Anemone Bud The Prudent HomemakerAnenome Bud

It was 74ºF  (23ºC) here on Friday and I’ve been enjoying working outside in the garden.

I picked up some biographies at the library for our school studies.

I went to pick up the pork roasts on sale at the grocery store and they didn’t ring up on sale. Thankfully I noticed, and the manager adjusted each roast (I bought 3) down to the sale price for me.

I got a raincheck for the avocados and raspberries that were on sale but out of stock.

I bought 10 chickens at $0.57 a pound. I cooked one and put the rest in the freezer. $32 for 10 chickens makes for a lot of really inexpensive meals!

I bought 80 pounds of potatoes at $0.25 a pound. These might last until the end of the month.

I decided not to buy any broccoli or onions when I was at the store. These were above my price points on those items (Winco doesn’t have an ad, but they often have great produce prices; I just have to look when I get there). I’ll keep using the onions I’ve dried, the last of the fresh onions we have, and we’ll eat other vegetables instead (including the chard and beet greens in the garden, of which there are quite a few!)

I made black bean and corn enchiladas, black bean soup, roasted chicken, scalloped potatoes,  a chicken and vegetable soup (using the leftover chicken and broth from roasting it), bean burritos, strawberry shortcake (using strawberries from the freezer), pork loin roast, mashed potatoes, Swiss chard (with lemon from the garden), and pizza. 

Katy Apricot Buds The Prudent Homemaker

Katy Apricot Bud

I harvested lettuce, Swiss chard, thyme, and parsley from the garden.

I sowed seeds for nasturtiums and lettuce.

I opened the house to let in lots of fresh air. The weather was beautiful enough to have the windows open all week.

I decided I wanted to add some new baskets to my garage sale list for April to replace those that are broken. I was on a local Facebook garage sale page and someone listed several baskets for sale. Most would work, but not all of them. I decided it was worth the price, and I would donate the rest. When I got there, I found out that the seller had several more baskets to sell. She allowed me to mix and match to get what I wanted, so I ended up with 9 baskets I can use for $10! I will use the shallow baskets for fruit on the table as well as some strong grape vine baskets with handles to pick fruit. We’ll also use these same baskets for Easter baskets.

I purchased some used curtains via the same local Facebook garage sale page for $10. I was going to make some curtains in this exact color for a room, but for the price, I decided Ito just buy these (I may need to hem them first). I will still sew the sheers to go behind the curtains (I’ve already purchased that fabric).

My mom called me from a garage sale she was at to see if I wanted some of the deals she found. I said yes to several things and paid her back when she dropped them off (including a large number of children’s books for $0.50 each!) 

I accepted a serger from a friend who had upgraded and no longer needed her old serger.

I laid new sod in the garden where it needed to be repaired. I had a quote to have the work done, and by doing it myself I saved over $1300. The sod cost me $88.


What did you do to save money this past week? What beauty did you find in the everyday?







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  1. I started a 3 month job last Wednesday. The company furnishes lunch twice per week so I only had to bring my lunch 1 day (I was off on Friday).

    I kept things off and unplugged when not being used including appliances, lights, etc.

    My Aunt’s birthday is Monday so my mom and I, along with my 6 year old, took her out to lunch. My daughter and I shared a meal since she hasn’t been eating much. I gave my Aunt a gift from my gift stash.

    I made fried potatoes and hotdogs, peach pie popsicles, beef/gravy over rice with potatoes, stew using leftover beef, gravy, potatoes and veggies needing to be used up. I also made chicken with potatoes and carrots. My husband brought home a pizza from work that nobody wanted (untouched) for our dinner one night.

    I sewed on a button and mended a hole in a pair of leggings.

    Hung laundry to dry on my racks

    Worked on decluttering the house some more
    Have a great week!

  2. Thank you for all the ideas and insights into a life very different from ours! 23’C in February sounds like Heaven!
    We had around -20’C last week at nights, but I was able to set timer for the washing machine and dishwasher so that our water pump had to work a lot at night and the pipes didn’t freeze. We have insulation but it seems not to be enough.
    Also, I was able to transfer all our frozen food into one freezer, so that the older freezer could be switched off. I am looking forward to the electricity bill in March!
    Thankful reader with husband and three boys from rural Estonia (tiny country in Northern Europe).

  3. Very happy for you that you received a free surger from a friend. What a treat 🙂
    We are traveling since Friday and this is turning into the most frugal weekend away. Starting with flight credits for a delayed flight (that we still took just with the delay) that will allow us to purchase whole new return flights! We also stayed for a free at a super nice hotel. Very very pleased.

  4. I have been following several pantry challenge sites. Trying to use what we have. There are just two of us now so we really don’t need two chest freezers in the garage. Try as I might we don’t seem to use much out of those freezers. I will keep working at it. Decided to set a 200.00 per month budget for groceries, household cleaners and pet food. Keeping track of all expenditures in a notebook. Whatever we can save will be put into a vacation account. If we camp we can enjoy a week at the coast for 600.00. So that is my goal. I have been making lots of soups from freezer ingredients. We will eat it for a meal or two and then I package the leftovers in single serve freezer containers for a quick meal or to pack in coolers for that trip. We still have snow on the ground. We are a long way from spring. The last few days have been somewhat warmer so my hens have begun to lay again.

  5. Seventy degree weather sounds so nice. We have had surprisingly mild weather this last week with lots of sunshine and it is in the 40’s today. Very pleasant for February in Indiana!

    We have a very large and old Locust tree in our yard that will eventually cause roofing problems to our house and to our neighbor’s. We have had it trimmed several times over the years but it needs to come down now. We have next to no sun in the summertime because it’s shade is so far-reaching and I would really love to be able to grow some of our own food. We are getting some bids on taking down the tree from several tree companies. It’s not frugal at all but the money is in the bank and we will be paying cash for it.

    I made turkey broth from turkey bones I had in the freezer. I will save the rest of the broth in the freezer for future meals. My husband cooked a pork roast that we ate throughout the week.

    I cooked up a large batch of brown rice. We ate some of it with our pinto beans (from the freezer) and I put one-cup baggies of the rice in the freezer. My husband likes to take rice in his lunches.

    We took all our lunches to work except one. My company provided lunch one day.

    We brewed our own coffee each morning to take to work with us.

    I made shortbread for my husband for an early Valentine’s day on Saturday. They are one of his favorites. We had a Valentine’s date at home.

    I mixed together a batch of 5-minute bread. I used mostly whole wheat flour and a little all purpose flour. I keep it in the refrigerator and take a little bit out at a time to make a loaf (or 2!) of bread. I used to make this kind of bread all the time but since I’ve been working full time I had gotten out of the habit. It is a real favorite of ours and pairs well with soups and salads.

  6. What a week, Brandy! And a free serger! That is so amazing! Those things are NOT cheap!

    My week:
    – Took part in a 2 hour focus group, which paid $150 cash. Whoohoo!
    – Got a free Biore nose strip sample from a magazine a local business donated to my work
    – Made soup out of veggie stock (made from leftover veggies, and water left after boiling veggies, and frozen) and some leftover vegetables and plus some beans (boiled and frozen in meal sized portions). Dinner for pennies!
    – Redeemed a Starbucks reward for a free item of choice: I chose a burrito. Free lunch, whoohoo!
    – Got a free breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. There was a mix-up using an ordering app, so I ended up with two sandwiches instead of the one I had ordered (and had paid for using a Swagbucks gift certificate).
    – Had some peaches that were passing peak ripeness, so I cooked them in a light syrup, and put them in the fridge. I’ll serve them with vanilla pudding for dessert at some point, or toss them on salads for lunches, or just eat them plain out of the jar.
    – Made a batch of iced tea from some loose tea gifted to me (Oolong Jasmine Mango), and sweetened it with leftover peach canning syrup. Best iced tea ever!
    – Used a manufacturer’s coupon plus a rebate app to save 40% on some cheese slices. It’s not easy to stack coupons in Canada, so I was pretty pleased with myself.
    – Made Brandy’s Tomato Basil soup for dinner on Saturday. Was super-tasty! I modified things a bit as that’s my style (Queen of substitutions, yo’!, and was happy to use up a half onion, some baby carrots, and a bit of cream that were sitting in the fridge. I’ve packed leftovers of this soup for lunches this week, along with a slice of cheese and a couple of crackers (tryng to eat down my pantry).
    – Made a batch of vanilla pudding, and a batch of chocolate pudding, and layered it with the last of the cream (which I whipped and sweetened) that I had in the fridge. Egg-free (and frugal!) dairy goodness for desserts this week!
    – Made a batch of yoghurt. Yum!
    – Made a menu plan for the week based on using up produce and items in the fridge, as the DH and I are going away to visit friends next weekend, and I don’t want any food to go bad.

    And that’s my week! Can’t wait to read about everyone else’s!

  7. i wish you would share more as it is so interesting to hear about the things you do to save money and the price of things there.

  8. Here are my frugal accomplishments for the week: Okay this might sound crazy, but I noticed a very small ad in one of the grocery flyers that my favorite coffee was half off per bag. I ended up stocking up and bought 13 bags. I think hubby thought I had lost it. 🙂 I also bought a large rotisserie chicken from Costco for $4.99 and used it for 3 meals plus bone broth and soup that lasted for several extra meals. I made bread in the bread machine. I harvested a massive amount of lemons and gave a ton away to friends. I juiced 25 of them in ice cube trays and plan to juice about that many more. I also sold a handbag on Craigslist (normally I donate everything) to help pay for some plant materials. 🙂

  9. It was 90 degrees here yesterday. So hot so early in the year !!! I fear what July and August will bring.

    Planted some tomatoes, some cucumbers, and some squash. We have cleaned the garden beds and added compost. Will need to fill in some plants as the weather gets more normal. We are supposed to get several inches of rain this week.

    My husband trimmed our lime trees. I have added 2 new rose bushes to my rose garden. Planted some Morning Glory in a large galvanized pot by my clothes line. I love those plants and it looks so pretty growing up my clothes line pole.

    Got several boxes of mixed flower seeds at the Dollar Tree. These will be given as Valentine gifts to my 3 daycare children. I also got them each a red shirt and I put their name on it too.

    I fell down and really messed up my left arm so I am not able to do much right now. When you are 65 you don’t bounce like I used to. I fell on a parking lot so I cut my arm pretty good. It is going to be hard to get things done for a while.

  10. I had a free yellow pumpkin, I cooked it, and the seeds, and noticed that the taste of it was similar to yellow summer squash, so I used it in a squash casserole recipe, and it was good. I went to Aldi and bought potatoes at 28 cents lb.,large box of crackers for 75 cents, sour cream for 99 cents, 8 oz block Swiss cheese for $1.80. The azaleas are blooming six weeks ahead of time here so yes, it has been a warm winter so far. I did my usual Saturday night listening to blue grass in radio, gospel music on way to church, and visiting with my three grown sons.I wish I could see my daughter. Really though, I am just blessed to have them all alive.I like quiet weeks.

  11. Black bean and corn enchiladas sound good. Weather is giving us whiplash here in Ohio, warm, cold with 6 inches of snow, warm(almost 60) and back to cold within days. I have finished getting my gardens seeds in and started working out where in the gardens I will be planting what. We are continuing to eat from the pantry and stocking the extra money into the savings. We started looking for a new washer, found a couple reasonable priced and we like but the reviews was not so good when I started researching them. Just going to sit back and wait even though that means I will be going to the laundromat to wash winter bedding and curtains next month. Rest of it is here

  12. Another week of wonderful weather, good health and lots of time spent with my husband and friends. Due to the wonderful weather, I was able to walk with the dog twice a day, good for both of us! My husband and I also went to the gym once (first time in four months so we were quite sore the rest of the week). I was able to shift most of our electric usage to off peak hours (and lower cost), cooked all our meals at home except one, and continued eating a lot from the freezer and pantry. I colored my hair, made a loaf of wheat bread in the bread machine and made a big batch of pinto beans and ham in the crockpot.

    I have really enjoyed getting deals on items to add to our pantry, now I need to learn to have as much fun using it up ;).

  13. That’s an impressive frugal accomplishment on the sod work! It’s been warm enough here to have windows open quite a bit too, which is a wonderful thing. My fiance made us pancakes this morning using a mix of our frozen berries. Yum! We’ve done a lot of work in the garden this weekend, enjoying beautiful days in the 70’s. I’m always on the lookout too for good, sturdy baskets for the garden and laundry. They’re invaluable. I’m happy to be joining in here:

  14. Love that you got some great meat sales!! Getting whole chickens for that price is amazing!!! I haven’t seen it that low in years!! We find joy everyday watching our son learn new things and he can be pretty funny. Do you have a recipe for your black bean and corn enchiladas? They sound so good!!
    What we did to save is:
    -I worked for my friend from home and made some extra cash without having to leave my home to do it. I made $132 by doing it. This went towards paying off some debt. Our plan is to be debt free in 24 months if not sooner. I’m working on bringing in cash by selling or saving in the bills or helping my friend when she needs me too. You website hasn’t helped me so much so far! It’s very inspiring to me and I just wanted to thank you for that 🙂

    -my parents wanted to help us out so they took me to Costco to get what I needed and they paid for it. So I got 10lbs of ground beef, 5lbs of beef stew, 4lbs of bacon, a 4 pack of hotdogs, 2lbs of Italian sausages, 2lbs of breakfast sausages, 2lbs of lunch meat, 2lbs of salami, a 4 pack of deli cheese, paper towels, a box of cereal for my son, a couple of snack items for my son and hubby, Advil, 2 40count packs of water, and some cheese blocks and shredded cheese. All of this will last until next month. A few items will last a lot longer than. Ext month. They also picked up for us two days before this trip a package of chicken breasts with ribs for .99 a pound. I split this package into 2 and used my food saver to put them into the freezer. I also used my food saver for the meat from Costco and split it for future meals. The food saver has saved us so much money over the years.
    -bought 80lbs of pasta for $40!!!! It was a expensive brand of pasta that was on sale for .50 cents each!! It’s normally $3.79 for each one. This pasta comes from Italy. It Doesn’t expire until July 2019 and will be eaten way before then. I gave some to my mom and my nana.
    -I also got my free can of soup as well when I got my pasta and gave my free can to my husbands nana since she doesn’t have much money for food. We gave her some pasta, some cream cheese, some tortilla chips, a can of soup, some salsa, and some yogurt.
    -we gave my parents some of the pasta as well.
    – cooked all of our meals at home. Using what we have in our freezer and pantry.
    -took a lot of books that we have read and are not reading anymore to a used book store and made $28.
    -son had a really bad cold and ended up getting a ear infection. His first time ever getting an ear infection. He is on antibiotics.
    – hubby worked an extra day. They were looking for people at his work to work on their day off and he volunteered to work.

  15. Flew back from a business trip on Wednesday and went straight to the store for grocery shopping as big snow was expected the next day and I had a $20 off if spend $100 coupon that was going to expire. Also returned $1.50 worth of cans.
    Got 12” of snow on Thursday. Hand shoveled 2 x. Made homemade pizza.
    Made swagbucks daily goal x 3.
    Used a $10 coupon to purchase tax software and did my taxes. My tax status changed from head of household to single. I am getting a small Federal refund but owe $560 to my state.
    Bought vitamins at Walgreens and paid for most with reward points
    Roasted a chicken, made chicken broth with carcass, made zucchini rice casserole, made chicken taco soup, cooked a roast, made beef with barley soup.
    Hand shoveled driveway again – 3rd snow storm in 4 days, decluttered a kitchen drawer and found things to donate to Goodwill

    The snow makes everything beautiful. I love looking out and seeing white “frosting” on the trees and shrubs. My life is busy and I also really appreciate nature making me slow down and stay at home.

  16. Another large lap quilt finished from scraps in my stash to put in my gift cabinet. We bought a new (to us) couch and loveseat for our family room for $100. The cushions on our old ones were constantly pulled off by grandkids! We moved one to a third floor bedroom and the other to the kid’s playroom and got rid of a love seat in the playroom that was definitely past it’s prime!! Lol!
    Our family room is much more open now and we love the difference the two new replacement pieces made!

    I made two pans of funeral potatoes for a funeral yesterday using some of my dehydrated hash browns and cream of chicken soup mix I made.

    At the thrift store, Wednesday is half price day for everything, so I bought 3 new jeans, a hoodie, a skirt and 4 new blouses since my current clothes (bought at thrift store 2 months ago) no longer fit well. I spent $28!!! I’ve lost 93 pounds now since last May! The thrift store is definitely the way to go to replace clothes!

    Received another $9 in Pinecone surveys and a $6 gift card from Krogers for a checkout mistake they made.

    We made another outdoor bench from free pallet wood and will test market them and our planter boxes in about 2- 3 weeks as the weather starts changing over to Spring. Last year we were asked to sell our planter boxes and didn’t start until June, but made about $400 on them. So we are planning our marketing strategy for early this Spring with a few products. It makes it fun for us because we love working together at home in our wood shop and consider that time as “date nights” where instead of spending money and sitting, we are active and actually making money!!! What fun!!

    We are looking forward to the week ahead!

  17. Hi Brandy! I’m jealous of your weather- there’s still snow on the ground over here 😛 Our frugal accomplishments for the week:

    * We’re still eating down the pantry. I’m planning a second shopping trip that will help replace a few things, stock up on some sales, and still keep us under budget. I’ll likely head to Aldi on Wednesday, and I’ll dehydrate/freeze excess sale veggies. I talked myself out of some good sales last week on items we still have a lot of in the freezer, which helped lower our bill!

    * I was gifted a bag of carrots, a single bell pepper, and some homemade chicken broth from my mom. I’ll be using the carrots and stock for some chicken and dumpling soup tomorrow, and I’ll probably chop up and freeze the bell pepper.

    * I froze some extra celery- it was on sale for $0.79 for a large bunch, so I grabbed an extra for the freezer. It’s great for soups and other cooked applications.

    * I made red beans and rice for dinner, which fed us for 3 days. I used dry pinto beans instead of red beans to try and use up the extra pinto beans I have in the pantry.

    * I stopped by Kwik Trip to get my car washed, and picked up onions for 38c a lb. It’s cheaper than Aldi’s regular price and we were out of onions completely, so it worked out well!

    * I got my hair cut for free from my stylist (it was a belated Christmas present).

  18. We are still eating from the cupboard and freezer, except for milk. Did this in January and so far in February. Good thing, since this week our vehicle broke down, to the tune of $2300, and our furnace broke down, to the tune of $975, and our dog got ill, to the tune of $650. We just paid off our mortgage and our car a few months ago, so we were starting to build up our emergency fund…it is now empty, but I was thankful that we had (barely) to cover these emergencies. When I think of how, in my pre-frugal life, I lived check to check partly because I wasted money eating out and buying latte drinks every day and buying junk. These break-downs have been stressful but didn’t induce the panic they once would have! I thank you, Brandy, and Mr. Money Mustache, for helping us get to this point over the last few years.

    Did manage to save money not just on groceries. We also saved money on several birthday and new baby gifts because I gave gifts I made–knitting for the two babies and for my three birthday friends I made each of them a package of their favorite cookies and a vintage can (from a stash I have collected over the years) full of their favorite granolas. I had all the ingredients in my cupboard so it was just work involved. Made granola for us at the same time. Hung all our laundry to dry, except for the towels. Let my friends know I was looking for large pots for some hydrangeas and someone gave me three of them; had I purchased them, it would have cost me about $60. (Hydrangeas won’t live from year to year in this part of Alaska, so I grow them in pots and over-winter them in the garage.) I traded my neighbor some salmon from our freezer for rye flour; she makes great rye bread and I wanted to try making my own but it is very expensive and I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in a flour I might not use again. I have a freezer full of Alaskan salmon and she had none, so it was a welcome trade for both of us. Used the library, both for books and videos. Finally, we are big fans of Valentine’s Day, more each year we have been married I think because we grow in our appreciation for each other. However, we didn’t want to spend anything on each other because of our money emergencies this month. So, I am making my husband the petit fours he loves that take a lot of time so I rarely make them, and he is making me an Indian dish that takes hours and hours of patience and so I never make it. I also made him peanut butter blossom cookies using Dove heart shaped chocolates (in my freezer since last Valentine’s Day!!) instead of kisses for the top.

  19. With the exception of picking up chicken at $1.69 a pound, I’m not planning to do any grocery shopping this week. This past week, I made lentil and ham soup with leftover ham from the freezer. It will provide three lunches for me this week. I also made some treats from scratch to eat this week – pb cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and a coffee cake. This will give the kids somethings to snack on. I also made french bread to go with spaghetti, cooked a whole chicken and made broth from the bones. There was enough chicken leftover to make a family size pot pie which I’ll make this coming week.

    My son will be going to Germany next month with his school so I’ll need to purchase some travel items for him and look into the best way for us to communicate.

  20. I forgot to say I made chocolate mulberry cobbler. Just take your favorite cobbler recipe and add chocolate and mulberries, or whatever berry you have. The mulberries were free. I picked them from my tree last May and froze them.

  21. A serger is quite a lucky gift to have. I don’t have one, but if I had kept up more on sewing I probably would have bought one. I loved to sew for my girls and my nieces and nephews but they are all married now and there are too many in the next generation to sew for.

    My most frugal activity this past week has been sleeping. Can’t spend much when you’re sleeping! My doctor changed one of my meds and apparently this is the result. After sleeping for 3 hours on the sofa, I went to bed and slept fine the last two nights. I have asked my husband to wake me if it happens again–I’d rather do something useful.

    I made most meals that lasted two nights this past week, which is always fun for the cook. Spaghetti and meatballs,
    a brat, beer and cheese soup (not low calorie so an infrequent treat!), and a chicken/pasta casserole. Tonight was beef and gravy with mashed potatoes and corn. We pretty much skipped desserts this week except for some ice cream–portion controlled. Made three mini loaves of banana bread; ate one, froze two. A double batch of your granola disappears weekly as well.

    Our weather is still alternating between rain and snow—today is quite snowy, and it was very cold a couple days this week. Next week might get into the 40’s again. A strange winter here with much less snow than normal–no complaints from us about that.

  22. That was a great deal on chicken — and exciting about the serger. I’m sure you will get a lot of use out of it.
    It was warm enough here (in the 40s) to hang out laundry a couple of days, which was nice. It smells so fresh when I can do that.
    I needed some post cards and made my own with card stock from my stash of craft supplies. While I was at it, I made a homemade card for my husband for Valentine’s and planned our V-day dinner at home. (We don’t exchange gifts, only cards, and have a nice dinner instead of going out.) I made homemade cookies and salad dressing. The lettuce I have been growing in a window box in my spare bedroom is finally big enough to eat and we had some on tacos one night, and on sandwiches a couple of days. I sold some more yarn on ebay and used the money that has been accumulating in my Paypal account from these sales to purchase a dress to wear to my niece’s wedding at the end of April, and a new bra, which I really needed. I finished knitting socks from yarn I received as a Christmas gift. They have colorful stripes and I love them. I downloaded some audiobooks from the library to listen to while I do chores.
    Thanks to the recommendation of someone on this list (I’m sorry I can’t remember who) I have been watching Edwardian Farm on YouTube. I’m about halfway through the series and love it. I am hoping I’ll be able to watch Victorian Farm after this.

  23. You are going to love the serger! It’s so quick and looks so professional when you are done sewing the garment.

    Also, that was an amazing deal on the chicken. I’m glad you could get 10. Your kids are getting bigger, so I’m sure you will use them up in a flash! I hope a sale that good comes along here.

    I made a menu plan, after cleaning out the super dirty fridge so I could see what I had.
    My husband was given some items from a friend who has the job of cleaning out a large building. Some we will use, some we will donate to others, but we got some tissues, napkins, and other things.

    I made my seed order for Territorial. Now I just need to send it off. I have a gift certificate for most of it, and I can’t redeem it on line, so….it’s the old-fashioned way for me. I also got quite a few seeds at the dollar store for things like zinnias and Swiss chard, and spinach. For 4/$1, I can tuck them in here and there for a splash of color, or when it’s a little too early to plant and I want to do a “gambler’s crop” without worrying that I’ll be wasting my expensive seeds on an experiment that may fail.

  24. I ate from my fridge, freezer and pantry and found that resulted in a much lighter grocery list. On the sunny days this past week, I raised my blinds and or opened my drapes to let the sun in to warm my house and reduce the amount of time the furnace needed to run. Catching up with a dear lifelong friend of mine over a cup of iced tea today was a perfect way to end this week!

  25. What kind of chocolate are you using. I have mulberries in my freezer also. I have a couple trees in my yard. Noone else bothers w them. I have a black walnut tree also.

  26. I cleaned out and organized our garden shed and tall tool chest. We were able to bring over the last of what was in the storage unit, emptied it out and gave our notice we vacated it. I am glad we are done with that monthly expense.

    Continue to declutter the house and organize everything better.

    We listed several things to sell on Ebay and local Facebook garage sale page. The money will go in our gift fund.

    I played with the budget as well as some online calculators figuring out how much I can put towards paying off debt (We will be totally debt free including mortgage by the end of the year) and then how much I can invest for retirement and what I will end up with. Signed up to get emails for 2 more frugal blogs to help keep me motivated.

    I continue to bring home leftovers from work when we have leftovers after catered lunches. The big score that I was ELATED over was after an authentic Mexican lunch (not “Tex Mex”), I brought home enough to make taco salads with salad, rice, beans, and all the toppings for 3 nights. THEN I made a pan of enchiladas, some with cheese and some with refried beans (using a can of spicy refried beans I got almost free at Publix last year) that fed us for another 2 nights. Everything else I brought home went into the freezer to use in the future.

    I calculated how much it will be to put in 2 additional “gravel” (grey granite) parking spots next to our existing carport. We are doing the work ourselves. We will pay cash for the project using some of our tax refund.

    I will be going to bed early every night so I can get into work 90 minutes early everyday. YAY over time!!

    Have a great week Ladies!!

  27. My list is from the last few weeks:
    -Our computer would not turn on one day. We purchased it less than a year ago from Costco. My husband worked with the Costco ppl and Lenovo (brand the computer is) on the phone to try and figure the issue out. We ended up having to send the computer in to Lenovo. The company sent us a free shipping box and will return the fixed computer in 7-10 days. Purchasing at Costco is always worth it! Such great costumer service and NEVER the run-around with a product that isn’t quite right.
    -participated in some Pinecone surveys
    -my family eats lunch at my parents house after church every Sunday. Each week we have a wonderful lunch and always bring home leftovers.
    -found lots of ‘Woohoo’ Deals at Kroger!!
    -received a co-pay coupon from the pharm. company who makes my son’s asthma medication (QVAR). With this coupon, I now pay $15/month for his OVAR, vs. $50/month we had previously been paying. Saving us $420/year on this medication
    -My found 10 0z. bags of spinach at the grocery store for $0.49/each. She called and asked me if I wanted any. I had her get me 4 bags. I used 1 bag in a meal for dinner and wilted the other 3 and froze for later use.
    -started Spring cleaning. I have my kitchen and two bathrooms totally done. Took everything out of a every cupboard and wiped both the insides and outsides down. Rotated food in my pantry and threw out any expired/out food. Added items to my garage sale pile. My goal is to have all my Spring cleaning done by my children’s Spring break which is in the middle of March.
    -An older couple from church invited us to a night at the Symphony with them! It was a show in the Classical Concert Series and featured violinist Sarah Chang. Before the concert, we ate dinner at a fancy restaurant. The couple not only gave us tickets to the show, but bought our dinner as well. It was a wonderful night out with good company. The only cost for the night was babysitting for our children, but we had that budgeted out beforehand.
    -we have had a few days of unseasonably warm weather for Ohio. Those days the furnace didn’t kick too many times, which should be reflected in our electric bill this month
    -continued with all our ‘regular’ money saving ways: -library for books/DVDs, washed out baggies, made meals at home, ate down the freezer/pantry, recycled, reused, turned off lights, said ‘no’, ( sometimes the hardest for me!!:)

    Have a fantastic week, everyone!!

  28. Hello Brandy and all from Australia 🙂 .

    Our frugal accomplishments for the week are –

    Financial –
    – So far this month we have saved $987.09 into our saving for our home with cash without borrowing fund.
    – Downloaded another $30 from selling my handcrafted items on the internet which will be banked to cover a few repairs we did.

    Groceries/Medical –
    – Purchased a years supply of Magnesium tablets for DH on 50% off sale saving $40 on regular prices.

    Kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Made 4 lts of orange juice cordial saving $15.36 + over purchasing the same amount in the supermarkets and ours has no artificial preservatives in it and fresh orange juice and zest.
    – Made 2.321kg of scone, muffin and pancake mix saving $10.07 + over purchasing the same amount in the supermarkets.
    – Made another quadruple batch of honey, almond, sultana and coconut granola saving $14.41 over purchasing it in our local supermarket.

    Garden –
    – Fertilised capsicum plants with powdered egg shells leftover from the kitchen and meals.
    – Fertilised the rose bushes with banana peels leftover from our fruit and dug it around the bases of them.
    – Picked carrots and beetroot from the vegetable gardens for juices.

    Firewood –
    – Cut another 1.6 cubic metres of ironbark hardwood firewood from our free to us tree saving another $160 over purchasing it.
    – By simply asking the contractors whether we could have the wood we have saved $432.50 in buying the cost of firewood, bush mulch, kindling and wood chips from our local landscape supplier. It cost us around $15 – $20 to process it with our own machinery at home in fuel, chain bar oil and a little electricity.
    – We now have 3/4’s of next winters firewood for our slow combustion fireplace for next years winter cut , split and drying 😀 .

  29. Four of us ate for free at Chick-fil-A using a $10 gift card won as a door prize plus some free chick-fil-a sandwiches coupons…with $1.61 left on the card! Great fun.

    I made my own Italian Dressing using a recipe from Tightwad Gazette.

    As I work on building up my food storage supplies I need buckets. I was able to get 2 5-gal and 1 15-gal icing buckets for free from Kroger. (Word to the wise: Wear gloves when cleaning out buckets that contained colored icing. My hands were a lovely shade of red and blue for a day!).

    I accepted leftovers from my mom–these will make a good lunch for my kids on Monday.

  30. Brandy: Those are great prices! We have had a subdued week with our first major snowfall (8 inches). We’ve stayed home a lot.
    My husband found some chicken breasts greatly reduced and he cooked them all up in the instant pot for his meals for work for the week. for $15.00, he bought enough food for 8.5 meals (very healthy options) and now he won’t have to prep breakfast or lunch for the entire week. This is amazing because my husband is disorganized and anxiety prone (primarily about time). We also made double batches of beef pho and a large pot of chili. I wrote about it here:

    I was able to host my brother and his family for a nice dinner and celebrate my Mom’s 74th birthday with a modest celebration. My girlfriend found 5 dress shirts for my sons at the thrift store for less than$.50 per shirt. starched and ironed they look brand new. My daughters learned a new song at primary they’ve been singing and i’ve found it and downloaded it for free online. Most importantly, they’ve been dressing themselves and making their own beds (they are 4). apparently, it is something they’ve been challenged to do in their primary class! I’m all for it. Tomorrow my sons’ scout troop has a field trip at the local police department. We are so excited to go.

    Have a great week!

  31. Some stores in my area will give you items for free if they ring up incorrectly. I haven’t seen chicken near that price in a long time. Our whole chickens rarely go on sale anymore. It’s a shame, because that’s been a staple in our home for a long time.

    Our family has been sick all week, so it’s been a pretty frugal week in an unfortunate sense. Here’s some of the other ways we managed to save:

  32. Hi Brandy,

    I have not replied to any of your wonderful posts for ages, but I thought this new meal we “discovered” was worth sharing. Hash brown potatoes, cooked like an omelet, topped with barely sauteed greens, a lightly fried (or poached) egg or two, and a bit of homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It has, amazingly, given us a new week night dinner option. Any type of greens will work — we pull whatever we have (arugula, spinach, kale, and green onions) from the garden and they all work beautifully. I have no idea how it is that some homegrown greens and egg elevates hash brown potatoes so much, but they do! The potatoes should be shredded, not cubed.

    I am VERY grateful you manage to post with how busy you are and your eight lovely kids! And grateful for a new meat-less dinner option!

  33. That definitely does not sound crazy Steph. I buy a cart full of peanut butter when they go on sale (and sometimes bring extra family members to purchase more if there is a limit), to which I usually get odd stares from other shoppers. My family LOVES peanut butter, so it makes more money sense to stock up big time when it is on sale than to pay full price most of the time! We literally have a section of a shelf downstairs dedicated to our peanut butter stash. I get nervous when we get down to 3 jars (2kg size – the biggest ones) and start praying for a sale to happen soon! That’s just one of the items I buy in mass quantities when there is a good sale, too.

  34. That’s terrific on the firewood. My husband and I were talking recently about going out to harvest our wood for next year — we have to wait until May, as that is when the snow will be melted enough and the roads dry enough to go into the woods. Permits go on sale then — $10 a cord to cut our own. I would love to find free wood, but everyone around here uses wood stoves to heat, so new homeowners generally ask the contractor to cut the wood up to be used in the new house.

  35. I just used powdered cocoa, like you use for hot chocolate. It was what I had on hand. I prefer bar chocolate, or chocolate pieces, but I used what I had on hand because I am broke….lol.

  36. Wow, what a huge score you’ve had this week Brandy! I’d love to receive a serger sewing machine for free. That was so kind of your friend to give that to you. Also, the deal on the whole chickens will be wonderful for your family. I’m glad you were able to buy so many to fill your freezer! I’d also be interested in seeing the recipe for black bean and corn enchiladas. Would you please share?

    We spent most of this week resting and recuperating from our trip, but our weekend has been pretty busy. Here are our frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *Meals made at home included breaded stuffed chicken with corn and choice of flavoured or plain white rice (made extra white rice specifically to use for fried rice later), breakfast bowls (herb baked potato chunks, bacon, scrambled eggs, grated cheese and Hollandaise sauce), chicken ranch tacos, and homemade beef barley soup (using leftover roast beef I previously froze) with homemade french bread.
    *I baked 2 homemade apple crisps from our freezer that we prepared the fall of 2015. Still tasted great!
    *In anticipation of my daughter going back to school after our vacation, my mom made up a package of chocolate pudding and divided it up between 5 reusable containers. For some reason she didn’t like the taste, so my husband happily gobbled it up. Chocolate doesn’t go to waste around here!
    *Did a grocery restock of some needed items. Despite being away for 2 weeks while my mother stayed home and not shopping for much before we left, our needs were rather minimal. I was surprised when the grocery bill came in less than I expected. Although there are some things I really need to restock, I’m trying to wait for sales and use more of what we have in the pantry and freezer in the mean time.
    *My mother-in-law treated us to dinner Sunday night as a belated birthday meal for my husband.
    *I got free exercise trying to chip 2″ thick ice off the driveway and pathways after a freezing rain storm hit this week (the day after we returned…lucky us!). My daughter slipped and fell on the icy stairs that lead to our front door, even with sand on them. Luckily it was just a little bruise on her bum…she’s still young enough that she bounces. We got several inches of snow to cover up the ice a few days later. Welcome Home!!!
    [b]My joyful & beautiful life moments this week[/b]:
    *There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed and eating home cooked meals after returning from vacation. Feels good to get back into routine.
    *My daughter has made a new friend who has so many similar interests as her, and has similar issues as her (ADHD, problem with controlling her temper sometimes and struggling with keeping friends because of it). It sounds like this friendship may be much stronger than any she’s had so far. It’s wonderful to see her learning and improving with her ability to navigate friendships. Although the other girl is a year younger (therefore will not be starting high school next year with my daughter), I truly hope this does turn into a close friendship, for both of them.

    Still loving all the inspiration shared here. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  37. Wowza, it sounds like you got a fantastic deal on those whole chickens! We usually get them for 70 cents a pound or so, but occasionally we get a 25% off chicken during the store’s restocking days.
    We’ve done quite a bit to save money in the past week:
    1. Mr. Picky Pincher grouted the kitchen floor and did yard work himself.
    2. I cooked several freezer meals: baked potato skins, orange chicken, gyros with pita, chickpea curry, and mushroom pork chops.
    3. I cut green onions from our garden pots and used them in our freezer meals.
    4. I rented movies and cookbooks from the library for free.
    5. I plan to attend a free Irish culture festival in two weeks. We’ll probably take my nephew since there’s free food and face painting!
    6. I started sewing a dress from $2 thrift store fabric. I’m using a $2 Wal-Mart dress pattern, too. $4 ain’t too shabby for a custom-made dress. 🙂

  38. I cut my own hair, borrowed our next math book from the library instead of buying it, used coupons and cartwheel to get my needed contact solution at 50% off at Target, and I cancelled our Hulu subscription.

  39. Roxie, SO sorry to hear of your fall and injury! Do not mess around with “road rash”, see your Dr. to be sure it is clean and does not get infected. Hope you feel much better soon! Nice idea for your daycare kids! I’m sure they will love watching their flowers grow and wearing their personalized shirts.
    Saying a prayer for your speedy recovery.
    Linda Higgy

  40. We’ve had snow on the ground for two months and it is finally melting. Did I have cabin fever!! We’ve had the worst winter in at least 40 years – some people say the worst in 70 years – lots of snow and low temperatures.

    I asked my husband to take me out of town – to our “big” city (over 100,000 people) for lunch and shopping. Lunch was $25 (including tip) at Texas Road House. Shopping was 49 cents for a cotton cable knit turtleneck sweater at JC Penney ($30 sweater marked down for clearance to 10.49 and I had a $10 off coupon. Also – no sales tax in Montana.) I have been very influenced by the website: with her french influenced capsule wardrobes.

    I am crocheting a hot pink “pussy hat” for my son’s girlfriend to wear when she goes to a march or protest. They live in Washington D.C. so there is always a march she can go to, if she feels moved to.

  41. I have been doing a pantry challenge as well since January 1st. What helped me was concentrating on the fridge freezer first and using all the meats in there. Then each week I pull the meats I need for that week from my other two freezers. I am only pulling 2 or 3 packages a week because I am planning for leftovers if I make to much or using the leftover meat for something else. Am example–yesterday we had roast beef and the leftover meat is shredded BBQ beef for sandwiches tonight.i haven’t bought any meat for 6 weeks because there is so much here already. It has really cut down my grocery bill!

  42. Darcy, I know paying for the tree work doesn’t feel frugal (I just had to pay for some), but probably the best way to look at it is, if you take the precautionary route and take it down then you won’t be paying for roof/house repair for yourself or your neighbor in the future. Plus when it’s gone you won’t have the hassle and worry of any future damage it might cause. Hope it all works out for you. Have a great day!

  43. It’s always lovely to read your accomplishments, Brandy. The chicken is such a great deal. My husband was able to get tickets to a professional basketball game from a raffle. He only put in $5’s worth of tickets!

    I am going to a lot of baby showers lately so I have been tying to figure out frugal gifts. Most of the pregnant ladies are having their second or third baby so they prefer gift cards, which does make it harder to be creative.

  44. I attended a class at my church, which is an hour’s drive from me, on Saturday morning and afterward pulled the homemade chicken salad sandwich on homemade bun out of my cooler and enjoyed it with a bottle of homemade kombucha. That was a lunch from scratch for sure, and about $10 cheaper than grabbing lunch out.
    I am still eating down my freezer — it’s a slow job when there are only two people to eat what’s in it, but our grocery bill has certainly dropped. I’m planning to “corn” my own beef from a brisket I have in the freezer as my next experimental food project.
    My husband has a half-dozen white tee-shirts that seem to have worn out at once, so I took a minute to cut them all to useful size for rags.
    I found a whole batch of chickweed growing in one of my raised herb beds. This might frustrate some folks, but chickweed is edible and very healthy. Since it’s in a raised bed the pets stay out of and it’s organic, I know it’s safe to just rinse and eat. Fresh, nutritious greens, provided by our Maker!
    I trimmed my bangs. I also cut my husband’s hair on a regular basis with a clipper set we bought several years ago.
    I’m making bread, salad dressing, veggie dip, and shampoo this week.
    I’m finding joy in the azalea flowers blooming, but it’s too early, so I know I’ll miss them later this spring when they should normally bloom. Still, they are beautiful.

  45. GardenPat, I wish you had a blog. I would love to see the quilts you make. They sound like quilts I would love to see. I am a quilter too in my spare time.

    Candace In Lousiana.

  46. Diapers can make a great inexpensive gift. I can get name brand diapers for about $5 per pack using coupons. If you sew, you could make burp cloths using cute printed flannel bought using coupons (I sew together flannel and terry cloth for mine so they have a soft side and a more absorbent side). I just had my fourth baby and I can say gift cards for takeout to inexpensive places were very helpful (think sub shops, pizza places, etc.). Also maybe a basket with inexpensive dvds (can get cartoon ones for about $4 at Walmart and Target), coloring books (I usually get these at the $1 store) and crayons, playdoh for the older children would be a good idea-something to occupy them so mom isn’t pestered while trying to rest and take care of the new baby.

  47. My biggest savings came from shopping during the monthly 10% off day at the grocery store. One store also does price matching in addition to their 10% off. I also learned that the store will apply their ‘card saver’ savings to the price match to my delight.

    I found this out when I did a price match on my vitamins. The store already had the vitamins on sale but my price match was even lower. So, the clerk rang up the price match, the computer applied the 20% off store savings and another 10% off for being the first Monday of the month.

    I thought it was a glitch and went back today with this week’s ad. I got an OTC medicine on price match and the sales % from the store sale. In the past, I wouldn’t price match if the store also had the item on sale. Now I will for sure and see if this double savings continues.

  48. Not a bad week in the savings dept. and even better in the beauty dept.!

    For beauty, it just felt wonderful to have and live a *normal* week without illness. My house is looking tidy again, I’ve done a little freshening of the décor, & some organizing. 4 wks. of illness is pretty hard on things!

    For savings, it was mostly little things.
    **Meals included scrambled eggs & taters, quiche and veggie soup, Chinese chicken noodles, stuffed baked potatoes, leftovers, spicy chicken salad, & ham slices with biscuits & pineapple.
    **Found my very-tall husband some sweatpants he liked. The pant leg cut was cheaper than the ones that were gathered so I bought the cheaper ones. I gathered the ankles myself with elastic I already had.
    **Made dishwasher soap
    **Made jiffy wipes from an old shirt I had that was too ratty to donate.
    **Got 3 freebies at the market. A box of cereal, a can of soup, & a candy bar.
    **Used coupons that added up to $4 in free groceries from pharmacy.
    **Cooked a ham and sliced/bagged it for the freezer.
    **Had food given to us twice! One amount from a friend going out of town. ANother from leftovers from a fundraiser breakfast.
    Got a loaf of bread, a pack of lunchmeat, sliced cheese, sausage, fruit cocktail, OJ, pancakes, & biscuits. Free!

    Brandy, that apricot branch was beautiful! And I’m shocked that it’s so expensive to lay sod! You sure saved a lot of money doing it yourself. we have a couple of areas that need it.

    Are you working on any sewing projects?

  49. Glad to see someone else who eats chickweed! Here are two recipes we use them in, in case you want some variety.

    Miraculous Weed Quiche

    This quiche doesn’t require rolling and fitting a crust; it “miraculously” forms its own whole-grain crust as it bakes.

    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 1/2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
    2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter

    1 medium onion, peeled and diced (5 ounces, 1 cup)
    2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter or vegetable oil (7/8 ounce)
    1/8 teaspoon dried thyme ( used basil instead)
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (omit if you don’t like nutmeg)
    2 cups (15-ounce container) ricotta cheese
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup (6 ounces) egg substitute, or 3 large eggs, beaten
    1 cup of boiled, well-drained and chopped weed greens
    1 cup (4 ounces) grated low-fat cheese; jalapeño or plain cheddar, Jarlsberg, or the low-fat cheese of your choice.

    1 cup (8 ounces) low-fat sour cream

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Use non-stick vegetable oil spray to heavily grease a 9” deep-dish pie pan (a 9” pie pan that’s at least 1 1/2” deep), or a 9” spring form pan.

    For the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and dry milk. Mix in the butter with a fork, a pastry blender, a mixer, or your fingers, till crumbly. Set it aside momentarily; you’ll be adding the filling ingredients shortly.

    For the filling: Sauté the onion in the butter until it’s soft and becoming golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spices of your choice. Remove it from the heat, and add it to the crust mixture in the large bowl along with the ricotta, salt, egg substitute or eggs, weed greens, and grated cheese. Mix everything together thoroughly, and spoon it into the prepared pan. Spread with sour cream. This is best done by dolloping the sour cream atop the filling, then using a spatula, or the back of a spoon, to smooth down and connect the dollops.

    Bake the quiche in a preheated 375°F oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it appears set almost all the way into the center, and has begun to brown slightly. It may crack, also; that’s OK. Remove it from the oven, and cool it on a rack for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30, before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers. Yield: 8 to 12 servings.

    Chickweed Pie

    Makes 6 to 8 servings. Best served hot; it will keep one or two days in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the microwave.

    One 10-inch pie crust
    3 cups chopped chickweed
    1 cup diced bacon
    ½ cup finely chopped onion
    3 large eggs
    1 ½ cups sour cream
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 10-inch pie dish with crust and make a raised border around the rim to prevent filling form overflowing during baking.

    To prepare the chickweed, remove all leaves, twigs and root ends, reserving only the greenest leafiest parts. Rinse thoroughly in a colander and gently dry with paper towels. Bunch the chickweed together into a ball and chop with a sharp knife until reduced to a confetti texture. Measure, then put chickweed in a large bowl.

    Fry diced bacon until it begins to brown, then add onion. Cook about 3 minutes, or until onion wilts. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon and onions to bowl with chickweed. Discard drippings.

    In a separate bowl, beat eggs until lemon colored, then add sour cream, flour and nutmeg. Add egg mixture to chickweed, onions and bacon. Spread filling evenly in the pie shell and pat down firmly with a spoon. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until pie has set in the center and top looks golden.

  50. Debby,

    Laying new sod is not as much. The quote was more because of the labor involved in digging out the old dead sod, and then releveling the dirt in those areas, plus putting it in. Still, even given all that, we thought the quote was very high.

    The weatherman says it is supposed to storm this weekend, so I’ll sew then. While the weather is pleasant, I ma working in the garden as much as possible. Just this moment I came in for a short break, but I’ll be right back out there again soon.

  51. Hi Diana,
    There’s a video you can watch on You Tube called “Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” and the authors of the book of the same name demonstrate how to make the bread. They also wrote Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. They have a blog too.

  52. LOL Rhonda we do the same and yes, it has it’s own spot on the shelf in the pantry. We only buy the 16 ounce jars (which USED to be 18 ounce jars!) when they go on sale for .99 cents each. A case usually gets us thru about 6 months now that our daughter left home.

  53. Hi everyone! I haven’t posted in a long while. I really enjoy reading everyone’s frugal accomplishments!

    I rolled my foot and broke it last Thurs. so I’m spending more time then usual on the computer. I’m in a non weight bearing cast for 6 – 8 weeks. Hopefully at that point I’ll get a walking boot and be able to get around better.

    *I made a years supply of powdered laundry detergent before the injury (just my husband and I at home)
    *We are eating from our freezer and pantry.
    *Our weather has been beautiful so I keep the heat set very low at night and turn it off in the a.m.
    * The entire treatment for my fracture was $20 co-pay. Of course when I go in for further appt. they will have a $20 copay as well. I can’t complain though, it sure beats thousands.
    *I was given crutches at no cost from my insurance. Never having used them before and being 57 (never had a broken bone) I found them difficult to use. My son had a scooter from when he broke his ankle. He brought it by and it’s working well for me.
    *My husband will be making a beef roast for Valentines dinner for the two of us. (It’s been in the freezer, bought on sale at a very low price) We’ll also have some salad greens we need to eat up and bread I made before the accident.
    *Keeping lights off when out of a room and staying home. I won’t be going to stores for weeks. Gotta look at the upside! 🙂

    Have a fantastic week Brandy and everyone!!

  54. Christina,

    I just love birds! We have a big, beautiful owl that lives in our tall pines. I can hear him as dusk each night. He’s quite large and loud! I occasionally get a peak at him/her. Simply beautiful!

  55. I haven’t posted in a couple weeks – I have had several tests done that just wiped me out along with trying to work as well. Hopefully I get some answer’s this week as to what is going on.
    *Hubby’s hair appears to be growing again so I buzzed his hair for him.
    * Clipped all the dogs nails myself again. I do it often because I don’t ever want to clip it too close and make them not want to have their nails done – better to have to do it more often than deal with the wrestling match if they won’t let me do it. I don’t think I’d win against the 140 pounder now!
    * Spent a lot of time on the phone getting insurances straightened out which resulted in a refund check being issued to me. That will help pay the co-pay I will have for an appointment this week as well as put gas in my vehicle to get to appointments.
    * Used a coupon to purchase the dog’s and cat’s foods.
    * I haven’t been able to eat a lot lately so food purchases have been very small. It is hard to find anything that does not make me ill right now and what I can eat doesn’t have a lot of nutrition so I making sure I am taking a daily vitamin as well and my probiotics. Hubby and son are eating out of the freezer.
    * Dug out my “skinny clothes” bins and found some jeans that fit where I am at right now and some that will fit when I lose just a bit more weight.
    * I have listed a lot of sewing fabrics and my sewing table for sale – so far no takers. The table doesn’t work for me when I am doing large upholstery projects so I decided to just sell it and stick with a vintage table with sides I can slide out when I need a larger surface.
    * Started working on an antique German silver kitchen sink my Dad and Uncle came across. Once I get it polished out (which is gonna take a lot of elbow grease and time!) it should shine beautifully and be worth A LOT of money which we’ll all split.
    * Brought home bags of throw away food scraps for my 2 hens which they loved. Still no eggs but I did learn the farm store will start getting chicks next week with ducklings coming the end of March 🙂

    I think that’s about it – been very boring over here lately and I am longing for spring and unfrozen dirt to play in! My seed list is complete but I need to wait for the medical stuff to be paid before I can purchase any seeds or plants.

  56. Brandy, I am so glad you got a serger. I have 2 now. I gave my old one to my daughter and she gave it back after a couple years. I use one for white thread and one for dark . It saves time threading it. They are so wonderful. I use mine quiet a bit. They finish seams so professional. I am making a quilt for my grandson. I hemmed my sons football jerseys. I am not getting my winter cleaning done. My family is having some difficulties so I am helping out. I have been making a lot of soup, and crock pot meals. I am trying to clean out my cupboards and freezer and use things up before summer comes.

  57. That’s an awesome price on chicken. It’s great that you could stock up.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Continued w/ the pantry challenge.

    * Ate mostly home-prepped meals (all but one).

    * Harvested radishes, Swiss chard, green onions.

    * Collected eggs from our hens.

    * Made bread, oatmeal cookies, yogurt, refried beans (which I then packed up for the freezer), Italian dressing, and potato-corn chowder (used dry milk).

    * Accepted LO produce to give to our hens.

    * Have continued to keep the sprinklers turned off (we’ve had more rain), and watered the potted plants w/ rinse water.

    * Hubs planted a variety of seeds (veggies and herbs).

    Joyful Activities

    * Watched a variety of birds in our backyard (scrub jays, mourning doves, sparrows, etc.).

    * Enjoyed a rare weekday lunch with both my husband and son (Hubs worked from home and son had an early-out day).

    * Baked (and ate! :D) oatmeal chocolate chip cranberry cookies.

  58. Also, is there any way you can use the cut up wood? We had to have a tree taken down (to prevent the wind from blowing it down on our house), and my husband asked the arborist to leave the trunk wood instead of chipping it up and hauling it away. The arborist cut the trunk into manageable sections, and then Hubs rented a splitter for a morning to cut those sections down into smaller pieces to eventually burn.) It’s now drying and will be used for fires in the fireplace and/or campouts.

    Several years ago my husband also noticed that trees were being taken down from an apartment complex in our neighborhood and asked the tree guys if we could have the big sections of trunk. They said sure (they have to pay to dump it otherwise).

  59. Cindi that indeed would save you a lot of money by cutting your own. I don’t know what firewood costs to purchase over in the States but here it is $100 per 6′ x 4′ trailer load which equates to 1 cubic metre.

    We are fortunate in the fact we live in a country area so can cut firewood from fallen trees on the road verges free of charge and don’t need to pay for a permit here in Australia. Recently we did a favour for a farmer and cleared his driving trails that were obstructed after a contractor cut some trees down that needed trimming and he didn’t have a chainsaw. He asked us when seeing us cut firewood from the verge out the front of his house if we would like all the fallen timber on his property after we cleared his track free, of course the answer was yes please as it was only 5 mins drive from home.

    On the weekend we also had a friend who purchased a 128 acre property and he also said we can cut firewood there and have the firewood free of charge.

    It appears and I know how blessed we are to get all of our firewood free apart from a little fuel and chain bar oil to process it. This would not be possible to purchase for us on our small pensions unless we went without a lot of needed necessities in our home. I am a carer to my husband with injuries and we both cut the timber together , I am able to use a chainsaw as well as DH so between us we are very self reliant.

  60. The weather in Nebraska is going to be in the 60’s this week. Can’t wait to open the windows and let some fresh air in!!
    We ate all meals from home except we had pizza on Friday for National Pizza Day.
    I have used all the meat in the freezer over the fridge so now I am bringing meat up from the freezers in the basement for my meal plan. This week it was a roast a whole chicken and a package of ground beef. I plan two meals from each meat and then breakfast for dinner one night and leftover smorgasbord for the last night of the week. I can see white spaces in all the freezers now.
    This month my grocery total so far is $70.
    Have a great week everyone!

  61. I do this all the time! My husband thinks I’m nuts, until my stockpile runs out and then he’s always asking me to buy more. I have bought huge amounts of sunscreen (I have a lot of children and live in a sunny climate) jelly, cereal, canned goods, non perishable kids snacks, etc.

  62. Haven’t posted here in I don’t know how long! Hubby and I are recovering from pneumonia so will have lots of medical bills to pay. We’re on a “high deductible” health plan so don’t know ahead of time what our costs are going to be. Hubby turned out allergic to the antibiotics he was prescribed, he woke up covered in spots so we went to Urgent Care. Still, it’s better than three years ago when we were uninsured.

    While we were really sick, our 23-year old dryer finally died…motor seized up and a new one is about 1/3 the cost of a new dryer , so we’re just going to bite the bullet and buy a new set. Hubby has fixed basically every part of the old dryer. It has served us well, but I am SO looking forward to the energy savings and water saving from new ones! Meanwhile, I’ve been hanging laundry to dry on hangers and on a single drying rack. I’ve always machine dried all my laundry so am not enjoying crunchy towels, washcloths, etc. Can anyone give me any strategies at all? Here in Northern California we’re dealing with a lot of rain right now so l can’t dry outdoors.

    Cut my own hair for the first time ever! I hadn’t had it cut since October 2015 (my mom cuts it) but l was going crazy with it all over the place while I was trying to sleep.

    Also, I’ve seen a lot of comments here about Edwardian Farm, I think? We have a channel on our Roku called tubitv which has free movies and TV shows. I am pretty sure that either this Farm show or something similar is on the tubitv site. (Shows do have commercials though.)

    Best to all. Have a wonderful rest of the week!

  63. Krissy,

    Just a thought, but if the washer is fine, why not just buy a new dryer? I’ve always done it that way and never had a matching set (mine aren’t even the same brand). At the current moment they are both at least the same color, though that hasn’t always been the case. Thought with the water restrictions, I can see why a new washer would be good. (The front loaders use much less than a top loader, which is one of the reasons I have a front loader; we have had tiered water pricing here for years).

    Either way, there should be an appliance sale this weekend for President’s Day. Hopefully you can find a great deal!

    Edwardian Farm, Victorian Farm, Wartime Farm, and Monastery Farm are all BBC shows. You can find them on YouTube.

  64. You can use the chips wood as mulch under trees and perennial bushes or to add to compost piles. If you have young kids, the smaller branches can be cut into chunks of varying lengths to make blocks. There are all sorts of things that can be done with the leftover wood. Pinterest had lots of ideas. Type in projects made of logs or branches or wood slices.

  65. My family ate out of one of our freezers and pantry all week which helped us get back on budget for the week. Also we are hoping to empty one freezer so we can cut it off and save money on our power bill. I hung out clothes all week to prevent using the dryer,
    . I also made home made rolls saving money on store brand rolls, much healthier too. I purchased a counter top oven hoping to save money on electricity by not having to heat the large oven for smaller items that need to be cooked in the oven.

  66. Thank you so much for the lovely suggestions Kimbery! I didn’t even think about including gifts for the older sibling and it would be such a wonderful addition.

  67. Baked the remaining butternut squash & prepped them for use in baking “pumpkin bread” and pumpkin pancakes. Made the pancakes. While visiting Little Stuff, she & I used up some of their pureed squash that needed used in baking “pumpkin” yeast pancakes & mini pumpkin pancakes, which she loves.

    Mended a torn crib sheet.

    As the snow melted, I relocated 3 little piles of bunny pellets from our front lawn to under bushes & trees that could use the fertilizer.

    Placed 2 more of the glass cake domes over top of the garlic shoots. Since the bed is small, 3 of the cake domes cover it well as cloches.

    Pruned the Concord grapevine, so it will grow up instead of out.

    Spent most of the week at home, since my car was at the dealership getting a new transmission installed.

    Made some tags for the WHO new recipe for oral rehydrating solution. The recipe is based on 1 liter of clean, boiled & cooled water. I liter of water: ½ tsp table salt: 6 level tsp of sugar. That’s all – if can be flavored with a bit or orange juice or a bit of mashed banana, or not. We store some of our water supply in clean 1 liter bottles, so I wanted some little tags to hang on the necks of at least 1 bottle in each box. I used clear contact paper to cover the tags, then hung 3 of them from the bottle necks, reusing the blue curling ribbon that my visiting teacher had tied around a chocolate bar for me last month, for my birthday.

    Drove up to our middle daughter’s house. Our youngest daughter went with me. We took a box of home bottled peach slices from our large tree, since Little Stuff loves them, along with a quart of home-dried raisins from our grapevine, & some rhubarb, red currant & strawberry jam. I also took 2 dozen empty half pint jars, from the thrift stores, because this is the daughter with the huge blueberry patch & access to large wild blackberry patches. One of the lovely things about home canning is that it allows foods to be exchanged between family members even when they are out of season. Trading what both of us have in abundance allows both of us to have greater variety. I also took the dresses that I bought in January. The drive is long, & we went up driving overnight, since that is when the best “weather window” was available, so I took several naps the day we planned to leave, so I would not be too tired to drive.

  68. Mable,
    I think you’re the first person I have read who loves Valentine’s Day. Petit Fours are indeed a labor of love. I hope he enjoys them as much as you do your Indian dish. (Fingers crossed your rye bread turns out well too!)

  69. Oops, Little Stuff & I made “pumpkin” yeast bread sticks & mini pancakes. That’s what happens when you type while too tired.

  70. Since watching my daughter have her first baby, I’m giving paper plates, cups and napkins as shower gifts! Someone brought that for her and it was so helpful!

  71. Hello Brandy and everyone from here in NW Louisiana! Congrats on the new-to-you serger, that is great.

    I was sick with the upper respiratory virus last week and didn’t post so I’ll catch up from Jan 29-Feb 4:

    Had lunch with my Dad and stepmom at his house, took a quart of baked potato soup from my freezer, she fixed salad, bread and dessert. All was yummy and we enjoyed the visit. They especially love spending time with their great-granddaughter.

    Hot dogs were on sale and had Ibotta rebate for them, so we had chili dogs (chili from freezer) and pigs-in-blanket with my refrigerator dough on different nights. Still have a package of hot dogs in frig.

    Bought 6 more pounds of ground beef on sale at $2.49/lb and a 1.25-lb package of chili grind beef for about $5 from markdown bin, all at Kroger.

    Also bought chicken breasts at Kroger for $1.77 per pound, roasted them, split one for dinner and froze the rest.

    Bought six more jars of Classico pasta sauce at 1.49 each at Kroger.

    At Albertsons bought two avocados for 50 cents each, Kraft mayo 1.99, case of bottled water for $1.88 (we have very poor water quality and even though I use a faucet filter I prefer my granddaughter to have bottled water).

    From Super 1 Foods bought 3 lb of bacon for $9.97, a gallon of oil for $5.59 and some andouille sausage for $5 for 1.5 pounds.

    Made bean, bacon and potato soup with homemade bread rolls with the last of my refrigerator dough. Bread was great but the white beans in the soup were still not cooked through despite soaking overnight — they had been in the pantry a LONG time. The soup tasted good, so will try again sometime with newer beans.

    Cooked 2 lb black beans in the crockpot with chicken stock, onions, bell peppers, garlic, cumin and chili powder. These turned out great and I froze five 2-cup portions for later use in Tex-Mex dinners.

    I peeled and boiled until just tender about 8 pounds of potatoes and reserved about 3 pounds for another use. Then I shredded the rest with the box grater and froze them in layers between waxed paper in a gallon ice cream pail. These hash brown patties will fit nicely in a skillet to cook. I’ve never tried this before, but read about it years ago and decided to give it a try. We’ll see how it goes.

    Made three chicken pot pies, froze two and cooked one. I used the reserved cooked potatoes plus some cooked carrots and frozen peas, with homemade crusts and sauce. Yum! I always make double crust pot pies.

    Planted arugula, thyme, lettuce , kale, spinach and cilantro seeds. Also planted parsley, strawberry, mint, pansy and viola plants.

    Last week, Feb 5-11, we were all under the weather and I was so glad to have my freezer meals and a stash of canned soups to eat, because I definitely didn’t feel up to cooking.

    I did have a previously scheduled doctor’s appointment in the city, and when I had a prescription filled at Super 1 Foods, I found a large loaf of Italian bread for 49 cents and a garlic parmesan focaccia for 84 cents on the bakery markdown rack. The focaccia is my daughter’s favorite.

    I then had to go to Target looking for a specific OTC medication I couldn’t find elsewhere and while doing a little price checking I found Better Than Buillion for $3.49 and I bought one each of chicken and beef. I really prefer this over Knorr (which I do buy and use for some things, as it’s such a good value) for certain dishes, such as gumbo, as I find it really does make a difference.

    I returned library books and checked out some DVDs and some books I had on hold. I’m glad you reminded me Brandy, I keep meaning to request Bringing Up Bebe from the library.

    See y’all next week!

  72. Oh my goodness I meant to say has helped me not hasn’t helped me!! So sorry about that!! I just read my comment

  73. We live in a very humid yet cold area. I turn a small space heater on in my bedroom and that is also where I place the drying rack so they get half dry with the air that is coming out of the space heater all day. Makes the towels less crunchy.

  74. Thank you, Brandy, for reminding us to find beauty in the everyday.
    At this time of year in the dreary eastern part of the country, this can be a challenge.
    But there is always beauty somewhere.

  75. Roberta, we used to have a big scrub jay that regularly visited when we lived in L.A. He was an ornery thing and would tease and taunt the cats and dog! They’d be swatting at the windows trying to get him. And the cats would chatter. I called him Bert! He loved my bird bath.

  76. Try lighting candles, listening to music, bundle up and be outside when you can, brewing some nice smelling coffee to engage your senses. Winter will turn to spring!

  77. My husband has scheduled another trip for us to California (from Missouri) and paid for our airfare with Delta frequent flyer miles! The room and some meals will be covered by his employer since it is a business related meeting. It is next week, so will be great to go to a warmer climate. We still have enough freq flier miles on another airline to schedule a trip to visit our daughter in another stte later this year.

  78. Way to go with losing weight. Are you now writing the “How to Lose 100 lbs. by Woodworking”? i’m going to have to take up that hobby!

  79. We had a lovely week, enjoying church activities with the children and lunch was provided.

    Cooked a huge batch of Spaghetti that will last 3 nights.

    Stuck to my grocery budget even though extra food was bought for an interstate trip. All food will be bought from home for this trip. Borrowed a suitcase and am taking carry on luggage only to keep costs down.

    Hit a mortgage payoff target. Feeling great about our dedication as we watch the balance get lower and lower. December 2018 payoff is on track!

    Free and local activities with my 2 children as usual.

    Another 1st birthday party…present cost me 60 cents!!

    Had my sons 1st birthday party in our backyard. Splurged on the beautiful cake and matching invitations and home made all the pretty food & decorations. Cost was minimal while still adhering to my values. That is, baptism and 1st birthday are very meaningful and significant to me. So an elaborate cake is in order for each! Subsequent birthdays I home make the cake.

    Had a haircut ..well style cut really! Wash cut and blow dry for $20. This was my first haircut in 8.5 months.

  80. My washer and dryer don’t match either. At least they are both white. I have a top loader which I love, because it is a water saver model in that once you shut it, it only fills to the minimum level needed to wash the clothes. If you open it once it starts, it will fill to the top.

  81. I don’t mean to point any fingers, I know you work really hard to provide for your family and I am deeply impressed by all that you do.
    I’m just curious as to what your thoughts are on animal welfare?
    You might just be better at finding organic freerange poultry on sale than I am, but the prices you pay makes me think they are cage raised.
    Is that something you consider when choosing meats?

  82. Hi Kat!

    If the city would allow us to raise chickens, I would. I would really like to get the zoning ordinances changed to allow everyone to have chickens (and then I’d have to tackle our HOA, who unfortunately doesn’t ever want to make any changes, even if they mean people’s houses will look nicer, let alone changing something like this). We did raise some meat chickens at someone else’s house a few years ago and butchered them ourselves.

    Buying organic is not a priority for me. Feeding my family good, healthy food is. Not everyone has the same definition of healthy food, but I think most people can agree that junk food isn’t healthy 🙂

    Past that, it’s important to me to stay within our budget. I don’t believe in going into debt for groceries. We each have to do our best within the budget that we have. In order to live within my means, I buy what I can afford. It’s nice to be able to buy chicken as well as beans 🙂 If you’ve followed my grocery shopping posts, you’ll see that I don’t buy meat very often. It’s nice when I can buy it within our budget.

  83. My husband and I enjoy going out together to cut wood. Even though it is hard work, we like being outdoors, and there is such a sense of accomplishment when the work is done! And wood heat is so comfortable. We never have to be cold in the winter.

  84. It’s such a blessing to keep writing down
    My free little journal. Thank you. This week.
    Local thrift half price. Able to find several brand name Spring clothes to add to 10 item wardrobe plus a remnent plain Robin egg blue fabric. All under $10.
    Covered 2 more pillows in the fabric for Spring.
    All needed meds for health were Free.
    Found spiral cut hams..for .59 cents a lb. Many meals
    Made a few smoothies with strawberries from summer
    Was able to fit..haircolor…some highlights..n cut to fit my
    Budget with special on things..i normally don’t bother with extras but this worked out.
    Weathers been snow…enjoyed sunshine
    Found some pkgs seeds free in garage
    Saved all my coffee pods. Will use grounds in diet and pods to start seedlings in Spring
    Question…how do you keep potatoes bought on big sales fresh for a long time? Thank you

  85. Too funny! Jays are gutsy; we’ve seen them take on hawks that get too close to their nests (and they’ll sometimes buzz my husband when he’s out working in the yard).

  86. Grocery –
    Spent $40, only bought the necessities except for husband’s coffee. I found a bag of ripe avocados marked down to 99¢ for 4. A loaf of bread was 50% off for 1.50. We are eating down the pantry this week.

    Received a Starbucks & McDonald’s gift card from parents for Valentine’s Day. I combined the latter with coupons on their mobile app to stretch it.

    Redeemed a coupon from MCR for a few 12 pack of ginger ale.

    Redeemed for freebies from Kmart and Vons. Cat treats & yogurt. Going out tomorrow to redeem more for free can of dog food & another yogurt. Vons usually has a free baked good in the bakery, we got cookies last weekend & will check tomorrow as well.

    Worked out at home using YouTube.

    Playing IWG on SYWR site, earned $4 this week to spend at Kmart.

    Went thrift store shopping & got clothes, books, and some household goods. Baby clothes are 10¢, children’s books are 25¢, and I paid very little for everything else.

    We use a credit card to earn rewards but pay it off in full every month. This month I had $60 and depositing them into my checking earned a bonus 50%, giving me about $100 in rewards this month.

    There is a storage unit place down the street from us and people leave all sorts of goodies. I picked up a Pier 1 tea light holder & a cowboy hat for my daughter to use in dress up.

  87. I think we all just do the best we can. If I bought even part organic, I would not be able to eat all month. I am serious. That includes vegetables. I seldom buy meat, or dairy because I cannot afford it. My basic diet is beans, rice, pasta, vegetables, some fruit and eggs.

  88. My husband and I have been working hard to save enough money to take our four children to Disney World for the past 10 years. We thought we should do it before our oldest goes to college in a couple of years (he is 16 years old). My husband has been working very hard and we have been trying to stretch our dollar as much as possible. He was able to buy Target gift cards at a discount and then use those to pay for Disney cards which we used to pay four our 2 nights at a Disney resort and items that we were able to put on our account. We also drove to Kansas City to get on a plane there (my husband found a good deal on tickets….just a little over $700 for a to and from Orlando for our family of 6). We took food on the plane (put it in our suitcases in addition to our clothing, etc.). My husband also found a hotel that we could park our car at while we were gone for half the price of parking it at the airport, plus they provided a free shuttle. For our 3 nights at the second hotel, my husband used points from our credit card and only ended up having to pay $30 there. That hotel also provided a free hot breakfast to our family. We would eat 2 meals and snacks with food that we brought and the hot breakfast that the second hotel provided (our first two nights were at a Disney Resort and they didn’t provide anything free). For both, they did provide free transportation to and from the amusement parks. We did use Uber a couple of times at the end of our vacation to get to and from places (but at a fraction of the price of a taxi) and to the airport to return home. Our children were told they were to save their own money to purchase their souvenirs, which they did and that saved a lot of money too.

    We just got back home last night and then I had to figure out what to do for meals. So I searched my freezers and pantry, made a menu, and wrote a list. Only spent $71 for our groceries this week for our family of six.

    Hoping that we will be able to continue to save money, the next couple of weeks are going to be expensive: braces, dentist appointment (removal of a tooth), and pay for a deposit on my youngest daughter’s tonsilectomy (which will be done 3/9/17).

  89. Cindi I agree there is nothing that warms you like a good wood fire in the winter and we love being outdoors too and working together. We also like the sense of accomplishment and seeing what we have cut and stacked together.

  90. how wonderful. I had broods of bluebirds for 4 years at my previous house. They were amazing. I fed them of my deck. They would fly around me when I brought them mealworms. I hope to have more houses and do it again.

  91. My sentiments always…beauty in the everyday

    It is always inspiring to read of your happenings and then to read what others have done too. It gives encouragement and shows that we really are quite frugal and wise if we just take a moment and in retrospect think of the everyday happenings in our daily life.

  92. I just came across your site, and I must say, it is incredibly calming to read! I especially enjoy reading all of your weekly frugal accomplishments. Thank you so much for sharing!

  93. I used to do a hash brown omelet when we camped for vacations. Easy and quite filling when you’ve been swimming most of the day and everyone is starving!! I would just toss in any veggies or green that were available.

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