Larkspur in May The Prudent Homemaker

I cut larkspur from the garden for my table.

Desert Gold Peaches The Prudent Homemaker

We picked peaches from our Desert Gold peach tree. We ate lots of peaches this week; I made fruit salads and peach clafoutis.

I sliced and froze peaches from the garden for us to eat later in the year.

We picked a few white alpine strawberries from the white garden.

I cut Swiss chard from the garden.

I also found some powdery mildew in the garden, which I combatted by spraying with Neem oil (an organic spray for bugs and mildew).

The warmer it is, the more bugs that are out. I sprayed the foundation of the house with bug spray that I had bought a couple of years back for $5 at Walmart. Most people here pay a monthly fee for a service to come out and spray their home, which is around $25-$35 a month. I find that I can spray less than a full bottle and it lasts for several months to keep the bugs down.

I made cheesecake. I cooked pinto beans in the crockpot and made burritos

I bought some more strawberries for $0.99 a pound, bought tomatoes for $0.88 a pound, and bought eggs for $0.77 a dozen.

I donated several items to the thrift store. While I was there, I bought a couple of clothing items for my daughter. I also bought a linen blouse for myself ($3) and an everyday dress for myself ($6).

I resisted the urge to buy things three times this past week, instead deciding to make do with what I had at home.

Larkspur in May 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I made and sent some homemade gifts along with my foreign exchange student home to his family (who are my friends).

What did you do to save money last week?




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  1. Didn’t do much to save money this week. I just wanted to say that my son William has been called to the Nevada, Las Vegas mission.

  2. LOVE that table display! You always inspire me!

    Here are my frugal accomplishments for the past week:
    – Borrowed my parents’ juicer to juice a bag of limes that I bought on sale
    – Made homemade mayo to use in my smashed-chickpea-salad sandwiches for my work lunches. For the sandwiches, I used my homemade potato bread that I baked and froze last week as well, and the sandwiches are sooooo yummy! Also quite inexpensive!
    – Redeemed swagbucks for a $5 Amazon gift card, taking advantage of a 10% discount, twice.
    – Prepared some stir-fried seasoned pepper slices, and put them in the freezer. The next time I made pizza, I’ll add them, along with the leftover chevre from a cheeseboard on Mother’s Day, and made a different sort of pizza. I use my super-duper easy pizza dough recipe, which freezes well (
    – Repotted some of my radish plants in a larger pot so that they can grow deeper, and planted zucchini, peas, and lettuce.
    – Made some fun emoticon cookies! ( I didn’t have a back-to-front or top-down dehydrators like the pros use (to get shiny icing), so I hacked my inexpensive dehydrator to get the same effect. I also used meringue powder in the icing that I bought using a 50% off Michael’s coupon several years ago, and icing sugar that I bought in bulk. The food markers were purchased using an Amazon giftcard from Swagbucks. And of course the flour and butter for the cookies I only buy when it’s a loss leader. Essentially, really fun cookies for a very frugal price! I ended up giving the emo cookies to a colleague who is going through a tough time. Made her smile! With the same batch of cookies, I also gave some to a friend who hosted a games night (her name in scrabble tiles), as well as my sister and my mum.
    – Made a list of meals in our house for the DH, while I’m away for the weekend. This way he knows there are healthy meals available and won’t eat unhealthy foods or fast food. He’s actually a really good cook, but generally can’t be bothered to cook, so my fridge and freezer foods, like homemade yoghurt with homemade granola, prepped salad and homemade dressing, frozen homemade burritos, and frozen homemade lasagna will come in handy!
    – Used the last of my chilled-in-the-fridge tulip bulbs and re-used my dollar store stones in an old Ikea vase, to grow some springtime flowers for a centrepiece.
    – Bought a tomato seedling at a farmer’s market, along with some organic rhubarb. The rhubarb cost about the same as conventially grown rhubarb in a grocery store, so I was pleased to buy organic and support a local farmer at the same time, without paying above what I’d normally pay.
    – I priced out 5-gallon planters in different places. I want to transfer my sweet potato plants to 5-gallon planters, along with my tomato plant (sweet million). I’ve checked local gardening stores and nurseries, along with the dollar store and Amazon. I ended up ordering from Amazon, and used my swagbucks to offset the cost. I only spent $11.31 for 5 5-gallon buckets! I really do need to transfer my sweet potato plants from the large terracotta pot that I have them in right now. For one, the pot won’t allow the potatoes to grow very large, and also, the zucchini seeds that I planted weeks ago and thought were a dud, appear to have just been slow to germinate (likely I planted too soon) and are now fighting the sweet potatoes for growing space.
    – I made stewed rhubarb which I LOVE and will enjoy in homemade yoghurt, over ice cream, or just on its own. I hope to plant rhubarb next year and grow my own!
    – I made strawberry limeade for my husband as he is trying to cut down on his iced tea intake and we ran out of the water flavour drops he usually uses. I mixed some lime juice and homemade strawberry jam with water – voila, strawberry limeade!
    – I had some egg whites leftover from the vanilla pastry cream I made last week. I dislike egg whites unless they’re used in baking, and I didn’t have any icing sugar to make meringues, so I mixed up an omelet using chopped sweet peppers and some leftover frozen mozzarella. I served it with toasted potato bread (homemade, from the freezer). The DH initially declined it, but when I plated it and placed it on the table, he ate it and enjoyed it. No food waste – whoohoo!
    – Made my own ice cream sandwiches! I bought chocolate chip cookies and ice cream on sale, placed a scoop of ice cream between two cookies, wrapped them individually in plastic wrap, and froze them.

    And that’s my week! Looking forward to learning from everyone else!

  3. I love reading your posts! I also donated a few boxes to our local thrifty shopper. I made several trips to the store to use some coupons. And started a meal planner to budget and save more.

  4. Wow, so many peaches! How many trees did they come from?

    We are in Arizona, and if we don’t have monthly pesticide treatments, we have many scorpions in our house. What is the name of the spray that you use? Is it still available at Walmart? We’re tired of paying the monthly exterminator fee, but I really don’t want scorpions in the house.

  5. Just one tree, my Desert Gold peach. It’s always ripe in May as it’s a low-chill tree.

    I used Spectraide’s Bug Stop. I bought it a few years ago and the price is probably higher now. It comes in a big huge bottle with a sprayer attached. I spray in the evening and the next morning you can see all the dead bugs. My parents use several bottles at once but I just use less than one at a time; it depends if you want to spray your cinder block walls too. I bought a bunch of bottles because they said they use three, but I only ended up using part of a bottle (which is why I still had some spray left). We’ve had scorpions before too. I usually spray about twice a year in the warmer months.

  6. The past week has been a little rough. My husband and I received a large bill that we were not expecting. So we are buckling down and purchasing items that we need, not want. I was able to purchase groceries for our family of 6 with $55 in cash. The rest of the items we had at home, thank goodness for lots of meat in the freezer and canned items in the pantry. There’s been a lot of things I would like to buy, but they are wants not needs.

  7. Hi Brandy,
    Your larkspur looks so pretty in the blue and white vases. I just love the color combination. The peaches look so good as well. Such of an abundance to enjoy~ looks refreshing and yummy. We do not have peaches avaiIable yet in our stores. I hadn’t heard of Neem oil for mildew and bugs. Thank you for posting the information about this. I need to look for this too. I tried to cook chick peas in my crock pot yesterday and they did not do very well~ still hard after 24 hours both on high and low heat. Very disappointing so I will not use this for tonight’s dinner. I had a chicken breast in my freezer and ingredients in my storage pantry to make your museum salad. So thankful for your recipe~ 🙂 I was trying to make an Indian dish from the chick peas for tonight and had also put a can of tomatoes into the pot with seasonings thinking these will cook well. Still, the peas did not cook and they are hard. Maybe I should have just boil them. I love to cook pinto beans in the crock pot too! 🙂
    We have cut back on several things this last month. I had a gall bladder surgery and needed to stay home pretty much and we didn’t need to spend much money except for prescriptions and some light foods. After 2 weeks, my husband took me to an outing at Snoqualmie Falls in Wa where the falls were overflowing from so much rain that we’ve had this year. If interested, you can see the over flowing falls on Youtube titled “Snoqualmie Falls is raging”~ 2 months ago. This is pretty much what we saw too. Such an amazing view and we enjoyed the cool mist on our faces as well. This was a perfect outing to get me out of the home, and walking again a bit. This week I am doing so much better with energy. I have cooked all meals from home except 2 where we had an inexpensive lunch out and shared a meal. I found that I cannot eat sauces very well yet like from the Chinese food~ so next time I will just order stir fry without sauce.
    We started to work on our garden this weekend which is about 3 weeks late however the sun is finally shinning here in the NW and it’s the perfect timing for us. We plan to plant next weekend~ so excited!! Spring warm weather is finally here and I am enjoying flowers in bloom and the birds singing. Sometimes I just sit in the quiet to take in God’s music~
    I cut my own hair for the summer and repurposed some of last year’s clothing for this summer. I made home made organic doggy food which costs me about $6.00 / month to feed our sweet rescue. I just package it up in small packages and freeze. Tomorrow I plan to make my monthly large batch of spaghetti sauce that I will also put in medium freezer bags to freeze and use for a month of meals and homemade pizzas. We rented the movie “LaLa Land” from Red box for only $1.50 to enjoy. We will be going on staycations here in the area for Summer since the weather will be nice. There are so many places to visit in nature here, both mountains and beaches . We decided to take a picnic basket to each day trip and not eat out so I’ve been searching on line for fun picnic foods and games to play when we are out. I had bought a very nice picnic basket recently from an antique shop for $5.00.
    Have a wonderful week~
    Bless you, Patty from the NW

  8. I used scrap fabrics to make coasters as house gifts for people we will be visiting over the holiday weekend, and some for our daughters, as well. We are making ever more inventive meals to use what we have and not go shopping before we go away, as that can lead to temptation to buy perishables, which would be likely to perish while we are away! I found three fabrics in my fabric stash that will work for a modern quilt guild paint chip challenge quilt, instead of going to the fabric store. One of the fabrics will be from an old blouse of my Mother-in-Law that she no longer uses!

  9. Your floral arrangements are so beautiful, and your peaches look so delicious!

    This week I took several free, self-guided tours around my neighborhood to enjoy the cacti and succulent flowers, which are so vibrant in color! The roses in many different colors were also abundant everywhere. What a spectacular sight!

    I made up a couple of free nature toys for our grandchildren. The first one is a set of cracked eggshell spinners. I washed the shells in soapy water and removed the membranes. After letting dry, I made swirls, spirals and designs inside the shells with a non toxic marker. When spun like a top, they twirl for a long time. Each spins differently, depending on how the shells are cracked. Children can draw their own designs. They have contests to see which shell spins the longest, which has the prettiest design, the most radical spinner, etc. After the shells have seen their days, I just crush and compost them.

    I found another free nature toy on said neighborhood walk. There were so many huge maple seeds on the sidewalk after a windstorm. I picked up about 50 with unbroken wings. I call them copter seeds. Our grandchildren love to throw them in the air and watch them twirl to the ground. They have contests to see how many will land in a bowl. The children always love the nature toys, and their more expensive toys sit on the sidelines after a few weeks.

    Have a wonderful frugal week, everyone! Thank you to Brandy!

  10. Very little spending this week, due to lack of funds! I bought a small bag of potatoes and a small bottle of canola oil to keep me going until the end of the month, and 5 litres (think quarts) of gas for the lawn mower. The fridge freezer and pantry are serving me well, with plenty of well-balanced and tasty meals.

    The weather finally turned to nice spring/summer days, so I’ve been out in the yard. The landfill is having two weeks of free disposal of tree branches and grass clippings and leaves to reduce the risk of wildfires in the county. (We are not very far from last year’s terrible fire in Fort McMurray.) I’ve been focusing on pruning and getting the first cut of grass done to take advantage of this. I’ve used the mulching function on my lawnmower, though, so there isn’t much in the way of grass clippings or leaves to dispose of from this year.

    I worked an extra 5 hour shift this holiday weekend.

  11. I think it’s great that you mention when you DIDN’T buy things! Sometimes that’s the best way to be frugal!
    I redeemed points I collected on my Shopkicks app for a $50 Target gift card. I used part of it to buy a collection of nesting Rubbermaid containers I’ve been wanting. Now my container cupboard is tidy and I didn’t spend a dime!
    Tomorrow I will drop off a carload of donations to a local church rummage sale. And donors get to pre-shop, so I’ll have my list!
    Thanks for the inspiration, Brandy!

  12. 1. We did quite a bit of thrift store shopping this last week. My son needed a tie and dress shirt for his graduation. My college daughter needed clothing for a trip to the West Coast. My other daughter and I needed some summer clothing. We found multiple new with tags on items and several at half price. I spent 30.00 for 12 items.
    2 . I recently destroyed my cell phone. I have patiently waited a month for a good deal. The same company that I had offered 6 months of free service if you brought your own phone. I bought one for 59.00 on Amazon. Savings is 180.00 for 6 months of free service.
    3 . The really mild weather here has made it so easy to keep our AC off. I cannot stand the heat so this has made me very happy.
    4 . Couponing provides us with most everything we need. I need to stop buying for awhile and eat down our chest freezer. Meanwhile I will save my budgeted grocery money and hope to stock up on a good Days in meat order next time I see one.
    4 . I need to re evaluate how I cook meals. We are having food waste. I am thinking now that the children are young college adults I need to simplify. Maybe only one big meal a week with leftovers. Homemade pizza , soup and sandwiches and a breakfast for dinner. I have been cooking a pot of beans each week. I am surprised at how high they are. But, they easily repurpose into a second meal for me.
    5 . I continue to make a needs and wants list to follow. I keep a list of all online offers I try in order to cancel things in a timely manner.
    6 . I go back to school in 10 days. I should have my nursing license in August. This old lady worked hard for this new career. My old brain does not learn as well as it did 50 years ago. I also paid my tuition with cash. I bought shoes, watch and scrubs at Amazon with Swagbucks giftcards.

  13. Hi Brandy,

    Not sure if you’ll know the answer but can I substitute the flour in peach clafoutis with pancake mix? I have a bag about to go bad.

  14. My husband got a job! Hopefully this one will last until winter (construction).

    We had to replace the floor in our back room. We did it ourselves with the help of my parents and it only cost us $300 from the floor joists out.

    Made frugal meals and had all meals at or from home.

    Attended a birthday party for a little girl turning 8. I sewed her a tiny doll with extra clothes (the clothes were stored in an altoids tin), a long skirt, and a felted wool purse with a needle felted design on the front. All items from my stash of craft supplies and patterns I already owned so $0 out of pocket for a nice gift.

    Made up my meal plan and grocery list for June so that I can shop in the next week or so. Double checked the contents of my refrigerators, freezers, and pantry first.

  15. Hi Brandy:

    This was a pretty frugal week for us. My husband built two more raised beds for our garden. We finally put in tomatoes, squash, cantelope and many other vegetables. I bought three rose bushes on military appreciation day at my local florist. They are planted and for the first time this year, I’ve had a small bouquet from MY yard.

    I made homemade granola for our end of the year church breakfast for the Sunday School teachers. It was your recipe and received a lot of compliments! I made two skirts for my girls. You can see them here:
    Have a good week!

  16. Just thought I would share another organic treatment for powdery mildew. 1/3 cup milk (doesn’t matter what kind. I used enough powdered to make 1/3 cup) and 2/3 cup water. Put in a spray bottle and spray in full sun after the morning dew has dried off the leaves. It worked amazingly well. I really didn’t need a whole cup and so I froze the milk mixture for later use (labeled of course).

  17. What beautiful larkspur! It makes me think of when I was younger, when I’d collect lilacs to put on the table.

    Here are our frugal accomplishments for the week:

    * I made bean soup using white beans, some frozen celery, onions, carrots, a ham bone, some dehydrated potato shreds, a splash of lemon juice, and spices. I based it off of Noreen’s Kitchen’s recipe. It actually turned out quite delicious, and made a huge pot for about $3.

    * I tried making crepes for the first time using your recipe, Brandy. They turned out quite well! (Though I do need to work on my technique!) I’ve been eating them with ham/cheese and butter/raspberry preserves.

    * I stopped by Aldi to pick up a few things- we’re hosting some friends on Wednesday, so I needed a few ingredients for that, plus I picked up some diapers and wipes for my friend’s baby shower.

    * I found joy in the large amount of rain we’ve had over the last week- rain is so soothing, and I love listening to the patter on the windows! I also unplugged several electronics when we had a thunderstorm, in case of any surges, but that was not necessary. The only unfortunate thing about the weather is that it’s been too cold to introduce my seedlings outside yet.

    * I played some video games that I had purchased a long time ago and not played, which provided me plenty of now-free entertainment!

    * My boyfriend and I spent time cleaning the apartment together in preparation for showings. It seems like an odd way to have quality time, but we put on some good music and cleaned in adjacent rooms, which helped keep both of us motivated.

    I hope everyone else is having a good week!

  18. Oh how I wish I could have flowers in the house!!! They are so incredibly uplifting to me – both the smell and the beauty. But, I have 5 very naughty cats and a hubby with severe pollen allergies so I have to enjoy them outside.

  19. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . Lovely to hear Brandy that you have been able to get lovely produce at good prices and clothing as well.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments –

    Purchases –
    – Bought DH a new electric toothbrush on a 30% off special saving $13.50.
    – Purchased two pairs of snow boots, one pair for each of us, for around a third of the normal prices around here saving around $120.

    Financial –
    – So far this month we have banked 38.46% of our after tax incomes into saving for our home with cash. Although this is a lower amount than we usually bank we are happy as we paid a drivers licence renewal for 5 years for me, paid the electricity bill, paid the phone and internet bill and purchased a months worth of groceries too.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made a quadruple batch of granola.
    – Made a batch of scone, muffin and pancake mix for the fridge.
    – Made a batch of magic mix for puddings and white sauces for the fridge.

    In the garden –
    – Picked strawberries and cherry tomatoes from the gardens.

    Medical –
    – DH had a month’s worth of medications put on one script saving us $69.30 over purchasing them separately. We live and learn new ways of saving money each and every week.

    Water preservation –
    – Used saved grey water to hand water the lawns with around the home without using any town water.
    – Missed a scheduled garden watering saving around 90lts of town water after it rained.

    Electricity preservation –
    – Used water heated on our slow combustion fireplace to make hot chocolates and wash dishes with.
    – Steamed our vegetables in a small triple layer steamer without using any electricity.
    – Warmed our home with wood sourced and cut by us for free apart from a small amount of petrol and chain bar oil use.
    – Used our solar lanterns that were charged using sunlight to light our home at night rather than turning on any mains powered lights.

  20. Brandy, you mentioned a thrifted linen blouse. I find many beautiful linen items at thrift stores. I think it is because many people don’t iron anymore, but I don’t mind ironing. I found a beautiful JJIll aqua linen maxi dress at my church’s thrift store a couple of weeks ago for $3.20, and happily wore it to church last week.

    My daughter harvested carrots and green onions from her little garden, and we use fresh herbs every week.

    One of my favorite luxuries is to take a long bath with a handful of Epsom salts, a handful of baking soda, and about 10 drops of essential oil. I buy bags of Epsom salts at $1 a lb., and large economy boxes of baking soda. It relaxes the muscles, and is supposed to detox the body as well. I often do a face mask while I’m there.

  21. Nice haul on the peaches! They look so delicious, too. I love the blue and white vases you used on your table. Did you get them from a yard sale, Brandy? They’re so pretty! I hope your exchange student had a wonderful time during his visit. Will one of your children be going to France on an exchange as well in the future?

    Life has been super crazy around here for weeks now. I finally opted for some down time today (our Victoria day holiday Monday). We just finished our week long training/orientation at work, but will now start training our new staff in the various historic buildings in the village. DD also has 2 medical appointments this week. No rest for the wicked! Anyways, this week, our frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included spaghetti with choice of meat or tomato sauce, chicken fingers with corn and choice of potato wedges or sweet potato fries, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with potato chips, chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, white rice and green beans, and BBQ steak (made by DH who is a cook and grills them to perfection) with loaded baked potatoes and Caesar salad.
    *Leftover treats from DD’s bowling banquet were eaten up this week as dessert and bagged lunch treats.
    *Received some free rhubarb from the gardens at work. It was chopped and frozen for later use.
    *Reconstruction of our badly deteriorated back deck was completed this week, which looks amazing (even if it did cost a bit more than first expected). Unfortunately, very little of the wood was salvageable to reuse for making raised garden beds. So we are looking at alternative ways to build them. We are currently looking at the cost of using materials that won’t rot out over time, but wooden railway ties are still a possibility, due to cost. At minimum, my mom and I will work on rebuilding the garden bed below the deck and creating a new flower garden in the front yard this summer.
    *I snapped some pictures of a beautiful fox that has been hunting in our neighbourhood recently. It has been coming out of the old, unused farmer’s field/wooded area our property backs onto, through our back yard, then onto the adjacent properties. One morning we even witnessed it grab a squirrel off a tree across the road from us, then head off into the woods with it’s meal. Don’t see that every day! Just one more reason our beloved cats are safely kept indoors.
    *Attended a “Celebration of Life” for my co-worker who passed away last month from injuries sustained from a horseback riding accident. It was beautifully done, with not a dry eye to be found. As a bonus, I enjoyed catching up with a number of former colleges who also returned to say goodby to our beloved Museum Specialist.
    *Attended a free showing of the movie, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, with my daughter through Autism Ontario. We received a $10 gift card for the theatre, which I used towards the purchase popcorn and drinks (I’ve never been able to go to the movies without getting popcorn). It was OK for a kids movie, but I’m glad I didn’t pay full price to see it at the movie theatre.
    *Not so frugal: We took DD and her 2 friends out for dinner (Taco Bell), then to a movie for DD’s 14th birthday. Grandma and Nana tagged along too. My husband splurged and let them play the arcade games at the theatre. The night out was pricey, but they all had a wonderful time. We don’t do parties every year, since DD struggles with friendships (some years their just wasn’t anyone to invite). As a mom, it was so heart warming to see her forming real, solid friendships with girls her age. Definitely worth the cost!

    It may take me all week to read everyone’s comments, but I will get through them. I really do enjoy reading what everyone is up to and ways they found to be frugal. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

  22. What a lovely gift! Little girls seem to love little dolls that have their own things. I wonder how you got the idea.

  23. Patty,
    Beans (and chickpeas) will stay hard if there is any salt in the water. They will never soften. The canned tomatoes would have added salt. I added salt to the water the first time I cooked beans and had the same problem. A friend told me the problem and I’ve been good ever since. Next time, add the tomatoes and seasonings after the beans are completely done cooking.

  24. I think it’s between ironing and shrinking linen items; I’ve found a lot of shrunken linen clothing. I tried on a second linen blouse but it had shrunk too much and didn’t work for me, or I would have bought it too.

    Where do you get such a nice price on espom salts? I use them in the garden but they always seem to be higher priced than that.

  25. I bought the vases brand-new at a yard sale last year from a man who had closed down his store. They were $3 each. I’m looking for more blue and white vases and ginger jars at yard sales; I know they can run hundreds of dollars each, but I like finding the inepensive ones for just a couple of dollars.

  26. Brandy, the photos this week are lovely! I look forward to Monday each week to see what is ripening in your garden and what flowers are on display. Thank you for the pictures. My frugal list for last week:

    -Continued to move major appliance usage to off peak electricity hours
    -met the week’s goal for only spending $25 on groceries and sundries!
    -continued to make meals off the May list (meals i can make from existing pantry and freezer items)
    -made two batches of soups, freezing portions for later use.
    -made a batch of corn bread muffins, freezing most for later use. Since there are only two of us, the freezer is a wonderful tool!
    -made a loaf of whole wheat bread in my bread machine, sliced and froze most for later use.
    -enjoyed the lovely weather in Phoenix, knowing last week was the last time we will see below 100 degree days until October ;(

  27. During this past week, it finally dried out enough to get the rest of the garden planted. The seeds I planted during the last dry spell did come up, so I was delighted to see that. A few things from the very earliest planting are getting ready. I picked some radishes and lettuce, and used some of the leaves from the spinach that was bolting, but those leaves were still good in the salad.

    We did a lot of cooking last weekend and pretty much warmed things up all week for lunches and dinners. Now, the fridge is getting a bit bare–it was tuna melts for dinner thanks to my husband who was thinking creatively. Because we plan to camp for Memorial Day weekend, I hope to keep it pretty bare this week, and instead buy some camping food. I have freezers full of food–I just need to defrost something every couple of days and cook it up.

    I wrote the rest on my blog:

  28. Check Craigslist for people that are getting rid of wooden swing sets. We took down my sisters old swing set and my husband used some of the wood to make me a beautiful garden box. We have a ton more wood that he wants to make some planters out of.

  29. I made a list of my frugal accomplishments and I lost the list…lol. My child’s paycheck from his employer bounced. It was for two weeks and so it was substantial for him. It is a moving company that is in several states, so there is no excuse. I went to the employer’s bank with him and the bank even called the employer. We have started the process required in our state for an arrest on a bad check. In the meantime, I gave my son the amount of money his paycheck would have been for, because I did not want him to do without, since this was not his fault. I think that is one of the reasons why we try to be frugal, to help out when we can. I cut back on buying supplies this month because of this, and I am making do with what I have. I told him to quit that company immediately, and he did, and he had a backup part time job elsewhere so he has increased his hours there, whoever he just started there two days prior, so he will not receive a paycheck from there for some time. Otherwise, I cut more limbs in my yard, using a manual saw. It took me several hours, off and on, but I was able to accomplish the goal and drug the limbs to the edge of yard, for the city to pick up. The saw was borrowed and I got free exercise. I had some crackers that were stale, and I crisped them up in the oven. I made a delicious soup with leftover chicken, tomatoes and carrots. All air and heat is off, and my power bill was under $60 dollars. I hope it is even less next month, because I also unplugged the unit. It has rained significantly here all night, and that has helped to keep things cool, in the 70’s and low 80’s. Hope everyone has a great week!

  30. Rhonda, just a word of caution on railway ties; they may be treated with preservative chemicals that would inhibit or harm your plants. Check first before using them, please.

  31. Now I’m hungry for fresh peaches. I’m excited that blueberry season is almost here — picking starts in less than two weeks at a local organic farm. Our 2 bushes got hit with the late frost, but we’ll get a handful off of them, I think.
    We are finally getting some rain, but we need more. However, what we’ve had has been good for our veggies and berries we have planted, and my husband is starting more plants from seed to put out.
    Unfortunately, I live in the country and still pay for a pest control service. I hate using poisons around the house, but when termites, fleas, fire ants, sugar ants, roaches, silverfish and scorpions abound, it’s hard to keep them out without it, and spraying for myself has not worked. The good news is that if I see bugs between the 6 yearly visits, they will come back out at no charge, which they did just this week.
    I filled my five gallon pail with my homemade laundry detergent, did several handyman type tasks around the house without using a handyman, froze leftovers for later, cut up sale-priced bananas and froze them for my husband’s morning smoothies, and I’m just waiting for a dry day to pick herbs to dry in my dehydrator. I love the smell in the house while they dry, so I get that as a bonus.
    Like Brandy, I also didn’t spend money when I could have…. 1. I didn’t buy groceries I don’t need just because they looked tempting, 2. I didn’t spend the Amazon gift card I got for Mother’s Day yet, because I don’t need anything right now, 3. I didn’t buy anything at the thrift stores because I found nothing I needed.

  32. Brandy, the larkspur looks great. I planted some last year that came up, but only a few. Now that you’re on Instagram and can post video (like you did of your son)…would love to see little mini videos of your garden. 🙂

    Frugal accomplishments:
    ~Since we became debt free in April ($137K of consumer debt, not including our mortgage), we were able to put $2000 into savings.
    ~Cooked all meals from scratch and working my way through the freezer.
    ~Made a double batch of spaghetti pie, one that we ate and one that I froze for another week (2 meals from the same amount of time it takes to make 1 meal).
    ~Made homemade yogurt.
    ~Made homemade bread.
    ~Hubby changed the oil on one of our cars.
    ~Hubby patched a flat tire on our lawn tractor.

  33. Your peaches look so good! And I love the idea of putting a cloth under the flower arrangement — I can see that would make it easier to collect the petals as they fall, and I had never thought of that before.
    We had a spell of five days with very cold weather (down to 20 degrees F at night and 2 feet of snow) and that had us scrambling to save the garden. The raised beds had hoops over them, so we covered these in plastic and ran Christmas lights (the old-fashioned kind with big bulbs that get hot) among the plants. In the greenhouse, we used a propane heater we bought at a rummage sale two years ago for $2. I put glass mixing bowls over my two artichoke plants in the flower bed. I’m happy to say that after all that, we only lost two of the tomato plants that were on the very edge of one of the beds.
    My friend and I went to Seattle for the weekend — a planned trip, though certainly not a frugal one. But she and I are both good at watching our pennies, so we only ate out one lunch, one breakfast and one dinner all weekend. We bought nuts and fruit and granola bars for the other meals, ate dinner leftovers one day, walked pretty much everywhere we went, and used public transportation other times. She lives in another state, so we only see each other a couple times a year, so we treasure our time together.
    My husband got a new pair of glasses from Zenni Optical — $75 compared to over $300 he would have paid at the eye doctor.
    I protested a charge on my credit card and got it removed.

  34. Brandy, The peaches look wonderful. We won’t see them here in New England until August. We are getting ready for strawberries in a couple of weeks. I have never canned no added sugar jam before but I thought I might try my hand at it this year. Have you ever tried this?

  35. Ooooh, your peaches look delicious! We have some on our trees, but they’re not yet ready to harvest.

    It’s been a mixed bag here in terms of frugality/expenses. May is always crazy for us, and this year we also had an unexpected car expense. Fortunately, I have a “car expenses” line item in our savings account, so we could cover the cost.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Celebrated Mother’s Day at home with food prepared by the guys. (Those scouting skills are paying off. ;))

    * Paid bills online.

    * Used a coupon to get an anniversary card for 50% off.

    * Used money from our savings “car account” for a necessary repair.

    * Collected more items for our next yard sale.

    * Made bread.

    * Found some school items for son in our “stash” instead of buying things.

    * Accepted produce for our chickens.

    * Son needed a large, very colorful mock yearbook printed for school. We chose to have it printed at the university because hubs could use his faculty discount. It turned out much better (and cheaper!) than it would have had we done it at home.

    * Harvested green onions, lettuce, and a tiny bit of broccoli and made a huge salad.

    * Used a coupon to get a discount on our anniversary dinner (and had leftovers for another meal).

    * Bought birthday gifts for son and hubs online and used ebates (free shipping and a little cash back).

    * Bought a big bag of dried black beans instead of canned ones.

    * Walked the dog for exercise.

    * Collected eggs from our hens.

    Frugal Fails:

    * Eating out way too much. :p

    Joyful Blessings/Celebrations:

    * Mother’s Day

    * Our 30th anniversary

    * Son’s academic successes

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  36. We have been framing an area of the unfinished part of our basement to build a locking walk-in closet. We will use it to store all the items that will not travel with us next summer but need to be put away while we rent our house to a vacationing tenant. (We live near Yellowstone National Park.) We are waiting for the city to inspect our improvement.

    We had several parties and cook outs to attend for the end of a four year class I completed and the end of the bell choir season. I made lots of chocolate covered pretzels with various sprinkles because I had chocolate coating I bought for 80% off right after Christmas that needed to be used. I also made peanut butter cheesecake brownies and a green salad to take to these parties.

    We are leaving soon for an 11 day trip to Yosemite, King’s Canyon, Sequoia and Great Basin National Parks. We will tow our little teardrop camper and stay in it each night. It weighs 700 lbs. and is basically a rolling bed with storage and a galley area. We can pull it with a vey mature (2005) Subaru Forester that gets about 28 mpg. when towing.

  37. Lillianna, congratulations on working on the nursing degree. We have a number of nurses among family members and they all are happily employed. My middle daughter is an R.N.

    With college students I still cooked the same. The most I had at home at one time was 3 in college and 2 still in high school. They used all the leftovers up for lunches, meals at odd times due to their schedules so the food was still used even if they did not all sit down and eat with us.

  38. C, if it is approaching its expiry date I would put the box into a ziploc then store in the refrigerator or freezer and take out as needed.

  39. Lorna, don’t laugh, OK? But do you get snow in Australia? I have never been there but all pictures I see look like a more tropical to desert type climate.

  40. Sarah, that pattern is so cute. I see there is a coat/hat/satchel set also. A nightdress would be nice too.

  41. Hi Athanasia no not a silly question at all 🙂 and part of a learning curve.

    Australia does get snow from Tasmania , Victoria to Southern and northern gets snow occasionally. It has even snowed at Ayres Rock once on Christmas day. This is mainly on Eastern Seaboard of Australia.

    We live in an area where it snows about every 5 years around 30 mins south of us and anywhere in elevations where you are around 500mts above sea level. Our cottage is located on a mountain plateau about 500mts above sea level so do get snow occasionally here and it does reach -11oC here in winter and we really love our slow combustion wood fireplace. We do welfare work with our church that quite often requires us to go into areas that have snow.

    Our feet are now going to be really toasty warm when the weather gets down below 0oC which is quite regular here along with frosts.

    I hope this helps.

  42. The flowers are beautiful. The peaches look delicious.

    The big news this week is twofold:
    1. I tried to make Rhubarb Lemonade (which I had never heard of until Margaret mentioned it in the comments last week) and it was fantastic. I used this recipe:

    2. This is the BIG save. Probably one of the biggest of our life. We are probably going to be selling our house within the next year. We had some renovations that we thought we needed to do in order to get the sale price we would hope for (in addition to the multiple projects we have already done to the house). We had an estimate and specs for the renovation. Before going ahead or committing to anything, we contacted the realtor we want to use who came to our house. We went over our plans with him but did not tell him what we were hoping to get for our house. His response was: Why do you want to renovate? Your house is already worth X amount.” This was the BEST news. He estimated that the renovations were not necessary for what we are looking to do. He said to just paint the kitchen, replace the countertop, add a backsplash and call it a day. This is sooo much less stress and literally tens of thousands of dollars less than what we were thinking we would have to do in order to sell our house. I am so happy. This is a major stress off my plate. It is SO relieving. He also said that they would come and do pictures of our house in the summer, even though we are not planning on listing until 2018 – in order to have the best photos. This was so worth the phone call. Doing our research here really helped us.

    Have a great week everyone : )

  43. Rhonda – My Dad picked up a load of warped, unmatched composite decking boards in all different lengths for free. I have used all of them up to make several of my planter boxes – they won’t need replacing for many years!

  44. Great Basin is gem, in part because there typically aren’t any crowds. We had mule deer walk right through our campsite while we were eating breakfast. I have never seen so many stars in my life. Enjoy your trip!

  45. 28 mpg?! WOW…..Our “bus” (converted retirement home shuttle bus) gets about 12 when pulling the 24 ft weekender boat :/ Of course, it does fit all of the dogs easily which is a pretty difficult thing to do with motor homes or campers of any type – between the three of them that’s almost another 300 pounds of weight LOL

  46. My mom’s boyfriend brought me some freshwater fish he caught. I fried some for dinner that night and froze enough for two more meals. Went to my favorite church thrift shop and bought a few things, a puzzle, curling iron, magazine on card making, and some card embellishments. Donated a large bag of books to them also. Had a free afternoon and decided to go see Beauty and the Beast, even though it was still at the first run theater. My ticket was $8, and my card points gave me a free small popcorn, which I upgraded to a medium for $2. Also bought a small coke, even though I usually drink water. Good movie, and enjoyed my snacks! Borrowed books and a couple of movies from the library.

  47. Not sure if the SW scorpions are similar to the ones in the south of France, but the French traditionally used lavender in window sills to keep scorpions out.

  48. As kids we would carefully split open the seed section of copters and then stick them on our noses. The inner part of the seed ‘container’ has a lightly sticky substance. We would see how many fit on each nose and how long we could keep them on our noses!:)

  49. What a lovely and thoughtful gift. I know I would have loved a doll like that when I was a girl – okay, I would still like one.

  50. Our week was a busy one.
    With the help of our neighbour, who lent us his lift truck, and our electric provider, we removed a problem tree from our yard. If we had to hire someone it would have cost us hundreds of dollars. I am so grateful that we were able to do it for free.

    I am continuing to use the rhubarb growing in my yard. This week we had stewed rhubarb over custard. Yum.

    We bought a used camping trailer that we will renovate and use for camping and for hunting camp. It wasn’t the most frugal thing we could have done this month but it is in excellent condition (if ugly) and half of what we were expecting to spend. It will greatly enhance our outdoor time. I am getting way too old to sleep in a tent on the ground. 🙂

    Have a great week everyone!

  51. Finished knitting a grey doll blanket, a yellow doll blanket for Little Stuff’s baby doll & started on a grey baby blanket for her baby brother due this fall.

    Continued to freeze rhubarb juice from last week into large ice cubes. I freeze a dozen per day. Cut more rhubarb later in the week, & made a cobbler, then a crisp. Sprinkled a bit of strawberry gelatin over the rhubarb before I put the topping on for the crisp & it was good!

    Our youngest daughter came to visit for Mother’s Day & made us a shepherd’s pie that was delicious – & huge! It went well with the stewed rhubarb over ice cream. We will eat on that for multiple meals. She gave me a card & a gift card to Home Depot, which I used to buy the pavers to finish the edge on the front bed, with $ left over in case I need a few more Lodgestones to finish out the back perimeter bed.

    Our oldest daughter came to visit for a few hours when her husband had a training on this side of the mountains, & she had a medical appointment that afternoon. We tried to dig out a 10 year old forsythia, but the roots were too big & too deep & it would. not. budge. So it got sprayed with RoundUp the next day. It was supposed to be a “dwarf” forsythia – all 3 were – and they clearly are not. The other 2 are in areas where I wish they were dwarf, but it is not an issue that they are not. This one is too close to the fence & way to close to a peach tree, so it has to go. We were hoping to be able to transplant it to her yard. She crocheted potholders while I finished the yellow doll blanket as we visited. I sent her home with 2 large bags of grounds for gardeners, since there is not a Starbucks out where she lives, & a small box of things from the thrift for which she had asked me to watch. She also gave me some things to donate the next time I went to the thrift, so I took in a box on Friday. Picked up 4 half pint jars & a tall jelly jar when I went inside to shop. Has anyone else noticed that there are far more canning jars at the thrift than usual? This time of year is normally not a “flush” time for them, & they had several shelves full, just like the last time I was in. Maybe people are in denial that the economy is improving.

    Cleaned the fridge again, & felt bad when I threw away some food. I need to be better about eating up what needs to be used, instead of just making what we think we “want” for dinner.

    Set 6 Lodgestones for the back perimeter bed on Monday, & removed 2 more western yellow jacket nests that I found. Set another 6 Lodgestones on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday.

    Picked up the lawn mower from the repair shop, with new tires on it.

    Ordered new orthotics, which required a visit to the podiatrist for the molds.

    Tuesday night I put small glass cloches over all the bean plants, since on Tues & Wed nights there was a possible freeze. I can’t do much to protect the trees, at this point, but I can save some of the tender plants in the garden, even if we get a hard freeze, with the cloches.

  52. Harvested our first-ever rhubarb crop and made the Smitten Kitchen Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble recipe with strawberries that were on sale at Sprouts. (So good!) The rolled oats were rolled at home using a new spendy Messerschmidt Flocker “flaker” attachment to our Kitchenaid mixer. It allows me to simplify by keeping just one type of oats in stock (groats). The “fresh” rolled oats go rancid much sooner than store-bought oats, but they freeze well and keep for a while in the fridge.

    Found Roma tomatoes marked down to 0.33/lb so bought about 18 lbs. Going to work on making tomato sauce tomorrow. I usually wouldn’t bother but I got a good deal on quart jars at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago so I’m itching to fill them up.

  53. Good to know. I didn’t realize the chemicals could inhibit the growth of the plants. Thanks for sharing, Jo!

  54. Composite decking is very expensive here. Your dad really scored with finding it free! We’ve also discussed buying large metal water/feed troughs they use for livestock, but need to look into pricing. I know they would be expensive, but should last a long time. Brick is the other material we’re considering (the kind used to create tiered/retaining walls, but open to options). We really just need to look at cost comparisons before we decide. As I told my mom, we can take our time with this. I’d like to get the garden around the deck rebuild this summer, if we can. But we won’t be planing in it until next year.

  55. I love the flowers, the garden pics , information about bug spray as what we have isn’t working as good as we would like especially with the ants.
    We started this week out frugal…..Have a wedding that is a second time for both for Hubby’s older brother (his wife died of cancer a couple years ago) they asked for donations to charities instead of gifts. So we donated to the cancer society. We have a graduation for the landlord’s son that I already saved my change up and turned it in for a crisp bill for him. Our son is taking us and a friend to Hong Kong buffet and I have a coupon for the drinks. Hubby has a doc appt due to a long lasting cough that is so hard he gets sick. Plus both my son and I have noticed that he is swallowing hard when he eats. I priced what the surgery would be (he has had polyps in his throat before and most likely does again) next year after he retired and this year while he is still working… showed him that even with the time off from work next year would cost us more… so he agreed for to getting it dealt with now.
    Not sure how frugal the next 4-6 weeks will be with our older dog being diagnosed with a tumor and is dying… not in pain, happy and prancing around when she does get moving…around 100 yrs old in doggy years… but pretty giving her what ever she wants/needs to stay comfortable and out of pain and paying attention to the younger dog as she no longer can play with him.

  56. I am glad you called your realtor. When my son bought his house his realtor told him to call them before any renovation and they would tell him if he would get his money back or worse be lowering the price he would get as he knows when he retires in 5 yrs he will be selling the house.
    I am glad you shared the rhubarb lemonade recipe. We have rhubarb running out our ears at the moment and I am out of ideas for using it except freezing it. THANKS

  57. We haven’t sold it yet…we are getting everything prepped and hoping to list early next year. Staying in Ontario, but hopefully leaving Toronto area. Not that we don’t love it here…but when a tear down house costs a million dollars…
    Still waiting on a number of variables, but that is the tentative plan.

  58. Thank you Lorna. I must admit I am not at all familiar with that part of the world, and my World History days are far in the past. All I know about Australia is from 4 movies 🙂 SAVING MR BANKS, WE OF THE NEVER-NEVER,
    THE RABBIT PROOF FENCE and THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER. Except for the MR BANKS one I saw the others so long ago I barely remember them, other than they were good. I’ll have to get some books out from the library and familiarize myself more.

  59. I am surprised the power company did not remove the tree themselves. They will do that here pre-emptively as opposed to damage to their lines farther on. We just have to call and they evaluate. Often it is only branches that need removal.

  60. Do you already have the people who will rent for the summer or are you looking for a tenant?

    We would love to rent a home out that way.

  61. I make jam with no sugar added pectin all the time. I do add a small amount of sweetener (usually around 1/2 to 1 cup of honey or maple syrup), which helps enhance the flavour. Still significantly less than regular jam, though. The jam does turn out softer, so don’t expect it to be a solid mass like regular jam. Make sure to test it, as I often find it needs a bit more cooking time than instructions suggest, before it sets properly. My family is very used to the low sugar jam, and they seem to enjoy it, but it is definitely less sweet than regular jam. I hope this helps answer some of your questions, Pam.

  62. I found your website a few weeks back. Not sure how, but I think it was a God thing. My husband’s job situation is having a shocking slow-down. I cannot tell you how inspiring……………..and down-right educational you have been for me as I attempt to make serious cuts in spending cuts around here. Thank you, thank you, thank you for what you share here. It is encouraging and making a difference.

  63. Hi Brandy,
    I am always amazed by how much fruit you can grow, sigh! I am seriously envious, in the nicest possible way! This weeks frugal achievements are
    Dried and kept seeds from Rosellas I bought at a market while we were on holidays a few weeks ago. I dry the petals of the rosellas for the most wonderful strawberry like tea
    Planted some garlic cloves that had started to shoot
    Made another batch of home made laundry liquid
    Packed my lunch every day to take to work
    Rode my bike to work every day
    Made a Raspberry and Yoghurt cake with whipped cream to take to work for “Australias Biggest Morning Tea” we are combining it with a celebration of the retirement of two lovely nurses
    Line dried all the washing
    Used tank water to hose the garden
    Stayed out of the shops
    Started on a new little quilt for one of my grand nieces, I had started in it a while ago, but I was having problems with it lining up right, yesterday I finally tackled the measurement problem and now I can get on with it.
    Made all meals from scratch
    Put the left overs front and centre in the fridge so they weren’t over looked

    And that’s about all I can think of at the mo. Have a lovely week.

  64. We are still in spring flowers here…the lilacs and bridal veil (spirea) are beautiful. We have lilies of the valley out and the irises are very close to blooming. Other than an abundance of rhubarb the next fruit will be strawberries mid to late June.

    Gardens/fields/beds are all plowed. Peas, potatoes, pumpkins,cucumbers, melons all planted (as seeds) a couple weeks ago. We’ve still had a few colder nights in the high 30’s but supposedly we are past last frost now. We planted beans, corn, beets, carrots (as seeds) last week. The radishes are up. Those and spinach, arugula, leaf lettuce were up for awhile already in the hoop house. The tomatoes, cabbages, kohlrabi, eggplant, and peppers seedlings from the greenhouse will be all planted this weekend and we will plant another section of beans, radishes and carrots. I think that’s it. I also planted carrots, radishes and greens in the pots on my patio. The herbs are out in pots on the patio now but not in the ground yet. Oh red and yellow onions.

    We have harvested asparagus, rhubarb, chives, parsley, mint, ramps and morels (from the woods), herbs (cilantro, basil, rosemary) from the pots as needed.

    We did all the usual of cooking from scratch, recycling, reusing, hung clothes up and out to dry. Packed lunches for work, used up leftovers. Mended many items.

    Time flies. I think it has been five weeks since I last found time to write. Grandchildren seem to take a lot more energy than children, though of course I am twice as old as I was then. School ends soon. We follow the public school schedule unlike some private schools which like to do their own thing. We find it makes it easier for families all around as some parents work in the public schools and some of the students take classes at both. I start the summer reading program sign up the last week of school so they are registered to read right away.

    Some of the things I remember cooking/baking were macaroni and cheese, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, waffles, lemon poppyseed muffins, cranberry nut muffins, banana bran muffins, banana walnut bread, vanilla sprinkle cake, shortcake, chocolate chip cookies, white bread, rye bread, French bread, American (cold) potato salad, chicken noodle soup, minnestrone. Used up things from the freezer frozen last fall like double baked potatoes and stuffed peppers. Made Mexican rice , cooked pinto beans for refried beans, made cheese enchiladas and chicken stuffing casserole. Husband grilled out last of the fish we froze.

    Attended 3 funerals (last 5 weeks) with meals, 2 college graduations parties and law school graduation party for one of my brother’s sons. First lawyer in the family. He is planning on working in area of immigration. The graduation was on Friday of Mother’s day weekend but we just went to the party and we left my mother there so she could spend a week. Someone will bring her back. Mother’s Day was at our house and the 3 younger children put a picnic together for me and my oldest girl and my daughter in law. We did not have to do anything but sit and relax.

  65. My library had a used book sale – 1 paper bag full of books for $5, 2 for $8 and 3 for $10 with a free reusable bag. I looked forward to this sale all year. Although it was a fairly affluent area, quite a few parents and teachers from other schools came. Competition for children’s books was fierce! I saw two women get into a heated argument over a child’s almanac. Despite that, I was able to get quite a few like-new books for myself and my little brother. Didn’t get to my goal of filling up three bags but I was able to fill up two – a great job considering so many people were there, I had only an hour, and it was 100 degrees!

  66. Had a very busy week but it is that time of year for us.
    -Went to a garage sale and got some great finds. I got a circle cake pan, pack of glue sticks, a metal funnel, a veggie cutter, a 16 pack of paper cups, and a cute basket for a dollar. I also got a wrapping paper bin full of paper and cards for $1. I called my husband to stop on his lunch break (he comes home for lunch every day) and he found a pole saw for $7.
    -Got 2 extra shifts at work. I will take them while they last. My job was also giving out shirts. I got 2. A coworker brought in donuts and one of my managers bought me lunch for coming in on my day off.
    -Turned in $5.65 in cans and bottles.
    -Saved $114.58 in sales and coupons. I stocked up on lots of things. Next month my son will graduate and we are having a party at the house. Might as well get the stuff early if its on sale.
    -Made 4 containers of dog food. We are dog sitting my sister’s dog for a week and a half so this won’t last as long as it usually does.
    -When my sister dropped off her dog she also brought food that was going to go bad while she is out of town. We got lettuce, cucumbers, bananas, and crackers that she didn’t really like. She also gave me a Mother’s Day present of chocolate covered fruit. It was so good!
    -Got free samples in the mail. 2 dog foods and a shampoo and conditioner.
    -Paid bills online saving 5 stamps
    -Took lunch with us to work/school
    -Made lots of yummy things out of leftovers such as chicken orzo soup and ham and lentil soup.
    -My husband found a lawn mower a neighbor was getting rid of. He spent $6 and got it running great. We are going to try and sell it.
    -Hung laundry out on nice days and inside on not so nice days.
    -Got the rest of the free compost we needed for my gardens. I planted the big garden with all plants I started from seed. My sister was going to see my parents while she was out of town so she took the plants I started for them. Also gave a few extras I had to my brother in law when he stopped over to borrow a tool.
    -I am planning for the summer so I reserved museum passes from the library. I have done 5 so far. Just have to wait for August to hit the system.
    -Had 4 no spend days. It is not that easy to do since there are 4 of us at home. Someone is always buying something.

    My frugal fail this week was having to pay a ridiculous amount of money to watch my daughter get inducted into the National Honor Society. We are very proud of her and she works very hard to get good grades. I think it is crazy that they expect parents to pay $60 a person to see this. My husband and I both wanted to go. So did other family members. We told them sorry it is to much. Only he and I went. When we went there were lots of students with only one parent in attendance because of the cost. They should have done it at the school. That is where it was at for the middle school and it was very nice. Its easier on the staff to do it out so they don’t have to set up and clean up. Lots of people were complaining about the cost. I will be writing the school board about it.

    Have a great week!

  67. Does it really get to -110ºC. That’s colder than the Arctic! I thought we had it bad at -40ºC!!!

  68. Brandy: Larkspur is deadly poisonous! Even the sap if it gets into contact with a small scratch can kill within a short time. Eating them is fatal too. Although they are pretty I would think twice before using them in bouquets.

    I didn’t spend a dime! I found a $5 bill in some things I was sorting. I eyed the dandelions that were in my yard and have never been sprayed. If I think I can get enough, I will make dandelion jelly which will be a first for me. I was also eyeing the wild violets as the leaves are said to be edible but am going to check with a botanist first.

    My rhubarb is almost ready for a first harvesting.

    I took all of the potatoes that had sprouted inside and cut them up and planted them. It will make a nice meal or two in the early fall. The fact that it is now windy, raining heavily with some snow mixed in, will not hurt the potatoes. I got all the dead stems pruned off of the roses. I lost 1 rose so in that spot I am going to grow a scarlet runner bean plant up the netting of the deer fence and on an obelisk. The hummingbirds should love that! When bananas are on sale, I peel them and freeze them in baggies. I don’t use them in smoothies because that is too fattening! Instead I eat them as if they were a popsicle. Don’t let them thaw because they become mushy. It is like having frozen banana ice cream. I buy them for 25¢ a bunch and stock the fridge. At the moment, we are having a fierce windstorm, with heavy rain, and yes, snow. I am praying that the blossoms that just opened yesterday on my sour cherry trees will not fall off but stay put until the warm weather returns on Friday and hopefully will be pollinated.

  69. This week has gone quickly. Things we’ve done:
    -went over our financial goals
    -went over future holidays, including our plan for a six month trip to France. We will put our children in school while there
    -going on a flight this weekend to visit a friend so making sure I have everything and budget accordingly
    -mended a work dress
    -decided to give myself a break with dinners and make it easier and therefore less stressful. My husband and I both work, so creating a big lovely dinner each weeknight can be challenging. I have decided to include easier dishes such as scrambled eggs on whole meal toast, homemade soups (that I can just take out of the freezer), homemade pizzas etc. Tonight’s dinner is avocado, tomato and red onion on whole meal toast..with a pinch of lemon and cracked pepper
    -finding heaps of food on sale at the moment and stocking up accordingly
    -making biscuits using only flour, butter and sugar for a few months now. My kids spend about 45mins rolling out the dough and cutting out different shapes using our gifted cookie cutters. So cheap and so much fun. Plus a great hostess gift
    -we have been invited to 2 children’s birthday parties. Total cost of 2 presents is $7 plus gift wrap
    -going over and discussing our Christmas plans. Checking the budget and the present list. Aiming for a total spend of under $200 for presents for 24 people. Looks like I may come in under budget
    -booked a beach camping trip for my family later in the year
    -donated some clothes, toys and shoes to a deserving family and got a beautiful follow up thank you (again) email which was lovely and heartfelt

  70. Hi Ellie’s friend from Canada that is -11 degrees Celsius, the o after the 11 is the degree symbol 😀 .

  71. Athanasia and most welcome 🙂 . The above post should have read southern and northern NSW too. If you get a topographical map and look for areas above 500mts or more above sea level on the East Coast of Australia that will give you a fairly accurate picture of the areas that snow.

  72. Haha! I read it that way too, Ellie’s friend. Then I re-read it and realized she meant -11C (the 0 is for the degree symbol). I’m glad I wasn’t the only one confused!

  73. Wow, look at that peach harvest!!

    This week, I:

    1. Repurposed some of Mr. Picky Pincher’s socks and made them into some new-to-me socks.

    2. I turned the sock scraps into hair scrunchies. Waste not!

    3. I’ve been getting up early every day to make Mr. Picky Pincher’s coffee and breakfast. It’s a lot easier since I work from home now. This keeps him from needing to spend money on either breakfast or coffee!

    4. I baked a coconut cake and peach coffee cake muffins to use up ingredients in our pantry. I’ve been forbidden from baking again until we eat the rest of our freezer stock first. 🙂

    5. I cleaned our house with vinegar, got violet glass bottles to contain our cooking oils (for free!), and made extra money freelancing.

  74. Congratulations on getting the nursing degree! I am wondering I am 60 years old do you think i’m too old. I am so very proud of you I know your oldest is 29 so that puts you in my same yard or area unless you had them very early. I know keeping up with all that is going on at home and getting the degree while staying frugal has been massive. I think I speak for all we are very very proud of you!!!

  75. The larkspur is lovely! It looks so fresh.
    Here in Washington we jumped from rain and 50 degree weather every day to 70s and sun every day. It’s beautiful and we’re enjoying being out in the yard.
    I haven’t posted for a while so some of these are from two weeks ago.

    – at my request, my husband steered my kids away from candy as a Mother’s Day present. Instead, they each got me a pot of blooming tulips in two shades of purple, my favorite color. Each pot has about 7-9 bulbs that I will add to my collection in the front yard.
    – for Mother’s Day, my ward gives living plants to the women. You can choose a potted zinnia, petunia, or tomato. I chose a Roma tomato and added it to the vegetable garden.
    – I ordered live transplants this year for tomatoes and bell peppers (our season is so short here and I didn’t want to raise them from seed myself). When they came, one of the tomatoes had snapped in half. After calling, the company agreed to send me a replacement. When it arrived, instead of just the replacement tomato, there was also two other tomato starts, a dill, a ground cherry, and an orange bell peppers for free! I placed them around the garden. The ground cherry, dill, and one of the tomatoes succumbed to the slugs, but the others are doing great. I also put the top half of the tomato that snapped in some water and I’m hoping it will root.
    – my mother came to visit one day and brought 4 ears off corn, two outfits for the baby, and a beautiful blessing outfit for him.
    – spent some time in the garden planting transplants and seeds for carrots, green beans, dry beans, beets, spinach, parsnips, and lettuce.
    – since it stopped raining, my husband decided to finally turn the water on to the yard. He discovered, though, that the company that was supposed to be it out and turn it off last winter didn’t and because of that, there are at least two broken sprinkler pipes. He called the company and they agreed to refund the money we paid to have it done and repair the pipes free of charge.

    *On a bit so frugal note, the baby is growing so fast that at one month of age he’s now in size 2 diapers! I have several packages of unused size N and 1 diapers that I had stocked up on before he was born. So, I’m going to pass it forward and give the diapers to to friends of mine that are both expecting.

  76. As a assistant who worked in the medical field. If anyone has trouble paying for their RX write to the company that makes the medication.Often they will work with the person who is having trouble paying for it.

  77. I forgot to mention that my husband applied for Baby Bonding Bucks at work. It’s $500 that’s meant to be used for cleaning services, food services, or diaper services. We’ll be using it mostly for food services. So grateful for the services offered by my hubby’s job.

  78. Not Brandy, but my friend once used pancake mix in making pasta noodles! She went to get another container of flour, grabbed the pancake mix instead, & mixed it up. She said she couldn’t figure out why the first batch was coming out of the machine so slowly, but the second batch flew out like crazy. She mixed them all up and we didn’t even notice!

  79. Oooh, my family went camping to Yosemite, King’s, & Sequoia every summer. We used to stay at Hume Lake in Sequoia (I also went to camp there) and in Yosemite Lakes in Yosemite. I went to college an hour away from Yosemite. In fact, my roommate’s dad was a Ranger there! They’re so beautiful. I hope I can see them again someday.

    Have fun!! I love those little teardrop trailers. My husband would be miserable. He’s 6’9″. We’d have to leave the door open so he could hang his feet outside!!!

  80. It’s summer vacation for us now, and one (and probably two, but a bit soon to tell for sure) of my kids has dyslexia. I ordered the Reading Horizons program for them with a 35% off coupon code, and they will work on it during the summer. My master’s graduation is coming up,and I found out my cap, gown, and master’s hood are free through my university. We will have to book a hotel room overnight before the ceremony, so I went through Ebates and Expedia to get a suite for the 5 of us for $90, and we will get about $4 cash back.

  81. Margaret congratulations on such a great achievement to get rid of all your debts apart from your mortgage and save so much in a month 😀 . It is a fantastic feeling isn’t it, we are also saving for a house and most months are putting away anywhere between $1600 – $2200 a month. We really appreciate and know how hard it is to save that much as we are classified as low income here in Australia.

  82. Congratulations to you on the impending nursing degree and new career! Although I got my initial degree at the more “typical” time, I went back for an advanced degree in my 50s, so I can appreciate your challenges and resolve! Good-for-you:)

  83. Juls, I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. We went through something very similar with our 15 year old Golden Retriever. It’s so heartbreaking and we still miss our sweet dog a year later…

  84. Oh no! We just did that difficult dance of knowing when it’s time to say goodbye with our dog. She got a few DQ and McDonalds ice creams before it was her time. Sorry to hear you’re going through it

  85. Had a major set back in saving money. My son had his wisdom teeth extracted yesterday. $3734.00 for four extractions. Crazy. I had to pay upfront. Insurance will pay around $1000.00 after deductible. The cost has quadrupled since my daughter had hers extracted. Inflation has really reared its ugly head here in So. California. Very unsettling. Now, I will just have to become more creative to stay ahead of this ugly beast.

  86. Oh my Riley, thank you for the compliment but Brandy is the more knowledgeable, scientific gardener. I mean, I can just throw seeds in the ground and they grow. We have fertile soil, adequate rain, amenable temperatures and abundant space. Other than a short growing season and occasional hail storms it’s pretty ideal. Non of the adverse conditions she must overcome to produce food.

  87. Hi

    Please let me know how to make organic dog food? I have a large (wonderful) rescue and while I don’t mind spending money on feeding him it would be great to economise.

  88. DH and I have been taking our chairs and a beverage to the beach (5 min drive) to sit and enjoy after dinner. Cheap date and the breeze blows the stress away for a bit.
    Repairing holes in clothing. Before reading yours and other blogs on a regular basis, I would have thrown them out.
    Eating kale, basil, mint, chives and lettuce from the garden, grown from seeds. You inspire me to grow more food and herbs!

  89. Thankful for my pantry and knowing how to be frugal and my husband having s good job. I finally gave up Friday on my 2 year job and gave my 2 week notice without a job to go to. Have a potential job but no guarantee I will get it. It may take time to get another one but definitely out if the retail world.

  90. Thank you for the warning about larkspur. I was given some seeds and am still contemplating whether or not to plant them. I’m going to do some more research, but nothing I have read so far indicates that they are as dangerous as what you describe.

  91. Patty,
    I’m sorry, but there is no “yet” after gallbladder surgery….you simply will not be able to eat oily or fatty foods comfortably without your gallbladder. You will find your own toleration limits: for me, I can have some butter on bread occasionally, but dipping bread in oil makes me feel very ill. Good luck to you with your healing.

  92. Thank you BB and Lorna. It does feel so great to be saving now instead of paying down debt. We are in the middle of a little bit of remodeling now so $ will be going towards that so not much will be saved…but I’m so happy to be free of debt. Hoping we knock out the mortgage within 5 years.

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