Katy Apricot Blossom

I took over 100 cuttings from the hedges in my front yard, removed the lower leaves, dipped the ends in rooting powder, and stuck them in the garden along the drip lines where I hope they will grow. To buy bushes would cost around $4 to $5 each. I need about 1300 bushes, and I hope to make them all myself over the next month.

I sowed seeds in the garden for snow peas. lettuce, and Armenian cucumbers.

I mended a hoodie and a pair of pants for my daughters.

I shortened the sleeves of a shirt for my mother.

I ground whole wheat in our grinder to make flour and made whole wheat waffles. I substituted part of the oil with home-canned applesauce. I didn’t do a complete substitution because I wanted to make sure the waffles didn’t stick to the waffle iron.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I just discovered that when I pinch the tops off of my snapdragon seedlings, I can root those to easily double my stock! I’m excited to try it out, esp. as I’ve never done anything like that before. Plants are pretty amazing!

    For Valentine’s Day, we always celebrate the day after the holiday to take advantage of everything being half off. We still get the fun of flowers and candy and hearts, but at a steep discount 🙂

    My daughter had a few school projects to work on (including a Valentine’s Day box), which we just used things we had on hand for. I wasn’t sure how Christmas-printed tissue paper would work on one of the projects, but once it was crumpled up, you couldn’t even tell!

    I’m also working on doing tradeout with my son’s preschool teacher that I help her with some garden design and planning, and she in return is giving me free tuition for the next month. I love bartering!

    1. When I went to buy Valentine’s candy two weeks ago, it was already all sold out! So I am making my own today.

    2. I love to hear that others have frugal Valentines traditions too. We celebrate in early February on the anniversary of our first date. Flower prices haven’t gone up yet and if we decide to eat out that night we aren’t fighting the crowds.

  2. I also planted peas last week. I hope your cuttings all take! Last week, I found our dog food on sale for $6 off, and found asparagus for $2.29/#. It will be at least a month before our asparagus start producing. Laundry was dried on the line. I tried a recipe for GF pumpkin bread, which was truly awful. I’ve already got another recipe to try next, which I think will be much better. I’m still in a GF learning curve. I used our cabbage in meals two nights, and tried the vegan bacon (made from coconut) for one of them, which I thought was good (the recipe is linked in my post). Lots of canning jars were emptied, and several freezer items used. I helped my husband run wire from the solar array to the battery bank, which gets us that much closer. Happy Valentine’s Day! http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2022/02/a-gf-bread-fail-outdoor-time.html

    1. Laurie-
      You might try a cookbook called, ” The Healthy Gluten Free Life” by Tammy Credicott. A friend gave it to me when we needed to go GF, and it was life giving! Also, http://www.glutenfreeonashoestring has a recipie for Tom’s GF bread that was the first sandwich loaf I made that was delicious.

      1. Laurie, try looking up the website “Allergy Free Alaska”. Meghan is a friend of mine and she is the queen of gluten free bread recipes! Her recipes were a true God send to me when we had to go gluten free, dairy free and so forth, years ago due to allergies. A ton of other gluten free recipes from other sites just failed miserably for me. She has an e-book you can get on her site as well, which I am sure is wonderful (since we lost allergies, it doesn’t really apply to our dietary concerns anymore). Just a suggestion.

    2. I would also recommend The Gluten-free Bread Machine Cookbook by Jane Bonacci & Shannon Kinsella.

  3. Well done, Brandy, with the cuttings!! Great savings!!
    Our paper shredder that we’ve had for 8 years stopped working. We had money in our budget to buy a new one so Hubs stopped to look at a new one when he was out running other errands. There was one marked down to $39, all the others were $100+! He wasn’t impressed by the quality of the $39 one. So, instead of buying one of the more expensive ones, he came home and took apart the old one and did a bit of research online and was confident afterwards that it was a switch that needed replacing. He bought the part locally for $6 and had it installed within 10 minutes! We now have our old paper shredder working like new!! And one of my full upright freezers stopped working! I discovered it this morning. Nothing has been lost and Hubs is off to get the part needed for $150. This has happened twice before in the 8 years we’ve had this freezer and he knows the YouTube tutorial well by now that shows how easy it is to replace! Grateful part was in stock!

    On the sewing front, I finished quilting this queen size quilt- Lenni’s #227 – https://pin.it/29NPCrn as well as a baby quilt, https://pin.it/2VBYEbT and https://pin.it/3UzG5c4, Lenni’s #228. And this is the scrap quilt I’ve been working on to use up a bunch of scraps! The top is finished and ready to quilt! 108 blocks but they went together so fast and easy! https://pin.it/3wGWUVP. Still no end of scraps in sight, though! 🤪.
    My daughter/business partner found out yesterday (Sunday) that her daughter’s teacher is going on maternity leave tomorrow (Tuesday) so she wanted to send her off with a baby quilt. So Sunday night she looked through her stash of fabrics and found leftover half square triangle blocks for a quilt she had changed the size on. Putting those blocks together was quick and this morning (Monday), she was at my door (50 minutes from her house) ready to quilt it up! An hour and it is done and ready to take home to bind! https://pin.it/7JkgIiG. Before she binds it, she will go to her appointment for a knee procedure. She definitely knows how to multi-task! 😆

    Some online friends told me about a sale on ground beef for $1.99/pound so I asked them if it was specific to their ALDIs and also what the duration of the sale was. Checking my own ALDIs online, I found the sale was going on here as well and so the next morning I was there, buying 15 pounds for my daughter while she was at work and also 20 pounds for our house. I also slow cooked and chunked the last 10 pounds of boneless brisket and packaged that in meal portions for freezer. https://pin.it/6LCarpI. Really grateful for the networking with friends both in person as well as online! These days it’s a great way to save money by sharing what we find on sale with others so they can save money while getting their pantries built up!

    Tomorrow night I am teaching a class at Church on building their pantries by grocery shopping sales using the calendar for timing. But while I have a calendar handout to give each of them, these days it isn’t as reliable as it used to be as far as the discounted price point! So I will give them useful (I hope) tips on my observations and strategies to buy at best prices and build up their pantries. Hope it will be something they will find useful!

    We got our first monthly bill for our property taxes and it’s more than $50/month less due to our Homestead Exemption!!
    Our combined SS checks are about $243/month more because of the Cost of Living Adjustment this year.
    Our 3 month water bill came and it was $200 which is $67 less than last quarter. I know that you and many of your readers conserve more and pay less but we are happy with this savings!

    It seems that everywhere around us there are places to save and so although methods to find savings may have changed, we can find them if we keep our eyes and ears open!

    Challenging times all around us but still opportunities abound if we keep our eyes and ears open! I hope you and your readers continue to see the wonderful opportunities within your reach!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

      1. CherylB- Here is a link to the shopping calendar that I am using as a handout: https://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/grocery-sale-cycles-when-do-things-go-on-sale/

        Some tips I would give are: Always walk through the whole store when you’re shopping- know where they have their clearance shelves (ask if you don’t know!) but look beyond that for shopping carts that are filled with all one product (canned soups, chocolate chips, etc). Also look for shelf displays or end caps. Hubs and I were waiting in line to pay at our local Krogers and standing on our socially distanced spot when I noticed the end cap of our aisle had 4 pound bags of sugar for 97 cents! It had a sign with price but no big SALE signage. Which is why knowing basic prices of things you buy regularly is important. Some people do price books. I’m not that organized. I remember that 99 cents is my BUY price for 16 Oz Peanut Butter.
        Have a friends/family little group of like-minded shoppers that you can network with. When 1 of us in my little Buddy group (2 daughters, 1 DIL and 1 friend) find a great deal, we immediately text the others to get their “orders” and we pick up for the group if possible.
        With non-local friends, you can also alert each other online to sales that are not clearance on chain stores in your larger area.
        Well, I’ve dithered on but perhaps you got an idea or two. It’s not anything fancy or grand. Just little things. Keeping your eyes and ears open to great prices in sometimes unexpected places!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

        1. Hi Garden Pat,
          Tomorrow(Wed. 2/16/22) the Kroger 16oz. Peanut butter hits your buy price when you load the digital coupon. You can buy up to 5 jars of it.
          You can be sure that I will be going to buy my 5 jars tomorrow 😉.

          1. Ellie in AR- Right you are and Hubs came home from an errand with those 5 jars of peanut butter! We use it so often! Thanks for the reminder!!

            Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. I wish I was closer to attend your class. I am in the state North of you but too far for this old lady to drive. I have loved Brandy’s blog since we all started around 2007. But I have learned while lot from you too! Thanks to both of you and may God Bless You always!

  4. Thank you for running this blog, I am picking up so many tips to help us with our bills.
    I finished knitting a pair of socks and started another.
    Read ebooks from the library.
    I have cooked all meals from scratch. Used a chicken carcass to make stock. I used the Remorska and instant pot where I could.
    Brussels, carrots and parsnips have been cleared from the garden. The parsnips were cooked with a bacon joint and have been made into soup and put in the freezer.
    Sown Pepper, Broad Bean, Field Bean, and Tomatoes from seeds I saved last year. Filled pots with compost left over from last year. The veg beds have been dug and weeded then covered to increase the soil temperature ready to plant in a few weeks.. Looking at libraries and museums we can visit locally so we can use their heating not ours.
    Closed all curtains as it gets dusk, tucking them behind radiators to keep the warmth.
    Made a list of clothes etc needed for next winter to search for in the charity shops. The list is now in my handbag.
    Please keep safe everyone

  5. Wow! That is a lot of work in the garden – but what a savings! How long would they normally take to grow?

    It was a busy week at the office as more programmes reopen but I still worked from home 2 days so no transit fares needed on those days. On the days that I did go downtown to the office I made sure to combine errands. I am now well supplied for paper items at least through June and I was able to combine some sale prices with Loyalty point offers. Another day I dropped off and picked up books at the library and then hit the shop where I like to buy my organic eggs – still at $4.29 per dozen. The stores have remained well stocked but boy the sticker shock on some items is crazy! The butter that I prefer has been at $5.00 per pound for ages now but in the past week it has gone up to $6.49! Frozen veg has gone from $3 to $5 per bag in some cases (I’ll be waiting for a sale). But – some fresh produce was on sale, including grape tomatoes, carrots, onions. field peppers and sweet potatoes. I also picked up a pack of 4 large B/S chicken breasts for $9.00 – I know that probably sounds outrageous to you Brandy but for here that’s a pretty good price – I hadn’t intended on buying anymore meat but couldn’t pass it up. 1 breast will do me for 2 or 3 meals. Along the way I accumulated $30 worth of Loyalty points so used them for some of my purchases.

    I’m getting into Spring cleaning mode – even though it’s freezing here at the moment – and, while I don’t feel up to tackling any major jobs, I have managed to get quite a few small jobs done. Today I am concentrating on organizing and containing all the work books & papers that have taken over my dining room! I’ll feel a lot better once that is done and then I will dust and vacuum!

    The only allowance money spent last week was on 1 lonely cup of coffee on Friday morning – and boy did it taste good! I read a really interesting book last week called “A Square Meal” – how the US coped (or didn’t) with feeding people during the Depression. OMG did people have it bad! It really put our food concerns today into perspective and I highly recommend it. We are so lucky!

    1. If they take I would expect it to be five years before they turn into very short hedges. The savings is over $6000, so it’s totally worth it. They’re supposed to take 3 weeks to root but I think it takes longer.

        1. Yep! It’s worth it, even if I have to buy several containers of rooting powder.

          Plus, if they don’t all take, I can take cuttings again from the bushes in front and try again.

          1. Hi from the UK. I did the same with some hedge cuttings but saw that one can use cheap honey instead of rooting powder and that worked brilliantly – but I don’t know if that might encourage certain bugs etc to eat your cuttings in your part of the world?

            1. I don’t know. Rooting powder is not super expensive and goes a long way, so I am using that. They don’t always take even then, but I will just keep trying.

      1. 1300 plants on your lot? What kind of hedge will you be growing? How close do you plant the cuttings after they root? So curious! Thanks.

        1. They are planted 6 inches apart. They will line the beds. I want to grow them 6 inches tall and 6 inches wide. I am putting the cuttings right into the ground. They will be watered by the drip irrigation this way. I missed watering on a hot day when I tried doing them last year in pots and they died, so I’m hoping this way works!

          1. All the gardening comments make me smile. I’m actually just happy to see that my Christmas cactus is still alive. We had an exceptionally good week. I brought home three vintage Pyrex bowls left on a sidewalk where a former thrift store donation box had been located. I made two trips to completely fill my car full of cases of food discarded by a store. I took dog food to a friend. I kept the cat food. I took baby Henry cases of juice boxes, applesauce ,Hostess cakes, Cheese it’s and bottled juice. Grandma was pleased to receive the goodies. I was delighted to have poise pads and storage bags. I just don’t think I can give up my hobby. I have a box of various Glade products to share with my girls. I ran out of eggs and was shocked to see them selling for $3.00 a dozen. I’m going to be meal prepping this week and stocking the girls refrigerator. Blessings are great here and I’m happy I have the physical strength to enrich our life. I imagine my father would shake his head at my frugalness.

            1. Why would you even THINK of giving up your hobby? If I lived near you I would go with you to hunt for those treasures. 😀

      2. Brandy, I hope they all root! That has not been my experience, but I always get something. I don’t know what stage are your cuttings, but I’ve had the best luck with semi-hardwood rather than with brand-new growth. Maybe that’s just me! Let us know how it goes.

        I inventoried my leftover seeds and only needed to buy two packets. The second package was 50% off. I will be starting seeds on the windowsill in another month!

        I buy a product at Costco 4 or 5 times a year. This month, it is $8 off! I’ve never seen it on sale before–so I bought two and saved 16 bucks!

        I am actively trying to use up partial containers of EVERYTHING. This $ave$ ca$h and eliminates clutter. Right now I am working on shampoo left behind by guests or bought while traveling. I am not fussy about what brand–they all get my hair clean. My daughter loves lotions and potions. Some of the pump bottles have clogged and quit working. I was able to clean one pump and get it working again but the cap broke again. I wanted to replace it with a flip-up cap from shampoo, but none of them fit. I discovered that pump openings are slightly larger than most screw-on caps. Finally found a cap that works–from a 2-liter soda bottle.

        My daughter was given 3 embroidered denim shirts. These might be a little out of style for most, but they are perfect for her.

        She had a Starbuck’s GC and wanted a latte. I needed a few things at the store and we could do both at Fred Meyer (Kroger). I spotted a Freddy’s GC in her wallet that I assumed was used up. We could use it at this Starbuck’s, so I asked them to check the balance. We hit the jackpot! It was a $35 GC, never used, that has been in her wallet for several years! (I have no idea where it came from). Very glad I checked before we just threw it away! People often give Colleen GCs, especially to coffee places, and I’m on a mission to use them all and throw away the empties.
        We threw away all of DD’s nail polish and decided to buy more with the GC. I read a Good Housekeeping article online that said Essie was the overall highest rated brand, but Maybelline went an average of 6.5 days without chipping. Since I loathe chipped nail polish, we would have bought Maybelline–if Freddy carried it. Since they didn’t, we bought Essie, which was $3 bottle LESS than OPI (but still 9 bucks a bottle). Essie sells one product that is both base and topcoat. We bought it along with two colors on B2G1F sale…so she has new nail polish and about $10 left on her GC.

        1. I am planting them every six inches along the drip lines. I am going to keep checking and anytime one dies I will pull it out and replace it.

    2. Who is the author of “A Square Meal”? I would like to borrow it from my local library. Thank you, Penny S.

        1. Another book along the same lines as “A square Meal” is a book called “Starving in the shadow of plenty” by Loretta Schwarz-Nobel. It is about hunger and poverty in America. It is an older book, but I was very moved by it. I first learned of the book from Mornings with Granny on YouTube who interviewed the author.

    3. Milk products have gone up by 15% across Canada. I don’t resent it because it is going directly to dairy farmers to cover some of the increase in their costs. Wasn’t surprised that butter had gone from $5 to $6 last week, but this week it went from $6 to $7. There are still things I’ll live without before I cut it out completely, though.

  6. Wow 100 cuttings!! You are such an inspiration!

    I didn’t post last week it got away from me after traveling the week before. We went to visit my father-in-law for the first time in two years. Before traveling I researched if it would be cheaper to drive (we would need to rent a vehicle and stay in hotels plus added days at the kennel for our dogs) or fly. It was cheaper to fly so we did that for the first time in many many years. We budgeted $400 to use during the trip but only spent $300 which is still a lot but I was happy we spent 25% less than we anticipated.

    Other frugal things included celebrating birthdays and Valentine’s Day with homemade decorations and cards. I used a coupon for free Pedisure 6 pack that gave $15 off but the 6 pack was only $13 but the cashier still gave me $15 off my bill allowing me to get 2 boxes of chocolates for the kids and a candy bar for husband for $1.50.

    I noted a weakness in our budget is food when we start working again in the spring (we work seasonally). I have made a list of freezer friendly things I can make a head of time to combat convenience foods and takeout!

    Other than those things just doing the regular things of cooking at home, staying home as much as possible, reading library books, and enjoying the simple things!

  7. I made a new batch of homemade hot cocoa mix and two loaves of wheat sandwich bread.
    I mended one of my husband’s shirts and one of my sweaters. I sewed a dozen “un-paper towels” from a old flannel sheet and some leftover quilting cotton. We are good about using rags for cleaning up spills, but we still use paper towels for making lunch sandwiches and covering food in the microwave, so I am hoping these will be a good substitute. I put them in a pretty basket beside the paper towel dispenser.
    I continued cleaning out my closet and collected another bag full of clothing to donate. My goal is to have everything in my closet be something I enjoy wearing, that goes with several other items. I find having fewer clothes makes it easier to choose outfits.
    I started seeds for 3 kinds of peppers, 4 kinds of lettuce, arugula, rainbow chard, bok choi, red and green cabbage, celery, and Shasta daisies.

  8. I want to thank the person that said she cut her lotion tubes into thirds and used the 2 outer edges to close the tube back up. Good heavens! What a lot of hand cream I’ve been throwing away. I tried this idea and it is amazing what hand cream I had left in that tube. I have used that “throw away” amount for over a month now and still have, probably, 2 weeks worth still left. This is a BATH AND BODY item I was gifted with. Again…thank you for this savings idea.
    We got our boxes of “Farm to Family” food…lots of potatoes, carrots and heads of cabbage. There was also a bag of rice and lentils. I have never used lentils, but I think I could put some in soup and like it.
    All bills paid on time…saving late charges. Most bills paid online or by phone to save stamps and envelopes. Two bills are hand delivered for the same reason.
    My gas bill doubled a few months ago. We are struggling to lower it.
    Seriously…all of my house bills have gone up…as has most of the food in our area. I am gleaning a lot of ideas from here. Thank you.
    I’m not using my car at all. This is a small savings, but a savings none the less.

    1. I now always add a 15 ounce can of lentils to one pound of ground beef to stretch it – I never even notice they are there. If you are cooking dried lentils then I’d say two to three cups (maybe 2 to start) is the way to go. Also warmed lentils with some chopped bacon sprinkled over a salad with a warm dressing adds extra protein and would eliminate the need for other fillers like chicken or tuna. Different lentils work well in different soups – I’m mainly talking about brown or French Puys lentils here – red lentils will melt into soups made of carrots & pumpkin and will make Indian Dahl – served over rice – there is your meal.

      1. My husband and I don’t really like lentils, but when I mix them with ground beef as you suggest, we don’t even notice. They are especially good in tacos, and they are a good way to stretch ground beef and add some fiber and nutrition.

      2. I also use lentils to stretch out the beef. I stock up on cans of lentils when they are on sale so I don’t have to worry about soaking or cooking the dried lentils.

    2. lentils.org

      Lentil recipes from the farmers. They sent me a pretty booklet but have lots of recipes using lentils online

    3. My house bills last month were the highest they have been in the 5 years I have lived here. And I wasn’t even home for almost 2 weeks in Dec. Not looking forward to this month’s totals.

    4. Becky, I can’t be sure it was me that told about the lotion trickor not. I’ve done that for my whole tightwad life! But make sure you cut the middle section so an animal can’t get his little head stuck thru it. It’s easily a week’s worth of lotion left, especially around that flat part of the squirty end!

      1. Debby,
        Would you please explain this in more detail? I can’t picture what ” cut into thirds and used the 2 outer edges to close the tube back up” actually means!


        1. Sure, Cara! I have a pair of scissors just for this, btw. When you just can’t squeeze anymore from the tube, you cut across the short way to divide the length of the tube into 3 pieces. The middle piece will be a small “band” and probably won’t have much lotion in it. Use that one first and then cut it to break the band. I’m always afraid some landfill animal will stick their head through it and have a permanent collar. Anyway, once the middle section is gone, you’ll have just the two ends. You can sorta pinch one and slide it into the other. This protects the remaining lotion from drying out until you use it up. It’s a short little thing. I wouldn’t put it in my purse in case the ends separate. But when you do that, you get every drop of lotion from the tube! Word of caution! I’m talking about plastic tubes. I wouldn’t try it with metal cuz I think the edges would be like razors!! Hope I explained it okay.

    5. If you enjoy Mediterranean flavors, one of my favorite things is a simple cold salad (or dip with naan or pita or tortilla chips) made with cooked lentils, crumbled feta cheese, and a jar of bruschetta sauce (tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic).

      1. I am of Mediterranean decent Pam. I am only the second generation born in America. I have never eaten lentils. Thank you to all of you that shared ideas in cooking lentils.

    6. I have been cutting the ends off lotion tubes and using a binder clip to close the area when not in use. It’s amazing how much more can be scraped out of the tube that way. I just keep cutting off the open end when I need to reach deeper into the tube.

    7. Becky, I do this with all face creams, body lotion, etc. It is amazing how much product is still left in there. I also cut my face wash package in thirds but them I take a rubber spatula and scrape it all out and put it in a container. This will last 3 more weeks, usually. I have noticed the lotion I have used for years now has a pump that is impossible to screw off so my husband used a wrench and unscrewed it for me. Yes, he thinks I am crazy but I dont care. I cant see throwing 3 weeks of lotion in the trash. I detest waste of any kind!

  9. WOW, I somehow forgot how many bushes you need, Brandy – I hope all your cuttings root and grow well. What a big savings that will be!

    My husband got a bid on a truck & car trailer rental for our move, and we are switching from our original plan (which was to use PODS). There were pros and cons either way, but this slightly less convenient method of moving saves us money (and thus the military) on moving and storage, and streamlines the paperwork a lot, leaving fewer chances for them to overpay and then bill us unexpectedly.

    Taught husband the trick of adding some water to his shower soap so the pump can get the last of what’s in the bottle. 🙂

    Still working through some shipping boxes for packing – and needed to order more dog food (with the autoship discount and free shipping), so I’ll reuse that box too!

    Working our way through the pantry and freezer still, so few groceries need purchasing.

    We had some small gas cans that needed emptying, so while we were working on packing garage items, my husband poured the gas into his car and ended up with 6 gal/half a tank of “prepaid” fuel. Woohoo! (We bought it prior to the gas pipeline hack months ago, so a good $0.20 or more saved per gallon, as I had to fill up at $3.479 the next day.)

    Wishing everyone a safe week!

    1. I just filled up with gas at Costco (cheapest place for miles) and it was $4.49 a gallon. Good thing I only fill up once a month!

  10. Wow! That’s an ambitious hedge project that will yield big savings. I hope they all take for you. I haven’t tried that yet, but plan to with some bougainvillea. I did manage to get 144 seeds started yesterday and they are under lights. They are all cool weather crops such as lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli varieties, fennel, celery and celeriac, etc. We have had a bit of a heat wave last week with temps in the high 70s. My lettuce has bolted as well as some mustard greens. I need to remove those plants and begin preparing the beds for the seedlings when they’re ready.

    We harvested both purple and white cauliflower, broccoli side shoots, lettuces, radishes, oranges and lemons. I made a lovely cauliflower salad that was devoured last night. For Valentine’s Day, I am making a green salad with lettuce from our garden. In addition, we will barbecue some steaks from the freezer and make mashed potatoes. This morning I’m baking a flourless chocolate cake. Thankfully, my husband has managed to get the top oven working while we wait for the technician to install a new control panel.

    Some roses blooming outside so I’ll make a bouquet for the dining room table tonight. I printed some Valentine’s Day cards using Canva. They look really nice and, of course, I used the free graphics. My sewing machine is back from the shop. I am stitching up some prayer pockets for my children and husband for V-Day because there is no greater love than God’s. The materials used are all from scrap. I found simple instructions for this on YouTube. It’s a busy day, but not an expensive one!

    Other savings this week include cutting my son’s hair and combining errands to save gas. It’s currently $4.29/gallon at Costco gas. It’s $4.99/gallon at most other gas stations. With the heat wave this week the heater was off and the windows opened. My daughter had a formal dance at school. I did her hair and nails. She borrowed some rhinestone clips and other things from me for the occasion. I gave myself a pedi and eyebrow wax.

    Have a lovely week everyone!

    1. Your gas price sounds cheap to my readers in the U.K.! My friend messaged me this morning that gas is now 1.50 pounds a liter, which is $8.92 a gallon.

      1. hi Brandy, on the price of gas, it is now $1.80 per Litre in Vancouver BC. (cost my son $175. to fill his truck) ann lee s here on the Island it is still $1.60 I believe.

      2. Hi Brandy, yes petrol and diesel price here is £1.50 or more a litre! Our car is off the road right now because we are awaiting a replacement tyre (no slots at the garage!). So we are walking and biking everywhere. Also the prices of some staples foods is currently really high. So glad for all the frugal tips on your blog.

        1. Don’t know why, but I guess we are very lucky here. Gas had been 2.99/gal until a few weeks ago. Then it jumped to 3.19. Now has settled at 3.13. Store eggs appear to be between 2.00 and 5.00 depending on type and brand. I only buy store eggs at Easter when I need dozens of white eggs to color. Butter is between 1.99 and 6.00+ a pound depending on type and brand. But our grocery prices made a big jump when Kroger took over.

  11. 1. I had $350 in rewards from our Costco credit card. I could cash it in at the store or use rewards to purchase merchandise. I cashed it, then used the card to buy a few things rather than just use the rewards so I could earn new rewards. I am pretty well stocked, but picked up a pork loin for $1.99#, 3#Jimmy Dean sausage, gold potatoes ( to can Zuppa Tuscana),sweet potatoes, Zip freezer bags, vitamins, and cold medicine. I also filled up my gas tank at Costco for $3.06. The next day gas went up to $3.16- $3.19 at all the stations. I wanted chicken wings for Super Bowl and they were iver $5# so they did not come home with me.

    2. I am continuing to eat from the freezer. I have had 2 different grilled chickens, Italian pork chops, spaghetti and meatballs, frozen cooked turnip greens, quesadillas, breakfast casserole.

    3. I sold a set of books.

    4. I finished my heart quilt. https://www.instagram.com/p/CZumWOxpKVD/?utm_medium=copy_link

    5. I harvested turnip greens and collards. I blanched and froze in a bag until I have more to cook.

    6. returned a top I bought last summer for store credit. I used the credit and got a bin to organize the refrigerator drawer, and a toilet brush for the half bath. I had knocked the old one over and broke the ceramic holder.

    7. After eating spaghetti and meatballs twice I had two meatballs left. I chopped them up and put them with the sauce in my soup container in the freezer.

    8. Because I have been eating from the freezer items I had grilled or cooked then froze I have not used my oven. I have made baked potatoes in the Instant Pot which takes 15 minutes once at pressure. I am curious as to the amount of energy it uses.

    9. I put flannel sheets on our bed. I got a set of plain ivory from Belk after Christmas for $20. My husband stays colder so he has put an extra blanket at the foot of the bed. I’m short so I don’t reach that area so it is perfect.

  12. Happy Valentine’s Day!
    This morning I shaped the cinnamon rolls for breakfast into hearts, and added red sprinkles bought after Christmas on top of the frosting.
    The kids wore red shirts they already had to school to celebrate with their classmates.
    Yesterday, we enjoyed a picnic at the park. It was a bit chilly, but sunny and still a nice change of scenery. Sometimes, when I want to go out to eat, the issue is that I don’t want to eat at home. So, a frugal picnic is a happy compromise!
    My sons had their scout blue and gold banquet, where a daughter made brownies for the potluck dessert. We enjoyed delicious beef and chicken fajitas that they had catered. They offered leftover food, so I got to bring home two gallon ziploc bags of tortilla chips, a quart container of shredded cheese, and probably close to two pounds of meat. Yum! I will make this into nachos for dinner one night this week.
    I got some free diapers from someone in the neighborhood whose baby outgrew them.
    I bought markdowns at the grocery store.
    I went to a fishing gear garage sale, where I bought 4 setups for the kids (pole, reel, line, weight, bobber, hook), gently used, for $10 and a plate of cookies. One son wanted to fish at the park while we picnicked yesterday. He didn’t catch anything, but it was nice to have the gear. Even buying basics at Walmart would have added up.
    Said no to spending the night on the USS Lexington with the scout group. It would have been fun, but things like this add up quickly for a big family, plus by separating by gender, I couldn’t have stayed overnight with my sons, anyway, and I’m not sure it would be worth it for my girls. Maybe someday we can make a day trip out of it.
    Researched TX laws using Google: I am about to call to let a neighbor know that she is welcome to trim my crepe myrtle’s branches to the shared property line, but it is not my responsibility to pay her landscaper to do it. If I were able to get on a ladder with a saw and do it myself, I would probably be happy to help, but I’m not going to do that at 33 weeks pregnant. She obviously doesn’t want to do it herself, either, which is fine, but I feel better standing up to her, knowing I am well within local laws. It’s tall, but healthy, and unlikely to cause any damage.
    I haven’t had to do much yardwork lately due to the mild weather. Most people here have landscaping crews, but we do it ourselves as we are able.
    I bought a lot of markdown sausage for myself and a frugal friend, .99/1# package of breakfast links at Kroger, will freeze most of them. Picked up some free bakery icing buckets when I was there, which I cleaned at home and will use for food storage.
    Hope everyone has a nice, frugal week!

  13. I did so many cuttings and divisions from various plants belonging to a couple of neighbors last summer. I am so eager to see how they grow this year. This is definitely a time of planning and anticipation for gardeners. I tried rooting cuttings from a friend’s baby’s breath shrub last year that didn’t take. However, I have found some growing wild on my property and will try moving some volunteers from it closer to the house. I love their sweet little blooms!
    I didn’t do anything too out of the ordinary last week regarding frugality. It is just the way we live and I think I don’t often recognize the everyday decisions that, in the end, make such a difference. This is becoming more and more apparent these days as prices go up so it is comforting to think of all the things we do well and a creative exercise to think of new ways or remember ones we may have forgotten or let go a bit. I think I have been a bit more creative with food since we are using up things in the pantry and freezer. I am fine eating pretty much the same thing every day but I like to appeal to my family a little better than that. Sources that have helped are, of course, Brandy’s recipes as well as those of Smitten Kitchen, Frugal Jo, and Little House Living.
    My husband and I cut our oldest son’s hair. He does the clipper work and I do the scissors. We do it outdoors to allow the hair to blow away on its own. It was so windy here on our mountain that day his hair flew away like snow and one of our cats went off in pursuit of the little puffs of hair. We are easily entertained. 🙂
    On a walk in our woods, we identified a couple more trees that are ready to be processed into firewood. We will get to them soon and they will be in our wood stove in a couple of years. When you heat with wood, you are always planning ahead and looking for sources of wood. My husband calls himself a wood hound and often picks up free wood on his travels.
    Continuing with our interior trim and painting work which definitely saves money and teaches patience and humility. My husband is the carpenter, I am the painter (he despises painting and I don’t mind) and the boys are the comic relief and clean-up crew. While it would be nice for it to be done more quickly, I am glad we are using our skills and spending time together. That pretty much sums up our whole philosophy or life.
    Our chickens continue to lay a little more every day with the lengthening days which gives us more to eat and more to use for bartering.
    We made St. Valentine’s Day cards from items we had on hand. I always keep interesting bits of paper and things I come across and they came together nicely.
    I am reading “The Diary of a Bookseller” by Shaun Bythell. He owns a secondhand bookshop in Scotland and the book is a recounting of the odd, frustrating, and often hilarious things that happen in a small, independent bookshop. The only retail store I have ever thought would be fun to work in or own is a secondhand/rare bookshop. His book is a bit of a cautionary tale to the contrary but it is clear the author loves what he does. As much as I love the library, I certainly hope small, independent bookshops can continue to thrive.
    Stay warm and dream of Spring!

    1. I loved reading this. It’s true that so much of what we do is just a part of our frugal routine. It suits us, but I often wish we had more friends irl that shared in our tendency toward frugality!

      1. It does help to live in a like-minded community. I am very fortunate in that way and I am so grateful for my neighbors, family and friends – all of whom are frugal with a capital F. However, I have known people who created a more frugal community around them by being willing to take a risk and be the first to offer help, to lend things and to just start the conversation. Everyone benefits in the end and the good will that comes about is contagious. Thank you for your kind comment!

    2. I loved that book! I agree that we need more bookstores, too. Here in the U.P. there is only one used bookstore. Thankfully, it’s only an hour away.

  14. Hello!

    —I started using the Get Upside app. It almost seems to good to be true, because I earned 18% back from my grocery store trip, and 35 cents a gallon off my gas, both at locations I frequent! I received notice that my Rakuten check is coming this week. I also entered my gas receipt on Fetch, which I didn’t realize I could do…I just typed the merchant name in and it accepted it. I also picked up a money maker pizza last week, thanks to Ibotta.

    —I redeemed some Home Depot rewards to pick up some small gardening items. When Menards runs their 11% rebate, Home Depot does it as well. I believe this has been discussed on here.

    —I’ve been using my electric kettle to boil water for cooking, then transfer to the stove (gas). My kettle boils in less than a minute. I remember years ago thinking I wouldn’t use it that much, but my husband wanted one….he used one daily in Europe. It comes in so handy. Alternatively, I have read that using the microwave to boil uses 50% less power than stovetop, but I never do that.

    —I melted down the remnants of 3 deodorant sticks and created a new one.

    —Air dried all laundry for the most part. I hung towels on my rack, then fluffed them for a few minutes in the dryer.

    Have a great week!

    1. My DIL introduced me to GetUpside but said only that it would show me how to get the cheapest gas in the areas I travelled. She never mentioned the rebate amounts on purchases and I didn’t look at the app very hard. Well I’m looking now and I’ll be trying to use this app more often! Thank you for sharing so that I could learn something new today.

  15. We watched movies that we borrowed from the library. My husband bought me some beautiful flowers from Aldi. We are going to celebrate Valentines at home. It might be warm enough to have a date outside, sit at the picnic table and enjoy the sunshine! I’m going to make something nice for my husband, either a cake or brownie, or cookies. I haven’t decided what yet. Probably brownies and I can decorate a heart on top with some frosting I’d bought a while back. I’d bought valentine chocolate lollipops for my grandchildren. They weren’t expensive. But, I think my grandkids will love them! My son that lives with us already ate his chocolate lollipop. He found them and knew which one was his! And my other son doesn’t eat junk food.

    I turn off lights when not in use. My husband got me an electric heater for when I get cold. I only have to turn it on a little bit, but I feel so much better. Then we aren’t heating the entire house too much.

    We have been cooking at home. Oh, I might decorate the brownies with strawberries in the shape of a heart. Or I might just make a heart with strawberries. That would be healthier and my husband would appreciate it. Although, he loves his sweets.

    We cooked a lot of beans and veggies and fruit this week. Beans are cheap.

    1. I just remembered something else. We almost always use cloth instead of paper towels or paper napkins. My mom made us some flannel napkins and we love them! It is a rare occasion that we use a paper towel. Almost always use my kitchen towels or a bath towel for things or those wonderful napkins my mom made. I’m sure we save a ton of money not using paper towels and paper napkins. I’ve even used the napkins as kleenexes when we didn’t have Kleenex. We just through them in the wash with the towels and add a bit of bleach as we do with the towels anyway.

      1. Our family used to use paper towels for everything, going through several rolls per month. Last summer I started buying cloth napkins when I could get them at 10-cents at yard sales. Now I have a decent stash of them. My family isn’t as on-board with being frugal as I am so they have not broken the paper towel habit as much, but at least I am trying to use cloth when I can!

        1. I keep the paper towels out of reach in another room. Then I bring everyone a cloth napkin every time we eat. I also set a cloth towel by the sinks every day. When they get super wet I get another one out. I make it easier for them to use cloth towels.

  16. I always learn something reading the blog and the comments. Keep up the good work everyone! It is still too early to get many plants started for the garden. Our weather is crazy – almost 70 degrees on Friday and Saturday, snow on the ground this morning with temps in the teens predicted for tonight. I took cuttings from my Christmas cactus and they are sprouting like crazy. I gave one set to my daughter (this plant is from my husband’s funeral, so they are special). I have one new pot of the cactus cuttings going, and a few more cuttings in water growing roots. I took some rosemary cuttings and am trying to get them to root. I have some sweet potatoes in seeding soil hoping to get some slips for the garden. I only spent $20.50 on groceries this week – almost all produce and dairy items. I cooked 2 meals for the week (soup and pasta sauce) which will be dinner for most nights. I cleaned out the freezer and took an inventory of what meat I have in there. I consolidated my Amazon Subscribe and Save items to get the biggest discount and deleted some items that I have too much of. Got a latte with a gift card. Trying not to use the gas fireplace as much and trying to cut the heat down by a degree or so to hopefully help with the power bills this month.

    1. My Christmas cactus cuttings aren’t doing anything, except they definitely did take root. I have three. Do I plant them in separate pots or together to make more of a plant? They are about 6-8 months old. I didn’t actually take cuttings. For some reason, my whole plant fell apart over about two months, one limb at a time.

      1. My plant is over 5 years old. I replanted it last year and it took off! So as I trimmed it up I thought I would try to get some new plants from it. Who knows if it will work. Sorry I am not much help as I am a novice at this myself. This is my first time trying to grow from cuttings. I have 3 in a pot that have already started new roots and have tiny little flower buds on them.

        1. My Christmas cactus is at least 15 years old. It just keeps growing and seems happy as is. It blooms 3 times a year now. It’s about 3 ft across and 1 1/2 high. Maybe shall work on some propagation.

      2. If it isn’t blooming it most likely isn’t getting what it needs. I’ll lay odds it’s not getting enough sunlight. I keep mine outdoors in spring/summer and bring indoors when nights start to cool. I am using my big garden tub to hold plants this year because my bathroom is sunny! My cactus bloomed beautifully. They also can use a mild fertilizer/feed once every couple of months. If they are living, you’re doing something right, just need to adjust the most obvious things.

  17. Hi Brandy and everyone
    I hope most of your cuttings take, that would be a huge money saver.
    Today is Valentine’s Day but my husband and I agreed beforehand not to spend any extra money on cards, gifts or special food. I cooked a nice meal with food on hand.
    We planted rudbeckia,dahlia,onion and leek seeds in the greenhouse. We picked leeks and purple sprouting broccoli.
    I continue experimenting with shorter and cooler programmes in the washing machine and have only had one failure when I felt the clothes weren’t clean. I’m learning what works.
    I finished a sewing project using materials etc on hand. It’s a felt rabbit called Luna Lapin. She’s by no means perfect but again I’m learning!
    I moved two hippeastrum to better positions so we can enjoy the flowers.
    I have been going to a new to me butcher and was happily surprised when I asked for faggots ( giant meatballs) and was told if you buy four you get two extras free. Three will make a meal for us and cost less than £1 in total which is excellent value for meat here.
    I politely declined an invitation to a fun free event because it was an hour’s drive away and car fuel is so expensive I just can’t justify frivolous car journeys.
    Keeping spirits up in rainy winter days with good books, tea, classical music on the radio, lighting the wood fire and scented candle and admiring the Duchess of Cambridge’s beautiful outfits on the blog What Kate Wore. Simple things!
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. My friend messaged me this morning that it’s 1.50 a litre. I don’t blame you for saying no!

    2. I’ve just bought the Luna Latin book of patterns.I’m looking forward to making something for my little granddaughters.

      1. Hope it goes well Denise, I’m making an outfit for Luna now using patterns in the book and really struggling, I’m not a good seamstress but I enjoy having a go.

      2. Hope it goes well Denise. I’m making some clothes for Luna using patterns in the book and they’re really difficult, I am not a good seamstress but I enjoy having a go.

  18. Happy Valentine’s Day, Friends!! We received our free covid tests in the mail. Thankfully, it was above zero that day. I mended a suit coat of my husband. I made some football themed food for a little super bowl party we had here at home…deviled eggs with snipped chives making football laces, brownies with frosting making football laces, a fruit pizza with blueberries making football laces, pigs in a blanket with mustard making football laces…you get the idea. I did feel like I was taking crazy pills when I was picking out orange (Bengals) and blue (Rams) m’n’ms from the big bag. Nothing was expensive, just took a little time, but it made the evening special. I also printed off some Super Bowl bingo cards, that my guys actually got into WAY more than I expected. My son invited a friend from work over and he really appreciated me making the evening a little special. We will be home for Valentine’s Day, my hubby and me. We are having two more of the Omaha steaks my husband got as a reward from work. There were seven total and we had two on NYE, two now and are saving the last three for another special occasion. Going to serve with some roasted veggies. One of our daughters sent us Crumbl cookies for Valentine’s Day, so we will have that for dessert, then watch a romcom movie. We agreed to not do gifts, but he did bring home some cut flowers on Saturday, from his trip to the store. I finished knitting a couple more hats for donation from yarn from the stash. Its finally getting smaller! I received two more books via library delivery. This delivery included a fun page of riddles and games that I enjoyed. We babysat our local granddaughters so our daughter and her husband could go out on a date last Friday. I guarantee we had more fun than they did. They had pizza for us. Not much else to report. Hope everyone has a beautiful day!

  19. If all those cuttings make it that will be a fabulous money-saver!

    I ordered 40 pounds of sweet potatoes from a farmer paying less than half per pound of the price I pay at the stores. I canned some and I par-baked and froze some this past weekend. I have roughly half the box left to use or preserve, which I plan to do this week. I followed the free-to-me Ball Blue Book on putting them up.

    I called a company that has made a major mistake on billing. We pay them monthly, and they suddenly claim I haven’t paid since July of this past year. I immediately went to my credit union website and printed out the cleared checks to this company for every month in question. Since I used Billpay through my CU, I can also have Billpay help me for free if I need it. I’m waiting to hear back from the company’s accounting department before I go further, though.

    I didn’t know what to get my grandkids for a little Valentine gift, then I realized I have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, so I made and frosted sugar cookie hearts. I had all the ingredients already.

    I mended a pair of slacks.

    I did some painting on some drywall repairs I made using paint I had matched to the existing color some time ago.

    I washed all of my reusable grocery bags and produce bags after unloading my groceries, dried them and returned them to the car. It’s a waste of money to buy them if they aren’t in my car when I need them.

    I dried my clothes mostly outdoors or on a drying rack and shower rods.

    I got sticky label residue off of a bottle with coconut oil and baking soda. I read that somewhere, and it worked.

    I pulled some lemons off of my tree to juice.

    I’m looking forward to the comments, as usual.

    1. That is a terrific deal on those sweet potatoes! When I have extra, I bake or boil them, mash them and freeze the pulp. I use the mashed sweet potatoes to make sweet potato casserole or, my favorite, sweet potato rolls. There are a lot of recipes — you can find them online. They are so good.

    2. Becky, I do this with all face creams, body lotion, etc. It is amazing how much product is still left in there. I also cut my face wash package in thirds but them I take a rubber spatula and scrape it all out and put it in a container. This will last 3 more weeks, usually. I have noticed the lotion I have used for years now has a pump that is impossible to screw off so my husband used a wrench and unscrewed it for me. Yes, he thinks I am crazy but I dont care. I cant see throwing 3 weeks of lotion in the trash. I detest waste of any kind!

      1. I love the idea of scraping it out with a spatula and putting it in another container. I think I will try this method next time.

  20. Continued to monitor our electric usage daily. There were a couple of days we had a cold snap and it went up some, but it is balancing back out so I am encouraging everyone to continue to unplug and turn off as much as possible. With it being a short month, hopefully those couple of days won’t make too much of a difference.

    Ate at home every night except Friday, which is our date night. We have two date nights per month. One is a “going out” date, which may be a restaurant, or it may be a sunset picnic at the local lake, depending on the budget. The other date night is an at home date. We cook together, play a game, or just sit and talk, depending on our mood. We often like those better than the going out ones, LOL. We brought home leftovers and used those the next morning in an omelet.

    We did purchase each other a Valentine gift, but the one I got him is something that I have had on layaway for awhile, so I just paid it out early and gave it for Valentine’s Day. Trust me, he was THRILLED since he wasn’t expecting it for another month at least. So, while he knew he was getting it, he just didn’t know when so it was a nice surprise. My gift was a new phone because mine was on its last leg. I will keep a phone until I absolutely have no choice but to get a new one, so we just made it my gift. We were both happy.

    Those were the biggest money savers. It was a good week for frugal accomplishments!

  21. It was my lucky week!
    *Won a charcuterie box and $50 gift certificate to my favorite pottery place in a Facebook Valentine drawing ❤️
    *Won a $10 gift certificate to a favorite thrift store 🤩

    I’ve been looking for a pot for a large plant I got on clearance at Christmas time. My mom gave me one she wasn’t using that works perfectly 🪴

    Weren’t many deals at grocery store (pretty low stock since we had a decent snowstorm week before) so made a few meatless meals and just picked up some extra cans of chili and some applesauce for the pantry.

    Buy Nothing Group:
    *New sports bra for my daughter
    *4 large wood slices
    *15 lb potatoes
    *A cute “dog mom” sign with hook for leashes- saving for my sister’s birthday
    *box of candles and decorative stones: melting candles down to make new and using stones in craft project
    *a beautiful old cedar chest

    Hope everyone has a great week ☺️

  22. Good morning ladies (and gentlemen too – I’m sure we have some male readers). I wanted to share something that has brought me so much pleasure over the last few weeks, and has cost nothing. I am not very good with some kinds of tech and I don’t have my live-in assistants anymore, but I womaned up and figured out how to work the ancient DVD player so I could declutter the DVD collection lurking in the TV cabinet. I did have to clean corrosion from the remote’s battery compartment with white vinegar (thank you YouTube) and I had a frustrating hour or two with the hdmi cable and strange menus and buttons on the two remotes I need to wrangle, but now I have watched hours and hours of the most beautiful programs – all ad free. Some DVDs have gone to my local little library after being watched, but quite a few have passed the test of time and are now in my permanent collection. We often forget just how much of beauty and interest we *already have* in our own homes – what could be more frugal than that?

    1. Very good jobNice that you managed successfully– I’m impressed. I only use my laptop for DVDs & can’t even imagine your complexities.
      We have tons of DVDs that we got from yard sales and thrift. They’re fun to watch!

  23. Money-saving was nonexistent for the last three weeks. All five of us living in different cities caught covid. Everybody did fine, except for my husband Bill. It settled into his lungs and he almost died. Saving money was not on my radar…at all. He is home now and slowly improving. That is all that matters.

    Many of the ladies that I have met from this site commented on my blog or emailed me privately and began praying. It was prayers that saved him. Brandy, thank you for this blog. It has done so much for so many people.

    I did share my pitiful winter garden update.

    Plus the story of what happened and what we had done that was successful. It is controversial, so be forewarned.

    So, as for being frugal – helping to keep the main breadwinner alive is all that I have done. It has been the best money-saving week I have ever had.

    1. Jeannie, I should guess money savings was the least of your concerns at that time. We’ve had Covid in our immediate families and were very fortunate but I know it could easily happen to any of us…Be aware that resistance to viruses will be low for a bit of time after all this and be extra especially careful!

      1. Terri C, I noticed what you said earlier and have asked every family member to make sure they didn’t have any symptoms before they visit. Friends have all been asked to wait to visit.

  24. My brother passed away last week unexpectedly due to COVID complications. He was in the hospital a week. No real savings, just did not feel like going any where. Started planning my container garden, and looking at what seeds I already have.

    1. Oh, Donna, I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother! Remember to take care of yourself during this tough time.

    2. Oh Donna, I am so sorry. It hurts so much. I think organizing seeds and looking at the seed catalogs will help ease some of my pain also.

  25. We have reattached the pool hose to the washing machine drain line. We run the washing machine water out to water the fruit trees. I’m still watering the rest of the garden with rainwater from the barrels.
    I received 3 rhubarb crowns from a friend, and gave her 3 placemats she liked.
    After reading last week I got out an old measuring spoon to use for laundry detergent. I use graywater safe liquid, and have been careful not to use too much because it doesn’t rinse out adequately, but I thought I’d step up a bit more and actually measure it.
    I received clothes from Buy Nothing, including a cotton Lands’ End sweater and some baby clothes for grandson. I found a large lampshade for $5 at the thrift store. I had a floor lamp base with no shade, and new shades were $35 and up. $5 is much more my speed!
    Gas is so expensive that I’m encouraging my husband to ask at work if there’s anyone who wants to carpool. I’ve only filled my gas tank once this month because both of us are riding my e-bike more. I do have to drive to help my parents, and to see our daughters, but those a both good reasons to travel.

  26. That’s going to be so rewarding to have your own plants you started yourself Brandy!
    This past week’s savings were:
    -buying plane tickets for $600 instead of the $1,200 it was showing the first time I tried loading them. It kept glitching and saying these tickets weren’t available but then these went through! My sister and I went to WI to see my grandma who isn’t doing well. I also rented an economy car and found a great deal on it as well. I used rakuten for 6% back.
    – I didn’t buy anything on the way up at the airport but instead took snacks and an empty water bottle to fill inside.
    – I started my cold crop seedlings and reused a birthday cake container to use as a mini greenhouse.
    – I set 4 sweet potatoes in water to get starts off of as they sprout. So much more frugal than buying plants!
    – I harvested lettuce, spinach, kale and Swiss Chard from my hotbeds.
    – I stayed home and didn’t go shopping but instead used things I had on hand to cook from scratch.
    – I managed to not have to go to the chiropractor this week. I usually go in the last trimester of pregnancy and this pregnancy I have some kind of hip muscles that lock up my hips so I can’t walk or barely. Especially if I’m too active. So I’ll take one less weekly cost!
    – my 7 year old has been using a Dental Health tincture in her teeth that had some black spots and they have pretty much disappeared! I’m in awe. And so thankful she won’t need a dentist visit yet. Plus that saves a lot of money!
    -I needed some descaler for our water distiller and discovered it’s just citric acid so since I already have some on hand, I don’t need to buy any.
    -we got to enjoy a lovely and encouraging sweetheart banquet at our church.
    I dried almost everything on the clothes rack or outside.
    -my husband fixed a plumbing leak.
    – I printed free Valentine’s Day papers off for the kids to do.
    -we had beautiful spring weather for a few days so I opened windows and doors to freshen up the air and we didn’t have to use heat for those days.
    – a sister gave me hand me downs for my youngest and a friend gave me maternity clothes to borrow.
    -my 2 year old is pretty much potty trained! Which will mean no more buying diapers for her.
    Have a blessed week everyone!

  27. I picked up a few freebies from kroger and CVS along with my Sprouts monthly free items.
    I cooked a pot of pinto beans with the ham bone from Christmas and a few spices in the crockpot on Friday. I made a pan of corn bread and served it with a sprinkle of cheese and sour cream. It was so good. I am trying to plan a crockpot meal every Friday as my neighbors love to hang out and everyone either orders take out or has something delivered.
    I picked up loss leaders from Kroger and Tom Thumb without buying anything extra.
    My neighbors are prepping their house for a move. He offered me several items to sell and I get to keep the cash from it, he didn’t want to move it or it was too much for the trash. He also brought over a nice stroller system that has multiple pieces to sell and split the proceeds with. I plan on cleaning it up and listing it this weekend. I am trying to follow accepting things that are given to me.
    The building management at our offices gave away cards, candy and carnations on Friday. I picked some up for my girls and added it to the $1 chocolate box I had purchased for them.
    I decided to take money out of savings and pay off TMobile for my cell phone. I will be canceling their services and using Mint Mobile, this will save me $40 a month in way of the phone usage bill.
    I picked up an adorable unicorn bedding set from Buy Nothing. My youngest fell in love with the comforter and after I washed it, has slept with it ever since.
    My neighbors put together a last minute Super Bowl party. I have tried adding items to my pantry to have on hand when occasions like this pop up. I took a box of cake mix and made 38 mini cupcakes with icing and sprinkles I already had. I had about a dozen left over which will make for a fun treat in lunches this week.
    The after school program announced Friday they were doing a Valentine’s party Monday and prepackaged food donations would be appreciated for 25 kids. I originally hopped on Target’s website since I had a gift card but then remembered I had a large box of Fruit by the Foot my girls were tired of. I need to be better about shopping my pantry first!!
    I am currently reviewing all of my monthly bills and researching ways to lower them. I am having to refinance the house in my name due to my divorce and because the interest rates are higher plus the increase in my homeowners insurance, my mortgage payment will increase by almost $300. It’s completely frustrating but I know this life is better than before.

  28. Brandy, that is so smart of you to do the hedges that way. When I was a kid, one of my chores was to weed around our front hedges. I hated it so much.
    The weather in NY has been crazy. We went from 60 degrees to 12 degrees and snow. I did take advantage of the nice days and go to the park with the little boy (D) I watch. Hubby and I also went for walks. I was fed all 3 days that I watched him and the 1 day I helped M. D made me a Valentine card and got me a large box of chocolates. I don’t see him on Mondays so we had it all weekend to snack on. On the cold day we went to the library.
    Hubby had a birthday. I made him a dairy free cheesecake with cherries which is his favorite. He got his favorite takeout for his birthday dinner (expensive) so the kids and I had leftovers.
    I got the free pizza through Ibotta and my son promptly ate it. I never buy frozen pizza. I also got vegan cheese which was a money maker. Ground beef was on sale with a digital coupon for $2.77 a pound. Limit 1. I got the largest pack I could find (just less than 4 pounds). I made meatballs with all of it. We had sliders for dinner one night and the rest went into the freezer. I used vegan meat that I had gotten free with Ibotta to make meatballs for my youngest since she can’t eat beef. Her extras were eaten by her throughout the week. We had a large salad on the side with them. I made 2 more loaves of bread also.
    I did several surveys from receipts. I used Fetch and Ibotta on all of my receipts. I cashed out a $10 GC for Hubby’s birthday from Fetch. I found 61¢ this week.
    The heat was turned off for 2 days. We forgot to turn it back on at night but we were fine. It was nice to be able to air the house out.
    My sister came to drop off her dog and celebrate Hubby’s birthday on Sunday. I made waffles and I made a strawberry topping with some from the freezer. Hubby wanted chili for the game so I made a batch. The original recipe calls for 2 pounds of meat. I only do one. I brown the meat first and the juices gets added to the dog’s food for several meals. I do double the bean amount to bulk it up. My daughter went to her boyfriend’s family for the Super Bowl so I didn’t have to make her anything. 3 quarts of chili went into the freezer for future meals.
    My sister brought my daughter and I each a flower bulb kit so we potted them.
    Hubby put together my mini green house and grow lights so I can start to get seeds started.
    I called about 2 medical bills. One said I never paid it, my HRA did. The other owed me $13.21. They are putting it on my CC.
    Did all of our usual stuff: paid cc off in full, hung laundry, did laundry on cold, short cycle, paid bills online, wear multiple layers and use blankets.
    Have a wonderful week everyone.

  29. I pulled all the leftovers out of the refrigerator and will be making meals for the coming week out of them. I’m trying very hard not to waste any food.
    I cut my husband’s hair.
    I colored my hair myself.
    I pulled out shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, and toothpaste samples that are cluttering up my cupboard and am using them up.
    I cut open a sample size toothpaste tube and got an extra 4 uses from it.
    I got a small raise and will be putting the extra money in our savings.

    1. Darcy I started doing this last year and it’s paid off big time. I sometimes feel like my foods are growing and expanding because I’ve gotten so adept at makeovers (how I call them when I take leftovers and make another meal, lol). Not everything I’ve done has been a taste sensation but it’s all been edible except for one soup that just wasn’t going to be good no matter what I did. Keep up the effort and you’ll be so glad you started doing this. It’s a big savings!

  30. For our anniversary the grandparents watched the kids. We traveled two hour north to Cincinnati, Ohio where I grew up. My husband has never been down by the Ohio River so we did that and went around my hometown area. We ate at his favorite subway restaurant Dibella’s, which we had a coupon. For dinner was LaRosa’s pizza with a coupon. The day before we went to Meijers and purchased treats to eat at home. It was nice to get away from the city we live in. I was thankful we had the funds in the budget for gasoline and to go out to eat a few times.

    Other than that eating all our left overs is my biggest cost savings. Also, reorganizing so things fit better in our house. Perfect activity for the cold season when I do not spend a lot of time outside. I really enjoy watching figure skating. It wows me that a membership ($5 a month/cancel any time) to Peacock app allows me to watch the Olympic figure skating events live. I have really been enjoying that.

  31. Brandy,
    As I’ve said before your gardening skills inspire me to try harder! We have 5 raised beds that I did nothing with last year so this year I will plant a garden.
    Things we did to save money last week:
    My husband worked on the remodeling project in our master bedroom and we discussed what we will do in the master bathroom and master closet to complete the project. We had a couple of zero spend days which is different for our household. We got takeout pizza for Friday but cooked all other meals and I think we can stay within the grocery budget I set as long as we continue to cook using items from the pantry and freezer and stay out of the grocery store. Meals last week included sausage & kale soup, homemade chicken stirfry, shepherd pie, and a planned leftover night. I cooked a turkey from the freezer this weekend and I’m making turkey enchiladas in green sauce for dinner tonight using items I already have on hand. We have several “turkey-centered” meals planned with our leftovers and I made turkey broth and froze it. I added the public library app to my phone and I’ve checked a few books out including one I had in my Amazon cart and then thought to look and see if I could check it out from the library. I’ve been keeping track of all money spent which is an improvement for me.
    I donate plasma regularly and I’ve been saving my “plasma money” for our spring break vacation. We will rent a beach house. I plan to meal plan for that trip so we don’t do what we have always done before and fly by the seat of our pants and spend too much money on meals. Since we are taking our dog with us, we won’t eat any meals in restaurants but we will do a few planned takeout meals.
    Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate and I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  32. This past Sunday we had friends over to play Apples to Apples, finally. I put out olive spread, cashew spread and tapenade I had thawed, as well as crackers I already had. We served inexpensive and tasty organic wine from Trader Joe’s. It was fun.
    We took our Christmas tree down last week and saved the needles in a bowl for their fragrance. I sold a kombucha scoby.
    A wood-turner friend gives us his wood shavings for mulch and cat litter. When we went to collect some bags of turnings we mentioned we were ironically on our way to Sprouts to by wood for our chiminea. He had 2 boxes of waste wood he was just going to burn to get rid of it and gave it to us. We were really happy to get it because so much wood is thrown away it seems criminal to buy wood. We found our terracotta chiminea years ago– someone had thrown it out because it had a leg that came off. Out tiler put it on with mortar mix or something and it’s fine. We’d never used it but enjoyed so much sitting out with friends on a cold night that we’ll be using it again.

    Have a good week everyone!

  33. We have splurged on a couple of meals this weekend as it was our anniversary and Valentines. I bought a Valentines special at the grocery store of 9 large shrimp and 2 small steaks. I made a shrimp fettuccini that made plenty for two with one meal leftover. I thought the steaks may not be as tender as some so I cooked them up and made beef stew instead-this made about 6 servings so shared with my Mum too. Other splurge was two containers of Thai takeout-I saved 10% off by paying cash and of course did not need a tip either. There were plenty of leftovers.
    My DH took some dirt in plant pots over to my Mum’s today to see if she can grow some tomatoes on her balcony this summer. He also kindly cleaned her fridge. I then gave her lunch here and took her for a haircut using a coupon that would have expired tomorrow. Then took her home and made up a 9×13 pan of lasagna for her to divide into single portions and freeze.
    Mum will be turning 90 in 3 weeks time-DD will be flying home and we have also invited my Brother and SIL to have dinner with us to celebrate. I asked her what she would like and Mum has requested pork tenderloin with dressing and my homemade chocolate cake so that should be easy enough. I will throw in a few veggies and call it dinner.
    Speaking of DD she told me she bought a blouse and blazer at the thrift store the other day-I think she is finally learning some thrifty habits so I am pleased.
    No major savings this week-but rumour has it that Canada will no longer require PCR testing upon our return next month from a trip-instead I expect to just need a rapid antigen test-which should save me over $100 for two. Every little bit counts.

  34. Brandy, good luck with your cuttings! I hope they take roots and grow well.

    My husband I were able to go to Ecuador for two weeks to visit friends. We used credit card points to pay for the tickets and since we stayed with friends, didn’t need to spend much money. Costs for food are less expensive than in the U. S. Our friends cooked most meals from local produce. They are renovating a new home so my husband and I had a lot of time to walk through the city. We averaged 12,000 to 25,000 steps per day. We also treated ourselves to lunch out. Many restaurants have lunches from $2.00-$3.75 that include fresh juice, soup, an entree, and sometimes dessert. I did a little shopping and bought items for just a few dollars.

    I am getting a new garden plot this year, across the street from where I live. It’s free and also comes with water. The last two years I have had a community garden plot which I enjoyed, but it was 2.5 miles away and it cost $37 per year. I know having the plot closer will be easier to manage. I’m already looking forward to planting peas, lettuce and radishes in the next few weeks.

    At the grocery store today I was surprised to see how expensive dried beans were. I shop at a Latino market because they have the best prices. Dried beans were $2.59 a pound! I realize that packed one pound bags of beans are more expensive, but it still surprised me how much the price had gone up since I last purchased them. I’m grateful for the supply of beans that I already have.

    I also sold a small piece of art last week.

    Happy Valentine’s Day and thank you for your helpful comments.

        1. I told my dad food is the best investment right now! I don’t think he agreed, but when some foods have gone up 20%, I feel pretty good about my investments 🙂

  35. That is fantastic on the clippings Brandy, my mother did that often with indoor plants and had fabulous luck.

    *Fridays are my predominant grocery days and while I am not quite where I want to be for how often I shop, I did do very well this week. I don’t often head to Kroger because I find it more costly than Meijer on most items, but this past week I took a really good look and was able to match up items on sale with the mega sale, Ibotta, and the cash back option they offer. Some of the items were really meant for the pantry as they are not things I buy (boxed velvetta mac and cheese and frozen pizzas). These will be handy if indeed our normal items become more difficult to find. I ended up spending $45 on $140 worth of groceries. I finished up at Meijer and Kroger and stayed under the budget I was shooting for. One pizza was free after rebate and the other was $2.77, the mac and cheese ended up being $.49/box and I bought 5.

    *made cream of asparagus soup with some fresh and frozen asparagus, using up a sad onion and garlic along with some almost sad potatoes, lol. This was my lunch for a few days and I froze the rest.

    *continued to participate in the energy program through our natural gas company

    *found two short sleeve shirts at the thrift store, one for $.99 (lululemon) and the other $3.99 (Gap), both ended up half off. Went back after I did a couple of Shipt deliveries and found some bright turquois placemats that I will use in our camper at the picnic table for $2.00 for 4. They are nice and bright.

    *used a foot peel I received as a gift, hoping it helps my feet.

    *I am out of honey but remembered that I brought the honey sticks home that I keep in the camper, I drink tea with honey daily and am trying very hard to not shop before Friday. Part of the ibotta deal I got on Friday were two boxes of tea, Twinnings Lemon and Ginger Probiotic and a Chamoile, each box ended up being $.99. I use my tea bags more than once but I do have 2-3 cups per day so I used a new bag the next day.

    *While not necessarily frugal per say, I am getting my hair cut on Friday (about 6 inches). I have anxiety about getting hair cuts and have not had it cut in close to two years (saved money there, lol). All my layers have grown out and it just needs some love. The person I used to see a couple times a year moved away and I did not care for the next person who cut my hair. My hair is waist length currently and for those of you with extra long hair, you know what it does when its that long. If I don’t braid it at night, I wake up being strangled in the morning. I am going to a hair salon in town we live in to support local, it is not a chain.

    *my husband had been saving up money for a bit, his “spending money” and while not quite enough, he did purchase new set of headphones to use for work. Unfortunately he is not self employed so no write off, but I did find them $75 cheaper versus the Apple store. He was amazed that I found them on sale elsewhere.

    I hope everyone has a lovely week, I’m dreaming of warmer weather. It is just so cold here in Michigan right now.

  36. I worked 5 days last week. Brought breakfast all 5 days and lunch on 4 days. One day I used a gift card for lunch that I had from Christmas. We made a turkey breast last Sunday, the 6th, and ate on that most of the week. However, February 9th is National Pizza day, so any excuse to have pizza…….Lunches most days was fried rice also made over the weekend.
    The best grocery deals I got for the week was butter for $1.97 a pound, with a limit of 5 pounds; 2 pounds of shredded cheese for $2.99 with a limit of 2; my DH’s favorite cereal – Kellogg’s mini-wheats for $1.29 with a limit of 3, and avocados for 47¢ each with a limit of 12. Got 12 of those.
    Our son turned 40 over the weekend, and his wife had a birthday party for him at a bowling alley. We hadn’t been bowling in 18 years, it showed in our scores, but we had fun.
    I am gradually getting my energy back, and have a lot less “brain fog” as of today. That’s a good thing, as tax season is really starting to get rolling.
    Hope everyone has a great week.

  37. Watch your check out pricing vs the shelf pricing at the stores! I went to my local Walmart yesterday and after some thought determined the 4 lb tub of lard was what I was going to get at a cost of $6.14 for one with a 2 yr best by date. Got to the registers and it rang out at
    almost $8.50! I talked to the attendant and she scanned it with her little hand held scanner and said the the shelf price was wrong and it was to be the higher price. Well NO! I said I will go back and take a picture of it so they would be able to give me the stated price. She would not even let me take my cart back with me! I was careful to include the price sticker, the front and back of the tubs showing the UPC and matching sticker info. (the tubs had a 4 spot facing width on the shelf so this was easy to accomplish). I decided I had better get a second one while I could and went back up to the checkout. When I showed the lady the pic she tried to tell me the sticker said 3 lb tub not 4..umm… NO! I told her to come with me and look..she said “I can’t Leave the area” so I said Get a floor manager. At this point she gave me the shelf price and made no bones about not being happy with me getting a second tub. She went on to say she was calling the manager to fix the problem so no one else could do this. My very first thought was , so this is hyperinflation!” It was a big jump in cost and I have always understood the shelf/advertised price is what you pay or I would not have persisted.

    1. This happened to me years ago at Walmart over a loaf of bread. The manager insisted that the price on the shelf was incorrect and that it was indeed the higher price. I wish I had not bought the loaf of bread at all that day, but I still did. However, I never bought another loaf of bread from Walmart again, and I buy very little there.

      1. Brandy, the store won the battle but lost the war. I suspect this will be true in Blessing Creek’s case as well. I can’t imagine a store arguing about the shelf price. In many states, it would be illegal. (I would have been tempted to walk out of the store and leave the cart at the checkstand, but I’m a polite person and probably wouldn’t do it).

        1. The law in Canada if this happens is that the customer gets the item for free up to $10! You do have to know this as cashiers certainly don’t volunteer the info but if you question it they have no choice. You really do have to pay attention these days as prices are changing so quickly!

      2. I think many of us have a story like this as to why we won’t shop in a particular store, or buy a particular item there, or use a service. If the store makes a mistake, they need to admit it, and thus keep that customer for the future, (even though they should correct the error to stop anyone else from profiting from the mistake).

          1. I am sure there are many instances and at many stores. I think that less attention is paid by consumers since most of our actions are now automatic (finish scan, insert card, pull it out and leave.) not to mention many don’t have to later enter balances , debits and credits in a bank transaction register (remember those?) and so the dollar amounts don’t seem to matter much anymore UNLESS you are actually spending cash.

    2. I had this same thing happen at Walmart. I had several cans of fish. The lady didn’t seem a bit surprised. It was only like 12 cents per can difference but I had like 20 cans. It was a pain but I realized that things like that I need to take a picture in case. The problem is that you don’t know what things you will have a problem with.

      1. as it turns out I went back a few days later and no…they have not yet changed the lower shelf price. I bought about 5 more canning related items and this time took pics at the shelf ahead of time and (WHAT!) 4 of the 5 items rang up higher..anywhere from .50 to 2.00 more..never again,,,this is just wrong.

    3. In Canada we have something called ‘scanning code of practice’. If the shelf price is less than what it rings up at, it’s free (up to $10.) This was introduced when they stopped using price stickers on each product in order to have people adjust to the new system of shelf only pricing. Some stores have dropped it now but walmart Canada where I live still honors it. Seems to me the cashier had a bad attitude. She should have apologized for your inconvenience at the very least.

  38. This week I returned to the office for two days a week (remainder days work from home). This means more gas and public transport costs. I ran errands on my lunch break during those two days, saving me a lot of time.

    I spent extra on grocery shopping as we have guests coming to stay very shortly for half a month. So I started buying things that we would need for when they are here in accordance with my meal plan. Meals will include BBQ, tacos/burritos, lasagne, salads with lentils, basil pesto gnocchi, bacon egg and cheese on English muffins. I also put together a little welcome pack to leave on their bed for when they arrive.

    Two birthday parties of my children’s friends are coming up and we had a painting session to make some wrapping paper on large brown sheets of paper that came in store bought items and I saved. Gifts were chosen from my gift shelf in my linen cupboard. Total of gifts is $9.60. At the parties, my children will get to go ice skating, receive lunch, dinner and birthday party food and cake.

    I line dried all washing, took lots of bike rides with my family, my children played outside with the neighbourhood children while I socialised with the adults (we do this a few times every week), buried scraps in the garden, used up not so good produce in soup, cooked all meals from scratch, kept electricity and natural gas usage to a minimum, paid all bills on time, read two books and played inside and outside with my children.

    Next week I plan to do a bike ride with my children to the local park that has a water play area with man made little shallow rivers, water fountains, buckets of water etc, a large playground, grass area (will take the ball to kick around), BBQs to cook on and paths for bikes/scooters.

  39. Rooting Powder with shrubs/hedges-this is a great idea! I really hope it does well for you. Celebrated a birthday with a potluck, songs, board games, and a walk outside. Enjoyed “All Creatures Great and Small” on PBS. Saving all kinds of boxes, toilet paper tubes, and flyers that come in the mail…the grandchildren have been making their own people out of the toilet paper tubes, houses and stores, etc. They have had such fun creating. Lastly, transplanted flowers to another spot in the yard to see if they like it better.

  40. My mom sent over shampoo, powdered milk, and nutrigrain bars.

    I used some of the powdered milk my mom has been sending over one night for mashed potatoes because we had ran out of regular milk.

    Used 1.25 off a Redbox rental

    The 15yo and I went to see 12 Angry Jurors at her school. I love high school theater productions. It was only $17 for both of us. I also used the money from the bought milk settlement payment. There was no intermission so my 15yo wasn’t tempted by snacks.

    Ate lunch at work all week.

    Used my $5 Amazon gift card from Verizon to get this month’s book club ebook since it wasn’t included in Prime Reading.

    I signed up for a free, 8 week course for ASL. The elementary school I work at has a high number of kids that are hearing impaired, so I’d like some basics.

  41. 1. I have noticed the much higher grocery prices here in FL that other readers describe. I went to Walmart looking for a package of beef stew meat. A lb was almost 9$. That was a shock. I am not paying that price for stew meat. I remembered an ethnic grocery store advertised pork on sale. I got fresh pork picnic cut there for 0.69 cents a lb. I had to cut a thick layer of fat off the pork but it was still a much better price than the beef. My stew turned out well minus the beef. The growing season in FL is 12 months out of the year. I’m not sure why the food costs are higher than Texas.
    2. I wanted a tuna sandwich from Panera but remembered I had a pouch of tuna, some chips, & iced tea at my condo. No need to spend $. The lunch was easy to make.
    3. Had to buy a car battery which was $200.00. (Maybe batteries cost more here too.) Like most readers I economize on many things so that I have $ for the needed items when they occur.
    4. A nice man at my condo used a battery booster so I could start the car to go buy the new battery. That saved me a service call. (My husband is a mechanic but he has not arrived here yet.)😟
    5. For Valentines we went to eat out before I left. I used a gift card I had. My husband usually complains about the Valentine Day crowds anyway.

  42. -Using left overs creatively. Made some lefse from leftover mashed potatoes. Used some leftover carrots, onions, and celery from my instant pot short ribs along with a jar of canned chicken and a jar of chicken broth, added handful of noodles and had chicken noodle soup. Used leftover boiled potatoes, a slice of pork tenderloin, and roasted onions, chopped and fried for hash with fried eggs for weekend breakfast.

    -Spent $40 on groceries- mostly produce- bananas, lettuce, grape tomatoes, carrots, celery, potatoes, milk, creamer, and link sausage. So I am at $52 for the month. I will only need a gallon of milk in a week or so. I’ve used 27 jars of food so far this month.

    -Trying to sew a bit each week. Did some mending this week, 4 items. This saves money as it extends the life of the clothing item.

    -We are staying home, not spending money, heating with wood, making meals at home and using leftovers. Simple life during the cold (most nights below zero) of winter. We are getting snow every 2-3 days. Most snow we have had in the last few years.

    Have a great week!

  43. Brandy, if you have access to a willow tree, you can make your own rooting solution. Just blend some willow leaves/branches with water. Use that for rooting, but only take out what you need for that time (don’t dip your cuttings in the whole jar – sorry i’m not phrasing that very well).

    1. I have heard that. Willows don’t grow here; they require a different climate and lots of water. No trees grow here, actually. They all have to have been brought in from elsewhere. Even cactus is brought in and has to be watered often as we have so little rain.

      Rooting powder is not very expensive though and it goes a long way.

  44. That would be such a huge savings, I truly hope that most cuttings take for you!
    I didn’t end up commenting last week, so this is both combined. We are redoing a large portion of our backyard to expand our garden, add a large blackberry patch and an above the ground pool for the children that was purchased last year so we are removing a garden feature that was installed many years before we purchased our home. It had many shrubs, two bird baths (that we are rehoming to other locations in the yard) and loads of river rock that we are removing. Since our driveway is also river rock, as we remove them, we have been adding them to our driveway in places that are needing more coverage.
    I planted parsley, rosemary, thyme, bell peppers, four different lettuce varieties, spinach, two cabbage varieties, beets, Bok choi, viola, statice, feverfew and yarrow. This year is my first trying to multi-sow as suggested by Charles Dowding. So far, my onions, shallots and leeks are very happily growing. I have attempted to sprout some older celery seeds and twice they have yet to germinate. I am trying once more before I give up on the old seed, but I ordered new seed that I will plant this week. I also started Sweet Pea seeds and planted Ranunculus corms I pre-soaked. I am so excited just for the thoughts of flowers and gardening this spring. I use leftover water from the previous day to water my seedlings.
    Since both my husband and I work from home, and we homeschool, we are trying diligently to keep our driving to a minimum. Last month we only filled our gas tank once and so far, have only made two trips in our small town this month. We feel very fortunate since the gas prices continue to rise along with everything else.
    On the warmer days when we are going to reach 60 degrees, we have been opening the house to air it out some. I add an extra layer, everyone enjoys the fresh breeze, and we have a smaller electric bill.
    We’ve cooked and eaten all meals at home. We’ve been slowly going through things in the house and trying to get rid of things we no longer use or need. I have a lot to still go through, but I was able to drop off two boxes to a local thrift store and listed several to sell online. My husband sold a tool charger he didn’t need, and we sold several other smaller things.
    I was sent a $10 coupon off $10 purchase at Sugar & Jade. We haven’t shopped there but it is a new division of Children’s Place (which I order from) so I used it along with their free shipping to get a pair of slippers for my daughter to put up for next year for $1. Less than the thrift store and it is delivered to me, can’t beat that!
    My sister is a CPA and sent me a link to file our taxes on TurboTax at a discounted rate. Because of being self-employed it usually is about $170 for Federal and State. Using her link it saved about $60 and both were filed for $110.
    Hubby sat in on an online panel on Zoom and received a $50 Amazon gift card as a thank you.

  45. My husband smoked a Turkey that I had purchased along with the one we ate at Thanksgiving. It is delicious! We
    had it for Sunday dinner and will eat the leftovers this week. It was .89 a pound at the time which seems like a super bargain with prices now!

    I went to Sam’s today thinking since it was Valentine’s Day there would be less people. I was right! How wonderful to actually have room to shop! The find of the day was chicken! They had a small section of one aisle cooler that had about forty pkgs of various pieces. You were allowed only 2 pkgs per piece. Once people realized it was there, they congregated. I’m sure it was all gone before I left the store. All was less than $2 a pound!

    Sam’s also had Lilac bushes! They were basically very small starters, but were the first I’ve seen in a while. They were 2 for $11.99!

    Tomorrow I will go to the Farmer’s Co-Op to discover what the real truth is about seeds and also what shape the Farmers are in for this growing season. Almost afraid to find out!

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Stay frosty out there!

    1. We ended up going to Sam’s last night and it was very empty. We got gas without a line for the first time.

  46. Good luck on the hedges!
    *We went to the local outdoor market for fruits and vegetables last week. Prices for fresh fruit and vegetables are insane this time of year. We did score a case of mandarins for about $10.
    *With Omicron blasting its way through the country we stay home and don’t eat out or order take out.
    *I’m continuing to work part-time online. Although, my hours will be reduced beginning next month as I’ll go back to the office.
    *I found a rather nice Coach bag on the Karrot app for $15. It will make a nice gift.
    *Before Christmas I purchased several My Little Ponies on Facebook. Last week I gave them as a birthday gift to a friend’s daughter. She was thrilled.
    *I used up some lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, and quinoa by making vegetarian chili and then turning the leftovers into nachos the next day.
    *I made a loaf of raisin bread.
    *A few weeks ago I found a good deal on sausages and frozen croissants. I turned them into pigs in a blanket and had a friend over for lunch. We laughed about our kiddie lunch menu.
    *I used a coupon to buy a sandwich maker for my tween to use.
    *I’ve decided to bake more bread and start making yogurt again. Food prices are rising and I need to save every penny these days.
    *I sent a box of feminine hygiene products I no longer need to a food bank. Now I have more space on my shelves.
    *I decluttered and gave a set of bedsheets and a big bag of towels to a friend dealing with Norovirus. She was thankful as she was unable to stay on top of laundry for a few days.
    *I am determined to be happy with what I have instead of spending money.

  47. Gas $3.09 gal. in college town, $3.19 two hours north of college town, and & $3.39 in work town two hours south of college town. I had to do a lot of driving for work this week in both directions. I made hamburgers, my version of homemade lasagna, baked chicken, and potatoes. I also bought a rotisserie chicken and will make lunch sandwiches from it. Middle son ate a huge package of sautéed spinach this week. I also bought ground chuck, cottage cheese,for lasagna, eggs, Gatorade, bananas for son, spinach, ice cream bars for son, an onion, and Walmart paper towels this week. I made a combo carrot and green bean dish from canned green beans and carrots, that I tossed spices and soy sauce on to liven it up, and it was fine. I guess my two meats that I bought were chicken thighs $1.29 lb….ugh, and ground chuck for $3.99 a lb….sigh. At least kid ate it all. With prices like these, I am wondering how much it costs to eat out, but since I so seldom do, I don’t have any idea how much restaurant or fast food meals are at the moment. I cannot believe I paid that much for chicken. I used to get it on sale for 39 to 69 cents a lb just a couple of years ago.

    1. Our gas has been 3.49 gal. for months. It rarely goes down unless something significant comes along. We went to a Mexican type fast-food restaurant for lunch this week, a rare occasion these days. With two added cookies, our bill was 28.00 and change. I had to read the receipt to make sure we weren’t overcharged. You can go online and read the menu for a lot of places. It’s eye opening!

  48. Brandy, I just want you to know that I save the reading of this blog post every week for my Tuesday lunch break. It is always so helpful- thank you!

    Frugal wins this week:
    *Shopped around for our kitten’s spay surgery. Our vet charges $125. Our city offers a voucher for $40 if you use one of their providers. Guess which one I chose?
    *Placed an order for 2 weeks worth of groceries. Hoping this keeps us out of stores and impulse buying.
    *Used my ibotta earnings for a Walmart gift card. I bought supplies for two baby gifts, hand towels for our airbnb and hot pads for my husband(He cooks. I do not. I made hot pads and he requested “store-bought” hot pads. Happy Valentine’s day, babe!)
    *Popped popcorn on the stove for snacks- it makes a ton!
    *Brought leftovers to work for lunches
    *I’ve decided to set aside a portion of my “fun money” from each paycheck to go toward my haircuts. I made a savings envelope for this.
    *Continued to sort donated library books to sell and keep for a big decorating project. Pure Joy, y’all!
    *Hosted two couples for an overnight Valentine’s weekend party. My husband made shrimp and grits, with sourdough bread and asparagus. We also had wine. Our friends brought dessert and a pitcher of drinks. We played a game and stayed up waaaaay too late. Breakfast the next day was biscuits, jams and honey, bacon and eggs. We needed lots of coffee- ha!
    *Had the roof of our cabin repaired and salvaged some of the old metal for a future project.
    *Provided a meal for a large group of college students. We cooked instead of ordering out. I’d estimate it cost us a ¼ of what it would’ve cost to have it catered. They left us a lot of leftovers from their dinner that another couple provided- enough for two brisket taco meals!
    *I made a chicken salad picnic for lunch one day from leftovers when I knew ahead of time that we’d be tempted to buy fast food. My sister and I were talking about the need to normalize more shared meals and less take out- prepping for gatherings takes some time, but it’s so helpful for our budget!
    *Sewed a replacement shower curtain from a linen duvet.
    *Made deviled eggs for a Super Bowl party from items we had on hand. I can never seem to make enough!
    *My sister and I are working on her bedroom for a very small budget. She has been collecting items from her buy nothing group that fit the room’s theme and color scheme. I’m in charge of putting it all together! This week, I bought a $10 end table and sawed it in half. I’ve painted the new end tables and will attach them to the walls with brackets(Martha Stewart did this years ago!). So far, we’ve spent $30 OOP for the room for her end tables and a king sized headboard. We are using the furniture and mattress that she already has. It’s really fun!

  49. It is still freezing cold here in Indiana. I just wish I could see grass again! My stepmother had Covid and was in ICU for 11 days. I have been very busy being her caregiver, which means I have been using alot of gas going to her house and running errands for her. I have been picking up her meds at Kroger and grocery shopping for her so I have been in Kroger quite a few times. While I am there I of course check all the clearance areas for meat, bread and scratch and dent section. One day i found Ghirardelli fudge brownie mixes for .99 cents! I grabbed all 11 boxes. There were a couple that looked smashed but the rest looked perfect. I also got cheesecake mixes for 1.29 and name brand cereal for .99 cents. I was also thinking about sauerkraut the other day and found 3 jars of Mcclures for 1.99. It is very good! Also scored Bakers brand white baking chocolate squares for .69 cents! I was just looking at a cake I want to make for Easter that calls for that I was very excited to see that deal. I continue to use all leftover water from drinking for rinsing recycling and soaking dishes. Am using cold water to rinse dishes that go in dishwasher and only wash full loads. No lights if at all possible. I dont mind sitting in the dark. I continue to be amazed at rising grocery prices and shortages. Our Walmart maybe has 2% of boxed pasta. We had a snowstorm come through last week and things were very wiped out. Chip aisle is low and lots of freezer things are missing. I have noticed the same thing at Kroger. My daughter is in high school and the teachers have been told not to use paper unless they have to because the school is having a hard time getting paper in stock. I am mostly sticking to my price book I have used for years. It is possible to still find sales, which is what I am mostly buying. Found some good meat deals on beef roast at Aldi several weeks ago. The only beef besides ground beef we have had for over a year. Also found loaves of bread at Kroger and after a coupon got them for around .45 cents a loaf. Put them in freezer. Found a new YouTube channel to watch while getting ready or doing chores. It’s called “Lettuce Eat”. She does alot of videos on cooking from Dollar Tree ingredients. Speaking of Dollar Tree, since they have raised their price, I have been pricing things and think Walmart is a better deal on most things. For instance, Walmart sells their boxed candy for .98 cents Vs DT $1.25. Will have to be careful in there. I also watched an interesting video on a channel called “SodBuster Living”. It was called something like Living in Poverty in America. I thought it was interesting as her family of 7 lives on a very low income and always has. Always enjoy reading here and learn so much and I am always inspired!

  50. So its been awhile since i posted here…Love to read this blog.Its an indulgence. I had been heavily discouraged since family issues arose unexpectedly on Christmas Day and its been on my mind since. I have struggled to find a job as educated as I am due to work gaps.My husband is an exemplary provider and on the top of his career game and we do live frugally with no bad habits(eg no drinking,golfing,expensive hobbies) except eating out or shopping groceries at new places looking for deals.Still I am the planner for the home finances.

    I started an Art business last year in June taking kids n adults in teaching Art n enjoyed it. My family are wonderful taking the acomodation for it as its done from home. my kids are young but they seem to know whenever I take classes online or in-person they cannot be yelling or fighting in the background etc. My faith matters so much in my taking trouble for these classes. To me it feels its part of my DNA to have all parts of me used for a purpose. I started painting during the start of pandemic after nearly 20 years gap and I think I still have it. I feel fortunate to have it open for me now as its a love/passion for me and that my family.Art is not cheap and starting a business as I sell on Etsy and hold a tutoring account on Lessons.com means investing all I profit from in my classes into it. I have had the privilege to teach many in my community. Looking to hold a stall in the artisanal markets here in the coming months.
    Links for my Art:

    Studying to get a Texas Real estate license as the market is at peak here. I didnt’ count on the curriculum being so intense but it is…
    we saved money by getting our dyson fixed within warranty. my hubby was smart enough to look for a part of the vacuum that broke using Youtube videos and then leaving it with the Dyson service center nearby. Its horrendous how expensive a new dyson cost.($400-800) I held back from buying a second small not so expensive one for emergencies and becos we didn’t pay anything the money we saved we got ourselves a new grill that we had been eyeing for three years.Excited to be grilling here this summer.
    my husband got a GC to UberEats for attending an online conference which he was updating himself on… Treated ourselves to a lunch over the weekend. Free exercise visiting the Arbor Preserves Park nearby.
    i am starting to make some plans for the garden and hoping to fill the yard abit as well..no seeds buying just rooting hedges as Brandi is doing and then making new beds using the soil we bought on sale from last year. I had gotten alot of tools from yardsale towards the end of summer from homes here that were being sold in our area and know they will be a godsend this year.
    We continually collect and update our donating of our clothes. Esp for ur kids since they do go through frequent growth spurts.
    This year I may hold a yard sale in our neighborhood.
    I frequently make my own dosa/idli mixed plus chutney and veg items. Making pizza dough this week as with the grill came a stone. My hubby makes the non-veg items as he enjoys cooking.
    Its perfect spring weather now and I enjoy this time of the year in spite of being a seasonal allergy sufferer. Zinc lozenges are in play.
    Take care ladies till next week.

    1. Sheba,
      You may already do this, but your mention of tutoring on Lessons.com stood out to me – Outschool might be another way to market your classes and bring in more. (And to anyone here that offers tutoring and classes.) They have ways of doing live Zoom classes or just offering a self-paced pre-made class that students can do on demand. You can set your own schedule for the live ones, whether you want to market for after school classes, during the day with homeschoolers, weekends, whatever works for you. My kids have taken several classes through the site and our homeschool group is looking to set up with them as well.
      I hope that helps someone, somehow! 🙂

  51. Hello Everyone!
    This past few weeks have been eye opening to say the least! I did a big shopping for my parents at several different stores. I particularly noticed the increase in prices, especially at Costco. It made us even more grateful that my parents treated for our purchases as well. Usually we drive over an hour to their house to drop off, but they offered to drive and meet us half way, which saved not only gas but time. My mom also gave me a carton of organic sour cream that her neighbor had bought her by accident. I went to the gas station to fill up yesterday and saw that gas is almost $5 per gallon! We will again be limiting our driving and combining errands to be efficient. My son was invited to his first birthday party since the pandemic; he was very excited! I went to Target to pick up a gift. When I got to the checkout, the items I had chosen didn’t ring up. The checker charged me a fraction of the cost saving over 50%. While there I was trying to buy valentines for my son to hand out at school only to find that they were sold out, as with candy and goodies. While I ended up going to another store (ultimately finding what I needed), I decided to buy some of the Easter candy for my parents to give to my son. Better safe than out of luck! I also gave my mom a bag of goodies that she can use in an Easter basket for my son. These were items I had bought at Christmas but held back. While our son was at the birthday party, my husband and I were able to run several errands, which made me very happy and I was able to cross them off my list :). Have a great week everyone!!!

  52. A hundred cuttings, wow! Your garden is going to be such a masterpiece when it’s done!

    My frugal week:
    – – I used some leftover buttercream icing from my freezer to make Buttercream Truffle Bombs (http://approachingfood.com/buttercream-truffle-bombs/). Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Whenever I frost cupcakes or cakes, if I have a little bit of icing left, I just put it in the freezer where it will last for months. I either just add it into a new batch of buttercream next time and mix it in, or turn it into a small batch of these buttercream truffles. Either way, no waste!
    – I made chocolate chip cookie dough, and froze 2/3rds of it, because it’s such a handy thing to have. Makes for easy hostess gifts or dessert for unexpected guests. Or just to make freshly baked cookies for me! (Which is usually how I use it, lol.)
    – I made chickpea salad wraps, and saved the bean water to use as aquafaba, as someone mentioned recently. I turned the aquafaba into vegan meringues and gave some away (a SUPER frugal gift!).
    – My husband and I celebrated Valentine’s Day a little early, and I made roses for him out of salami as a cute gift. My toddler and I read a kid’s story (borrowed from the library of course) about cooking with chocolate together, and then we made chocolate covered strawberries which we ate as a family. The strawberries were on sale and I had the melting chocolate in my pantry.
    – I was able to keep my grocery budget a little lower this week, by focusing on using what I already had at home. I made smoothies by using up the last bit of frozen fruit and yoghurt plus the last of some cranberry sauce (which added some sweet yet tart flavour), toasted discounted blueberry bagels and on sale cream cheese, homemade spaghettios that used up a few cubes of frozen gifted pizza sauce, lentil burritos topped with sauce packets my mom had and didn’t want, and so on. Just using up odds and ends.
    – I made our usual weekly pizza, and made an extra one for my husband to pop in the oven during the week.
    – I redeemed $20 in loyalty rewards (and earned $15 in loyalty rewards, while still buying only on sale items).
    – I made my toddler a Valentine’s Day themed sensory tray, using items I already had: pink homemade playdough, red and white pompoms (I just pulled out the red and white ones from the multi-coloured container), some red paper packaging ‘grass’ I saved from a package I received a few weeks ago, a red heart cookie cutter, and some red and pink foam hearts (I saved these from when my husband I were dating. I’ve used them for decorating for years!). She loved it and it cost me nothing.
    – I gave my husband a haircut.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  53. My mind is boggled at the thought of 1300 bushes! At first I thought I read that wrong. Where are you keeping the cuttings that are rooting? We have 2 long boxwood hedges in front of our house. I accidentally backed the van into the edge of one last week (oops) and left it looking a little mangled. Now I’m wondering if I should have tried to root the broken bits. At least then I could have told my husband I was driving into it to try to save money in the long run, haha.
    *I had a good week in savings, which was a blessing because we had many expenses that I hadn’t anticipated. This week I kept notes on my phone so I could remember what I did to save money. It helped me stay motivated, and the savings helped to buffer those extra expenses a bit. Foodwise, I continued to cook from the freezers and pantry most of the week. I used frozen tomatoes in chili, and made some zucchini muffins. There were 4 extra spots in the muffin tin, and a sad brown banana on the counter made exactly 4 muffins to fill up those spaces. I went to The Fresh Market which is a more expensive, gourmet-type grocery store. If you can stick to their sales, you can do very well. They had .99 whole chicken legs, so I bought 10 lbs. The butcher separated the legs and thighs for me, packaging separately, so that I could make 2 separate meals from them. I also got 3 ham steaks for $2.99 each, and their $25 chicken parmesan meal deal, which included 5 breaded fresh chicken breasts, 1 lb asparagus, marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, and packaged brownies. Used fuel rewards to get .30 off per gallon of gas.
    *On paperbackswap, I took advantage of a member’s special and got 11 books for 2 credits. They are large-print Christian romances that I’ll send to my grandmother.
    *I have been wanting a copy of the Farmer’s Almanac for the planting guide. My grandma always tells me to garden by the moon, which I’d like to try this year. Instead of buying it, I found that it is included with my Kindle Unlimited plan.
    *I am very brand-loyal when it comes to cosmetics and skincare that I like. My skin is sensitive, so if I find something that works for me, I stick with it! To save money on my makeup remover wipes, I have been tearing them in half. I have been skipping washing my hair on Saturday…figure that’s one day of shampoo saved each week (plus blow-drying.) My favorite Lipsense colors were almost empty, but there is still a bit on the sides of the tube. A Youtuber showed how to take out the tiny plug at the top of the tube, so that you can get the applicator down the sides and to the bottom. It worked like a charm and got about 10 days more out of my lipstick!
    *At estate sales this weekend, I spent $6 on books and sold them for $79 on the sellback app. One of the books was worth $60! My husband was not nearly as excited as I thought he should be. I could not wait to get here to tell you all. If I can keep finding books to sell back, I think I can pay for my girlfriend trip this summer by flipping books. I discovered that it’s not good to leave the “sellback cart” too long after getting the quote. 2 times when I left the cart overnight, the offer went down by at least $2. So now I know to confirm the cart as soon as I have the minimum amount to lock in the highest price.
    *My doctor was able to give me 90-day prescriptions instead of 30 day. Also, a huge snafu with the dental insurance almost cost a small fortune! I got a call from the dentist that they had been having trouble getting in touch with the insurance company — for a year. When they finally did make contact, the insurance company said my husband was the only one covered, not the kids or me. So, insurance did not pay for about $2500 worth of procedures since 2020. This was the first we’d heard of this, and my husband has been at his “new” job since July 2020. We checked his paystub, which showed that he has been paying for the family plan all this time, but the dental insurance had no record of this. They were only willing to backdate his insurance 15 months which would be November 1, 2020, not all the way back to July. Thankfully the first procedure was from November 7 — so all of the bill was covered, except for our deductible! God is so good!
    *I went to a school play with my daughter. Because I’m a teacher and she is a student, we both got in for $5 (half-price.)
    *I did a pickup order at Kroger, getting butter for $1.97/lb. Several items were substituted. I was buying some of them because of the weekly ad, so I asked to get the ad price even though they were not the same brand. They were willing to price-match the substitutions.
    *Got a free 8×10 at Walgreens. While picking it up, I used my Walgreens rewards to buy Valentine’s Day candy, paying only 25 cents.
    *This was not frugal up-front but I’m hoping it will work out to be…..I ordered flower seeds to plant this summer. Every summer I spend around up to $200 in annuals (usually 4-in pots and 6-packs to plant in hanging baskets, containers, pots on the deck, and more). We love to have flowers everywhere, but it is getting to be too expensive! So this year I’m going to try to grow my favorites from seed. The seeds were quite expensive (10 wave petunia seeds for $5.95, for example) so it might be a very costly experiment. If they do well, though, it will be a huge savings.
    *I am really wanting to get into seed swapping. I have a bunch of seeds that I don’t want to go to waste, and I think it would be a good way to try new seeds without buying them outright. Our library does not have a seed bank (I’ve heard that some places do). I joined a FB group for seed swapping but am a little shy about getting involved. Plus I worry that the seeds I send someone won’t germinate and they’ll blame me.

    1. For some plants, I find it cheaper to go ahead and buy the annuals, especially when seeds are that high. For some flowers, especially those I can buy in bulk, I find it better to buy seeds.

      I am putting the cuttings directly into the ground. The new “soil” I purchased for the garden is actually half sand, half wood chips (I have added manure, but not nearly enough, I’m afraid). The cuttings are going right along the drip lines so that they will be watered automatically. I didn’t do well with the cuttings I made and watered by hand before; I think they got too dry. I’m hoping this method works.

  54. I am shocked at the increase in grocery prices. Since we have everything delivered, there are many deals we miss. I decided last week that Doordash is a luxury we cannot afford so I canceled it the day I learned the promotional price was ending for me. I even got $5 returned for the last month. I am keeping Instacart membership but they added an excess weight fee to today’s Kroger order because it included 2 32-count cases of bottled water that I had ordered because there is freezing rain in our forecast. (We have a well so no electricity means no water.) I learned heavy items like cases of drinks weighing more than 50# in total might end up with a surcharge. I will be checking orders for surprise-to-me fees going forward before committing to them. On another order, this time from Family Dollar, the shopper got confused by some last minute substitution requests for out-of-stock items and deducted the cost of frozen strawberries from the order. But the strawberries showed up on the front porch anyway. I told Instacart and they said just keep or dispose of the product as I see fit.
    Around here, new Covid-19 cases are back down to September levels and hospitalizations to October levels. Having experienced hearing “There are no beds available in the entire building” while chilling with then 97-year-old mom in the ER during one surge and being exiled from the hospital while she was fighting sepsis for her life during another surge, I have been on pins and needles during this latest surge, fearing now 98-year-old mom might need medical care. Now, I feel I can exhale for a bit.
    We just have to keep on keeping on.

  55. I didn’t have to cook anything fresh last week. I had leftovers from the previous week/weekend and morphed them into all new dishes. Everything was tasty and I didn’t have to take any of my meat from the freezer, etc. I’ve done so well lately with foodstuffs and having no waste that I’ve decided to lower my budget by 25%. We’ll see how it goes but I am feeling pretty certain I can do this quite well. The savings of my grocery budget will be turned into added money for our gasoline and possibly for new chairs for the living room.

    Like everyone else, I asked for 1/2 priced candy for Valentine’s day. There was NOTHING in Kroger today, so I don’t know if we’re going to find any but as I told my husband, I won’t die if I don’t get chocolates.

    I went into Kroger this week to buy butter on sale. It was the last day of butter at $1.99/pound. I bought five pounds and put it all in the freezer. We were headed to tractor supply for dog food and birdseed but I thought I’d just check prices at Kroger. One brand that I think my dog will eat was about the same as at Tractor Supply. But a little further down the shelf I noted that 50 pounds were only $2/more per bag than the thirty pound bags and equal to the price of 40 pound bags at Tractor Supply. I ought the 50 pound bag. Bird seed was cheaper there than I’d thought it might be too so I went ahead and got more birdseed while I was there.

    Sunday, I was lamenting the lack of new chairs (we’d meant to purchase them this year but we won’t have the planned funding. I wanted a new chair to replace the one in my Kitchen sitting area. It’s funny how accustomed we become to seeing a piece of furniture in a certain spot even though we’re not using it. There was a nice wingback chair in my bedroom that I’d tucked into a corner. It filled an empty spot, but I never sat in it. Now it’s in the kitchen and I have a comfortable seat once more. The chair in the kitchen gets used a LOT. One of us is always there when I’m working in the kitchen, I take coffee there in the mornings before the day starts and I use the chair as my quiet break spot each day. I won’t miss it in the bedroom at all. It caught folded laundry that hadn’t been put away and now it’s incentive to put it away!

    This month is birthday heavy for our family but thankfully every gift required was purchased within budget.
    I scroll through instagram daily and often through the sites that post ads. I’ve gotten some great bargains on things I’d needed for gifts or our own household. This week I ordered a new bread pan from Michaels for $7. I like the Pullman type loaf pans and this one is as nice as the one I paid twice as much for on Amazon.

  56. Thank you Brandy for this blog and the comments from every one else. I read through all the comments each week.
    A few frugal items were found this week carnation fudge kits $1. Each kit contains a 12 Oz bag chocolate chips a 5 Oz can of evaporated milk, sugar mix and mini marshmallows. The chocolate chips alone were worth the $1 alone. Extra large eggs were $.73 a dozen at Walmart.

  57. My local WalMart had boxed amaryllis plants on clearance, left over from before Christmas. The bulbs had rooted themselves and were growing bud stems without leaves out the top of the packages, even without ever being watered. I bought two that were ready to bloom. One I cut and put in water in a vase, where it is doing just fine, and the other is blooming in the pot.
    I might or might not be able to rebloom them next year, just am enjoying them now. They added color to my Valentine decorating, which was otherwise just changing my computer screen and facebook profile photos to cherub pictures from The Graphics Fairy, free online source.
    We needed plumbing professional help, and when he was here, I asked whether air conditioner units were still in short supply. Our central AC is at least 23 years old. He said they weren’t having trouble getting them now, even has a couple in stock, but added that the prices keep going up.
    I am sure that when the AC eventually dies, it will be in the hottest part of the summer, but as it is still working fine, I don’t want to replace it. The unit used to be in the shade but we had to have trees close to the house trimmed back. I read that having the unit shaded was better for it, then read something that said it didn’t matter. I would think shade would help by keeping the unit a few degrees cooler and the air that it pulls in a few degrees cooler.
    Gas here in the midwest has edged up to $3.49 a gallon. Happy our grocery store regional chain is keeping up on many but not all items and is keeping some good sales going on loss leaders.

  58. Margaret in South Louisiana

    Brandy —
    Will you please tell me where you order your worms for your garden and what type of worms you order. Thanks. We are preparing our garden to plant soon in South Louisiana and need to order some.

    1. I ordered from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. I ordered red wriggles, which are supposed to be for compost, but I had them before and they did fine in our soil.

      Another friend of mine lives in another desert )where there are also no worms) and his do really well there too (same kind and source). He’s the one who told me about this place. It’s cheapest to buy from them directly, but they are an expensive product. Since no worms are here naturally, though, I needed to get some.

  59. For the past 2 years, our tillers have been breaking down. We’ve had a new tiller on order for way over a year now, with no success getting it. Covid has been the reason given as to why it never arrived. Neither could we buy a used one, no matter how many Facebook and Craig’s List ads my husband called for, and, for various reasons, there were no repair shops who had time or thought they could fix ours, and/or no engines that would work with them, due to the age of our tillers. We will have our 40th anniversary this fall and have had these tillers most of our marriage. We are hard-core gardeners. It makes sense that they all broke. But still…..we had to pay someone to till last spring and many areas of our yard/garden were left to grow wild. I’m happy to report that all 3 tillers are now either fixed or replaced. Because a man was found who could replace the engine in the big one, no matter what anyone else had said previously, several hundred dollars were saved. The medium-sized one was replaced from Facebook marketplace after almost 2 years of phone calls to different sellers. The tiny tiller was replaced with the money saved. I like to till myself when I can, and am eager for it to dry out enough in a couple of flowerbeds so I can get out there and start cleaning some areas up.

    We filled the yard debris bin with clippings, sent it on its merry way yesterday on garbage day and promptly re-filled it for next week.

    I bought lunchmeat and cheese at Grocery Outlet when doing errands Saturday so we wouldn’t have to buy a fast food lunch and could finish the errands. I used a $5/off $15 coupon my aunt e-mailed me.

    I had Safeway rewards come up on my phone with a coupon for using all my rewards and getting $20 off $20, but it expired the next day. I sent my hubby to the store to get the few things we needed, and told him to buy anything that sounded good for the rest of the money. He spent a few dollars over the $20, but got salmon, 1/2 and 1/2, coleslaw mix, salad dressing we will set aside for when we need it in a week or so, and more things like that. He did great! I think I ended up with so many rewards due to some coupons I had downloaded a while back which added lots of rewards when you bought certain items, but I obviously hadn’t checked it for a while, since that coupon only had a couple of days to download it until it expired.

    I cooked chicken-alphabet noodle soup with some gluten-free ABC’s I’ve had for years. I’ve been trying to target some of these older items. I cooked a chicken and froze the broth today. We ate chicken a couple of times. I made chili from some beans I’d soaked and cooked a couple of weeks ago, also on the “use-it-up” list. I was given most of a bag of potatoes my aunt couldn’t get through before they went bad and have made potato soup and mashed potatoes so far. I pulled frozen spaghetti noodles out and made a spaghetti pie. I had thrown them in the freezer at the last minute before leaving for vacation last December, so they needed to be used. I baked home-made gluten-free French bread.

    We celebrated my son’s birthday with cupcakes and hamburgers. I went to my sister’s house for her birthday and there was Mexican food from a local restaurant there. I enjoyed the treat. I also enjoyed take-out Chinese food as our Valentine’s date at home. We did not buy gifts for each other, besides enjoying that.

    I sautéed and froze most of a bag of spinach. Our daughters keep bringing 1/2-filled bags of spinach over if they think they won’t use it up (2 or 3 in the last couple of weeks?), so I had several partials plus the one I bought a while back, not knowing they would be bringing so many partials over. Now it won’t go bad.

    I did a little gardening. Pictures on my blog: http://beckyathome.com

  60. I started this but don’t think I sent it.
    I gave myself my ninth covid haircut. I saved $565 including gst by doing that. As I have difficulty with my
    broken tendon arm, the haircut is somewhat asymmetrical but maybe that is a new style.
    I have been busy finding a few missing footnotes. Also I proofread someone else’s work (unrelated to our book).
    He yellled at me on the phone. He apologized. I kept my cool but said “it was no problem, if a person screams at me he doesn’t get an honorarium”.
    I just hate it when people transfer their stress to you but I am still laughing at my response. It calmed him right down. Money speaks!
    I tend to count backwards from ten when confronted with situations like that — it enables me to keep my cool and gives me a minute to think.
    I am worried about all my friends, 3 are missing in action, 1 has been exposed to covid, one’s father has it (in a nursing home).

  61. -I resisted the urge to overbuy and used what we had on hand to make sheet pan nachos for the Super Bowl. We enjoyed random bits of ice cream, bars and Valentines cookies for dessert. Our kids stayed with my parents over the weekend, and we stayed home and enjoyed shrimp and leftover rice. We did treat ourselves to coffee and an outdoor walk despite the frigid cold temps. I used some frozen squash to make muffins. I’ll make a batch of banana blueberry muffins today.
    -Continuing to learn Spanish on Duolingo.
    -We pressed apples for apple cider in the fall and just opened our first batch of homemade hard cider. It was so delicious, better than anything I’ve had from the store. Once we got the hang of it, it was pretty easy.
    -We had a busy day on Valentines, and I didn’t have time to even get the steaks we planned to have, so we got takeout sushi. Still cheaper than going out to eat. I did get flowers, which I love flowers in the middle of winter. I didn’t buy any decorations and used a red tablecloth on hand.
    – We were able to get a few supplies for a rental house off of FB marketplace, saving us $400
    -Shared some hand me down kids clothing with a few friends
    -We were invited to a friends cabin for the weekend. We will get “fun” snacks from the grocery store so we stay away from gas station snacks.

  62. It has been a rough start to the year for us. Due to chronic health issues, our family had two emergency room visits, one ambulance ride and a surgery procedure. We are all fine now, but are bracing for the medical bills to hit. I think it will be bad. The bright side is that my husband’s employer will be giving raises and bonuses next month for the first time in three years. We will definitely need that to pay the medical bills. I so appreciate this Blog and the comments, it keeps me on track when I have large bills to pay.

    *I have been saving all the lotion bottles that still have 1/3 lotion left that the pump can’t get out. (So frustrating!) Found a cute little wide mouth glass jar at the dollar store, and funneled all the lotion into the jar. It works great for me, is really cute on my vanity, and I’m not wasting all that lotion.

    *My dog needed some medication for a Lupus flare up. Usually, that is $120 visit plus the cost of medicine. This time I asked if I could just get the medication without the visit. They agreed! Huge savings for me! It never hurts to ask!

    *In Washington State many over the counter cold medicines and cough syrups are considered non-prescription controlled substances, and some are now behind the pharmacy counter. You have to show your I.D. to purchase them, and your purchases are tracked in a state data base. I guess these medications can be used to make illegal drugs? Last month, I found a sale price on Sudafed that was also buy 2 get 1 free. I couldn’t pass up the great sale to stock up for my family. I purchased three boxes and didn’t think anything of it. Last week I had sinus problems and needed a different type of cold medicine. When I tried to purchase it, the sale wouldn’t go through because the state said that I had gone over my allotted purchases of controlled substance. I eventually was able to get it approved, but it will be a while before I can purchase any more cold medicine. I just wanted to give you a heads up if you live in Washington or another state that has this program. Now, I can’t do the normal on sale “stocking up” of medications for my family because I have to leave room in my allotment in case we need a specific type of medication. It’s very frustrating. It’s also expensive because I can’t take advantage of sales prices when they come up.

    *One the subject of grocery items ringing up at the wrong price….the Kroger store that I shop at (Fred Meyer) has gotten so bad that there are usually items on my receipt with the wrong price every time I shop. It’s getting worse with product shortages! The store now spreads out items to fill in empty spots, but doesn’t change the shelf tags. It’s horrible. I’m thinking about filing a complaint with our state Dept. of Weights and Measures. My pharmacy (Rite Aid) had a huge display where every item had the wrong shelf tag. When I brought it to the attention of an employee, she said it’s normal, that most of the store has wrong tags!!!!! GASP!

    *The other problem I’m having at my Kroger store is that when I get home, I find that packages are open or have broken seals. This has happened to me and to my husband many times recently at several different Kroger stores. I have to bring the item back or throw it away. Loss of time and money! Not to mention a food safety issue. Maybe the stores have been directed to put all returns back on the shelf instead of marking them out of stock? I don’t know, but now I have to check every single item before I buy it. I think I’m breaking up with Kroger and going with Winco!

    Hope everyone has a wonderfully frugal week!

    1. We can only buy one package a day in the state of pseudoephedrine. It’s logged in a database, so I can’t go to another store the same day and buy a second package. It’s used to make meth, sadly.

    2. If you are restricted from buying decongestants, your spouse or another adult family member should be able to. A nuisance, but might help in a pinch.

  63. HI BRANDY.



    1. I use a 5-gallon food-grade bucket. Flour will last for many years without going rancid; they have done tests and if properly sealed, it can last 30 years. I don’t need mine to last that long 🙂

      Whole wheat flour has a storage life of six months. I buy wheat, which can last 30 plus years, and grind my own flour when I need it.

  64. I had to run an errand on my way home from work and found a gas station that had gas at 20 cents cheaper per gallon. I filled up my tank !

  65. The last couple of weeks we have been out of town staying with a friend in Arizona. We missed the first snow storm that shut down Wichita. Staying with our friends was frugal and enjoyable. The husband and I both enjoy cooking, so most of our meals were at home. We went to the Art Festival in Tubac and the Gem show in Tuscon. The neighbors of the couple have a grapefruit tree and a lemon tree. We brought back dozens of lemons and grapefruit. Fresh is so amazing and of course in KS, we don’t have citrus trees. I am juicing and zesting the lemons and enjoying the grapefruit.


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