Oregano The Prudent Homemaker

Oregano from the garden

I harvested lettuce, spinach, New Zealand spinach, Swiss chard parsley and oregano from the garden.

I cut roses from the garden for the table.

I sowed seeds in the garden for New Zealand Spinach, zucchini, and acorn squash.

New Zealand Spinach The Prudent Homemaker

New Zealand Spinach

I cut the sleeves down on two of the long-sleeved shirts that my husband received as a hand-me-down a few weeks ago and turned them into short-sleeved shirts.

I did the same for a blouse for myself that my daughter gave me that she had received at a clothing exchange a few years back. It fits me now and she was going to donate it, but I liked it and decided I would like it as an elbow-length blouse, so I turned it into one.

I saved the extra cuff buttons from the shirts in a button jar, to be used as needed for mending or on future projects.

On Sunday, I said to a woman at church, “I like your dress!” 

She replied, “Thanks! Do you want it?”

I was astonished! She told me the dress was a little too short on her when she sat down and that she was thinking of getting rid of it. She is about 4-5 inches taller than I am. The dress is a pretty navy blue lace dress with short sleeves. She came by on Tuesday morning and gave me the dress! I will take it in slightly, but I can wear it as it is, too.

I thanked her again yesterday, and when I did so, the woman standing next to her (who is about her same height) asked the woman which dress it was. She said that she had bought the same dress and had the same problem, and had given it to a sister who is shorter than she is!

I cut up a linen skirt that I have rarely worn in the last 13 years since I bought it (and that is now too large). I cut the back two sections into pieces for a pillow that I plan to embroider for my bed. I found a free vintage pattern to embroider via Pinterest that I will trace onto the fabric.

I gave one son a haircut.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  1. Great pictures as always, and I laughed out loud at your story for how you came to get your new dress!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – I was able to buy 3 dresses for less than $40 incl. taxes. These are super-comfy and I plan to wear them mostly around the house, but they’ll be great for summer too. Plus, I’ve already received several compliments while wearing them!
    – I took my mum out to lunch using a half off coupon
    – Carpooled with my mother to run errands
    – Bought bread at a local bakery outlet; way cheaper than in a grocery store
    – Bought tortillas at a local tortilleria; way cheaper than in a grocery store, and the only way I will buy tortillas if I don’t make them myself
    – Bought myself a drink using my starbucks gift card from Swagbucks, and got a free mini frappucino too
    – Bought two lbs of strawberries for $3, and froze them to turn into jam later on
    – Made super-healthy homemade ranch dressing! So incredibly delicious! I used homemade yoghurt, homemade mayo, and homemade ranch dressing mix. The secret ingredient? Buttermilk powder! (http://approachingfood.com/the-purest-ranch-dressing-youll-ever-make-foodie-accomplishment-awards/) 100 % preservative and artificial flavour and artificial colour free, and the DH said it actually tasted better than store-bought!
    – Borrowed books on food photography and edible landscaping from the library
    – Am very excited that my sweet potato is sprouting! In another few weeks, I’ll be able to remove the slips to root them. So much fun to grow my own slips!
    – Redeemed swagbucks for 3 x $3 Amazon gift card.
    – Bought dinner one night using a 2-can-dine coupon, and made it stretch for 3 meals
    – Took a week’s vacation from work, and enjoyed a staycation. Lovely to just putter around the house, nap lots, and run errands at my leisure!
    – Mailed a rebate for a dishwasher cleaner. Once I get the rebate, the product will be free! (Which is the only way I buy these cleaners. I can always find a rebate coupon once or twice a year!)
    – Went to a major bi-yearly rummage sale at a local church, and was able to buy a large cut glass bowl for $1.50 which I plan to use as a display bowl on my dining table, as well as two small cut glass bowls with lids for 50 cents each, and a stock pot/water bath canner for $2. I plan to use one of the glass bowls to hold my coconut oil on my bedside table (I use it as coconut oil as hand cream/nail strengthener), and the other bowl I will use in my master bath to hold something or other.
    – Made a batch of refried beans (using pantry ingredients), and froze some for future meals
    – Made a batch of Tex-Mex style rice (using pantry ingredients), and froze some for future meals
    – Used all my frozen strawberries to make 2.25 litres of jam. I’m set for several months now, as I use it for a mix-in for my homemade yoghurt!
    – I made a mini-cake for my sister’s birthday tea at my house. I made my favourite vegan spice cake recipe, and then topped it with some leftover buttercream that I had in the fridge. I even put a mini-bunting on the cake with her name on it! The tea theme was flowers, and I used my cloth flower bunting to decorate the wall with, printed out flower labels for gifts, and used flower wrapping paper from my stash (years old). I also reused several paper gift bags and tissue paper. It was a very elegant, yet very frugal birthday tea!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else!

  2. Received the rebate check for our new furnace installation & deposited it. Later in the week, I withdrew some to put in our cash reserve for emergencies.

    Continued to weed the growing beds, filling at least one tree tub per day. We had snow forecast for 2 nights this week, so I put glass cloches over top of my 5 big lettuce heads in the garden. Re-staked the apple tree by the driveway that started to “lean” over the driveway. I put 3 stakes on it over the winter to help pull it back upright, but the ropes needed tightened, so I reset the stakes. Moved the new water barrel onto a base made of cinderblocks, right by the corner of the fence, where it will be protected from most of the UV light, but still be handy to the garden. The cinderblocks raise it to a level that will make it easy to use the spigot on it to fill watering cans.

    Recycled cans with my grandchildren. An RN with whom I used to work gave me a call. She used to save soda cans for us, & she had 3 bags full – wanted to know if my grandkids were still doing that. I said yes, & loaded my recycling in the trunk, then went to pick up hers, since she lives very close to where I recycle. When I arrived, the operators dumped a large black trash bag full of cans in with mine as they were weighed & remarked, “We are giving you a bag of cans”, to which I said, “Thanks! The grandkids will be thrilled!” Altogether, we had 31 pounds, so the kids got $17.25 to split, for their savings accounts after they pay their tithing. It was an unexpected blessing for them, since a buck or two is what they usually get.

    Continued to declutter the garage to make more space for things we actually use.

    Melted a “wickless” 3 wick candle that youngest DD snagged for free for me, to melt wax to pour over the cardboard in the buddy burners for camping. Used a candle warmer to melt the chopped wax in an old jar, so I can do other things, pouring the wax over the rolled corrugated cardboard one buddy burner at a time, as the wax melted thru the day. I used the wicks from candle ends, stuck into the rolled cardboard, to make them easier to light. I always save the lids from Diamond brand nuts (which DH loves, so they are a common stocking stuffer around here), because the lids fit on the tuna cans perfectly, & keep the dust out after they are filled. I started with 20 cans ready to fill, & filled all 20, with some chopped wax left over. They are back in the box on a shelf in the garage, along with 3 empty cans that need rolled cardboard in them.

    Cut a large dandelion head from my dandelion salad bed & after I cleaned it well, I simmered it for a few minutes to reduce the volume a bit, then finished it off on low in the oven with some butter in the dish & a little onion salt over top, as a side of greens for some of the leftover ham. I think they go well together. Dandelions regenerate quickly, & another plant will sprout from the roots shortly. While I was out at the bed, I pulled off all the blossoms to let the strength of the plant stay in the leaves. There are still 3 large “heads” of dandelions out there, composed of multiple crowns, & 2 roots that will regenerate.

    Crocheted 2 nightgowns, a kimono, & a sweater for Little Stuff’s dolly. The outfit that the doll came in is difficult for an 18-24 month toddler to put on & off. Now that she has some white flannel dolly diapers (that Grandma made for her, with snaps), she needs some doll clothes that let her “change diapers” more easily until she has the manual dexterity to handle the more complicated doll clothes. I actually went to our WalMart to try to buy the “doll in a cradle” that I bought for her when I was in Washington. They were available in an aqua cradle & a purple one (Little Stuff chose the purple one). I thought if I bought the aqua one, Little Stuff would have another outfit (for use later, when she can manage it), plus a spare bottle & toy rattle for her baby doll, since those tend to get lost with toddlers. No such luck! There were only 2 left, both in purple. Neither package had the toy bottle- it had been stolen – torn right off the box display. One of them was missing the rattle as well. I picked up the package missing both, & went to the service desk. At first I got the “we can give you 10% off” spiel (about $1.60), then I pointed out that these were the last 2, & both were missing parts. At that point, the service manager asked me why I had brought up the one missing both parts. I explained that I really only needed the doll, because I had bought this very set for my granddaughter in Washington, & I needed the doll to help “size” the doll clothes I was making for her. He told me I could have the package for $10, & I bought it – for $6 & change less because of the missing parts. When I told middle daughter about it, she said she had considered buying another one to have as a “spare”, since Little Stuff loves that doll. When she checked them, the bottles were all missing at her store as well. Sad, isn’t it!

  3. Those photos are amazing! I am always impressed with those who sew well. My mother is an amazing seamstress but only one of us girls really took to it (my middle sister).

    My big accomplishment was gardening related. There is a nursery going out of business near us. I bought a Crepe Myrtle tree for $20, and I bought 12 small rose bushes for $2 each! Very exciting. We planted everything yesterday.

    I also made a double batch of your granola and it is pictured on my Instagram if you want to check it out! https://www.instagram.com/stephanie.h.burns/

    I am well stocked for food and will only replenish produce this week if needed. I made bone broth yesterday which will turn into soup for tonight. 🙂

  4. I love the picture of the oregano set against the polkadot dress. This week I:
    – continued to receive meals from friends at church. We had one day that someone said they would bring dinner but forgot. We were ok though, because another person brought dinner that same night unannounced!
    -used up leftovers from those meals for lunches and nights we didn’t have dinners
    -transplanted tomatoes, eggplant, marigolds, and alyssum from plants I started a few months ago out into the garden
    -planted zucchini, crookneck squash, and cucumbers
    -used oj jugs to make cloches for the seeds and tomatoes
    -stayed home

  5. How wonderful that the woman gave you the dress. You are frugally accumulating a wonderful new wardrobe.
    The weather here has been cold and damp — still frost at night, so no new planting in the garden yet. I did plant two blueberry bushes. The Colorado Agricultural Extension Agency had an online presentation about growing blueberries and they suggested planting each bush in a bale of peat moss, so that is what I did. I made homemade bread, chocolate chip cookies and granola. I thinned the lettuce and arugula in my greenhouse and cold frame and used the baby greens for several salads. We had steak salad for dinner one night – a good way to make one small steak feed two people. I also made Brandy’s chicken fried steak, which we love. We had our house re-stained and it turned out great, but it ended up costing a little more than we had budgeted, so I’m watching the grocery bill very closely to make up the difference. With snow expected, I cut the last of my daffodils to enjoy inside. I also made an arrangement of geranium blossoms and ferns for my table. I worked on some mending — a never-ending chore. My husband changed the oil in his truck. He saved money by doing it himself, and was also able to use a $10 off coupon at the parts store where he bought the oil. The local thrift store was having a clearance sale and I bought 6 bundles of fabric of various sizes for 25 cents each and a new harness for my dog (which he really needed) for $1.50, and a water timer for $1.50. I checked out several books from the library that I am really enjoying.

  6. How wonderful to receive a new dress, and even better that it is one you admired enough to say something about!

    I’ve been in the business of clothes-remodeling, as well. Last week I turned a dress into a skirt for summer. This past week I cut off sleeves to make a 3/4 sleeved dress (too hot for KS!) into a sleeveless dress to wear around the house. I also cut down a long sleeved blouse and need to hem those to make them short. The sleeves have always been uncomfortably short so cutting off the wrist cuff should help. i’m hoping to have about half a dozen *new* things for this summer. Now, if I could just figure out a way to make me some new Aravon sandals……all for $15.

    I’ve got dozens and dozens of beautiful purple Iris bloomed in my backyard and a heavily weighted Peony that has about 50 buds ready to open. Beautiful!! Oh, and I was given a nearly dead hydrangea stump last fall. I had my doubts about it surviving, but planted it anyway. It’s now about 5 inches tall!! 🙂

  7. April was a struggle for me.I harvested rhubarb , the first cut of the season and cooked it with strawberries from the freezer from our berry patch last year. I planted Little snowpea white peas (hope they do as good as yours Brandy), different leaf lettuces, spinach, radishes, green onions(aka scallions), basil, oregano (ours didn’t make it through the winter but the chives and thyme are doing well) cilantro, flat leaf parsley and curly parsley( possum ate it), peppermint, choc mint and spearmint (mints didn’t survive either). I’ve been getting some magazines and after reading them donated them to our doctor’s office so there is some NEWER ones LOL. I changed the pattern of the afghan I am making my great grandson so I didn’t have to go buy more yarn or start over as I couldn’t match lot number of what I had.

    I started listing what I want to get done in May and I still need to check on what I need to buy food and non food. Hubby decided to retire out this year and when he does there is a 4 month gap of NO income until his retirement kicks in. I don’t want to wipe out the savings acct during those months so I am looking to see what I should have/need to make it through.
    Thank you Brandy for all the work and wisdom you have shared. I am definitely rereading everything again
    Blessed Be you and yours

  8. What a wonderful gift of a dress!
    A few weeks a go I cut a small bouquet of what was blooming from my yard as a hostess gift. Thank you for teaching me to look at what I have.
    My husband brought home leftovers, about a 1/2 of a rich soup and 4 tiny pieces of gourmet pizza. I was able to stretch into a meal for 2 by adding a basic salad from the garden. We thought we would be hungry after, but weren’t.
    I picked a few things from the garden.
    Joy this week was sweeping the patio under a cloudy sky and enjoying the wonderfully strong smell of Lily of the Valley blooms by the patio.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  9. This week I decided to celebrate Mother’s day early. My Mom is my biggest fan and checks my blog daily. If there is not a post, she is disappointed and wants to know when will there be another? So as a gift to her, I am posting daily until Mother’s day. I asked her what she like best and she replied, “Pictures of Scooter and cheerful things.” Scooter I can do, cheerfulness is a maybe.

    Already this week I have posted, Wheat Grass or Wheat Lawn? A frugal neighbor decided to eat their front yard! I took pictures without stepping on their dinner.

    Then I shared about being caught trespassing in a stranger’s front yard while taking a picture of a rock in their flower bed. I knew I would get caught someday and it finally happened. It was worth all the trouble because it was an “O”utstanding Rock.

    Yesterday I shared my monthly update on the progress in my garden. Sadly, it hasn’t stopped raining so I took pictures of the mud puddles in my garden. I never said posting daily would be exciting, I only promised it would be everyday. Even Mom was a bit bored with that one.

    This morning I shared a tiny disaster in my flower bed; however, thankfully, I think this one has been solved.

    As for being frugal this week, I have been good. We have almost finished eating the food that was about to expire. Hubby is quite tired of eating out of the pantry but I have shown no mercy. Food will not be wasted as long as it is edible. I have not grocery shopped at all. This past week was declared a success. Next week is going to be rough. We are getting the door replaced on the garage (termite damage), the plumbing in the master bath has started leaking and it looks like a major repair (taking showers upstairs), the refrigerator has started making a humming sound and food has spoiled (hubby didn’t mind throwing it out for me). I turned the temperature colder and then everything in the freezer froze into a solid mass. The big deep freezer (25 years old) has started having condensation drip down the outsides. Why does everything break down at once? Oh well, I choose to be happy. Hey, I might get some great Mother’s day gifts, a new garage door, new pvc plumbing pipes, a new refrigerator motor, and maybe a new freezer door gasket. First world problems.

    Everyone is welcome to visit, but after two week of typing, I don’t promise to be sane.


  10. I’ve been so busy lately, it feels like I haven’t had time to spend money! I’m really excited that it’s May, now- I’ll be able to start my plants soon (even though it’s still snowing at the moment!) so that I can make my own herb garden and start my lettuce and spinach plants. I also need to fish my chive plant out of the garage, as I’m sure it’s eager for another year of growth.

    Our accomplishments for the week:

    * We’re still eating down our pantry, and we’re definitely making good progress! We’ve got lots of empty room in the pantry and freezer.

    * I went through our pantry and freezer and started making plans for meals that I will make for my friend’s freezer in preparation of her baby coming in a few months. I still need to come up with a few more recipes using chicken breast, so if anyone has any suggestions, I’d definitely appreciate them!

    * I made quesadillas using several kinds of beans, as I had just a little bit of each and wanted to use them up. They make for great lunches.

    * I made more Arnie Palmers with lemonade I had in the freezer and homemade iced tea.

    * I made peanut butter cookies for the office to celebrate the fact that I’m graduating! Everyone loved them and I got to use up peanut butter from the pantry.

    * We’re debating becoming a one-car household. My car is doing fine, but my SO’s car is facing some significant repair costs. If we became a one-car household, we’d save about $100/month on parking and insurance alone (since our new apartment will be charging us for parking). I’ll be taking public transit to class, as it’s easy and convenient for me, so I would just need to coordinate errands with my SO’s work schedule. We haven’t fully made the decision yet, but we have a month to decide and sell the car.

    It’s hard to believe that I’ll be defending my master’s project in under 2 weeks, and it’s even harder to believe I’ll be graduating! I actually almost completely forgot that I have the commencement ceremony this weekend, since I’ve been so busy with finals and finishing research. I’m really excited to move onto the next portion of my life though!,

  11. I cut several bags of swiss chard from the garden last week. I save buttons too, if a piece of clothing is no longer wearable or altered, and look forward to seeing the linen pillows you create. I’ve repurposed clothing into other things quite a few times as well. Sometimes they’re not good enough for anything but the rag bag, but they’re useful too. Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/05/plants-and-plans-and-frugal.html

  12. We are really enjoying our spring weather and more time outside in the yard and garden! Little man is loving trying things straight from the garden, so it’s tempting to put up more of a fence to protect things from the rabbits and deer to encourage him to eat more veggies. Anyone have success with keeping rabbits out without a fence? What do you do?

    Here are all of our accomplishments: http://liveandsave.blogspot.com/2017/05/frugal-accomplishments.html?_sm_au_=iVV5ZNP145DHMJrs
    I’d love for you to stop by!

  13. My daughter flew 2,00 miles to see her ill brother, for one day only, and then she had to return home to SLC. Sisterly love!! She had not seen us in two years. I tried to reimburse her, but she would not tell me how much she paid for a ticket. So, I bought special food we normally do not eat and we ate at home, which made it easier for her to visit with her brother. I did have a chance to walk the neighborhood with her, briefly. There were heavy rain and storms when she flew out on Sunday, but luckily, all went well. Other than cleaning house, harvesting mulberries, harvesting and drying dandelion greens, and working, I have done anything else and have not bought anything except the food for this weekend. My car is in the shop and the repair is supposed to be covered under my warranty. I enjoyed the free newspaper from the nearest large town (20,000 population) which is 30 miles away. My ill son is at the doctor today, and, hopefully, his medical condition is stable for the moment. I take joy in the simple things of life, like naps, health, health insurance, good food, and family.

  14. Trying to get on a new budget now that my husband got a much higher paying job. Won’t change much overall, but we are still clearing out the backlog of deferred expenses (my new glasses and contact lenses, an AC repair, car maintenance/repairs etc) and trying create sinking funds for future expenses.

    Basically right now, that means the budget is a mess.

    Groceries were $60, but that included several pounds of shrimp and chicken thighs for the freezer as they were loss leaders this week. Bought 2 hand towels and a fingertip towel on clearance to match 2 bath towels my mother bought several months ago. Now it looks like a set. I still need the big bath sheets (ours are starting to get holes in them), but I can wait to find them on sale.

    Did dinner and drinks at the VFW one night last week ( ear at clearance prices. At least then I could just pay a teenager instead of a service to deal with the lawn.

    Unexpected expenses arose today when I arrived at work to realize my office had been overtaken by ants and it was a colleagues birthday (and everyone forgot) – so out I went for bug spray and a cake.. this is only May 1, I can’t imagine what else will mangle my budget this month.

  15. We did quite a bit of cooking last week. One of the most tasty items was baked gluten-free donuts. They were cinnamon sugar flavor, and boy, were they good! Almost every week, I have the 2 girls I homeschool (daughter and niece) cook or bake something. They are learning lots of good recipes.

    We were able to go to a school performance of Robin Hood at the Northwest Children’s Theatre. We got the school price, so that was awesome, and had fun with a couple of other families we know.

    I was able to hoe the garden this morning for the first time. It’s just been too wet. The seeds we had planted did come up, for the most part, and it’s looking good, though far from anywhere near ready to eat! These are early things like lettuce, onions, etc.

    I put the rest of the week on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/saving-money-april-30-2017/

  16. Hi Brandy and all,

    Love your photos! And congratulations on the new dress! It is amazing how things work sometimes ;).

    My frugal week included:
    -I started doing daily walks last year and have expanded the distance, I am loving the walking and the weight loss-now have the task of cleaning out big clothes and getting smaller ones ;). A high class problem indeed!
    -Bought 4 shirts at thrift store, $6
    -colored my hair at home
    -Baked bread twice
    -Ate most meals at home
    -made navy bean soup for the first time, great addition to the meal plan and freezes well for future meals
    -gave a housewarming gift basket to a good friend. In the old days I would have spent a lot of money to show her how much I cared for her (i.e. bought gift cards for a famous spa here). Funny how money isn’t the key to a great gift. My gifts to her now accomplished the same goal and were 10 percent of the cost and she loved them (bottle of wine, two small bags of chocolates, flowers and a pink flamingo). She said she opened up the basket in the afternoon, once all the furniture was moved in, sat in the middle of the pile of boxes and other moving items, and put the flamingo on a box, set the flowers out and had the wine and chocolate! Made me really happy!

  17. It is so nice when you can pass on things to others instead of just donating them to a second hand store. Nice for you getting a new dress and I bet it made the other woman feel great that she gave it to someone that she knew would enjoy it :).

    My week was eventful in both good and not so good ways.

    My list for the week can be found here…


  18. Still attempting a pantry challenge. Ended up the month by going to my brothers cabin for 4 days. It was a nice break even though the fish refused to bite. I read two books and got a nap each day. Took all the open groceries with us. We ate well and used up most of what we took except for half a roasted chicken. I put it in the pressure cooker when we got home. Have the broth cooling in the fridge. The chicken is boned out. I plan to make enchiladas with it. I also have bread rising. I will take that and the enchiladas to my recently widowed brother. I used some of the bread dough to make a pizza crust. The chickens laid well while we were gone so we have lots of fresh eggs to use. Sun is shining today. Hubby is spraying weeds. Garden planting here is still a couple of weeks away

  19. Your story gives new means to “I’d give you the shirt off my back”! What a wonderful thing, and what a special person she must be to feel comfortable offering it to you.

    I had a good grocery saving week, including finding eggs for .39 a dozen. This is a great foundation for meals to come. I also found a neighborhood grocer was having an anniversary sale and they had many terrific deals, including a premium pizza for 1.91. Since we are a small family, that is a meal for us.

    Additional frugal musings for the week are at https://healthfulsaver.com/2017/04/30/saving-and-homemaking-429/?frame-nonce=cbde70c12c

  20. It was a semi-frugal week last week for me. I was on vacation last week. We celebrated our son’s 13th Birthday. My parents took us all out to dinner and then joined us for cake and ice cream back at my house. Earlier in the day, I went to Dollar Tree and got a mylar balloon bunch for a simple decoration. It’s been almost a week and the balloons are still flying high. My mother brought her scissors and clippers and cut both mine and my son’s hair.

    Friday, I made my way to Columbus Ohio to see Derek and Julianne Hough’s Move Beyond Live on Tour, for which I had . VIP pass. NOT frugal but I did have a free code for an Uber ride which I used to take me from my motel to the theater.

    Got several free magazines, thanks to my Recyclebank points and Verizon Smart Rewards points.

    Even though I was on vacation, I pretty much stayed home all week, save for Friday’s trip to see that show. Drove 210 miles one way. It was all highway driving so I was able to get pretty good gas mileage.

    I won a $250 Starbucks gift card from being a member of a book launch team, that was running a contest to get people to post about the book on our social media accounts. Used that on Thursday for a drink and sandwich. Still have $243 left on the card.

    My mother was generous to give me some money so that I could buy some merchandise from the show on Friday. I got a full-zip hoodie and a t-shirt with that money.

    I had a great time at the show. It was definitely not frugal. I thoroughly enjoyed myself nonetheless. I took 443 pictures with my cellphone. They turned out pretty great. I did have a front row aisle seat as part of a Meet and Greet VIP package.

    I celebrated being 5 years CANCER FREE on 4/26, also the date of my son’s birthday! The ticket to that show I purchased was in celebration of this big milestone!

  21. Finished starting the rest of my seeds, for transplanting into the garden around June 1. My greenhouse plants were started six weeks ago and will be transplanted into the greenhouse next week. 25 tomato plants, 12 cucumber plants, 2 pepper and 2 watermelon plants. I doubt that the watermelon will make it, since our first frosts in interior Alaska come at the end of August, but it is fun to try.

    Continue to eat out of the freezer or cupboard, so I have room for produce I freeze, can and dehydrate during the summer. I made garbage soup for three evening meals, throwing in bits and bobs of whatever I could find lurking in the corners. I’ve never used jicama in soup, but I did this week. Ditto for finely chopped lettuce (my husband is uncomplaining; if I make it, he will eat it. The one time he told me he didn’t like something, I nearly fell over from shock. We’ve never had apple, pumpkin, cheddar cheese soup again.)

    Organized all the cards I have bought or made in the last few years, so they are easy to locate by topic (birthday, anniversary and so on). I don’t think I will have to buy any more before I die!

    Sold a number of books on Amazon and donated others for a tax write-off.

    I have a favorite soft roll recipe but it uses milk and I had run out of powdered milk. At 3.69 a gallon, I didn’t want to use fresh milk. I found a six pack of evaporated milk; diluted, it worked just fine and that way I won’t do what I have done in the past—found evaporated milk so old it had mostly solidified in the can and had to be tossed.

    Did a pile of mending. Actually, it is my husband who usually does the mending, as he likes to sew, but he’s been too busy so I forced myself to stop whining and just do it. I have no talent or interest in sewing and at one point in my life I would throw something away rather than fix it.

    Other than that, just the usual stuff like turning off the oven early so that casseroles can finish cooking with residual heat, rinsing out plastic bags to re-use them, and so on. Nothing exciting.

  22. I also loved the fragrance of oregano in my garden; just brushing past it releases the odor. However, my oregano spread like a weed and I ended up digging it all out since there was no way to get it out of there by hand! So keep an eye on it, and if it goes beyond where you want it, pull the extras out immediately!

  23. Last week was not super exciting, but it was dry enough to plant some perennials I had ordered, and also a new bush I ordered from another nursery. With it, I got 6 free ranunculus, which I have not yet planted because now it won’t stop raining. We had two inches since last evening and it’s supposed to rain for the next 7 days. Today there were severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings, and flood warnings. Tornadoes actually hit about 60 miles from here–will have to see the 11 PM news to see more of the damage –so far no reports of injuries. There were almost 10,000 without power immediately after the storms. Weather news was on the TV for about 2.5 hours straight due to the severity of the storm. Roads were closed in two towns near us due to flooding. I’d be happy not to have any more weather problems for a while!
    I have a long list of things to do this week, including some shopping which is pretty rare for me. A baby shower, and a dance recital and a graduation and two birthdays this month. In fact, there are actually four graduations although I do not expect invitations to parties for all of them. I do try to send them checks, however, because I am a serious advocate of the more education, the better. I have set amounts for each step but undecided so far about one niece–she got a 4 year degree in biology and then a 2 yr degree as a lab technician, and landed “the job of her dreams” just a couple weeks ago, in the same hospital in which her mother is a nurse! She is thrilled, and happy to be earning more money and buying things she needs as she needs them. I’ve never seen anyone so pleased to be able to afford new tires for their car.
    My own granddaughter has been unable to find a paying version of the jobs she is interested in–she majored in film studies and English. She’s been working steadily until recently when her landlord offered her the opportunity to sell/rent commercial real estate in his business. She is intrigued and has been diligently studying on her own to pass the licensing test, and she did find him a tenant after a couple in her building moved out last month. She and the landlord hit it off as soon as they met–she says he reminds her of her uncle. Not sure about the landlord’s exact age, but the uncle is 84! So I am hoping when she takes the test, he will guide her along for a while. She is very personable and enjoys people so I think she will be good at the job, and just hope she ENJOYS it. In the meantime, she is volunteering at the entertainment agency she wishes could afford to employ her, and doing some part time distribution of an entertainment newspaper, which I think she also occasionally writes for. Her goal was to become a movie programmer (one who chooses which movies to run) or an event planner (movie festivals and such.) She has networked with all the right people but the jobs are few in this area. She did an internship in NYC, and two here, so she has expended lots of effort. I think it will happen eventually, as she is known to the right people, but selling real estate could help her budget out considerably more than most of the jobs she has tried already. It’s quite difficult to get a start in some fields for young people and she’s been working very hard at it. She is about 3/4 finished with the course and then will take the exam.
    She is not the best at budgeting but her mother and I are seriously urging her to do more thrifty things. She does understand thrift stores and estate sales, of that we are certain.

  24. What a kind gesture for that lady to offer you her dress! Such a blessing. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you make from the linen dress material. Your sewing projects are always so beautiful and inspirational to me, Brandy.

    I’ve had a really busy week and it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. Here are this week’s frugal accomplishments:
    *Meals made at home this week included make-your-own pizza night, spaghetti with meat sauce (while I was away), stuffed chicken breasts with broccoli/cauliflower mix and salad, chicken souvlaki with white rice and corn, cheese & broccoli pasta, and “piggies in a blanket” (sausage and cheese crescent rolls) with salad.
    *Tried a new recipe for Raspberry Crumb Bars (http://whoneedsacape.com/2014/02/raspberry-crumb-bars/). I wanted to see how they tasted before adding them to the treat trays. So this batch will be used in bagged lunches this coming week (DD & mine).
    *Went on an overnight trip to Ottawa/Gatineau, Quebec through my work. We attended to 2 museums to do some research for our Jaquard loom. The hotel and transportation was paid for, but we were responsible for the cost of our food. It was an amazing trip, which included a behind the scenes tour of the collections area at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Museum of Civilization) and a visit to the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario (Almonte is a very scenic little town to visit…definitely take your camera!). So glad I went!
    *While I was on my trip, my mom attended a charity bingo and invited 2 of my cousins, since my husband & I couldn’t go. My MIL gave us the tickets for free. They didn’t win, but everyone enjoyed the evening nonetheless.
    *I used my leftover spending money from my Ottawa trip to purchase grocery stock up on some much needed grocery items, including about $60 of BLSL chicken breasts. Made up some homemade chicken souvlaki with 2/3 of the chicken for the freezer.
    *Enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood for some free exercise.
    *Started back to work on Friday, cleaning buildings for our opening in mid-May. So tired, but glad to be making a paycheck again!

    Eventually I will get to reading everyone’s comments. It’s like catching up with good friends when I read them. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

  25. A co-worker gifted me with 18 eggs from her chickens! I continue to build our stockpile of food. I’m shooting for 6-12 months and am sticking with my grocery budget as I do it as I buy things on sale. I have some potatoes purchased on sale that are sprouting so I’m working hard to use them up! My daughters have a birthday party to attend this weekend and we’ll use items from our gift closet. I made a pot of Tuscan Beans but put in too much garlic (is that even possible?). The beans aren’t right but I’m going to convert them into a kale and bean soup…I think they’ll turn out just fine that way. Someone gifted our workplace with goody bags of snacks so I have several things to add to my stockpile and snack drawer plus a few nice gift bags to book.

  26. have been planting all week. I got plants from my church. They are redo all the beds. I got 3 carloads. I used some in my perennial beds and around my pond. I probably shouldn’t have but I hate for them to be thrown away. I got shoots from my neighbors yard of lilacs. I want to concentrate on my vegetables now. I can’t imagine how much I would have spent on all those plants. I cooked all week except we bought pizza for our kids one day. I learned how to make a homeopathic remedy go quite a bit farther. That will save me $10.00 a month. I am using cilantro and chives in my cooking from my garden. It’s still to cold to plant here. I hemmed my daughter’s dress and did a lot of mending. I found some baby gifts at Costco for $10.00, they are $30.00 elsewhere. I bought 4 of them. I already used 2. I can’t believe prices now. I really don’t know how people can afford things if they aren’t careful on their spending. I keep cleaning out the pantry and trying to use things up. Have a wonderful day everyone.

  27. Well, my surgery (hysterectomy with bladder and bowel prolapse repairs) went beautifully according to the doc and hubby didn’t take any videos of me all drugged up although he did get annoyed with how often I was repeating or asking things and I very vaguely remember my parent’s visiting hehe. I spent alot the week prior so that I have all the groceries and pet foods I need for at least 2 weeks + I put several of my meals (I still have alot of dietary restrictions), gluten free breads and muffins in the freezer. I have never had a surgery before and am rather annoyed with how little I can do and get exhausted. I have a 5 pound weight limit as well so needless to say, I can’t do much.
    *We used 3 coupons on the pet food totaling $25 off
    *I worked extra hours before my surgery so my last 2 checks would be larger. I cannot work due to my weight restrictions for at least 6 weeks.
    *I sent a HUGE load to Goodwill and got the tax return slip for it.
    *I mended a pair of sweats that had lost the tie and since I have lost so much weight, they wouldn’t stay up with out one! I think I can manage a bit of sewing so I will be taking in a couple sweaters that I love and putting elastic or ties in several pairs of pants.
    *I started all my seeds in my little greenhouse I have sitting in a south window. My bell peppers are already 4 inches tall but I have a month before I can put those outside. I already got all the beds prepared so I can just plant when the time comes.
    *The 3 ducklings are growing so fast – I got them moved into a big pen with a large water source the day before my surgery. I was supposed to have gotten 5 more of the breed I really wanted but the person kept giving us the run around and then contacted my husband Friday and said he had 3 for us. I decided we didn’t need to spend the money right now and I am not capable of hauling water to where they would need to be in the barn. I am a bit disappointed but it is for the best right now. The chickens are laying very well and 2 eggs a day is more than meeting our needs.
    *hubby picked up a inflatable dingy for free that he will try and fix and resale to bring in some money. He is still unable to work and now has a lawyer to help with SS disability.
    And I think that’s it. I won’t be doing alot for the next several weeks so probably won’t post but will be reading everyone’s posts 🙂

  28. Good job on all the weeding. We are getting a lot of rain and the weeds are going crazy. Does anyone know how to control weeds, especially thistle in a garden bed. Your garden sounds wonderful.

  29. Congratulations on being five years cancer free. That is an amazing thing to celebrate. Glad you were able to do so. I am 7 years cancer free and say my life has its own BC and AC. Before cancer and After cancer.

  30. One thing we have noticed about oregano, is when it blooms it really attracts the bees. So we pot up extra plants, and place them in the garden by the tomatoes and peppers and anything else where we really want to attract bees. Then let them flower. It works great for us. Of course I live in Eastern Washington, where while it gets hot, we don’t have either the humidity of the South or the extreme number of hot days as the desert. We are considered high desert though.

  31. Cathy, the only way I have found to control thistles is to pull them out, wearing a leather glove, when the ground is moist, so the root pulls out, too. We have lots of thistles here, so when I am weeding, I always have a leather glove in my pocket for the thistles.

  32. Marcia,

    One of the great things about real estate is that is a fantastic second job. More than half of our agents (my husband and I own the company together, which is why I say “our”) are part-time real estate agents.

    The laws in her area may be different, but here, you can become a broker in 2 years (rather than 7) if you have a degree. This was rather nice for my husband when he had been in the business for 2 years; he could have his own company in 2 years, rather than waiting 7.

  33. It’s been 10 days since we bought our starter hens and we’ve collected eggs every one of the past 7 days so we are over the moon excited!
    I canned pineapple this week, using some of the jar lids I bought for 50 cents/dozen on clearance and all 16 jars sealed perfectly! So glad since I bought 92 dozen lids!!! This cuts my cost per jar that I can by a huge amount! My pineapple worked out to 34 cents/pint jar total, counting pineapple, jars and lids!! Hard to beat that!!

    Made banana bread and banana oat breakfast bars to use up some markdown bananas!

  34. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . What a blessing your new dress was, I am so happy for you Brandy 😀 .

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    – In the month of April we saved 54.68% of our combined after tax incomes including interest from our savings.
    – Today we banked more money into our saving for our home with cash fund bringing us to 19.68% of our target.
    – Purchased a new recliner swivel chair for DH as his old one was worn out and I knocked them down in price by $249.
    – We did this month’s grocery shop and came in under budget by $46.76.
    – Stockpiled 14 more tins of champignons and 2 packets of macadamia nuts.
    – Used DH’s paid gardening work to buy some groceries.
    – Used money earned from selling my crafts online to pay for $95 in clothing I purchased and paid for some groceries too.
    – Used our solar lanterns instead of turning on any mains powered lights.
    – Got our quarterly power bill in and we have used 164kWH less power and with price rises in fees we have saved another approx. $8 from our last power bill.
    – Watered the lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine.
    – Watered some new seedlings in our gardens with saved vegetable blanching, freezing and washing water.
    – Picked strawberries, cherry tomatoes and sweet corn from the gardens.

  35. you are looking for wild life repellent. They come in a spray (think Lowes, Home Depot maybe hardware stores that sell gardening supplies) or granular. I have used both. The rabbit nest was 10 ft from my salad garden and it worked. Didn’t seem to be any difference of brand or how it was applied. Dad who will be 90 tomorrow told me we should have pour urine around it. Since we have 2 big dogs that have pottied in that area I don’t think that is going to work LOL

  36. Congratulations! I have very close family members recently diagnosed with cancer and I hope we are able to celebrate in five years, like you are doing now! You deserved that trip and I am so glad you enjoyed it!!!

  37. I am tending my herb beds, in one of which my oregano has gotten a foot hold and is growing vigorously. The garlic chives have matched it, though, so we’ll see which one wins. My dill hesitated for a bit but is coming on strong now, as is the thyme. I’ve always heard how easy dill and thyme are to grow, and I’ve always had mine die on me every time I’ve tried it. This is the first year they are actually growing for me. I hope to dry lots of herbs in my dehydrator this year.
    I bought a second hand shirt and just need to turn up the sleeves — the shirt is a size small, and while I am short, 5’2″, I’ve never seen sleeves this long on a small-sized shirt before. They are simple straight sleeves with a top-stitched hem, so it won’t be hard to do. Other than the sleeves, the shirt fits great and I love the colors and pattern.
    I have a couple of gifts I would like to sew, and my first place to start is to look online for free patterns. Next will be getting the fabric on sale. Unlike some, our local thrift stores never have fabric.
    I get my joy in the rain we just had, after weeks of dry, hot weather.

  38. Oregano does spread. You really need to cut it back and use it often to keep it a manageable size. I bought a little put of it one year and by the end of the next year it was about 3 get in diameter!

  39. What a blessing you received when you were gifted that dress.

    My apartment complex offered outside space for residents to use for gardening. I jumped at the chance. I’m partnered with two other ladies, both moms of 4 year old boys. So the three of us adults and two little boys got together for the first time on Sunday. What a blast! We all, including the kids, worked well together. We designed the space assigned to us and decided what we would do this first year. Then we staked out three 4ft X 6 Ft. beds for each family. We worked really well together and got it done before the four year olds got bored. Today I’m going out to start weeding. This space is just steps from my front door.
    Earlier today and yesterday, I shopped at two of our local grocery stores on their 10% off everything day. It’s a once a month sale on the first Monday or Tuesday. I found some good deals for my pantry and also my monthly ‘durables’ like toilet paper and shampoo.
    I also offered to take some grass clippings from a friend. I picked those up from a friend. It will free up space in her yard bin and give me some needed supplies for my new garden space. Win-win.
    Continued with the usual – ate at home, made meals from pantry items, shopped at the non-profit grocery for bread and dairy, started harvesting from my established garden, trimmed my own hair.

  40. I am always so grateful for the tips I find here. Brandy’s posts and the comments that follow provide some of the best frugal living advice out there.
    This week:
    I found a new lunch bag at my local thrift store.
    Planted our veggie garden.
    Picked up a couple of extra hours at work and finished an online gig. Every penny helps!
    Gratefully received some fresh fish from a friend and an Easter lily from work along with a couple of sprouting onions and romaine lettuce stumps for my garbage garden.

    [/list]Reevaluated our budget to see if we could find extra money to put against our debt.
    I hope everyone has an amazing week!

  41. Wow! So many ways you can save money because of your skills as a seamstress. I wish that more people (including myself!) had these types of skills. I always love reading all the comments to see and learn what everyone is doing to economize.

    Last week I cooked our last frozen turkey from our freezer. We used it for different meals over a few days and froze the rest. This month I tried to redeem points, use coupons, and gift cards for as many things as possible – although most of it was for none food related items. I just got back from the store where Chicken Breasts were on sale for $3.99/lb – but I did not like the way they were cut so I did not buy any. I suppose that is a good way to save money – to just not buy something – but I will have to buy some other meat at some point! I have enough proteins in stock here to last until I find another sale.

    A big way I was able to save money this week was by exchanging some tiles I had bought for the floor of our shower (we are doing a a major renovation on our house that seems to be going on forever). I was able to return stone tiles I had purchased when I found some beautiful 1 inch mosaic tiles in a clearance bin. These tiles were regularly $18.95/sq ft but were on clearance as an end lot for 11.95 a sq ft. This was a great savings. The tiles for the walls of the shower I was able to get for $3.44 a square foot (much less but looks very nice combined with the floor). This way I could get a fancy look (with the floor tiles) but not spend a fortune by getting a more reasonably price tile for the walls. It is also a stall sized shower we are installing, so less square footage of tile is needed. I was really happy with the tiles. The other great part is that because I got these tiles (instead of the stone) I can return the sealer that was needed specifically for the stone which will save an additional $47.95.

    Other things I did to save money this month (more related to household stuff) can be found here:


  42. Ned the Cat guards our garden from the ferocious eaters of greens, but he brings “trophies” to the door and expects to be praised as a “Mighty Hunter.”

  43. Marivene, which size tuna can are you using, the approx 6 oz one or the bigger one? Or do you use both?

  44. Melissa, I like the picture too, but at first glance I thought it was a big bowl of blueberries behind the bunch of oregano!

  45. Jeannie, maybe the refrigerator and the freezer just need a good vacuuming out around the coils…underneath etc?? They are always dust collectors.

  46. I have not had a very frugal week. I had a college graduation and birthday gifts to purchase. I also purchased my mom’s mother’s day gift. I did manage to purchase a scrap of fabric to make myself a cover for my sewing machine. I love the fabric and it only cost me $1.50. My daughter and I stopped at a garage sale which was actually a nursery going out of business and we both purchased very nice hand garden tools of high quality for $2.00 each. Too much purchasing for one week! Hopefully that is over with and we can get back to our frugal ways.

  47. Allyson, the rabbits first choice actually isn’t the garden plants. If there’s plenty of untreated grass with weeds like plantain, clover, thistle, etc they are happy with that. We see rabbits out in our yard all the time eating away at something in the grass, but we do not spray or treat for weeds. They pretty much leave our gardens alone but we have fairly large gardens so a nibble here or there will not be that noticeable.

    If you have pets, sprinkle the brushed fur over your plants. Between my daughter’s and our property we have 5 dogs and multiple cats (the cats are belled so they can’t sneak up on birds). Some say marigolds work but we’d have to have about 1000 to ring the various gardens. Since rabbits dig and jump, fences don’t always help. You could try sparkly, dangley stuff but I’m not sure on that. Hawks and owls keep pests in control also.

  48. Brandy, I am always so happy to hear about how the Lord blesses you with unexpected gifts like the dress. “Give and it will be given unto you…” must be true.

  49. Oh yay, what a great find with that free dress!

    This week I:

    1. Went to the zoo and used my pass, which meant I got in for free.

    2. Made more homemade laundry soap.

    3. I plan on baking a few ciabatta loaves to cut and freeze for later.

    4. I washed and detailed my car myself instead of paying for it to be done.

    5. I did pay to get an oil change on our car, but I used a good coupon to lessen the blow.

  50. That was wonderful about the dress. One of the things that I try to do everyday when I come across people is to always find something to compliment them on. It may be an outfit, or shoes, or color of nail polish, or how wonderfully behaved their children are, etc. I find that there isn’t enough niceness and positivity and I like to spread a little bit if I can.

    My frugal accomplishments from last week:

    ~ Made homemade yogurt and homemade cheese from some milk that was about to expire.

    ~ Gave middle son a haircut

    ~ Turned off the heat, for a few days when it was warmer.

    ~ Made homemade bread and rolls several times.

    ~ Free date night at the airport. Had to pick up my Godmother who was coming back from Europe and hubby and I people watched and had free coffee with some leftover parking money my Godmother gave me.

    ~ Bought mushrooms on sale for $1.29/lb and sautéed them to put in the freezer (baby bellas). I freeze them flat in a ziploc bag and then just break off however much I need.

    ~ Went to Saver’s 50% off day to pick up some clothes that I needed for hubby and boys (found some things for me as well. 

    ~ Made dinner from the pantry one day (really need to do this more).

    ~ Hid some school snacks from the kids to make them last longer (I have 2 teens and one almost teen and if they find them, they will eat everything at once).

  51. Congratulations on the new dress!
    We have been continuing on the pantry challenge and eating all meats and veggies from the freezer.
    I have continued to combine errands with school drop offs as long as they are on the way home from the school or within a couple blocks from home.
    The weather last week was cold and rainy so we were unable to do yard work or watch my 5 year old grandson’s baseball games. Temps were in the 30-40 range and windy. We had the furnace on all week.
    I have continued to use leftovers for different meals. Chili turned into chili mac. I cooked a roast in the oven on Sunday and planned to make bbq beef sandwiches but there wasn’t enough left so instead I made a small batch of soup using the meals leftovers and my husband took it to work for lunches this week.
    We also made home made build your own pizzas this week. Good by Little Cesar’s! They turned out really well and everyone enjoyed them so we will be doing it again at least every other week.
    Not frugal for me but I handed down some tee shirts that were to small for me to my 11 year old grandson. He was very happy! He is very tall and skinny and the shirts may be a little long now but he’ll grow into the length.
    Have a great week everyone!

  52. K, congratulations on achieving your Master’s degree.

    It sounds like one car would work well for you.

  53. Hi J! I sort of winged the refried beans recipe, and just boiled some beans with taco seasoning, garlic powder, and whatever seasoning in my cupboard seemed like it would be good together. Other times, I fry up onions, add in cooked beans, mash it up, and call it good. I recently came across this recipe (http://www.5dollardinners.com/slow-cooker-refried-beans-fat-free-gluten-free-create-your-own-spice-level/) which looks good, although I don’t know how flavourful it would be. If you come across one that you recommend (or if anyone else has a recommendation), do let me know! Thanks!

  54. I enjoying reading everyone’s post.
    I had a garage sale over the weekend with things that will not fit or be used in our new house. I made $450 in a few hours. I planned sell more the next day but with the wind decided to try this Saturday.
    I continued using from the pantry and only buying milk, bread and dog treats.
    Frugal fail is having to repair some things so using some of the $450 for that.
    I had a recall for car so I went to dealer for that and a oil change. Ended up being totally free! It took a long time but I was prepared and read.
    That is all I can think of for now.

  55. Jo, I often buy bed sheets, curtain panels and sometimes blankets at the thrift store to use for fabric. Often this is much cheaper than buying fabric on sale.

  56. I make up also. 2 lbs pintos presoaked, drain, add 4-5 chopped onions, cover with water, add 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes and cook until mashable consistency. Add extra water as needed but not so much that you need to drain them again. Salt to taste after beans are cooked.

  57. Interesting doll story. I remember getting a doll in a cradle when I was younger. It was a handmedown from an older cousin and then it was handed on to someone else.

  58. I enjoyed the gifting of the dress . Sharing and kindness make such a difference. Well after 11 weeks of dealing with severe allergies, I have hit rock bottom. I am sicker than I have ever been. My eardrums ruptured and my coughing is extreme. I went into town and payed out of pocket to see the local nurse practitioner. I have some strong antibiotics and steroids and immediately felt the difference. She refilled several of my daily medications for me. I played 200.00 out of pocket for everything but this was still cheaper than paying the co payments for the two specialists. Sadly my eye surgery has left me with daily migraines. Insurance won’t give me but 9 pills. My pharmacist suggested getting a 30 day prescription of drug X and he could give it to me for 30.00. These work great, the Np was happy to write the RX and I won’t suffer most days. The other pills run anywhere from 150 to 300 for 9 pills out of pocket. I have realized that I am not young anymore and need to immediately get the steroids and not wait it out. I feel so blessed to have this woman to treat me. I started keeping a list of what we need. I stop at the salvage store any time I pass by it and pick up what we need. We have reduced our budget a good bit. Today I stopped in a local grocery store and bought marked down produce. All wrapped packages are 99 cents. Oddly they have the strangest combination s in them. The two I got weighed a total of5 pounds and I remembered to choose the combinations with the highest priced items. I have several odds and ends I needed to make some new dinners. I saw my college daughter this week which is a great joy. She graduaes from college as well as my son graduating high school in two weeks. So exciting. I am making a chocolate chip cheese cake and only needed a pack of Oreos to prepare it. I think we will eat Chinese buffet to celebrate. It is so nice everything always has an easy solution.


  59. Athanasia, the thing that was so sad about all the missing bottles, is that we had to use a pair of scissors to remove the bottle & rattle from the doll package we bought in Washington. There is no way a 2-3 year old just innocently pulled those off the packages. Neither my middle daughter nor I could pull it off, & neither of us are weaklings. People just don’t seem to think it is wrong to steal anymore.

  60. Are you implying my house is less than immaculate? That there might be a spot of dirt in my house??? 😀

    I followed your advice and checked my refrigerator. The coils are completely enclosed on the back and we can’t get to them. The deep freezer in the basement, well that is another story. As soon as the plumbers finish cutting holes in my bathroom wall and decides to leave, I will take a look behind the freezer.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  61. Woo-hoo! Praise God for 5 years w/out cancer. I’m sure your whole family was celebrating.

  62. You could try cutting them fairly close the ground on a day just before a rainstorm. It worked for me once.

  63. When I said cut them, By them I meant thistles and not weeds in general

  64. I didn’t buy much of anything this week. I stopped at the library and got a library card which was free. It will allow me to read online various things the library has subscriptions to such as Consumer Reports. I had an estimate for new windows done but they would be very expensive so I will just replace glass on some but over time.

    I bought folate-enriched pasta on sale; 2 for $3.00 each. To the lady who said that she is trying to use up her sprouting potatoes quickly, I am cutting mine up and planting them. If they have sprouted, they will grow.

    I won 2 gift certificates for plants at local greenhouses so most of my purchases will be done by using those. I have transformed many flowerbeds from annuals to perennials so I don’t buy many annuals anymore. All of my rare Itoh peonies that I got for $2.50 each (they usually cost $80 each and up) have sent up new growth and I hope to enjoy the blooms for the first time.

    I already have 1 rhubarb plant but a friend dug up hers and gave it to me. It has reddish leaves and is very beautiful.

  65. I so enjoyed reading your posts.❤ a few frugal items were: my daughter covered my front porch wicker chairs seat cushions in a beautiful red. I found a good amount of strong fabric for $2 at thrift. She also paid $2 at garage sale for pretty black n white pillows for these chairs. My husband will spray paint them in black bean color. He also repainted my bench for porch barn red.
    I was able to purchase eggs .50 a dozen. Bought several. Strawberries .99 lb. Bought several to freeze. Purchased Kraft Mayo for. 99 a jar with coupon on jars. Bought several for summer.
    Purchased some pretty hand lotions…dollar store.
    They come in a box of 3 for a dollar. Bought cards
    Small gift bags..for .30cents. These will be small gifts for bdays for friends.
    Getting garden ready here. Seeds are sprouting. Will split a few hostas to put in pretty cement flower pots out front. Husband fixed several screens in our home
    Ready for warm weather. Saved us alot of money.

  66. Ellie’s friend, cutting a thistle off at ground level will not kill it. It just resprouts from the root that is still in the ground. Thistles can resprout multiple times, even if you pull out part of the root, so to remove them without using weedkiller, you have to get the root, either by pulling or digging it out.

  67. My 5th Grade teacher was a part-time Real Estate Agent. Or rather, I should say, a part-time teacher because in the afternoons, we’d get a LOT of independent reading time while he was out of the room attending to his real-estate business. This was 1982-1983 so, pre cell-phone/computer/internet days.

  68. One year before he got too many grandkids, my Dad made cradles for the four girls, and I (the sister who sews) made mattresses, pillows, sheets and blankets out of edges of worn out stuff mostly, and four little girls got cradles and linens for their dolls for Christmas. I bet those cradles are still around somewhere in the family–the grandkids numbered about 30 some last time I counted, and there are great-grands also. What a fun project that was! I have knitted and sewn many doll clothes also.

  69. That is encouraging! She has finished her first time through the course, making notes as she went, and will schedule the test and review her notes and take the exam as soon as she can. I think there are two parts to it.

  70. Last week,I was able to make 6 pairs of shorts out of 3 yards of chambray, and 3 more pairs out of some cute tropical, flamingo fabric that I already had. The pattern was free and the chambray was on sale!
    This week, I was gifted five huge chunks of Monkey Grass, and 2 pink Azaleas! I am getting those planted in the front yard around an ugly evergreen bush – hopefully will make it look better. Now , I just need to find a good deal on black mulch and Holland pavers to go around the new landscaping.

  71. Great idea about the weeds and the rabbits. I have rabbits come in my yard even though I have a fence in the backyard. We have a 4 acre parcel with a lot of weeds. I have spraying them. My husband wants to do once a year. Ugh. That’s all I use, I never put anything toxic the flower or vegetable garden. I know the rabbits like small seedlings. You can always throw bird netting over them until they get bigger.

  72. I agree, I do that too. I have used them for linings, and any other things you can use cotton for. I have made pillow cases and backing for quilts.

  73. Thank you. I have tried to pull and dig them out, but as you say they have runners. They are mixed in with my wildflowers. I will try to keep weed wacking them. I really hate to spray weedkiller. I have occasionally for the greater good, I would have lost my whole flower bed. 🙁

  74. That’s tough when your husband retires. Mine retired 5 yrs. ago. You just don’t have extra money. We are okay though. I just keep using my frugal ways. I found a bag of rock salt by the street for garbage. I use it around the yard when I don’t want any weeds or grass to grow. Most people wouldn’t have taken the time. I also found straw by the field and I used it around the trees.

  75. Hi Lillana. I just read about your woes with severe allergies and migraines. I too have these same issues. Just recently I started taking Bromelain Sinus Ease and using a SinuPulse which is kind of like a water pik for your sinuses. It’s strong enough to clear out the sinuses in your forehead! Both are on Amazon. The bromelain works on sinus confestion from allergies. I was having one sinus infection after another. Feeling much clearer now and migraines pretty much gone! (They were daily!) Hope they can help you too.

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