Open Door in Spring The Prudent Homemaker

It was so incredibly beautiful this week.

I cut daffodils from the garden for the table.

We celebrated a simple birthday celebration for a child at home.

Snow Peas and Radishes The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested radishes, cilantro, snow peas, green onions, and Swiss chard from the garden.

We went through clothing, packing up cold weather clothes and taking out summer clothes, including doing what I call “The Big Swap” where we hand down clothing to younger sibling as well as pack up outgrown clothing to be passed down at some point. I also went through several items in my closet, and found that several of my blouses are now too large, but that several other items I own still fit just fine–only better! We put aside several large bags of outgrown clothing to donate.

Naptime The Prudent Homemaker

My husband cut two sons’ hair.

I turned some old broken jewelry that I’ve had for many years into some new jewelry for myself.

I mended a few leaks in the drip irrigation.

We said yes to offers of a hand-me-down bicycle and a scooter from two different people.

The children hopped around on a couple of pogo sticks that my mom picked up at a garage sale for $3 each.


What did you do to save money last week?

Octavius walking The Prudent Homemaker

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  1. My daughters helped me can 7 pints of relish, 7 quarts of salsa, 10 pints of salsa, 13 quarts and 13 pints of stewed tomatoes all using free food that we got. I did buy onions and some jalapeño peppers.

  2. Love the photos!!!
    I went to a first birthday party and gave baby lotion, passed on some books, and some too small training pants. I’ve come to dislike consumerism especially for toys.
    I attended a swap. I picked up 0-6 month baby clothes for some friends who are expecting their first babies. I found a buzz lightyear costume. My son had recently watched the toy Story movies and really likes them. I also scored a top for myself and a vest for my son. I also picked up some pet products All for free!
    We went to lunch and a theme coffee shop but instead of driving we took the subway saving on gas and parking . We also played Pokémon go while walking.
    I took my lunch to work.
    I hung up some laundry instead of using the dryer. It helps with the humidity.
    I’m hosting a traveler and I’ve taken advantage of the nice conversation and company. Also having an extra pair of hands willing to do dishes is nice.

  3. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . How beautiful is that photo of Winter holding Octavius and how happy he looks finding his new found feet and freedom to explore the outside world faster.

    Our frugal accomplishments this week were –

    Financial –

    – So far this month we have banked another $596.38 into our saving with our home with cash fund.

    Groceries –
    – We noticed a lot of things we needed to stock up our pantries on that were on 20 – 50% off sales this week so we took advantage of them and topped up our pantries with some winter foods and others and the meat freezer.
    – We purchased on 50% off sale 8 tins of sweet corn kernels saving $7.04, 4 tins of blueberry and 6 tins of strawberry pie filling on 50% off sale saving $25, 6 family sized whole chickens saving 20 % off usual sale prices, and 24aa batteries. All up we saved $41.59 on the usual prices.

    Garden –
    – Picked 2.049kg of red and green capsicums and 250g of cherry tomatoes from the gardens.
    – Planted a 9mt row of Australian white garlic bulbs in the gardens saved from our last crop here.

    Kitchen –
    – Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Blanched and froze capsicums picked from the gardens.
    – Cooked 2 roasts on the BBQ rather than using the oven saving on electricity costs.

    Water preservation –
    – Hand watered the lawns all week with saved grey water from our washing machine and showers.
    – Missed 1.5 scheduled garden watering sessions due to rain saving 3360 lts of town water use.

    Electricity savings –
    – Used our solar lanterns each night rather than using mains powered lights.
    – Washed our clothing in cheaper electricity times in our washing machine.

  4. I love the pictures of the children. Really started my day with a smile.

    Spring is still a long way away here, but I am getting ready. Daffodills were on sale at the store for $1.99 a bunch, so I bought two bunches. Then I forgot about them and remembered them two days later. They had accidentally been put in the crisper with the celery I also bought. I took them out and put them in water and they were fine! I was a little amazed by this.

    This week I repotted three houseplants in free pots. I finished piecing a wall hanging and a table runner. I still have to quilt them, but at least I’m making progress. All the materials were from my stash. I started cooking and freezing meals for our upcoming big camping trip. This time we will be away five weeks, visiting family and friends in Arkansas and Texas, as well as camping in the Ozarks and at several state parks. I finished a pair of pants I was sewing. I washed, waterproofed, and put away all our ski gear. My husband’s jacket had a tear in the lining, so I repaired this. We picked up a free load of firewood from a local business that had cut down a tree. My husband thinks it’s over half a cord of free wood. This gives us a head start on the wood we need for next year. We hiked a trail that was new to us – a lovely afternoon together with our dogs – nothing like gorgeous scenery, exercise and free recreation.

    I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts.

  5. Octavius is getting so big! Oh my gosh! And the kids must have really enjoyed the scooter and pogo sticks. Fun times!

    My own frugal accomplishments:
    – I made the DH a cake for his birthday, a no-bake cheesecake with a ginger snap crust and macerated strawberries on top. I bought the cream cheese on sale two weeks ago, I always have condensed milk in my pantry (which I buy on sale of course), and I used gingersnaps I had bought for a Christmas party but had ended up never needing. Since strawberries were on sale this week, I chose that as the topping. So no impact to my food budget, but still a very nice dessert to celebrate with!
    – For birthday décor, I printed out photos (just on regular paper) of the DH through the years, and strung them on a string in the living room, using the same mini clothes pegs that I use to hang Christmas cards with. These will stay up until we have family over to celebrate with us.
    – For additional décor/gift of sorts, I downloaded a free print from the datingdivas website, and had it printed by a local printhouse on engineer print sized paper. The template was ‘reasons why I am glad you were born’. Cutesy-wutesy romantic, but very us, and a cheap way to make a simple celebration seem a little bigger.
    – I re-used a paper bunting that I had made for our anniversary, as well as a cloth bunting I sewed a few weeks ago, and hung those as well.
    – One of the gifts I gave him was for me to make him a steak dinner, with sides of his choice. This is a big deal because I’m a vegetarian and I don’t cook meat, so it meant a lot to him. I wrote it up as a menu order card that he could check off (i.e. mashed potatoes or baked potatoes, steamed carrots or salad w/ homemade dressing). While the steak was not cheap, the sides were. I made freezer mashed potatoes last week, so I could just pull those out, and I still have carrots in the freezer that I processed myself in the fall. I put the menu order card in a nice envelope (my sister gave me a stack of envelopes when she was de-stashing her card-making supplies) and it became one more (semi-frugal) gift for him to open and make his birthday a little more special. I woke up the next morning to the sound of his delighted laughter as he opened the envelope I left out for him – was a truly lovely way to wake up!
    – I got a sample of vanilla bean flavoured whey protein in the mail. I plan to add it to my smoothies in the summer.
    – A colleague brought samosas to work. They weren’t all eaten, so the next day I ate the remaining ones as a snack dinner. Who says there’s no such thing as a free meal!
    – I dehydrated two pineapples. Dried pineapple is one of my favourite snacks!
    – A client at my work gave me a whole bag of cookie dough flavoured loose leaf tea! This made my day! It’s enough that I will be able to re-gift some, which makes me very happy.
    – I was trying to grow lettuce in my condo, and had planted some seeds in a good mixture of soil and peat moss, and had placed in the sunniest spot in the condo (to avoid ‘leggy’ lettuce). It started getting a little leggy anyway, and I wasn’t able to get my fan from storage to trick the sprouts into growing thicker stems, so I placed the container outside on my balcony on a warm day. Unfortunately, the temperature dropped while I was at work and killed the sprouts right off. #frugalfail But I consider this only a temporary setback, and will try again when it’s warmer!
    – I made a batch of iced tea from loose leaf tea gifted to me (not the cookie dough one) and sweetened it with packets of sugar and sugar substitute saved from a hotel stay
    – I borrowed a book from the library, that Brandy referenced in one of her posts once. “Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House”.
    – Made homemade tub scrub by mixing baking soda with dehydrated ground clementine peels. I find that baking soda is the best thing to clean my tub with, and the clementine powder adds in orange essential oil which makes it smell nice and give it a cleaning boost. I use the baking soda that I keep in my fridge to deodorize the fridge; once it’s no longer working as a deodorizer, I take it and add in ground clementine peels that I dry when I’m drying other things (like the pineapple that I made this week). Uber-frugal and chemical free! And I first learned about it when reading the comments in the archives of this blog!
    – Zested a lemon after squeezing it for the juice, and froze the zest.
    – Made a batch of seasoned rice and beans for burritos for the coming week’s lunches, and froze half. I use beans that my sister gave to me a few months ago, rice purchased from a bulk store, plus some tomato soup seasoning (closest I can get to vegetarian tomato bouillon in Canada) bought in bulk, and some taco seasoning. Super-cheap and tasty burrito filler!
    – Went on a dehydrating kick, and dehydrated some onions (so that I can make Brandy’s chicken-fried steak recipe some time, and also because I had some onions I wanted to use up), as well as broccoli that was on sale (I will grind the dried broccoli and add the resultant powder to meals & smoothies to help with my IBS issues), and celery (because I never buy celery since I usually only want a single stalk or so for a recipe; now I’ll have some on hand).
    – Found strawberries on sale for $3 for 3 regular-sized containers(!), so I turned those into jam to add to my homemade yoghurt for my breakfasts.
    – Made a semi-frugal fancy dish for Saturday dinner: Three Ingredient Blue Cheese Pasta ( Frugal because it’s a pasta dish, not so frugal because it uses blue cheese, but still frugal because it doesn’t use a lot of it (cheaper than meat, for me). And super-easy too, which I love! I served it with broccoli slaw (, which I made using the leftover stalks of the broccoli that I was dehydrating.

    And that’s it! Looking forward to reading and learning from everyone else!

  6. Beautiful pictures. Love Winter sitting with the baby.
    We went and paid for haircuts. I asked some friends that cut their own or spouses but they weren’t willing to do ours and the kids live to far away. The daughter that would have is in the middle of moving and didn’t know where her scissors were packed. We waited for the sale of $5.99 when it’s normally $14.99. They gave us notice when the sale would be again.

    I enjoyed the warm weather but winter is back and we are expecting snow mid day. I enjoyed the warm comfort of my bedroom while watching the sunset last night.

  7. I love the name, “The Big Swap”! That made me laugh.

    My insurance broker sent a notice telling me my car insurance payments would be going down by $7 a month, because I moved my home insurance to the same company.

    I was pricing extra-strength ibuprofen, because at my doctor’s recommendation I am moving up to one a of those a day instead of one regular ibuprofen to reduce joint pain. There isn’t much difference in the price between the no-name and name brands in the regular strength, but there is a huge difference in the extra-strength – $5 for 72 instead of $20.50! This is $75 a year.

    There was a book on hold for me at the library in the next town over that was due to be returned to its home library if I didn’t pick it up by Tuesday. I was planning to be in that town on Thursday, so I called and asked the library to hold it for two more days. They agreed, which saved $10 on gas, plus an hour of driving time.

    I got good sales on pork, “gourmet” soup, eggs, kale, and snap peas. There are a few other things on sale, but I am over-budget on food for the month, so I’ve decided to put the brakes on spending. I’ll just hope that there are sales next month too.

    I got my car repaired. It started fine in cold weather, but if I drove someplace and only stopped for a short time, it wouldn’t start went I came out. I would have to wait an hour before it would start again. Fine for going to work all day, but it stopped me from doing errands during cold weather. I spent quite a few one hour stretches waiting for the car to start again before I could afford to get the car fixed, though fortunately I was always someplace where I had someplace warm to wait. It turned out to be a wiring problem rather than a parts problem, so it cost much less that I thought it would to fix. Got free coffee and a piece of chocolate too while I waited for the repair to be done.

    It is a relief to have a dependable car. It is also great to have less joint pain. We have some warmer and sunny weather in the forecast after a week of very cold weather, so I’ll be able to get a daily walk, which helps me feel well physically and mood-wise.

  8. This week was spent preparing for baby #3’s arrival in a few weeks.
    -My mom came by for a visit. We used her Costco card and stocked up on groceries so I won’t have to do much in the way of shopping.
    -I pulled down the bin of newborn-3 month boy clothing that I have been storing for 4 years. After going through it and washing everything, I find I’m well stocked in pjs and shirts, but need a couple of pants.
    -My husband and dad switched the furniture of two bedrooms around and put up the crib, changing table, and rocker.
    -I made up 4 meals to use in the slow cooker and 3 pizzas and 2 pizza crusts, as well as making packets of dry ingredients for pancakes. Everything went into the freezer for later. I’ll keep adding to these over the next couple of weeks.
    -Started knitting a baby hat from yarn left over from making a sweater.
    In addition to baby prep, I accomplished these things:
    -All meals were made at home but one.
    -All of the seeds I started indoors have sprouted and I’m ready to start planting outdoors, but we’ve had So. Much. Rain. that I’m afraid to put them out. I think they’d just rot or wash away. I’m keeping a close watch on the weather.
    -Printed out homeschool papers at our local library. They allow 75 black and white or 25 color prints from the computer for free each week. If I plan ahead, this allows me to save the cost of ink, paper, and wear & tear on our printers.
    Thank you everyone for all of your comments. I love learning what you’re all doing.

  9. Your baby is so sweet. I can’t believe he is walking around already. Times sure goes by quickly! Enjoy~
    I have a little granddaughter turning one this Friday. She has been walking around for about a month but the last week or so she has really taken off and she is just thrilled!

  10. Oh my goodness, he is so adorable, Brandy! What a great picture of Winter holding her sleeping baby brother, too. Thank so much for sharing those photos with us.

    My frugal accomplishment this week are:
    *Meals made at home included chicken ranch tacos, hamburger helper with green beans, leftovers or chicken fingers plus white rice and choice between salad or peas, hot chicken sandwiches with mashed potatoes and corn and lasagna.
    *We had take out a couple times this week, which is unusual for us. I used gift cards to purchase both meals, making the meals almost free (small amount of cash was used).
    *The grocery store that I frequent the most is doing their yearly inventory. There were lots of items being marked down 50% off just to clear them out. I was able to buy 2 milk chocolate brownie mixes, 3 salted caramel brownie mixes, a good sized bag of chopped pecans, a bag of chocolate bars, 3 containers of ice cream, a bag of crumbled feta cheese with herbs, a bottle of Gatorade, and a box of crackers all on clearance for excellent prices. I also picked up 3 containers of apple juice for $0.50 each. We very rarely drink juice, but I use apple juice when making jam, so these have been added to the pantry to use later in the spring/summer.
    *I stocked up on 5 packages of pasta that was on sale at another store for $0.83/900g, 2 cans of tomato soup for $0.44/can and a jar of green pimento olives for $1.50/jar. If I remember correctly, there was a small olive harvest, so prices may increase. My mom’s the only one who eats olives, but she enjoys serving them on special occasions, so this 1 jar should last for a while.
    *My daughter had a friend over on Thursday night, to start off their March break. We bought pizza as a treat for dinner (used gc – see previous comment), made cupcakes for dessert using a box mix and icing from our pantry and I pulled a bottle of rootbeer from the stash I keep for when we have company over.
    *I boiled more eggs than needed one morning and placed the extra cooked eggs in the fridge for another meal. I made an extra large batch of white rice to use later for fried rice. I also made an extra pan of lasagna and put it in the freezer for a no prep meal later. Doing this saves time, energy costs and makes for more convenient meal options.
    [b]Simple and Joyful Life Moments This Week:[/b]
    *I went to my work this week to help, as a volunteer. I forgot to take my cell phone with me that morning, so I called my mom and asked her to answer it if someone called, just in case it was my daughter’s school. When I got home, my mom told me my daughter, unaware I didn’t have my phone, had texted me. She tried to answer, but had a hard time because she’s never used a smart phone before.This is what the text read:
    DD: Mom
    DD: Can Clara have a sleepover on thur
    My mom: YoYy5
    DD: Um Wut
    DD: English pls
    My mom: 0 your
    DD: Stop screwing with me
    DD: Grandma?
    DD: 1 for yes a 2 for no
    I laughed so hard after reading this, tears were streaming down my face and I couldn’t catch my breath! To add to the humour, my mom said she was afraid to press the space bar because it said “English” and she didn’t know where the button would take her.

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  11. Love the pictures! I can’t believe he’s walking already!
    Last week:
    Attempted to turn some grape juice no one was drinking into grape jelly, not sure how that turned out yet.
    Used up some leftovers and froze some we wouldn’t be using for awhile.
    Made more deodorant, bread, pumpkin bread, various soups and casseroles for suppers last week
    took another car full to Goodwill to donate, planned all errands to run together and drive the most efficient route.
    Found one more bill to switch to email billing rather than paper
    made a grocery list over the week and stuck to it and was also able to use a few coupons I had in my purse for items I was purchasing anyways to save some more.
    Have a great week everyone!

  12. Finished one more baby quilt for my gift drawer and have another scrap baby quilt top finished! I allow myself 2 hours to sew with the timer on and then I have to work in kitchen, declutter, or do something else that is on my to-do list!
    This morning I made a batch of 15 pumpkin butterscotch muffins to rotate out a can of pumpkin on my pantry shelf and after 3 were eaten at breakfast, I fit 6 muffins each into foil loaf pans from Dollar Tree that I got a while back 4/$1! One pan with labeled lid is out for eating this week and the second pan of 6 is labeled and in the freezer so I can pull it out some other time in the future for an easy breakfast option!
    From the dinner I prepared for our ladies at Church Thursday night, I had leftover chicken fettuccine Alfredo that we have had for a family dinner at home and packaged the rest into individual portions in our Rubbermaid containers for easy grab and go lunch options.
    We had 2 loaves of French bread that became hero burgers for dinner with leftovers portioned into gra and go lunch options too!
    4 plain bagels got toasted this morning. I added the 4 last sausage patties from my freezer, eggs and cheese slices to make up 4 sausage, egg and cheese bagels and put them in my fridge container of breakfast grab and go!
    You can probably tell that I like to streamline lunch and breakfast options to avoid “Stop and drop $5-$10” fast food options on the way to work! Amazing how much we can save just by 30 minutes here or there in advance prep!!
    Our coffee table from pallet wood is finished and loaded up to take to our client tonight! It went very quickly and we’re anxious to get started on our next projects!
    Our weather was too cold, snowy and wet to work on the chicken coop but tonight after work we will brave the chilly weather to dig and set in the 4 x 4 posts (free recycled from another project of ours) for the coop framework! We marked it off early this morning.
    I have another bag to go as a donation to Goodwill almost filled as I declutter and organize! What a good feeling!
    I did my son’s taxes and since he is now an employee rather than an outside consultant, he is getting over $1800 back in refund (almost the amount he just paid to buy a car this month!) I then prepared our taxes, hoping that we wouldn’t owe as much as we typically have in the past 5 years ($1700- $2500) and was thrilled to see that because of some financial changes we made, that we are getting almost $800 back this year instead of paying!!! Hurray!!
    A friend will be bringing over 2 wing back chairs for me to reupholster for her so that will bring in some more unplanned income and I just deposited another $6 Pinecone survey check! Every little bit helps!
    Spring will becoming. I know it will! So, this week I will plant my potatoes!
    We have been amazingly blessed and are truly grateful!!

  13. We had company again, and served tacos, again. I love serving taco bar to guests because it takes care of any dietary allergies, etc.–they can each build it with the ingredients they can have. We had them 3-4 times last week, and no one complained around here because it’s a favorite. I was glad I had made so many refried beans and bought the huge packages of tortillas from Costco and Cash and Carry a couple of weeks ago. However, the chicken Saturday night tasted really, really good, I will admit.

    We were able to reduce our electric bill by 25%, which was significant. I’m not sure why it was so high last month, (I have some ideas) but we deliberately focused on getting it down, and I’m glad it was less.

    I posted more on my blog:

  14. Better week this week.

    Cooked all meals at home. Packed all my lunches. Mended a pair of leggings. Mended a shoe. New mop covers and bucket are working well, so far less laundry. I mended a quilt that a dog had chewed the edge of. Found the original material and binding int he scrap bin to repair it good as new.

    Dog needed a bath, but it rained, so we went and played in the rain. With some rubs and pats and a good dry off, I got him much cleaner. Not perfect, but cleaner.

    I skipped grocery shopping this week- except for redeeming a rain check on egg noodles (got a years’s supply and then some). I was impressed I restrained myself from even looking for anything else I “needed” since I don’t “need” anything.

    Stopped for Happy Hour at the VFW for a drink and to visit. I walked in just as someone bought a round for the bar. So yay! I will reciprocate on another week.

    I ordered some vegetable and herb seeds from the high school to support their FFA program. For $4 I will get 22 packages of vegetable and herb seeds. What I don’t use will be passed onto my church’s seed bin for people to drop off unwanted seeds for people in need to plant their own gardens.

    Otherwise a quiet week/weekend at home.

    Joys – Almost finished with student registration!! Seriously, why don’t parents return calls or emails from their kids teachers/ the school??! Got the fun of the clothes I bought beginning to arrive. Everything so far has been of good quality and fits well.

  15. Thank you for your posting.. enjoyed your recipes and the mention of the book referenced by Brandy.

  16. I’m so sad. I love strong tasting cheese, including blue cheese. The pasta dish sounds amazing. Unfortunately the rest of my family does not enjoy my love of strong cheese, especially blue cheese. So, I may never get the opportunity to try this amazing dish.:(

  17. Beautiful photos of your lovely children. Winter reading a book while holding Octavius reminds me of myself when I was her age… any chance to read is a good one. Of course, I still feel the same, just don’t get to do so during the busy days anymore. But it’s still a pleasure at bedtime too. Our peas are up and growing; hoping they’ll produce before the weather gets hot. I’m gathering eggs and harvesting lettuce, chard, herbs and a few asparagus. Happy to be joining in here:

  18. Hello Everyone from Snowy Ohio! Most of us here in NWOhio are bracing for a March snowstorm…it’s cold, wet and snowy outside! Brandy, your photos have me dreaming of Summer! This week:
    *my neighbor brought over 4 bags of dark, leafy greens she wasn’t going to use. She also gave my children ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ Lucky Charms. I NEVER buy these, so it was a total treat for my children!!
    *I used my neighbors treadmill to walk many mornings. They give me a key to the shop where the treadmill is and I can walk anytime.
    *my mom gave me a bag of Peanut ‘Easter’ M&M’s- a nice treat!
    *made a meal for a family from church who just had a baby. I took the same food over to my parents for dinner too- fed 11 people spending just $8 extra dollars. Most of the food for that dinner came from pantry items
    *had a nurse friend remove my stitches from my finger, saving a doctor visit and co-pay.
    *made a big batch of pizza crust. Made this recipe into 12 personal size pizzas and froze the semi-cooked crusts for quick lunches/dinners
    *I received free Family Fun and Parents mags in the mail
    *I took 2 Pinecone surveys
    *I redeemed some Pinecone points with a Starbucks e-card. Added the value of that card to my current Starbucks app
    *I attended a woman’s retreat Friday overnight into Saturday. It was a free weekend, paid for by past participants of this weekend. It was a wonderful time in God’s presence, making new friends, getting away, eating great food and being encouraged!
    *my family ate lunch at my parents house after church Sunday.
    *I continued with the usual- meals at home, library for movies and books, turned down heat, turned off lights, air-dried laundry, etc.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  19. Good morning from the Puget Sound.
    I love your Spring pictures and the harvest from your garden~ 🙂 . We are not as fortunate here as it has rained so much for so long . We have also had snow / rain mix for a few weeks. It is cold and wet and days of clouds.. and my arthritis is causing so much pain. I am really thinking about moving to a warmer/dryer climate in a couple of years when my husband retires. We have been praying about this.
    I am fascinated with your talent of taking old jewelry and turning into new jewelry for yourself. Where did you learn how to do this? Do you have certain tools that you use? It would be wonderful to see your finished project 🙂
    Your son is getting so big so fast~ and the picture of Winter is beautiful.
    This last week I needed to replenish our groceries as we had used up so much from our pantry and freezer in the last couple of months. I chose to bulk buy enough meats and canned foods and supplies to last for about 2 months which was a cost of about $400.00. This would average out to about $200.00/month for my husband and myself . I still have a few items in my freezer I can use for soups and a turkey ( I bought in Fall sales) I will bake for our Easter dinner .
    My garden area has been frozen and too cold to plant seeds yet , so I will still need to replenish our fresh greens from the stores.
    I made a very large pot of spaghetti sauce yesterday and will package this into smaller portions to use over the next 2 months. This has worked very well in the past as I could use what I wanted and not have so much leftover sauce.

    I made homemade dog food recipe for our sweet 20 lb dog . I freeze it into 2 tbs packages and mix 1 pkg / day with dry kibble. I just do not trust the canned dog food for him. It is so much more less expensive and very healthy for him.
    Have a wonderful week..
    Patty from the NW

  20. Love the pictures! I’m a sucker for babies anyway.
    I wrapped a birthday gift for a toddler in white paper from a huge roll I bought years ago, and decorated it with brightly colored ribbon from my used ribbon and bow stash. The tissue was from a gift given to me a while back — I always neatly fold it and re-use it.
    I chopped up a bell pepper that was past its prime and put it in homemade coleslaw, where it seems as crunchy and delicious as the rest of the slaw, now.
    I mended a pair of Goodwill slacks. The hook at the waist was coming loose.
    I managed to eat enough samples while grocery shopping, I didn’t need lunch. I only eat one per stand, but sometimes there are a lot of stands!
    My husband and I emptied last year’s containers for growing veggies into a raised bed that we just built with free-to-us wall blocks. I won’t need to buy much soil, and the soil we had used in the containers was top quality. I’ll add castings from my earthworms to enrich the soil.
    I washed my dogs again instead of using a groomer. I’m also adding grapefruit seed extract to their drinking water in tiny amounts; it’s supposed to help ward off fleas, which can be a huge problem here in Florida. Chemical flea medications are expensive, can be dangerous – they gave our old dog a seizure — and quit working in a few years as the fleas gain immunity. I’m told that fleas won’t grow immune to grapefruit seed extract. I hope that’s right and that it works.
    What’s bringing me joy —
    The mild winter we’ve had promises more bugs this summer, ugh, but also brings us a tree full of juicy, sweet loquats, which normally get frozen out by a late frost.
    Getting hugs from my granddaughters.
    The hope that our plants will be successful this year and give us plenty of produce for fresh eating. Some years it works, some years not, but I feel hopeful each spring and feel real joy, digging in the dirt.

  21. Brandy, your children are too cute for words!!! Wow, look at Octavius walk!!!! So precious!!! I traveled all over the place for work this week, traveling over 400 miles total, with long 12 hour days, not including travel time. I was tired by the weekend, and slept a lot, so I guess that was frugal….lol Sunday, we had stake conference that was “moonbeamed” into our little branch church. The picture was a bit off, but at least you could hear it really well. It was delightful and I loved hearing about following the promptings of the Spirit. I did go to Walmart and bought ham. I have been enjoying ham sandwiches for lunch. I also have been eating leftover pumpkin and vegetable soup from my freezer, as well as collards and cornbread.

  22. We had some weather last week and are about to have some more. On Wednesday, we had a wind storm–with NO precipitation–that included gusts up to 72 mph in our area. My town was one of the worst hit–it knocked down trees, power poles, wires and roofing shingles. We spent 47 hours with no power. I was in the midst of making a casserole when it happened–had it all together except the sauce. After waiting a couple hours to see if the power would come back, my husband turned on the generator we bought after the last big storm, and we were ok. It will run everything except the electric oven–I found I could use one burner with no adverse effects, so I made the sauce and then cooked the casserole in the microwave. The second day, I made applesauce on the burner and served it still warm with the second half of the casserole from the night before. We ran the generator when we were awake, so were able to use the TV, dishwasher, computers, lights, and kept the fridge and freezer going. We turned it off for safety while we slept and the coldest it got in the bedroom was 63 degrees F. Just chilly, not really cold. We were lucky that we decided to buy that generator—made waiting out the power outage much more comfortable. Even the water (heated by the furnace) was warm enough to wash up at the sink, despite not wanting to chance a real shower. It felt really good to shower on the third day when it came back on!
    We celebrated SIL’s birthday, and grand-daughter’s last week. Grand-daughter entertained us at her apartment–I made the cake (angel food–had to go to my sister’s to bake it, as her power was on the whole time!) and my daughter stopped and bought ice cream on the way. So we had a little party for her before her friends visited her later that evening. She says that is the LAST birthday she is celebrating but I don’t think she will get away with that. She turned 25–makes me feel old to have her reach that age!!
    Yesterday I made a double batch of granola (as I do every week) and used all the oatmeal. So this week I have to get to the Amish store and buy some. My sister wants to know where the store is anyhow, so I hope I can give her a call and take her with me.
    Some of that will depend on the weather–we are awaiting the start of what is supposed to be a three day snowstorm–with wind and a foot and a half of snow at least. It has started snowing lightly in the past half hour, as predicted! I have a few jobs in mind that can be done inside during a snowstorm! And a new Mexican casserole I copied off the internet which I want to try.
    I did stock up on some groceries for the second week in a row–saving 26% off $143 with coupons and sales did make me happy, though. Lots of BOGOs both weeks. I needed brown rice and was waiting for it to go on sale–2, 2# bags for $3.19 is not the greatest bargain but it’s the best I get. We also enjoyed store bought giant muffins, cherry almond in flavor, at 4/$2.99. I don’t normally buy bakery things but the muffins were a treat. We cut them in half so they lasted quite a few days. They are far too large for one serving. A flavor I wouldn’t have made at home, too. I should not need much the rest of the month–cleaning supplies and toiletries were included in the purchases as well. We certainly do use a lot of mouthwash in this house! We are both super conscientious about brushing and flossing and rinsing as we have had much dental work in our pasts. Prevention is cheaper, but not cheap. Still using up my frozen butternut squash from two harvests ago–I didn’t freeze any last fall because so much was left. We had it twice last week and will continue using it as long as the weather is cold. We have had a couple very spring like days, but they have disappeared for now. The chill factor was below zero a couple nights ago, and the breeze so chilly that it hit my asthmatic lungs on the way into granddaughter’s apartment, and left me coughing halfway up the stairs, where I had to stay until I could catch my breath again. We only parked across the street from her place too. I am READY for spring!
    I enjoyed the photos of Octavius–so grown up looking already, and so obviously enjoying sprinting off by himself! He is adorable. We will be having a new grand-nephew in about three months–not that many babies in our family right now, although we have quite a few people finishing up their college educations and starting careers–babies can’t be too far in the future for a couple of them. One niece is finishing her Master’s in teaching this semester and her husband will be starting his Master’s in the fall–so they are only halfway to that goal so far. Another niece just landed the job of her dreams and was so excited to go buy four new tires for her car and PAY CASH FOR THEM! They are learning good lessons along the way.

  23. Thank you so much for sharing the pics of your family Brandy-such a pleasure.

    This hasn’t been a very frugal time for us. My mother-in-law passed away and they live 4 plus hours from us so my husband has made that trip many times in the last couple weeks. That meant lots of extra gas/food expense. This week we will have the added expense of a hotel room when we go for the funeral service. At least we had the money in savings to cover the extra expenses so that allows us to focus on our loss. She was 90 years old and passed peacefully in her sleep- no pain or suffering which is such a blessing.

    We live in the Pacific Northwest and have had a cold, wet winter. I was getting a little tired of wearing the same old sweaters to work so I made some frugal changes. I took a cashmere sweater and made it into a pullover vest. It fits much better this way and allows me to wear a different look. I took one of my wool turtlenecks and cut off the turtleneck and made it into a rounded collar- again a different look for no cost. While I had my sewing machine out, I hemmed a pair of pants for my son.

    My mother-in-law always had a couple large Christmas cactus plants in her living room so my husband brought home a start and it has started to root. We plan on giving the plant to our son as a reminder of his grandmother. I also got a start of an African violet plant from a co-worker and it is also doing well. I like getting plants for free.

  24. Hi Brandy,
    As Cindi said in her comment, what a wonderful way to get a smile on my face early this morning just from looking at your photos of your kids! Great pictures and really well done. Thank you for sharing them. Now for the frugal activities:
    -Made split pea and ham soup. The ham I bought on sale at Christmas and had sliced and frozen for later use! Freezers are wonderful tools! Extra soup was frozen for a later appearance.
    -ate soup for two dinners and one breakfast for dinner
    -continued to eat from the pantry and freezer but it is slow going with only the two of us. Picked out five different recipes to help spice up meals a bit from the usuals.
    -Used electricity off peak
    -Had a bee invasion that cost $495 but the bees are out of the kitchen! One night I went to cook dinner, I put a frying pan on the stove and a bee dropped into it, then another bee….they were coming through the exhaust vent. Acckkkk.
    -Had a $7.99 great clips haircut (versus $45 when I went to a “salon”), no discernible difference in how my hair looks since my hair has a very simple style ;).
    -Went online and comparison shopped for dog treats, amazing variation in prices!
    -had lunch with a girlfriend at a great place where the coupon paid for our shared lunch and the only costs were beverages.
    -set aside money from tax refunds and insurance refund to pay for our upcoming March vacation. Won’t need to use our summer vacation fund, hopefully!
    -my goal in march is to go grocery shopping one day a week, through mid month I have gone on three different days, so pretty close, and my spending is less.
    -for joy, the days and evenings here are wonderful temperatures and we have loved being outside walking or riding, or just sitting watching sunrises and sunsets over the desert. So lucky to be here and able to appreciate the world around us. My niece, 27 years old, is a professional soccer player and is playing in Iceland this year, I am really having fun seeing her photos of Iceland and what the world looks like there! Technology is so amazing where I can see video of her train ride across Iceland within hours of her taking the train.

  25. Lorna, I was wondering about the solar lights you mention. Are those inside or outside? If they’re inside, how do you like them? Are they bright enough to work from? I’d like to get some for inside but I’m not sure how my husband would go for it. But also, they’d have to be as strong as an electric light or I’d already have the answer without discussing it. Ha! Being as you’re in the land of sun, and I’m in the land of snow, I’d probably only get any real use out of them in the Summer. ( Which for us is about two weeks long!;))

  26. Too, too funny! I’ve read this twice and busted a gut each time! I haven’t a clue with the fancy phones, either. This looks like something I would do.

  27. Heather and what a blessing to be able to preserve so many wonderful things from free produce 🙂 and your daughters sound like such a big help.

  28. momsav the solar lights are inside but we put them outside to charge them, but you can also charge them with a usb to mini usb from your laptop too in winter. For sufficient light to work by and yes we cook, read and run our whole house at night by the light of them, you need at least 150 lumens plus to get a bright enough light. We use solar tent lanterns that have a small solar panel to charge them with outside.

    You can get hand cranked solar lanterns too where you can charge them by winding up the handle where 5 mins of winding will give you an hour of strong light. These will probably be the ones you would want being that your summer is so very short. They also have a solar panel on the top as well for charging during summer. These are the ones we will be investing in shortly as initially we went with very cheap ones as an experiment. Also you would want ones with a hook on them as then you can attach them by hooking to the front of your shirt or hang them in the area you are working in at night.

    As far as longevity we get 5 hours of light from one charge from each one of these. If it is cloudy we put them on charge on our laptop battery for 2.5 hours.

    I hope this helps 🙂 .

  29. So sorry for your loss. The Christmas cactus sounds like a lovely way to remember your MIL.

  30. Ladies,
    Some of you know that my dryer died and that I’m planning to buy a new one and also a new washing machine to replace my ancient, low capacity one. We have been doing tons of research and my husband suggested that I ask here if anyone has a modern, HE washer without a center agitator? If so, what is your experience? Specifically with cleanliness, noise levels, problems with balancing the washer? And are the water levels problematic at all? My husband’s research has shown many issues with the above on the models we’re considering. Thanks in advance! Any help is appreciated…I know if I can trust anyone, it’s all of you!

  31. The pictures of your kids are so sweet. Winter is such a good big sister.

    We had a pretty good week here.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Ate [u]all[/u] home-prepared meals.

    * Continued to work through items in the freezers and pantry (and garden).

    * Hubs was able to work from home two days.

    * Harvested snow peas, green onions, lemons, Swiss chard, lettuce, and nasturtium blossoms. (I added the blossoms to a salad. I didn’t notice any particular change to the taste, but–wow–the color they added was amazing.)

    * Collected eggs.

    * Gave produce trimmings to the hens (or composted what they won’t eat).

    * Had a yard sale and made $39–not a lot, but we just wanted to move things out. Our biggest ticket item was $5. This money will go towards our son’s Eagle project. (Plus, it is so nice to get rid of things that have just been taking up space. We took what didn’t sell to Goodwill. Now it’s time to start collecting things for the next yard sale. ;))

    * Hubs fixed a broken sprinkler head/pipe. The weather has warmed up quite a bit, so we’ve actually had to run the sprinklers a time or two.

    * Used a $15-off coupon for new customers of to buy dog food and dog biscuits. Our order also qualified for free shipping.

    Simple Joys:

    * Sunday (3/5) was chilly and rainy, so we popped popcorn and played a new game (Forbidden Island) in front of a crackling fire in the fireplace. (Our son won the game at a Scout bridging ceremony, and we have all been enjoying it.)

    * Our iris are really blooming and are a reminder to me to “Consider the lilies of the field . . . .”

    * Watching a fledgling foraging for food, which made me think of the hymn “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

    * Listening to our wind chimes.

    * The fragrance of orange and apple blossoms. Ahhhh!

    Have a great week, everyone!

  32. Love, love, love the sheer joy on Octavius’ face. Feel as if I can taste the snow peas and hear them crunch in my mouth!

    • Hung load of laundry up to dry x 2
    • Met a friend for dinner and I had an entrée and drank water, brought home the leftovers and ate them for dinner the following night
    • Made swagbucks goal x 2
    • Roasted asparagus & cooked glazed pork chops from Budget Bytes, made beef with barley soup, and ham fried rice
    • Grocery shopped at two stores for best prices. Bought 12 pounds of banana at 39 cents/pound. After they fully ripen, I’ll freeze the bananas for smoothies and put the peels into the compost.
    • Cut forsythia branches and gave to neighbor for her to force inside

  33. Look at those beautiful children! How is it Octavius is walking already?

    Your photos are inspiring especially since we are in the early stages of a blizzard. I can’t remember a blizzard warning in many years but we are expecting anywhere from 18-24 inches in a 24 hour period. I’m hoping with this mercurial March weather means that whatever snow we get won’t last long. I suspect school may be closed for the next couple of days. I have yogurt fermenting in my instant pot for breakfast and stocked up on provisions. I also spent the day getting our chickens ready (reinforcing avian netting, moving food and water into the coop). I found some time to bake hot cross buns (recipe here: and have easy meals prepared for tomorrow. My husband has brought in wood for the fireplace and replaced propane for the camping stove should we lose power. (I’m hoping we don’t). Hopefully it isn’t as dire as they are expecting. Wishing you all a great week.

  34. What lovely pictures! Octavius looks so much like a little boy I used to babysit, I got nostalgic when I saw your pictures 😀

    Our frugal accomplishments for this week:

    * I got a few items via couponing- 1 Renuzit cone, 2 boxes of cereal, 2 bags of dried cherries, and a 1.5 lb bag of pistachios, all for under $9. I don’t usually buy some of these items, so getting them for so cheap was a great way to have a little treat without breaking the bank.

    * I found some oat bread that was marked down to just 39 c a loaf, so I bought 3 loaves. They’ll last in our fridge until mid-April.

    * I used a Checkout51 rebate to get a cucumber for 25c. It’s a great, cheap snack 😀 I also picked up some asparagus at $1.29/lb, which is really a treat for us because it’s normally $4/lb in winter.

    * I broke down the 2 pork loins I purchased last week into 2 roasts, several packs of 1/2 inch pork chops, and a little bit of sliced pork for stir-fries. I also packaged up the beef and bacon into usable sizes and put everything in the freezer, which is now 100% full!

    * I made egg salad for my lunches for the week, and my SO took leftovers. I also prepped potatoes and onions for my breakfasts, which are fried potatoes & onions topped with an egg. So delicious and so cheap!

    * I stayed home many days last week (I was on break), which allowed me to catch up on work and sleep, plus I didn’t have to use gas or put mileage on my car.

    * I made 2 batches of Arnie Palmers for us to enjoy instead of the usual water/milk- 1 2Qt batch of lemonade + 1 2Qt batch of sweetened iced tea = 1 gallon of Arnie Palmer. I’ve used both frozen lemonade and lemonade from a packet and it’s turned out well.

  35. Cooked all meals at home. Kept my shopping limited to a minimum hoping to be under grocery budget by 100.00 this month. Shopped at the thrift store for a few nearly new garments for very little money. Spent some time cleaning out the hen house and starting spring yard clean up. Collecting more eggs now. Enough for our use and some to share. Weather is improving although not warm enough yet to plant garden. We only can plant peas and potatoes on good Friday. The rest waits till may. I’m getting anxious but for now its time for trimming trees and spraying dormant oil

  36. Nice work with canning! And what a blessing to be gifted the free food.

    I so want to do some canning this year, but I think my plans of having raised beds have changed. We had really come to the conclusion that we will downsize in a couple of years. Our current house is going to be too big in the coming years. The previous owners put a lot into professional landscaping. I think I will try growing some things in existing beds just among the other plans.

    We went to a specialty shop that sells all kinds of different types of canned jams, salsas, butters and pickles. They had samples out and one was “candied jalapenos”. My son loved them and bought a jar. Not very frugal, but they were good. I told him that pickles are easy to make and we could look for a recipe to duplicate. Jalapenos are easy to grow and if I can’t grow enough, I often see them super cheap in big bulk packages at Aldi.

  37. Haha! I noticed that too when I was looking at the photo! I don’t even think her nails are painted in this photo; just filed. She does paint them sometimes with French tips, and her grandmother had given her a gift for her birthday of having her nails done with gel nails. They lasted her for about 6 weeks and I took her picture in several outfits during that time, so they were done the other times.

  38. The baby is so adorable and blonde! We also had some beautiful weather last week and I can’t wait for it to return, we are having a snow blizzard right now! To save money this past week, I borrowed videos and books from the library. I love to read and if I had to buy all the books I want to read, it would cost much money. So borrowing them saves a lot. My husband and I went to a church yard sale and I bought some children’s clothing for 50 cents each, which is the price I look for when at yard sales and is getting harder to find. We also went to a community business expo which was HUGE where we learned about more things to do in our community (including parks, library, fire and police services) and received lots of giveaways including a water bottle, ice scraper for the car windows and little ear bud speakers. When it did get cold, we burned wood in the woodstove to save on the electric bill.

  39. Hi Gardenpat : your comment on upholstering caught my eyes n interest so I have to ask…is there a source online that you use to get your upholstery materials? Also wat would you need to upholstery dining chairs without studs or embellishment? Also wat kind of fabric do you use? Have you used outdoor canvas material? Looking for something inexpensive.

  40. I took two different CVS surveys and got $20 in Extra Care Bucks to use. I also was given a little award at work and was able to use the bonus points I was given for digital rewards. I chose $20 in Vudu credits. It was perfectly timed, as it was my birthday and we got to watch Dr Strange at home.

  41. A friend who is the local appliance guy here steered us away from the central agitator. He said they had many many more repairs than the standard central agitator models and (generally) weren’t lasting more than 2 years before something catastrophic went wrong.

  42. Great job saving money this week!

    1. We built raised beds last weekend and trucked in a few tons of dirt for them. We also planted quite a few seeds to grow our spring garden. So excited!

    2. I crocheted myself a new headband instead of buying one.

    3. For our Sunday treat I made a lemon trifle. I’ve never made a trifle before, but it let me use up some ingredients that would have spoiled. It was so, so tasty and a great treat for everyone.

    4. We had pizza for dinner yesterday, which used up some pizza crust that had been collecting dust in our pantry.

    5. I borrowed a Food Network magazine from my sister-in-law instead of buying it.

  43. Oh my babies grow so quickly! He is beautiful! I really enjoy all your pictures.
    I am up to $162.00 for groceries. I bought 2 gallons of milk @ $1.65, 10 dozen eggs at .59 a dozen, a 3 pound bag of cuties for $1.77, 2 pounds of grapes for $1.58 a cucumber for .50 and 2 loaves of sandwich bread for .85. The milk, bread and eggs were from Aldi’s and the rest was a grand opening sale for Fresh Thyme. I am very happy with the way my shopping is working out this month.
    We ate all meals at home, except one. We have continued to use up meat and veggies from the freezers. I made beef and chicken broth this week from scraps. I continue to experiment with bread and roll baking using the bread machine to do the mixing work and baking in the oven. It’s an adventure to be sure!
    The weather turned cold last Thursday so the furnace is back on again. They called for snow twice, but we only got a trace of snow. We got some freezing rain the first time too. If my flowers are going to freeze I would rather have snow!
    Have a great week everyone!

  44. Margaret, it’s easier to zest the fruit before squeezing, I think. You can even put the zested fruit back in the crisper drawer if you don’t need the juice. It will keep just fine.

  45. My library allows 10 pages printed free a day. They also allow all school projects printed for free. It is worth the drive for me to print up the kids projects. They put it on a flash drive and I run it over. I go to the library often so I can usually drop something off or pick something up on the trip anyway. My daughter had to make a poster board with a ton of pictures from the internet. It would have used a ton of ink. Love the library

  46. Bought 10 more packages of grass fed ground beef from the bargain basket. I shared them with our oldest daughter when she came over to bring her oldest son to the Scout Pow Wow on Saturday. While he & Grandpa went to the Pow Wow, she & I went shopping together at Kmart. I used my points on the SYWR card to pay for an Easter egg dye kit, a pair of slipper sock, 3 pair of shoes for grandchildren, & a six-pack of lettuce seedlings. The points were due to expire the next day, so it was literally a use or lose it situation, but everything was free, because I used the points. Came home & she dug out a clump from my garlic row to take home while I planted the seedlings, under 6 of the glass cloches I already have. The seedlings were large enough that the next day I picked enough to make a small salad for 3 for part of Sunday dinner.

    I used a large ground meat package from the bargain basket to make a large meatloaf, which served DH, myself, DD & DGS for dinner on Friday night & lunch on Saturday. I also used some of the dehydrated potato shreds to make a scalloped potato type of casserole, that had to be gluten free, since DD is a celiac. I used gluten-free oats to make the meatloaf. Practicing cooking from storage for both the regular diet & the celiac diet.

    While she was here on Saturday, we also shopped one of the case lot sales, since the prices on my side of the mountains are better than the prices on her side of the mountain, even at the same store chain. Our youngest daughter left some wire trellises for her sister last fall, so we fit those in the van to go back her as well, since it is almost time to plant peas. I love being the site for “Mom’s trading post” for our daughters.

    Pulled & dug more of the weeds & grass roots from the garden areas. Filled a tree tub per day. On the years where I can do this faithfully, one tree tub per day is enough to keep the weeds & grass invasion into the growing areas under control for the entire growing season.

    Continued to declutter, & rid ourselves of things we do not need & which are taking up room that can be used by the things we do need.

    Used the last of the “fresh” carrots, parsnips & onions from our garden, that have been in the fridge drawer since harvest, to make most of a beef stew for Sunday dinner, along with a russet potato & a yam. We still have 2 small butternut squash left from those stored a room temp in a cardboard box under the counter overhang; I want to see how long they will last.

  47. I have been making my dog food for about 3 years. The vet said she is very healthy. I do 1/2 cup of homemade with 1/4 cup kibble twice a day, as per the vet. It is so much cheaper and I know exactly what she is eating. I make a large batch every one to two weeks and freeze some of it.

  48. I have a LG mid-priced model without a center agitator. Holds more, washes well. No issues. My primary complaint is that it will not fill with water until the clothes are in the machine and will not soak for more than an hour. Water level is determined solely by the machine unless you pick the “bulky” wash. My set is three years old.

  49. I am late to the party! Brandy your photography is wonderful and your children and garden are so beautiful. I think I gasped at the shot of your daughter and baby together.

    Last week was kind of spendy (salon/hair appointment, several meals out between hubby and I), but I kept the grocery buying to a minimum and bought a used book I wanted. After work one day I went to a special nursery and bought a Tropic Snow semi-drawf peach and planted it (lovingly referred to as “Peachy”). Does anyone else name their plants? This is our first spring at this new (old) property and things are starting to bloom…one is a pretty climbing rose named Lady Banks (she is yellow) and every day this rose is making me smile. We have a lot to do with this yard, but slowly we are beginning to feel like it’s owners and to make longterm plans.

    On Saturday, it was beautiful and so warm that I hung the laundry to dry. It officially feels like salad time again and that makes me happy….I know I could eat salad all winter long, but rarely crave it like I do in spring and summer. 🙂

  50. I have not posted in quite some time – life has been full of doctor visits and tests for 6 weeks now. I am keeping a daily food journal trying desperately to figure out what my trigger foods are. I [i]may[/i] have pancreatic exocrine deficiency and am taking Creon (an enzyme) to see if my gut issues improve – so far it’s a toss up since I never have enough days in a row that I am home and able to NOT take my anti-diarrheal and anti-anxiety meds. I will be scheduling a hysterectomy with some reconstruction soon (once I get the all clear from the GI doc) and then I will have lifting limits which will mean I will be unable to work for 6 weeks. Maybe then I can give the enzyme a good test. My husband’s diabetic foot ulcer is still not healed and the podiatrist had to cut back the callous and open up a small pus pocket on it again. We have an appt this week for him to be fitted for diabetic insoles which will hopefully allow him to walk normally but still take all pressure off the ulcer. He also has the beginnings of what his Dad and Uncle have – it is called degenerative spine disease – the spine itself, not just the disks begins to fall apart. I hope and pray his doesn’t progress as badly.
    So Frugal:
    **We used the tax refund to get our Danes up to date on all vaccines and purchase all of their heartworm and flea/tick meds for the year – to the tune of $800 – and out vet is the most reasonable one in the area! But, doing that is much, much cheaper than treating them for any of the diseases and they have been my sanity savers over the last year.
    **We picked up a free bag of both cat and dog food
    **I complained to Tidy Cat about their clumping litter which either didn’t clump at all OR adhered itself to the bottom of the litter box so well that I had to take a spackle knife to it to get it off! They sent me 2 coupons for free BIG buckets of litter and 3 one dollar off coupons as well – sometimes it does pay to let a company know if you are disappointed in their new formulas!
    **A local grocery store had a big spring meat sale and we bought a huge pork loin for $1.29 a pound and beef loins for $2.99 a pound – we had them cut the steaks for us but the pork loin I ground up for making my own breakfast and Italian sausage. I packaged all of it into 2 person servings and vacuum sealed them. We also found chicken breast for $1.69 a pound and I packaged each breast singly and vac packed those as well. Each breast weighed about a pound! Hubby also hit the meat market north of us and got ground beef for $1.59 a pound in a 10 pound roll – I also packaged that into 1 pound packages and vac sealed those too.
    **I have brought home some food from the deli I work at that has been about to expire for my guys to eat on nights I work + All of the sliced meat ends, tomato ends and lettuce trimmings for my 2 hens.
    **I have lost 20 pounds (that I know of – may be more now) and most of my jeans need a belt to stay up (which I don’t have any of). Luckily, I had saved my next size down clothes in the hope that I would need them again and found a couple pairs that fit. I also am helping a co-worker go thru her Mom’s things and she is giving me any of the clothes I think I can use.
    **Took advantage of the library to get more insight into my gut issues and some more recipe ideas that may work for both hubby and myself so we aren’t cooking 2 meals.
    **My Dad found free tile for our bathroom that has no flooring right now – just the plywood.
    **Cut up more of our branch/brush pile to use in the woodstove during the current cold snap. March has been very cold in comparison to February and we now have a decent amount of snow back on the ground.
    **I got my seed order and my red peppers are now planted in my little indoor greenhouse in a South window. I can’t wait to see green!
    **Went to the Indian grocery to stock up on the gluten free flours I need and for spices we were low on. We also found spice packets for meals that have no onion or garlic in them that can be used with paneer (It is like cottage cheese, only in block form).
    **I am trying to get the last of my potatoes from the garden cooked up and frozen – they are all suddenly sprouting – the reds already have 6 inch stalks!
    **I made more bandannas to keep my head covered at work – I prefer them over ball caps – I need to look into some wild patterns or something though – I had a teenager ask me if I was Amish or Mennonite (while I was wearing jeans no less…..) I guess having hair to my waist (and it’s getting quite grey) and then covering gave her the impression I was one or the other. I took it as a complement 🙂
    **I have restrained myself from going to the feed store – it’s chick days and I really, really want some chicks and ducklings but I’d have to brood them in the house with the cold weather and they get really, really stinky and the down dust covers everything as their feathers come in!
    **We were gifted 2 recliner chairs that we will be moving into our RV once I sell the current pull-out love seat that is in there.
    **We started restocking our emergency bags — we usually go thru them New Years Day and 4th of July but we were a little late this year. The fires out West pushed us into making sure we got that done! There wasn’t near as much food in them as I thought there was so I am trying to remedy that as best I can and find some gluten free options for myself. There were only a few medications in the first aid kit that needed to be rotated out so we didn’t do too bad there. I do need to stock a few things for the dogs that I hadn’t thought about before – a pain killer (aspirin) and benedryl with a correct dosage for each of them. I also rotated the canned cat and dog food out and put new ones in their bags.
    **As part of the home energy savings for low income people, we not only got the house insulated and a roof leak fixed but our 20 year old furnace had a cracked heat exchanger that wasn’t leaking CO gas – yet – so they said they had to put a new one in!! A 96% efficient name brand one with a higher BTU output (the old one was too small for the size of the house) and we didn’t have to pay a thing!! I am waiting to see this months usage, since it will be more accurate of a true Michigan winter, to see if we’ve used less gas.

    Joy: Seeing the Robins and hearing the Red Winged Blackbirds again – although I’m thinking they are regretting their early arrival about now! The birds are becoming wonderfully noisy every morning again. And my hens started laying again as well 🙂 Watching our very goofy younger Dane chase my husbands remote control truck around and around the yard – while the weeny Dane stands on the porch steps scared of it (he gets a very silly look on his face – he cannot figure out why she thinks it is so much fun! – same face he makes when she plays in the sprinkler 😀 )

    I hope you all have a wonderful week!

  51. My husband is an appliance repair man and will never buy a Samsung appliance. He would steer you towards Whirlpool.
    But does say none of them are anything to write home about and don’t expect them to last like your old ones.

  52. I am doing the same thing with three small pumpkins. They are in a bedroom, the coldest room in the house. However, I live in the deep South, and suspect I will have to cook them before long. We are having a cold snap, for here, and it may get down to freezing at night this week. I am hoping that will help prolong the pumpkins because I am still trying to eat all the pumpkin leftovers from the large pumpkin I cooked and froze, last month.

  53. Hosted a brunch for friends on Sunday and to save money (and my sanity) asked one friend to make a punch, another to do the table-scape and last but never least, asked one more friend to make our dessert.

    Found a chambray blazer at a much lower price than I budgeted, looking forward to wearing it this spring and summer.

    Removed a measuring spoon caught in the “bowels/gears” of my garbage disposal and now it’s working again!

  54. For candied jalapeños, I simply purchase a large jar of sliced picked ones, drain the juice, dump out the jalapeños and layer them back in with sugar. They make their own juice and in a week or two are ready. We also do the same with sliced hamburger dills, adding hot sauce in layers with the pickles and sugar. They are great on sandwiches and with fried fish, diced up in potato salad….we also make something in the south called koolaid pickles…same concept just sub the hot sauce for a koolaid flavor of your choice…strange yes but good.

  55. Bagged leg quarters are on sale again, #10 at .39 lb., this time with no limit. I plan to purchase $40 worth. With one bag I cut the leg from the thigh with kitchen shears, marinade the legs and throw the thighs in the crockpot to slow cook with a few bay leaves. I am rewarded with easily pulled chicken, once it cools a bit and almost two quarts of stock each time. The legs will get roasted or grilled. I flavor legs like I would wings. This one frugal thing has saved me so much over the years not just in the budget line, but time as well. Having already cooked chicken and stock as a base helps so much when things get hectic. My kids thing I’m crazy when I come home with a hundred pounds of leg quarters. It’s almost a running joke with them. I also have been taking advantage of Boston butt and picnic hams(which are smoked boston butts) for .88-.99 a lb.

    We received our tax refund and my husband received his bonus in addition to our insurance overpayment on our previous house. This will come in handy as we have a small roof leak around our skylight and my daughters clutch in her jeep went out(it is a 2002 though), and I needed new tires. I am so thankful for the Lord’s blessings.
    I have not started my garden like I had planned. I want to see what is in the existing landscaping. But I did find Dorsett gold and Anna apple trees at tractor supply for $12 ea. I got four.

  56. How much money you save would depend on how much the solar lights cost and their lifespan compared to how much electricity your light bulbs/fixtures use and your electric rate. We bought LED bulbs from a veterans fundraiser for about $3 each. They cost pennies per year to operate. Buying solar lights wouldn’t be financially advantageous for us. However, they are nice to have in when the power goes out (we keep a couple in our camping gear).

  57. I have successfully stored butternut for just over 12 months. I check mine regularly for soft spots. I have two left from our harvest, but I think we’ll eat them soon. One of my children begs me to make roasted squash!

  58. Hi Robert yes you can save anywhere from 8 – 15% of your power bill as according to research that is what an average household uses. For us we saved $41 in a quarter on our electricity bill.

  59. Andrea Q you are exactly right on the cost versus benefit analysis and you tariff rate in your particular area or country. Led bulbs are a good saving too.

    For us we have paid back the price of our solar lanterns already and are in credit as we only purchased cheap ones.

  60. We used to call the horseradish Mother or Grammy….because she was the one that wanted me to grow it so she could have it. We dug it a bit early to get a piece for her when she went in the nursing home and died…had cancer. My climbing roses are Rosa after my grandmother named Rosa. My push plow is Jimmie after my grandpa that pushed the same plow over 3 acres every year until his late 80s , then he did one acre by the house.

  61. Haha, these all sound very odd to me so I will take your word that they are good. Especially the koolade ones 😮

  62. pkr, what is a “theme coffee shop”? Sounds like you live in a much bigger city than we do. Maybe this is a thing?

  63. Glad to hear your daffodils were none the worse. I suppose they travel chilled so maybe they were unfazed.

  64. Rhonda, green olives and black olives are something I check for sales on every time I am at a store. We go through a lot. We like sliced green olives on pizza and we use them in a chicken and rice casserole I make. I have noticed that they are more expensive 🙁

  65. Marcia, how fortuitous you had bought that generator. It is nice to have those things before you need them. Our lights only flickered during the 3 days and nights of high wind here so we did not have to use ours. Some trees went down but not on lines.

  66. Kim, I am sorry for the loss of your mother in law. A funeral, though sad, can be a wonderful time of reminiscing and reconnecting with relatives.

  67. Jen, how was DR. STRANGE? It says PG13…is that just for the action? How was the language etc? I saw it has Benedict Cumberbatch and my youngest and I just watched a few episodes of Sherlock (from 2012 I think) and enjoyed those. We also liked that AGENT CARTER show set in the 40’s. Wondered if this would be similar? (Humorous, with adventure and basically clean). Yes or no.

  68. I was under the weather all last week, so the daily grind kind of went by the wayside. But I did manage to…
    – Make a centerpiece for my daughter’s upcoming baby shower. I did have to purchase items for it, since I have no baby things anymore. But I was able to find everything I needed at the Dollar Tree and it came together beautifully.
    – Decorate my home for Spring/Easter using items I already had around the house. One example is that I wrapped some old plastic Easter eggs with twine and placed them on some Spanish moss (it grows on the trees here) in a little basket. So cute.
    – Found 2 baskets for $1 each at Goodwill. One is very Easter-ish so it will be included in the decor. The other is very utilitarian, but still pretty, so it will be used to hold wash cloths in my bathroom.
    – I hardly had any money in the grocery budget for this month, so we’re mostly living off our food storage. All last week we ate food that we already had in the house. Our neighbor is a hunter and really blessed us with a whole bunch of deer legs all winter long. We butchered the legs and made everything from stew meat to sausage with them. My father and husband are fishermen, so we had plenty of fish in the freezer as well. So last week we ate mostly deer and fish along with pantry-only side dishes and homemade bread. It’s amazing how much tastier our meals become when I have to put more thought into them and get a little creative. The kids actually prefer the “lean” weeks. LOL
    – We’ve been in our home for a year now and I still have a pile of boxes that I haven’t unpacked. So each day last week I emptied one box. A lot of it was thrown away, some re-boxed to give to a family in need (a friend told us about them last week) and other things finally placed where they belong. I was extra happy to find a couple of photo albums I thought we’d lost in the move!

    Like I said, I was sick and didn’t get much done. But looking back on it, it really wasn’t a bad week at all!

  69. I loved this so much. My children claim I am a dinosaur. I finally have gotten a smart phone but still cant figure out how to listen to my voice mails. I figure I really didn’t want to hear them anyway…….. Much less stressful.

  70. Andrea, how are you storing your butternut squash?
    I have also successfully stored them for 1 year, but that was in a cooler spot in our cubby. This year I am storing them just at room temperature, in a box on the kitchen floor, under the counter overhang.

  71. We still have butternut left. They are the longest lasting for us of the squashes. We used our last pumpkin just w weeks ago.

  72. If you can find a speed queen retailer near you I would look into that. I have loved mine. They are all metal parts and basic. They are not computerized, which is just another thing to go wrong, in my opinion. They last years and years. My mom has had hers close to 10 years and it still runs beautifully.

  73. I’ve had all and went back to a wringer washer(front loader, top loader, no agitator with agitator). Really I did. BUT with my health issues Hubby won’t use it. I got a whirlpool WITH agitator and DEEP WASH cycle so it will add more water than what the weight says. Just push the button and it adds 6 more gals of water. Got it from hhgreg. Some say it’s noisy …to me the front loader was the worse. For clean, WATER is what gets it clean the most, low water levels can cause soap build up. HE will use more electric also as they run longer to get the clothes clean. Best friend does appliance repairs for decades for living. Hoping he doesn’t retire any time soon LOL

  74. Hi momsav and most welcome for the information.

    Also for everyone’s information the lithium ion batteries last between 300 – 500 charges before you need to replace them, I researched the longevity of the batteries before purchase too.

  75. I was astonished to realize that was Octavius even though you did share that he’d started walking. I thought it was the baby girl just at first because he surely couldn’t be that big…Sigh. Time does fly with this little ones! Spring cleaning going on here, hence my being late to post yet again. I actually have up a fresh post so there are two weeks to review. For some silly reason this week’s post ended up on Wednesday’s date. I’m pretty sure it was a mistake on my part but it was fully finished today, lol.

  76. Athanasia, if you go to IMBD, search the movie then go down to ‘parents guide’ it is extremely detailed on the violence and language.

  77. I absolutely love my washer without the agitator. I have found that clothes are lasting longer as well as my towels.

  78. I make long grain rice with some chopped cooked chicken livers and gizzards. I freeze them in bags and give it to my dog a couple times a week mixed with kibble. It stretches the dog food and my baby loves it.

  79. Minced garlic in dog food also works to get rid of flies and ticks on dogs. Makes their blood taste like garlic and flies and ticks dont like.

  80. We have a Samsung HE top loader without agitator. Love it! Never had any problems, except when you finish you have to open the detergent ‘drawer’ and top open for ventilation. Otherwise my daughter ‘thinks’ it smells. (Which I have never noticed.) But, I have heard others say this is an issue. Highly recommend.

  81. No agitator is so nice when you have large loads, especially sheets. No balancing the load just dump inside. Love it! Never had a problem with unbalanced loads either. Our machine kind of makes a few swishes with no water to balance the load, the machine determines the water needed and it fills to what it determines the clothes need. I hope I’m not jinxing myself but we have had NO service and our machine is around 3-4 years old too! Clothes always come out clean too!

  82. Nothing lasts like the old appliances. My parents had the same W/D, refrigerator, etc for years without problem. These days you’re doing good if you can get 10 years of use out of an appliance. Sad really.

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