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

I said yes to some ham that I was offered from someone whose Easter guests don’t eat ham.

I collected shower warm-up water and used it to water potted plants in the garden.

What did you do to save money this past week?

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  1. I planted lettuce and kale, all gifted to me. I harvested arugula and lettuce. I sewed cushion covers and cloth napkins for a family member. I had free zippers to use on the cushion covers. They bought the fabric, but it was quite lightweight so I lined it with old sheet fabric that I had saved. They turned out beautifully. I also made in insert for a Bobby pillow cover.
    I submitted paperwork to substitute teach at another district. I combined this errand with 3 other errands.
    I’m being purposeful to include more beans in our meals, in an effort to get our food budget down a bit.

  2. Today is the total eclipse and in our part of Ohio, it is supposed to be 100%. the 13 acres where our daughter lives is a perfect viewing area so her closest sister who lives in a Columbus suburb drove up yesterday to the 13 acres and their family stayed overnight to watch the eclipse today. Good thing too, because the freeways have been almost at a standstill going in that direction for a couple hours now with people trying to get farther out to get a better view.
    Hubs and I took youngest son to airport an hour ago on his trip to NC to meet in person the sister of a best friend of mine that he has been texting with for about 3 months so they can decide whether they might both want to move to the “dating” side in their relationship! Our son told us that even if they decide not to date, that this is more proactive than he’s been before and so he sees it as a milestone!

    I picked up about 30 pounds of 80/20 ground beef today using Flashfood for $1.72/pound. This will be added to our freezer as well as going to families that we know it will benefit.

    I am currently quilting my 8th stashbusting scrap quilt for 2024- the first for April. I have now cobbled batting together for 8 quilts and I still have remnants for more! I’m hoping I can make 10 before I run out of batting scraps to piece together! It is a large lap quilt/twin size and when I put up a photo of it in process, two of my friends wanted to know about buying it! This is a totally unexpected outcome! https://pin.it/H7vlhekb4 .

    Frugal upset- I was scammed out of $350!! An acquaintance (about my age) that I sold soup cozies to from 2017- 2019, had been my FB friend from then on. She had been to my house several time before Covid and though we hadn’t seen each other in person during the past 3 years, we still kept in touch via FB. Her husband had cancer and they downsized their house and moved to a smaller home. She sold some of their furnishings via the internet and FB. Her husband had been recovering the last I heard. So she sent me a “highlight” FB post of hers that a friend of theirs was moving into a care facility and she was helping sell his furnishings, car, etc. She said she was out of town until today but had photos and prices posted. If anyone wanted something, they should message her and give her a deposit so she could mark it sold and hold it. If, upon seeing the item on Monday, you decided you didn’t want it after all, she would completely refund your money. There were 2 chain link dog kennels/runs that I thought would be perfect for our chickens! I asked how to pay her- Venmo, PayPal? She gave me a Venmo address to send but when I tried, it said my bank denied transaction. I tried it twice more, same response.
    So I asked her what to do and she gave me a PayPal address. When I started the transaction, it said it would convert it into a foreign currency. I stopped and contacted her saying I was uneasy with that message, so she gave me another PP address. She told me to do it as “Friends and family” so they wouldn’t be charged a transaction fee. This one went through and said it was completed. But then, she said it hadn’t gone through and would I please try sending it again and if it came through twice, she would refund the extra payment. I refused because now the messages were sounding less and less like my friend. In checking with PayPal, I have no protection because it was done as friends and family. I went to my bank on Saturday because it had been on Friday afternoon and was still listed as pending by my bank. They cannot help me either because I was doing a transfer from bank to PayPal rather than using a debit or credit card or Zelle. So this was my bitter lesson to learn this weekend. And my budget is $350 slimmer than I planned! 😢 Hopefully, this will be a warning to others. I always thought- “How foolish people are who fall for all these different scams” and here I am ! 🙄

    On the bright side, I got a notice from the gas company that I had no bill due for this month since I still had a credit. So that is $47 back not budget! Looks like that may also happen for May!!

    I quilted this baby quilt for a client: https://pin.it/37QYcuZhG. So I got paid for that. That’s another $50 into the budget! I have $60 coming in for pink scrappy baby quilt I sold. If I sell that pink/black quilt, that may bring my budget deficit down to around $50. Fingers crossed!

    Looking forward to a positive week ahead!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. These scams are all over the place and really are hard to avoid all of the time.
      Be glad you didn’t send more or send several payments. I was on the phone yesterday to Apple about my computer
      when a call came in. saying someone was trying to purchase an iMac and ipods on my amazon.ca account. I did not
      press any links nor give them any information but disconnected everyone. I then changed my passwords.
      I think it was one of those calls where if you press a directory number the fraudsters then ask for your personal information.
      It was still freaky that I was talking to Apple when the fraudster call came in.

    2. I am so sorry about the scam! In my experience, ANYONE can be scammed, even financial experts. These scammers are good. I haven’t been scammed (yet!) but I know far too many people who have. Keep a watch on your bank account for a while.

      1. Jo- That’s what hurt my pride the most! I watch and check my bank accounts every single day so I can check off what has posted from my budget but also to notice any unknown charges coming through or pending. What a dope I was! 😟😵‍💫

        Gardenpat in Ohio

        1. Dear Gardenpat, I am sure many of us here will benefit from your sad story and very likely someone from here will be more careful because of the story you shared. Thank you so much for sharing, you have been Helper´s hands to many for sure!

        2. GardenPat, like others have said, you provided a great “public service announcement “ by exposing how you were scammed and defrauded. I agree it can happen to most anyone.

          But the day after you posted, I read a similar post from a facebook friend who was helping sell items for “a friend”. She’s a widow and has struggled to part with some of her husband’s things, so I thought it unlikely she was spearheading selling items, especially a large trailer for a dump truck. I called her and spoke with her and she confirmed that her account had been hacked and she’d lost all her contacts. I had noticed that the scam site wouldn’t allow comments, so no one could post SCAM! I did report it and hope it will be taken down soon. I think I would have thought this odd, reading her post. But it sounded so similar to your situation that I knew immediately it wasn’t her. So thanks again for the warning. We all continue to learn from you. Blessings.

    3. Pat, there are all sorts of scams out there. I ordered makeup from a reputable website…Or so I thought. It was a dupe of the legitimate one and all the good that came of it was that the real company realized someone was using their name and product to scam folks and tried to pursue justice from their end. I didn’t get any money back though. And not having learned my lesson well enough I ordered a pair of Clark sandals for a bargain price. I got a cheap plastic knock-off pair of shoes that likely cost $3 and still made a profit for the company making them, but I paid a higher price of course. Yep, scammed again. It’s all a lesson to us all to be very careful. And in your case to listen to that little gut instinct that says “Something seems not right here…”

      1. Terri, I bought those Clark sandels too! They are cheap, flimsey knock-offs! Wonder how many others were bit with this one! Penny S.

    4. We went through this with our son, Fb was a Friend of his who’s dad went into assisted living. While she was on vacation someone hacked her acct and listed things she has on her site that was her dad’s for sale. HE caught it when she insisted he make a down payment for a car before seeing it in person and HER MOM attends the same VFW he is commander of. I would say CALL someone and not use anything other than what your bank uses. you can tell Paypal about this also.

    5. I am so sorry you got scammed. Years ago I got scammed as a pastor with funds to help people. It was an awful feeling, and must be more so for you because you through you knew the person! I was in your neck of the woods for the eclipse. My siblings and I gathered for the first time since 2019. We have been two or three together, but not all four and since the youngest runs a coffee shop in Perrysburg and lives in Bowling Green, it was meant to be! My daughter and her family came over from Indiana. We packed a lunch to eat before we entered the zoo….so we saw the eclipse with 10,000+ of our closest friends!


  3. I transplanted half a dozen provider green bean plants that I’ve been growing from seed into my flower bed. I dug a small trench by my fence and transplanted some cucumber and zuchini. I also put seeds for radishes, green onions, chives and beets into my small raised beds. I don’t know if I’ll get anything or not but I am hopeful.

    Applied weed and feed to the lawn and resisted the temptation to call a service.

    I am starting to look at all our expenses to cut out anything we don’t use or need.

    Cooking more at home and thoughtfully eating leftovers. I’m also watching what I buy at the grocery store. I think I need to cut back on all quantities as a whole. Choosing dinners to use up older items.

    I will start looking for a job closer to home after our bonuses are paid at the end of the month.

  4. Thanks for the reminder to start saving the warm up water. As this week I planted some more seeds. I had salad green seeds in a packet that was a few years old, I put some in a milk jug (container seed starting) and they are thriving.
    I save 2 card fronts to turn into new cards.
    I boiled water to use instead of distilled water. This is an experiment that I hope works.
    Bartered an office chair for 4 mini cakes and traded an extra rhubarb plant for a dozen eggs.
    I hope everyone has a calm and productive week!

    1. Hi J in PA –

      Just FYI, boiling water concentrates any minerals dissolved in it. Distilled water is the opposite – it is free from dissolved minerals. If you need distilled water, you can use the water from your dehumidifier, if you have one. Obvioulsy this water is not intended for drinking! But it is good for uses like putting it in your steam iron to iron clothes.

      1. Thank you S,
        That information is helpful. It was to be used for my makeup remover and air plants. I did a quick search on what a suitable replacement was. I would trust this for the makeup remover, but not for the plants.

  5. Hello, frugal friends from the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia! I think spring has finally sprung here. The redbuds are blooming and everything is such a pretty green. I did not comment last week so this week includes last week as well.
    In frugal efforts:
    *I made breadcrumbs from bread ends.
    *I used sourdough discard to make dinner rolls and pancakes.
    *I picked lettuce and spinach from the garden. I have volunteer lettuces coming up in great quantities. My favorite heirloom bib lettuce from Monticello reseeded itself. I must have 40 plants. I am very happy about that. I also found leaf lettuce which reseeded in one of my window boxes off our deck. I picked enough of both to serve Mr. Fix It and me salad for dinner at least twice this week.
    *I also found about 6 carrots which had overwintered. I pulled those and roasted them in the air fryer to include in tomorrow’s salad dinner.
    *We turned off the heat last week. We have had a few nights of 30 degree weather but we just added blankets to the bed at night adn used the propane fireplace to get the chill out of the house in the morning and evenings.
    * I was able to buy some meat on sale at Food Lion and used my $2 rewards to help bring the total cost down. I earned another $3 rewards buying the meat which I will use this week to pick up a little fresh fruit. I was shocked by the cost of bananas last week. .79/#!! They are usually .55/#. I guess this will be the new price. Bananas have been our go to fruit for quite some time because of the low price per pound. I might rethink this as I feel the increase of 50% is probably more than necessary.
    *I bought onion sets at the local feed and seed store. The price was the same as last year. I planted them today as we will have rain coming in tomorrow.
    *We had a dove make a nest in our window box outside our laundry room window. I have been watching her for the past 3 weeks. Her baby hatched last week and today baby and mama left the nest and flew to our front porch and sat on a little table we have out there. I watched for quite a while but missed when they flew away. It was fun to listen to mama and dad cooing to each other these past weeks. Now I hear them talking to each other outside.
    *We continue to do the usual things to keep costs down. It really is doing small things in a big way which add up to significant savings and good stewardship.
    I wish all my frugal friends a week full if blessings.

    1. Marley in the Mountains – you might know this already. Carrots produce seeds biannually which means they have to overwinter and grow through the next spring. Then they’ll set seeds. So if you find more of those over wintered carrots, consider keeping them in the ground and getting seeds.

  6. I got a two for one deal on Claritin, which I really need this time of year.
    I cooked beans for dinner today, and I am generally cooking from my pantry more and buying less.
    I need to save as much money as possible to rebuild my emergency fund after my cat got sick last week, so I am cutting back wherever I can. Vets are expensive!
    Also, I finally did my taxes just today. I don’t know why I put it off till so late this year, but it’s a relief to have it done. I owe taxes, but it’s less than I feared, and I have the money to pay it, thank goodness.

  7. Last week was one of my kid’s spring break. As he was home a lot but there were games at night, we roasted a large pork loin to eat off of for sandwiches this week.
    My son and I had a chocolate chip cookie bake off this weekend. Mine won but his were voted most addictive. Mine went in the freezer to enjoy later.
    Got some free strawberry plants through a local garden group. Also divided some hostas.
    First meal with garden stuff for the season. Green onions for our chicken strips with green onions and garlic.
    Eclipse was spent with the scouts instead of a festival. Was a good distraction as I am waiting for results from a surprise biopsy Friday. I’m spending too much time googling medical journals.
    Wishing you all a blessed week.

  8. .Bills paid online
    .Used $30 in Loyalty points for groceries
    .All meals made and eaten at home
    .Only 2 coffees bought out
    Made a large batch of cous cous and mixed it with a variety of frozen veg
    .Cooked up a batch of dried chickpeas for a vegetarian curry – half to the freezer
    .Had to use up a bag of onions as they were going soft, caramelized 2/3 and chopped and froze the other half in 1 Cup portions
    .Prepped some ham salad for sandwiches – mixed with last of the HM pickles
    .Prepped bacon and sausages and into the freezer for quick breakfasts
    .Did 2 loads of laundry and dried both on clothes racks
    .Read 3 library books and watched baseball on tv for entertainment

  9. I planted some seeds I had on hand for some herbs, zinnias and impatiens and used our compost from last years garden to enrich the soil
    I turned aging milk into ricotta and used the whey when making bread
    Leftover bread became French toast and aging bagels became bagel chips
    Otherwise not the most frugal of weeks but I tried!

  10. What will you do with the ham? I just bought a spiral ham and a great discount and thinking about recipes.

    1. I weeded and swept my front yard. I replaced two dead plants with a succulent yellow bloomer ( don’t know the name) and an Aloe vera. Those of you who grow from seeds and cuttings are amazing. The plants totaled $44 – which I budget. Cooking at home is worth more of my effort than planting right now while I am still working full time. Maybe in the next life. Anyway they look great.

    2. I cut my house cleaner from once every two weeks to once a week. ( Again, money or time I don’t have.) I will bump up her pay by 10% and I have done a lot of tidying.

    3. I went to pick the last of the pecans. The Sacramento River had come up in the orchard so the leftovers were rotten. Oh well. I had a beautiful walk on a beautiful day. This next fall, after retirement, I will certainly harvest. I have a killer simple roasting recipe and I will collect decorator jars and give them out as Christmas presents. We have 5 acres of pecans we don’t commercially harvest.

    4. I used a giftcard to buy a wedding gift off an Amazon registry. The gift card came from a company my husband does business with and I am so glad I saved it. It was for Sportman’s Warehouse. It had the exact same model. I learned how to mark a gift purchased from another retailer on the Amazon site. I used up the rest of the card on vacuum seal bags. Again, after reading everyone’s posts who are planting trees, I realize I let too many of our fruits fall to the ground ( or feed wildlife.) I am committed to getting better about it. The food saver bags really help since I don’t can. I do have a dehydrator. I have at least three fig trees, a pear, three persimmons, clementine, orange, lemon, pecans and walnuts. I do nothing with them on the ranch and they produce every year.

    1. We usually use leftover ham to make scalloped potatoes with ham. I just the scalloped potatoes recipes from my generic cookbook and add a bunch of diced or shredded ham – works great! You do need milk or cream but you can use reconstituted dry/powdered milk if you have that. I’m sure you could find a recipe from the web for this too. You can add veggies to it too if you like.

      I also use it in an egg bake too – replace the ground sausage the recipe calls for with diced ham. It works for us.

      I’m going to have to try Kathy’s deviled ham recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  11. We continued to eat vegan for the week, incorporating a lot of food we have stored. including making snack bars out of dried fruit I have on hand.

    I enjoyed walking outside and looking at the blossoms and daffodils.

    We finally got out taxes finished and filed. I had to pay some to the state but am getting a refund from the Federal government.

    I continue to knit on my socks and sweater project.

    I did some work on my part time at home job and submitted an invoice for my time.

    Attended another potluck dinner with friends.

    My neighbor dropped off four pieces of clothing at my door (I had previously taken a jacket she was getting rid of). One piece I will definitely keep, another a friend wants. I’m not sure about the other two pieces, but am grateful for the piece I am keeping.

    I hope everyone has a great week!

  12. What a beautiful poppy. That’s my very favorite flower.

    Today I took my annual trip to visit the tulip fields north of here. It was cold and windy (spring has not yet arrived in the Seattle area), but the tulips were still gorgeous and I took lots of pictures. Packed my lunch and had a car picnic in the parking lot while listening to a podcast. Bought a bunch of tulips and a few postcards. Stopped at a farm store on the way back, and picked up rhubarb, leeks and some daffodils. My birthday is next week and this trip was my birthday gift to myself.

    My maternal aunt died a couple weeks ago, and her funeral was on Saturday. My mom is elderly and uses a wheelchair, so it would have been difficult for her to attend the service 300 miles away. My cousins were able to do a live stream of the funeral on Facebook, so my mom and I attended that way. It was a very nice service.

    Other ways I saved:
    – My sister shared some produce with me that she was not going to use.
    – Was able to get back 100+ canning jars that I was not able to take with me when my husband and I separated.
    – I use a lot of fresh parsley and cilantro in cooking. Recently I just started chopping the stems along with the leaves. The parsley is a bit crunchy but the taste is fine. Makes the herbs stretch a lot further.
    – Saw a video that showed that briefly submerging nylon hair elastics in boiling water brings them back to their original size. Tried it – works great!
    – Made a notepad out of scrap paper and a binder clip.
    – Bought a couple items on sale at Macy’s, and the cashier gave me an extra 30% off (you were supposed to have some special coupon that I did not have). I appreciated her kindness.

    Hope everyone has a good week!

    1. Zoom and FB funerals have been a huge boon to elderly shut-ins who are losing friends and feel terrible that they do not have the strength or ability to go to the funeral. It is hard to find blessings in Covid, but the acceleration of using the internet and grocery store pick ups have made life a lot easier.

  13. We’ve been away camping, so I’m looking at things we did to save money on our trip. We brought food from home, mostly, and cooked at camp. We stayed at mostly free campsites. We were able to use our National Parks senior pass for half-price camping at one site, which brought the fee down to $3.50 a night. At a private campground we stayed at, I asked if they had a senior discount – they did and it saved us $16. We also utilized free dump stations and water fill. We hiked a lot and relaxed and read lots of library books – free activities.
    While we were away, we had our house painted. It was not cheap at all — but I consider it good stewardship to take care of our biggest asset. It really needed to be done and looks so much better now.

  14. We had a quiet week last week. Highlight was we went to our granddaughter’s 6th birthday party. I went over the day before and helped blow up balloons and make some decorations. I’m great at sit-down jobs haha, so I was glad to be able to help. It was a fun time. Six year olds are the best! *I went out to lunch with a friend and used a gift card I received for my birthday. It was a fun, free time! * We got our taxes done and due to my husband altering our withholdings for last year, we didn’t have to pay in this time. YAY! We got a little back even. * We have decided to work harder on paying off our mortgage (our only debt). With the tax return and a portion of my husband’s bonus, we paid a chunk on the mortgage this month. We hope to do this about once a quarter. It feels good to get to working on that more. *Read library books and requested some more. * Knit and crocheted with yarn I already have. Did a baby sweater and hat, and an adult hat. * Watched coverage of the eclipse on broadcast tv. Two of our children’s families traveled to be in the path of totality and sent photos so between those and the tv we enjoyed it. * I’ve been spending a little more on groceries, but the foods in my cart are essentially the same each week. That is discouraging, as I know it is for everyone. So, trying to eat less, not waste anything and buy fewer convenience items. I am grateful we are able to pay our bills and have some to spare. * I feel so thankful for my home and family, especially in these troubled times. It helps so much to look for the good and to seek contentment. I’m so thankful for this forum and for the inspiration I receive from all of you. You all really make a difference for me. Thank you to Brandy and all my thrifty friends! Have a great week!

  15. I did some comparison on grocery prices between the two stores near me. I discovered that the one I don’t go to (because it’s big and crowded and stresses me out) was a whopping 40% cheaper for the same items. So, I utilized their free order pick up option, and will do this from now on instead of going to my usual more expensive store.

    I added ground up oats to ground beef to stretch it further for burgers.

    We’ve been using a lot of stored foods from the freezer and pantry, many from my garden last summer.

    I visited the bakery outlet to stock up on discounted bread (which I have room to freeze thanks to the means we’ve eaten out of the freezer).

    Got a funky old metal bed frame on buy nothing to repurpose into a cool garden trellis.

    Planted 200 onion sets for $6.

    1. Karen, that is a hugs savings. I live a a smallish suburb. We have a few fancy supermarkets that are beautiful with lots of options and then we have Winco which is cheaper on almost everything – even big box stores. You can not use a credit card there which saves an automatic 3% and they have bins for when you just want to buy a little of something. We also have a Grocery Outlet for sporadic weird discounts that make it worth going to it. ( 1lb fresh mozarella last week for 1.25) My nieces think I hang with ” white trash” (no kidding) by going to them. I can’t believe the freedom I enjoy with the money I save. I have other friends who live in expensive communities and make fun of my nerdy little town. (Most people who teach at my school commute from more expensive communities.) My food is nearly 60% cheaper than what they spend and my salary is just as higher if not higher. It is the choices we make that often shape our life.

      1. We have Winco here. With sales almost non-existent at other stores, Winco is where both my mother and I are doing the bulk of our shopping lately.

  16. Gas is $2.92 gallon at SAMS In University town. It is $3.39 gallon is south central Alabama! Food is sky high. It is very disturbing.

  17. Our school purchased glasses for the eclipse for students and staff.

    Earned a $12.50 Amazon shopping panel reward

    Made chicken and dumplings with everything I had here.

    It was support staff day and received flowers and candy at work.

    Received a $5 gift card for signing up for utility outage alerts.

    Returned an item we ended up not needing.

    Found everything the teen wanted for prom and came in under $100.

    Kept Easter simple with candy only.

    Purchased 3 12 packs of Dr Pepper for $11.99

    Just a lot of the usual around here…using up leftovers, eating at work whenever possible, stating mostly home.

  18. Mostly been home weeding. Slow going as my back is out and I’m sitting on a stool. I was determined I’d get my backyard under control this year when the ground is damp from rain. Just put out a 5’x6’x8’ pile for compost pick up. Lots more to go, but at least I’m making a dent (I keep telling myself that.)

    Got oj on sale for $2.97. Got a huge bag of raw unsalted peanuts at Costco for my crows for under $7. They keep trying to fit three, with shells! in their mouths, but they can get two! I picked up my hearing aids, thankfully insurance fully paid. Trying to get used to them, but they’ve fallen off a few times, and I don’t feel them fall, so not wearing them while working the yard.

    Did my own nails with polish I had. Have 3 library books checked out. Use towels instead of paper towels. I splurged on new garden gloves ($9) that have better grip, helping my arthritic hands. Listened to podcasts and watched a book festival on booktv/cspan.

    Watched the eclipse on tv today and enjoyed seeing people experience totality. I saw it in 2017 and it was so awe inspiring. Hope everyone has a great week.

  19. Hi Brandy and everyone
    Your flower photography is gorgeous, it really lifts the spirits to see it. Your aim to harvest something from the garden all year round seems to be going well.
    This week we used purple sprouting broccoli, leeks, parsnips and spring onions from our garden and I picked tulips for the house. We sowed lettuce, butternut squash, parsnips and carrots.
    I used leftover turkey from Easter to make a pie and froze some meat too. I made short crust pastry for the pie which is cheaper than ready made. I bought some fish for the freezer on a deal in Lidl. I also plugged a couple of holes in our first aid supplies. Lidl is cheaper for most things but recently their fresh produce has been disappointing and I’ve had to throw things on the compost heap. I was able to use vouchers in a different supermarket and went there for fresh produce instead.
    I intend to slowly replace some of our old, past it mugs and found a lovely one in a charity shop for £1. I will take an old one to the tip next visit. I also found some beautiful material for £7.50. I haven’t measured it properly yet but there are several metres.
    We’ve had some work done in the kitchen. We came across a young man who has recently finished his training in carpentry and his work was excellent and less expensive than a more established workman would have been.
    We have let the kitchen range go out as the weather is mild. Any saving on oil is welcome.
    Our son in law has set us up for Netflix and Amazon Prime at his expense. We do a lot for them and their dog so it’s a nice thank you.
    The plum and pear trees are bearing blossom and we haven’t had a frost so we’re hopeful of a better crop this year.
    We were able to put away a bit extra in savings this month, it’s gone into the birthday savings pot.
    Stay safe everyone.

  20. As is usual, I went through your site for an Amazon purchase. Hopefully, all the little bits add up. Last week, I canned up garbanzo beans. I’d really like even more on the shelves, as I use them so many ways, so I’ll need to pick up more dried beans, for future canning. Every day, I shuttle the tomato and pepper seedlings outside and back in. They’re growing stronger in the sun and breezes. The first batch of hummingbird food was made, and feeders hung. On Wednesday, I spotted the first one(s) at the feeder. Before a rain forecast, I hoed the peas, and mulched more than half of them. When my husband got in, we planted our potatoes (finally), and finished mulching the peas. A few of the potatoes we planted in grow bags last year, which didn’t do anything, have sprouted again, eight at last count. We’re hoping for a better potato year. All the wintersown arugula and mache were transplanted into the garden. I found three volunteer parsley, and added them to the bed. All the wintersown radishes were planted in spots where peas were missing, and the wintersown parsley seedlings were transplanted into individual cells. Three sunflowers were transplanted in various places. Asparagus, oregano, and greens for the critters were harvested.

  21. Well I have been reading and not contributing. I had some surgery that was pretty extensive and recovery is going slowly.
    -I am now starting to do some simple things. Recovery is slower than I want but it is coming. I am thankful for my pantry and frozen meals! It made things so much easier for hubby. And we have eaten all meals at home with the exception of one take and bake pizza.
    -We made blueberry muffins from scratch. First baked goods made in 2 months!
    -I can sit in a regular chair for 15-20 minutes at a time, so I am trying to do little jobs. I mended some clothes on my sewing machine and did some hand sewing in my recliner chair.
    -Co-workers gifted us with $200 in gift cards to several local grocery stores and we have been using those to pick up the few groceries that we need. What a blessing!
    -Because we have been home a lot, we are not using extra money for gas, shopping, entertainment, eating out (not that we do much of that), etc we are putting larger chunks into savings. A good problem to have.
    -I did order my seeds from Guerneys and MI Gardener. We are looking at purchasing 2 or 3 raised beds soon and this will make gardening easier for me as I won’t be on my hands and knees anymore. The potatoes, onions, and tomatoes are easily hoed and mulched so they can be in ground and they will be hubby’s responsibility this year.
    -We are taking care of our daughter’s dog as they are on vacation for a week. No savings for us but a lot of savings for them not boarding him. He is a very well behaved dog so really no extra needed as we have a dog and they do the same things at the same time.
    -I did can 4 half pints of pickled red onions from 3# red onions bought on sale.
    -I brought home a dozen of cooked link sausage left over from Easter breakfast at church. This made 2 meals for us. Free meat is a blessing considering the cost of it currently.
    -I bought a honey spiral cut ham for $1.49/#. It was only spiral cut halfway up the ham. My hubby helped me and we cut off the spiral cut portion off and put the slices in vacuum bags. I then wrapped the remainder that wasn’t cut in freezer paper to roast for a meal. We got 8 vacuum bags of ham slices and the end of the ham to roast for $15.00. There are only the two of us so this is a very economical way to put meat in the freezer.

    Have a great week!

  22. We got our vegetable garden planted Saturday and I repotted some flowers into bigger pots. My husband planted some flower bulbs we were given. Our church hosted the monthly community meal and my husband helped cook the catfish and trimmings and we delivered plates to some families. I have 2 hummingbirds at my feeder they are so graceful to watch. We have been watching the final four basketball games and reading library books. We saw the eclipse yesterday with our free glasses from the library. We have been walking everyday for exercise and talking about our day. Your garden pictures are so beautiful.

  23. It has been busy my part of the world. A week ago a F1 tornado hit 3-4 miles from my home in an industrial area. About a dozen buildings were condemned. I am praying for the businesses as they decide what to do next. After it was cleaned up we drove by on Sunday morning and it was sad to see.

    I watched the first 3 episodes of Call the Midwife on the PBS app.

    It has been many months since we had pizza. I purchased some at Aldi’s and we baked them at home.

    Yesterday we drove 156 miles to my aunt and uncle’s house and saw the total eclipse!! Wow, oh wow. Nature is just breath taking and amazing. We packed all our food for the day. It was great seeing aunts, uncle, cousin and his kids, and the house my Mom grew up in. I have not seen them in over a decade. Hanging out with family is priceless.

  24. I commented so late in the week last week that I don’t have much to contribute but I will add a little to the conversation. 🙂
    *I am planning an art show for our homeschool community along with another mother. This will be the second annual and last year’s was such a hit, I hope this one will be, too. We are holding it at a local church (no cost) and will hang the art on movable walls which were built by one of the families for last year’s show. Everyone is bringing snack foods and the church is allowing us to use their theatre-style popcorn machine. There will be post-it notes at the entrance table so attendees can carry a stack of them through the show and write encouraging notes to the young artists. Some children are contributing their musical talents on piano and guitar for mood music and two others will be drawing sketches of people who would like to sit for a quick portrait. My youngest son is manning the station where people can draw a mini masterpiece on a blank business card (found 300 of them for around $6) and give or trade them with others. If last year is any indication, it will be a fun and encouraging event for all for very little money. That’s how we like to do things! 🙂
    *My oldest son is participating in a pullet project with 4H. He will get 5 chicks at the end of the month and raise them to show in a breed show in September. He will have to keep a project record book (provided by 4H) which will be a good incentive for my reluctant writer. 🙂 The money for the chicks was earned by him winning a photo contest for National Agriculture Week. Both boys will show in a showmanship class with chickens we already own and they have worked with, as well. Our county did not have an extension agent for 9 years until last Fall. We are so glad to have this opportunity for unique experiences, most of which are free.
    * I painted the stairs down to our ground level mud room over the last week. A lot of work but it looks wonderful. The fact that we bought the paint for this project 2 years ago makes me feel good in that we are using materials we already had but wishful that things didn’t take so long to get to, sometimes!
    *Meals continue to include stored foods that need to go and I am limiting my grocery shopping as much as possible. Due to all the house projects, I am a bit late getting my garden going but will do that this week. Still have some spinach that overwintered, which is good, and I love to eat the new Spring dandelions and branch lettuce we find along the creek sides. An old-timey Spring tonic!
    *Gave a bouquet of my daffodils to a friend in the choir for her birthday.
    *With the extra 9 chickens we bought from our neighbor who is moving, we are getting about 2 dozen eggs/day which allows us to share and sell more. We love them and are glad people can appreciate the difference in quality with eggs from beloved, pasture-raised hens.
    *I split my bees adding (hopefully!) another colony to my apiary. Free bees is always a good thing.
    Looking forward to hearing what all of you lovely people have been up to. Peace!

  25. Before she left on her latest journey, “I” brought over the leg of lamb I got on sale (she lives close to the store).
    I baked it at a low heat for a longer time. It was delicious and I have about ten meals worth of meat from it.
    It was a real treat.

    I am going to shovel the snow that remains on my lawn onto the flower beds. This will see them through the next little while until
    I can get the garden hose taps turned on.

    I will be buying rain barrels this year. Drought conditions are being forecast starting earlier (in spite of all the snow we’ve had recently).
    I don’t need to water very often but the mature spruce trees need it.

    It was only a partial eclipse here so I didn’t watch it in person but watched it online. Spectacular! I saw an eclipse of the moon once– I could understand how superstitious earlier peoples were about it.

    I have, as usual been comparison shopping. I’d like to mention to Canadian shoppers that sometimes No Frills will advertise a special and a week later Real Canadian Superstore will advertise the same item. This time No Frills advertised Dole’s pineapple (reg $2.50) on sale for $1.47; then the next week Superstore had it for $1.27. The two stores will match each other’s prices. If you miss an item at one store, it pays to look at the other store. I am going to drastically cut my grocery purchases. My pantry is fairly well-stocked.

    I shovelled snow about 20 times this winter. Only once could I not shovel it (too deep, too wet and heavy) and then only a portion of it.
    I saved about $50 each time, so saved about $1,000 total. The one time I couldn’t shovel it a friend from down the street who is strong shovelled it. He was paid in chocolates.

    I have been watching several series for free on CBC.gem.

    This month I will buy one or two items for an emergency preparedness knapsack that I am gradually making.

  26. Your photos always are uplifting, Brandy.

    I roasted a chicken and put two more dishes in the oven to cook while it was roasting.

    I harvested beets, herbs and carrots from the garden. It’s about time to plant my summer garden, so I need to move these on out.

    I mended a hem on shorts.

    I put bird netting over my berry bushes, hoping to keep the birds and squirrels out of them.

    I made a new batch of laundry detergent, using an old recipe I found on Budget101. It’s a condensed version of the soap, using much less water and no cooking on the stove. I think it was called Special Laundry Sauce for Dummies, to distinguish it from the condensed version called just Special Laundry Sauce that requires some cooking. I’ll see how it does on cleaning. The only downside I saw in making it this way was that whipping it in a mason jar on the blender was messy. My stick blender died a while back, but I plan to get a new one – if I like the way this soap cleans, I’ll try using a stick blender in a wide mouth quart jar, instead of putting a regular mouth quart jar on the blender. If any of you make your own soap and need to reduce water usage, you might try it, but as of yet, I can’t tell you how it cleans. I’m still finishing up the last few cups of my regular laundry soap in the five-gallon bucket.

    Last year I bought a carpenter bee trap but wondered if it would actually work. Well, it does, and it’s doing even better this year. The trap is half-full of dead carpenter bees. I know carpenter bees have a place, but chewing multiple holes in my house is not that place. The trap doesn’t cost that much, but the wood replacement and repair costs a lot.

    I made my own tortillas so I could have chicken and cheese quesadillas with some of the roasted chicken.

    I have someone to mow my yard, as I just can’t at this point. I gifted him a pull-behind-the-mower cart that was my husband’s and he knocked some off of my mowing bill. Win-win.

    Have a good week, all!

    1. Just a tiny quirk on buying a new hand blender. When I replaced my old dead one, I got one that works fine. However, the top is rounded. The old one had a flat top and I could stand it upside down if I needed to pause blending. The new one has to be set into a bowl or something sideways, and lays sort of clunkily.
      Funny how we notice these small design things with tools, in my case, usually too late.

  27. I am pregnant, near the end of the first trimester. I have been doing well by taking B6 morning and night and by having a nap every day and going to bed early. I am managing to eat normal meals, which is a huge cost saving on our last pregnancy where I lived on bacon sandwiches, red peppers and fruit pastilles! The only real change is that I have a few biscuits (English ones) midmorning as otherwise I get hungry and nauseous by lunchtime. (I have to eat them in secret, though, or the children want them and spoil their lunch!) All in all I have felt tired but good, but I have not been getting done what I thought I would be.

    I am so behind on making curtains it’s no longer even on my to-do list. I still have two sets of blinds made that I need my husband’s help to hang, so that will be something.

    Our big garden plans for the year are also being put on hold/slowed down as they would have needed a lot of heavy physical work from me. But I got out into the garden today for the first time in several weeks and can see some lighter work that I can do. It will mean delaying planting fruit trees and possibly bushes for a year, delaying our harvest by a year. We even talked about paying a local teen to come in and do some of the work, but I think we’re just going to wait. We’re doing fine as we are and probably it’s a good thing to spread the expenditure out.

    However, one of the things we ARE going to do very soon is buy a fig tree! We have some empty half-barrel pots and if my husband can move it into position then I can (slowly) handle filling it up and planting the wee baby tree in it. We might also do blueberry bushes in the other pots if I can work out a good place to get ericaceous compost.

    1. Congratulations on the pregnancy! It sounds as though you are really being realistic about what you can and cannot do at the moment and they all sound very sensible. Pace yourself – it will all get done eventually.

      1. Thank you! I always find it hard to adjust when things don’t go as I planned/expected, but it’s a good opportunity to reassess my priorities 🙂

    2. How exciting another pregnancy. You are doing a great job listening to your body and slowing down other activities while the baby grows. I barely got anything done while pregnant and the first year of baby’s life. Those years were hard but now it has passed and I am so glad I did it that way.

  28. I love the looks of the snow peas. Too cold and rainy here to plant yet. Maybe this weekend.
    I am in the last two days of being in my 60’s. I will be 70 on Thursday. Both of my sons and their wives are coming this weekend, along with my granddaughter. Should be fun.
    I worked 4 days last week. Brought breakfast and drinks all four days. Lunch two of the days. The other two, I had a gift card for one lunch, and my sister took me to lunch for my birthday on the other day.
    It is warming up a little, and we were able to change over our sheets from flannel to cotton.
    Made 10 baked potatoes with some of the potatoes I got for 89¢ for 10 pounds last week. Stuffed baked potatoes are on the lunch menu this week, using broccoli from the freezer (last year’s garden) and cheese and bacon bits from the fridge.
    Made a batch of blueberry muffins, swirling in some huckleberry jam rather than using the full amount of blueberries called for in the recipe.
    I got a new package of yeast and could really tell the difference. My focaccia bread came out really light and fluffy. Made garlic focaccia bread with garlic from our garden from last year. It was yummy.
    I purchased 12 pounds of 93% lean hamburger and cooked it all. I then packaged it for the freezer in meal size bags. I have done this for years, especially when I was working full time, had a DH that travelled, and was raising two children.
    I chopped an onion and put it in a jar in the refrigerator. I use lots of onions and have done this for years also. It saves a step when you are cooking from scratch and want to get something on the table as quickly as possible.
    I shelled more of the pinto beans we grew last year. We had a bumper crop. I do not think we will have to grow pinto beans for quite awhile.
    I think that is it for this week. Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

      1. Brandy, if you do a plain muffin, put half the batter in a muffin tin, a dollop of jam and then some more muffin mix. Hidden surprise! My kids used to love this

    1. A most happy birthday to you, Nancy!

      I wonder if the jam in the muffins could work for Sarah who wrote last week about having canned some things that didn’t set right.

  29. I did not go to the grocery at all last week. Instead, I stayed home, worked in my shed, and weeded flower beds. I made bread here at home and all our meals. I am concentrating on going through the freezer and using all the old items. Some are two years or more old…Today I used a venison backstrap that had been in the freezer for that long. It was still good, but I don’t want to keep meat or anything else that long. So far, I’ve been very blessed that nothing has been freezer-burned and has tasted very good.

    Over the weekend we attended a wedding my husband and I were participating in. He was asked to provide music for a pre-wedding barbecue and for the ceremony itself. I was asked to write and give the prayer for the service. The couple was kind enough to pay for our room at the motel for the weekend. We packed food for lunch on Friday for the travel down, saved money from our entertainment fund to pay for our dinner out with the group on Friday night, and brought food from home for breakfast on Saturday. Saturday evening, we opted to skip the post-wedding party at another venue and went back to our room. We ordered takeout and had it delivered but we kept the costs low by sharing a salad and a small pizza. Gasoline to drive down was in our budgeted gas for the month.

    On the ride home on Sunday we did have to stop for meals at fast food places, but only because my husband was anxious to get on the road. I’d asked to run by a grocery before we left town and pick up breakfast and lunch items. I think in the end, we spent about what we might have spent at the grocery. We did our best to keep costs low for both meals. I’d left a prepared entree in the fridge to have for supper when we got home that evening.

  30. It is absolutely necessary that we cook at home. So we are. I made chicken leg quarters and Swiss chard one day. Will be making a chicken tortilla soup in the slow cooker to have ready at the end of the day on a day that we have errands. My husband’s brother gave us a loaf of bread he made and my husband has been making sandwiches for work. I am making meals before we run our errands so we won’t be hungry when we are out. I am trying to stay at home when I can so as not to use gas. I have turned up the air a couple of degrees to save on electricity. We will use what we have in the fridge, freezer and pantry. I am buying less at the grocery stores. We are trying to eat everything we have. I want to see how far we can go before we have to buy more. I hope to use more beans this week. Will probably make black bean burgers, falafel, hummus, and lentil soup. I still have a couple of pumpkins we bought on steep discount in the fall. I need to cook one this week. I’m happy they lasted so long. We will also have breakfast for dinner one night to use the bacon I got on sale and some eggs. We don’t have chickens right now so we really aren’t eating that many eggs. I use cloth towels and handkerchiefs. We turn off lights when not in use. We are utilizing the library and any free events around us or just accomplishing things at home. We are counting our blessings. We realize that even though things are so very tight there are many reasons to feel blessed.

    1. Turning up the air a couple of degrees is a huge savings (in my case, the difference of over $200 a month, and that was 17 years ago! Prices are even higher now).

      1. It made a difference for us as well. I just got our electric bill and it is less than last year. At least the usage is less, much less.

  31. Those snow peas! Wow! And how nice to have ham, considering the prices of meat these days.

    My frugal week:
    – I placed an order for two bags of lentils, 4 containers of yoghurt, and 4 cans of lentils, and by stacking loyalty points offers, spent $42 and got $42 back in points.
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research points for $5 to my paypal account
    – I ran out of eggs, so made a ‘wacky cake’ for the family part of my daughter’s birthday. I made a boiled icing instead of a more expensive buttercream icing. We decorated it with candy we already had and a reused candle, and the kids were absolutely delighted. Decorations were reused as well. In Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’, there’s a sentence about how Mrs. Crachit, despite being in a twice-turned gown, was “was brave in ribbons, which are cheap and make a goodly show”, and I always think about that when I blow up balloons for kids parties. A dollar’s worth of balloons makes for a lot of fun for young kids.
    – I borrowed an e-book from the library; cheap entertainment.
    – I did my usual packing all snacks, lunches, and drinks.
    – also my usual of stacking price matching, coupons, cash back offers, and loyalty points.
    – when my kids didn’t want to finish a smoothie I made for them (I only poured a little bit in their cups at first, in case they didn’t like it), I froze it in an ice cube tray. Now I can just grab a few ice cubes and toss in the blender for a ready-made smoothie for myself!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  32. Your snow peas look delicious. I am enjoying your harvest series on IG too.

    On the frugal front:
    HH had extra lettuce seeds which he planted in an indoor pot. He uses the “micro greens” on sandwiches.

    I used grocery rewards to save $0.35/gallon on fuel.

    I attended a used book sale with my college girlfriends. I purchased one paperback and two hard cover books for myself and three paperback books for my sister’s classroom for $19 which included a $10 donation to the library.

    I spent the weekend using snips and snails in all meals to prevent food waste and a trip to the grocery store. (HH thinks it is funny when I refer to less than single serving leftovers as snips and snails. What do you call them? Bits and bobs? Odds and ends? Trash?)

    My sister gifted me a Norwex window cleaning cloth set. I used them to clean the interior windows at the cabin. They worked great, no paper towels or glass cleaner needed. Our gifts to each other are often practical items that we would not necessarily buy for ourselves but make life easier or more frugal.

    I used the Libby app to listen to The Displacements by Bruce Holsinger.

    I purchased a Subway gift card through a fundraiser. At our local Subway, if I pay with a gift card, I am not prompted to add on a tip.

    I transferred our savings from a low interest brick and mortar bank account to an online HYSA.

    I look forward to reading everyone’s frugal feats.

    1. I use micro fiber cloths to clean mirrors and bathroom, but a set of pro window cleaning tools will save money over time. It makes quick work of cleaning windows inside and out, with only a few drops of dish soap in the water to clean.

      I don’t use paper towels at all. I have some for a messy emergency, but a roll lasts me several years as a result.

  33. It was a great frugal week in Houston, TX!
    We played hooky from work and school to drive about 2.5 hours away to be in the eclipse path of totality. Very cool! The stars came out, the crickets started chirping, and it was much cooler (like nighttime). We took our picnic lunch for the day up to a family friend’s fishing camp in Taylor, TX. He has a nice floating dock where my older boys fished for a while. We took him a plate of cookies one daughter made the day before. Our only expenses were the gas for the van and the Diet Coke I bought at the Rockdale McDonald’s on the way.
    I found Nestle chocolate chips on clearance at the Aldi near my work, .99/bag. Sell by date isn’t until November, but we go through 3-4# chocolate chips/month. I bought 25 bags, maybe I’ll freeze some.
    I’ve been buying a lot of the Jimmy John’s day old bread; we love making this into subs, French toast, garlic bread, etc. It’s .50 for a loaf that’s probably 18″ long, cheaper than I can bake it. Same for the Sam’s rotisserie chickens I like to buy.
    I signed 4 of the kids up for some of the low cost camps through the City of Houston. We’ll see how they go.
    I’m shopping early for my daughter for a “gold” themed middle school dance. She found things she wants off Amazon, but I’m hoping to find something used, especially since it will only be a few hours.
    My son’s friend is going to let him ride with them to a Rice University baseball game that their team is attending, so I only have to buy his ticket and send money for food. This will save me from taking the whole family, paying for parking, etc.
    I found a 3 gallon water jug at Goodwill Outlet for .75. I will fill this for water on our camping trip instead of buying water. I already had one 3 gallon jug, but it’s so hot in the summer that we drink a lot of water.
    I said “no” to a daughter who wanted but didn’t need a Band-Aid. This child would use them like stickers if she could, but I’m trying to teach her it’s wasteful to take and use something you don’t need, and should save it for when you or someone else needs it. Hopefully this lesson will stick (pun intended).
    Dull and boring: leftovers, oatmeal for breakfast, washing ziploc bags, simple meals. But, i love and enjoy my children and all I’ve been blessed with, and I’m striving to be a good steward of our resources.

  34. We finished the interior paint! The plan is to start the exterior this spring and finish this summer. We have saved so much doing this ourselves with just existing supplies and some good elbow grease!

    Eat what we had, even if we didn’t feel like it. Sticking to the grocery list even when I brought a very convincing 4 year old with me to the grocery store.

    We paid off my husbands car! Hooray!

    1. Congrats on paying off the car! That’s exciting!
      And good job on the house painting – that’s always a big job.

  35. Last week, I met with the oncologist about treating my breast cancer. It is stage 3B & triple positive. I also had a CT scan of my abdomen, chest & pelvis along with a bone scan.

    Then, on Wednesday, I met with the surgeon who will place a mediport for chemo, which starts in a week. That will be done on 4/16. She will also do surgery after my first round of chemo. She told me that the cancer has not metastasized to my bones or any major organs but did say it looked like there was some enlarged lymph nodes going into my armpit where the tumor is.

    That said, I have been attempting to spend as little as possible beyond basic expenses. Shopping at Dollar Tree has helped. They do have some good items, especially in their frozen food section.

    I don’t know if I will be able to work once chemo begins, but I will try. That’s my biggest worry since my income is our primary source of monies at this time & also the source of our medical insurance. Unfortunately, cancer treatment is very expensive.

    I am blessed in that my parents have offered financial support along with my in-laws as needed. Hubby is going to get a job soon as well. If he cant go with me to chemo appointments then my MIL has offered to take me.

    I was told that my cancer is very treatable so I’m very hopeful. All I need right now are good thoughts & prayers.

    1. Kelly, Sending you prayers. Fight this with all your strength. My mom beat breast cancer. She was a fighter.

    2. I have you in my thoughts and in my prayers. You are very fortunate to have family that is willing and able to help you. I pray that you are blessed with a good outcome.

    3. Prayers for you. And how wonderful that your family is stepping up with help as needed – I hope that is comforting to you and relieves some of the stress. All the best.

    4. Kelly, even though this is very difficult and sad news, I am glad to hear your cancer is treatable! You def8nitely have been and will be in my prayers. Lifting you up from Illinois.🙏🏻

    5. Sending kind thoughts, words of encouragement, prayers and if its possible( telepathically) strength to push thru your next season in life as you face challenges
      I hope you have someone to talk to, share your concerns, a cheerleader on difficult days and someone to lean on when it’s not a great day or your very weary
      We all will be thinking of you and sending best wishes for speedy recovery

    6. And you will get those good thoughts and prayers from this group, for sure! Glad you have a plan and people to help you with it. Hugs! 🙂

    7. Kelly,
      I’m praying for you and sending good wishes your way. You’ll get through this and I think all of the thoughtful care you’ve given to patients over the years will return to bless you.

    8. I am quite late, but positive thoughts and prayers for you, Kelly! I will be praying for your family as well.

    9. Dear Kelly,
      My thoughts are with you, I was also diagnosed with breast cancer very recently (stage 3/4), I await my PET results. I too am worried about the effect on our families income (as I work outside the home). I find great comfort reading this blog. Take care

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