just amazes me that you are “spring planting” at the end of January. That is months away for us! I hope you will share a post on your sons birthday. You have such amazing ideas for gifts and celebrations, so I hope you will share at least a little bit about what you did to celebrate the special day. The birthday crepe cake and the amazing lemon curd meringues too so delicious. I’m looking forward to seeing the post on lemon curd as well.

    I will be sharing what I learned from my lowered January grocery Bgdget next week, as we still have a few more days of Januray. In the intrim, our frugal accomplishments for this week included:
    *Meals made at home included chicken baked smothered in cheddar cheese soup with white rice and broccoli, chicken bacon ranch pasta, make-your-own pizzas, breaded chicken burgers/strips with potato wedges and coleslaw, meatballs in gravy with mashed potatoes and green/waxed bean mix, savoury bread pudding with ham, smoked un-ripened mozzarella (bought on serious discount a while ago and frozen) and spinach, and roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy and corn.
    *We’ve done extremely well at eating up most leftovers for lunches the last couple weeks. Preparing freezer meals when the recipe makes too much is really helping with this as well. The frozen meals will be a time saver later as well. I am pleased with the minimal food waste.
    *In our continued efforts to teach DD how to cook easy, healthy and inexpensive meals, she tried making something new for breakfast this week…a fried egg sandwich. She learned how to caramelize onions and fry an egg, then assembled the sandwich with grated cheese and spinach on a toasted bagel. I explained to DD this sandwich was very economical and could easily be eaten at any meal. DD LOVED the fried onions so much she then made a cheese & fried onion quesadilla for lunch! I’m thrilled she is really embracing learning to cook.
    *Made a pan of Applesauce Snack Cakes (recipe link: to use up the applesauce I made from apples that had frozen in our garage fridge. Felt good to make something yummy from apples that many of people would have just thrown out! Baked the cake while cooking the roast beef, saving energy. They were so good, only a small amount remained from the 9 X 13 pan by the end of the day.
    *DD had snow days on both Monday and Tueday this week. Exams then started on Friday. She only has 2 exams this coming week on Tuesday and Wednesday. School then starts back with the new semester on February 5th. Hoping the next semester goes much better than the 1st one!
    *Our phone, internet and cable all went out on Monday and Bell couldn’t send out someone until the next day. We pulled out some of our old DVDs and watched those in the evening for cheap entertainment. It was nice to watch those movies again as it had been a while.
    *Bought 2 new, good quality bras on sale for $15 each. Used a gift card (Christmas gift) to pay for most of it ( I chose to pay around $3 OOP to keep an even remaining $ balance on the card).

    Thank you as always for everyone’s inspiring comments. Wishing you all a wonderful week!

  17. Jenny, your temperature woes made me giggle. We have months in the summer here at those temperatures and higher (45ºC ). Air conditioning is mandatory here, and it runs all night. Ceiling fans are also extremely important. While my heating bills are very low in winter, my electric bills are high in summer. It is pretty normal to run the air conditioner from April through October here.

    Now, those temperatures without air conditioning would be very difficult. Since you didn’t mention air conditioning, I imagine it’s not common where you live.

    I find that during those months, I really prefer to wear a lightweight dress to help me keep cool.

    We also keep water in the fridge so that we always have cold water to drink.

  18. I used to have foot and ankle pain that became especially painful when I was about 52 (I am almost 58), and I started wearing Dansko clogs, even with my dresses and skirts. I have flat feet also. I just cannot do heels anymore. I am usually not brand loyal, but this brand of shoes/clogs works for me. I found out about it when I asked the nurses taking care of my mom, what kind of shoe they were wearing.

  19. Rhonda, it was a very simple birthday, and it was after dark before we ate dessert (homemade cheescake, made with part cream cheee and part homemade greek yogurt since I didn’t have more cream cheese). I gave him simple gifts: his own large jar of green olives, some Legos bought last year at a garage sale, and three used paperbacks in excellent used condition that I purchased using Amazon credit. He was very happy and the simplicty of the whole celebration was very nice.

  20. Oh that crepe breakfast looks so delicious! I’m sure your son enjoyed it, and I totally agree with your simple treatment of birthdays … what could be more memorable than those crepes? I’ve watched parents spend hundreds of dollars trying to impress with birthdays, and those children are certainly no happier for it. I hope you are feeling well, ann lee , bc Canada

  21. Rhonda – you have my sympathies regarding BELL. They knocked out our neighbourhood last Monday as well – I am now on day 8 without my landline and my superintendent is going mad with all the techs in and out! I have been waging a Twitter war with them since last Thursday – a tech is supposed to show up between 5 and 7pm tonight. But of course our building intercom is linked to my landline – can’t I just watch out for him??? NO! I’m disabled and not standing down in the lobby for 2hrs hoping that he actually shows up! I’ve given them an old cell # and I hope it works.
    That is such wonderful news about your daughter and how well she has taken to cooking – congrats to you both!

  22. This has been a good week! I ordered 40 pounds of Zaycon chicken breast on a 99 cents/pound promo! It will come in mid-March and I should have freezer space by then!
    At my produce market I got a box with 15 pears and 6 big apples for $2 and canned the pears into 5 quarts of cinnamon pear slices for my pantry! I continue to use the 11 pound bucket of Greek yogurt I got a week ago for $1.99! I have now made 3 quarts of caramel apple yogurt as well as more muffins! I used my $1/5 pound container of cottage cheese to make some blackberry scones this morning. The blackberries were rotated from my freezer!
    I sold 3 dozen eggs this week. Our hens are still giving us 7-8 eggs a day from the 8 of them!
    I grilled up a container of chicken strips from the freezer and made 20 chicken snackers! Hubby even helped by making the honey mustard since we were out! I used a tiny bit of the 3 pound bag of shredded lettuce that I got for $1 in them as well as one of the big tomatoes I bought in a 10 pound box for $2!
    I made this quilt top (68″ square) using scraps I had and just decoding a photo I had of a single block so no OOP cost!!
    I bought 8 pounds of strawberries for $1/pound and froze them in quart bags.
    We continue to do the usual frugal things- washing and reusing ziplocs, batch cooking, freezer meals, decluttering.
    It’s been a great week for us!!

  23. I have an airmiles offer to put $10 of gas in the tank and get 20 airmiles back(worth $2 or 20% off so why not). Still waiting for my free $25 bread price fixing gift card x2-one for me and one for DH. Also another Can grocer who wasn’t involved(Save on Foods) is offering one too, to their members, so signed up for that. My Shoppers Drug Mart points will convert to PC grocery pts on Feb 1 as both programs are merging. So Feb grocery budget should be mainly covered for free through pts and free gift cards-which will be a nice change. Continuing to use up things in the pantry and fridge-yesterday I accidentally bought whipping cream instead of table cream so I am glad to read it lasts a long time.

  24. Brandy, what do you use your fresh parsley for? I once had a massive amount growing in my garden and made chimichuiri sauce, but I’m curious what others like to use it for. I’d love to give your lemon curd recipe a try. It’s one of my favorite things, but it costs so much in the store. How do you find your whites fare after using homemade detergent so long? I’m thinking of giving it a shot again after my laundry detergent stockpile is depleted and I’ve heard people complain that it makes their whites dingy. I can’t remember why I stopped making it and I don’t think I used that long. It might have been when we moved cross country that I fell out of the habit of making it.

    I’ve started blogging about my frugal accomplishments at my new blog, The Frugal List.

  25. Rhonda,
    It’s awesome that your daughter is taking to cooking so well! What a great skill to learn.

    I hope that this next term is better for your daughter, too.

  26. Terri, I dry most of my parsley so that I don’t have to purchase dried parsley. I use it in lots of recipes, including spaghetti sauce. I use large amounts of dried parsley throughout the year, and I made a goal several years ago to grow all of my own parsley, oregano, and basil that I need during the year so that I no longer need to purchase it dried. I’m almost out of dried parsley, so growing a bunch this year is important.

    For fresh parsley, I like to put it on chicken and/or pasta with lots of lemon juice and lemon zest.

  27. My sister was walking MILES for exercise until her foot started hurting, REALLY hurting. A podiatrist diagnosed plantar fasciitis but his treatments over the course of several months didn’t help. She then went to a chiropractor who determined that a bone in the top of her foot was not in the right spot. A few foot (NOT spine!) adjustments later, and she was (and remains) pain free. She felt quick relief after the first adjustment but it took a while for the bone to stay put in its proper place which is why she had to go back to the chiropractor every so often at first. Our family has HIGH arches, the opposite of flat feet. This is not medical advice, and I am somewhat amazed that I am actually suggesting that it might be helpful to visit a chiropractor for anything other than a stiff neck.

    I hope you get relief one way or the other soon.

  28. I wore 4 garments this week that used to be too small. (Woo-hoo!) I keep a log with what I wear each day, what I eat each day, how much I exercise and what I buy, if anything. I also like to list books I read and movies I watch. (I am just one of those “list” people.) I rotate my clothes, shoes and jewelry so everything has a turn and my shoes last a long time (more than 10 years, sometimes) when I rotate through so many pairs.

    I am retiring from my career job in 2 months. I am going to still work about 6 months of the year at a new job in a new field. The rest of the time I will do my hobbies, volunteer work and travel with DH. There is so much to do to get our house ready (we will rent it for much of the time we will be on the East coast this summer). We are organizing, cleaning out, and packing away (we built quite a bit of lockable storage in the unfinished portion of the basement). We are thinking we might move again in about a year and if so, we will only take the things we really want. (It costs more to move heavy items across the U.S. than to buy a new sofa or dresser, so only the dearest items survive.) I guess it’s like the folks with the covered wagons.

    I am trying to use up all pantry items that I can. I improvised some bean soup with quinoa this week. I also baked whole wheat bread and my favorite golden pumpkin walnut loaf. My new motto “Eat the canned vegetables!!”

  29. Happy birthday to your son! That cake looks fantastic! My birthday was last week and I racked up on the freebies offered around town. Here’s the list: Free doughnut-$1.69 ( I got the most decorated one), free wrap with fruit cup and 2 extra pickle slices-$6.89, free Mocha Grande and a whoopee pie whoopee pie- $6.50, Free bagel with cream cheese on the side- $2.00, free regular size sub and drink-$9.50, free 7 fancy lemon cookies- $10.00 (mentioned it was my bday at dinner), free massage with gc from Swagbucks I got over a year ago and they gave me an add on service free-$15.00, free mini face cleaning and toning duo set. All free items equaled up to $112.58- NOT out of my pocket!!
    Received $80 birthday cash, a tee shirt I have been wanting and a collector Wonder Woman Barbie.
    Free at grocery store: 2 apples and oranges, bag of popcorn, 6 containers of yogurt, container of cream cheese, a snack bar, 2 lbs of carrots, 1 can of Spaghetto’s, 2 cans of soup, 1 can of tuna1 box of cereal, a free box of lasagna noodles and a dozen of eggs.
    Turned in Swagbucks points in for a $25 gc to WalMart to help with grocery shopping. Bought another gc from the site to help out with Bday dinner. Got bonus points.
    Brought home leftovers and 2 other entrees from restaurant. couldn’t pay the price of the ingredients from the store for what what we paid.
    On FB, asked for friends and family to donate to Reality- the place Jayme goes to every Thursday and I volunteer cooking meals. Made $90 for the center.
    Hubby cut down and trimmed bushes.
    I saw on the news where a couple of Duke graduates started a business where they get the ugly produce from local farms (and around NC) that cannot be sold in the markets and I bought a share into it. My first box had a giant bag of mustard greens, over 3 lbs of small red potatoes, 3 giant green peepers and some funky looking cauliflower broccoli mix- 2 heads. 5lbs for $10.99 every other week- delivered free. I’m thinking it will be a good idea to keep because I spend more than that at store and it will be new experiences in cooking with things I wouldn’t get in stores. Plus they are helping out with local towns and the lack of fresh food source for families.
    I filled out a survey on Swagbucks and received 4 huge dogs snack bones for pet plus bonus points.
    Used up fruit and yogurt in fridge to make 3 different quick breads. Shared with a co-worker, another friend who had the same bday and inlaws. Made French toast out of bread that was free from last week and extra in freezer with the free eggs. Made Jayme’s breakfast for 4 days. Used up leftover rice, chicken and green beans in a casserole with one of the free cans of soup. Hubby took it in his lunch the next day with one of the free apples and free container of yogurt.
    Have a blessed week ya’ all!

  30. Amy
    My podiatrist recommended soaking my feet for twenty minutes each night in water (hot as you can take, don’t burn yourself) and Epsom salts I think the other name is magnesium sulphate. Then dry and rub in a good cream, her comment was we expect our feet to support us and we need to give them some care in return, certainly helped with my foot problems, not a cure but relieved the pain to a bearable level. I found magnesium sulfate cheaper at an animal produce store, same thing just in bulk as anywhere else it was in small packs and expensive.
    Also is an opportunity to sit and knit or talk, can’t hurt.
    Susan, Victoria, Australia.

  31. Mmmmm. Those desserts look scrumptious! I must learn to make lemon curd; we always have so many lemons on our tree.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Ate out only once.

    * Continued w/ the pantry challenge.

    * Made French bread, yogurt, “breakfast” bread, and whole wheat bread. (We eat a lot of bread around here.)

    * Accepted tamales and an Olive Garden gift card from a neighbor. (They were thank-you gifts for some emergency help Hubs provided.)

    * Picked up a container of free sour cream from Vons.

    * Ate up lots of leftovers from son’s Eagle Project day.

    * Accepted free produce scraps for our hens.

    * Kept the thermostat set for 68F and opened the doors/windows when it was warmer than that (which it has been a lot; we’re not getting much of a winter here this year. I hope our stone fruit trees produce this year.)

    * Continued to collect rinse/warm-up water.

    That’s all I remembered to write down.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  32. Thanks for the heads up on the Chewy price increases! Our bags of cat food last us a while so I haven’t had to order any in a few months- went to check and saw that our brand has had a $5 price increase :o.

  33. Holly, I am glad you wrote. My chiropractor did similar moves for plantar fasciitis on me, and it cleared up the problem. I do not know that all chiropractors work on all parts of the skeleton, but mine does. They have the same number of hours of education as medical doctors, with different areas of emphasis.

  34. Beautiful pictures, Brandy! My mouth is watering just thinking about that lemon curd. It would be my choice for my birthday, too.

    I didn’t leave the house for 4 of the 7 days, so I didn’t spend anything, either. That was my big saving last week. When I went to Ace Hardware over the weekend, they were having 20% off all regular priced merchandise, and I saved $5.50.

    I checked out two books at the library (one is for my book club). I also made a week’s menus ahead that won’t require me to buy anything this week except bread and milk. I’ll probably spend more when I hit the grocery store, but I don’t think it will be much.

    My favorite: Several of us that hang out at The Frugalistas Files forum ( have challenged ourselves to save $1,000 by the end of 2018. In January, I transferred $215.35 into my “secret slush fund”! (I guess the secret is out now!). We are free to make our own rules about how we are doing this, and I’ve decided the ca$h must be unexpected or new-to-me methods of saving. I used 3 apps in January–never have used a app before. (Still not sure how to do it, but I’m learning).

  35. I stayed home. My friends delivered over some Cara Cara oranges (my favourite) that were on sale for about $1 off per pound. We are still in the middle of a flu epidemic so I’m avoiding crowded places (since due to allergies, cannot have a flu shot). And thanks to my friends I am able to hibernate. I received my chocolate shipment today which will mostly go into my emergency food supply larder. I have lots of tins of fruit that were bought on sale. I will leave most of the chocolate for now although I may treat myself to one small piece per week or month. There was free shipping (otherwise, it would have been expensive to ship). I have been practicing with my camera and lens. The weather is warming up so I will go outside for more bird photo ops. Yesterday, the white-winged crossbills were busy knocking off the cones from the tree. It was “raining” spruce cones. It was very funny to watch from inside the car. Beware of falling spruce cones! I’m hoping I get some photos!

    My friends look forward to my grocery lists as they are realizing I’m hunting for the best deals. They then decide to buy what I’m buying. I got a 1.8 kg box of frozen blueberries for $4 off the regular price. Blueberries with porridge for breakfast. Soooooo good!

  36. Not the most frugal week as some unexpected social commitments popped up. Managed to change a couple from eating out to eating at my place so managed to save a bit. I did enjoy myself but will have to look for ways to cut back in the coming month or two.
    I am continuing to use up food I have on hand, especially meats. I have decided to give up beef, lamb, pork etc. for Lent but I will eat poultry, fish & seafood. I made a cottage pie today to use up some ground beef and I still have bacon, ham, pork chops & sausages to use before Feb. 14th.
    I have a turkey breast, some ground turkey, and a few pieces of chicken still in the freezer but I’ll save them for when Lent begins. I will check each week for any deals on poultry and seafood and stock up accordingly. But I also have a good supply of tinned tuna, salmon & sardines in my pantry so that will help.
    I am also a Canadian who is waiting for her $25 Gift card from one of the supermarkets involved in price fixing – and since I already have another $25 card for that company plus a $25 card from the drugstore that they now own I’m hoping that will be most of my February grocery budget.
    Since my landline still isn’t fixed – and BELL have no idea when it will be fixed, I will also be expecting a large refund from them!

  37. I made 4 gallons of liquid laundry soap, shampoo, conditioner fron Dr Bronners conditioner concentrate, whipped body butter, perfume using essential oil and a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol. I made popsicles, power balls, broccoli soup.
    I hung all but one load of laundry to dry, washed full loads in cold water.
    I used saved water from cups to water house plants, and saved shower water to flush.
    I took all food and coffee to work and drank water.

  38. Chiropractor- I wasn’t a believer, but they adjusted an ankle that constantly popped and rolled and was hideously painful, and no problems since!

  39. Brandy, your meringue & crepe cake look too pretty to eat! I’m sure they were delicious. Happy B’day to your son. I love your tradition of having the b’day child select the day’s menu. My family did the same. I enjoy reading about your work in your garden. The last frost here isn’t till late April. The only herb that survives is oregano planted in a sunny bed which dies off & comes back each yr.
    I grow rosemary in containers & move the rosemary inside our attached garage to winter over. The temp in there is about 45 (the boiler & hot water heater are in there).

    Brandy, your lemon trees are so bountiful and a great saving. A 3 lb bag of regular lemons (not Meyer) is $4.99 here. Individual lemons are 0.99 each. This is at my local grocery store. At Whole Foods, a lot more $. I Look forward to your lemon curd recipe. I’ve never made lemon curd. I use Dickinson’s (a British brand).

    I intentionally went over the budgeted amount for this month so that I could take advantage of the many sales and stock up on items that we use at such good prices. This will balance the next several months when I will not need to buy those items. A few good buys:
    Blue Diamond Natural Almonds, 6 oz can, on sale for $2.99 (reg. $3.49). After store & manuf coupons, paid $1.14 each. Star-Kist & Bumble Bee tuna, large cans, $0.99 each (reg. nearly double the sale price). Filet Mignon $6.99 a lb.

    As always, I enjoy reading everyone’s posts 🙂

  40. I am so happy this month is almost over. It felt like my life was a row of dominoes falling over one at a time. I budgeted well and managed to cover everything necessary including a couple yearly expenses. Taxes and car tags had to be purchased this month. Sugar cookies medical deductible had to be paid due to her broken hand. The emergency fund is drained and there is no room for anymore issues. Now being poor isn’t too much of an issue because I have frugal down pat. Knowing I had little to none to spend this month, I got creative. I collected every device in the house that could be set up to print coupons. All the children have I phones. ( they pay for this expense, I refuse to pay for such luxuries and sugar cookies is on her grandparents plan as a gift.) I collected 4 old iPods and 2 tablets in addition to their laptops. I printed coupons for several great deals. I collected all the random change around the house/car. I kept the silver out and put the pennies in a coin star machine. It costs me about $3.00 to drive roundtrip into town and back. I picked up
    50 bowls random noodles
    50 boxes Stevia
    40 containers cream cheese by Arla. Every store in town has been giving this out as a store freebie. There was a manufacturer coupon online for a free one and the blinkie machine has been giving them out too. I was able to stack the free one with a free store coupon to get 18.00 in overage. I used that to get 6 dozen jumbo eggs for free. 6 bags of 3.5lbs of premium dry cat food and 12 bottles of vitamins for free . It was crazy to be able to get this all free stacking coupons ,but the items will be well used. I pay tax in some stores and not in others so I spent less than 2.00 of that change I collected. I stopped in at the electric company to see if I could look online at my usage like Brandy writes about. I will check that out this week. I cut my hair short and stopped coloring it. It is growing out nicely but is looking ragged. I trimmed my bangs and will tolerate it until it is a little longer for a styled cut. All those lemon photographs reminded me to use all of sugar cookies orange peels. I tossed a gallon of vinegar in a bucket with them and will use them for cleaner when they are fragrant. Sugar cookies young man friend repaired my toilet for me. On the spectrum, he is fascinated with plumbing and electrical fixtures. Over the last couple years, I have purchased several new lighting fixtures at the thrift stores. He installed all my found treasures and switched some of my current ones around. They are much more in style and look so much better than what was replaced. My new dining room chandelier is gorgeous for the low price of 11.00. Now to just get all the hardware and knobs replaced. I will be using some of that cream cheese to make him some of his favorite banana nut bread. My heart must be strong. I came home and found a letter from the IRS and almost fell over and died right there in the driveway. Thankfully they only want copies of sugar cookies medicare. I think I can breathe now. The lemon curd made me smile. My lovely MIL made me a lemon curd dessert for my birthday one year and the memories came pouring in. Reading today’s posts have made me smile many times. Happy February everyone. ( I insist that it start now for me )

  41. Laurie, do you let the celery ends root a bit before you plant them in the garden? I have tried this unsuccessfully several times and would love to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Since I’m in NC too, I figure I’ve got the climate to do so if you can. I had tried in warm months as well, but no success. They did great while I was rooting them and then died almost immediately when planted in the garden. Any advice you can share would be gratefully appreciated!

  42. Love the pictures! The yellow is so bright. I don’t think i’ve ever had lemon curd.
    I’m another Aquarian. I got a free pizza on my big day. It lasted three meals for me. My husband got his own pizza, too. We paid for his.
    I made my own birthday cake from scratch. My husband would make me one but it would be from a box. (And chocolate) I decided I wanted a carrot cake. I found a recipe for a 6”. It was very good! The frosting was a bit too stiff, though. My husband bought me a small raspberry cake from a local woman who is trying to start a sweet shop. That cake was better than the one I made. I was pretty happy when all this cake was eaten!
    I bashed more dry bread for crumbs. I bashed the bread in washed and dried cereal bags that work like a charm!
    I made soap with some of the herbal oils I made in the Summer. I used rain water I had collected and frozen. I also used lard I rendered from the half hog we ordered in the Fall. It seems too soft to me so I hope it hardens up with time.
    I’ve finally started doing some hand work! I feel like i’ve found an old friend! I had thought I might do one small project a month. Since it’s the end of Jan., and i’m not finished with the first one, I may have to rethink that idea.
    I saved the wrapping, boxes, bags and tissue from the gifts and orders that came in the mail.
    I also made bread, the first time in a long while. Our house is kept so cool that it takes forever to rise. I used the bread machine for the first rise and turned the oven on til it got to temp., turned it off, and put the bread in for the heat. It worked perfectly!
    I walked with friends, did yoga at home, washed baggies, saved shower water and all the other usual things. Quite a bit is beginning to become so ingrained that I don’t even think about it.
    Enjoy the week ahead!

  43. I would have shooting nerve pains. My doctor said it was because I wore ankle socks with an elastic band on the top. I bought different socks without the elastic at the top and my foot pain is gone. Apparently, it was pinching a nerve.

  44. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . So good that your weather is warm and you are able to plant some of your vegetables out and your crepe cake and lemon curd and meringue look delicious Brandy.

    Our frugal accomplishments and savings are as follows.

    Finances –
    – Banked more money into our saving for our house deposit account bringing us to 23.74% of the way there. We recalculated this and took out the amount we keep at home in cash for emergencies as we want to keep this separated from our actual house savings.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made all of our bread and meals from scratch.
    – Made a half batch of your lovely oat and raisin biscuits, but we substituted sultanas instead, weighing 1.1kg saving $14.08 over purchasing the same amount. These are delicious I must say and now one of our favourites.

    Grocery savings –
    – Purchased 16 tins of sweet corn on 50% off special saving $14.88 to increase our supplies.

    Other purchases –
    – Bought a BBQ smoker that runs on both wood and charcoal on special on eBay saving $178 over buying it in our local hardware store. This will be another level of preparation for blackouts and to also save on our electricity costs that are getting so high here.

    In the gardens –
    – Harvested 3.2kg of cherry tomatoes from the gardens saving $25.60 over purchasing them in the supermarkets.
    – Bought 3 cubic metres of cow manure from our local livestock transport company for $20 saving $796 over buying the same amount in bags from our local hardware store.
    – Found out that our local horse stud also sells Lucerne hay in jumbo bales so we purchased one for $55 and asked if it was possible to have some of the loose hay on the shed floor put in to top our 8 x 5′ trailer with too which they said yes to. All up this gave us the equivalent of 2 large bales saving us $390 over purchasing these elsewhere.

    Electricity savings –
    – By using our solar lanterns to light our home and night and by only turning on our electric hot water system on to heat once a week we saved another $7.50 this week.

    Water preservation savings –
    – Used all grey water from our showers and washing machine to hand water the house paddock lawns with.
    – Used all of our dish rinsing water to water in new seeds and seedlings in the gardens.

  45. As always, Brandy, your pictures make me so happy!

    Can’t believe I have been sick as long as I have, but I believe that I am finally on the mend. This is the first day that I have felt normal and not exhausted!

    Here are my accomplishments for the week:

    • Used free tea, coffee and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and only ran full loads in the washer and dishwasher during the off peak times.
    • Planned out menu for the week. Canned 5 pints of black beans with beans that had been in my pantry for a while. Used them to make black bean soup in the crockpot one night. Frugal fail: we did eat out 4 nights (egad!) The first night Hubby wanted to celebrate a bonus and raise he got (yay!) and the second we split an entree at our Trivia night, so not too expensive. The other 2 nights were just being lazy as I am still was not 100% from being sick, but we did use a $10 coupon at one of the places. This week we will be better!
    • Took on a part time contractor job for the company I used to work for. All the money I earn from this will go to paying off our mortgage. I’m excited about this, as it is a low stress job with very flexible hours (max 21 hours a week.) I can still watch my grandson 2 days a week and go out to my Dad’s once a week. I am going to try to combine the grandson day with the Dad day as often as possible so I can have one day a week to myself also.
    • Made zucchini bread again. Took it to work as my snack. Also took my lunch 2 days and was taken out to lunch one of the days. Hubby also took his lunch to work 3 days and got a free lunch one day. My new office always has free snacks and drinks available, so even days I don’t bring my own, I won’t have to pay anything for them. We also brought our own refilled water bottles to work.
    • We got a Welcome Wagon type of packet when we moved into the house. One of the coupons was for 10 free stamps from the nearest UPS store. Picked those up this week. The packet also included a free car wash coupon, which we used this week. $14.99 value.
    • Used a gift card for Panda Express that I had gotten for Christmas 2016 to get lunch one day this week, so free!
    • Went to my husband’s uncle’s funeral, we went to his cousins’ house and had lunch. When we were cleaning up, they had a small Ziploc of Hershey miniature chocolates that no one wanted and asked me if I wanted them. I took them and put them in my candy stash.
    • Used part of an Amazon gift card to buy a new scale for the bathroom. Our other one broke. I went through Ibotta to order it, so I will get 3% back also. Got a few grocery Ibotta rebates also.
    • Bought paprika and thyme at Winco where they sell bulk spices. I only paid 22c for the thyme (enough to fill a regular size spice bottle) and $1.07 for the paprika (enough to fill a large spice bottle.) Saved the plastic bags too.
    • Got 3 tubes of toothpaste and a toothbrush for 38c each by combining coupons and sale price.
    • Only used the heater for 2 hours on one side of the house just to take the chill off the bedroom on the coldest night this week.
    • Also got a free chicken protein bar from the Friday Freebie.
    • Transferred all “saved” money (coupon money, what I would have spent but got free such as the car wash and gift card money) into a separate account, which I will then use to pay extra on the mortgage when I pay it.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week with lots of savings!

  46. I love the way you garnish food! I do that for parties and holidays, but need to make more of an effort on a daily basis to make meals more special.

    I continue to be frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons/rebates. Last week I found 12-packs of toilet paper for $0.99, free oranges, 4 free eye shadows, free eggs, $0.99 pineapples, $1.50 melon, $0.25 limes and more. All of my transactions can be found here:

  47. The big money saver for me last week was a change in coffee providers at work. The old office coffee was undrinkable, and I’m not at all picky about coffee. So, we had a Keurig in our team office and I bought a LOT of k-cups. But, the new coffee is wonderful, if a bit strong, but I just water it down some and it’s perfect! I’ll still keep the Keurig in the office for making tea but no more k-cups for me!

    I stayed under $100 on my grocery purchases. I’m doing a pantry challenge for the month of January. I did pick up my husband’s favorite crackers and my daughter’s teriyaki sauce (we’d run out of both), but other than that I stuck to my plan of produce, dairy, my husband’s lunches, and bread.

    We haven’t renewed our Costco membership. It expired at the end of October. I’m trying to decide if we can get along without it – I need to do some price comparisons for ketchup and toilet paper. In talking with a few friends, it feels like their prices have gone up significantly over the last few years, and I don’t think their deals are as great as they used to be.

  48. My hubby had foot pain like you talk about for 15 years finally a doc put him on gabapentin and it has gone away he now walks a mile and half every day. He couldn’t walk to the bathroom from his desk without help we are talking like ten steps.

  49. Could you please tell me how to access your reading list? I only get your frugal accomplishments which I love and thank you for I live in Alberta Canada so it’s amazing to hear of your gardening adventures at this time of year 🙂 I also can access your Christmas projects and love it! 🙂

  50. Brandy, your crepe cake looks delicious! It’s hard to imagine that you are working in your garden when it is zero degrees where I am.

    Last week here is what we did to save money:
    ~ Purchased frozen fruit in bulk on sale
    ~ Ate all our meals at home except a meal at my parents’ house
    ~ Prepared lunches for my husband to take to work
    ~ Sent a huge thermos of herbal tea with my husband on his business trip
    ~ Used natural remedies we already had at home to feel better rather than spending money on a doctor and prescriptions
    ~ Continued using one car until one is repaired for us to purchase
    ~ Purchased a local, natural turkey for $.99 a pound

    It was a great week for us. 🙂

  51. Its cold, snowy, and very dreary here. I suppose that means that we saved money by not going anywhere at all.
    I did get inspired enough to make scones for the first time. I served them with homemade jam and they were a hit.

    I also started working on not 1, not 2, but 6 new quilts (one is a commission) because, apparently, cabin fever is making me a little crazy.

    I am also starting a “Rationing Challenge” with a friend.

    Have an excellent week everyone.

  52. I hope I can remember everything I’ve learned from you about gardening when I *finally* have a house with a yard large enough to have a garden, hopefully next year!

    Living frugally in urban Seattle:

    – Only one car trip this week! All other errands and trips by bike or bus.
    – Free swimming on Tuesday nights at our community center.
    – I’m so tempted to get a gym membership this time of year, when it rains and it is miserable to exercise outside. Instead, I’ve made a corner of my garage into a workout area with yoga mats on the floor, etc. I go for runs during rare sun breaks.
    – We’ve watched some fun things from the library this week: The Wonder Years series, Family Stone, and I continue to read great books from there was well.
    – My kids don’t let me cut their hair anymore, but we did score $10 haircuts (regularly $25) at our local haircut place.
    – We’ve needed a new dishwasher, which stopped working around Christmas. My husband received a small work bonus, so we went to Home Depot and bought a new one, the cheapest model that matches our kitchen since we will be moving this spring, and also used some saved gift cards to lower the price.
    – I’ve been tempted to go to Starbucks lately for hot drinks because of all this cold, rainy weather. It is especially tempting because we have a Starbucks less than one block away. Instead, I bought a collection of high quality teas to make instead. About 20 mugs of tea for the price of one Starbucks drink.
    – I ended up adding a class to my work schedule at the last minute, which will bring in a couple thousand dollars more for us.
    It will be extra work and time, but will help balance out this summer when my work schedule lightens considerably.

  53. 1. Found a quilt and some Duplo blocks for just $3 each at the thrift store
    2. Rearranged my refrigerator drawers to make them last longer….cheese apparently is heavier than veggies:)
    3. Used beads that I found at a yard sale to make a pipe cleaner fish necklace for my Sunday school class
    4. Organized my homeschool shelves and found much needed items that were misplaced in the wrong boxes…labeling only works if the correct items go into the correct boxes…
    5. Ground up some chicken breasts myself and saved $2 per lb

  54. The crepe cake looks amazing! I’m going to have to try and make it. My kids love crepes with Nutella and bananas so I might try that.
    -My husband and I went on a dinner date. We had such a great time. His company treated us for a project he did. We came home with lots of leftovers.
    -Went to order my husband’s new glasses. Cost us $76. Would have been over $900 without insurance. That’s crazy!
    -Sears sent me more free sears bucks. We got a pair of boots for my daughter, 2 sweaters and 2 shirts for my husband. Spent $9. Put it on a gift card I got for Christmas so no OOP$!
    -Used my son’s work discount and used a gift card to treat the family to lunch out.
    -Son brought home lots of bread, bagels, cookies and pastries from work that would have been thrown out.
    -Was out running errands and was near our Aldi. I only needed celery and raisins. That is all I bought.
    -We had some friends over for Sunday dinner. Used a turkey that I got for 39 cents a pound before Thanksgiving. Made cornbread stuffing, maple carrots and mashed potatoes. They both brought a dessert. We had a great time catching up. The holidays were very busy and we weren’t able to get together. This worked out great. I offered leftovers but no one wanted any. So I made turkey noodle soup with some and froze the rest. The bones were boiled for stock and all skin/fatty pieces were added to the dogs food.
    -My daughter’s braces broke. I called the orthodontist and they had us come right in. She had an appointment for the following week so they took care of it while we were there. When we were checking out I commented how great they are. The office manager over heard me and asked if I would mind doing a review online. So I went home and did one. They are really great. All 3 kids have gone there. She called to thank me the next day and said when I got a chance to stop by because she had something for me. I told I would come the next day after work (on the way home). She got me a gift card. I thought that was so sweet of her.
    -Ran some errands for work and got paid the mileage.
    -Listed a bunch of stuff on eBay since my hours at work have been slow.
    -Cleaned and organized the bathroom and linen closets. Gave away a bunch of kiddy beach towels to a single mom I know. Her kids love them. I loved that my closet looks better. Condensed like items together. How is it that there were 4 open hair gels but only 1 person uses them? Switched out old toothbrushes for new ones. Ran old ones through the dishwasher and stuck them in the box with the other old ones. I always find something to use them for…its usually gross!
    -Found lots of change this week. Some at work, some in a coinstar machine, some just out and about. Total $3.52
    -Ran to the store to pick up my past 2 weeks of Friday Freebies(Lara bar, hummus single, and can of soup) . I ALWAYS check the clearance spots. They had butter marked down because the packages had gotten wet and stuck together. I got all 5 pounds. Used the store gift card that I got for Christmas(thanks Mom and Dad) so I spent $0.
    -Hung laundry, cooked most meals, ate leftovers, washed Ziplocs, kept the heat low and many other things we do everyday to keep costs down.
    Have a wonderful week!

  55. I grow a lot of parsley and use it to make tabbouleh (sometimes spelled tabboula) salad. With lemon juice, tomatoes, parsley and cous cous if I remember correctly. My family will eat it even though it’s a Middle Eastern dish. I’m sure or will have recipes for it. I would have to dislodge too many papers to find my recipe at the moment!! Great summer salad when you have fresh tomatoes!

  56. I learned this weekend that my BIL has 2 broken toes where the bones aren’t even attached to his foot any longer and he only knew that his feet hurt. Have your feet been x-rayed to check for old breaks that may not have healed?

  57. I re-seeded my parsley two years ago and I dried a ton of it the first year—Still have about 2 pints dried to use up. It’s a biennial (for those who don’t grow it) but it will self seed for a few years—so you only need about a packet of seed every decade or so!

  58. I have not let them root first, Lynn. It amazes me how quickly they start leafing out… a day or two in warm weather. I just stick them in the ground straight out of the bag. I cut and use the celery, and leave something like 1 1/2″ of the bottom intact, and bury it only 1/2 to 1″. Definitely not an exact science 🙂 There was some new growth on the one under the cloche. I hope you’ll be rewarded with new growth next time.

  59. Amy, I had terrible plantar fasciitis a few years ago and could only comfortably walk in Clark or Dansko shoes for a while. I slept in a plastic boot to keep my foot straight. These relieved the pain but it wasn’t until someone recommended Acid-A-Cal, by Enzymatic Therapy (I bought it from Amazon for $10.99 per bottle) that I found any permanent relief. I took four capsules twice per day until the bottle was gone and didn’t even need the second bottle (I had bought two bottles). A year or so later my foot started acting up a bit so I took the capsules again, but only for a few weeks, and that nipped the problem in the bud! If you go on Amazon and read the acid-a-cal reviews they are very interesting and informative! If it’s a similar issue, I hope they can help you as much as they did me! Sending healing thoughts and empathy!

  60. P.S. If you’re leaning in the direction of Clark and Dansko shoes you probably know they can be very expensive. I got around the steep price tags by shopping for them on the Poshmark clothing website. I found several pairs of these shoes and sandals for VERY reasonable prices and they were all new or in like-new condition for a fraction of what they retail for! (Clarks were/are my favorite support-shoe brand…very like Dansko but prettier, more comfortable and not quite so heavy IMHO.) Poshmark is a wonderful frugal, convenient resource for buying specific clothing/shoes/purses (used and new) online. It’s a bit more expensive than yard sales and thrift shops, but in the case of hunting for very specific items, like the shoes, it was a perfect compromise.

  61. I’ve been successful in keeping my grocery expenses down this month.

    After searching for nearly two and a half years and working the last six month at a low wage, low hour job, I have accepted an offer today for a full time position with benefits. I am very excited. I will need to spend a little money to get ready (haircut, one new outfit, etc) but I will be keeping those expenses to a minimum and continuing to be frugal by packing lunch and snacks for work.

    I love this site and the encouragement it provides so I will continue to follow and implement ideas.

  62. What a lot of grocery money from just two of the grocery chains, though SaveOn says it didn’t participate in the price-fixing.

    There are some others who ought to step up. I can remember the moment I realized how expensive bread had become and that I couldn’t just automatically include a loaf of bread in my grocery basket without checking the price. I am thinking about adding my name to one of the class actions suits as well.

  63. Loblaws said it would be six weeks for the gift card, so I’m not expecting to have this to spend until March. If you applied when it was first available, January 10, I think, it might still be late February.

    Great that you have all these savings though. Food expenses are going to come up every month!

  64. Your post made me smile, Lilli. We are in the tightened belt, pulling up by the bootstrap club. I’ve been thinking a lot about life giving lemons and what we do with those lemons…pucker up at the tartness or add sugar to sweeten the juice. You are definitely a sweetener. Happy February!

  65. My most frugal accomplishment was not buying much of anything not essential. I did manage to buy my most generous MIL a birthday present for less than 15.00! She deserves a great present and this is one.

    My son was using paper towels (gifted from my MIL) to shine his uniform shoes, so I found him an old t-shirt to cut up.

    Soup club at work was extended. Provides a nice mid-week lunch for me. I enjoy the variety and make chili for my turn for little. When there is extra I sometimes get a second lunch too.

    My son changed the oil on the Jeep. We have been using household paper to start the fires which saves in trash costs and keeps me from having to track down newspaper. I over made the coffee one day (or, rather, under-drank some) and made myself heat it up the next morning even though I don’t like old coffee. I decided to just be thankful that I have good coffee to drink that is fresh made usually!

    It’s a real blessing to be warm, well fed and with a great job! I continue to be thankful for everything…especially the little things! Happy frugal-ing this week friends 🙂

  66. We buy our dry dog and cat foods at the feed store. It’s cheaper than any pet store and they carry all the better brands.

  67. Yes, my foot pain was caused by eating sugar and gluten. After 2 months off of all sugar, fake sweeteners and gluten I am pain free Praise Yahweh!

  68. We have been moving giant rocks that we have found/uncovered in our woods to edge a border. They are free and the labor is free, aside from the Advil I take for my back pain afterward 😉 it will look beautiful when completed. I am going to plant some hydrangeas and butterfly bushes there to hopefully increase the amount of polinators near our garden this year.

    Being more diligent this year about saving coffee grounds and veggie peels for the garden. Once a week i have been digging a trench and burying that weeks food/coffee grounds waste. It is working to amend the garden soil quite nicely so far. I will till it in March sometime.

    The chickens are producing 6 eggs a day right now which is a huge blessing!

  69. I mended some fairly new pants that had the hem falling out. I bought them on clearance, but they are a good brand and I was disappointed in that hem failure.
    I was glad to hear the news about Chewy — I use them for our fish food which we buy by the pail, but I’ll be sure to check around now before ordering. They also stopped carrying my dog food brand, but I was already loyal to a neat little pet supply store, independent, that gives me every 12th bag free anyway. I have 3 more bags to go for my free one.
    I have enough in the freezer that I could cut my grocery bill back down. It’s been over due to the special diet I’m on now, but I finally had enough leftovers put up that I don’t have to cook so much from scratch.
    I’m getting things pulled together for taxes, which I do with Turbo Tax online. We used to use a preparer, but our returns are simpler now, and I save a ton doing them this way.
    I got a library card at a much larger library in the county where I work, not live. I had to pay for it, but I will not really need to buy anymore books now. I’ve already used it, and it’s wonderful. My small-town library in my county of residence has a stagnant selection, and it takes no less than 2 weeks to order through inter-library loan. I got tired of that!

  70. I haven’t commented in a long time! I’ve been reading and gleaning ideas and recipes. Getting back in the habit of commenting each week will help me stay on track.
    Alot has changed. We are now empty nesters. We stopped doing foster care in November and our adopted 18 year old son was placed in Boystown to help him finish high school and learn the skills he refused to learn at home. Although he complains all the time he is actually thriving there.
    My husband is an insulin dependent diabetic with high blood pressure and he is overweight. Our diets have changed so much. I lost 25lbs and he’s lost 75 since the diabetes was diagnosed in May.
    This past week I cooked all meals at home. I packed lunches for my husband for work. I am retired from fulltime work and have a small partime job where I work 13 hours a week or less, so I eat at home. We had minimal food waste–we like leftovers. I combined errands and did them when I had to be out anyway to save time and gas.
    I did the pantry challenge for this month from “Good Cheap Eats and my grocery spending was $103.29. We have 2 full freezers plus the fridge so my spending was on perishables and many bulk buys that will keep me out of the store. The challenge will continue informally with a wonderful group of ladies.
    Brandy your photography is beautiful! Thank you for all you do!!

  71. Wow! Thank you for the ideas and support. I feel like I had tried everything but this gives me a few new ideas to try. Thank you all SO MUCH!!!!!!

  72. Maxine, Nice going! I’m shooting for 2,000.00 this year. I save by numbering the weeks and putting the week number, in dollars, into savings. It’s worked great for the last two years. (Mine’s a secret, too. Well, except for the part where I tell my children to check all drawers and books before selling my junk when I die! ha!)

  73. Wow, Lilli! You got some awesome deals! We don’t have double coupons; most times we don’t even get coupons in the mail. If we do, they’re a small selection and nothing I would buy. I love how you got so much free product!
    How nice that Cookies young man did so much work for you! What a blessing!

  74. About your comment on the coffee, attitude is everything isn’t it? Some of the frugal choices we make are so temporary (1 cup of day old coffee, 1 meal of leftovers that don’t necessarily go together, etc.) but the savings add up and can be used for things that are so much more permanent. I feel empowered when I make the temporary “sacrifice”!

  75. JD, Our little library is the same as yours. I really believe that the small library I grew up with had more books (in the sixties) than this one. I rarely find a book to read, here. I hate to order books from amazon, or use my iPad. I like a real book. So spoiled!

  76. You can freeze leftover coffee to use in homemade iced coffee or in frappes. I usually put cream, a little vanilla extract and sugar in mine before I freeze it. Just defrost in a glass a little to soften then you can put in a blender or personal size smoothie maker blend until there are no big pieces of ice and enjoy. Or just let cubes melt and drink as a cold coffee like you can buy at the store (Frapachinno) .You can change flavors by adding some chocolate syrup, chips and/or caramel syrup. I make these and everyone loves them, says they are better than Starbucks.

  77. Seeing your cake is making me hungry!

    I bought several presents for throughout the year at a store relocation sale and saved almost 76%. Unfortunately, I knocked two items off the shelf and had to pay for them. Luckily, they were reduced from $40 to $13. 😀 One was a bowl that broke clean in half so we can glue it and use it around the house. The other was a big decorative container and only the lid broke so I will plant some herbs in it and gift it to my MIL. The shop assistant was so surprised that I didn’t let her throw the items in the bin.

    I combined errands whenever possible and took my water bottle with me.

    All meals were prepared at home, all leftovers used up and my husband took lunch to work everyday.

    I picked up free tomatoes, cucumbers, plums, nectarines, chillis, basil, parsley, grapes, figs and an orange from the local produce carts. All the free produce is really stretching our meals and we’re so grateful to have found out about this initiative. I often make myself a salad for lunch out of those vegetables and feel ever so healthy. 😉

    I started volunteering and will be reimbursed up to $10 per shift which was a nice surprise I did not know about when signing up. The organisation also gave me a welcome bag which included two bags of popcorn, a full-size bottle of caramel syrup and a full-size bottle of cordial. Of course, I also saved the gift bag as it was not branded.

    On Friday, we celebrated Australia Day by hosting a BBQ for our friends. We provided sausages, soft drinks left over from another party and homemade potato wedges made from potatoes that needed to be used up. Our guests brought snacks, bread and their own alcohol and we managed not to use any plastic ware! One of my husband’s friends stayed for the whole weekend and insisted on leaving all the snack food he had brought along.

    It was time for our monthly grocery shop which was paid for mostly with a gift card I had been given a while ago. On top of that, the store offered triple loyalty points. We also received 5% off at the butcher thanks to loyalty points.

    Unfortunately, we had another heatwave so the air-conditioner ran pretty much for four days straight and the ceiling fan in the bedroom was turned on for several nights. But we are generally pretty good with our utility usage and have solar panels so hopefully it evens out.

    We kept up with all other frugal habits that have become second nature by now. The little things truly do add up.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

  78. My husband’s grandmother had terrible foot pain while going through chemo to the point she couldn’t walk. From what my mother-in-law told me what gave her relief immediately was acupuncture. Just in case you need one more idea to get relief.

  79. I have the funniest problem growing parsley outdoors – each year I plant it and it does well; but, by mid-summer, the swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs in the planters and in a few weeks their caterpillars have stripped my parsley plants of their leaves. I end up with bare stalks. But I do enjoy seeing the caterpillars grow huge and knowing that I’m helping the swallowtail butterfly population 🙂

  80. I checked this a bit more. Most of my food has stayed the same all year, which makes sense because it turns out that PetSmart took over several months ago. The canned cat food went up a little bit but really not that much, less than $0.05 on each large can. My one cat requires a special diet for urinary tract crystals so all three of the cats are on the kibble that he eats. I live in a suburban area as well and we don’t have that many feed stores. It would take a few miles of driving. Finally I can get everything I need from, including the prescription food, and have it delivered to my door the day after I order it. The convenience is amazing for me and I just order a lot on a recurring auto-ship basis and get most of the items at 5% discount. For instance the eight and a half bag of dry kibble is about $4-5 cheaper than it is at the vst. Although I’d rather was still independent, I am more than willing to keep using them at this time.

  81. Brandy, I haven’t been commenting for a while but I have been reading all the posts and most of the comments. I want to congratulate you on your pregnancy, another blessing and joy in the way. Xx
    I want to mention that I knew you were expecting even before you announced it on the blog 😉 I saw on your shopping list that you were purchasing raspberry leaf tea. And I knew why! 🙂
    Anyway, I want to share with you and your readers that We welcomed our own bundle of joy almost a month ago. Long awaited precious baby boy. We are so in love with him ❤️

  82. That crepe cake looks delicious! My frugal accomplishments for this past week have been:

    *Finished knitting the baby blanket from variegated blue yarn & gave it to Little Stuff. Her baby brother has gotten lots of blankets & it was time for her to receive one.

    *Little Stuff & I made another large batch of oatmeal cookies, with chocolate chips & dehdrated pie cherries in them, while her mother took a nap. We also made a batch of fruit rolls & a batch of breadsticks. Little Stuff’s family came down for her baby brother’s blessing. which took place in the Sacrament Meeting at the retirement home where the baby’s great-grandmother lives. His other two great-grandparents (my huband’s parents) were able to come, so all 3 great-grandparents attended & we were able to take some 4 generation pictures afterwards. Both of her sisters were among the 34 family members able to attend, which at least doubled the attendance of the branch where we met.

    *I used the space I cleared out last week where the goblets used to be to put the rest of the Sunnyvale Shenange platinum china set (the serving pieces) in the same cupboard as the plates, etc. The serving pieces have been in two boxes for over 10 years now.

    *Little Stuff helped me sprinkled slivered clementine & orange peel on the growing beds, while I added crushed eggshells, & she also helped me move some of the compost over to the back perimeter bed. She enjoyed riding a small pink tricycle while going for a walk with Grandma most days while she was here, that cost $4 at Deseret Industries last summer, & is exactly like the purple one she has at her house, except for the color. It lives in Grandma’s shed, to keep the plastic from sun-rotting, in the space that used to hold a snowblower that no longer worked. I am doing better at junking the things we don’t use/need, thus making space for the things that are important to us.

    *Little Stuff discovered that she likes both the dehydrated pie cherries from Grandma’s tree, & some Rainier cherries that Grandma bottled. Her parents are considering planting a sweet cherry tree, so this was useful & delicious “research”. Her daddy thought he did not like cherries, but happily snacked on the dried pie cherries.

  83. Pat the loss of weight is such a great achievement . Congratulations. We are seriously working on that issue here in my house. I bought a new scale and got it set up right away. The next day I weighed myself and saw that I had loss four pounds after two weeks. That was such a boost to my spirit. The next morning it said I had loss twenty two pounds. I stepped off and tried again. This time it was thirty down. I laughed and had my son pull the batteries out and reset it. The scale can lie to me but my too tight pants always tell the truth. Here’s to weight loss, lower blood pressure and a better A1C.

  84. Oh Brandy! I’m so so ready for warm weather, but in the northeast I think we have a way to go! From a frugal stand point it’s been a weird week, we got an explanation of benefits from a procedure I had done in December of 2016 saying they were adjusting my coverage and I may have to pay $500 now. I don’t think anything will come of it, but I’m holding my breath to see if the hospital will bill us. Anyhoo- joining in here

  85. Taboulleh also uses mint so if you grow that, too, that is 2 herbs you don’t have to buy. A!so garlic. I suppose you could make with couscous though we use bulgar wheat. Chopped cucumber is good to add also. It is a great hot weather salad…very refreshing.

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