Winter sewed a black velvet dress for herself using the same pattern she drafted for her green one in December (pictured above). She purchased the fabric 40% off at Hobby Lobby using a coupon.

I stocked up on pantry items at the case-lot sale. I packed some of these items for Winter to take with her to college. I also stocked up on six months’ worth of pasta at $0.49 a pound. The regular price is $1.25 a pound, and I know this sale is only two to three times a year, so I always stock up for a long time so that I don’t have to spend more on pasta.

I harvested lettuce, asparagus, Meyer lemons, arugula, Swiss chard, snow peas, and green onions from the garden.

Winter and I were given nail salon gift certificates as gifts for helping a friend with her wedding earlier this year. We used our gift certificates this week. The last time I paid to have my nails done was 19 years ago, the day before my wedding, so this was quite a change for me!

My husband gave one son a haircut and I gave another son a haircut.

I said yes to some food from a reader who is moving out of state.

I went to the semi-annual community garage sales. I found several things for our family, including a bulletin board ($1), a brand-new Pampered Chef chopper ($5), a coat for the baby that he can wear when we take Winter to college ($1), some toys and board books that I can give Octavius and Hamish for their birthdays ($0.50 and $1 per item), a bicycle ($20) for my second eldest son, a Rummikub game ($1),a travel game that I had been considering purchasing ($1), an end table for my living room ($3), and a brand-new wallet for Winter ($4).

What did you do to save money last week?



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  1. I’m sure that dress in black velvet is absolutely dreamy! So, so pretty!
    I haven’t had time to go to any yard sales but would love to. You got some nice things, Brandy. I’d love to see the table you found. I’m in the market for a large chest for one of our bedrooms. I just can’t make myself buy one new when there is so much nice used furniture out there for sale.

    I saved money by using the sun as a dryer again this weekend, and washing with my homemade laundry soap. It felt like I have been going through it so fast, so I stuck a date on the bucket of soap the last time I made a five-gallon bucket of it. I see it’s not being used as fast as I thought, which makes me feel better.

    I scrubbed showers and sinks with a paste of baking soda, Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, and water. I buy the four pound boxes of baking soda, which are about the cheapest price I can find. So far, Dollar General has had the cheapest price per pound. I always buy the Sal Suds on sale, but it takes very little when cleaning, so a quart bottle lasts me a long time.

    I picked up some change I found on the ground. Change is getting harder to find, which I assume is because fewer people carry cash.

    I took advantage of some good sales at the stores this weekend when grocery shopping.

    I used Swagbucks to buy a birthday present from Amazon and got Amazon to ship it for free to the recipient.

    I used the trimmings off of fresh green beans to feed the worms in my worm bucket. I put worm castings on some more plants, and put citrus fertilizer on my Meyer lemon tree, as my instructions say to fertilize just after blooming finishes. I had a lot of blooms, so I hope I’ll get more lemons this year.

    One of my blueberry bushes, unlike the other two, dodged the bad weather we had at bloom time, and is now producing berries. It’s a young plant, and this is only the second year it put on berries; last year it made one berry!

  2. Wow, what a gorgeous dress! And isn’t it nice to have one’s nails done every now and then? Not a necessity at all, but still delicious frivolity!

    My week was nice and full, as usual:

    – I made Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Brownies ( and made my own oat-flour. Bonus, they freeze well! Becky, I think this recipe might be something you could eat in your household! I know you and your husband go easy on the sweets, but if your daughters/nieces bake, this would be a recipe they could bake without using wheat flour and contaminating your kitchen.
    – Using my local trading app, I traded $6 worth of digital currency for a pair of Stella & Dot earrings. I sanitized them at home. I’m very pleased to have a nice, new, yet inexpensive pair of everyday earrings.
    – I baked some grain-free chocolate chip cookies, using coconut flour I purchased on sale last week, chocolate chips purchased in bulk at Costco with a work membership, and eggs that I purchased using digital currency. Perfect midnight snacks!
    – I received a sample of chipotle mayo and ketchup in the mail
    – I received a coupon for a free coffee from Tim Horton’s.
    – I went through my baking supplies drawer and baked a fruitcake ( with some candied fruit leftover from the holidays. I froze the remaining candied fruit.
    – I also baked several loaves of bread and made a batch of Greek Yoghurt.
    – I made some homemade cream of mushroom soup, then used it in a casserole. ( It’s an inexpensive protein-rich dish for me.
    – My daughter is starting to teeth (just starting) so I made some ‘momsicles’ using expressed milk. Great to teeth on and no need to buy specialty soothers.
    – I went to a church bazaar and bought a gorgeous crystal vase for $15, and several glass containers for 50 cents each. I’ve used the glass containers to further organize my bathrooms. Am thrilled about the crystal vase!
    – I clipped a coupon for a free package of rice from the newspaper at my parent’s home. They won’t eat it, but I will!
    – My mum gave me a container of sweetened apple sauce that she didn’t want. Yum!
    – I had my husband return some baby medicine that we didn’t need, and that actually covered more than half of our grocery bill for the week.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as usual!

  3. Winter’s dress is stunning! I had no idea it was floor-length. Wow!!

    Pretty exciting frugal week here, too! While cleaning the garage at our vacation home, I discovered two 10 ft. 2x12s. (I thought I had one 14-footer). This means that my new raised bed can be 10 ft. long instead 7 ft. (I have 4 ft. scraps for the ends). I already have an L shaped bed with the same square footage, so I will have 80 sf of veggie space this year! I am busy making plans for what to plant in 4-6 weeks.

    Then we uncovered the compost, and it is all finished! Black gold! And a lot of it. (We used half-done compost in the L shaped bed). It can cost $200 to fill an average size raised bed with bagged soil or bulk topsoil if you have to pay for delivery. A magazine article recommended filling the bed with as much compost as you have, in whatever stage of decay; mixed with whatever native soil is available; and topping with $10-$20 worth of bagged garden soil. That’s what I did for the L shaped bed and what I will do with the new one.

    I planted a replacement David Austin pink climbing rose and edged it with pansies alternated with butter lettuce. I also got a red geranium on the clearance rack at Lowe’s for $1, which was 75% off. It had gotten beat up in the rain and just needed deadheading. I also took some forsythia cuttings that I hope will take root.

    We bought two living room chairs on sale at Wayfair the week before. Wayfair cut the price even further on their big Black Friday sale last week. I called and got a price adjustment of $115!

    My husband is diabetic and had his insulin refilled for 3 months at Fred Meyer (Kroger). Fuel points were doubled on prescriptions. I also took the survey on the register tape for 50 additional points. I used my son’s phone number and got him an .80 per gallon discount at Smith’s. He and his wife are now commuting 25 miles each way, so he is thrilled whenever I can give him fuel points. He will be in a carpool to work, and she will ride with them whenever her hours are the same.

    1. Maxine:
      The pasta at Fred Meyer is on sale for 99¢ and is part of the Buy 6 get $3.00 off promotion – so nets out to 49¢ a package. I know last time you said you hadn’t seen it that low for awhile – and that we shop at the same stores. Hope you can get some.

      1. Thanks, Nancy! I didn’t get a Fred Meyer ad this week and have been planning to look at it online. I will be headed down there tomorrow.

  4. What a busy week it’s been! I took daughter to her appointment with ortho doctor and she now has knee surgery schemed for the 25th. Since her husband is still on the West Coast prepping that house for sale, I will stay overnight next Wednesday at her house here in Ohio and take her for surgery while ladies from church will babysit her 3 year old and get the 8 and 6 year olds on and off school bus and bring dinner over. What a welcoming place this has been for them!
    For our business, , I relisted a few items online and within an hour had some more flannel Softies, Soup Cozies and Scrappy Bags sold! Lady came to pick up a bundle of flannel Softies (Reusable flannel Kleenex alternatives) and about 20 minutes after she left she messaged me to say that she loved them and would be ordering several more bundles! Wow, that was humbling and gratifying at the same time. Another lady came to buy a Soup Cozie set and left with 3 sets! . Someone else dropped off 12 embroidered blocks she made with fabric for sashing and batting and backing for me to sew and quilt into a baby quilt for her. She needs it in 2 weeks so with Easter and other family obligations, I gave her a high estimate for my cost, thinking she would pass. Instead she immediately accepted and brought over all the materials and payment for the total amount! I made one before for her that were embroidered frogs. At least this one has embroidered duck blocks. Not a big fan of either but I think it will turn out cute! So, all in all, the business keeps moving along! I’m glad too because with retirement looming in just 6-1/2 weeks, I’m trying hard to squirrel away any money that comes in build up our reserve for the transition time between our final paycheck and the 4-7 weeks before we have any SS or pension coming in!
    Your readers were all so kind and helpful last week as I started to freak out about timing of benefit checks and whether we would still be in a comfortable state once things started coming in. We’ve talked with some already retired friends about some of our options for healthcare costs and have the name of an independent insurance agent to help us determine which company/plan would fit our situation the best! That is taking a weight off because the more we read the more confusing it gets! Just heard from Hubs a minute ago- our monthly cost will go down from $540 to $220 just by the agent shopping around and comparing coverages by several insurance carriers! WhooHoo!!
    I got some pasta on sale for 49 cents/box and 2 were actually free after ibotta! Also some free goldfish crackers after ibotta! I’ve been limiting my grocery shopping to only things that we really use and that are at their best price point (or free!)
    Our chickens are still eating free lettuce we were given and chopped tomatoes and apples and feed corn. As a result, the 7 of them are giving us about 3 dozen eggs/week! Yum! We’ve had deviled eggs and breakfast burritos and I’m going to use some eggs in some carrot cake bars (which also will use up some shredded carrots I had in the freezer!)
    It’s been so fun talking with Hubs about retirement and having time together to just work side by side on projects without trying to fit them around his work schedule! We also have a lot of interests/hobbies we enjoy doing separately, even when we are home together, so I don’t think we will be tripping over each other or keeping each other away from having any “alone” time though! No cruises, major high $$ adventures for us! An occasional picnic and walk at one of our amazing Metro Parks or a day trip to a near-by natural attraction or historic site! So many things to do for little/no cost! What a wonderful time/place to live!
    Our 13 fruit trees are leafing out and even blooming and we are hopeful about getting our first season of fruit this year! Our raspberry bushes look good since I cleared out the old canes! That, added to our normal veggie garden should provide some great eating and preserving this summer/fall! Hubs is excited about implementing ways to extend our gardening year that I haven’t had time to do on my own!
    All in all, a very blessed week!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

  5. What a wonderful week you had with your accomplishments! Winter’s dress is gorgeous 🙂

    *I saved the paper clip and mailing envelope that came in the mail to use for another purpose.
    *I found 30 full size candy bars on clearance at Sam’s Club for $5. I bought one box to use for treats.
    *Shopped at thrift stores for shirts for myself. Spent much less than buying new and was able to get myself new shirts which were needed.
    *Found a handmade christmas quilt at the thrift store for $10.
    *Enjoyed 4 free birthday meals at various restaurants.
    *Was offered a free Audible trial and received 4 free Audible books.
    *Found ribbon for my daughter’s wedding for 1/2 off.
    *Made meals at home including barbecued chicken, meatball soup, pancakes and grilled cheese.
    *I’ve been using the ends of bread loaves to make this recipe from Budget Bytes. It makes up one mug of french toast and my kids love it. Maybe some of you would also enjoy the recipe. I also have a slice or two that need to be used up.

    Hope everyone has a great week! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and suggestions and encouragement.

  6. You always have such excellent finds at garage sales! I was wondering if the whole family was going to road trip and take Winter to college. Have an excellent trip.

    • Made beef and cabbage stir fry and tried a new recipe for broccoli cheddar soup
    • Read books and watched movies from the library
    • Someone here shared that she was doing house projects using materials purchased in the past. I have nine bags of mulch that I purchased, ahem, two years ago and never used. They are super heavy as the contents are saturated and forsythia branches grew roots into and between the bags. However, I used them up and mulched all of the beds in the front of the house.
    • Started a one-week Nielsen radio diary. They gave me $3.00 up front and when I mail in the completed diary I will be sent $10.
    • I trimmed forsythia bushes and hauled the trimmings to our town “stump dump.” I drive a Toyota Camry so this is not a fun task, but I shove as much in to the trunk and back seat as possible. Town charges $3.00 per carload, which is $47.00 cheaper than paying a truck to haul them.
    • Roasted a chicken and used carcass to make chicken stock overnight in slow cooker.
    • Worked a side hustle and wrote a resume and helped someone with practice job interviewing

  7. Last week I was inspired by a reader who left a comment saying she used ShooGoo to fix an item. I was able to put together a solar lantern that had broken over the winter using this method. Thanks to the reader who submitted this tip, I think I may also be able to use the same adhesive for a bird bath that needs a small repair. Love this community!
    I was able to get some extra hours at my occasional office job this week, it added up to 17 hours.
    I trimmed my own bangs and I highlighted my daughters hair from a kit she purchased at a drug store.
    I attended a free lunch through work and enjoyed a free BBQ;
    I sanded and stained a small table and sold it on my FB buy & sell site, earning $45
    Continued to earn and collect Swagbucks, combine errands, eat all meals at home.
    Brandy, as always, thank you for your lovely website and thank you to all who contribute!

  8. Great garage sale finds! Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were burgers with homemade mac and cheese, slow-cooker garlic parm chicken with peas, Mongolian beef and rice with broccoli, pork bbq sandwiches with chips, homemade pizza, leftovers.
    *My husband was able to replace the windshield wiper motor in his truck himself, saving $200.
    *The wire glued to the back of my son’s lower teeth after his braces were removed came off. I called our orthodontist, who he hasn’t seen in 3 or 4 years. They said if he came in the next day, they would make a lower retainer for him for free.
    *Made a quadruple match of brownies to send as a snack to the boys and girls group on Wednesday night at church. Saved one pan for us.
    *Our roof was completed this week and my husband was able to return any unopened materials that weren’t used (totalled about $500).
    *Found the last piece of furniture my son needed for his apartment (a dresser) at the Habitat ReStore and it was 20% off.
    *Colored my hair using only half a box to do the roots.
    *Sent my nephew a card from my stash with a little birthday money in it. This was less than paying to ship something.
    *Scheduled 3 appointments in the same day to save gas/time.
    *Had a combo birthday party for my son and husband at our house. Served grilled chicken and shrimp (both bought on sale), green beans, roasted potatoes and onions, homemade chocolate cake, tea, lemonade. My daughter also brought rolls and my brother brought broccoli casserole. Gifts were a couple of polo shirts for my husband and a new phone for my son…all needed items. My daughter also got my son a can opener and hand towels for his new apartment. As you can tell, we are a family that enjoys practical gifts. ?

  9. Last week here is what I did:

    * Used natural remedies I already had at home to recover from an illness
    * Purchased cards in a package to save money
    * Received 2 $2 coupons for inquiring why a special order I made at a grocery store three weeks ago still had not arrived
    * Purchased eggs from a farmer for some relatives
    * Combined several errands Friday and Saturday to save time, money, and gas
    * Placed an order for a repeat customer who had excellent results with our nine-day cleanse
    * Used my multi-purpose cleaning solution to spring clean underneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks
    * Took a walk with a friend for exercise and fellowship that did not cost us anything
    * Borrowed physical and ebooks from the library
    * Shopped at two different grocery stores to get the best deals at each

  10. My mom sent over nearly 15 pounds of chicken legs. Hubby grilled half of them this weekend to use for lunch this week

    My mom also sent over 5 jars f spaghetti sauce. We don’t like jarred sauce so I’ll pass those on to someone else

    Opened windows when possible…the weather here is nuts…nearly 85 degrees one day, low 40s the next

    Washed my truck for free one time at Sam’s

    My neighbor is selling rainbow vacuums and while I’ll never spend that much on a vacuum, she needed to do so many presentations so we volunteered. We did get an air filter/freshener thing for free sitting through it

    There was a free HBO preview so we loaded up the DVR with movies to watch

    Rented from Redbox 1x using a $1.25 off code

    Went to a birthday party Saturday and came home with a few leftovers, yum.

    As usual, combined trips and ate at home.

  11. My biggest money saving this week was going out of town, so I skipped a weekend grocery shopping trip. I left my family a list of all the leftovers in the fridge that could be eaten, and I came back to 95% of them gone. Usually when I’m out of town my husband is constantly running to the store for ingredients (that we probably have on hand!) to cook what sounds good at the moment. By leaving a list, they ate what we had on hand and nothing was wasted and we saved a bunch of money compared to when I usually leave them to fend for themselves!

    1. I have always been happy with the absolute cheapest vacuums sold for my own apartments. But my parents bought a Rainbow when I was a kid hoping a water reservoir for the dirt instead of a bag would help my asthmatic sister breathe more easily. It was very satisfying as a kid after vacuuming to throw the dirty water out behind the bushes. That vacuum lasted mom for five decades with just one inexpensive repair to the power cord. When the motor finally died, instead of parting it out myself on ebay, I gave it to the local vacuum and sewing machine repair shop guy, figuring he’d be able to maximize value.
      Mom and I took advantage of a reward for a survey to get two premium sandwiches at McDonald’s for the price of one and got a pizza for less than $4 by taking advantage of a one-day special offer.
      But it wasn’t a particularly thrifty week.
      I did make sure the lawn mowing service won’t start until the last week of April, saving us $65 this month. Before the mowing starts, I will be doing slow-motion spring yard cleaning, a bit each day, accomodating my back’s needs, saving over $160 by doing the work (mostly pick up sticks) myself instead of hiring the professionals to do spring cleanup.
      At Goodwill, I also got a few half-price tops that match bottoms in my wardrobe along with some sewing patterns for $1 or less each.
      Otherwise, I wasn’t particularly thrifty because my mind was occupied with catching up on paperwork.
      At the state park this evening, we were amazed by how very green the grass turned in the last two or three days despite (or because of?) an overnight snowfall. Just a couple of days ago, the grass was still brown in that park the afternoon I saw a bald eagle looking for dinner.

  12. I harvested asparagus, oregano, and lettuce, and foraged tips of cats brier for salads. I planted a bronze fennel, two gifted chickasaw plums, and 3 rhubarb plants. Winter has beautiful eyes, and her dress is gorgeous. I’m pulling things to prepare from the freezer, to make room for this year’s garden bounty. So many things are blooming here. Everything just seemed to jump last week. We’re still getting plenty of eggs. Some were enjoyed in a frittata with our asparagus. I look forward to reading and learning from everyone.

  13. Winter’s dress is wonderful. Getting nails done is great also.
    We ate from the pantry,kept lights off except where we actually needing them.
    Checked our asparagus patch this morning and found over 3 dozen spears coming up so pulled the last 3 turkeys out of freezer to roast and make carcass broth. On turkey two with turkey 3 still thawing. I now have room for the 4 ft by 120 ft asparagus patch that is starting to produce. I’m not sure if this is a positive of buying a home with that size of patch or a negative at this point LOL.
    We bartered getting our drive way graded in exchanged for taking the neighbor to get his disc fixed.
    We have been turning the furnace off or at least down almost daily when the sun is shining or I have the oven on and the house warms .
    Been reading everyone’s comments …

    Blessed be Juls

  14. I paid taxes so I am glad that is over with. I always look at it like I am not loaning the government my money all year, and if I have to pay at year end, that is ok. I was at the town shelter until 3 am Saturday because of tornadoes. I always consider it prudent to take shelter, especially since two passed over us. We were fine but others in my state were not so fortunate. The power was off in the church Sunday morning, and it is a good thing I had a regular piano to play. I took to the missionaries dried beans I had cooked in the Crock-Pot. I combined jalapenos, beans potatoes and corn. I made enough for me to eat for supper all week also. I walked in the neighborhood for exercise. I did all my usual of bringing my lunch to work, not eating out, etc. Hey, if anyone knows how to save on plane tickets, I would appreciate it if you gave me some tips. My daughter is pregnant, and it looks like I will be flying 2,000 miles to Salt Lake frequently now. I hate to fly but I cannot get off from work for frequent cross country driving, nor train trips.

    1. Cindy in the South: Wishing your family a healthy and comfortable pregnancy!
      Google Flights is a good basic search engine. Of course, flights booked farther in advance are cheaper, and some days have cheaper flights than others. Look at airports near your home and destinations to see if a cheaper flight goes to a nearby airport. You might leave some clothes at her home if you can to save on packing. If you join an airline rewards program, be sure it is one that flies to the places you want to go. Security has started asking about food carried on board, not taking it but checking it, which is annoying. Presuming you will use a credit card to buy the tickets, check what it offers in terms of insurance and perhaps TSA pre-check services, to save some time when boarding. I didn’t know my card qualified me for pre-check except that it was printed on my ticket. Saved me having to take my shoes off at least.

    2. I use a Southwest credit card for everything I can. Then I have the points to fly. Plus with Southwest, there are no change fees and you can check 2 bags free.

      1. Points with a Crew is a website written by an LDS father who takes his family on frequent trips using frequent flyer miles. A second the suggestion of getting a Southwest credit card……and congrats on the upcoming grandbaby!

        1. I am the queen of frequent flyer miles! The Southwest card is great IF Southwest serves the two cities. Go online to a site such as Kayak and find out which airline offers the most/best service between your home and your daughter’s. THAT’S the card you want to get! And then you want to use it for everything you can pay in full in 30 days. You will probably get a signing bonus that is about equal to one RT flight. I have had the Alaska card since 1989 and we fly on miles almost exclusively. I have used it to help purchase several new cars. (Most dealerships will allow you to put $7,000-$10.000 on a card). Back in the day, we also paid my son’s college tuition with the card. Again, this only works for you if you can pay the full amount the next month (we were actually paying cash for the cars). Credit card points are the best way to collect airline miles in a hurry.

  15. Oh my, what fantastic photos of Winter!

    I have been slowly working through the pantry and freezer. I did manage to find some butter and milk at a reasonable price so bought some more of those. And Safeway had 80/20 ground beef on sale for $0.99/lb so I bought a bit and froze in one pound packages. Otherwise, our turkey and ham supplies are dwindling and I can see the bottom of the freezer! Our two small Spring vacations were canceled until we can get my husband’s back pain under control…which since these were motorcycle trips, and we live in Az, means the vacations will most likely be delayed until the fall. Bike trips are no fun in the desert heat ;). Otherwise, I continue cooking batches of soup, and splitting into meal portions, as a way to have meals ready to go when I am tired. My freezer right now has navy bean, chili, beef barley and chicken noodle…all waiting for the right moment to make their appearance.

  16. Gorgeous dress on a gorgeous young lady.
    We had spring-like weather early in the week and I was able to work in the yard, cleaning up some and pulling the mulch back from the asparagus. My rhubarb is starting to come out – it’s always first in the spring – and I have some daffodils that will soon bloom.
    Neither my husband nor I liked the granola I purchased for our camping trip (we much prefer homemade) so I used the store-bought stuff for cookies. When I make cookies, I cut the sugar by ¼ to 1/3 and substitute homemade applesauce for half of the butter. This saves a little money and makes them a little healthier.
    I knit four dishcloths, using scrap yarn.
    With snow in the forecast, I cut all the daffodils that were showing yellow and brought them inside to decorate my table.
    The snow kept us inside for three days. We read books from the library and ate from the pantry.

  17. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    You did so well stocking up your pantry with the pasta at such a cheap price and I would have stocked up lots at that price too. Wish we had caselot sales here but unfortunately not but we do have good weekly specials every now and again in varying supermarkets and I tend to buy by the case then when they come on half price or better specials. Shopping at op shops and garage sales save so much money over buying things new in clothing and all other items too and young children grow out of clothing so quickly they barely have time to wear them out in my experience. The dress that Winter made is beautiful and she looks so elegant in it.

    Now that my husband has seen the bargains and low cost items we can get secondhand rather than buying new from garage sales, op shops and the like he is a convert. I just remember how excited he was when we found a nearly new complete easiyo yoghurt maker for $1 in an op shop and had it under his arm clasping it like a footy player to keep it safe. It is lovely to see adults enjoying themselves too and getting pleasure from the inexpensive and little things in life : ) . He looked equally excited when we found his insulated army surplus coat at a school fete recently as it was so incredibly cheap and in good condition too.

    Our savings last week added up to $967.14 🙂 .

    Blessings –
    – Our neighbour gaves us 2 cooked mud crabs and 3 rockmelons from her gardens.

    In the gardens and house –
    – We cleaned the fireplace flue using a drill operated flue cleaner (just over $20) we purchased on eBay saving $167.14 over getting a tradesperson in to do it for us even including the cost of the flue cleaner purchase 😮 .
    – Crawled into the ceiling cavity to measure up for the insulation batts we are saving for. Serious spraying in there before we clean it and put the batts in as there is Redback spiders and eggs sacks in the corners and I am not taking any chances.
    – Pulled down 3 more grapeyard vineyard enclosure 14′ ironbark posts and only 3 more to go, happy dances.

    Groceries & kitchen baking –
    – Found lots of up to and half price specials and purchased 24 of each tinned cream of chicken and mushroom soups, ice cream, tinned tuna and reduced produce from IGA saving $111.16 on usual prices.
    – Did a bulk purchase of staples and tinned fruits from Woolworths and took advantage of $10 off supermarket rewards (you get these on your card when you have spent a certain amount), our $15 off for using our roadside assist grocery gift cards and other specials saving $28.15 on usual prices.
    – Did a bulk order for things we were short of from Nuts About Life website (sort of a wholesale restaurant supply shop) being cocoa powder, coconut, cinnamon, cashews, walnuts, mild curry powder and nutmeg and saved $134.10 over buying them in either Aldi or Woolworths too including delivery for the equivalent amounts.

    Finances and listings –
    – Listed 10 more free listings on eBay saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases –
    – At a school fete we purchased a electrician tested secondhand breadmaker for $5, a secondhand good condition insulated army surplus coat for DH for $10 (usually $99 – $149 secondhand) and a new suede leather hat for me for $10 (usually around $70 ea) saving $262.80 over buying new or the coat secondhand.

    We had a wonderfully productive and money saving week this week too :).

    Sewingcreations15 .

  18. Winter’s dress is so beautiful!!
    This week’s frugalities include:
    Baking a batch of orange muffins, my easy recipe that uses a whole orange with the peel. Had a few chocolate chips so I added those for a yummy variation.
    Packing breakfast and lunch to work everyday
    Drying laundry on a rack in the basement, still too cold for drying laundry outside
    Used garden herbs that I froze to perk up meals
    Hemmed up 3 pairs of pants that were gifted to me
    Walked the river valley trails for free exercise
    Have a good week!

      1. Here you go. You can add nuts, raisins or chocolate chips.

        Sunshine Muffins
        1 orange
        1/2 cup orange juice
        1 egg
        1/4 cup oil
        1 1/2 cups flour
        3/4 cup sugar
        1 tsp. baking powder
        1 tsp. baking soda
        1 tsp. salt
        1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries(optional)
        1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
        Cut orange into 8 pieces. Put cut-up orange (that’s right – the whole orange), orange juice, egg and oil in blender. Blend until smooth. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend. Add raisins and nuts. Blend just until mixed. Pour mixture into muffin tins and bake at 375 deg.F (190 deg.C) for 15-20 minutes. Makes 16 medium muffins.

  19. Winter is so talented with her sewing; that’s a gorgeous dress!

    We had a good week, and are feeling very blessed.
    *Gave the dogs their twice annual haircuts. This saves about $200 each time we do it as they are both very long-haired Saint Bernards!
    *Got an ibotta rebate of $0.25 for an item we normally buy anyways.
    *Our 7th grade daughter got a free dress for this year’s dance from a teacher at school who had some leftover after offering the selection to the high school girls for prom. Several other girls were also able to get a free dress. This was such a blessing and unexpected! What a sweet heart of service that teacher has.
    *Found a switch for my husband’s welder on ebay that was only $15.45 with shipping. We were very pleased to find a part for the repair and to be able to continue using this important tool. Plus it was much cheaper than we had expected and arrived very quickly.
    *Combined errands with my mom to save an extra trip to town.
    *Cancelled an annual online subscription saving $20/year.
    *Returned/renewed library books on time again to save on any fees. This is such progress on our part! Also found out from our tiny very nearby library that in December this year they will begin offering interlibrary loan for free from 50 other libraries in our state. I will then stop paying for an annual subscription of $25 to our “big town” library and just order all books from the small library. I’m very excited for this option.
    *Hung most of our laundry on the clothesline for the week.
    *Focused on using up all food for less waste. Also started a new compost pile close to the new garden spot and have been more determined about saving scraps for that instead of being lazy and throwing them in the trash.
    *Submitted a $15 rebate for the flea & tick medicine we give to our dogs every 3 months. I also comparison shopped and found it was $4 cheaper at our local vet than online, plus that was the only way to get the rebate offer.
    *Reused a bubble envelope to send a sample of a supplement to a friend.
    *Received a refund on a subscription I tried but didn’t want to continue. When I looked up on their website how to cancel, I saw they offer a 45-day refund policy that is not advertised. All I had to do was reply to the cancel confirmation email that I’d like a refund and they processed it immediately. An extra $10.47 I wasn’t expecting!
    *I’ve been saving food grade plastic bags that would normally be tossed and washing them for reuse. For example, I used a frozen vegetable bag and cut the top off with scissors instead of ripping open so more of the bag was usable. I later used it to wrap leftover roast and saved the use of a Ziploc type bag.
    *Calculated the average cost of using my dishwasher is $0.50 (for electricity only as we don’t pay for water) and for my dryer is $0.37 for one hour. This will be helpful in determining how my frugal efforts are paying off.

  20. Deals at grocery store : pasta .50 cents a pound canned kidney and black bean 3 for dollar. Butter 1.99 ham 88cents a lb (regular 2.99 lb turkey .49cents a lb hubby favorite breakfast meat 2.99 lb
    Instead of buying I made dill pickle ranch and cocktail sauce.

  21. Brandy, I would like to say the ear drop oil worked great. After one use , sugar cookie claims her ear pain has gone away. I found a 3.00 Amazon credit I had misplaced . I put it with a 5.00 credit we were issued for a late delivery and ordered a 6 pack of deodorant. I find small amounts often go far. I purchased a small item at the grocery store. It rang up wrong and I patiently waited for them to verify all the sorted details and refund my money under the scan right guarantee. I’ve decided I am not to proud to remind them of their posted policy instead of accepting just the amount of the overcharge. I like free items. I scanned a baby registry to see what a young lady was requesting. I saw a 20.00 item that I actually had in my gift closet. I paid 2.00 at the salvage store a few months back. I will send this to her and my gift closet is officially empty. I have no plans to fill it up. I find that washing my hair with Apple cider vinegar and baking soda leaves my hair snowy white and removes the yellow tinge. There’s definitely no saving money here right now . I’m paying co pays and deductibles and hoping for a good outcome. We are searching for a car diligently and hope to find one soon. I’ve passed several by because I simply thought they might be lemons. Patience is a virtue. The financial limitations make me much more cautious. I’m hoping the Army boy will be home this week , otherwise I cannot guarantee the safety of his chocolate rabbit. I returned several items to the store as they just didn’t work well for my needs. I have gotten much better at saving my receipts. I find that sugar cookie has used up all her brothers body wash. She has her own but has decided she likes his better. Who knows why !!! I bought her a 24 pack of Zest bar soap for 5.00 and hope this will suit her. I’m actually not sure why we stopped buying bar soap. This is much cheaper and says it’s 700 washes. I guess we will see. I continue to try not to be stuck in my old habits and find new alternatives. 5.00 for 24 bars is much better than a bottle of body wash a week. I have very clean children.?

    1. I found that using a pump type hand soap dispenser makes body wash and shampoo last much longer. Instead of my kids pouring a big glob, they use a pump or two and it lasts a LOT longer! Also saves on those “oops” the bottle tipped over while open moments 🙂

    2. “…I cannot guarantee the safety of his chocolate rabbit.” Lillianna, that is priceless! Best wishes for an enjoyable reunion with your son.

    3. Lillianna, your comment on the chocolate rabbit is priceless! Best wishes for an enjoyable reunion with your son.

  22. * This past week was busy. My husband finally had time to build the shelves in our fruit cellar, something that I’ve been waiting for since we moved to our present new home in November 2018. I’m lucky that he’s very handy as he saves us quite a bit of money doing renovations/repairs himself. I managed to unpack boxes and boxes of empty mason jars, as well as my home-canned goods. I definitely will need to do some major canning this year. My eldest daughter who is getting married next month, is planning on doing some canning for herself and her new husband. It will be a new experience for him as his mom never did any home canning.
    * This past weekend I hosted her Bridal Shower. I stocked up on the food when it was on sale, and made most of the items homemade rather than buying it already prepared. It was a simple menu based on a British tea party with a summer garden theme. The house was decorated with greenery and many real and fake “silk” flowers from the Dollar Store all in various shades of pink and white hues.
    * I served homemade tea sandwiches: lobster salad on mini homemade crescent rolls (I combined real lobster with imitation lobster to stretch it); ham, Havarti cheese, green apple slices and Dijon mayonnaise on marbled rye bread; crab salad in homemade bite-sized phyllo cups (again, I combined real crab with imitation crab); sliced spinach tortillas stuffed with my homemade cream cheese spinach dip; and because her bridesmaid dresses are pink, I made homemade bread, tinted pink, and cut the bread slices into flower shapes and filled with cream cheese and thinly sliced cucumbers. The ladies were rather intrigued with the pink bread.
    * a veggie platter with homemade dill dip.
    * tiny goat cheese balls rolled in either sesame seeds, crushed pecans, or dill accompanied with homemade crackers and red tortillas that we cut into flower shapes and baked as a crispy cracker.
    * desserts consisted of homemade: mini lemon cheesecake tarts topped with blackberries; mini orange cupcakes in pretty flower-shaped cupcake holders topped with citrus buttercream frosting and a raspberry; homemade brownies; homemade chocolate pudding/chocolate mousse cups with grated chocolate over top; homemade madelaines that I sandwiched together using whipped cream and strawberry slices; homemade brandy snaps rolled into a tube and filled with vanilla pastry cream; profiteroles (store bought. Didn’t have time to make those); homemade dark chocolate mocha truffles and white chocolate orange truffles.
    * a fruit bouquet with some of the melons cut into flower shapes; accompanied by a homemade strawberry cream cheese/whipped cream fruit dip.
    * a lovely citrus punch.
    It was a wonderful day, but my two younger daughters who helped me put on the shower, and I were exhausted by day’s end.
    Cheers everyone!

    1. The shower sounds lovely. I am so amazed at the amount and variety of hand-prepared delicacies you made! I am sure your daughter and each guest felt blessed by your efforts. Congratulations on such a successful event.

    2. in a 100 years i could not make that food, especially in the midst of house cleaning and under the thret of entertaining…

  23. Winter’s dress is just lovely. Now that the big (expensive) event is finally successfully over, I am looking forward. I’m specifically looking at the rearranging of things. Everything in its place. To that end, I’m staying put this week off from school and organizing. When the weather is nice (this past weekend), I’m outside cleaning the yard and moving brush piles off the newly found lawn. I’m also cutting wood for next winter. And it us great exercise. When the weather is awful (like today), I am working in the cabin organizing and doing school work I brought home.

    *I washed out all the plastic bags
    *picked up some cans I saw for one of the teacher’s son’s sending money
    *found pennies that ended up in the change jar
    *cancelled a Garden Party commitment that was costly…would have been such a great tons, but too expensive in time and money
    *no food waste, and I drank saved coffee one day instead of making new
    *discovered the photos I thought I would have to pay for are free for downloading!
    *did not renew a subscription
    *purposed to earn airline miles whenever possible by using my card that does that
    *staying out of stores
    *gave gifts from my planned thrift shopping
    *Stopped shopping!

    Happy frugal-ing y’all!

  24. Winter looks so beautiful in her gorgeous dress – she has a very 1940’s elegant movie star vibe about her.
    You have done so well as usual with all those great buys – a bit of planning ahead really does make such a difference.

    It’s been an odd couple of weeks – haven’t really overspent but don’t feel as though I’ve done much to save either. I’ve been very busy at work and I feel as though I really need to make more of an effort at home to catch up with things. I’ve managed to feed myself and keep up with the laundry but I’m behind on everything else – hope to get caught up Friday afternoon as the church office closes after Good Friday service.

    My yearly payout from a small investment came in today so I’ve cleared a small OD, paid ahead on a couple of bills – allocated funds to certain “envelopes” and then will keep the balance for my emergency fund. I will treat myself to a good haircut and colour on Wednesday (it is waaay overdue) so I am looking forward to having that done. Some of the funds in those envelopes will go to restocking my pantry as things are quite low (but at least nothing has gone to waste) – I have some money going towards food and another amount to non-food items so I’ll make a start tomorrow morning as there are some items on special that I need (plus they will give me loyalty points). I feel as though I’m now back on track and I’m determined to be extra careful over the next few months.

    However, I know myself so I still get an “allowance” but once it’s gone, it’s gone and that is it for the month! I’m starting to look at free or low cost things to do now that the weather is at least starting to get a bit better. Last Friday I toured the Toronto Archives building with my social club – we always donate $5 as a thank you for these free tours but the group leader then emailed us all to say that they didn’t accept donations – they are a government office – so we will all get a refund at next months general meeting. It was gorgeous here on Saturday, sunny with a lovely breeze and up to 14C – everyone was outside and had a smile on their faces. I met a friend for breakfast (cheapest meal to eat out) and then we walked over to the market, picked up a couple of things and then just enjoyed the people watching.
    Hope everyone has a good week and a wonderful Easter.

  25. It’s so nice to see what Winter has sewn. She is just getting more skilled all the time.

    We made it to 2 garage sales this week, and found a couple of small things. I have a little list I want to find, including board games to replenish ours but no luck this week. They will be easy to find in time, though. I bought a piece of fabric that was shorter than the seller claimed, though. Thankfully, I didn’t spend much, but I’ll be more diligent to check it more carefully next time.

    I got a few things at Macy’s on a great sale for myself and my daughter. The last time I went was before Christmas, I believe, and she was desperate for a couple of things. We found what we needed for the money we had and some gift cards I’ve been hoarding from my last birthday and Christmas. I’m having very little success at yard sales for her or myself when it comes to clothes.

    I did not do my regular grocery shop this week. We just grabbed a few items we needed and saved the money for another week. I’m trying to get the fridge emptied to make room for the extra food I will cook for Easter. We cooked a lot of great food, though, heavily using our pantry and freezers.

    We kept my nephew this past weekend, as we often do. I took him to JoAnn’s to a kid craft day where they could build either an elephant or a flower from Legos. It was free. He had fun, as did my daughter who was being a good sport and went along. Pictures of the 2 of them are here:

    I read a library book to him over the weekend. (The Boxcar Children–Blue Bay Mystery). He’s really getting into that series now, and we ordered a couple more from the library system today. He had my husband make him “Almanzo pancakes” from “The Long Winter” book we read a while back. Because he always wants a stack of them, my husband makes really little ones so we can stack them up and he can say he ate 10 or however many:). I can really see how reading aloud to him so much is starting to expand his horizons more and more.

  26. This weeks savings were not as good as last week, as we spent quite a bit, but we still managed to save some money! I cashed 5,000 swaybacks for an amazon gift card and a safeway gift card. This safeway card with those I have been saving will pay for our Easter dinner this year for our family. I bought a Christmas present for my son at 60% off. I also made a purchase at the sale, purchasing keychains at 75% off for my son’s birthday party goodie bags for October. At the same Lego sale, I bought two small lego sets for my niece for either Christmas or her birthday. I purchased enough to trigger free shipping. We went to Las Vegas last week and went to see the Marvel S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Experience at Treasure Island using buy one get one free tickets; my son loved it! I brought home the toiletries from the hotel room that we didn’t use for use at home. I continued earning RecycleBank points for magazine subscriptions that we are planning on giving as Christmas gifts this year. I went shopping at the Goodwill this past Sunday. I hit the jackpot! Two pairs of rainboots for my son for $5 each. A pair of sandals (Target version of Keen’s) for my son for $4. A Vera Bradley purse (like new!) for $9. A Sak purse for me for $9 (like new). Several items of clothing for my son. Three Pampered Chef items brand new still in their wrapping for less than $15. I was also treated to a high school reunion lunch by my good friend. I won at $100 gift certificate for the venue where the reunion was at.

  27. My Itoh peonies are coming up (the $65-$85 each plant that I got on a flat sale for $2.50 each ). I bought 28, sold 4 to raise money to rebuild a village destroyed by the earthquake in Nepal, and gave 5 to friends. I am hoping that this, their third year, is a year when they will come into a full prolific bloom.

    I am invited to go watch Sharp-tailed grouse dancing at their lek and my friend has paid for me. I am a little sad because when I broke my arm a year ago, they missed the fact that I had torn my tendons. One is partially torn while the other is totally severed. Among other limitations, it limits my being able to pan with my camera. It would have been nice not to have been prescribed physio which caused the tendon to break. I love the physiotherapist, poor dear had no idea what she was dealing with. Nor did I. I’m not sure how photographing will be, if I go.

    I am getting a free ride to the polling station tomorrow.

    Today, I labelled about 300 photos (these are the photos that by a miracle came my way). I am going to push ahead labelling photos — the archives said I could sort them using one of their long tables which will really help. It was really painful to label them but I want to get them returned to the rightful owner. finally, before something else happens.

    We had a heavy thick snow overnight a couple of nights ago. Everything will turn green quickly. The wild prairie crocuses are starting to bloom. The swans are returning for their stop over on their way north.

    I have now reached Level 25 on Duo lingo. I was worried since Level 25 is supposedly the top level and I still have several lessons to go but it let me continue. It is a great program for learning a language free.

    and finally it is with sadness that I note the dreadful fire that has damaged Notre Dame in Paris. So sad.

  28. -My biggest frugal accomplishment over the past week was spending only $2 on my daughter’s prom outfit. We got the dress for free from a church event that lends out dresses to local teens. The jewelry came from the event as well. Her shoes were borrowed from a family member and her hair was done by her best friend that has a talent with hair styles. We found a makeup tutorial on YouTube so we recreated a Greek/Roman inspired style that she preferred. The $2 was due to having bought tulle ribbon to create two modesty pieces for the back of the dress and the low cut front. The biggest accomplishment from this frugal event was that my daughter chose to go the cheapest route all on her own. I originally gave her a budget to work with and she scoffed and said she could do way better, then mentioned this free event to me. I am blessed to have such a mindful daughter and this has encouraged me that she will be okay in all her future financial decisions when she leaves my nest in a few years. Sniff, sniff.
    The pictures are at

    1. Emma is beautiful and her dress lovely. What a wise daughter. It reminds me of the time we got a $5 prom dress for my daughter 12 years ago. It pains me to see how much people spend on the prom with dresses, limos, restaurants and prom tickets!

  29. gorgeous picture!
    my brother gives me his clothes. i pass those i do not want to a friend but i can always use several items like some shorts, shorts… now i wear his office buttoned shirts as my post baby weight is what it is. great lenght and orderly look.

  30. Hello! It has been a while since I have commented, but I read your post and all of the comments faithfully. What did I do to save money? Let’s see…
    1. Ground chuck was 2.49 a pound. That’s the cheapest I’ve seen in a bit so I bought ten pounds and restocked the freezer. It’s the only meat I bought since I cleaned out my freezer and found that I still had about 7 packs of chicken in the bottom of it. I also found 20 pounds of flour and 20 pounds of cornmeal stored in our big freezer!! YAY!!!.
    2. Found two new shirts in my new size for 3.00 each.
    3. We have coffee and bottled water provided for us at work, so I’ve been drinking that instead of buying it. I now drink 1 liter of water before lunch each day. (I hate water and would drink 6 diet sodas a day. It stalled my weight loss so now I make myself drink 1 liter of water before I can have a soda and I’ve cut down to 2 sodas a day. One day I will get to no sodas, but baby steps, baby steps lol)
    4. I bring my own lunch everyday. I very seldom eat out. Monday is a Professional Development Day for us and we usually go out to eat then, but I don’t plan to go.
    5. We have gotten our light bill under 200 for the past two months! Last month is was 170, the lowest it has been since we moved into our house in August. We have been diligent in turning off lights, not running air or heat unless absolutely necessary, unplugging everything. It has made a difference. Our water bill dropped about 20.00 as well last month. Very happy about that.

    I think that’s all for now. Everyone have a great week!

  31. Here’s an unusual story of how disorganization ended up being a frugal thing for me. In the fall, I had put aside some clothing – mostly shirts that were too small for me because I had gained some weight. I had intended to make a larger pile and then donate them all together once I had finished sorting through clothing. Fast forward to this spring. I have lost enough weight to go down in clothing size. I was trying to organize my clothing to see what I needed to purchase at thrift stores in my new size. Lo and behold, I found the donation pile! The shirts fit again! No need to spend any money.
    Yes, I realize that disorganization is costly in almost all circumstances but I was grateful that I don’t have to buy spring/summer shirts for myself. I am trying to get more organized and it’s a very slow process for me………. I wonder what else I will find hidden away in my closets etc.
    Thank you Brandy for your inspiring photographs and blog!

  32. Winter is beautiful and so talented. Love the dress! And congrats on the yard sale finds!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and foil and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • I worked a conference this week with the company I contract for, which produces conferences. I was able to bring home several workout shirts, 3 baseball hats, a water bottle, 2 golf balls with tees, 5 small bags of chips, 2 cans of soda, a bottle of hot sauce, some candy, a couple of small bags of cookies, a small notebook and pen and a couple of bottles of water. Also had all my meals paid for Sunday lunch through Wednesday lunch. They also paid a daily rate. I took the toiletries and coffee from the room every day as I stayed at the hotel where the event took place. The coffee was k-cups. Since I don’t have a machine like that, I will use them as stocking stuffers for my son and son-in-law. I’ve put them in the freezer so they don’t go bad. Also everyone who worked the conference received a $10 Amazon gift card for a job well done.
    • Ate in 6 times. While I was at conference, my husband had catfish and baked potato; pinto beans and tortillas; and a salad. Other meals included roast chicken, fettucine alfredo and green beans; pork chops baked in mushroom soup with baked potatoes and green beans; and homemade pizza.
    • Also worked 8 contract hours in addition to the conference work.
    • Since I was working, I wasn’t able to take Dad out to lunch, so a savings there.
    • Hung 3 out of 6 loads of laundry outside.
    • Bought a used treadmill for $100 from Hubby’s sister. She needed the money and we had been looking for one, so a win/win. It needed some work, but Hubby was able to do it and now it works great. It will come in handy here when it is too hot to exercise outside.
    • Albertson’s had a deal on 80% lean ground beef this week for 99c/lb., limit 10 lbs. Couldn’t pass up that deal! I got all 10 lbs. However, it was packaged in 5+ lb. containers, so they tried to charge me more for the overage. I went to customer service and pointed out that I didn’t have a choice as all of the packages were over 5 lbs. They refunded the difference. Always pays to be aware!
    • Got a couple of Ibotta rebates.
    • Replaced the top of a pump bottle of lotion with a top I had saved so that I could turn it over to get the last of it.

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  33. What a lovely dress! I hope to have skills like that sewing one day. Right now the extent of mine are mostly hand sewing/mending and crazy quilting (I love to do that for making bags, etc. from scraps). I always have a knack for dreaming up things without a pattern and drove my mom crazy with those projects as a kid growing up.

    We mostly saved money by using up items in our food storage last week. We also spent plenty of time outdoors playing. The boys collected tons of dandelion bouquets for me, so we are drying some to use in herbal teas. I also plan to collect some of the dandelion greens for salads before the grass is mowed.

    Here are the rest of our accomplishments:

    I so enjoy this space and all the positive comments! I hope you’ll stop by my blog and check out the posts there. It means a lot to share in this frugal adventure of life together.

  34. -Bough a ton of Christmas and Valentine’s Candy that still had great dates for .10 and .15 which I will re-purpose by putting in plastic eggs for my 6 niece/nephews egg hunt after our Easter pot-luck lunch. That is assuming I can find the plastic eggs I saved from last year that were originally purchased at Target at 90% off a couple of years ago. Anything on the .15 and .10 candy table that I liked but they didn’t have multiple of I will use for the big queen/prize egg at same hunt. I bought tons of candy and toys/books for the kids for Easter so my sister decided to buy everyone new clothes.
    -I love Target but I especially love stuff from Target for 90% off at our local salvage store. This time it was mostly health and beauty items. I’m a nail polish junkie so I had a great time digging through the shelves and getting some for not only myself but sister and niece.
    -House sat for 4 days, since it is in city 70 miles away and I live in country it is always like a vacation. My homeowners have great internet and tv package, live really close to good shopping and restaurants and leave me tons of money and gift cards. I am single and child-free and except for a couple of work days each month I do not adhere to any schedule, I sleep and eat and shop and go to town whenever the urge strikes. The only not-so-great part of pet-sitting is that the dogs I care for get up at 6am and in my real life I don’t usually get up until at least 9am. So even though I love them and taking care of them is pretty easy and I get to do lots of fun stuff, I always come home exhausted from the difference in wake-up time. It takes me a couple of days to get back to my normal self. I am now on day 2 back at home and as soon as I consume a giant Diet Coke I will have completely bounced back.
    -Always enjoy reading everyone’s posts.

  35. Hello all! It has been some time but I feel like I’m slowly dragging out of the weeds. And the big news is my husband got a raise…. meaning he’s finally back to his pre-recession salary!!!! (Yes more than 10 years. Such is life. )
    Finished taxes. Our refund will go to debt.
    Bought a dress for my daughter. Not on sale but good price and she’s willing to wear for Easter, first communion, a wedding, cousin’s graduation and middle school graduation. A deal!
    Found a couple tops on sale that I can rotate for same events as well as the office. Saves me from buying a dress that I’ll never wear.
    Eating from freezer this week. Getting myself re-inspired now that I have energy to work through ideas on living more frugally instead of just surviving!

    1. Robby, I am still not back to my pre recession salary so I totally understand. Congrats to your husband!

  36. Winter looks svelte in her dress. Her derrière is tastefully modeled. She is the picture of class. (Winter made me think of Pippa Middleton at the royal wedding of her sister. A dress that was form form fitting yet modest.) Love, love the sleek, column dress.

  37. Winter looks beautiful in her dress. What a talented young lady.
    We are being frugal by eating at home and bringing out lunches to work. My husband bought me a couple of dresses, buy one get one 75% off. I was n’t sure we should spend the money but he insisted. So tomorrow after I get my hair done I am going to wear one of them. I haven’t had a new dress in a very long time. So I was pretty excited.
    It seems I’ve been sick for a month, sinus infection, ear ache and the flu. Finally I am feeling better, just a bit tired.
    Trying to wait until I get home to eat has helped me lose weight. I am also eating more vegetable soups.
    Eating what we have so as not to spend extra money. Staying out of all stores including thrift shops so as not to be tempted to buy. Exception would be the day my husband took me to buy a couple of dresses that he said are necessities. Sweet man.
    Planted our own seeds in hopes of a large garden.
    Enjoying wildlife, particularly deer in the evenings.
    Haven’t been walking with my son as I have been sick. Hope to begin walking again soon.
    Put tires on a pay off in 6 months 0 interest credit card. I hate to put things on credit but we needed the tires for the truck so my husband could get to work..
    Somehow we have kept up with all of our bills. Very happy about that. Amazing what frugalness can do. I hope to pay off bills and save too.

    1. Sorry to hear that you have had a hard time with sinus infection etc. I had it and it took 6 weeks to get over it. My friends had it and it tok a long time for them as well.

      I trust your garden is fenced from the deer. I was talking to a friend outside yesterday when a deer ran by. The startled look on a boy’s face on the sidewalk when he saw the deer was priceless.

      Great that your sweet husband bought you dresses.

      I hope your garden does well! Am looking forward to hearing about it!

      Hope you’re better,

      1. Ann,
        Thank-you. I actually had to go back and get on an antibiotic again. How wonder I keep falling asleep. I’m glad you are better.
        Aren’t deer great! I do hope they stay out of our garden when my plants go in the ground. But I sure enjoy them otherwise.

  38. I guess my biggest frugal move is being determined to not make any impulse buys at the garden center! So far I haven’t fallen to the lures of the exotic plants, though it is early in the season. I did buy two dollar pots of grape hyacinth at WalMart, as they haven’t bloomed fully yet and I am sure they will spread quickly. It is a superb year for ever-expanding daffodils in my yard, with tulips just starting, and my few small bits of snowdrops, scilla and hyacinths are blooming. Crocuses are done. I bought pansies at the real garden center (not WalMart) because I want to support the local business.

    Our back yard seems to be eroding as the neighbors cut down some trees with old root systems that held the soil in place. I am considering what to plant to slow it down. Red dogwood shrubs seem a good choice, as they spread quickly and look good from far away. I briefly thought of blueberries for the dampest spot. However, I read a description that mentioned they are shallow rooted. Anyway, I already inadvertently feed squirrels and rabbits; fighting the birds for blueberries is more than I need.

    We are looking at our life insurances costs. We have large policies to leave as much as we can for our special needs son. I wish I had realized ten years ago that we should have reviewed our policies then, when we were younger and healthier.

    My husband is about a week late in saying, “I don’t know what to get you for your birthday.” As he says that every birthday and Christmas, he must have something in mind, which is rather suspenseful. We generally don’t do a lot for gifts, although he always wants me to feel well loved. If I remember correctly, Brandy’s birthday is also coming up? I wish you a lovely and well-loved day!

    1. Grape Hyacinths are such a fabulously frugal plant Heidi Louise as they last for years, slowly spreading around. A neighbour gave me a pot when my son Noah was born, he’s 15 now and despite moving house4 times I have a garden full of them, all from the original pot. Each time we moved I dug up a couple of clumps and replanted at our next house, funny to think those plants are now at each of our previous homes, almost like a trail of where we have lived! Enjoy then, I sure do!

      1. Thank you for writing, Joanne: If I had moved to one of your previous homes, I’m sure I would have enjoyed your hyacinths, as well as I likely would have taken some with me if I moved, to continue their spread.
        I liked your phrase “concoction tea” in your frugal list below. Sounds very grown-up and tasty.

  39. Winter’s dress is awesome and so is her talent!!
    Brandy, so glad you had success on your garage sale shopping.

    I wanted to let everyone know you can buy .99 cent cans of spray paint at Lowe’s. The color selection is very limited but the paint is good quality. I purchased two cans of flat black and that was enough for me to freshen up 2 of my lawn chairs that I left out over the winter, a bench that was also left out and a planter. For $2 everything looks fresh and clean and ready for spring and summer.

    I really needed a pair of black shoes with a slight heel to help extend my work wardrobe. I found a pair at WalMart for $13. While there I also found a black t-shirt with a little longer sleeve which I prefer. These two purchases will get me through spring and summer. It might not sound frugal but when I consider the time to check out all the thrift stores, this made more sense because they were exactly what I needed.

    My husband’s birthday is coming up and I am short on funds so I was happy I found a small, portable BBQ grill at Fred Meyer on sale for $3.97. It was originally over $20. It is very good quality and can be used when it is just the two of us and it will also be good to have for our emergency preparedness supplies. The young man that was the cashier was so impressed with the quality and price, he couldn’t wait for his shift to end so he could purchase one for himself!

    Finally, I cut my own hair. I am not normally brave enough to try this but I have curly hair so worst case, I just wear it pulled up for spring and summer until it grows out some and by then maybe I can pay to go to a salon.

    Thanks again to everyone for their great ideas and inspiration.
    Happy Easter

  40. To look at my calendar, it appears I didn’t do a thing last week except entertain the family for my husband’s birthday–but I know I was busier than that!
    There was some laundry left from the previous week, I remember that for sure. I made meatloaf one night and goulash with broccoli later in the week. I believe there was homemade pizza in there also, which lasted for two night’s dinners. I really do have to start writing more things down, I guess. My husband got NO birthday gift from me–at least none that was wrapped and presented in a box. I told him I would make him two pies–and I made the second one tonight. The first was on his birthday, when DD, SIL, and DGD came over to help him eat it. The one I made tonight only has to be shared with me, and it’s apple–his favorite but not mine. The first was sour cherry. I also paid for Sub sandwiches which my grandaughter picked up and brought to us for dinner that night. They were good–our favorite sub shop sold out to another company a couple months ago and we hadn’t had a sub since. So he had a good celebration. On Monday I took him into Buffalo to see the exhibition of art in legos. at the science museum. It was quite interesting and a good way to spend a cold and rainy day! Some were reproductions of famous art paintings and sculptures while others were original to the artist. Kind of fun.
    We did have one frugal fail–but it wasn’t TOO expensive. (Husband has dementia) He was helping me put groceries away and asked where I wanted the 2 pound bag of fresh carrots. I was not clear enough “in the bottom basket in the back.” I found them a couple days later in the bottom FREEZER, in the back as directed. I should have said CRISPER, as the freezer on the bottom has a basket that pulls out. I wondered what would happen to carrots that had been frozen and I found out. They turned black and limp and I had to toss them. I’ll accept the blame for that one!
    Brains are so interesting, even when malfunctioning. Just wish his was ok, but I still take notice of “interesting” aspects of the disease. I have a lifelong interest in all things medical. My original plan was to become a doctor but that didn’t happen for multiple reasons. The interest is still there, however.
    We did have some sloppy wet snow a few days but my crocuses bloomed on the days when the sun was shining. Two of my “contemporaries” had medical issues–scary to get this old! One friend had a total hip replacement and is doing well. Another friend entered a hospice unit in a nursing home because he fell at home one time too many. He’s nearing the end of a seven year fight with cancer, and I am sad, but have been aware how this was going to end, as has he. He has done well, maintaining a decent quality of life –with some exceptions–for almost all of that time. We have been friends for 60 years, so of course I’m sad. When diagnosed, he was told 3.5-4 years: he turned out to be very responsive to the chemo, and they invented a few more drugs in that time period as well.
    My granddaughter has said that she is taking over Easter brunch so we are looking forward to being guests instead of hosts on Sunday. I will contribute a fruit salad, and will shop tomorrow for supplies for that.
    Last week’s shopping was a good “stock up” week, and I saved 29% over regular prices. And the weather is getting warmer this coming week–FINALLY.

  41. TCR, you know you can go to bed after the dogs get up, right? They will go back to sleep after they’ve gone outside and had breakfast…trust me, with two Westies and being retired, I am an expert on this. 🙂

  42. I love Winter’s can-do attitude and how creative she is! She will have a blast at college!

    Mixed week here:
    – our dog had giardia again. A relatively big vet bill for something we knew but she needed the meds! Did buy the cheapest chicken thighs I could find to boil with rice for her for dinner.
    – bought really nice used baby things on Craigslist
    – went through my stockpile of kids gifts for Easter- my daughter will be getting a cute skirt and pants (from a thrift store) and my son a pair of PJs. Both will get new water bottles and a couple of books. And then candy!
    – brought lunch to work
    – bought formula for 40% off at CVS
    – continued to use cloth diapers
    – was diligent about using up the food we have at home
    – the baby will eat my homemade baby food!!! Neither of my big kids would- they would gag no matter how much I blended it up. I think the better blender we have is helping. Much cheaper this way!

  43. Reading Brandy blog has made me realize I had the “victim” mentality about our very limited income. Our front yard has a spot that is only weed (should be grass) and the backyard is half full of vines and no grass. Instead of saying we don’t have the money-I researched how much it would be to put grass seed down. Then instead of saying “I can’t afford that” (and feeling upset AGAIN another thing I can’t afford) I said I rather buy sand for our 2 year old sandbox and some flowers. The yard looks okay the way it is. I can make a choice!!! Our savings- ground beef was on sale so I bought a month’s supply. I borrowed some DVD for the kids at the library. I am mowing our yard. Not renewing a yearly subscription for a toddler website that my boys liked and my little girl does not. The kids can play outside since I am keeping the yard nice! Using a tiny fire pit we were given years ago with wood we have to enjoy tiny camp fires in our backyard. My plan for the summer for the kids is “summer at the parks”. We are going to visit as many playgrounds as we can in our area.

    1. Renee, my husband and I, and our 3 girls, went through the recession of ’08. It was very difficult during the first 6 years, and then eased a bit more by 2015. We’re good now. But like you, I used to scour the internet for frugal blogs for inspiration which is where I came across Brandy’s blog. They were all very helpful, as was the library for learning resources and free movies for the kids. It was during those years that I discovered I could save money by changing the way I cook (cooking with less meat, and offering a couple of meatless meals throughout the week); doing more home canning for items that I originally bought – like sweet and sour sauce from plums for example; learning to buy from the sales only or check out the clearance sections of the grocery stores; learning to sew (still not the greatest at it), but I always made the kids new Christmas PJ’s, summer shorts, skirts etc. because I couldn’t afford to buy any; learning to knit and crochet to make winter hats, scarves, socks, dishcloths etc.; and because we couldn’t afford to buy ANY takeout, I learned to create knock-off versions of the foods we craved. And as Brandy teaches, keeping the start up water from showers can add up to big savings, plus the myriad other helpful pointers on this site. Although it was difficult at first, it turned into a creative challenge of how to stretch, to save and to cut costs.
      Also, during these times, we couldn’t afford outings like all the other families could, and like you mentioned, the park became my girls’ vacation spots. I used to make a homemade pizza (because take-out was out of the question) and we’d picnic at the park all day. Or I’d create other simple picnic lunches and take the kids to a park that offered a splash pad where they could run through for free or to a park where there was a wading creek or animals to look at. When we’d get home, there was always homemade popsicles to look forward to. I tried to make it fun for them. After 3 summers of doing that, I started to notice that there was wild black raspberries, and mulberries at the parks and I started to learn about foraging. Now there was some free food that we’d pick and I turned into jams or freeze. A new challenge developed about what we could forage and about how much we could forage to fill our fruit cellar and freezer. So, my point is, sometimes hard times open your eyes to a world of possibilities that you didn’t notice existed until necessity stepped in. As you said, it’s a Choice to see the challenging times in a whole new, happier/hopeful light. You’re going to do great!

    2. Renee – that is a wonderful attitude. I am 66 and can tell you that the summers that my folks unplugged the TV (and then the antenna when my youngest brother figured out the plug in situation lol). We spent the days outside in our yard – playing games, reading books under the trees or on the porch, just being kids). We went to the library weekly – long before programs and rentals of dvds, etc. – but still a treasure trove of wonderfulness). The evenings were spent with our parents, on the porch or in the backyard. Catching fireflies, playing hide and seek in the dark. Your children will treasure these times, and so will you!

      Buying a bag of marshmallows at the dollar tree and roasting them over an open fire is the best (and makes hotdogs even better!).

    3. Great attitude renee! BTW, I recently learned that you can make chalk out of eggshells! So that’s a two in one activity for a child in the summer: making the chalk one day and then using the chalk another day. Just like homemade playdough (which can be used to create ornaments for cheap gifts or canning jars of scented homemade playdough for kids party gifts) sometimes half the fun is in the making. Just like making homemade paper! Hope things get easier for you, but yes, attitude can make such a big difference! Best of luck!

  44. Hello Everyone! Just doing the usual frugal things, taking lunches & coffee from home from home, menu planning from freezer & pantry, shutting off lights, combing errands to save on gas, etc. Hoping to get inspiration from all the great ideas here & get back on the money saving train!

  45. Lovely dress! I do wish I could sew. Frugal accomplishment s recently have been:
    Shopped around and found super cheap flight for eldest son to visit his girlfriend in Madrid, Spain. He paid by the way!
    Gratefully accepted Barbells and weights from friends who are moving house soon along with some washing powder they didn’t want to take with them.
    Sold on Facebook a kids easel and an unwanted hammock that were just sitting in our garage, I only charged £5 for each item but it was a big thing for me as I normally just give things away. We need the money to be fair and it was very satisfying to put the cash in my purse. I hope I’ll be brave enough to list more items soon.
    Trying to eat down the small freezer so I can defrost it properly, there are so many random things in there I feel I will be putting on a “concoction tea” soon. This is what my mom used to call the strange mix of offerings she would put on the table when I was young. ??
    Looking forward to cooking Easter Sunday lunch this weekend, hubby isn’t working on Sunday so he gets to take eldest son to football ? practice this week instead of me, youngest son will help me cook, he’s a brilliant baker so he’ll handle dessert. I hope the turkey crown I’m cooking will feed the six of us (my parents are coming too) and have some leftovers. Turkey and chips (fries) for tea on Monday evening, yummy!!

  46. I just want to say you are so inspiring and always uplifting. You make little into something beautiful and you are always so gracious and make it look so effortless. You seem so content in your life and I aspire to be that way. Whenever I have a tough week, I turn to your blog. Thank you for putting frugality and homemaking in such a lovely light. May God continue to bless your family.

  47. Your daughter is beautiful and has great talent. Great score on your garage sale finds.

    My frugals:
    1. Brought lunch to work all week.
    2. All dinner meals made at home.
    3. Posted 13 new ebay items at no insertion fee. Same items also posted on the local FB sell/buy site.
    4. Sold 1 item on ebay; sold 3 items through the local sell/buy and met them on lunch hour and on the way home from work.
    5. Purchased certifed angus ground beef (80/20 and 90/10) for .99/lb at Meijer (grocery store) on my way into work one morning. We have a full size refrigerator./freezer at work, so no extra trip being made on the weekend.

  48. We were out of town for most of Spring Break visiting family so our budgets are a little out of whack this month. When we got back I was able to visit the mexican market and get oranges 6#/$1. I got as many as I thought we could eat before they would go bad. They also had mole and lentils on sale so I stocked up on those as well. Easter weekend we will be swimming and eating at families’ houses so it will be a very frugal weekend for us! Happy Easter and Passover to everyone!

  49. Your daughter is so talented. Thanks for sharing your insights and ideas from the week. Here is how we saved….
    -Local gas station monthly has 4- $1 off coupons in local shopper, with no minimum on how much you have to purchase.
    -Repaired our yard flag pole, I reglued the top that chipped off, let it dry and put a coat of old clear varnish that was at the bottom of can and didn’t get wasted.
    -Will be attending a wedding soon and both DH and I are wearing things from our closet, tried everything on, had to alter with a new button however, all is good and ready for the big day with no money spent. I got a wedding card, months ago, for free and will use it. I smile, the fancy shoes I am wearing are a major name brand that I got for $1.50 at a thrift store, and this is the 4th wedding I have worn them to.
    -Used by sewing machine-outside on a card table-to repair a major tarp that got beat up with snow and ice this winter. Its huge so I tucked and pinned, and kept moving my table so I wouldn’t have to move the 19×6 foot tarp. It worked and will keep sewing and patching.
    -Invited to Easter celebration so I created a fabric Easter basket as a hostess gift. I had everything on hand and wrapped it up in fancy easter basket wrap that I already used once last year for DH-glad we saved to repurpose.
    -Made a new dress for my granddaughter’s upcoming birthday. I found the pattern at a thrift store and got a great deal on the fabric which was in my stash. I wrapped it all up with generic Christmas paper that looks nothing like Christmas theme.
    -Added some yoga video in my YouTube library and used them this week. I set up the family room with my mat, the computer, etc and enjoyed a nice yoga experience.
    -Organized all my rags, sounds boring, however, I found other fabric that I can use to make some tea towels etc. that I had buried at the bottom on the tote boxes.
    -The spring weather is saving on the heating bill and we don’t have AC so I always enjoy this time of year.
    -DH did some light repair and woodworking projects. He returned products that he didn’t used and gor $85.00 worth of credit. We stopped saving items like this for a future projects-found so many of these things when we recently moved and realized it was wasteful.
    -Used a redbox coupon.
    -Found some wonderful shells in Florida that I bleached and have out in the sunshine. I plan to make some tabletop containers and a potential shell wreath. I also am collecting pinecones and plan to bleach and paint. They are so cute made into flowers etc. It’s worth a try.
    -Started a “Master to do” list for all the things I want to accomplish. I always use to do this when I was working however, gave it up , mistake-find I am so much more focused and love checking things off. It’s the little things that can make a big difference.
    Have a good week everyone. I really enjoy this great sharing that this community provided.
    Thank you.

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