Frugal Accomplishments

Frugal Accomplishments for the Third Week in March

Iris in Ginger Jar The Prudent Homemaker

I cut daffodils, nasturtiums, and iris from the garden to enjoy in the house. I shared more photos earlier this week in my Spring Home Tour.

I opened the windows to air out the house.

I traded Meyer lemons from the garden for two dozen eggs.

Leeks The Prudent Homemaker

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

I mended a pair of jeans and a coat sleeve.

I turned a toddler bodysuit that had torn by the snaps into a shirt by cutting it off just below the leg holes and sewing a narrow hem.

I figured out a solution to a need/want using something else I already had, rather than buying something new.

I decided to not purchase more maternity clothing for hot weather, though that had been part of my original plan for the year. When it was in the mid-70’s in January, it looked like I was going to need more clothing for the end of my pregnancy. Since the weather turned unusually cool after that and is still cool, I can get by with what I have and not need to look for more at the thrift store. 

I saved my parents $100 on a mobile repair on their motorhome. I had made cookies, and my dad asked if he could have two: one for him and one for the repairman. One of my daughters brought over the two cookies and gave one to the repairman. He was so touched with the homemade cookie that he said he would take $100 off their bill, and he did!

I asked if a procedure was necessary (it wasn’t), and saved $30 plus the gas and time to have it done.

 

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

 

 

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174 Comments

  1. I’m always amazed by how easy it is to negotiate bills or save money just by asking! It’s always important to be polite about it of course 🙂 I saved my parents almost $150 a month by calling their various service providers and asking for a reduction in their bill because they’re seniors on a fixed income. Everyone I spoke with was lovely and helpful. When my husband was laid off I did the same and was very honest about our situation, people were so helpful and by explaining my situation I felt like were were working together to find a solution. Your cookies must have been fantastic! 😀 Joining in here- https://frugalfive.com/2018/03/24/frugal-5-friday-3-23-18/

  2. I love the pictures of your flowers, as well as the ones we have blooming here. Major league baseball’s opening day is Thursday (at least for the Baltimore Orioles) so we know spring is really on its way, even if it keeps getting sidetracked by snow!

    I cut two plastic bottles of lotion in half to get the last amounts out. The containers are square so turning them upside down didn’t drain the lotion, it just went into the corners of the top. I got about 3 ounces of lotion out and put it in a container in the kitchen. I also noticed that the new bottle that I opened still has the pump it’s always had but it’s now positioned in a second, much larger cap so when this bottle is almost empty, I’ll be able to take that cap off and use a spatula to get the lotion out of the bottom. I’m going to send a note to the manufacturer thanking them for this design change.

    It snowed on Wednesday, which thankfully mostly melted between Thursday and Friday. I work from home so I didn’t have time to shovel until late in the afternoon. My neighbor and her two children shoveled my front sidewalks, steps, and porches. I made them Snickerdoodles and Texas Brownies as a thank you. They were thrilled with the treats and I was very happy that I didn’t need to shovel. Fortunately, the snow didn’t kill the daffodils and crocuses that have already bloomed and it appears that the buds on my lilac bush were not adversely affected either.

    I stocked up on butter at $1.99/pound at Aldi’ and put it in the freezer.. I’ve bought 6 pounds so far and hope to buy another 6 when the store is restocked. I cut up some spring onions and put the root ends in water. They grew and developed more roots, so I planted them in some soil and a pot I already had. I also put the end of bunch of celery in water and it is growing. I didn’t eat any food outside the home but plan to go out with friends on Tuesday to a local restaurant for Prime Rib night. I’ll have leftovers and enjoy every bite of my meal. I had some mushrooms that were starting to go bad so I sautéed them and put them in serving size baggies in the freezer. I’ll use them for soup or more likely casseroles. The cats have been enjoying a leftover burger that I thought was a bit too dry. I was going to put it in tomato sauce, but having been letting them have it instead.

    I hope everyone enjoys their week. Play ball!

  3. Those leeks look beautiful and huge, Brandy! How do you use them?

    My week:
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 gc to Amazon.
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research Points for $5 to my Paypal account.
    – I had to pull more food from the freezer for meals this week (including this pea soup http://approachingfood.com/pea-soup-ham/) , as I still wasn’t up to cooking, but that’s why I keep meals in the freezer after all.
    – I made homemade lemonade to try and settle my stomach.
    – I also looked around at what was in the kitchen and asked my husband to buy a can of refried beans, so we could eat bean tortillas. I had the tortillas, salsa, cheese, and sour cream already. I’ve never actually eaten pre-made refried beans, but a can of beans was cheaper than ordering in. Also, 30 seconds in the microwave was about all the cooking I could do before heading back to bed. My husband can actually cook, but he doesn’t have time between working, take care of me, and trying to coordinate care for his mum long-distance. He has taken to popping pots of popcorn for himself, so at least snacks are cheap!
    – And, that’s basically my week in a nutshell. I stayed in bed and did not spend money. I also did not earn money, but I do plan to go back to work this week. Plan being the operative word. The worst that can happen is that I go home sick, and thankfully we have a rainy day fund, so we could survive that. I’m so glad my husband and I have similar philosophies when it comes to emergency funds.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone!

  4. That was a lovely story about the cookies. It sounds like everybody won. The leeks are beautiful. I attempted to send my husband out to pull some from the garden for soup tonight, but as it was raining, he wasn’t too thrilled with the idea, so I made do without them. Trying to eat up what’s in storage, I’ve been baking winter squash. I’ve only made it half way through last week’s comments here, and I look forward to catching up with everyone’s comments in the coming week. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/03/using-up-winter-squash-frugal.html

  5. Hi to all. I have not commented in awhile, as things have not been frugal for us. I have been following every week and learn so much from many.
    I have been doing full loads of wash and full loads for dishwasher. Also, washing baggies. My husband and I have been better about eating up leftovers. Thankfully, my hubby takes his lunch to work.
    We almost never go out to eat, decided to eat at Applebee’s. I was able use a gift card to help pay for our very expensive meal. We probably will never go back, terrible service and the food – not great.
    We have only gotten tomatoes planted. Then have 3 orange trees all are flowering.
    Also we have not had to use heat or a/c for some time.
    I have done repairs this week to an old comforter I love that our puppy seems to love, she chews on it! Repaired and put away for now!
    I have been going out only for church and errands, combining them to once or twice a week. I guess I have been frugal! I’m rambling so I’ll stop …. have a great week all!

  6. I did a lot of baking this week: bread, buns for pulled pork sandwiches, cookies, and muffins using garden pumpkin from the freezer. I planted peas and spinach in the garden, harvested some of the arugula that has self-seeded itself all around my garden boxes. I finished pruning my fruit trees today, just in time, they’re about to bloom. I started some marigold seeds indoors. I cut all my boys’ hair this week. I was tempted to run to the grocery store tonight to buy some cream cheese for a dessert I wanted to make tomorrow, but found another tempting recipe that I already have all the ingredients for.

  7. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    The flowers you picked from the gardens are just beautiful Brandy and would have been very cheery in the home on display.

    Here is how we saved this week in our home –

    Finances and eBay listings –
    – Listed 10 items in my internet shop taking advantage of free listings and saved $16.50 in listing fees.
    – Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 24.31% of the way there.
    – Made $4.50 in my internet shop from the sale of saved garden seeds which I will save in my PayPal account to build up.

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Made a 1.4kg cheesecake for $10.07 made from homemade sweetened condensed milk, free lemons, cream cheese purchased on 55% off special saving $79.78 over purchasing one in the shops of equivalent quality.

    Grocery purchases –
    – Purchased 3 large family chickens weighing 8.05kg in total on special and coupled this with an extra 5% off using our vehicle roadside assist club gift cards saving $9.50 on usual prices.

    In the gardens –
    – Weeded 2 x 9 x 2mt garden beds.
    – Purchased 6 cubic metres of horse manure from our local horse stud for $40 for the gardens saving $1125.71 over buying it in bags at our local garden centre.
    – Spent 3 hours spreading and ploughing the manure into 2 garden beds saving $305.52 over the cost of hiring a gardener to do it.
    – DH mowed the house and back paddock lawns saving yet another $50.92 over hiring a gardener to do it.

    Electrical work & electricity savings –
    – Had an electrician friend come out and adjust our hot water system temperature for free saving $70 over hiring another electrician to do it for us. We did this so we only have to turn on the hot water system twice a week to save us on power costs. As friends we quite often trade or give our excess garden produce to this couple as they don’t yet grow vegetables.
    – Only turned on our electric hot water system when the water needed to be heated.

    Water preservation –
    – Used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the house lawns, used dish rinsing water to water newly sprouted seeds in the gardens, and used rain water from our rain water tanks to supplement water newly sprouted vegetable seeds in the gardens and potted fruit trees on the back veranda saving on town water use.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  8. This has been a busy week for us! I was grateful to have bought corn flakes on sale a couple weeks back for 89 cents/box because I used some in funeral potatoes and again in chocolate chip crunch cookies that I brought to a funeral for the family luncheon afterwards.
    I used up some of my flannel stash to make up over 100 flannel Kleenex and then put them on our Facebook shop and have already sold 20 of them! Here’s a photo of some of them getting ready to send out. https://pin.it/ris7ya4njen4vr

    I bought another 10 pounds of chopped onions for $2 as well as 10 pounds of chopped celery ($2) and 10 pounds of shredded carrots ($2). I repackaged theonios andfroze the and dehydrated the celery and carrots!
    I picked up my Zaycon chicken breast (99 cents/pound) and shredded some and cubed some other! Still hav another 12 pounds to prepare and freeze.
    I took leftover homemade Mac and cheese from two nights ago and mixed it together with homemade chunky beef chili-Mac dinner tonight!
    Our chickens keep laying 6-8 eggs every day and so we will let some of our friends know who always like to buy eggs from us!
    Two vintage quilts that I made sold unexpectedly on Tuesday and the lady liked them so much that she gave me $30 extra over the asking price, sothat brought in an additional $200!
    We have almost finished the next soap cutter for a client who makes/sells Soaps!
    We have also almost finished another bookcase for a client!
    Hubby’s medical bills just came in from his heart surgery! Before insurance and deductions, they totaled over $100K, but afterwards we will pay around $6K! He’s worth it,!!!

    Hope everyone had a great week!!!!,

  9. Hi Brandy,
    Those are amazing leeks~ what will you make with these? Even though it has been a rainy and with even some wet snow here in the Washington today ( which is unusual for here ) I do have green onions in my garden . My garden each year usually starts later due to waiting for the last frost.
    This week, I have been using storage food and meat from the freezer. I have made 2 vegetable soups this week and also used up some meat that I had for 2 meals. In my freezer, I still have a very large turkey breast, 2 beef roasts, ground beef packages from last holiday season to spread out for the next 2 months. In the meantime, I will only buy meat, potatoes and fresh salad vegetables on sale to replenish the storage. I had a set goal of about $125.00 this month for our food budget and so far I am on track 🙂 I have $40.00 left for this budget month and I am looking for an organic large chicken to make bone broth and use the meat for several dishes. The bone broth is good for decreasing the pain in my arthritis. The meat will go for at least 4 meals .
    That’s really wonderful that the repair man took $100.00 off of the bill. i have never heard of someone doing this in a business~ such a blessing for your parents and also for him to enjoy your cookie. They must have been really good cookies 🙂
    My husband is home with a cold, and is never ill so we are staying home this weekend and not driving anywhere. He is resting a lot but not feeling very well with congestion and coughing. I had some medication saved that I used for bronchitis a couple of years ago, and gave him a dose which is helping. He is resting better. Hopefully this will not turn into more of a serious infection.
    I hope you will have a wonderful weekend~ and Easter week. We are planning on dinner with only the two of us as our grown children are all in different areas and states so it will be a quiet day for us. We will go to a sunrise service at the beautiful Memorial park here in our town. They always have such a lovely service and since this is a small town, I know many who attend. I bring flowers to my son who passed away from an illness 14 years ago at the age of 15 , and it is always a blessing to me to be there. Then after, we will go to our church service which is lovely. I love Easter, and the hope that it brings.
    What will you be cooking for Easter? I have looked at your Easter dinner menu on your website. This looks so yummy. I’m trying to figure out what to make for us as it is only my husband and I this year.
    Blessings, Patty from the NW

  10. * We joyfully ate what we had at home instead of shopping for more (with did need to purchase salad ingredients).
    * We were blessed to help two families with a meal each. I made one big pot of soup using what we had on hand and delivered the meal at a time when we would already see each other.
    * I conscientiously unplugged the computer each evening.
    * I did my best to run errands in groups.
    * We joyfully used our car with excellent gas mileage for longer drives.
    * We are thankfully staying healthy by eating onions and garlic as much as possible as well as by continuing our healthy lifestyle.
    * I gratefully used the bread machine to make delucious bread at home for a fraction of the cost of bread at the store.
    * I energetically began spring cleaning by using my economical cleaner in the kitchen and by cleaning the washing machine with baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. I’ll spare you the before pictures of the washing machine.
    *Using graphics I already had, I created promotions for upcoming speakers at out networking group.

  11. 1. We bought a “new to us” car to replace a gas guzzling diesel truck…frugal in the long run
    2. Having a no spend week
    3. Will be spring cleaning and organizing this week to keep me away from the stores and focused on making do with what I have
    4. Fixed a broken marker holder attached to our whiteboard with just thread and a needle. Not pretty but it works
    5. Rearranged my budget to fit in upcoming annual costs. Hopefully this will prevent me from having to take out money from savings….it’s always a juggling act…

  12. There were great sale prices on turkey (88 cents a lb), butter, and shredded cheese. The turkey had a limit of 1. This store normally only has turkeys at this price at holidays with a minimum purchase, but no minimum purchase was needed this time. These sales were at the alternate store in town. I checked prices on flour while I was there, since they have a better selection of flour than the store I normally shop at. Also found soft brown sugar at this store!

    I took and passed the test for a home-based job doing captioning, which will help replace my income from giving up my library job. Now I have to study the Style Guide and do some practice jobs, so that I can get to work.

  13. Spring is slowly making its way to us. The crocuses have bloomed and the daffodils are peeking out of the ground.

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    We took our lunches each day to work, except for one when my employer provided lunch.

    Dinners at our house were grilled chicken with vegetables. We have found that we love grilling jalapenos and zucchini. We used leftover chicken for several meals and lunches. We also had spaghetti, spinach salad, ham and bean soup, and flank steak that my husband found at a very good reduced price.

    Our daughter and son-in-law and two grandsons took us out for brunch. Spending time with our family is such a gift. We are excitedly looking forward to all 14 of us being together for Easter Sunday. The larger our family has gotten the more difficult it is to get all together at once.

    I exercised following a couple of you tube videos. Years ago I belonged to a gym and I don’t miss the extra bill each month!

    We were given a dozen eggs from a coworker who raises chickens.

    Our daughter is redecorating her house and gifted us with a very large beautiful wall hanging that we will put in our dining room.

    I made laundry soap.

  14. Your cookie story made me smile! Good for you!
    I planned meals around what we already had in the freezer and pantry. I bought a few extra ingredients and sale items at the grocery store. The butcher was just adding to the marked-down meat case, so I was able to get a sirloin roast for $5, and a big round steak for $5. Even though we were out late a couple of nights, I resisted the urge to eat out and made food at home. In my continued search for interesting meat-free recipes, I made this: https://food52.com/recipes/6164-indian-spicy-pinto-bean-curry-rajma It was a big hit and will go into our regular rotation.
    I pieced a baby quilt top for my niece, who is expecting her first child in June.
    I re-covered the cushions of the bar stools we use at our kitchen island with upholstery fabric a friend gave me.
    I completed our taxes using Turbo Tax. I sent the federal return electronically, for free. Rather than pay the $25 they wanted to e-file the state return, I printed it out and sent it off for the cost of two stamps.
    I downloaded audio books from the library.
    I met a friend for lunch and we went to the local thrift store. She had a box of items to donate and gave me a very nice fleece top and a pair of shorts from her box. I bought a puzzle and a book at the thrift store.
    I planted green peas in the green house. My husband covered the hoops over the raised bed with plastic, in hopes of raising the soil temperature in there quicker. The tomatoes and peppers I planted inside two weeks ago are still not up, so I may have to try again. I will give them a few more days.

  15. I transplanted seedlings into bigger pots in the greenhouse and started new seeds. We now have broccoli, onions, kale, celery , carrots, and lettuce growing. Im turning off the heater on sunny days and collecting rain water.

    We are eating from the pantry this week and not grocery shopping.
    I picked up an extra shift at work. I also stayed home a couple of days to deep clean and purge unneeded items.

  16. I’m sorry to hear that you are still unwell. 🙁 Your comments are some of my favourites here. It always sounds like you enjoy creating good food so it must be frustrating not being able to do that… Best wishes!

  17. Your comment about medical bills and that your husband is worth it, really helps me. I have been stressing over a procedure and worried about $, but your comment really helps! Thank you!

  18. What a sweet story about the cookie! I was actually thinking of commenting on one of your recent posts or Instagram pictures about your abundance of Meyer lemons. I was thinking of suggesting selling some of the excess to friends or neighbors, but it sounds like you are already a few steps ahead of me with bartering for eggs with them. That’s a great trade!

    I’ve been blogging my frugal accomplishments every day over at my blog, but here are a few highlights:
    [list]
    I have been using my cheap Zaycon Fresh chicken breasts to make meals this week. Tonight I made copy-cat Chipotle chicken rice bowls that were soooo tasty. I think I spent less than $8 and the food is enough for 4 meals for my husband and I.
    Yesterday I was running errands in the next town over and I stopped in a thrift store that I don’t usually get to shop at. This store had a ton of brand new, with tags, Lularoe brand clothing. I got several pieces of clothing for myself and a piece of fabric for the same price as one new Lularoe dress. And I used a 20% off coupon to save more money.
    I’ve been working on several embroidery and sewing projects.
    It’s been the week for getting rid of stuff we don’t use. We made 3 trips to the thrift store to drop off donations. And today some acquaintances of ours came and picked up shelves that we aren’t using. Getting rid of things we don’t use helps us to feel happier with the space we have and not want to buy a larger home.
    I picked up a bag of hair bows and a box of 5 toilet cleaning tablets from a couple members of my Buy Nothing Group.
    [/list]

  19. *I clipped the nails on my in-laws Golden Retriever and they [i]insist[/i] on paying me $25 for it – says it is a skill I should be paid for – I look at it as something I can actually do for then. I also got the front nails clipped on our three but still have to do their rear ones.
    *Stocked up on gluten free foods at the discount grocery store – $1.49 bread and $1.99 quick freezer meals and waffles.
    I hit up a church sale and found 3 pairs of jeans for $1 each, shorts for my hubby and sweat pants for my son, a flannel shirt, 2 pairs of socks, a tank in the perfect color of blue to go under a blouse I already own, a drawer to hold the coffee pods that sits under the Kuerig (I keep pods on hand for guests and hubby’s hot cocoa – I use a re-usable cup), a new kitchen towel and a huge fake ivy plant that perfectly takes up the top of my new to me (actually antique) corner cabinet, and Duplo Legos that will go to my inlaws for the grand kids – total was $19.
    *We only paid $50 for the cabinet mentioned and I finally have a safe place to put my “treasures) again.
    *We saved half off the dog’s and cat’s food – the store has a new frequent feeder reward program but couldn’t transfer the amount of bags over so instead we got a percentage off our purchase and those bags counted towards the new records.
    *We were given a new faucet for our kitchen sink but it is missing the handle – hubby is trying to figure out how to order the part.
    *We are getting 2 new windows and saved $125 per window for attending a home show + several other discounts. One of the windows is single pane, no longer closes entirely (you can see daylight around the edges it is so warped) and it;s on the north side of the house plus our huge picture window. It is almost 40 years old and the side windows no longer have screens and Freya put her butt thru one of them when the Danes got running around doing “zoomies” and we didn’t get them out to the yard fast enough. These 2 changes should help with energy costs in the winter and summer.
    *We have had a week of cold windy days but the sun is out so my little greenhouse is nice and toasty. I have broccoli, peas and lettuce up and noticed yesterday that the sweet william has sprouted. I planted more broccoli, lettuce, chives and bunching onions as well as zinnias and cauliflower and I started my tomatoes and peppers in the house (greenhouse still gets too cold at night for these to sprout)
    *I added a embroidered bit of jeans that I had saved from a pair of capris that had ripped out, onto a pair of too short of jeans. I have another pair to do this to yet. I mended one of hubby’s shirts and one of mine.
    *I repaired a rug that was in a 5th wheel trailer I demolished last summer. Whatever it is made of, it is horrible to put needles thru – my machine wouldn’t do it so I did it by hand. I then sewed non skid rubber backing to it that I picked up at the dollar store. It works perfect at the bottom of the stairs to make a contrast between the last step and the flooring – I kept missing the bottom step and fell a couple times – that’s the last thing hubby needs to do!
    *We started our “cat wall” project using supplies we had on hand. We are hoping this will help with the bullying behavior we have going on between the 8 year old female cat and 2 of the two year old boys.
    *I “fixed” the rip in the back of our new to us sectional couch with clear gorilla tape. This tape has held up thru a winter on my greenhouse panels that were cracked so it should hold up well on the couch – expensive but worth it!
    *I took a load of stuff to Goodwill and got a donation slip for our tax returns.
    *We bought a new dehydrator – my old Excalibur wouldn’t heat any longer and they no longer sell parts or service that model (it was almost 40 years old). After lots of back and forth reading reviews and figuring out how much I actually dry, we decided on a Cabella’s 80 liter commercial one. It was on sale and we used our credit card to get the points and then paid it off. It is soooo much quieter than my old one and dries things [i]much[/i] faster which should mean lower energy costs even though it is larger. The only downfall is the amount of floor space it takes up – it is too large to sit on a counter and needs too much space around it to fit in where an unused dishwasher now sits (I have 2 dishwashers – the unused one is in what used to be my daycare area) so I still haven’t found a good “home” for it to sit in permanently.
    *I had to get new glasses and didn’t realize how bad my old ones really were until I put the new ones on and the world became much brighter. The old ones were so scratched that I was looking thru a haze. I needed to go to a progressive lens (bi-focal would have been cheaper but harder to get used to due to the line) but I can now see the keys on the scales at work AND driving at night is much less stressful. I chose to go with a single vision for my second pair (free) and did sunglasses – I have not had sunglasses in years because of how thick my lenses are unless I get the edges rolled and polished (which equals more $$). This will make summer boating and fishing much easier on my eyes! We again used the credit card for the points and then paid it off.
    *We purchased screws at the Habitat Re-store $2 for a pound or so? Much cheaper than at the big box stores. I also dismantled the old sectional and saved all the screws to be re-used and the rest of the metal will go in my Dad’s scrap pile – he turns it in for $$ when it get’s large enough to be worth the trip. The fabric went in the trash and we’ll burn the wood – it is far to brittle due to age to use for building. I also sent all the metal from my old dehydrator to the scrap pile as well.
    *I brought banana bread home for the guys from the baker at work. I have tried many of her treats she makes however, I have noticed that they may look much more beautiful than my creations but the taste doesn’t compare – it definitely isn’t worth the $-$ they are charging which saves me money. I also have begun looking at things as “how many hours of work will that cost me?” It changes the perspective a bit on a steak dinner.
    *I brought home a pickle bucket from work but this one will be used for tools for an emergency situation. Far too often, the tools are scattered and I want a bucket with hand tools that can be grabbed quickly if need be. I am starting to pick up tools for cheap at garage sales and the freebies from Harbor Freight.
    I think that’s it for now – I hope you all have a good week!

  20. Last week was not thrifty at all. I am not going into the details how I was a spendthrift other than to say we had a couple of really pricy meals from drive-thrus. I think I sabotaged myself because of illness (my cold) and nerves (great nephew improving but after a few hours in the step-down ward with what must have been the second-string weekend doctors and nurses–they though he was in respiratory failure, perhaps had whooping cough on top of RSV and pneumonia, and after a breathing treatment he actually stopped breathing long enough to cause a crash cart to be summoned–is back in PICU. The doctors there in the PICU who have been treating him all along say he still is much improved. But after those few horrific hours topped off nine days of stress, my niece snapped and demanded that they don’t release him again from PICU until they are 150% sure he won’t be making a quick return trip. Her husband, needing to keep his job, returned home despite the recent drama accompanied by his bro-in-law whose spring break was over. But my niece has one of her sisters and her in-laws for local support. After yesterday, her mother decided to stick around Phoenix two or three more days.) Mom also ran into problems with her tissue paper-thin skin when we tried to get prescribed support hose on her swollen calf. The skin ripped. Amateur nurse here burst into tears but mom didn’t even though it was her leg with the wound. I bandaged it with the ointment we used two years ago, the last time excess swelling created a sore (The dermatologist had said the ointment was still new enough when we saw him for the water blister two weeks ago). I gave her the option for immediate professional wound care at an urgent care center or waiting for an opening at the doctor’s office. We will be calling as soon as they open Monday but I don’t expect they will have an opening or a day or two. So I will be heading to the store for more wound wrapping material in a couple of hours. She NOW is keeping her legs elevated and making a serious effort to stay well hydrated, a few weeks or months late. Growing old is so not for sissies or their caregivers. I will try to be thrifty going forward after falling of the wagon this week.

    I appreciated the information about Meyer lemons last week. I noticed my tree had a strange sprout with leaves two or three times bigger than those on the rest of the tree. That has been pruned off.

    I envy the size of those leeks Brandy. I bought leek seedlings last spring and they never got wider than a skinny pencil. I will be sticking with regular onion sets this year.

    We had fun celebrating the first day of spring with small free ice cream cones from two different places. One was collecting donations for the Children’s Hospital Network, an easy donation for people with a tiny relative at a children’s hospital; the second was collecting books for children in exchange for cones. I stopped at Dollar Tree and bought two hardbound science books aimed at older elementary students on our way to the ice cream shops. I stopped at the Goodwill in a neighboring town between cone #1 and cone #2 to give mom some time to digest the first cone before eating the second. We both felt a bit like naughty little kids but we enjoyed the cones immensely. Ice cream for dinner. Hello Spring!

  21. They must have been extraordinary cookies to attract such a steep discount. 😉

    [list]
    We were running low on snacks and I did not want to buy any seeing as we are going away soon. Quickly raided the pantry for random leftovers and made muffins out of soft bananas, several Nutella samples and the last bit of peanut butter left in the jar.
    [/list]

    [list]
    All meals were made at home. I am quite pleased with how many items we were able to use up. Any leftovers will be donated as I am not risking an ant invasion while we are gone. My husband took all but one lunch to work.
    [/list]

    [list]
    I picked up free basil, a pear and three eggs from our local produce carts.
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    We found two recycling bottles and cashed in our bag full of them at the depot.
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    I volunteered once and we completed the weekly delivery round. Waiting for the reimbursements to add to our mortgage.
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    I completed several online surveys to earn points towards a gift card.
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    We combined trips whenever possible and took our water bottles.We bought some needed frozen food (for the first night of our return, instead of ordering fast food) and household items on special.
    [/list]

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    I mended a hole in a pair of stockings.
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    My husband did some necessary maintenance jobs in and around the house instead of hiring someone.
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    The air-conditioner did not run this week but we did turn on the ceiling fan for a few hours one night.
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    We ran two full loads of dishes and two full loads of washing during off-peak times. All washing was air-dried.
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    We saved all warm-up water when hand-washing dishes and cleaned all Ziploc bags that had not had meat in them.
    [/list]

    Our six-week long Europe trip will finally start on Wednesday so I shall be back to commenting here in May! 🙂

  22. Sharing baked goods always makes the world a much nicer place to be. The princess puppy had a good week. I shaved her winter hair off and she enjoyed a puppy bubble bath. I looked up a homemade ear wash on the cocker spaniel kennel club and made her a bottle. Preventative action is so much cheaper than her getting eat infections. I found her a set of puppy rain boots for $1.60 at our favorite pet store. I lucked up and found a large size bag of her special puppy food at the salvage store. $7.00 instead of $35.00 , that definitely made me smile. I put most of it in the freezer to keep it fresh. Poor cat is so sad since her children died. We bought her a gallon size zip lock bag full of kitty toys for a $1.00. I bought a few Rubbermaid containers to add to my kitchen. 8 containers rang up for $2.00. We are using many different products in our new cooking journey and these are storage items we just didn’t have. I am now down 14 lbs in 4 weeks. I weigh more than I ever did at 9 months pregnant. It is very encouraging to eat healthier and find it is cheaper too. I found a small wicker trash basket and a very small tall table with shelves that I am going to spray paint and add to my master bathroom. I renewed my Sam’s club membership for 30.00. My mother is splitting the cost with me. I haven’t cared for the Aldis butter. I bought 12 lbs of butter at Kroger for 2.29 using a 25.00 gift card I received for filling a three dollar prescription. I just realized I pulled my Easter ham out of the freezer too early. I imagine we will cut it up and prepare freezer meals with it.

  23. I just want to say how much I appreciate captioning. I don’t have a hearing problem, but I like to have the captioning on because it helps me with comprehending what is going on and adds more detail. I also think it helped with my kids reading and spelling (at least when they’re spelled right.Sometimes it’s comical how badly it’s done).

  24. I love that you were able to trade some of your excess Meyer lemons for some much appreciated eggs, Brandy! What a blessing that is for your family. Also love the $100 cookie…that repair man must not get homemade baked goods very often. I am curious what it was that you needed/wanted and what the solution was you came up with. Sometimes I read what others have done and think “duh, what didn’t I think of that!”.

    Another busy week for us. I’m always surprised at how much I end up needing to do, when I’m not working. Not sure how I get everything done when I am working!?! Anyways, this week, our frugal accomplishments for our family included:
    *Meals made at home this week included make-your-own pizzas, cheesy ham & broccoli rice skillet (new recipe, see below), breaded stuffed chicken with corn, pierogi casserole with green/wax bean mix, tacos with choice between beef or black bean filling, chicken low mien stir fry, and breaded chicken fingers/burgers with roasted herb potato chunks and carrots.
    *Despite being rather exhausted, I decided to try a new recipe one day this week. I’ve been looking for more recipe ideas that use rice in them and are not chicken. So when I found this 5 ingredient cheesy ham & broccoli rice skillet on Pinterest (recipe link: https://iowagirleats.com/2017/12/12/cheesy-ham-and-broccoli-rice-skillet/?print-recipe&utm_source=RSS+FEED&utm_campaign=8b4be5e829-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_532f8a161f-8b4be5e829-84116821) I knew I had to try it. Not only are the ingredients pretty cheap (I used homemade poultry broth, home frozen broccoli bought on sale, ham bits left over from cutting up sale hams, cheese bought on sale and rice bought in bulk), the meal was one of the fastest I’ve ever made from scratch! Family all liked it too, with the only comment from my mom that it could have used a little sprinkle of salt to taste on her serving (I agree as some of us like more salt than others, but easy to fix). Definitely a keeper!
    *Taught DD how to make roasted herb potato chunks, which she absolutely loves. They are cheap and easy to make. Best of all, DD loves these as leftovers. It will be a great dish for her to make for herself if/when she is living on her own!
    *I participated in a voluntary bag sewing tutorial session through my work (we eventually want to make carpet bags to sell from fabric woven on our Jacquard loom). We were asked to bring our own fabric, sewing notions and a dish for a potluck lunch. I pulled out various fabric from my stash that I had bought at thrift stores when they had 50% sales (bed sheets, drapery, and brand new fabric in bundles) that co-ordinate well. Only bought a couple items at minimal cost OOP. Didn’t have enough time to get the bag made, but will work on it at home. I also have a copy of the pattern if I want to make more later.
    For the potluck, I decided to make a cheese and spinach savoury bread pudding/strata dish (used this recipe as my base https://flavorthemoments.com/overnight-cheesy-broccoli-strata/), which was vegetarian friendly and quite filling. I mixed everything up the night before, then kept it in the fridge until I baked it in the morning. Of course I used ingredients we already had on hand, including inexpensive eggs, powdered milk, left over bread ends we had saved in the freezer, cheese bought on sale, fresh spinach, and seasoning we had on hand. Brought home leftovers and made some Hollandaise sauce to top the leftovers for an easy breakfast item.
    *We saw our first robin of spring this week. Whoohooo…warmer weather is on it’s way!!!!
    *DD had an appointment at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) this week, which went very well. DD will be joining a free group for teens dealing with anxiety next month, which she will receive a $10 gift card to the mall for every session she participates in (8 in total…DD was pretty excited by the idea of making $80!). In the interim, she will do some one on one counseling sessions. DD did very well answering questions and talking openly about her emotions. I’m really glad we were referred to them.

    Thank you to all who share their comments here. I hope you all have a lovely week and Easter holiday!

  25. Hmm. This week. Ate food that I made over the weekend. It lasted all week. We were thoroughly sick of it by then.

    Made muffins from very ripe bananas. Met up with a friend to watch the sunset from his balcony. Made up some quick candy with melted chocolate chips and nuts to take.

    Entertainment: potluck, family walk, reading two books, watch some Netflix, play games and Play Doh with the kids. This week is spring break. Instead of vacationing, we are stay-cationing. We both have to work, so we will only take two days off. Even two days away would be too expensive. We might go to the beach or go mini golfing one day.

    Bought plane tix for our summer trip home to visit family. By opting for the red eye out and late arrival back, we saved $1000.

  26. Brandy I love the photos and cookie discount. Been an up and down week. Gas went up 40¢/ gal. Brother texted me that Daddy was in nursing home as he had stopped eating and takin his meds when alone for about a week before they caught it.IF I wouldn’t have said something about him having so much bread they wouldn’t have started checking. He had 3 loaves on Thursday and should have been down to 1/2 loaf as my neice buys him 2 loaves a week. So we had to make a special trip on top of working on 209(our new house). Propane was topped off this week and landlord said we would be looking at getting a refund for the balance this summer.
    The rest is here.http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2018/03/what-i-have-done-to-save-this-week.html
    Blessing to you and yours Brandy… and to all of you that read Brandy’s blog. I feel not alone in this lifestyle with this “community” here

  27. The motor on hubby’s boat stopped working last year, so he’s been watching classified sites ever since. He finally found someone that would trade work for a motor(hubbys a mason). He had to be out $50 in supplies(the guy had everything else) and it took 4 weekends, but he finally got a new motor

    Hubbys boss said if we would bring him empty egg cartons, he would give us eggs from his chickens(already received one dozen)

    I made 4 quarts and 2 pints worth if salsa from tomatoes I froze last year.

    We decided not to grow any veggies this year. We usually spend about $100 and it takes up a lot of hubby’s time. I just need to watch the sales for in season produce now

    Cut up a ripped towel for rags

    Been eating out if pantry and freezer. Only needed to spend $65 at grocery store last week

    The teen is going to start paying the internet and tv bill each month(saving us $100)

    Sold some stuff and made $20

    Being more diligent about doing all the laundry in one day to save on costs from heating up the dryer

    Won a free pair of leggings

    Found a coupon in my console for $10 off a bag of dog food for the pups. Normally it’s close to $40 a bag but thanks to the coupon and a sale I paid $23.

    Redeemed reward points from pizza hut for a free pizza

  28. That was so nice of the repairman. Those must be some amazing cookies. It snowed here last week and we had some out of state cousins visit so it was a very different kind of week. I still think I did good on the frugal front.
    -I got meat ends for $1.49 a pound. I cubed them up. They were served with marked down crackers, on sale cheese, and marked down veggies.
    -Hubby bought tires thru Ibotta and didn’t have to pay shipping
    -I cooked lots of yummy food all week
    The rest of my week is at my new blog. I hope you will come on over for a visit. Have a great week.
    https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/03/my-frugal-list-week-of-march-18-2018.html

  29. I bartered a big box of just-butchered organic beef bones for some whipped shea butter. I’m not done, but so far I’ve canned 20 quarts of rich beef broth and have picked off 4# of shredded beef, that I’ll freeze and use for barbecued beef sandwiches.

    I was also invited by a Mennonite friend to go with her on a bargaining adventure….a friend had bought a semi of short-dated refrigerator food. We dug through the semi and bought $38 of food, including 12 packs of Chobani Greek yogurt for $1, quarts of cashew milk for $1, cases of sour cream for $3, etc.

    I also started my vegetable and flower seeds for this year’s garden.

  30. Hi Brandy and all , this week’s accomplishments include clearing our storage unit out. We gave our 10 days notice so this expense of $70 a month will be gone yay. The down side is it look like hoarders live here as we put most of the stuff in the back corner of our deck lol. This just means I have to get cracking on getting rid of stuff we don’t want to keep. Cooked meals at home packed my husband’s lunch every day I continue to eat down the freezer and pantry only bought cat food an milk this past week. Made strawberry jam from free berries from the freezer. Working on our taxes and will hopefully get them filed later this week. Dried our clothes on a drying rack in from of our pellet stove to save on electric bill. That’s all I can think of right now…have a wonderful week ! Gaila in the NW

  31. I agree 🙂 Hubby was diagnosed with Stage IV Esophageal cancer in mid January and it has turned our budget upside down. I’m thankful that we are in a good place right now that we can deal with this financially and mentally. I’m thankful that we shopped well for our health insurance (we pay for our own) as he has reached his maximum out of pocket for the year already and the coverage is good. His health and life is worth more than anything to me at this time.

  32. Love the pictures, as usual, Brandy!

    Had a pretty good week. Here are my accomplishments for the week.

    • Used free tea, coffee and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Worked 8 ¾ contract hours.
    • Got some Ibotta rebates. I have a difficult time finding clothes my size at yard sales and thrift stores so I order online. I needed some new warm weather clothes so I ordered some online via the Ibotta app. Will receive a nice rebate on them once the orders process.
    • Our local Kroger store (Fry’s) had sent coupons in the mail twice. There were 2 coupons for 60c off a 3# mesh bag of apples. They had clearance apples in a mesh bag that came to 3# each for 99c each. I read the coupon thoroughly and it didn’t say anything about not being eligible for clearance items. The cashier tried to tell me that they wouldn’t work for that so I politely said I would take them to customer service. She gave me the discount anyway, so I got 6# of apples for 78c total. Also got canned peaches for 49c and a can of diced tomatoes for 29c off the clearance rack, my Friday Freebie of a Think Thin protein bar, 15 lbs of potatoes for 87c/5lb, 12 lbs. of strawberries for 77c/lb and 5 – 4 lb. bags of sugar for 99c/4lbs.
    • Breakfast for me this week was peanut butter banana smoothies made from clearance bananas (44c/#) and peanut butter I had gotten free from work.
    • Took my grandson to the library for Toddler story time. Nice, free entertainment. Also checked out a few books for him.
    • Got a beautiful large cross wall hanging for $5.99 and some more black frames from Goodwill for my wall of family photos. Went back the next day because they were having a 50% off everything in the store sale. Picked up 4 decorative plates to hang on my dining room wall for $1 apiece, a cute teacup for $2 that I will give to my niece as a hostess gift next time we visit her, a few more frames, a decorative lantern for our patio for $4, a decorative wine rack for $3, 2 small candles in the jar (brand new) for 99c each and 2 bathroom rugs for $2.50 per rug. One is for my daughter who moved into her new house this past weekend. They are like new, thick and just the right colors for our bathrooms!
    • Hubby took his lunch all but one day this week and I took mine the 1 day I was in the office for lunch. The one day he ate out, he used a coupon from Restaurant.com for a sub sandwich place near him. I didn’t even pay for the restaurant.com coupon, as I had gift cards for there from work.
    • Finally experimented with my Instant Pot on frozen chicken quarters. It worked fantastic. I put the same ingredients as I use in my chicken cacciatore, then put in a frozen solid package of 2 chicken quarters. 40 minutes later it was cooked perfectly! I had more sauce and pasta than chicken, so the next day I cooked another package of 2 quarters with chicken bouillon, water, thyme, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper. Once it was done, I took the chicken and bay leaves out. To 3 cups of broth left in the machine, I added 2 ½ c. white rice and set it on “Rice.” Once it was done, I was able to put together 5 lunch size containers of chicken and rice and 1 container with 2 servings of just the rice to use as a side dish for dinner. Also added chicken to the 2 servings of pasta and sauce. I’m all set for lunches for the next few weeks!
    • Bought 2 corned beef packages. Will cook one next week and will can the other for use later in the year. Also found 12 smoked sausage links for less than ½ off. I froze those in 6 serving size packages.
    • I have been itching to make some homemade cookies, but I fought the urge and defrosted some fudge we had been given at Christmas instead. I am great at filling the freezer but less great at using up what we have. I am working on that.
    • We helped our daughter save some money on her move. My husband helped her and her husband move most of the boxes. They have movers coming at the end of the week to move the furniture. I babysat my grandson to keep him out of the way. I’m really happy that now they are only about 5 miles away instead of 20!
    • In her move, my daughter found she had a lot of travel coffee mugs. I needed some, so she gave me 2 really nice ones.

    Hope everyone has a great, frugal week!

  33. I received a bill this week for medical for myself but it had been sent to my secondary insurance first, (they paid 0) and then sent to my primary. I asked them to please resubmit to my secondary insurance, because they should pay it. I notice this happens frequently, in spite of my reminders which is primary and which is secondary. It’s important to check every time–at least it always saves me money when I do.

  34. I was so lucky this week–being the oldest in the family, I never got many hand me downs. My daughter’s long time friend lost her Mom several weeks ago and DD helped her begin cleaning her Mom’s closet. She brought home many clothing items in a variety of sizes, so DD, DGD and I all got a number of very nice items. None of these were NEEDS for me, but will fill in nicely for just “wanting something different.” She sent only like new, or new with tags items. I washed the ones I kept and am happily wearing a new fancy sweatshirt today. This will encourage me to donate more when I clean out my closet and put the winter clothes away–not quite yet, but soon. We are still in the 30’s in the daytime here but that should change very soon.
    We also suffered through a week of leftovers–everything that I expected to last for 2 meals, lasted for 3! It was a bit tiresome but it meant two “free” meals, which is never a bad thing. We also tried the fish fry at the restaurant across the street—and discovered their normal portion will easily serve two of us, which will save us $ next time. I reused the leftover fries with the last rib eye steak from my freezer, so even the fries were not wasted. I warm them quickly in a hot pan with a little oil and drain so they are hot and crisp again when reused. If I make fries myself, they are always oven fries so my husband is happy to have leftover “real” fries on occasion.

    I also picked up a couple “unadvertised specials” at the supermarket, so have my cupboards just about at maximum capacity again. One cupboard got an unexpected cleaning this week, as an almost empty honey bottle tipped over and leaked. When I went to make this week’s granola, I had the unpleasant stickiness of honey on the floor of the cupboard to deal with. The cupboard underneath it has cinnamon spilled recently when I couldn’t find the mustard powder and was being impatient. I will have time to think about patience when I remove ALL the items and clean that cupboard –on my to do list for the coming week. I did just splurge on some new Tupperware spice containers—I love Penzey’s spices but the lids break frequently when I drop them on the floor. The Tupperware should help that problem–it is again half impatience on my part, and half due to the arthritis in my hands. Girl Scout cookies have arrived and made it unnecessary for me to bake much this week. We aren’t eating them TOO quickly but the end is in sight. I owe my husand a pie soon anyhow, for his help around the house.

  35. Great cookie story Brandy. Those leeks are huge!
    I did all the usual things to keep spending to a minimum. The grocery money I haven’t spent will go towards our plane tickets for our first real vacation in 20 years. We are going to Sacramento for a week for a wedding and to see friends my husband hasn’t seen in 50 years.
    I stayed home all week except for babysitting duty twice and stopped at the store on my way home once. That saved me gas and the urge to spend money that wasn’t necessary.
    Have a great week everyone!

  36. Leeks – yum! And the French believe they help prevent cellulite.:)

    • Hung load of laundry up to dry inside
    • Decluttered all the drawers and lower cabinets in the kitchen
    • Once again filled water containers in case we lost power with Nor’easter #4, which thankfully we did not.
    • Hand shoveled snow off the driveway.
    • Made swag goal x 1
    • Sewed, by hand, two curtain panels together so they work better on the window. I am reusing curtains from my parent’s prior home. I watched a DVD that I own while doing the sewing.
    • Polished silver jewelry so I like what I have and will wear it.
    • Baked an apple cake, made risotto with arugula and gorgonzola, baked 8 dozen cookies for an event and used only ingredients I had on hand. Made Masaman curry with brown rice.
    • Bundled errands and went to Asian market for fresh veggies
    • Spent $4.00 at the self-serve car wash versus $8.00 at the automated one. It is still too cold here to wash the car in the driveway and my car was filthy.

  37. Thanks so much, Jo. Your comment made my day! I do miss cooking, but it’ll wait until I’m feeling well again. Even if it pinches my thrifty soul to buy semi-prepared food! I keep reminding myself that this is what an emergency fund is for.

  38. We ate at home every day this week. Went to library for entertainment. Danced in the kitchen for exercise while doing dishes and listening to gospel music on pandora. Used online resources, the library, and a few dollar tree items to tutor my grandchildren during spring break. Took nature walks with grandchildren for exercise and entertainment. Made it educational by giving them nature journals to write and draw in. Listened to husband sing and even joined in for entertainment. Found 7 really nice summer dresses for cheap at a thrift store. I couldn’t even buy one for what I paid for all seven. Simply enjoyed being outside at the farm and even in front of our apartment in the sunshine and one evening during a gentle rain.
    Love your cookie story Brandy!

  39. Thanks to everybody for sharing!
    In the end of winter I brought in a bunch of (birch) branches and put them into big vase to wait. Now they have tiny leaves. I buy 1 daffodil (or tulip) and arrange it into vase with branches and enjoy it in kitchen, replacing flower now and then. We still have snow on the ground…
    I plan to color our Easter eggs all naturally this year so we can actually eat them later. It takes some planning ahead. I´m on top of it now 🙂
    We still heat our house with firewood. I have ceramic pot with lid and I put some meat and vegetables and half glass of water in the oven after heating it. After few hours later I have food ready.
    I got my potting soil from farm and planted flower seeds I had. They are on the window sill of my warmest room now, covered with plastic.
    My daughters (12 and 5 yrs old) went through the many small clothes of my oldest in the storage and made quite a fashion show to me, putting together many sets of clothing. I was amazed! They both enjoyed their time together. Older girl is skinny and younger one is not, so I saw that many long jeans fit my small girl well when the trousers are rolled up (sorry about the poor explanation). I would not have guessed that! I have enough trousers for her suddenly!
    Have a lovely week, everybody!

  40. Your comment reminded me I have always put onions on the water in spring to get green onions – I used the small glass jars of baby food for that, one for each onion. Put them on window sills. When the onion is not in contact with the water, it will not start smelling. Also no need to water them when they are like that. Unfortunately somehow I do not have those small jars anymore 🙁

  41. Linda G March 25 2018 You can sign up for Harbor Freight online. They will send coupons to you or you can get them online. Both Hubby and son are signed up… NO COST TO YOU.

  42. That is great that your friend is an electrician. I’m sure he is very helpful. Fresh garden veggies is a great trade for work. I would love if family/friends did that when my husband helps them out.

  43. I cooked a am from the freezer purchased on the Christmas sales, and replaced it with one bought on the Easter sale! Both were spiral sliced hams for .97/lb. Once we eat all the ham, I’ll use the bone in a large pot of bean soup.

    Joanns had a Sunday only sale, I purchased fleece for 75% off to start on winter pajamas for next year. I bought 4 large trash bags full of boys clothes in sizes 4-7 for $40.00 total for the grand boys on craigslist. Each bag was full of clothes, mainly name brand. I averaged .30 an item! I also went to a local thrift store that has everything 25% off on Mondays, and got several 0-3 and 3-6 month items for a new grandbaby! This stores’ regular prices are very good, and with the discount I was able to get over 70 items- gowns, onsies, sleepers, for $38.00. I also found 2 stainless steel water bottles when I was there and paid .75 each for them. Stainless steel retains temperature much longer than plastic, keeping things hotter in winter and colder in summer. I made blankets and burp clothes using flannel I purchased on a black friday sale. I used a yard for each blanket and made them the full width of the cloth, so they are big enough to last for 2-3 years.

  44. I hear you on the filling the freezer. This week I am challenging myself to eat 2 pre-made meals/ casseroles from the freezer.

  45. Zipties (not really a tool but very, very useful), screw drivers, pliers, small flashlights, batteries. I am hoping they may add a hammer to the coupons at some point and I already have hand saws. I will also add duct tape and nails.

  46. Took advantage of my free faculty tickets to take a friend to see Phantom of the Opera at the local high school. Such talent!

    Scored on chicken thighs. They were on a weekend sale for $1.19 lb (a good price here). I got to the store about 6pm on Sunday and they were marking the sale packages with $4 off coupons. I scored 4 family packs of chicken thighs for about $2.50 each! Now that I know, I will make a point of popping in late on Sundays from now on.

    I picked up a good quality antique mahogany cabinet for $40. A little sanding and a new coat of stain (I already have some) and it should be a beautiful match for my guestroom and replace both a particleboard nightstand and the decrepit plastic drawer set that was holding my candles.

    I’ve stopped attempting to plan every meal for the week as I tend to get a couple of invitations to meals a week (we have no children and my husband is deployed) and am wasting food. I only made 1 meal this week so far. I have a chicken jalapeno popper casserole I found in the back of the freezer defrosting. I need to do a freezer cleanout. I think I spied some other premade casseroles and soups in the deep depths of the stand-up while looking for butter this week. If I do a couple of weeks of eating pre-mades/ leftovers from the freezer I will have a better freezer and budget!

    A couple of summer dresses I bought on sale at Zulilly came in. Great fit and quality. I will see if I can get 2 more.

  47. My local Sprouts Market had pineapples for .88 each. I bought five and plan to dehydrate four of them.

    I made granola, crockpot lasagne, Indian dal and rice, guacamole, peach cobbler, and smoothies mostly from what I had in my refrigerator. We shop weekly at the store only buying fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and eggs and largely fill in the food gaps from the pantry or freezer.

    I washed and line-dried the mattress cover on our bed.

    I brown bagged my lunch all week. I bring my knitting with me and get work done during my break rather than running errands. I am using half the amount of gas that when I would run errands on my lunch hour, and I get some knitting done too.

    I stopped at Winco and purchased some inexpensive varieties of beans to expand my experimentation with Indian cooking.

    I got a check for $34.80 for items sold at a consignment shop.

    I’ve started exercising again in the morning before getting ready for work. I have an old treadmill in the basement and several hand weights, plus a couple of books and magazine articles with different exercises. I’m looking forward to lighter mornings so I can take my routine outside.

  48. I am still working on my accomplishments post, but I wanted to post this here because I know this to be such a supportive community, and that’s what I need right now.

    I am dealing with some health concerns and questions right now. I’ve been dealing with some for over a year, and feel like I keep getting different answers and new challenges, but no real answer to the source of my problems. I have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and high cortisol levels (which makes me stressed and emotional on top of not knowing what’s going on with my body), but I feel like there’s still a piece that’s missing. I have another doctor’s appointment with my OB this afternoon, who is very thorough, so I’m hoping for some solid answers and a plan forward.

    I share all of this just to ask for you support and prayers. I am 35 and have two lovely little boys, 5 and 2. (I’d love to have a third, but I don’t think my health will allow for that option.) I am hoping for answers to this that are things that I can handle, and will allow me to continue being a working mom so that my husband can continue to be the stay at home dad he’s so great at being.

    Thank you for such an awesome community! I’ll be back later with my post.

  49. Allyson, I’m not a doctor, but three people in my living family have autoimmune diseases as did three more of the older generation which is now passed on, that we know of so far anyway, plus 2 more have a very rare inherited condition that mimics other conditions. I understand you about finding that mysterious answer to health issues. My advice to you is DON’T GIVE UP. It’s hard and expensive to go from doctor to doctor, but it’s worth it. Consider an endocrinologist, if you haven’t already, and a functional medical doctor, who should look for underlying causes instead of treating symptoms. If there is a good teaching hospital in your area, consider their health program. It took a specialist at a Big-Name Children’s Hospital, after 2 and a half long years of wrong answers and many doctors, to find out what was wrong with my granddaughter, which was not autoimmune but was an endocrine system issue. It took me over 30 years to get my own autoimmune disease diagnosed, proven and treated. Best of luck to you, and many prayers.

  50. Glad to hear that CAMH is doing such a good job for your daughter. I have two friends who use their services here in Toronto and I can see a difference (in a positive way) with both of them. The gift card incentive is a great idea!

  51. I caught up on all the laundry this week so had full loads and only used the dryer for the sheets & towels. I use the laundry room in my building and pay for each load of washing & drying so using my drying rack has saved me at least $6 this week.

    I have continued to use up food from the freezer and pantry and I am pleasantly surprised to see how much I have been able to stretch the fish and seafood bought for meals during Lent. I have bought no meat during Lent but had a quick check of what I still have in the freezer – combined with what I will still have left of the seafood I don’t anticipate buying any additional proteins until the middle of April.

    I used a lot of egg whites while baking last week and have had a tendency to put the leftover yolks into the fridge and then forget about them. This time I used up all the egg yolks (combined each time with a whole egg) for two really yummy scrambled egg meals.

    I’ve been much more diligent about checking my online grocery offers and combining those with what is on sale each week. I find now that I figure out those combinations first to get the most points possible and then work meals around those purchases. A lot of fruit & vegetables, plus items that I use regularly are always included so it’s not as though I’m buying a lot of processed or junk food. This past week’s items included Olive Oil, butter, frozen veg, potatoes, onions, apples, mushrooms and rye bread so I did well.

    I have also finished filling out the paperwork for what we call the Old Age Pension here in Canada. I will be 65 in September so become eligible at that time. If you have worked you would have also contributed to the Canada Pension Plan and receive a monthly amount dependent upon what you earned and what you contributed to the plan during your working life. I have been collecting this since being forced into an early retirement but rules have changed recently so when I do go back to part-time work i can once again contribute to this plan and that will be taken into account. These two pensions often make up the bulk of what people get in retirement but I am lucky to also have two very small company pensions. But it will still be a frugal retirement (no round the world trips I’m afraid 🙂 as there are some debts to finish paying off ) so I am always appreciative of what I learn here from Brandy and from all of you who comment. Which reminds me – I haven’t seen anything from “Ellie’s Friend in Canada” for a while now – does anyone know how she is?

  52. Trying to find answers to undiagnosed health issues can be so draining! So sorry Momma! My husband has chronic headaches (for 20+ years, starting at age 15) with no real answers. It’s taxing on him (and me) but he just pushes through and has learned how to deal using biofeedback techniques. I think our frugal way of living is actually helpful because it reduces the amount we choose go out and be around people which lessens the triggers of his migraines.

  53. That is so sweet about the repairman! I always say that you can save a lot of money by simply being kind to people. 🙂

    This week:

    1. I was oh-so frugal today! I had a doc appointment and nearly paid for a car wash on the way home (the trees are putting off ugly green pollen and our car looked so bad). Instead of shelling out the $7, I spent 15 minutes this morning hosing down the car. It doesn’t look perfect, but it’s NOT covered in pollen, which is an improvement. 🙂

    2. I found out deer have been hoofing around and eating our garden/yard. I’m looking into some frugal alternatives to keep them from eating all of our food. I’m thinking of getting Deer B Gone spray, but we may have to cover our garden in nets.

    3. I didn’t have to pay a copay at the doctor’s office. Woohoo!

    4. My dad was over last weekend. I admit we ate out a lot because of food preferences/allergies, but I did manage to save some money by cooking waffles for everyone on Sunday morning. It’s about small wins sometimes, hahaha.

    5. We had to get our A/C repaired last Thursday and it cost nearly $700. We did cut the price down from $1,000 by refusing a dubious “upgrade” option, so I’ll call that a “savings.”

  54. Those leeks are huge! Can’t wait to hear what you will do with them. Here’s my frugal list of last week:
    – Someone brought in loads of bread for a nearby restaurant and left them on the “free” table at work. I took some and made a large batch of French bread and put 3 loaves in the freezer.
    -Gifted: 2 qts of cream of chicken mushroom soup from Reality (it’s a hit with the kids), 2 oranges, 3 apples, a large bag of limes, orange peels and collard greens (to dehydrate to make more powder). DGP gave the boys some spaghetti and mac &cheese to bring home from dinner one night while I was at work. Ate it the next day.
    -Brought 60 eggs for $5.18.
    -Freebies at store with coupons= 8 candy bars, a container of cherry tomatoes, make-up (foundation and eye shadow), 1 container of yogurt.
    -Used apps to get rebates on groceries.
    Transferred $20 from Ibotta to Paypal account.
    -Sold 2 things on Ebay.
    -We refuse to get new phones and opted for getting the new batteries instead. I got mine a few weeks ago but DH finally came in this past week. When he took it in, accidently the screen was broke and they gave him the option of a new phone or replacing the old one and the battery fee for free- well you can guess what he went for- $30.00 free!!
    -Received some inheritance money and put it into savings.
    -Made chex mix, pizza, chicken fingers with fries, and brownies all from ingredients in pantry and freezer for watching the bball games.
    – DS was gifted some underwear which were badly needed and now I can hold off on that expense for when they go on sale.-
    – Scheduled for more hours at work due to we are going into the busy soccer season and World Cup is this summer.
    -Received high value coupons in mail from being a loyal customer to Kroger
    – The 5 lb box of veggies I get every other week was 50% off this time due to I contacted them to say the greens in the previous box had already started to go bad when I opened it.
    Everyone have a blessed week and Happy Easter!!

  55. *Our apricot tree is blooming, so apparently not all the buds froze two weeks ago! I cut daffodils several times to bring in the house, just before snowstorms. We need the water; the governor asked all the different congregations to pray for snow & water, because we need it.

    *Our Fresh Market store is closing. I am sad to see it go; this is the store with the meat mark-down bin where I purchased almost all of our meat. The freezer still has plenty in it, but I am sorry to see the store close. I bought all of our Easter candy there for 25% off. My husband has already eaten what I did not hide, which is why I hide it!

    *I continue to strip the dried needles from the fir branches on the back perimeter as they dry enough to do so. Planted the spinach. Pruned the younger grapevine to an upright trunk. This summer I will need to make an arbor for it. Placed several more cedar 2×4 lengths in the gap under the back fence to keep the weeds from blowing seed thru into the garden. I am so glad we put in the back fence, as the new owners do not use the back pasture & do nothing to keep down the weeds. The planting bed along the back perimeter does no have near as many weeds on our side of the fence panels where we have “filled the gap” as are found in the areas where the gap is still “open”. I reported them last year, when the weeds were showing over the top of the 6’ fence, since the city ordinance prohibits weeds over 2’ tall. They mowed part of it after they were cited, but never finished cutting the other half, which is frustrating.

    *Bought a slip for a young granddaughter at the thrift store for a couple of dollars.

  56. Allyson, I will admit I have not had to go through what you are going through right now. However, I am a special needs parent, which has taught me a lot. So, in response to your comment about “hoping for an answer to your issues is something you can handle”, I want to say this…no matter what the outcome is, you can and will find a way to handle whatever is thrown in your direction. You are stronger than you realize…stop doubting yourself, keep a positive attitude and never give up! Until you get solid answers, keep hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Remeber, even the strongest people still cry sometimes. But after the good cry, they pick themselves up again and keep moving forward the best they can. I wish you all the best in your search for a diagnosis, Allyson. Sending lots of hugs and warm wishes your way.

  57. My grandson takes a hip hop dance class and my daughter asked me to put patches on both knees on his dance pants so they would last longer. They tend to rip in the knees as he spends a lot of time going down on knees and back up. Buying patches can be expensive. Luckily I had found a pair of pants for me in the same color for a super cheap price so I bought them. They didn’t fit me but I used them to cut out the perfect patches for his pants for cheaper than I could buy ready-made patches.

    I am finding that gas prices have gone up significantly here and the cost of food in my area is far more expensive than what I read about here. I know I live in one of the more expensive parts of the U.S. so it is more important than ever to find more and more frugal ways of doing things.

    My husband went to visit his brother who is in a nursing home and I sent a magazine I had already read for his wife. I knew it was one she would enjoy also.

    My husband was able to replace the light bulbs in my parent’s bathroom for them. We did not realize they had been living with only one dim bulb for almost a year because the light fixture is too hard for them to reach. We made a mental note to check on these things more frequently for them. They were both so excited to have a nice, bright bathroom again. They thanked him many times. Something so simple for us and only took a couple minutes but made a huge difference for them. Win Win!!

    Our son had a large section of his wood fence leaning over on his neighbor’s property. This was due to winter weather and a decade of over-grown plants pushing on the fence. My husband and I helped him clean out the over-grown plants and got his fence back into position. He was happy and I am sure the neighbors appreciated the effort as well. He never could have done this on his own as it was a very big job but with three of us it was very doable and just took some sweat equity- no cost improvement.

    Thank you to Brandy and everyone else for the great supply of awesome frugal ways to provide a great quality of life for our families. I greatly appreciate you all.

  58. Please delete if not allowed:
    Free 8×10 picture as Walgreen’s through Wednesday 28th. Order online and enter “Easterpix” code at checkout and it will reduce price from $3.99 to $0.00

  59. Beautiful flowers and vase, Brandy! I have a thing for blue and white, too. Here was my week, along with some thoughts about one of last week’s commenters:

    (1) Stayed home 4 of 7 days, saving fuel and $$$.

    (2) Wish I could say that I cooked all meals from scratch. At least I can say that we cleaned the fridge of leftovers two nights running. No waste.

    (3) Used a $2 coupon for a free gallon of milk. I’m not a big couponer, and I don’t find many of those.

    (4) Found .84 while doing laundry and housework. Who said housework doesn’t pay!

    (5) Got a 10% discount ($9.60) at a Ramada Inn (Wyndham) for joining Wyndham Rewards. This was a great triple play! Not only do I get the discount, but a screen popped up inviting me to apply for their credit card. I pay my bills in full each month and can’t resist a good come-on. (I’ll cancel it in a few months). I will get a $50 credit on my first statement and, after only $1,000 in purchases, a free night. Plus, Wyndham is having a deal through June 30–stay twice and get another night free. I will be needing a motel again in about a month, so this is turning into a killer deal for me.

    This is for the person who posted about moving and taking her landscape plants with her. I am in the middle of doing the same thing. Last fall, I dug up volunteers and divided plants that needed it. I started some shrubs by tip layering and just poking cuttings in the ground. I put them in a special bed and made sure the buyers agreed I could come back for them in the spring. Now I am scrounging used nursery pots and gallon containers that I can cut down and drill drainage holes. I’ll be going to my old house in about a month and potting up my plants. My problem is that my new house won’t be finished until late June, so I’m going to be caring for the plants in pots for 2-3 months. I bet they all make it!

    Also, I have been buying packaged bareroot plants this spring and potting them up. I got two packages of hostas, 10 per package, for @12.99 each at Costco. They are already leafing out. If I were to lose 9 of the 10 plants in each package (not very likely), I would still be money ahead vs. buying just one hosta at a retail nursery in high summer. I also got peonies at Home Depot for 2/$9.98. They are full of buds and the roots are so big I had to plant both in a 5 gallon bucket. So, if you have the opportunity to buy plants dirt-cheap now and plant them in pots, don’t hesitate. You may lose a few along the way, but you will still make out like a bandit!

    I bought two bareroot climbing roses…actually one was a birthday gift. I’ve potted them up in detergent buckets and knocked together a couple of mini trellises that should last until June. I did it myself, and pretty proud of it, too! I used 1×1 strips my husband had ripped from some other lumber, sawed them with a hacksaw, glued them with Tacky glue and put a finishing nail in each support. Real girl-build, but, hey, it worked!

  60. Hi Marybeth and it was a true blessing for us to be able to do this 🙂 .

    I believe in the power of suggestion so perhaps your husband could mention oh would it be alright if I trade fixing this for e.g a couple of dozen eggs or some nice vegetables or whatever he sees that grows or is produced there at their homes or if he knows they have a skill that could do a favour in return for your family to fix something :).

    To a lot of people the old ways of saying thank you for helping by giving people things you produce at home or trading favour for a favour has died but it really should be revived again. We live in the country so it is a regular thing to give excess produce we have to neighbours , friends and those we see are on limited incomes that are struggling. Quite often we are blessed in return when these same people have extra produce they give us too. Either way regardless we are happy that we can help others and provide service when we can :).

  61. I love your story of the repairman! That was such a generous and thoughtful way to connect with someone that most likely just gets a rushed ‘thank you’ out the door. I’ve worked a variety of customer service jobs and those sweet gestures make such a huge difference in someone’s day.

    Last week, we started cold hardy seeds in the garden that can tolerate the 60 degree weather one day and the 20 degree snow the next! I was elated to see an alpine strawberry emerge from the garden from last year! Out of the seed packet, only one emerged last year and I was certain it wouldn’t come back- but it did!

    I also hand aerated our back lawn with a tool that you step on (it looks like a spiked shovel) saving $100 from the estimate we received. It took me about an hour as we have a very large lawn, but it was worth it! I also will hand fertilize as always.

    We ate all but one meal at home, which was a meal out to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday. The meal was very stressful with a cook getting fired and yelling obscenities in the restaurant for everyone to hear. The police escorted him out. It stressed the family, and I pulled the waiter and manager aside to request that they make it right on the bill since it wasn’t an experience any of us wanted to hear. They took off an enormous amount of the bill, and the relative that recommended the restaurant paid for the entire bill as she felt it was the right thing to do (almost everyone else preferred another location). This experience affirmed my love of cooking and eating at home! 😀

  62. Jan , I am sorry for the trial your husband and you are going through. I hope that his treatment will go well and know he is thankful to have you by his side.
    Sheila

  63. Patty, what a beautiful tribute to your son. Your faith and joy in the Easter celebration touched my heart.
    Sheila

  64. We applied the extra from our taxes to our mortgage, which brought us to 39% paid off in 10 months. That was our biggest frugal accomplishment, as it brought down the portion of our mortgage that goes to interest by $61! The amount we pay on interest just keeps getting smaller and smaller which makes me super happy.

    I have continued to eat out of the pantry and freezer, which helped us stay under our grocery budget for the month. I am making two Mexican-themed meals this week, but I didn’t have to buy anything for either of the meals. We cleaned out our freezer and re-organized it. I had to throw away 3 bags of freezer burnt broccoli and some zucchini that had been in there since 2015! But everything else we reorganized and made easier to access. I am a little low on chicken breasts. I still have some whole chickens at my parent’s house, but only a couple more pounds of chicken breasts. So I’ll be looking for a deal on them. Around here, I can find bone-in for 99 cents a pound. I’ve done the math, and by the time I take out the bones it is equivalent to $1.69 a pound. So I’ll look for boneless at 1.69 or bone-in at 99 cents.

    I made a list at the beginning of the year of stuff I absolutely was NOT going to buy this year. I made one exception to purchase two books. But so far, I’ve made it almost three months without buying the stuff on my list. I am planning on doing a clean-out this summer. I might have another yard sale this year or sell some stuff on a Facebook yard sale sight. I am already looking through my stuff, but I probably won’t do anything until this summer when I’m done with work.

    I keep working on my online store, which is bringing in a good side income for our family. I’ll try to put most of it towards the mortgage. My husband is planning on working a little extra to bring in some side income, too. I’m thinking about working more this summer since I won’t be working for the school. I already know I’ll be doing one day a week of summer school. I usually relax and enjoy the rest of the summer, but we are trying really hard to pay off the mortgage. So maybe I should look into another side-gig to speed things up a little bit. I’ll spend the summer gardening and canning anyway, but a little side gig wouldn’t hurt. Maybe I could sell some of my extra produce. I usually give it away…

  65. That is a good challenge! Today I had 1 of the chicken and rice for lunch and then used frozen leftover spaghetti sauce for dinner. 2 containers down!

  66. Your light bulb story, Kim, reminds me of the time we went to visit my 99 year old grandmother, still living on her own and with all her wits but pretty blind. I went into her bedroom for something, sat on the bed for a rest and happened to look up—the ceiling was absolutely covered with spider webs that she could not see. She had 8 foot ceilings in her home, so I went out to talk to her and the husband climbed on a chair and cleaned the entire ceiling. She was very tidy and would have been humiliated if we had said anything…but from then on when we went over we took turns making sure that there were no webs on the ceiling, no ants in the kitchen and so on. When we are young we really don’t have any idea how hard it can be to do simple things (or to have the eyesight to see them!) or to ask for help.

  67. Hi Brandy and all you very inspiring women,
    My daughter and her significant other came up from LA for a short visit. They took my husband and I out to a very nice restaurant to celebrate a birthday.

    While on a walk I found a wad of money on the road. It was only $3 but I was happy. I think that people around here are always losing money when they pull cell phones out of their pockets. Just my theory.

    My cousin came for dinner. I made everything from scratch: rolls, clam chowder, and Salade Nicoise. Afterwards we went, for free, to hear her boyfriend’s band play. Very fun.

    Since January I have been going through my yarn and material. A decluttering sort of activity. So far I have knit
    three wool scarves for my gift box and am almost done with a quilt. It doesn’t look like I have made that much of a dent.

    On Saturday we participated in the March for Our Lives march in Seattle. My husband and I packed granola bars and water so we wouldn’t be tempted to eat an expensive lunch out. We try to do helpful activities a couple times a month, whether it is helping neighbors, giving stuff to a women’s shelter, etc.

    This week at QFC, organic oranges and apples were $1.49 per pound. Very low price for around here. I received a $10 coupon for a local drugstore and replenished my stash of Kleenex. A friend gave me a coupon for two free gelato at a local store. So my husband and I had a gelato date.

    This summer my husband and I are going to Sweden for three weeks. We will be visiting his cousins who live in Stockholm and try to find the villages where that my greatgrandparents were born. It will be so much fun as the cousins have been to visit a couple times. If any readers out there live in Sweden, well…travel tips would be so appreciated. I am trying to learn some Swedish from Duolingo but it seems such a difficult language.

    We have been doing good with not wasting food and cooking so much from scratch. Our condo complex has a community herb garden and I use it all the time.
    Guess that is all for this week. It has been a long time since I posted, so will try to post more often in the future.

    Brandy, I like your photos better than those in a well known magazine published by a well known entrepreneurial woman. Anyone can have a beautiful house with a lot of money. But it takes creative people like you to make an equally lovely life and home with less.

  68. Last week was a tough week for us as I lost my job. I was a stay at home mom for 12 years prior to this job so I know we can do it but my income was helpful in upgrading several things around the house that needed to be done. Plus my husband’s job is tough and he is starting to really feel his age. He also suffers from anxiety so this situation is not helping much. My community is rural and small so I just can’t hop into another job easily. So we’ll see how that goes. Once I stopped working we heated the house with wood all day until I went to bed (while working I would only use wood heat when I came home after 5PM.)
    Did not need to drive as much so I saved on gas then used the remainder of a gc to put gas in the car. My kids are happy that they get to eat about 2 hours earlier at night. I gave one of my sons a haircut.

  69. Lisa, I am sorry to hear that you lost your job.

    I hope you have lots of wood stored, and that you can find new ways for saving money now that you are at home again. Your gas will hopefully last much longer now that you are home more, too,

  70. Elisa, Word Reference has an online dictionary (and a phone app as well) that includes Swedish. I use it quite often for French, and it is wonderful for looking up new words that you need to use. I hope you can find some more videos, books, and tutorials to help you study. If you study some every day from now until you leave, you should learn quite a bit!

    Thank you for your kind words.

  71. Kim, those of us who live in Canada also deal with much higher food prices than most of those who comment here. My absolute best price for eggs are $1.88/dozen, a 4L bag of milk (or 1 gallon) is $4.27, and a loaf of bread is anywere from $1.60 and up (some are well over $3/loaf). We also have a shorter growing season…we plant in our area around mid-May and everything needs to be harvested by about mid-October. Therefore, any fresh produce we buy in winter is coming from somewhere warm or cold storage…which means increased costs. We’ve had to learn how to shop those sales and watch for great deals the best we can in order to live frugally here.

  72. My week was much different than normal. I was sick all week and ended up down at the doctor’s office on Friday afternoon. I felt that I was on the mend, but needed a prescription renewed and they insisted I come in. Although it turned out that I had the influenza, I was no longer contagious and was free to go to my friend’s house as planned. I was thankful that we have excellent insurance.

    During the week, I stayed home the entire time. While it did save gas, I lost much more than the price of gas in missed wages from my job.

    That delayed my husband and I a little bit. We were heading out of town together, just the 2 of us, to visit friends who live about 8 hours away. The girls all had other things to do for a few days, and we seized the opportunity. We had a wonderful trip, which I blogged about: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/03/27/a-walk-on-the-wild-side-of-oregon-that-is-march-2018/

    We returned last evening. I went to the store and got a lot of groceries. I have a big cooking day planned today. A young friend is coming over to cook with me. The plan is to make lots of gluten-free items as she has been recently diagnosed with intolerance to gluten. We will make several recipes, and there should be plenty for me to freeze, eat, and for her to take home. I’ve got several things for her to choose from, and once she gets here I’ll let her choose what looks good to her. I hope to build my stock of frozen muffins, and make some bar cookies to freeze for Easter.

    My extended family is gone on vacation, and will be returning on Saturday night, so will all come here Sunday for Easter. I will get as much done ahead of time as possible so the day is easy. Here is my challenge: I can’t eat gluten. Neither can my sister, mother, cousin and daughter. That’s the easy part. I have a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg=free cousin coming (whom we are delighted to see as she is a missionary in Nicaragua), my mother has been taken off dairy by the doctor, and my daughter is extremely allergic to a ton of things, leaving her with cooked veggies and meat for the most part, but she can’t have beef. Another daughter is a vegetarian. So, I have several recipes to try, am loaded up with things like egg-replacer from the health food store, and I’m on a mission. I will cook a lot of veggies in various ways, a couple of meats (including pulling out turkey meat from the turkey I cooked and froze last week), and try to bake some items today and freeze them. I’m excited. I like a good challenge. I’m quite sure it will be an accomplishment. After shopping last night, I am also quite sure it’s not really going to end up being a FRUGAL accomplishment! But, at least everyone will have something they can eat. And, my aunt brought over a huge basket of candy before she left, so that’s there for the kids, and my mom stuffed some money in my pocket before she left, so that helps, too! And, they all feel so guilty for leaving me with this job (which I don’t mind at all because I love to cook) that I am pretty sure they will do all the dishes. Win-win! It should be a fun day:)

  73. Exactly! I am very envious of the prices that I hear quoted here but it’s not our reality so we just have to adjust to life as it is. I guess we even out when it comes to Health care – I am often horrified when I read about the bills that some of you have mentioned after fairly routine treatment – such as knee surgery. I had mine done a year ago and the only out of pocket cost was the $4.60 admin fee for my prescription of pain killers. And I know you hear about horrendous wait times that some people have experienced but I could have been in within a couple of weeks of meeting with the surgeon – had to postpone by a month as I was going away for a week (they told me to just pick a date). But it would be nice to have some warmer weather and to see some flowers. There won’t be any gardening done around here for at least another 6 weeks.

  74. When I lived in Pacific Beach, the backyard of the older apartment complex was mostly paved, with a couple of small, forlorn, weedy patches. I asked the manager if I could pull the weeds and plant some herbs. For years, I was able to harvest herbs whenever I wanted along with the other residents of the complex. The herbs didn’t require any further maintenance (Maybe somebody else pulled the occasional weed when I wasn’t looking.) and made the patio a much more pleasant place to relax.

  75. Thank you all for the prayers and support. My appointment with my OBGYN was wonderful, and she really helped me navigate things and come up with a plan. It was also comforting to hear from her that a third pregnancy might not be off the table and she will help guide me toward healing. She even left a message for me today just to check in. (Not many doctors do this, so I’m truly grateful for her.) I have more tests in front of me in the next few weeks, and appointments with specialists, including my endocrinologist. I’m hopeful this will lead to more answers and healing.

    Thanks everyone for the prayers. I can truly say that I am feeling better and really think that I felt your prayers yesterday, as I was much calmer last evening than I’ve been in a while and slept well for the first night in ages.

    As for frugal accomplishments, we’re moving forward with our plans for a new house! The realtor will be around next week to take pictures, etc. so we’re in serious clean out mode. We’ll be moving extra furniture to my mom’s house (to save on a storage unit for now), and we’re sending as much to Goodwill and posting on Craigslist as possible. The workers will be around the end of the week to complete the carpentry work that needs to be done, and we should be having trees trimmed soon too.

    Here are the rest of our accomplishments for the week. Thank those of you who popped in last week!
    http://liveandsave.blogspot.com/2018/03/frugal-accomplishments-for-third-week.html?_sm_au_=isV6RHQLWRW7nPqd

    Thanks again for such a wonderfully supportive community!

  76. My goodness! I can’t imagine a surgery (of any kind, really) for $4.60! I’m so glad that was all you had to pay, and I wish that was more of us could have a similar experience with healthcare costs. I had a costly robotic surgery four years ago that cost over $150k, and I felt blessed to only pay my yearly deductible of $5,500 for it! Still that was a significant expense, especially sine the surgery was in December and my deductible reset again on January 1. On the flip side, I did buy a dozen organic and free range eggs for $0.99 at our discount grocer last week. It will take a lot of reasonably priced eggs to match your healthcare savings though 😀

  77. Yes, Margaret, you need to up and around and making all those interesting trades and posting good recipes again. Hope it is soon.

  78. I so understand! We are still paying on our daughter’s head injury medical bills. She is worth it, too. We’ll said.

  79. Break is this week and I’m just happy to be home. Other than Easter dinner at my inlaws, it is just doctor checkups. Today I established care with a doctor as I has been seeing a PA. She was great, but I am getting older; however I am blessed to not have any health issues. The new doctor seems quite thorough and the visit is fully covered. My dental cleaning was fully covered as well and no cavities or problems. Next Monday my daughter and I are squeezing in 5 appointments between the two of us. All preventive and all free! My DS had a dental cleaning and has never had a cavity. He will have to have his two wisdom teeth extracted. Extractions should be fully covered on my insurance. I’ll check this week.

    I found a couple pennies, received a dozen eggs, and saw a write-your-own spiral recipe book up for grabs on the faculty room table and brought it home. Looks very useful.

    I had to have my pearls restrung last fall so they wouldn’t break and took them back to the jeweler as they were “stretching” and no longer even. The jeweler will make it right at no cost.

    I did minimal shopping and went to our small town grocery store knowing I needed lettuce and apples. Much to my delight, they were both BOGO! In addition, I also found peanuts on clearance for 87 cents. I’m not sure why they were on discount, but I bought all 12 containers.

    Our local thrift store had brand new shoe laces for a quarter so I bought some for future use. I also found new with tags cloth diapers for 2.00 each and, knowing how expensive they are, I bought all 7. Eventually we will have grandchildren. I used cloth and loved them. They worked for us.

    Thus month and next are expected to be real struggles financially. Some days it is more difficult than others to keep at it, so I truly do appreciate the support I find here!

    Happy spring, frugalers!

  80. Thank you Brandy for your kind words. I have enough wood for us to burn until May so we are all set on that. It still gets down to the upper teens at night but has been getting to around 45 degrees in the afternoon–at least for this week–so I have let the wood boiler die down after lunch and do not restart it until supper. We’ve been a one income family before so I know we can do it again.

  81. My husband took our duaghter’s car to Auto Zone when the check engine light came on, instead of taking it to the mechanic. They run a diagnostic test for free. It turns out it was a simple problem, my husband bought the part and replaced it himself.
    I rode my bike to do errands in town.
    I bought 20# of potatoes for $0.19/lb. I got rain checks for 2 other sale items that were sold out.
    I sewed a patch on the knee of my husband’s jeans.
    We replaced a trim board on our shed. The old one was rotten. We priced wood at Home Depot (after thoroughly looking through what we already had). I nice board was $6, but a fence board of the same size was only $2. We bought that. It was sanded and put up. We painted it and the rest of the trim with exterior paint samples my mother had bought when she was choosing a house color. All the samples were shades of off white. One sample pot was not enough, so we mixed 2 together before starting the trim. That way we didn’t run out of one and have a slight color change part way through.
    It’s been a nice get-things-done sort of week.

  82. The herb garden is in the corner of a large courtyard. Somehow everything wintered over. We have had a cold, rainy, windy winter but not much freezing this year. Your herb garden must have really enhanced the patio area. Ever since I read the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters, I have been entranced by the idea of herb gardens. Also, thank you, Brandy, for your foreign language ideas, which I will look up.

  83. Samantha, my autistic daughter has a lot of medical appointments on a regular basis. We meet with a team at the hospital that includes a social worker, dietician, nurse practitioner, pediatrician, and more that help with her weight and diabetes, a psychiatrist to help with her emotional and behavioural issues, and our GP for medication repeats and any other medical issues that come up. Her eye exams (and some of the cost of her prescription glasses) and dental appointments are also covered through her government disability plan. We seek help through other organizations, like the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Ontario Autism Program as well. We have appointments (often multiple appointments) of one kind or another nearly every single week. The only thing we pay for is parking and if we get a receipt, we can claim some of that with our taxes as part of our medical bills. As for her medications, of the 5 medications she takes, we only pay for 1 because it is new and not on the government list of approved medications yet. We are VERY lucky we live in Canada! I don’t even want to think of what our financial status would be like if we had to pay for it all.

  84. Talk about stress!! I don’t see your “pricy meals through drive-throughs” as falling off the frugal wagon at all. Being able to cope in time of life crisis and do what you need to do to keep everyone fed is part of why we all try to live the frugal life. It sounds like you had the means to do it, even if you would have preferred not to have to, and I say, “well done, you!” There is nothing more stressful and life-disrupting than having a loved one serious ill. I surely hope your great-nephew will continue to heal and that all will be well. Hang in there with the needs all around you and remember to take care of yourself, too, Holly.

  85. TCR March 26, 2018 Thank you for this info and Brandy thank you for letting it be allowed. I got my Daddy’s picture as a 8×10. Could only get him to smile saying it was for his first born grandson since he had just went into a nursing home and not happy about not being in his own home.

  86. Mary, we had similar problem with that restaurant. My husband had received a gift certificate from there for $40 as a Christmas present from a homeowner he had done work for. Not everyone thinks about the fact that we don’t drink alcohol, which also means avoiding places that serve alcohol. So we kind of put off the card but being me I could not see letting $40 go to waste and it was written out to our names. Finally it had been two years and the expiry date was upon us so we decided to order for carryout and carside pickup just to get the whole thing over. It was not impressive and reminded me why I do not like going out to eat.

  87. Stephanie, if you have time to do it, you can take your plain yogurt and let it strain in a sieve lined with cheesecloth. I have never tried it in frosting, though. Cream cheese keeps so well (unopened) that I always try to have a couple or more on hand so I don’t run out.

  88. Thank you. I’ve seen photos today of the little guy in his carseat with a big smile on his face and his big brother (20 mos.) holding his hand on their way home. Whew! PICU in the rearview mirror, the best view of it.

    Mom saw the doctor about her leg today and he said to keep it washed with soap and water and to keep it wrapped. The office gave her some bandaging supplies and the medical assistant suggested Dollar Tree for more gauze and a turkey baster (I had asked about using a spray bottle) to flush the wound. The doctor emphasized the importance of keeping mom’s legs elevated and I think she will be more inclined to follow his instructions than my nagging. She also qualifies for home nurse visits. She hopefully won’t need to arrange for them anytime soon, but knowing the visits are available will make next winter far less stressful for me. Now I just need to get rid of my own chest cold.

  89. I suspect many of you do not have satellite television, yet the comment about learning Swedish prompted me to write. When I was looking for ways to cut my bill, I noticed that Dish Network has international language channel packages, (though not Swedish). Subscribing to one for a month would be a form of immersion in the language and culture. YouTube might have some good programs as well, just to hear the voices. Have a great trip!

  90. Patty, I pray you have a beautiful and blessed Easter. I am so sorry you had to suffer the loss of your son but glad you have a nice way to remember him.

  91. Rhonda, you are certainly lucky to live in your wonderful country! I’m so amazed at how many excellent resources you and your daughter have available to you for her care. The fact that you’re able to seek all these resources for the best quality of life for her is so astounding to me, and I’m so glad for you and your family! I had leukemia as a child, and I know how much my family struggled financially to get the minimum of care (let alone the emotional toll it takes for a care provider). I imagine that not being burdened with financial concerns is one less thing to worry about! Sending good thoughts and prayers your way as you continue caring for your daughter. It sounds like she is a very well-loved and lucky girl!

  92. Wow Becky, you do have a challenge ahead of you. I wish you luck. I enjoyed reading your post about your visit to Eastern Oregon. Have a happy Easter.

  93. That is definitely a challenge. I thought I had a lot to work around. Hubby is allergic to dairy, I can’t have sodium, my oldest is a vegetarian and my youngest has severe reflux.

  94. Thank you! It was a fun trip:). Of course, it’s fun to go somewhere, but to go with JUST my husband…amazing!! Since we have 8 adopted children, and have had them for a span of 32 years (it’s how we have a 37-year-old daughter when we are only mid-50’s), with 3 still living at home, it’s a rare privilege indeed:)

  95. Lisa,

    Sorry to hear about your job loss. You might google P.E.O. International as they have grants for women who need to go back to school for retraining,in case you need that. just a thought…

  96. the cell phone company sent me a bill for $400 as a device fee for my new phone. It was very complicated but after a half hour on the phone, the agent gave me a credit for the whole bill. I find patience and courtesy on the phone really pay off. As I am just out of the hospital, it was a shock to get the bill. I incurred a lot of expenses while in the hospital. I am going bankrupt paying for snow shovelling which I had been doing myself. And to have someone check the house so the insurance is valid. Still, I have been counting my blessings, among which have been great friends.

  97. hi Tammy

    When are you moving to the farm?
    you gave me a smile with your dancing in the kitchen

  98. definitely see an endocrinologist. I will keep you in my prayers, hoping for answers and an ailment that is fixable. Ann

  99. Prayers for you as you celebrate your son’s life with flowers. One of my son’s is chronically ill, so I treasure every day.

  100. Others have posted things that they made which has inspired me to find new recipe ideas. I figure I’m not the only one who enjoys adding some variations to their diet. I’m glad my recipe trials have in turn inspired you as well, Juls Owings.

  101. DD is really surprising us with how openly she is sharing her feelings each time we meet with the CMHA worker. I get the impression most teens are not so willing to talk, thus the gift card incentive. I have a feeling DD is going to really be a leader when she starts attending the group sessions.

  102. My mother is obsessed with watching for robins each spring. Haven’t seen many at all so far, just that one. Must of started flying north before all the rest!

  103. So sorry to hear that you’ve been in hospital – I wondered where you had gone and asked on here if anyone knew what had happened.
    Since you’ve been ill does you city not offer someone to do the shovelling? If you are elderly or disable here there is a way to register with the city (so you don’t get fined). It must have been very worrying.
    I hope things get better for you soon. Take care.

  104. Hi Margie,

    thanks for your thoughts. I had pneumonia (no flu or cold previously just walking pneumonia for a long time) so on my way from doctor’s to xray, I slipped on the ice and broke my right dominant arm. 6 weeks in the cast already with another 6 weeks to go… We still have a ton of snow here – my friend had an avalanche off her roof which damaged
    her eavestroughs. No one hurt, fortunately. you would think we were in an Eastern Canada snowbelt. An epidemic of ice fractures here costing the system a fortune. thanks again

  105. Yes, we Mennonites are known for thrift. Joke: what is a Mennonite ethical dilemma? Free dance lessons (or alternately, free beer).

  106. Elisa, I hope you have a lovely trip to Sweden. I have heard that Scandinavian countries have a very high percentage of English speakers. But it is always good for the brain to learn another language, so good luck.

  107. OUCH! That’s terrible – painful and so awkward. I had shoulder surgery a couple of years ago on my left arm (dominant) and i was about an 8 week recovery. But at least I had time to prepare!

    We’ve had rain for the past few days but may have some flurries on Sunday – although we usually get off easy compared to all around the city. But I would not like to deal with those Maritime Nor Easters! Where exactly do you live?

  108. What a bummer! To break your arm while going from one doctor’s office to the other is just a little much–I’m sure you thought so. I’m sorry you fell and hurt yourself and hope you are mending quickly, and hopefully, the pneumonia is going away as well. You deserve spring! I’m glad it’s looking like it’s going to come at long last around here and where you live, as well I hope:)

  109. Marivene, You brought back a delightful memory of when I lived in Utah and was teaching. We would sing a song about “popcorn popping on the apricot tree.” 🙂

  110. Oh my, Ellie’s Friend, you’ve been through a lot lately. I hope you are on the mend and feeling better. So sorry to hear of all the extra expenses you’ve had to incur as a result as well. Glad you have some good friends willing to help you out a bit.

  111. Believe it or not I live in usually arid Calgary. As I write this, it is snowing. the alleys are so full of ice ruts, it is impossible to get the cars along there. I was scared climbing over a snowbank from the cab to the sidewalk. I did something to the arm and it is now really hurting so I could use prayers that it is not dislocated. It is dislocated slightly but was setting well. so I hope it is still good. Please pray!

  112. Yes, Becky, I thought it was a little much. It is a spiral fracture so it will take a long time to heal. On the positive side, the pneumonia was treated right away at the hospital as opposed to waiting a few days until an xray came back.

  113. thank you for your wishes. My budget will recover once it stops snowing. but it is snowing again…!!!!

  114. It could really have been worse — as I was catapaulted in the air, I saw a brick wall come close to my head so I
    pushed my body away from the wall thus saving my head but breaking my arm. well, a blessing in roundabout way. Next time I hope to stick the landing and go for the gold…

  115. Thank you for your ideas on this, Heidi Louise and Athanasia. Yes, I did read that English is frequently spoken except not so much in the smaller villages. My husband’s cousins do speak English quite fluently. We will be heading off the beaten path to find some of the places our ancestors came from. I think I am going to make up some index cards for the basics.

  116. Thank you! When we travel to the other side of Oregon, it feels like we are in another country, the scenery and climate is SO different than where we live on the mild side of the state. I enjoyed the view out of the car window, and the visit with my friend was amazing!

  117. Becky, I grew up in western Oregon (Portland) and my DH is from eastern Oregon (Burns) and it is truly a world apart! You can take the boy out of eastern Oregon, but you can’t take eastern Oregon out of the boy! LOL

  118. Water is very costly in San Diego. I let my lawn die in the front yard. It is good sized amount of dirt. I found a lil electronic rototiller online for $90.00. One month of not water my lawn will pay for it. Now it looks nice and neat tilled up with furrows. I use my gray water for lawn in my backyard. My husband didn’t want hoses in the front yard. ~smile~

  119. Oh , the leeks would be so good in soups. I had good success last year with growing swiss chard. I used this for stir fry and for soups as well. I also grew rainbow swiss chard which was pretty in the garden. I have never grown leeks but I think I will try this year. 🙂

  120. Thank you. I love Easter and the hope that the Lord brings. I also love Spring~ which brings new life , buds on the trees and birds singing. Each year in my yard, I always plant a flower garden for my son ~ just for him. I have a plaque for his garden that says ” Josh’s Secret Garden” ~ the new life from seeds to flowers from God always brings me smiles 🙂

  121. Thank you~ I am praying for your son ~ cherish each precious day and rest in HIM knowing that God is with you as HE was and still is with me~ His peace that goes beyond our understanding. I am so thankful for this.

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