Frugal Accomplishments

Frugal Accomplishments for the Second Week in March

Chinese Snow Pea Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested snow peas, lettuce, garlic chives, parsley, and Swiss chard from the garden.

I purchased two lined baskets for my linen closet for $10 ($5 each) off a Facebook garage sale page using money I earned from my garage sale. After getting rid of some unused linens at the garage sale and donating the rest to the thrift store, I wanted to put the sheets we actually use and other items on the shelves into baskets (which I’m hoping will help the children to keep the closet tidier!) Buying the baskets used will save me a lot of money, and I plan on looking for more baskets at the garage sales in April ($5 or less per basket is the price I’m hoping to find, so these were just right!) I had been looking at some other baskets in stores and I actually liked these more!

I donated my unsold garage sale items to the thrift store and picked up a receipt to use for next year’s tax returns.

I experimented with spraying hydrogen peroxide on stains on some vintage linens that I kept from the items my mom had put in the garage sale. I hung the linen outside on my drying rack in the sun and sprayed them with hydrogen peroxide. After a few hours, the stains were no longer visible. I washed the linens in the washer on the delicate cycle afterward.  I will be using these in future photos for my website.

We fixed a leak in the garden. It seems that after 10 years, everything is settling quite a bit and parts are giving out, and we have had a number of repairs to make. We are fixing them all ourselves.

I carefully dug and transplanted lettuce and spinach seedlings in the garden and replanted them in places where seeds didn’t come up.

I went to the nursery to pick up a couple of small parts for future possible repairs.  I had not been able to get there last Saturday as my husband was in a class for work all day, so I missed the chance for a free tomato plant with purchase. The manager saw me and asked if I had gotten a free tomato over the weekend. I told him I hadn’t been able to make it in and asked him if he had saved any. He told me he had one left and he knew he had saved it for a reason! I got a free tiny Early Girl tomato plant (which is a kind I usually purchase). Our weather turned chilly and windy again, so I planted the tomato plant and then covered it with a jar to keep it warm and protect it from snapping off at the ground from the wind.

I picked up four LED bulbs from the dollar store and used them in the house to replace existing bulbs.

I combined these two stops with the trip to purchase the baskets from Facebook garage sale page to save gas.

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to Sam’s Club. I’ll use it next month to cover part of my grocery shopping.

I studied some French using free online sources.

My husband gave our eldest son a haircut. I gave our youngest son a haircut.

My eldest son attended two free dances. My eldest daughter attended a separate free dance with two live bands and dance instructors.

I mended holes in a bath mat. The fabric is falling apart, but it will last many more washings before it needs to be replaced.

I mended two pairs of pants.

Geranium Daffodil The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

 

 

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202 Comments

  1. *Sprayed the fruit trees with paraffin is oil spray just before a storm where the temps went below freezing. That seems to have killed the box elder bugs that were just beginning to be active, but the buds on the apricot & peach trees had broken, but not bloomed, so the freeze likely did them in.

    *Planted peas, lettuce & radishes. The rhubarb & garlic are both up & growing. Put some of the glass cloches in the garden to warm the soil over the next few weeks, then I will plant the pole beans under cloche. By the time the plants outgrow the cloche, we will be past our frost date.

    *My grandson helped me finish pruning the branches on the pear tree that I could not reach. He is a foot taller than I am.

    *Bought ground beef & corned beef from the mark down bin for 50% off.

    *Stripped more needles from the fir branches as they dried out, & used then to acidify in the back perimeter bed.

    *Cut daffodils to fill two vases from the garden & brought them inside to enjoy.

    *Bought Easter candy at 25% off because the store is closing.

  2. Those snow pea flowers are so pretty! At least, I think they’re snow pea!

    I had a quiet week, but still got a few things done:
    – I pulled some food from the freezer including some vegetarian meat pies (www.approachingfood.com/a-pie-crust-odyssey-meatpies-vegetarian-style), as I wasn’t up to making meals.
    – My husband did our taxes online using a computer program. I’m very thankful that he’s so good at doing them. Last year he even caught a bug in the software he used! The tax refund should be in my account soon, which is useful, as I used up all of my vacation time being sick and will have to take a week off unpaid.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 gc to Amazon.
    – My $25 giftcard arrived in the mail from the bread price fixing scheme, and my husband used it to buy some organic fruit and a few other items. I told my sister about it, and she applied too.
    – I read many, many e-books from the library. I read 7 just on the weekend. I love the public library!
    – I googled for a discount code when ordering a pair of pants online and saved $4.50.
    – My mother visited me and I gave her two items that I had gotten free and didn’t need: a plug-in battery charger for the car, and a keychain flashlight.
    – My mom also dropped off a particular salad dish that I was craving, and I sent her home with some veggies that I wouldn’t be using.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  3. Brandy, I’ve been wondering…do you have to dig up and replant your daffodils every year in order to chill them in the winter? The daffs aren’t up here yet, but should be soon. A few weeks ago, I potted up the daffodils that didn’t get planted last fall due to early snow. Hoping I’ll be able to salvage them this way.

    This was my week:
    As usual, we had 5 no-drive, no-spend days. (And I only ordered one thing online, LOL).

    I filled the water bottles on the two days we went to town.

    I ordered a dwarf Stanley plum tree for fall delivery. On the day I ordered, Stark Bro’s was having a “pi day” promotion with flat rate shipping for $3.14 (regularly $16.95). I asked if the promo code would apply to this order, and saved $13.81.

    We are in the market for an AWD SUV because our minivan is no good in snow (has been driven 3 times since Christmas). I test drove a Hyundai Santa Fe this week and received a $40 Amazon GC. Saving the GC for a birthday present for DDIL.

    In a month or so, I will be going to my old house to dig up perennials I divided last year to take to my new home. I asked on Freecycle for nursery pots (I won’t be able to replant until mid-summer). Unfortunately, no one responded. I got three 2-gallon frosting buckets from the Fred Meyer (Kroger) bakery. I plan to ask at every in-store bakery from now on. I am cutting off milk jugs, and putting out the word to everyone I know.

    I potted up two bareroot peonies and 4 bleeding hearts, bought for a total of $20.00 at Lowe’s. Great root systems on all. If only a few survive–and I bet they all do–I’ll still be money ahead vs. buying potted plants in high summer.

    I have played pinochle with the same 3 people every week for 8 years. One of my pals went on a gambling junket to Nevada. She asked the pit boss for decks of used poker cards. You can make a pinochle deck with two decks of regular playing cards, and we each got two free decks.

    I want to start sewing for charity and I made a pillowcase dress for $0 today. (I used scraps for the shoulder ties). I also cut out jeans scraps for a shopping bag for DDIL for her birthday (plan to put the GC inside). DDIL uses the Smith’s app and loads coupons onto her phone and saved $24 last week.

  4. This week was quiet and we were able to reign in our spending after the last few weeks which felt nice.

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    We combined trips and made sure to take our water bottles with us.
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    The air-conditioner did not run at all this week.
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    We found three recycling bottles.
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    I swept all tiled floors instead of vacuuming.
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    All meals were made at home, partially using free produce and leftovers. We continued eating down our pantry before going on holidays. My husband took most lunches to work except for one day when he bought something from his allowance. He even remembered to bring home his recycling bottle. 😉
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    We completed a catalogue delivery round and I volunteered once. Both activities will be paid/ reimbursed and go straight towards our mortgage as extra payments.
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    I paid two bills online.
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    I boiled eggs in bulk to use for lunches and steamed some vegetables for the next day on top of the pot of rice boiling for that day’s dinner.
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    We had a new friend over for dinner and served baked potatoes. This has become my favourite meal for guests as it’s easy, cheap and flexible. Our friend brought a chocolate tarte for dessert and left enough for dessert the next day as well.
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    I bought some needed clothes for our travels and found a nice shirt for my husband at 66% off which was badly needed in his wardrobe.
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    We washed three full loads of laundry during off-peak times and hung all items on the line.
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    We ran two full loads in the dishwasher during off-peak times.
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    When hand-washing dishes, we saved the warm-up water to soak pots and pans and also washed several Ziploc bags.
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    Wishing everyone a lovely week! 🙂

  5. Well I was going to go out to eat twice and ended up not going both times. Which with a family is quite a savings.

    Bought marked down meat at Sam’s

    Our Aldi is being remolded. So that location gave me 3 $5 off coupons for another Aldi. I used one.

    Washed most clothes on cold setting.

    Love your blog Brandi

  6. Saved $58 dollars a year by paying for a yearly amazon subscription rather than paying per month. I also cancelled Netflix.
    I did not go grocery shopping because we did not need anything. I will have to pick up some milk midweek but will combine that with fueling up my car.
    I hung a load of laundry to dry on my racks.
    Aired out the house on Sunday when the temps rose into the 50’s. Turned the thermostat down.
    I took my breakfast/snack/lunch and coffee to work from home and my daughter did the same for school. She ate hot lunch (which is free for all children in our district) one day last week.
    My husband and I had a “date lunch” out, which was planned. We can’t do dinner because of our schedules. My mom watched our daughter for us and I gave her some items she needed from my pantry in trade.
    I paid all bills online.
    I uninstalled Facebook and Messenger from my cell phone. I found I would get bored and mindlessly scroll. I have plenty of other things I could be doing.
    Have a great week everybody!

  7. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia and hope you have all had a wonderful week 🙂 . What a blessing for the children to have so many free classes and wonderful you were able to pick up more storage baskets and pick so much lovely produce from your gardens Brandy.

    Here is how we saved money in our home last week –

    Earnings, internet listing fees and home deposit savings –
    – Earned $33 from the sale of garden seeds on the internet and downloaded it to make up expenditure used for a bulk pantry stocking.
    – Listed 7 items on Ebay saving $11.55 on listing fees on a free listing promotion.
    – Banked more money into our home deposit account bringing us to 24.09% of the way there.

    Maintenance and building things with what we have –
    – Our car battery finally died after 9.5 yrs of good use so we rang our roadside assist club and they came out and changed the battery and cleaned the battery terminals. With the discount they provide by being a member and us paying using our home cash emergency kitty we saved $25 on usual prices.
    – Our real estate agent suggested we elevate our firewood off the front veranda so we built our own firewood rack from a fallen fence post and some old wooden garden stakes. We cut the rotted bit off the fence post and then cut it in 3 for the base and laid garden stakes over the top for the firewood to sit on. By doing this it saved us $89.95 over purchasing one and cost us $0 to make.

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Made a loaf of fruit bread in our bread making machine saving $3.70 over purchasing it.

    In the garden –
    – Harvested 16kg of cucumbers from the gardens saving $104 over purchasing them in the shops. We used 10 for us and pleased we were able to help 7 other families with our excess and we still have more growing in the gardens to use ourselves. Also we picked a few ripe strawberries as well.
    – Planted a 3.5mt row of beetroot seeds in the vegetable gardens.

    Grocery purchases –
    – Purchased a years worth of potato chips on 50% off special saving $19.80 on usual prices. One of our rare treats along with chocolate we allow ourselves whilst we are saving for a good deposit for our home.
    – Purchased 8 months worth of mouthwash and 2 dips on 50% off special as well as flour, citric acid and tinned fruit at usual prices off next months grocery list. By taking advantage of $10 off supermarket rewards, another 5% off using our roadside assist grocery card and combining the specials we saved $46.90 on usual prices.

    Sewing –
    – Made two bread bags from fabric I had in the craft room and listed them in my eBay store for sale to hopefully bring in some extra income.

    Medications and medical appointments –
    – Got a bulk script from the doctor for DH’s pain medication and saved $70.40 on usual prices had we purchased each box separately.
    – DH and I had some minor operations at the doctors office and had 3 medical appointments which cost us $0 as we had them bulk billed by our doctor saving us $96.90 over usual medical costs.

    Hoping everyone had an equally productive money saving week.

  8. Hi Brandy,
    To save money this week I
    Hung all the washing in the line to dry
    Used our tank water to water the garden
    Packed my lunch for work everyday
    Made sure all left overs were visible, front and centre in the fridge to prevent them being overlooked
    Turned my hand and foot lotion inside down to get out the last smidge
    Didn’t go to the shops except for groceries
    Kept to the two light rule and the two minute shower rule, our water rates are so unbelievably high, it is outrageous.
    Fed all the fruit and veggie scraps to the compost bin
    Picked the last of my homegrown pineapples, I simply plant the tops of pineapples and about 18months later are rewarded with the sweetest and freshest pineapple you’ll ever eat.
    Used home made cleaners to clean the house
    And that’s all I can think of at the mo

  9. Have you ever written, or would you consider writing, a post about how you do so well with Swagbucks? I tried a few years ago, but it seemed to take forever to add up enough points for a GC. It seemed I never qualified for the high-point surveys no matter how I answered them!
    On the other hand, I’ve done very well with the Shopkick and Receipt Hog apps!

  10. Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I am so looking forward to warmer weather. Yesterday it was warm enough to start doing some clean up in the yard and garden area.

    I pulled two small ham bones from the freezer, and before cooking them for several hours, I pulled off just enough extra meat to make ham, cabbage, and bean soup with chicken broth from the freezer.

    We paid all of our bills online.

    I washed used baggies.

    I went to my favorite thrift store Saturday morning and found several things that are on my list: brand new curtains for the bedroom, a set of like-new sheets, a sweater vest, a brand new pair of summer pajama pants, a white tablecloth I will use for our Easter dinner, and a couple of books. I don’t often have the opportunity to go to the thrift store so I was very pleased to have found so much.

    We went to the library and borrowed books and videos.

    On Fridays my husband will go to our higher-priced grocery store and buy their produce specials (they usually have a 3-day sale). This week only strawberries were on sale for 99 cents per pound, but often it is more items. He will then check the meat department for sales and discounted items. He was able to find 4 bratwurst packs for 99 cents each and boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.59 per pound. It is the rare exception that we pay full price for any meat, which is how we are able to keep our grocery bill low.

    I reprogrammed the thermostat to reflect my husband’s new work schedule.

  11. How lovely to be known at the nursery and that they had a tomato plant left to give you.

    • Cooked large bag of dried black beans in crockpot – froze half and used half to make black bean soup, made asparagus soup, made risotto with arugula and gorgonzola, made couscous with cucumbers, feta, and lemon vinaigrette, made pizza from scratch using recipe on The Frugal Girl, and baked corn muffins with cheddar cheese and jalapenos
    • Picked up book from the library that I had ordered through inter-library loan
    • Decluttered linen closet & found several items to donate. We have two sleeping bags stored at the top of the closet and both were very dusty. I washed each bag in the washing machine and hung up to dry.
    • Decluttered DVDs and another bookcase
    • Itemized and donated to Goodwill and to local library the items I had decluttered and got a receipt for taxes. I’ve started keeping a box out in the open in our LR – not the most attractive place but super convenient for dropping donation items as I declutter.
    • Hand shoveled snow
    • Made swag goal x 2
    • Fixed a necklace that had a sharp O-ring that was hurting my neck,
    • Submitted claims for unclaimed property from both the current state in which I live and a state I lived in 22 years ago. A little embarrassing, but I should have approximately $250 coming my way. Let my parents know that they are also on the list of unclaimed property.
    • Went to Money Saving Mom’s coupon database and printed out coupons for items on my grocery list
    • I was passing by a grocery store that was 20 minutes away and they had a limit of 4 per item. I went into the store 2x to purchase 8 boxes of Kleenex.
    • I’ve been waiting for cat litter to go on sale and when I checked out I asked the cashier when the next sale would be. She explained that in the winter months the store only has a weekly sale 1x month but that starting in April there would be a new sale every two weeks. I will plan to stock up on cat litter when it is next on sale.
    • Purchased underwear that was B2G1, plus I had a 5% off reward discount and a $10 coupon.

  12. On Tuesday I went to my favorite Produce market and was rewarded for my trip by finding 50 pounds of potatoes for $10! They were the final ingredient I needed to dehydrate to put into my Beef and Barley Stew convenience jar! I made a dozen of these jars! https://pin.it/xrb5oisvoancfv

    At the same time, I bought a 5 pound bag of chopped onions for $1 which I repackaged into 6 quart freeezer bags to use later. My produce ladies gave me 1/2 bushel of cilantro “for my chickens” which they are indeed loving!

    They also gave me 5 baskets of raspberries and 1 of blueberries. I gave the overripe blueberries and 1 basket of raspberries to my hens but the other 4 baskets of raspberries were lovely and I made them into 2 jars of jam!

    I now have 22-1/2 dozen eggs from my girls in my basement fridge! It’s time to let my friends know I’m willing to sell a few dozen again!

    They also gave me (2) 25 pound boxes of tomatoes that were ripe but would go bad within a few days if not processed quickly! Since they were free, I put 25 pounds at a time into my big 18 quart electric roaster and let them cook down into tomato paste. From the 50 pounds, I was able to can 33 jars of tomato paste!

    Hubby has been feeling awful this week with a cold and respiratory infection so he has been happy to use the 2 ply flannel Kleenex’es that I made earlier- even the pink floral ones because they are so much gentler on a sore red nose! I took 15 minutes last night and found a single cut out pajama pant piece in a child size that someone gave me because they didn’t have enough of the fabric to cut out the other leg piece. I cut out and edge stitched 6 more masculine flannel Kleenex! https://pin.it/ovvesrjzwgyfqs

    I got a rain check a couple weeks ago for boneless whole ham for $1.19/lb rather than $3.47/pound but when I’ve gone back 3 times they were out of stock. Tuesday when I stopped over there, I spoke with the manager but hadn’t heard back. I called the store today and explained to the assistant manager (her boss was gone on vacation) what had been happening , she walked over to the meat dept while I was still on the line and discovered that they had a case full of the hams! She put 3 of them behind the meat counter with my name and the sale price on them! I drove over and the meat manager was so sweet! He apologized and said that for the inconvenience they had marked this 3 hams (10 pounds each!) down to 99 cents/pound! I had a $5 off your order coupon with me and so the hams which would have been over $100 were purchased for $24!! I am quite pleased!,

    Thursday was our regular payday (every two weeks) and I again zero-ed out our checking account from the previous two weeks. Half went into savings and half went to pay down debt. I was bowled over to see that in just two weeks time, we added an extra $500+ to each of those two goals using this as well as doing the same with other income that wasn’t his regular paycheck!

    Our savings account has never been this big and we’re excited to see it growing faster and faster now!
    We are planning on Hubby to retire in May of next year so we are in high gear to put ourselves in the best financial situation possible! We got a late start on retirement saving while we were raising our 11 kids so now, we are trying to catch up! Every little bit counts!

    We continue to have low spend/no spend months for groceries and other non-essentials. As we eat from our pantry, it’s amazing to see how we’ve been blessed with “windfalls” to build our storage back up!

    Hope everyone is having a great week!

  13. Oh, I wish it was time to plant my seedlings, but after a high near 60 yesterday, we are expected to get rain Tuesday during the day, changing to 3-4 inches of snow Tuesday night and Wednesday day. This should not be happening in Maryland in March (stomping feet). I know it has happened in the past, I am just saying that it shouldn’t. 😀 The seeds I planted indoors have started to sprout. Some of the flowers from 2009 (I know!) didn’t come up, but the vegetables from 2009, 2013, and 2015 did. It will be nice to eventually be able to plant them!

    I felt that the battery on my smart phone was needing charged too frequently. I turned off auto-sync and the charge is holding a lot longer, which means I need to charge it less and thus use less electricity. I turn on the sync option several times a day to get my personal e-mail but that’s only for a couple minutes at a time. I also save electricity by putting everything that is instant on a power strip that is turned off when not in use (television, microwave, laptops, monitors, etc.) or unplugging items (the washer, dryer, clock radios, etc.)

    My neighbor and I visited the newly open Sprouts. I signed up for their coupons and other discounts and got a free bag of Cascadian Farms organic stir-fry vegetables and $2 off a bag of organic frozen cherries. I also picked up fruits and vegetables at good prices.

    I ate most meals at home, but did get lunch out on Saturday while waiting for my neighbor to finish up her morning and go to Sprouts. It was literally easier to eat a quick sandwich at Dunkin Donuts than go home and deal with the cats who would want to go outside while I was waiting for said neighbor but who I would want to stay inside until I was home for good for the day.

    P&G has a $15 rebate when you spend $50 on a variety of products. I don’t use most of them but I do like their Olay Regenerist Serum and Ultimate Eye Cream. I compared prices online and found it was over $15 cheaper to buy at Wegman’s using a $5 off $25 coupon and $2 Olay coupon. Once I get the $15 rebate card, that’s a savings of $7.33 off each item. I’m now stocked up on all toiletries I use for at least 6 months and for 12 months for most items, except for toothbrushes, of all things. I still have 4 months’ worth there.

    Everything else was what I usually do – cooked at home, often using veggies and berries I froze last summer and fall, did the dishes so the kitchen was clean enough to do that cooking and baking, washed plastic baggies to reuse, cut daffodils from my garden and my neighbor’s, hung clothes up in the laundry room when they were half dry, etc.

  14. It is so wonderful that such pretty flowers will also produce yummy veggies to eat. I’m glad you were able to get the stains out of the vintage linens, so they can be useful again. It was also very nice of the garden nursery manager to gift you with a free tomato plant. I know you will put it to good use! Sounds like your family had a good week, Brandy.

    I’ve had a pretty busy week, this week. DD was on March Break, so that changed up our lives a bit. I was also busy with volunteering at 2 different events. I was sure glad to come home and rest after those events were done. Still was able to find ways to save, despite everything. Frugal accomplishment for my family this week included:
    *Meals made at home included “melt in your mouth chicken bake” (new recipe, see below) with roasted butternut squash, flavoured rice and peas, pasta with sausage and red sauce, waffles with choice of toppings (strawberries from freezer, whipped cream, maple syrup), breaded chicken fingers with homemade macaroni & cheese and peas, grilled cheese sandwiches with pickles and broccoli salad (fresh broccoli, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, grated cheese and a bit of bacon bits mixed with coleslaw dressing), chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, flavoured rice and mixed veggies, and homemade beef pot pie (from freezer).
    *On Monday, I had the time to try a new chicken bake recipe (recipe link: https://thecookinchicks.com/2015/11/melt-in-your-mouth-chicken-bake/), that calls for simple ingredients we already keep in our pantry. I modified the recipe slightly by mixing the chicken directly into the Parmesan/mayo mixture, then spread everything out evenly in the lightly greased pan and topped it with the bread crumbs. I paired the meal with roasted Parmesan butternut squash and some peas for the ones that don’t like squash. I LOVED this recipe…definitely a keeper in my books! It was sooo delicious. DD had complaints (as usual), but after discussing it, we figured out some modifications to try. Next time I will try cutting the Parmesan to 3/4 cup, and just sprinkle on enough bread crumbs to cover lightly (definitely overkill on the bread crumbs, which I didn’t mind but DD didn’t like it).
    *I cooked up the beef pot pie this weekend that I made from the leftover beef stew last month. Hubby and DD both enjoyed it. Hubby even admitted he normally doesn’t like leftover beef stew, but he really liked it in the pie. So, I will definitely do this again to ensure not food waste!
    *Finally found a sale at Costco on breaded fish (the kind I like) for $10/box of 12-15 fillets. I bought 3 boxes which should last us several months at the rate we eat fish. Also bought 2 big trays of chicken breasts that had an in house discount of $2 off per pack. Our freezer is now restocked with meat for a little while.
    *I didn’t need much for groceries this week. I decided to used the opportunity to buy a few of the more expensive bulk pantry stock up items, such as powdered milk and rice. For not needing much, I ended up with a total of $144, so I used my store loyalty points for $30 in free groceries. I also earned another $20 in loyalty points with my shopping this week, to use later. My family jokes that if the apocalypse happens, we’re ready for it!
    *Hubby came home this week and told me he will have a $1.50 increase in pay on his next pay stub. He is very pleased as he has had several pay increases already in only 2 years compared his previous job of 15 yrs and it’s only a 10 min commute from home (previous job was 3hr total commute per work day). He said he wishes he had switched jobs way before this, but I reminded him that it really was the best timing when he did switch. My pay will also significantly increase this year due to a province wide minimum wage increase (I make above minimum, but the increase bumped my pay up too). This means we will be able to save even more than ever before!
    *DD had an eye exam. Cost for exam was covered under her disability. I did have to pay $20 for one thing not covered, which can be claimed on our income taxes later. With much drama, we finally got the drops in her eyes this year (couldn’t get her to do it at all last year). Now that she has experienced this once, we hope it will be easier next time (the fun and joy of dealing with Autism!) No change in her prescription, so no new glasses needed this year. DD was disappointed. I think she likes picking out new glasses. Though her co-operation wasn’t perfect, we rewarded her successes with lunch out. Used coupons to make it cheaper.
    *I participated in 2 volunteer events this week. On Thursday, the pioneer village I work at was asked again this year to put on a free, one day, mini event at the mall (this week was March Break for the schools in our area). I helped as a volunteer, and had fun doing weaving demos. Then on Saturday, the Spinners & Weavers Guild hosted their annual Fibre Arts Festival & Sale. I was asked to be lead organizer for admissions, so spent the day there. Both events were extremely busy and definitely a success! I made sure to bring a healthy bagged lunch and reusable water bottles filled with ice water from home to both events.
    *DD and a friend used the city transit by themselves one day, which was a huge success. Learning to navigate public transit is a very useful and undervalued life skill to know, in my opinion. Hubby and I have even used public transit in foreign countries (including countries we don’t even speak or read the language), to get around while on vacation! Would never have attempted this if I wasn’t familiar with how the systems worked at home. I’m so proud DD and her 13yr old friend managed to do it on their own.

    Looking forward to catching up with everyone else and learning new frugal tricks along the way. Wishing you all a wonderful week!

  15. I also gave my oldest and youngest a haircut 🙂
    I started cleaning out my flowerbeds but have yet to start my gardens. I can’t do LED bulbs they give me a headache so no savings there. They also can interrupt some people sleep patterns because of the spectrum of light they use.

  16. Even though I caught the crud that is going around, my husband was able to go to the store 3 times over the weekend to get the bargains from each place. He did a stellar job and his biggest score was 10 boxes of butter for $1.89 each. When I saw that pop up on my Safeway app, I told him that there was usually a limit, but to check. There was no limit this time! After the great butter hunt I’ve been on for months, this was amazing! I’ve been able to get a couple of boxes here and there for my desired price of $2/lb or less, but they haven’t been plentiful! He also got 2-lb bags of shredded cheese for $3.99 each. He also did all the driving with the kids, cooking, cleaning and watered the greenhouse every day. I am very thankful for him and all he does.

    I picked a bouquet of daffodils from our yard. There were several kinds planted by the previous owners, plus the 150+ bulbs my daughter planted out front, so there are flowers galore right now. The ones the previous owners planted seem to be opening at different times, which stretches the season out. The flowerbeds are compacted mud, and the grass is so moss-filled and actually squishes when you walk through it. I cannot work out there, yet, but am eager to do so when it dries out a bit.

    Before I got sick, I cooked a turkey we had purchased very inexpensively last Thanksgiving. It was supposed to be for the extended family Sunday dinner that we have every week, but they are sick, too, so we had to freeze most of it. I got as far as boiling the bones, and my husband strained and froze it. Now there will be plenty of broth and turkey bits for future meals.

    I planted peas. I put a picture of how I did it in my too-wet garden on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/weekly-update-saving-money-march-18-2018/

    I watched endless t.v. and read book after book. I checked out 3 books before I got sick, and 2 were fine–1 is going right back, unread. I did download several free Kindle books and a couple of Library 2 Go books, and may do that again today.

    I drank loads of tea, purchased on sale a few weeks ago. I think I’ve used at least 1/2 a box so far! I use each tea bag for 2-4 cups of tea. The last cup is pretty weak, but at this point, I figure I just need liquid down the hatch! I have an Insta-hot in my sink, so it’s just a matter of seconds to make the tea or re-fill the cup, which is so nice when I’m not feeling my best. I’m very thankful we put that in when we moved in here. It was something we had at our old house that I knew I used all the time, so I really wanted one here.

  17. I love the pictures and can’t wait to start working out side when we move to our new home.

    I found a small bottle of Neem oil that was used at a friends home while helping put stuff away and they gave it to me since they got it in a box at an auction and wouldn’t use it. I went through Swagbucks to get my taxes done to help save up SB to get 2 gift cards as I have 2 weddings this fall and both put on their registers gift cards. I ordered my meds for my Crohns through Amazon using a giftcard I was given to lower the price as that is the lowest price I can find. My son has 2 corner cabinets in his kitchen, one a lazy susan which isn’t suppose to let things fall off they still do and anther is just a straight deep shelf that my son put a small rolling tray in to pull things from the back to keep from having to crawl in the cabinet. I told my contractor about the deep shelf and he is going to do that in 209 and that will save us around $200.. More on Blog Blessed Be Juls
    http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2018/03/being-frugal-at-209.html

  18. It looks like you had a wonderful frugal week.
    I was so glad to be home and busy around the house. Back in September and October we purchased a couple of cases of local apples and have kept them very cold in a refrigerator in our garage. We have been eating them since then, but now they are starting to go soft. I sorted through the apples that were left, pulled out a bag full to eat for snacks and lunches and used the rest to can 5 quarts of apple pie filling. I shut off this extra refrigerator to save electricity. I made an apple pie for pi day.
    I set aside some of the apple peels and cores and set them to brew for vinegar.
    I made homemade bread and hamburger buns. I cooked a big pot of dried pintos and divided them into portions for meals and put them in the freezer.
    I planted seeds to grow tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and chard seedlings in flats and put them under a grow light in my guest bedroom. I also planted lettuce, arugula, broccoli and chard in the greenhouse. It’s still quite cold out there, but the soil temperature in the greenhouse beds is warm enough the seeds should germinate. I raked up a bunch of wood chips and added them to my compost pile.
    My husband changed the oil in our car, using oil he bought on sale last month.
    I had my almost-last follow-up from my thyroid surgery last September. When I told the doctor how much the every-six-weeks blood tests are costing now that my annual health insurance deductible has started over for the year, he agreed we could go to every six months and then every year. This will save me a lot of money, as the tests cost me $134 out of pocket. Now I wish I had spoken up sooner.

  19. Brandy do you have a post or can you recommend one elsewhere that shows how to earn that many swagbucks? $25 per month would be great to Sams or Target to help with diapers! Love your blog.

  20. Maxine, I make sure to grow daffodils listed to zone 8 and 9 in order to have enough chilling hours that they will rebloom without needing to be dug. They are smaller flowers than those that grow elsewhere. Most daffodils are good to zone 7, but there are some that will make it in warmer climates. That said, my yellow ones need to be dug and separated as they are flowering less and less because of overcrowding.

  21. Marilyn,

    Our weather is all weird here too. It was in the 70’s in January and then we had frost the third week in February, which is AFTER our last frost date. The garden is so confused and trees that bloom in February are just now blooming–except for those that bloomed on time and then froze. It’s been a very odd spring.

  22. Emily, I get most of my Swagbucks with referral points. On my own I don’t earn many. There are people who post how to get more; I know Lilli, one of my readers, is very good at it and gets many more all on her own. Hopefully she will give you some suggestions.

  23. The local nursery has had the same manager for around 12 years now. There are a few regular employees who have been there for years (even longer than the manager); everyone else is seasonal help and they come and go. I know the manager and regular employees by name and when I have questions, they are the ones I ask. I am there most in early spring; the nursery is not far and I watch the ads online for sales, so I try to get each of my items on sale when there are things I want (for example, right now I am waiting for them to get in more fruit trees and have their sale on them).

    What is the lemon vinaigrette recipe that you used? That combination sounds wonderful to make when I start having cucumbers ready in the garden.

  24. I was disappointed this week when a small check I was expecting didn’t arrive. I had hoped to use it to stock on on some great sale prices on some items I use regularly. However, I used what I had to buy a package each of rolled oats and orzo.

    I took three books in to the exchange shelf that our local library runs, and brought home three books to read.

    For several years I have had enough airline points available to book airfare somewhere North America. The points were about to expire and I had no plans to travel, so I was trying to decide between a $200 Costco gift car or $200 at Home Hardware, which sells household goods as well as hardware. When I went in to the website to place the order, I saw a Best Buy gift card as well, which sells electronics and appliances. Although I have spent several hundred dollars on computer repairs this year, I know I will need to replace this computer over the next year and would likely buy it there, so I ordered the $200 Best Buy card. This will encourage me to save the rest of what I need.

    I spent a very quiet week at home, transcribing, since I didn’t have any cash available to spend. The result is this week, I’ll have a little more money come in than usual, so I can take advantage of some excellent sale prices in the sale flyer from the other store in town.

  25. When the lack of quarters kept me from vacuuming the inside of my car, I went home and used a portable vacuum we have. I also wiped down all the inside surfaces. Ah, a clean car!!

    I cleaned out and organized the bathroom vanities (lots of expired OTC stuff to throw away), the Christmas decorations (Lots of donations), the gift wrapping supplies and my bedroom dresser. (We are packing for a temporary move and the possibility of a permanent move). I polished more of my shoes that I will be storing for six months.

    To clean out the pantry and freezer, I continued to eat from the freezer rotating soups – southwestern, pasta e fagioli and quinoa and bean. I ate more of the canned beets and corn. I baked the last cake mix (bought in large quantities a year ago, as well as lots of brownie mixes), making devil’s food cupcakes for a church event and from scratch icing. I used the last of autumn pureed pumpkin from the freezer to make a double recipe of pumpkin bread/muffins. As we work on the current food, we are buying only a few groceries each week – milk, eggs, sliced cheese, and a few other items. We are spending on hiring people to do maintenance work in our house – stretching the carpets in two rooms, fixing the gate, reseating the toilets, grouting, etc. Our house is only five years old so everything is in pretty good condition, but we just had a few things that needed attention.

    Spring is almost here. Hooray!!

  26. It looks like we will have a sunny day here and I’m going to try to spray hydrogen perioxide on a vintage tablecloth that has a couple of difficult stains. Thank you for the inspiration Brandy! I appreciate all your wonderful hints. I haven’t posted here for awhile but I have been reading your posts and the fantastic comments left by your readers.
    My frugal accomplishments of the last week:

    Altering a dress that was given to me but didn’t fit well in the shoulders. I have narrow shoulders and this has been a tricky process but I think the final result looks good. The dress is a shirtwaist style that I like and I will be happy to wear it this spring.

    I was frustrated that I couldn’t pump any more foundation make-up out of the container and could see that there was quite a bit left. I had bought a new jar, but then thought to check online if someone had figured out how to open that type of container and use the remaining make-up. I found instructions and am happily using the rest of the original jar. I also found instructions on how to blend lipstick colors and have combined two lipsticks I wasn’t using into a shade that I like.

    Happily accepted opera tickets that wouldn’t have been used otherwise and enjoyed an evening out. Our only cost was gas and parking, five dollars.

    I’m thankful for Overdrive and the ebooks and audiobooks I can check out from the library. I listen to audiobooks while I am knitting.

    Listened to Swedish radio on an app, found a new app for free classical music, and practiced Mandarin with the Hello Chinese app for free. I am amazed at the way technology enhances my life.

    I love your blog, thanks for the wonderful ideas and positive outlook!

  27. I have found that when there is something I want to purchase that is limited to a certain number, that I make two separate purchases one right after the other. I always ask the cashier beforehand to make sure it is okay. Saves time and gas.

  28. Our weather finally was warm and dry all at once outside, so most of my laundry was line dried this weekend.
    We were gifted with tickets to a wonderful play, along with a one night stay in a nearby hotel and a dinner before the play! We packed a cooler so we wouldn’t buy anything else while traveling (3 hours each way). The breakfast came with the overnight stay, so we made sure to have that. As a bonus, we fueled the car just as we were heading home, for 30 cents less per gallon than we pay locally.
    I pinched the tops of my basil plant to make it bush out, and used the pinched part in cooking.
    I made another batch of kombucha.
    I wrapped a gift for a family member in gift wrap I received from a charity mailing, then put a bow saved from a previous gift on top. The box was one that a mailed prescription came in.
    I cut up some whole chickens and saved all the scraps — skin, neck, breastbone, offal bits still clinging to the carcass — in a bag in the freezer. I will add cooked bones to the bag as we eat the chicken, then I’ll make broth in the crock pot with the bag contents, cooking it 24 hours to get a good, rich, golden broth. I always add a bit of apple cider vinegar to help draw out the minerals.
    I went to the store and got only what I needed.

  29. I have never lived where water is scarce, so reading this blog has made me sensitive to how I would save water if I needed to.
    This makes it particularly painful that we woke up Sunday morning to no hot water: the water heater was leaking onto the basement floor and needs to be replaced. Draining it and wasting all the water was painful, not just because it was expensive but because it was wrong! I don’t have any way to store many gallons other than the few jugs I save from the dehumidifier for houseplants, and we have had so much rain this spring that running it outside now wouldn’t be helpful. We don’t have rain barrels or anything like that because we rarely have to water outside plants.
    Love the pea flower pictures. I attempt to grow sweet peas but the squirrels eat the blossoms. Yet I will try again this year!

  30. My frugal accomplishment is actually my daughter’s who is getting her first house ready. She found a polyester top sheet with a pretty pattern at Goodwill for $1.99 Our local dollar store sells shower curtain liners. They’re not terribly sturdy but when they start to grow mildew you can turn them into drop cloths or something else and get a new one. She used the liner as a pattern and cut a shower curtain from the sheet, sewed buttonholes for the shower curtain hooks and used the leftover sheet to make a matching window curtain. Total investment was $2.99.
    She needs curtains for all the house windows and thrift stores usually don’t have enough for a room or the right size so her solution for needing lots of fabric to cover old, single pane windows was drop cloths. They’re a cotton/linen blend, come in wide widths and wash up beautifully. A contrasting piece of check fabric is going to make the headers for the curtain rods and tie backs. Less than $20 for long, custom made curtains for a room.

  31. In spite of everything this week, it seems we were still able to accomplish saving some money.

    *Reese, my youngest son, went to get his taxes done for the first time this year because they are no longer simple. He has invested his savings in the stock market because he wants to make a fortune to invest in his aquaponics business. He is 24 years old and is so far ahead of me when I was that age. Anyway, his Dad said his taxes were beyond his ability to figure so Reese went to our local H.R. Block. He called us while on his way to the bank to get cash. They were charging him $289.00 to figure his taxes and would only take cash! We told him that was gouging especially since they only figured the taxes, offered no suggestions as to how he could get the $3,000 tax bill down by investing in an IRA or something. They spent 10 minutes punching in the numbers. Needless to say, my frugal son returned and canceled the request. His Dad told him even if he was fined for making a mistake if he figured it himself, it would be better than paying them for nothing. My husband will now help Reese the best he can.

    *Rotating the expired food out of the pantry has been a smashing success! All three sons were home this weekend for the last time for a long time so I cooked and cooked! For the first time ever, I ran out of flour! Really! Me who has a full, stuffed, never-ending pantry ran out of flour! It was a shock. I kept thinking there was a bag behind something somewhere, but there wasn’t. I did have 50-pound bags of whole wheat flour, barley, and buckwheat, but no white flour. My husband volunteered to get in the car and drive to the store and buy some (he really wanted biscuits with his sausage and eggs). I don’t remember the last time we actually drove to the store to buy something I was out of.

    *I have found a recipe to use up the three cases of canned tomatoes. Salsa! My family loves salsa with chips so I have been experimenting with different recipes and the store bought nasty tomatoes are disappearing. Nothing beats my homegrown, fresh from the garden canned salsa, but with enough corn chips and hot peppers to dull the flavor, the new recipes are actually edible. I throw no food away (unless there is a fear of botulism).

    *All my other news is bad, sad to say. I have started my seeds inside but they have begun to mold. It is too cool in my laundry room even with a heat mat. I sealed the vent last summer when I realized ladybugs were coming in through the vent. The small room quickly cools or heats when you open the door but I have kept the door closed to save on electricity. I will need to replant them and move them to another room. My three sons are all applying for jobs in different states and I can’t stop crying. My mother’s vision has deteriorated even more rapidly. The hopes of her being able to live alone independently is not possible. Even with all the great ideas and suggestions from wonderful people on this site, my Mom is not able to adapt to the changes. I have realized it, she has not.

    Life here is not happy at all.

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.blogspot.com

  32. We picked all our oranges and grapefruit off our trees. The majority I gave away, but some of the oranges I juiced and then froze it. I kept my grocery shopping to a minimum but blessed a family and took them shopping to Costco and loaded them up with food. Made a few double batches of dinners who I then gave half of it to my Daughter and her family. I earned some CVS ` ECBs last week and need to figure out how I want to use them. Decided to start thinning out my clothes and made a big pile which I will donate in the next few weeks. Continuing to try and do my errands in chunks and only getting gas now every 3 weeks or so. And continuing to teach my Daughter how to grocery shop on a budget.

  33. Congratulations Garden Pal on your up and coming retirement! My Husband retires next year also! If your interested there is a great FB group of wonderful women, its called Retirement planning for Women!

  34. Oh, good! I love me my daffodils, but not enough to dig them up and replant every year! Seems like that would be a job for someone who doesn’t have anything to do with their time, and Lord knows that isn’t you!

  35. The photo of the snowpeas makes me want to plant some when the garden finally thaws out. So pretty and delicious.

    I made cocoa mix, following the recipe in the book Cheaper & Better and using ingredients already in the house. I rooted two celery plants in glasses that I need to plant in a flowerpot. I need to buy celery one more time and then I should be set to harvest the occasional stalk for seasoning from the flowerpot for months to come.

    I actually completed the first warmup routine last night from the book Over 50 & Fit, adding just one wimpy exercise per day. It will take about two months for me to work through the complete set of warmup and cool-down routines. I also am going to start walking a few more steps each day, starting today. By the middle of summer, I should be feeling stronger. I became sedentary after I hurt myself by falling into splits on a deck years ago. When I am sitting still, nothing hurts. Huge incentive to sit! But eventually, with all that sitting around, I become almost as weak as a 94-year-old. Not good.

    We went to Kroger’s and spent $39, a savings of $31 off their regular prices. But that shopping trip wrecked my seven week experiment of trying to live on a $43/week food budget at the grocery store and for occasional fast food. Overall, I averaged less than $49, our new goal.

    But 94-year-old mom does like to eat out-and that means inside a restaurant once flu season finally wraps up. It will wrap up, won’t it? Our new, increased grocery budget of $49 started yesterday. Mom insisted we go out. She wanted either Bob Evans or Panera’s soup. Homemade or canned soup wasn’t going to satisfy her. So we went for a drive. She ordered a senior coffee at McDonald’s, chicken soup at Panera’s, and a little chicken slider from Arby’s. Poof, there went about $7 and an extra thirty miles on the car. I think we need to separate the eating-out money from the food budget.

    I told my sister in a phone call what we spent on food for the last seven weeks and she couldn’t believe me. First, she insisted we had raided my food storage in the basement. No, I hadn’t touched it (although the cans of dried strawberries are tempting). Then she insisted we had eaten our way through the pantry in the kitchen. No, we certainly had eaten from it, but it is nearly as full as when we had started-and a quick trip to Dollar Tree with $10 would fill it back up. Then she said we had eaten our way through the freezer. No, we need to because some things are getting old. We are light on meat in the freezer but that is only because mom is not a fan of pork so I couldn’t restock with 89 cents/pound pork chops. Then she attacked our diet, stating that we couldn’t be eating the recommended amounts. I rattled off mom’s typical daily diet, emphasizing her fruit and vegetable consumption and conceding that we were light on the intake of green leafy vegies. But that wasn’t because of the budget but rather due to bad habits, lazy tastebuds, and, in mom’s case, 94-year-old teeth. Later, I sent my sister a couple of links to $50 and less food plans from Pinterest to show her that it isn’t rocket science. I still think she thinks it is impossible. I know it would be much more difficult for her because I have seen how her husband can inhale a roast beef. Our mom tried softening things by saying that maybe food is more expensive out west. I said MAYBE because my sister lives in a small city but she has the 99 Cents Only store and we don’t.

    I hope my sister does turn her attention to her grocery budget. Money is tight because my sister, her husband, and kid are bunked up with their youngest daughter, her husband, and two little kids while my sister and her husband have their new home built-and to provide some built-in babysitters for the grandbabies whilr their parents work outside the house. The littlest grandson had to be life-flighted to Phoenix Friday because of complications of RVS. The brand new baby had come home to a house filled with flu. He escaped that but picked up RVS, perhaps while at the doctor office for his big brother who isn’t yet two. So his mommy, my niece, who caught the flu too while recovering from a c-section done to avoid a breech birth, is worrying about her little baby in ICU after a lung collapsed twice. In the three weeks between birth and life-flight, he was doing very well-nursing beautifully, sleeping soundly, and proving that his lungs were nice and strong with his loud cries when he had a wet diaper. I haven’t heard yet how he is doing today, but yesterday his grandma didn’t sound TOO worried.

    I still intend to make bread (today?) and to assemble a biscuit mix with butter instead of shortening that we can keep in the refrigerator. I broached the idea of a pre-made mix to mom to simplify her biscuit-making. She liked the idea of just having to moisten some mix with milk before shaping and baking them. She had liked the cocoa mix and I told her the biscuit mix comes from the same book.

    I hope you all are able to focus on prudence and thrift instead of health crises during the coming week. I an wishing for a week full of peace, joy, and steady recovery for those who are ill.

  36. The kids and I used a gift card for lunch out at Arby’s. I rented Karate Kid from the library and we had a fun retro afternoon on their Friday off from school.

    In other news–thinking back to your discussion about books awhile back, I am currently reading a murder mystery “cozy” by a new author named Jessica Ellicott. The book is called Murder in an English Village. It’s a charming book, a light read, and clean! (I haven’t finished it yet, but from the style of the book, I don’t anticipate any issues). The book is set in the 1920s in a small town in England after the war. Two friends of very different personalities team up to solve a village mystery. It’s so rare to find what I think of as an old-fashioned good read that I wanted to share that news with you. 🙂

  37. Flowers and tomatoes- oh my!! Bless the guy for thinking of you. Here’s my frugal ways last week:
    – Won 2nd place=$25 in a chili/stew/soup cook-off at work. Every ingredient for the winner-Brunswick stew and veggie 3 bean taco soup came out of pantry/freezer.
    -Freebies at store= a gallon of milk, a bag of popcorn, a small bottle of apple juice, a box of cereal, one ramen noodle cup, 18 ct of eggs.
    – Gifted= a box of microwave popcorn (regifting due to we don’t eat it.) Mac & cheese and a sleeve of graham crackers (Nanny made for DS.), 1/2 of a giant bag of salad (from contest), 1/2 of large container of sour cream (from contest), a whole container of a high end salad that had sliced roasted chicken and apples in it, 3 sandwiches, 3 small bags of chips, pickles.
    -Since ToysRUs is closing, DH went and got some things to save for upcoming holidays gifts at 60% off.
    -Sold one item on Ebay.
    -Listed things to sell on other online sites.–
    -Used rebate apps to get some money back along with coupons at store.
    -Collected points on Swagbucks.
    -Dehydrated several things= greens to make 11/2 cups of green powder; orange peels (free from Reality) to make about a cup of dried orange zest; some cherry tomatoes. I will probably dehydrate the rest of the gifted salad before it goes bad. I also want to dehydrate a large bag of frozen vegetables to clear up room in freezer.
    -Made 1000 Island dressing from scratch for grilled Ruebens for St. Patrick’s day.
    -Made a batch of chocolate chip cookies from pantry stock.
    -I started saving up cash ($10-$15 a month since last December) to stock up on paper products at Sam’s. Should last several months.
    I hope everyone has a blessed week- It looks like we will be getting a wee bit of snow and ice Wednesday…Strange weather for central NC.

  38. I love, love, love that you could use the forlorn pajama leg! Mistakes happen, and a person is never quite sure what to do with the results. That’s a great use:)

  39. Beautiful spring photos, Brandy!

    Living frugally this past week in urban Seattle:

    – We rode our bikes and kept our car parked all week for our transportation needs. Unfortunately, we had three flat tires in one week! I patched and replaced tubes ourselves, except for on my bike, which is a cargo long-tailed bike (it is large and heavy and allows me to transport cargo and/or kids on it). I couldn’t get the back wheel off to save my life! So I had to take it to the shop. I did make the bike repair guy show me how to do it in the future, so I’ll take that as a frugal win.

    – Hamilton the Musical came and left Seattle and they had a lottery for $10 tickets, which we never won. I’ve been obsessed with the show and hoped to go. We looked up tickets for the final days to see if there was anything reasonable and there wasn’t so I passed. I would have felt guilty blowing our budget on those tickets. Hopefully there will be another opportunity to see it.

    – Our short-term tenant needs to stay with us two more weeks, so that’s another half month of rent income for us. It will go straight to savings for moving expenses this summer.

    – I found some Ghiradelli melting chocolate marked down to $1 in the mark down bins of my neighborhood Fred Meyers. I bought some sale-priced strawberries and the kids and I had a good time making chocolate covered strawberries. Still trying to figure out what to make with the rest of the chocolate.

    – Borrowed a tree pruner from a neighbor. We only have one tree and we’re moving, so I didn’t want to invest in one. I was thankful she let us borrow it, as our tree really needs a good pruning.

    – Cleaning out my boys’ room and created a “tween basket” for a friend who has a son turning 12 and they are on a very tight budget. She will gift these items to her child. Lots of Minecraft and Star Wars books and fun gadgets that are still in really great shape, so I hope he will like them.

    – Another successful week of meal planning…I’m almost good at it now! I can’t remember the last time we ate a meal out at a restaurant.

  40. I tried the Little White Snow peas last year. They were supposed to take 30 days, but took longer for me. How did that turn out for you, Brandy? Did they ripen in 30 days where you live? Do the purple ones grow quickly, too? I found the size was smaller than the Oregon Sugar Pod II, my usual kind, and went ahead and saved money and ordered a mega pack of just those this year, since I plant them about every 2-3 weeks from as early as I can get in the garden until late summer, just a few at a time. But, the white ones that did grow were very tender and great tasting.

  41. I’m sorry about your mom. I hope you can all find a solution that will work for her, in the easiest possible fashion.

    I guess the “it’s all gone” disease has struck your house, too! It’s so odd when you go look for something you are sure you have and you don’t!! But, it happens.

  42. Jeannie, I’m a CPA and use Turbo Tax to do my personal taxes. Their interview forms make the process really simple, even for people that know nothing about taxes. I’ve found them to be really accurate as well. I would not recommend one of those pop-up tax places (H&R Block, American Tax, etc). In our area, they hire untrained people right before tax season and give them only a few hours training in tax prep. And then price gouge and upsell their customers. It’s borderline unethical. If you feel more comfortable with a live person, try a local bookkeeper or tax prep person. They tend to be much cheaper than a full blown CPA firm and many of them are either CPAs or IRS enrolled agents.

  43. I pruned our azalea bush and brought in the pretty flowers. I arranged them using Brandy’s tutorial. After taking a picture of them, I sent the virtual flowers to two friends who were having a rough week. They appreciated that I thought of them. This did not cost me a penny. After a week, the flowers are still going strong.

    I dug up some potato fingerlings from plants that have dried up. Some were green, so I reburied them for another go round.

    Pork shoulder steaks were on sale for 99 cents per pound last week, so I Ibought a 7 pound pack. I cut the bones out with some meat attached. I boiled them, and we had those for dinner for 2 nights. The meat were separated into 8 dinner portions, which usually serves us 2 dinners per portion. I will make soup with the defatted, rich bone broth. I buried the bones in our caged garden to become bone meal. For under 7 dollars, we will be provided 20 meals of protein. Very thankful!

    I could not get over that an acquaintance BOUGHT a bag of rags from the hardware store! He gave me the overage from his project.The rags were simply old shirts that were cut up! It is sad that he will probably buy another bag for his next project. I don’t know this person well enough to give suggestions.

    Have a great frugal week, everyone! Thank you, Brandy, for your time, expertise and bright light!

  44. Our nearby thrift store has “items for free” box by the door inside. If I really feel like shopping, I go and check that. I always find some items for me or someone else. I do not even go further inside the store. Often I leave stuff there too.
    I have been keeping myself busy showering,
    potting and moving around my many indoor plants. Also adding leaf shine spray. Love it! Leads nicely to spring cleaning. I’ll go get some good potting soil from our sheep farm soon. Packed it up a while ago. Ill put some seeds to grow. Only what I already have.
    Thanks to everybody here!

  45. I think Oregon Sugar Pod are marked as 85 days. I have been having trouble with my fall plantings; they keep getting eaten by pill bugs! Planting the Little Snow Pea White in January seems to take care of that and I am getting peas in March instead of just in April from October planted seeds. The Oregon Sugar Pod was fall planted (October/November) and by April I lose my plants to powdery mildew every year (it gets too hot for peas then, too, because it’s above 90° by then). It’s not 30 days for me, but everything always takes twice as long as the packets say for me.

    I didn’t think about it, but yes, they are definitely smaller than the Oregon Sugar Pod ones.

  46. Jen, have you considered sold tires? This is what we did for all of our older children’s bikes (that will fit them; one has tires that are too narrow). They are more money than new inner tubes, but in the long run, they save constant replacing of inner tubes, which is a big deal when you, like us, are using bicycles for regular transportation.

    Your chocolate will last a long time in the pantry, but if you want to use it up before you move, you can make easter candy with it!

  47. One more thing. We have 2 volunteers helping out in our sheep farm currently. From USA and Italy. I realized it may be frugal info for someone. I have listed us as hosts on http://www.workaway.info, helpx.net and wwoof. First one works the best for us. For hosts listing is free. Last year we had volunteers from 10 different countries.
    also I rent out a room in town via Airbnb.

  48. Those snow pea blossoms are beautiful! And I’ll have to give that hydrogen peroxide trick a try the next time I have yellowed whites. Brandy, do you have any recommendations for vegetables to grow in spots that aren’t particularly sunny?

    I’ve been blogging my frugal accomplishments over at my blog each day this week. A few of the highlights from the past week are:

    1. I bought an energy efficient clothes dryer using a coupon. I sold our old dryer on Craig’s List for $80.
    2. I got 40 pounds of Zaycon Fresh chicken breasts for 99 cents a pound, which is a fantastic price in my area.
    3. We paid an extra $1500 toward our mortgage principle.
    4. I picked up several things for free from my Buy Nothing Group, including two unopened bottles of mouthwash, a trunk full of firewood, and a set of fireplace tools.
    5. I redeemed a total of $66.49 in cash back rewards from our credit cards. We strategically use our credit cards for everyday purchases to maximize our cash back rewards and we do not carry a balance ever, so this is free money.

  49. I am sorry about the difficulties you are having right now. My husband took 100 hours of training to become a volunteer Tax Counselor for AARP. One doesn’t have to be poor or old or anything else to get FREE tax preparation assistance through this program. You can find out more about it at this site: https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/

    The trickiest thing about this is simply if they have more appointments left in your area. There are a few issues they won’t deal with, but those are listed. My husband owned his own business for years, has always done taxes for us as well as our kids as they became tax payers. It boggles my mind that anyone would do this for fun, but it sure is convenient that I married such a guy.

  50. Thank you for the suggestions…I will look into solid tires (haven’t heard of them!). I was thinking of all of your chocolate creations when I realized how much unused chocolate I would have and Easter would be perfect! I’ll have to do a little research.

  51. *We had a small case lot sale go in near my house. Some of the prices were very good on a few things I needed. We use facial tissue (Kleenex). They had it on sale for 79c. I can’t get it on sale for less than 99c. So I stocked up. The store also had sliced olives on sale for 59c. I’ve had a hard time finding sliced olives on case lot sales. So that was another stock up for me. They had cases of 28 pack of water for 1.99. They usually are 24 pack of bottled water for 1.99. I haven’t seen the price drop below that for a long time so we grabbed six cases.

    *Made all meals at home except for our date night. I do menu plan each week but find that it will change slightly due to what needs to be used up. We had German Pizza, Honey Mustard Chicken Salad with cornbread, Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas, Shrimp Fried Rice, Cracked Out Taco Soup, Beef Roast & Gravy with Mashed Potatoes & Veggies.

    *For our date night we got takeout from a buffet Mexican restaurant. It’s cheaper to do that than sit in the restaurant. They charge by weight.

    *Ran full loads of laundry. Cleaned the lint tray thoroughly.

    *Requested, received and have been reading many library books. It’s hard to find good, clean books to read so I’m always delighted to have favorite authors put out new books.

    *My husband is finishing our family room in our basement. Doing the work ourselves has saved so much money. Plus we’ve been so careful in how we spend money for the things we need.

    *We decided to really cut back on how we do Easter in our family. This year we decided to give all the kids new towels and socks and little candy.

    *We received a huge dental bill with a notice to pay now. I called the office and was able to get them to resubmit again to our dental insurance company with additional information and also to submit to our medical insurance.

    Love the pictures and hearing about what you are getting from your garden. It all looks so lovely and peaceful.

  52. Yep! It was 79 degrees Fahrenheit at BWI (Baltimore Washington International) Airport on 2/21. A friend who lives in Las Vegas said you all had a high of 49 degrees that day. I know it will be hot in July and August, but I would love to have temps around 60, as we had today and yesterday. Hard to believe that our sunny weather is going to turn to snow in less than 36 hours. Sigh…

  53. Thank you. We love the ocean so much! We always end up back there no matter where else we roam–that and the mountains. We are truly blessed with many options here in Oregon.

  54. I have a much milder climate than you do, which is why I can get away with planting all summer. That is a big blessing for me, as they seem to lose something if I freeze them. I’ve done it before, but we mainly eat all we can all summer, and give away the rest, or take them to family dinners and potlucks and so forth to use them up.

    Thanks for the information. I’m always experimenting with new varieties and wondered if it was just me or if it took longer for you as well. I love seeing what you do with your garden.

  55. The other thing I am liking about the Little Snow Pea White is that they don’t get 6 feet tall like the Oregon Sugar Pod. This means I can grow them under my grape vines. By the time they’re done, the grape vines are leafing out. I haven’t done that much before but I started doing it this year to get more peas from the garden.

  56. I love that we haven’t had the A.C. or heat on for almost two months. The rainy weather keeps the house at a comfortable temperature. This week’s rain has changed to a cloud of yellow pollen. I will hang most of our laundry to dry in our sunniest room and dry one load of towels each week at the laundry mat. Our new eating plan is working well.I am down 12 pounds in 5 weeks. Who would have known that spaghetti squash really is delicious as noodles. We have much less food waste and are enjoying all things in season. We made a trip to the dollar salvage store and picked up some much desired items. I found Systane eye drops and a large pack of pain patches. That saved me close to thirty dollars. Seasonal allergies affect us all really bad but for some reason, I am having extreme eye allergy symptoms. Swelling, itching, and pain. I bought a travel size baby shampoo to wash them out with and think I will try the netti pot tonight. We found many wanted items at the Wal-Mart salvage store. I bought 30 no. 10 cans of Augason Farms foods for $3.00 a can. No dents and 10, 20 , or 30 year storage life. I picked out the most valuable items. Milk, eggs, protein, fruit and a couple potatoes. This will be a great asset to our long term storage. We picked up an assortment of inexpensive items at a third salvage store. My daughter’s favorite were 4 of the large boxes of Hickory Farms summer sausage Xmas gift sets for $2.00 a piece. We have had the sausage and cheese with crackers for several snacks. At 25.00 a box during the holidays, this is something I just wouldn’t normally buy. My biggest saving this week was the replacement purchase of my cell phone. When I originally looked at prices, I just didn’t see anything I was willing to pay. 10 days later, I found a great deal and being patient paid off. That saved me 60 dollars for doing without a few days. Mainly we are just staying home and trying to practice every thrifty/frugal tip we can. I hope everyone is having a great week.

  57. Good Afternoon Brandy,
    Love Spring, and all of the beautiful flowers to enjoy. My husband and I are planning to go to the Tulip and Daffodil festival in Skagit County Wa next month. We go each year. It’s so beautiful and if interested you can see pictures on the website. Here we are enjoying also the pretty cherry blossom trees. I was in our garden this week to start work on it, enjoying the sun( at last 🙂 ) . I heard a few bees, so I am excited to start planting our veggies now that we’ve had our last frost. Since Spring is approaching, we usually have little bugs that come into our home and pantry. I’ve tried in the last couple of years to wash the areas and try to keep them from getting into our cup boards and food . I tried to seal tight my pasta’s , beans and such. Do you have a recommendation of a non toxic solution to spray around the interior ? If so, I would appreciate your thoughts.
    I have never heard of using hydrogen peroxide to remove stains on vintage material ~ thank you for posting this.
    I baked a turkey ( from November’s sales ) this weekend. Planning to freeze some meat today for future meals and make a soup.
    We have a sweetie rescue 20 lb poodle/ mix doggie we named Valentino ( Tino ) we got on Valentines Day a couple of years ago. Since it is so expensive to take him in for grooming, I bathed and shaved him myself. He looks ok, I need to learn more on a good shaving technique~ but alas I can now see his face and eyes 🙂 He seemed to enjoy all the pampering from me~
    I am going through my closet, and will send a large bag of older clothes to the thrift store next week. This year we are purging a lot of “stuff” we no longer need in preparation for my husband’s retirement in about 4-7 years.. he is not sure yet.
    I can’t believe how much we have accumulated in all of these years. I know it will be freeing once we finish.
    Have a wonderful week~
    Blessings, Patty from the NW

  58. This is for the last couple of weeks.
    1. Planted pepper and tomato plants in the house. We can’t plant these outside till late May so they must have a head start. By doing it ourselves, we get to plant all the unusual varieties we want. 12 different kinds of peppers (hot and sweet) and 10 different kinds of tomatoes (heirloom, cherry, San marzano, roma, large, grape).
    2. Our local Fred Meyer had turkey breasts for 88¢ a pound. Limit of 5. Bought 5.
    3. We had a grand opening at a store. One of their items was 10 pounds of potatoes for 99¢. Limit of 2. We pass by on our way home from work – so got 4 bags during the sale.
    4. My mother was living with us for the last 4 months. She just turned 95 two weeks ago. Got tips from her for healthy living as you age. That must be frugal. Beats not being healthy anyway. (Really I just wanted to brag that my mother turned 95 and still has her faculties, is mobile and even still cooks and does crossword puzzles.)! I want to be just like her when I grow up. (I am 64 🙂
    5. My older sister was hoping to stay with my mother while her house is being remodeled. She and her DH came via my house, and picked my mother up and took her home. Saved me a trip of over 300 miles, and not much out of their way.
    6. Our local Winco had red bell peppers for 48¢ each. Bought a bunch and made oven roasted chicken fajitas from the budget bytes website. Yum! My sister makes fajita seasoning for me for Christmas and birthdays each year. So was able to use that.
    7. I admit it, we still have cable TV. But, we combined our TV with high speed internet, and our cell phones. Asked for and got reduced rates, got rid of our landline and are saving over $180 per month from prior TV, internet, phone and cell phone rates. Nothing to sneeze at.
    8. I have been working Saturdays lately. My office provides lunch for anyone who comes in on Saturdays.
    9. I have been busy at work and home, so staying out of stores for the most part. Exception is for the turkey and bell peppers mentioned above.
    10. Prepared my taxes and got a refund. I haven’t had a refund in years. We had a significant change in our income, therefore the refund. Used it to pay my property taxes and 3 months of my DH’s Medicare premium. He is retired, but not yet collecting SS.

    I know there were more things, but that is all I can think of at the moment. Hope everyone has a great week ahead.

  59. After I took mom to the foot doc this afternoon, I took her for a ride to enjoy the glorious weather and ended up close to the discount bread store on Hill Road in Mundy Township south of Flint. I stopped and for $3.13 bought the following, all with sell by dates between tomorrow and Friday, inclusive: Italian bread, whole wheat bread, soft rye bread (actually free and the freshest), hamburger buns, and everything bagels. They are all going straight into the freezer and I am postponing the bread baking for a few weeks.

  60. A horticulturaiist told me a remedy for powdery mill dew. Mix 30% milk – any milk even made up dried with 70% water. Need not be exact. Spray it over affected leaves. Works best if you do it at mid day, high sun. Try to catch it when just starting. Repeat as required. Has worked a treat for me with many types of veg.

  61. Becky there are 5 different tv apps 6 if you were grandfathered. You can get 10 points per app per day. I run them on wifi on the phone and ipads and then switch over to the perk apps.

  62. Patty, I have seen photos before and I think it would be wonderful to go; it is one of my dream trips.

    Do you have pantry moths? I have read lots of remedies but having now had them, I can tell you that bay leaves and cinnamon do NOT keep them away; they had no trouble attacking those items in my pantry. They will eat through plastic bags of all kinds, so lining lids with plastic is pointless, as is double bagging.

    They cannot eat through glass; I’ve moved a lot of my food items into glass containers with tightly sealing lids. Of course, they can get under the edges of lids (though not into the container that way) so you have to look when you open lids that have been in your pantry for a bit. You have to keep checking your pantry and wiping things down, too. It’s hard when you have a large pantry like mine; it can take a month to wipe everything down if I spend 4 hours a day doing it!

    Fly traps (the hanging kind) will catch them and they are a LOT cheaper than pantry moth traps. They are of course very sticky so you have to be careful, but once the area warms up they will come out and start laying again. I started buying fly traps in bulk to hang when it is warm.

    If you see even one bug, you have trouble, so be diligent and kill them as fast as possible (a fly swatter works too). They will lay in the corners of the walls by the ceiling, on baskets, on the middle of the wall, etc.

    The eggs are microscopic and they can lay dormant for 10 months, so it’s hard to tell if they are back until it warms up.

  63. Those darn box elder beetles have been finding their way into our house this winter. We have had them outdoors for years but never inside before. Luckily they have only been one at a time and I have removed them myself. It’s normal for them and lady bug beetles to hatch at the sametime on a warm sunny spring day, but it really hasn’t been that warm yet. The last 3 days have been gorgeous with sunshine but I’m not sure it even got above freezing today. I didn’t stand still long enough to check the thermometer too often but it was chilly!

  64. There is also a new SwagIQ quiz show app. I doubt I will ever get all ten questions correct to win a real prize but 5 or so Swagbucks for answering a few questions are nice. I can’t watch it every day, but I try to as often as I can.

  65. I always feel like I have “roots” someplace when I run into people I know in public 😀 Also speaks highly of the nursery that they have so many LT employees.

    The couscous, cuke, feta, lemon vinaigrette recipe is from Budget Bytes. Here’s the link: https://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/06/lemony-cucumber-couscous-salad/

    I thought it would be a warm weather dish for me, but I’ve eaten it all winter long. Delicious. I ended up buying a 5lb bag of Israeli couscous from Amazon using a gift card. I imagine the recipe would be equally delicious made with pasta or rice.

  66. I was too chicken to try that 🙂 I ended up putting groceries in the car and going right back in to buy the second round.

  67. It’s funny! The flannel pant leg I had was a scrap that someone else had given me! Apparently, they got frustrated and just wanted to get rid of that piece because it was “useless”! My kind of treasure!!

  68. Hi Jenny and no we don’t have loads of storage here at all as we live in a 100 square metre 100+ year old workers cottage 🙂 . The cottage is on stumps so we made a makeshift root cellar under the house and store our pumpkins on wood under there to keep them cool and they last about a year under there. Our firewood is also stored there on timber as well.

    We call it carefully crafted storage here and in another small room we have gorilla shelving that we use for stocking other foods we use to a 6 – 12 month level. We do have 2 upright 400lt freezers and a fridge that we blanch and freeze our garden produce in seasons which gives DH & I a full years worth of vegetables without buying any. Fortunate we do have a large linen cupboard in the bathroom where we can store all of our toiletries along with our linens and the spares that don’t fit go on our gorilla shelving in another room.

    We work on the if you can’t go out in storing things you stack upwards on shelves, on top of pantries and in cupboards where it fits.

    I hope this helps

  69. 1. I asked colleagues to save me their plastic milk jugs for winter sowing project, and I prepped the jugs for planting, cutting drain holes etc.
    2. I was fortunate to get free seeds(one year old) at my garden club meeting. I hope to have a big vegetable garden this year, and there were some fun ones to try.

    3. I made home soup from a winter squash from my garden. I topped it with home made croutons, made with bread that would have gone stale.
    4. I dug out And relearned how to use sewing machine and mended some shirts and also a sailboat cover.
    5. I reframed some paintings to give as gifts. I used steel wool to sand some frames I was gifted or got at garage sales, and used house paint to paint the frames in bright colors for my nieces and nephews.
    6. I hung laundry to dry on rack, kept thermometer down low and wore layers, and read my library books.
    I had my mother over for lunch and sent her home with some homemade Irish soda bread and some homemade apricot jam that a friend made to go with it.

  70. Hi Emily , I am not sure if Brandy is referring to me but I do use swagbucks. There are some Facebook groups that you can join and there might possibly be a blog post or two about the best way to accumulate points. I do not participate in these groups but I have a basic idea of how they do it. In addition to searching and doing surveys, these groups share bonus codes to enter for points when they appear. Apparently there are videos/stuff that they seem to continuously stream , some on multiple devices. The rewards are small but add up over the month. I do online shopping at various retailers and always check first to see if my purchase can get any Swagbucks from using their site. I also like to do deals. I signed up for Hulu and got rewards. I also have tried various other channels. Most we did not keep for whatever reason but I am always happy to try it first. I did a deal at the Honest co. That got me 10 shampoos. The package was a BOGO and with the rewards, they were almost free. I keep careful watch over any trials I sign up for so that I can cancel anything that I do not care to continue. My college son just spent 5.00 to try the dollar shave club. I received 20.00 in rewards. He loves the razors and said he will pay to continue them but in a more limited delivery set up. I have been criticized for trying trials and canceling them after the promotional period. I have very little spending money and this is how I try things. After all, this seems to be the point of the trial. I hope no one is offended by this post. Please delete it if you need to. I would not have replied if Brandy had not suggested it. I hope it helps.

  71. * It was a blessing to celebrate our anniversary simply at home, with dinner at extended family’s home.
    * My husband gladly took his lunch to work with him every day.
    * I unplugged the computer every evening to save electricity.
    * We purchased a food item that is non-perishable in bulk to receive a discount of 10%!
    * We paid cash for a new-to-us car with excellent gas mileage and use it for longer trips.
    * We ate all our meals at home.
    * We used a gift card to purchase groceries.

  72. I am in total admiration of your patience, Rhonda, in dealing with a child with autism. We did foster care for 15 years, for long term placements, and for several years we cared for a youngster with autism, until she turned 18 and was placed in an adult group home. At first I thought we could handle it alone but eventually we thankfully accepted having an aide spend a few hours several days a week, taking her out to various activities. Some days, if she’d had a blowout earlier in the day, I was counting the hours until respite arrived. I shed more than a few tears and prayed a lot during those years, not just for her but for us to learn to deal graciously with the various issues that would come up. I think she made me a better person, someone with more compassion when I saw what it took her just to get through ordinary milestones in life. She still comes to have dinner with us about once a month, and we are so proud of how independent she has become, but I am glad we were younger when she lived with us. The energy required some days was enormous and I am not sure I could cope with it in my 50s like I did in my late 20s! You are a hero in my book.

  73. Lorna,
    Our home is a smaller footprint than yours (900 sq ft or about 86sq m) but almost exactly the same size finished (we have a partially finished basement). Upward is definitely the way to go for storage and we’re very fortunate to have cabinets that run all the way to the 8ft ceiling in our kitchen which gives us an extra shelf-worth of storage in each.

    We also have a small chest freezer in the laundry that I use in place of a folding/sorting table. That holds meat and much of the garden produce we blanch and freeze each year.

    I love reading your comments each week. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Lea

  74. Kris: Have you read the Emily Brightwell series about a housekeeper named Mrs. Jefferies? It is set in Victorian England, definitely a “cozy” so not gory or filled with profanity. There are a lot of them in the series, so if you like the first one you have a lot of pleasure in front of you.

  75. Florrie: Maybe you should offer to sell him rags for his next project! HA!! We had a neighbor who would buy new towels every January, saying that she was saving money because that is when things like linens go on sale. I asked her what she did with her old towels and she said she threw them out, but first put a giant X in the middle of each towel with a black Sharpie so that no one would steal them out of the trash and use them. I was so horrified at her spending but even more by ruining perfectly good discarded items so no one else would have them that I obsessed about it for days. Then I remembered that she loves dogs, more than people I think, and I told her the local shelter was in desperate need of towels. I was pretty pleased when she decided to start donating the towels to them every year!

  76. Thank you, Mary Beth! I followed the link and there is a local site in a town close to us. I passed the information on to my husband and he is checking it out. Hopefully, they will have time for us.
    Jeannie

  77. It has not been easy at all. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement and I hope you get to feeling better soon.
    Jeannie.

  78. Thank you, Dara, I have shared this with my husband and both sons. We were all shocked to find out H&R Block gouges but felt glad Reese was able to spot a crook and walk away. I am glad he thought to call us and ask.
    My husband is now searching other options. I am glad he handles taxes every year. I do my part when he is sweating over the numbers and make him good dinners. Tonight he got meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and chocolate homemade ice cream. What could be a better comfort food?
    Jeannie

  79. Kris – I just picked that book up at our used bookstore! I love British “cozy” mysteries and am running out of authors!

  80. I think they’re sending them out in waves, as opposed to all at once. I signed up as soon as it was possible, but only got mine now, at least two weeks after others. Until I got it, I was also wondering where my was because I know that others on this site from Canada have received theirs.

  81. Holly, I live outside of Atlanta GA in a rural area. We have many salvage stores here. There is a man who buys stuff that all cames from Walmart. These boxes are about 4 ft by 4 ft and 3 feet tall. This is anything and everything that customer s have returned for whatever reason. Damaged, torn packages etc… Amazing! He sorts stuff some and prices it but some days are everything is 99 cent day. It is tiring digging into those boxes but the treasures are sometimes great. I got about 5 years worth of razor blades on a 4 for a dollar day. Diapers are 5.00 a package.

  82. Thank you Lea I love to hear about others who make even the smallest of spaces work and multitask areas to suit 😀 . We have 9ft ceilings which helps as well for storage and I love that you use your freezer top as a folding and sorting area in the laundry too. The tops of our pantries and fridge/freezer also have small containers of staples we use in the kitchen stacked on them and small supplies of 10lt storage tubs in there too.

    Truly it is amazing what you can fit in a small space if you really plan things and as you say shelving is the way to go. I am literally amazed how much tinned food we can fit on 2 x 4 shelf 1.5mt high gorilla shelves :o. Of course we stack on the top shelf up to the ceiling with our bulk flours, sugars, oats etc.

    How wonderful you are building a basement too that will help immensely with your storage too our and under the house is the makeshift basement at the moment until we build and buy our new home.

  83. Candy, the shower curtain/matching curtains from thrift store sheets is exactly what I did about 7-8 years ago. I also made curtains for the second bathroom with a sheet in a different pattern. I’ve found that the best sheets for this are poly/cotton blends, and that they show up in thrift stores more often simply because people would rather sleep on 100% cotton. They are a little more difficult to sew, but it’s no biggie. I spent $1 sheet. I cut the curtains from the fitted bottom sheet (I ripped out the corners so it was a flat piece of fabric).

  84. Brandy, would you be able to do a post on how you earn your swag Bucks? When I first started with swagbucks it was pretty easy to accumulate points but have just about given up when they started changing how to earn. Maybe others have suggestions on earning points. Thanks everyone.

  85. Oregon Sugar Pod II is 60 to 70 days and the vines reach about 36”. Those are what I typically grow, but I might try the one with purple flowers. They are so pretty! In my yard, a lot of things take longer than the packets say, but thankfully not peas.

  86. I’m impressed with your capacity to carefully craft storage then. 😀 I store items on fridges and wardrobes too. My place is a shade smaller than both of your places at 75 sq metres. But I’m in the city in an old 1850s terrace.
    I think that’s why I thought Lorna’s place was bigger being in the country, and the 8 months of mouth wash. 😉

    I don’t have room for a chest freezer in my kitchen, bathroom or laundry.

  87. I really think you have the best produce market. I’ve never seen a 5 pound bag of chopped onions for a $1.00 in my life. Most processed onions here would cost at least $8.00 for 2 kilos which is a just under 5 pounds.

  88. Let me guess, steaming the glove… 😀 Serious Congratulations on clearing the CC debt. It’s a real milestone.

  89. I’m going to have to look up all these authors. Fortunately my library is very in ordering items from other libraries.
    Thanks for the recommendations.

  90. Thank you, Mable. Because she has a hidden disability, we rarely get recognized for what we go through. I’m more used to being judged as a bad parent because of how she acts. Your kind words of empathy mean a lot more than you realize.

  91. So I went and double checked which ones I had grown before. I have grown Oregon Sugar Pod and I still had some seeds for those, but the ones I was thinking of that I grew for years are actually Mammoth Melting Sugar, an heirloom from Burpee They grow 48 inches (or more) tall and the pods are 4 1/2 inches long. It’s 68 days on the packet, but fall slowing does slow them down, and October/November planted peas are usually ripe for me in April.

  92. My grandmother used to keep a small chest freezer in her bedroom with a pretty tablecloth over it as a side table. She lived in a small apartment at the time after years on the farm.

  93. Thanks for the recipe link. Sounds like it would be perfect with grilled chicken or brats. Looking forward to trying it.

  94. I earn 10 points a day playing one of the three free games. They are located on the bottom of the game page. Need to play 10 times to earn 10 points and the points are awarded after each two games played. It takes me approximately 6-7 minutes a day depending upon how fast my computer is loading the pages.

    Bonus points are awarded monthly for each day that you meet the swagbucks daily goal. My daily goal assigned by SB is typically between 30-40 points.

  95. My mother in law has been visiting for two weeks. She is a picky eater so I have changed a lot of our meals to accommodate her. She doesn’t like chicken, and we eat a lot of chicken, so my meals have been more done with hamburger and pork loin chops. I bought a pork loin and cut my own chops. When I put in freezer bags I added bbq sauce to one and Italian dressing to one so it marinates as it thaws. I have cooked all meals from home. She took us out one night and she bought Steaks Sunday that we grilled at home.

    I have sold 19 bunnies this last week. I buy the bunnies and embroider the ear. I also sold a bunny hooded towel. In my booth at a craft mall I sold 3 embroidered shirts, 2 pillows, 6 tea towels, a diaper cover, a bowl cozy, 2 bibs, and a baseball.hat. I haven’t been listing as much from around the house on the yardsale site with MIL here, I was listing something every day. I have sold a desk, bookshelf, vase, and platter. My husband made me an L shaped desk, one is 5 ft and one is 6 ft. I have two embroidery machines, a sewing machines, and Cricut on it now. Wish we could pit photos, he did a great job. I bought two table runners at Homegoods that had bunnies on each end. I cut them and made two pillows out if each runner. So, I got 4 pillows and have put them in my booth. I kindof hope they don’t sell so I have to keep them for myself, haha.

    Cut husband’s hair
    I did our taxes, plus our 3 kids still at home’s taxes
    Husband cut dogs hair, it is hard to do and we usually pay.
    A friend has strawberries all in her back bed. She doesn’t want them so I am going to dig them up this week when the ground dries. I have two large planters at the bottom of my deck stairs I am going to plant them in. I am also going to get some carrots, turnip greens, spinach, and any other cool weather starts I can find to out in my raised beds.
    I used my PayPal credit to buy a boutique dress from a resale site (Paisley Grace resell group) It is an ivory lace dress with bell sleeves. I may wear it Easter, but our 30th anniversary is this July and I thought it would be pretty for a fancy night out. I guess I am not getting a trip to Ireland.

  96. Becky, I am struggling now because my hopes have been dashed. Last Friday my husband went with me and we spent the whole day at her house doing things for her. When I left, my/her to-do list was longer than when I arrived. It is a steep learning curve and is more difficult than I anticipated. Well, isn’t that always the way it always goes?

    We have also caught the “it’s all gone disease.” I thought I had inventoried everything in my pantry but it appears I have not monitored it as well as I thought. With all the food both sons brought back with them, I thought my food supply was unending – at least that was the way the huge pile of food looked in the basement. Young men really can eat a huge volume of food without gaining an ounce of fat.
    Jeannie

  97. We have something for Mom we are working on every sunny day. Scooter can’t ride in a car without getting carsick and throwing up on everything. I think he is terrified and is having panic attacks. We have started riding him in the car a little bit at a time. The first day we went to the mailbox, then he got to get out and walk down the driveway. I know, sounds boring but smelling all the exciting scents is nirvana for a dog. The next day we went to the first street, about 100 feet further. He got to get out and smell the mailboxes. Each day we are going a few feet further.

    Hopefully, he will eventually be able to go and visit Nana for the weekend. She is 80 miles away right through Nashville interstate traffic (very scary). Nana also has an awesome fenced in a backyard full of rabbit and city critter smells. That is our goal.
    Jeannie

  98. Our carpet shampooer broke and cannot be fixed without purchasing a new gear box for it. I wanted to buy a new shampooer but decided instead to see if anyone had one I could borrow- my MIL did! Saved us so much money on buying or renting and got a good head start on spring cleaning!

    One night on the way home from work I was tempted to stop at the store to pick up a few convenience items for dinner. I convinced myself not to and instead went home and made quick homemade tortillas for black beans, leftover chicken, and avocado tacos . My children gobbled it up much to my surprise and I felt glad to know I made them something wholesome.

    We installed a small pond next to our patio. The liner was a hand me down from a family member who no longer wanted it, and we used a gift card to buy the pump and small fountain! It’s great, and I can’t wait to spend time in the summer relaxing by it.

    Transplanted a ton of daffodil bulbs that got way too crowded. Our homes previous owner planted things very methodically in blocks, and while it looks pretty, I prefer a more natural look with my gardening. I moved bushes and plants all around the property and it has a park like feel and cost us nothing!

  99. I read something yesterday that said something to the effect of, “Your bank account says you can afford to take the stairs.” I thought that was appropriate for me. I would love to travel, but staying home is the order of the day. So instead, I am doing my best to make my home a place where I am surrounded by beauty. Reorganizing in the kitchen recently seems to have made it easier to keep clean lately and has made me a lot more content.

  100. I also invite everyone to a FB page I have started called Boomer Plan 2030 .
    2030 is the nations tipping point most of us will be too old to do everything for ourselves yet we will not have funds to hire it done.

    We are trying to grow a survey for ideas of community to have everyone bring something to the table so no one has to do everything!

  101. I have also used the excuse that I’m buying it for some else, which justifies the need to put it on a separate bill. It sounds more legit, although I’m sure the cashiers hear this all the time and know it’s a lie. Most cashiers don’t care and will look the other way, as long as you are not buying extreme amounts. After all, they are consumers, too…many of which are living on tight budgets themselves!

  102. Amazing deal on the ham! It’s so great when things work out even better than you thought they would.
    My daughter and I are curious to know more about your tomato paste processing. We are new to canning. We have mastered jam and did some pickles for the first time last summer. We seem to use diced tomatoes and tomato paste almost daily, so it would be great to learn more. Was this a turkey roaster that you used? Any advice or direction would be very appreciated. Thanks.

  103. No worries – I just saw your response – and as luck would have it – it arrived in the mail this morning! And it is already spent! 🙂 I am on coffee duty after church this Sunday and want to make some HM Banana bread and a Poppyseed loaf but was really low on baking supplies. The $25 card meant that I could pick up everything needed (except that I forgot the Buttermilk)!

  104. I had a blessing this Sunday. I had started praying for a piano. I had really missed playing and didn’t want to lose the ability to play. On Sunday my mom called me and asked me If I wanted her piano as she bought a Black one for $50. I said YES! I’ll have to get it tuned but I’m thrilled to pieces! God is so Good.

  105. I totally understand about your bank acct saying you can afford to take the stairs because my bank account in the same way! I would love to travel, also, but my youngest son has greater needs at the moment. My daughter does travel home, from Salt Lake, about once every year or two, and I am grateful she can do that so that I am able to see her. I also am limited as the amount of time I can take off from work. My way of working around my no travel ban is to go to the local lakes/rivers to swim about four times a summer, at a cost ranging for $1 to $3 per local car trip. I also try to enjoy the sunrises/sunsets/trees/birds etc. where I live. I agree with you Brandy, keeping a clean kitchen helps to make me a lot more content.

  106. I have had weevils invade the pantry and it was no fun at all! I learned right quick to put things in the freezer for a few days as soon as I get them home, especially items that won’t get used right away. Even if it’s a bulk item, I will divide it up and stick the contrainers in for a good deep freeze. I still stick a bay leaf in the package and/or container for good measure, lol! Good luck eradicating those pesky pests, it can be done! It’s just a pain 🙁 ~TJ

  107. Besides Swagbucks, do any of you do Inbox Dollars or SendEarnings? I prefer Swagbucks over Inbox Dollars and Inbox Dollars over SendEarnings but they are still an additional trickle of money. ID & SE used to send me paid emails but that stopped and I’m not sure why. They both have videos you can watch and earn but I have always had trouble trying to watch SendEarnings videos so I pretty much don’t bother with it anymore. Maybe others have had better luck than I. ~TJ

  108. Libby, I don’t know if this will be helpful to you re: the cat litter but I noticed Target is offering a $5 gift card when you buy (I believe it was) $20 in litter (Tidy Cat I believe). Also, have you tried emailing the company for coupons? I did recently, and got some really good coupons from them. ~TJ

  109. Miss Brandy, you have had a productive week, as usual! I admire that you maintain such a high level of energy while expecting (not to mention when you’re NOT expecting, lol!). Even when I feel energetic, I don’t accomplish a fraction of what you do. I’ve always said that I was “built for comfort, not for speed”.

    It looks like everyone is having great, money saving weeks! Thanks, as always, for sharing. I learn something new each week! ~TJ

  110. The most frugal thing I did this week was to research trade-in values for my husband’s truck which prevented the dealership from taking advantage of us to the tune of $3000! Needless to say we are privately selling it and hope to get a much more reasonable offer from someone who needs a dependable vehicle. Besides that, I stocked up on peanut butter, cheese, sodas, and chips at really great prices thanks to a new grocery store opening this week. I also found all of the textbooks I need for my daughter to start high school next year for just $50 on Amazon, which is great for homeschool curriculum.

  111. I was just thinking you were the Wonder Woman in the garden that I know you are, when yours grew 6 feet tall, and mine didn’t:):).

    I’ll bet the Mammoth Melting Sugar Pea Pods were good, too, but the trellised items are much harder for me, as well. At my old house, I would grow a few pole beans on the garden fence that we had to put up to deter the deer. I only did that so I would have beans until frost. My canning crop was the bush kind. The only kind of round, green peas I’ve ever got enough of to freeze was a bush variety, called Maestro. I often planted a big raised bed of them, and got a bunch to freeze. They were so much work, and peas are so inexpensive to buy, frozen, that I didn’t do that often. I mainly planted these because I had the seeds left over, and we may get a meal or 2 for fresh eating.

    Like you, I find we use the snow peas in so many ways–stir fry, eating fresh, cashew chicken, salad–and I love how you can eat the entire thing–no hours and hours of shelling, so that’s where I put my pea planting efforts for the most part.

    I love how you use your entire yard, in layers. I am getting lots of inspiration now that I have a town lot, as well. It’s going to take me a few years to get things how I want them–but I will, little by little.

  112. I hear you! In early April, my sister has arranged a trip to Washington DC for the girls I homeschool (one of mine and one of hers). There is NO WAY I can afford the full cost of that trip right now. She is taking care of a lot of the cost as her way of saying thank you for all the hours I spend with her daughter–that’s her gracious way of helping out, and it’s true. (Next year, I will only be finishing up school with her daughter, mine is done this year.) My aunt is paying for a few things, just because she is nice and spoils us girls. (She’s going, too) Even with that, my part of the cost has been a huge undertaking to save up for, and has given me some anxious moments over the past few months, as my stove broke, my microwave broke, and so on. But, it’s all going to be fine in the end. I graciously accepted, because my daughter will get a chance to travel that she might not get otherwise. We have travelled much more often in the past with some of the older kids, but now, we just don’t have the resources we had then. Although she kindly offered to plan another trip next fall, and take me along, I let her go ahead and make those plans for just them–the next trip we plan will be for my husband and I, and whoever is still left at home. Even though it is a bit hard on the pride, I told her the truth, too, that by fall, I could not financially swing another trip, even with help. She was very understanding. My family never, ever makes me feel badly when I don’t have as much money as they do. But, still, I don’t always love saying it out loud–but this time–it had to be said.

  113. When I hit 40 I started having issues with my brain and it made it hard for me to drive. I use to say well I guess I am going to be rich , because now I need a driver ! LOL

  114. Congratulations on paying off your credit cards!!! We too spent years under a credit card cloud. We were able to pay ours off too and it was such a relief. We have been debt free (with the exception of our house) for 13 years now and we will NEVER go back to that kind of life!

  115. I found I qualify for more surveys if I try early morning (before 6 am) or late eveing (after 9 pm) I also do the peanut surveys not the other ones that are shown. You have to click MORE when you get the survey page. I also do the high SB of Crave to watch on my 2nd tab so I can float between it and what other computer work I do. A friend does hers while watching the news at night with her laptop beside her

  116. Jenny yes I see you have a compact area to work with as well and we would not fit chest freezers in here because of the floor space they take up. Have you looked at the upright freezers with drawers as they would take up a lot less floor space than a chest freezer and you could stack things on top as well as we do.

    Just a thought I had they may help you to increase your refrigeration area.

  117. Turbo tax, a friend who is a clone of your son financially has used them for YEARS. He does see a finiancial advisor ever year usually around Aug/ Sept so if he needs to do something to get better deductions he has time to do it.

  118. One of my cats is on a prescription diet. I used to pick the food up at the vets but then started using chewy.com. I now get ALL of my cat supplies from them, including the prescription kibble, the canned food that the two other cats like, cat litter, treats, toys, flea and tick preventative medicine, etc, etc. It is so much easier to have all this delivered on an autoship basis, currently 12 weeks, which also gives me a 5% discount on a lot of the items that we order. I have found that the cat litter is actually cheaper through chewy.com and I get it in the 19 pound boxes. The 40-pound boxes are just too heavy to carry up two flights of stairs to bother doing that. You might want to try them.

  119. I agree with Mable and so admire your patience and skill with your daughter. My 13 year old neighbor is autustic and his Mom and 17 year old sister are amazing with him. They are teaching him various life skills now, such as using the mucrowave to heat leftovers. Patience is a definite virtue f I r them and for you.

  120. I second using TurboTax. I have used their software to do my taxes for I don’t know how many years now. Make sure he looks for a discount code online if he’s at a level where he has to pay for it. I believe it’s a certain income level that requires them to pay to use the software or to get printouts of the tax returns. Fidelity has one, most banks have one as well. Once you’ve used TurboTax one year, they load a lot of the same information for you the next year. I use the online version, I don’t buy the software.

    As far as your kids getting jobs out of state, unfortunately, that does happen. My daughter went to school a 9 hour drive one way from home so she left when she was still 17, came back for two summers and a few breaks, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, but has been living away from home effectively since she was 20 years old. She’s a loving child, self-sufficient, and I couldn’t be more proud of her being able to support herself at the age of 22. You raised your kids to be independent, doesn’t it just feel like no, they shouldn’t actually be doing that!

  121. Found a penny and added it to my coin jar, picked up 3 books for free, picked up 3 packages of free diapers for the future ( I can store them for now), brought home some seeds from the library’s seed exchange, and did much less laundry this week because of DH’s break and lack of mud!

    Suddenly our Jeep quit and we couldn’t get the farm truck started. Our neighbor came by and tested the batteries and such. With his advice, my DS was able to get the truck back in working order. The Jeep needs work, so we took it to a local shop for a new alternator where we can support our neighbor for a fair price.

    Was able to buy presents for my DD and DH (same birthday). I received free shipping and found the present less expensive than I expected. It was a hit!

    Did our biweekly shopping for less and found great sales on meats. The reduced packages were just right for us! We are really working on eating and spending less. Trying to be wise and healthy.

    I am off next week (DS this week) and have been working late so I do not have as much work to do over break. One of the other teachers asked where I was going and I said, “home!” Looking forward to staying home and puttering.

    You beautiful photography reminds us northern frugalists that spring is going to bloom eventually.

  122. I said a prayer for you Jeannie. It is hard when a child goes far away. (But, sometimes they come back and then there is plenty of rejoicing!) I know it is hard to take care of someone too. It sounds like you are a blessing to your mom. What a good idea for tomatoes that need some pizazz! We love Salsa here too! I hadn’t thought of making salsa. I usually just make soup.

  123. I love to travel too! But we haven’t for some time. Last year we visited my grandma before she passed. Right now I feel blessed to have a warm home and food on the table. When time and money allow, God willing, we will travel.

  124. I have been tutoring my grandchildren in the morning during my grandson’s spring break. I have found wonderful resources on the internet and at the library. I also found a few workbooks for .50 cents at the thrift store.
    We have been doing our cooking at home except for one day we bought some tacos.
    Still working on house when we can.

  125. Thats what we do too in Australia. So far, no pantry moths. Freeze all dried goods for two days. Kills all egs.

  126. Jenny, one idea for storage is to look for an entertainment cabinet (a cabinet with doors that you put a t.v. inside), that has drawers on the bottom half. They look really nice, so can be placed in your living area as a nice piece of furniture. However, the doors hide what is in there, so no-one has to know that it is full of food and extra supplies. You can easily add wood shelves to really utilize the large open space the t.v. is supposed to sit in. The drawers can be used for extra supplies as well, or for extra linen storage. These entertainment cabinets were quite popular for a while, but t.v.’s have grown in size, to the point they don’t fit inside the cabinet anymore. Because of this, you may be able to find a really nice used one for a good price if you take your time looking for one.

    I love my upright freezer so much, if I lived in a small apartment, like you do, I’d happily find room in my bedroom if there was no other space for it. It is more valuable to me to have good freezer space than to have a “pretty” bedroom that no-one but me sees.

  127. My favorite cozy mystery series is The Gaslight series by Victoria Thompson. Some runner-ups are The Bess Crawford series by Charles Todd and the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. Just in case you may have not read them! **Nothing is sadder than running out of books to read:)

  128. Thank you for sharing what variety those peas are. They are so pretty. I was putting in an order to Territorial last night and you inspired me to order those peas. I have a small area they will be perfect for!

  129. I feel the same way about knowing people by name. Roots really mean a great deal to me, and as I have lived in the same town for 28years I know my librarians and we exchange greetings weekly! I think it means a lot to people to make an effort to get to know them, when possible!

  130. Would you be willing to share how your airline points system works? I have always redeemed them for flights but would love to use them for more useful purchases.

  131. Hi Mable and all the others who commented on books–I have not read any of those authors but I have listed them and will enjoy finding their books at my library! I finished the Jessica Ellicott book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great literature it is not … curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and the cat while enjoying an engrossing read, it is! Thanks for all your suggestions.

  132. Lilli
    we live in MS on the edge of TN and there is group of stores called dirt cheap. They buy all of target, walmart, claires, jcpenny and some Gap items. and mark them down to basically nothing. I haven’t paid over 10cents for girls birthday presents in the form of jewelry from Claires in over 8 years. Find Choc chips for 10 cents a pkg, same with the Hickory Farms summer sausage deals but our store had them for $1. If you are traveling you may want to look them up online and see if there is one somewhere you are going.

  133. Thank you SO MUCH Brandy~ I will certainly keep things wiped down. I have transferred several food items into glass jars, mainly my dried beans, oatmeal, sugars, flours and rice. I usually put my baking flours into our freezer then bring the measured amount into room temperature for mixing. These have kept the bugs out so far. Now I will plan to transfer my pasta’s into glass containers as the plastic ones do not work well. I will buy the Fly traps too to see if this helps. Thankfully I have not seen one as yet, but now that it is Spring I know they will come. I am also thinking about having the outside foundation sprayed to help. Have you ever sprayed ? I know there are a lot of chemicals tho, and I tend to stay away from such harmful ingredients, especially since I have a little cutie doggie.
    You would love going to LaConnar Skagit Valley. Very pretty . It’s about about 112 miles from where we live in Gig Harbor and about 2 1/2 hour drive. Tulip Festival in always the month of April. There are a lot of people however, and crowded during the weekends. We like to go on a weekday if my husband can take the time off from work. I would love to stay over night there sometime and camp at a nearby KOA campground. This may happen when my husband retires but for now we just make a long day trip. We go to the festival first as there are several really nice individual farms with activities to visit . There is usually a cost though so we go to only 2 of them. Then after, we make our way to the next town of La Conner . We stroll the antique shops, bring a picnic basket for lunch and walk along the dock to see the water and boats. Prayerfully you will make it this way sometime. You would be most welcome to stay at our home ~( just bring sleeping bags for the kids to bunk down 🙂 Gig Harbor ( where we live ) is also a pretty town. There is a wonderful website to see this area. The waterfront is like a little New England harbor village. We are across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The waterfront is so pretty and we like to take walks there. Someday I would like to visit Las Vegas.. not for the casino’s but to see the area~ maybe to take a Winter break from our cold season.
    Have a great Spring Day 🙂
    Blessings to you and your beautiful family ~ Patty from the NW

  134. I’ll have to try the peroxide + sun trick! I never thought to do that to my linens. My cat got a charcoal stain (of all things) on our brand new bedding and nothing is taking out the gray smears. Oh, and I’ve seen plenty of baskets at thrift stores for below $5!

    This week:

    1. I’m going to harvest cilantro and dry it in our dehydrator. This will help me use it when the cilantro is out of season in a few months.

    2. My dad is coming to visit this weekend. He only comes down maybe 1 – 2 times a year, so this is a special occasion. He has a huge sweet tooth, so I wanted to make him something special. Today I started the grueling process of making homemade petit fours. I did a chocolate cake with salted caramel icing. It’s tough work, but I know they’re going to turn out great. 🙂

    3. A neighbor’s house burned down a few days ago. I’m going through our home to see what items we can donate to help them recover. So far, I’ve found towels and a box of unused sidewalk chalk for their kids.

    4. The days are longer, which means hubby and I can resume our post-dinner walks. 🙂 I love the quality time and free exercise. It’s much better than being cooped up and watching TV for hours. Yuck.

    5. I did a load of laundry today with homemade soap.

  135. You are almost a quarter of the way to your home deposit. I wish more people would put more money down on their homes. It would make their lives so much easier in the long run. You are doing a great job. My husband had built us a firewood rack from an old metal bedframe years ago. It works great and lets air underneath. I love reading about your gardens as we are getting more snow today.

  136. I haven’t considered an upright freezer but maybe I should. I’m just not certain on the impact to my utilities bill versus grocery bill.

  137. On my, Marymac , I actually checked ! We live on the state line bordering Alabama and there is one straight up the interstate 40 miles away. It never dawned on me to go shopping over the state line. I get close to 40 miles a gallon, so my daughter and I could have an inexpensive day out. 5.00 for gas and a cheap lunch and sugar cookie will be thrilled. Perhaps we will find a Groupon for that cheap lunch. Thanks.

  138. If you have a HARD plastic container with a tight seal they cannot get in. Just no bags. Mine looked like Swiss cheese after they ate through them.

    So, for example, food-grade plastic buckets can keep them out–BUT if one gets in when you are opening it (this happened to one of my buckets) the gamma lid is USELESS because they lay eggs under the inside of the rim of the lid inside the bucket, and there is no way to get the bottom part of lid off without ruining it. They will lay eggs under the outside rim, too, so there is that. They can lay eggs underneath the ring of canning jars. I had to take every jar off the shelf and wipe them down. We found so many.

    I have not had them eat through foil and foil lined seals. So if you buy a spice in a plastic container and the seal under the lid is paper with a foil back, they can lay eggs under that never-opened lid but they don’t go through it. If it is just a plastic seal under the lid they get into it.

    This is why I had to buy new red raspberry leaves last fall. I had several bags of them, which I expected to use for years for menstrual cramps for myself and my eldest (so much more effective for me than ibuprofen). The leaves were in double bags. They ate through them and the bags were filled with larvae. That, the chocolate, and the dried fruits I had to throw out were some of my most heart-breaking losses.

    They will lay on tin cans, too, especially around that ridge top and bottom, but also under and on top of the paper that is on them.

    And because they lay on the walls and you can’t see them, you won’t know if they’re gone until summer comes and you no longer have problems. It’s been a couple of years now and I doubt they’re all gone. I’m sure there are eggs somewhere. They laid eggs under the edges of my shelves. . . . The fly paper in the pantry has really helped, but it can get caught in your hair so you have to be careful!

  139. I read something the other day that said that if we only did things when we feel good, we wouldn’t get much done! So true!

    Do make sure you are drinking enough water during the day and taking your vitamins. If you’re always tired, consider taking extra b-12 and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your energy levels. It sure makes a difference to me! I can tell if I miss it. If those two things are lacking, I feel sluggish.

    Also, plenty of rest and a little fresh air help too!

    I think sometimes our homes need more fresh air and oxygen; a closed house is full of the carbon dioxide we are breathing out and we need the fresh oxygen to have some energy.

  140. We are starting to see green spikes coming up on the side of the house that faces south and is a bit warmer. The robins have returned.

    We did all the usual of recycling, composting, using up leftovers, eating at home, baking and cooking, mending.

    I keep running out of time for updates, but will try again.

    Some of the things I remember cooking (the last month) were soups…lentil, chicken noodle, vegetable wild rice, squash, cauliflower corn chowder, chili. Made bread as needed…white, rye, banana nut, cranberry orange, lemon poppyseed muffins, banana chocolate chip muffins, Irish soda bread. Sweet things…butterscotch pudding pie, oatmeal raisin cookies, cream cheese swirl brownies, tapioca pudding.
    Entrees…tuna noodle casserole, refried beans (also put about 10 one and 2 cup servings into freezer), cheese enchiladas and chicken enchiladas, nacho haystacks, blueberry pancakes, potato pancakes, applesauce form storage apples.

    I don’t remember finding any particular bargains at the store just used sales and double coupons as needed for things like laundry detergent, baby wipes, some disposable diapers in a couple sizes, foil, catsup, coffee beans, milk. Bought farm eggs and a couple dozen stewing chicken for the freezer.

    Our public TV channel has been airing reruns of Great British Baking show so we have recorded them all and I enjoy watching them. There are just the 2 of us at home now as youngest is doing her first teaching job as a long term substitute for the semester. She is living with one of the families from the school (room and board are supplied) but has been coming home to see us about every other Friday night to Saturday and over to see Johanna the middle girl opposite weekends. Since she is teaching in a church school there it is best she be there for Sundays.

    We have avoided most illnesses. The only one who has had anything major is oldest girl Eliana who ended up with the influenza. But she is the only one…she had driven my mother over to my sister’s and then stayed over a day to go to a shower for a cousin. She left my mother there and since no one there was/became sick she thinks she was exposed when she stopped at a gas station on the way back to visit the restroom. Cough, very high fever…son in law Theo took her to the emergency room. She was positive, they prescribed him the tamiflu. Granddaughter Dora was not home during this time as she had gone off to stay with his parents and had not returned yet. They kept her a few more days, then brought her to us. It took Eliana quite a few days to recuperate possibly due to being pregnant with the twins. They had wanted to admit her but she said no. Dora stayed with us another week. We bought a box of child size masks and she liked visiting Mamma and being her nurse with her little mask on.

    Read a book that was interesting…FLAT BROKE WITH TWO GOATS: A MEMOIR OF APPALACHIA by Jennifer McGaha. The family got themselves terribly into debt due to overextending on house, 3 children in private college and high school, unpaid back taxes etc etc. They turned their house back and moved out to a rundown house owned by relatives in the mountains. I thought it was well written (she is a creative writing teacher) and only had a few swear words. Too many snakes, though, by the third year they were there it was just, oh, another snake…no big deal.

  141. I don’t see anything wrong with trying an item out during a promotion and then not buying it after. The companies hope you forget about it and keep in on cc auto pay.

  142. If it really is panic attacks for Scooter, then a thunder coat might help him. They are amazing. My daughter moved 5 hours away for a job so I understand what you are going thru. FaceTime does help. I just tell myself that I am lucky because a good friend of hers moved to California for a job (we live in NY). Her parents are torn because their son lives here and she lives there. I’m sorry about everything you are going thru with your Mom. You will eventually find your new normal. It will just take time.

  143. Thank you, Marilyn. My husband is sitting beside me right now so I read your post to him. He said he had looked at them once before but will look again. I think he is ready to quit making money and just become a bum so we will avoid these taxes. I know, it is foolish talk; but, sometimes it is very frustrating when you work hard and are penalized for your efforts. The more you make, the more the government takes away. He will probably cut back on his hours this year so we can drop down to a lower tax bracket. This is a time when hard work is not paying off, sad to say.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry

  144. Juls, I will suggest to Reese that it is time he found a financial advisor, after he gets moved and settled. He is serious about his dreams and should seek advice from experts. I have taught him how to manage money and be frugal, but I do not know the best ways to invest.
    Thanks for commenting.
    Jeannie

  145. Brandy your flowers remind me that spring will arrive in Nebraska eventually. Actually I saw my daffodils poking up in my flower bed on the south side of my house.
    We’ve continued to do the usual things to save money. We’ve eaten all meals at home except for my SIL’s 65th birthday celebration but that was free. I paid my bills online and have stayed home as much as possible only running errands when I have to be out.
    We have started planning our garden. I can’t wait to get started out there. It is still to cold and wet.
    Have a great week everyone!

  146. Oh Tammy, I need all the prayers I can get. I keep repeating Jeremiah 29:11 over and over and over. We have told each son if they start their job and it is not where they belong, they can always come home again. All we ask is that they mow the grass if they come back, with our huge yard, they groan.

    I have always used canned tomatoes for soup but my guys are tired of it. It appears I have cooked it too often in my zeal to rotate the pantry. Why I have bought so many is crazy. I know I am using them up but appears the cans are multiplying everytime I turn the basement light off.
    Jeannie

  147. We even tried giving him doggy relaxing herbs. He rode a little further but then threw up in my opened purse sitting on the car floor. I gave up after that but this time, I will not give up!!! He will learn to love riding in the car with his head hanging out the window like other dogs!
    Jeannie

  148. I was clueless about autism, and could have been one of those people who thought some kids were just badly behaved. Now I have two autistic grandchildren. Their father is deceased and I am the secondary caregiver. They are my greatest joy, and sometimes my greatest frustration. But I would not trade them for anything. My message to anyone who sees what appears to be a child acting out is to consider that they may be autistic and are doing the best that they can, but are just overwhelmed. And instead of being judgemental, ask the parent if there is anything you can do to help. They will probably turn you down, but just the offer will mean a lot.

  149. A thunder coat…hmmm. Maybe it would work.

    I have spent a while searching for information and have decided to order one. They have a money back guarantee so I can’t lose. If it works, I will share with everyone.

    Thanks!
    Jeannie

  150. Patty,We lived in Skagit county for 44 years until last year. It really is so beautiful when the bulb fields bloom. Sadly there aren’t as many as there used to be but still very much worth a visit. My boys worked in the bulbs fields in the summer when they were in school, most local kids did back then. We moved to eastern Washington last year and we love our new home. However, I do miss my garden. You can grow anything in that mild climate. Judy

  151. – Running only full loads in the washing machine and hanging most of our laundry up. Still using the indoor rack as there is still snow on the ground and more is supposed to come this week.
    – Bills were paid online saving us $ on stamps.
    -My daughter took the bus to/from school all but 1 time.
    -I sold 2 items on eBay and used old packaging to ship them in.
    -Cooked at home and ate leftovers
    -Brought lunch to work/school
    -Bought reduced produce at the market.
    – Combined coupons and sales while shopping.
    -Did Ibotta
    – I did a CVS survey and received $5 ECB. I used that and 2 coupons for free Hershey Gold Bars so I only spent $3 at CVS and got some Easter goodies.
    The rest of my frugal week is at my new blog. Hope you stop by for a visit.

  152. Thanks for your encouragement Marybeth 🙂 and I agree more should save a larger deposit to make things easier for themselves and also reduce the amount borrowed as well as the interest paid.

    Making the firewood rack from a bed frame is a great idea too and again low cost.

    With a bit of luck the snow will go away so you too can start your gardens shortly :).

  153. Juls, I mentioned this to Reese. He looked at me confused and wondered why he would need a financial advisor? I explained it is wise to ask opinions of others more knowledgeable. The seed was planted. One day he will casually mention he met with an advisor and they said… I will smile to myself and say nothing.
    Jeannie

  154. Love the picture of the snow pea flowers!

    My week:

    • Used free tea, coffee and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Worked 16 ¾ contract hours.
    • Got a great deal on mascara and foundation. Went to Wal-Mart where it is less expensive, had a coupon for $2 off the mascara and a BOGO coupon so I got another mascara and a foundation. Then Ibotta had a $2 rebate (up to 5 per transaction) on the mascara. Ended up paying about 1/3 of what it would have cost me at full price. Also got a Hershey Gold candy bar, regularly 78c for 28c as I had a 50c coupon.
    • Hubby and I took our lunch 2 days and used up some items in doing so. We went on a trip from Thursday – Sunday. Ate dinner in Sunday (grilled chicken, baked potatoes and asparagus), Monday (Boxed alfredo noodles with a chicken breast cut up into it and peas) and Wednesday (a frozen pizza I had picked up with a coupon and had an Ibotta rebate on.) Tuesday was our trivia night and we ate out there but we had a gift certificate so it only cost us the tip.
    • Took my Dad out to lunch with the gift cards my brother had given me. Also got a $5.50 Ibotta rebate on that. Also ran some shopping errands for him. He didn’t want to deal with the change (38c) so he gave it to me.
    • We went to visit my son out of town and debated getting a hotel room as he only lives in a studio apartment, but stayed with him instead. Took the money we would have spent and put it on the mortgage.
    • Paid extra on the mortgage.
    • Got a free bag of tortilla chips from the Friday Freebie. Also got 2 cans of Well Yes! Soup for 50c/can. It was on sale at Walgreens for 2/$3, and Ibotta had a $2 rebate on 2 cans. Until I get to canning some soup on pint jars for us, these are a great deal and wonderful for our work lunches.

    Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

  155. I have always done my own taxes. By the time you gather all the forms and figures, you’ve done the greater part of the work anyhow. And the software on line leads you along with questions so you almost can’t make mistakes. They double check everything for you. As we are retired, and have reduced income, we qualify for free filing also. I can’t see paying to do something the country requires you to do. Last year I stumbled a little and ended up paying to file one return but this year I was careful (or had less income) so I didn’t pay for either. Prior to computers, I just read the instructions and stumbled through to the best of my ability. I was audited once or twice or had questions raised, but it was never anything big and I think I only once had to pay extra and it was less than $20 then. I don’t cheat, and I can back up all my figures, so it’s not really a problem if they want more information.

  156. If you Google “do it yourself pest control” the company that comes up sells a product which is for pantry moths, a spray product. I have old wooden cupboards. After scrubbing them thoroughly a couple times, I sprayed with that product and it absolutely gets into the tiny cracks and crannies where eggs hide! Since I bought that I have not had to do anything twice! I am also diligent about killing any moths that get into the house through the doors being open during warmer weather. (just the regular opening and closing of doors allows this) Getting them before they have time to lay eggs is essential. The name of the product is simple–something like “pantry moth spray”. The company is called “Do it Yourself Pest Control.” I tried quite a number of things before finding this. IT WORKS.

  157. I check thoroughly when I open a new container. It either has them or it doesn’t. If it does, I throw it out. I don’t want ONE of them in my house! I don’t want any frozen dead ones in my flour either. I have only thrown out one package of flour since I cleared the critters out of my house. I am quite good at detecting them, as I had endless trouble ridding myself of them a few years back. Pasta is another frequent offender. I keep as many things as possible in glass canning jars now. I have Tupperware canisters for flour, sugar, etc. My kitchen cupboards have never been as clean as they were the year I had those nasty things.

  158. There are more options for LED bulbs these days with different “colors”. You still might not find it worthwhile to try, but I have enjoyed the sunlight spectrum bulbs.

  159. Learning how to use public transit is a great skill! I had never really done it until a trip to Europe, in a country where I didn’t speak or read the language. I had to be a quick learner! Later trips were much easier with more familiarity and GPS. 🙂

  160. Lilli, will you share a store name and city for your fellow, “outside Atlanta” friends, please? :- ) I’m in NE Atlanta (Kennesaw/Woodstock).

  161. Athanasia, it’s just lovely to see you back in the comments again — I’ve really missed your input! So glad to hear that your daughter Eliana came through the flu OK; it was a tough winter for illness all over the country. Thanks for the book recommendation, too; you’ve mentioned several that I’ve subsequently enjoyed.

  162. Thank you Pauline. No matter how old your children get it is hard to see them sick. I am glad you enjoyed the book recommendations.

  163. Have you tried substituting vinegar & milk or lemon juice and milk in place of the buttermilk. Google the correct portions as I can’t think of them off the top of my head. I do this, frequently, in place of buttermilk as it is VERY expensive where I live.

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