I returned two items I purchased online that didn’t fit from ThredUp. I was surprised to find out that they have changed their return policy to have a per-item restocking fee, so I didn’t get my full amount back. Still, I felt it was best to return the two items.

I harvested lettuce, mache, green onions, parsley, and lemons from the garden.

My neighbor is re-landscaping her yard. The house was previously owned by someone who flipped the house, and they put in several Century plants in the backyard. My neighbor doesn’t want all of them, so I was able to dig them up to use some in my own yard (I will give away the rest).

I combined three errands across town that were within a few blocks, and one of these was to see the garden of a man who grows several varieties of figs and mulberries. He gave me a potted cutting of a variety of fig that I don’t have but was curious about. I will have to grow it in a pot (and if I love it, I may graft a cutting of it later onto my existing fig tree). It won’t be able to get real big in a pot but pots are a way to increase my growing space.

I was given some canned chickpeas. I normally cook them from dried. I used the aquafaba in place of half the eggs in some pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I also substituted home-canned applesauce for the oil, and I reduced the sugar by half (it calls for an insane amount of sugar, and the new amount is still a lot, but everyone liked it and it cut calories and price by cutting it down).

I traveled out of town Friday morning for a missionary reunion in Salt Lake City Friday night. I drove up and brought my own food for Friday’s lunch plus a salad (using the above-mentioned chickpeas, plus green onions, parsley, and lemon juice from the garden) to share for Friday’s dinner. I stayed at an inexpensive hotel for just one night and drove back Saturday. It was a 25-year reunion, and it was so nice to see those who could make it.

My mom was out at community garage sales on Friday morning. She found some more blue and white vases for me and negotiated a deal to buy 6 of them for $30 total.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I love your roses. Mine are blooming now as well.

    I redeemed credit card points for a Barnes and Noble gift card to purchase board books for an on-line baby shower later this month. After looking at the post office’s current rate for mailing books versus B&N’s shipping charge, I purchased the books online and had them sent directly to the future grandmother’s house, saving me the hassle of packing a box and going to the post office. She’ll wrap them and include the note I’m writing and mailing to her.

    I had my quarterly wash, cut and blow dry professionally done for $25 plus tip. I’m not saying that I choose to go to DMV for a new license that same day because my hair looked fabulous, but… I’m not saying I didn’t either. I now have a license that’s good through 2031 and no longer have the vision restriction on it requiring me to wear glasses. Maybe I play by the rules too much but the number of people who told me that I shouldn’t bother and just tell any police officer who pulls me over that I had corrective surgery and don’t need glasses anymore is astounding. I think going to DMV is just easier and I have a great picture, too.

    I signed up for free MLB TV for 2023 using the code from T-Mobile Tuesdays. This saved me $150 on paper but I would not have signed up for it if it weren’t free so I don’t think I can call it a real savings. I’ve watched a couple games so far.

    I went to a big 3 day arts and crafts (and eating) festival in my town on Friday. I set s budget of $200 max and spent $113 on specialty foods and funny coasters and magnets to keep and give to family members. I would never have believed that Pimento Cheese and Blueberry Cheesecake would be so tasty but it was. I thought about going back on both Saturday and Sunday for a few other things but decided to save the money and avoid the frustration of finding parking and dealing with the thousands of people there (over 200,000 in 3 days.)

    I talked to a roofing company representative at the fair about a leak I have with my bathroom vent. He came today and sent me a quote for $325 for a roof tineup to replace 2 vent pipe collars, replace shingles as needed, fix popped nails, etc. I had budgeted $500 for this so I’m happy with the quote and to be using a reputable company to get it done. It’s not like I’m climbing up there; the last time I climbed on a roof was about 55 years ago and I see no need to do so now.

    I potted catnip, parsley, dill and tomato starts to take to a plant swap this coming Saturday, weather permitting, along with pink Mexican Petunias that were previously potted.

  2. Sounds like a good, frugal week!

    I haven’t browsed Walmart in awhile and I was shocked at price increases- across the board. I skipped a few things on my list and plan to make sure I go to outlets and thrift stores twice a month. I also am really looking at grocery ads for loss leaders and planning my garden which will help stretch the food budget this summer!
    *cooked, shredded, and bagged up chicken for freezer
    *submitted a rebate for an *almost* free 35 lb bag of cat litter (Dr Elsey’s)
    *outlet store had Halloween and Christmas candy (Reese’s, KitKat, Hersheys) for buy one get one and super cheap= candy for our family Easter basket
    *large rose scented lotion for 80 cents at thrift store. Also found a shirt for $1 and a cute onesie for my nephew due in July (50 cents)
    📍Groceries: 2 loaves of Walmart bakery sliced Italian bread for 44 cents each, chicken breast for $1.99/lb and raspberries for 99 cents at store husband works at

    Have a great week ❤️

  3. I left Thred Up for Poshmark. Poshmark can show measurements, more photos, and allows you to ask questions and negotiate an offer. I have found much better deals there!

    1. Wasn’t it more expensive though? I have gotten items for $8 on Thred Up and the items I have seen on Poshmark are usually over $100. I suppose it depends on what you are buying, but I thought Poshmark was just higher end items. I have an account and I’ve looked on there for several things but they were all so expensive that I haven’t bought anything yet that way. If you have any tips, I’m all ears!

      1. Not Kerry, but here are some tips that have worked for me on Poshmark. I find the brand and type in a specific size or item. Then I sort them items by recently discounted. This way I know the seller is motivated. I favorite items that I still think are too high. That way I get a notification is their price drops or they charge less for shipping. Finally, I always do two things. I look at the other items they are offering to see if I want to bundle with any other items from that seller and I always offer less than the person is asking. I have gotten some great deals!

  4. Love your blue and white vases! I sort of collect blue and white dishes. I have 4 of the Blue Willow plates and the turkey platter my parents bought in 1940. Most of the rest of the “collection” came from thrift stores and yard sales.

    The last of the snow in my yard finally melted after 5 months on the ground! In the 25+ years we have lived in this area, this winter was the longest, if you go by how long the snow was on the ground.

    I kept busy (and then some) both inside and outside my house, alternating the outdoor cleanup with a little spring cleaning. The spring cleaning was inspired by a visit from my niece on Friday. We hadn’t seen each other in about 15 years. I knew she’d go home and tell my big sis if my house was a mess, so………………….. (Just kidding, though some truth to it. Not necessarily that she’d tell, but that my sister would probably ask).

    I cooked dinner for my niece with a tri-tip roast that had been in the freezer for 6-8 months and the last of the twice-baked potatoes I made for Christmas dinner (the recipe makes a bunch and they freeze really well). I bought a butt half of ham for .88 at Winco and plan to get another for the freezer.

    I started composting kitchen scraps again last week. I do not usually do this in the winter, but hey…spring is here!

    Best wishes to everyone here. Brandy, I’m glad you could go to the reunion.

    1. Note to LauraS–If you didn’t see it, I responded to your question last week about the hot springs. I didn’t see your question until this weekend so my answer was late.

      1. Laura, did you see that about 25 Montana Rail cars derailed yesterday right in front of Quinn’s? Fourteen cabins by the river were evacuated. Most of the cars were in the tunnel, but some went into the Clark Fork River and can only be accessed by boat. No one was injured. One car full of propane was derailed, but it did not rupture and is being monitored.

        1. Maxine…hopefully you will see this. Thank you so much for the information on the hot springs! And I did see the news😳 I will be traveling to BC the next two weeks and we are driving back so planning where we will stop along the way and this looks like a great option, except now I am concerned with the toxins.

    2. I bought a new magnet at my town’s festival this year that reads “Welcome to my loose interpretation of clean.” It’s very, very loose…

      1. My mom has a magnet that says, “You may admire my dust, but please do not write in it.” hahaha (Because my Nana used to purposely leave finger marks in the dust when she visited.)

  5. This week, I was sick on Monday night through Tuesday, so not anything got done. So grateful at times like that for a stocked pantry including “convenience” meals that Hubs can put together without my input!

    On Wednesday morning,I pressured canned 16 pints of Shredded Chipotle Beef for tacos using the new Ball canning recipe book! I always used my Ball Blue Book which is magazine size but I had no idea that they had a huge book with over 350 recipes!! They have 2 pages that have a list of “Meal in a Jar” recipes to pressure can!! Fantastic!! And I had all the ingredients at home for this recipe! So that used my 16 pound brisket! https://pin.it/2Deo3f8

    We also took advantage of the better weather on Wednesday to lay more bricks on our walkway project. https://pin.it/5C9btpa. We stopped just as we came to a stack of broken bricks, 23 bags of potting soil and 20 heavy granite blocks that are blocking our path to continue with the new bricks. We knew that it would take us the better part of a week (with good weather) to move these and that we would really bear the aches and pains afterwards. So we hired 3 teens from church who were earning money for summer camps. They had it finished in less than 2 hours!! Well worth the cost; they were happy to earn $ and we were happy to have someone else do it!! So now, we will be ready to proceed!!

    I have 4 of the 10 quilt kits bagged up. Just 6 ore to go for this Saturday! So the push is on today!

    We got the date for our 3rd grandson’s HS Graduation out in Tacoma, WA area so I went online to book our flights to go. Our round trip total was about $1300 and I was able to use Hubs travel funds from the Christmas debacle from SW Airlines, but it wouldn’t let me use my rewards points given as an apology from the SW CEO! So I called SW and talked to a kind lady who booked Hubs and me separately (but still on same flights) and used rewards points on mine and travel funds on his! My flight cost $11 and I still had 13,000 points left and Hubs flight cost $165 !! That was an amazing reduction! $176 instead of $1300!! That was a frugal win!!

    A friend was downsizing to an apartment after selling her house and gifted me with a 6 gallon bucket of honey!! She also gave me an electric knife, an apple peeler/slicer and some pint canning jars and boxes of new lids!! I will gift the apple peeler/slicer to someone because I already have an identical one that I love! What a wonderful blessing this is for us and for someone else!

    So that’s how my week here has gone. The tornados and power outages bypassed us and we are grateful but sad to see the devastation they left in so many places this week! Hope everyone is staying safe and finding that they have enough of those needful things!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

      1. Brandy- I’m curious for your opinion. Would you leave the honey in its original 6 gallon bucket or would you open bucket and repackage into quart or half gallon jars so it’s easier to manage/use?

        Gardenpat in Ohio

        1. I was given a 3 gallon bucket of honey once as well as a giant metal container of honey (about the same size). I would keep the big bucket of it, but transfer a lot of it into jars for easier usage. Opening the bucket lid all the time was a major pain when cooking and I was grateful for what I had moved into jars.

          1. Brandy- Thanks! I was thinking I might transfer it into 2-1/2 to 3 gallon buckets and any leftover into jars because, frankly, the 6 gallon bucket is too heavy for me or Hubs to move around!

            Gardenpat in Ohio

            1. Honey is an amazing food. Our sweet dog has a wound that will not heal. We are not sure what happen, she has an abscess between her shoulder blades. She has already had 3 surgeries. The vet is going to go into the wound, clean the area and apply raw, unfiltered honey to the area. (in a surgical setting.) Honey helps with wound healing. Wish us luck tomorrow!

              1. Paula,

                One kind of honey, Manuka honey, is particularly good in healing wounds. Years ago we used it on a bed sore that wouldn’t heal and it worked wonders. There are now pads made with it for that purpose. Also many years ago, my gp said he’d had a cough he just couldn’t get rid of after he’d had bronchitis. I suggested manuka honey and it worked wonders. For coughs it should be the strongest strength possible (I think it’s 32). I am stocking my pantry and hope to get some for emergency purposes. Good luck with your dog! Ann

              2. I’m pretty sure you all would know this, but you have to be very, very careful if you’re thinking of using that honey warm…
                I had a jar of crystallized honey and stupidly thought to nuke it until it was liquid. The jar looked fine in the microwave, but broke in my hands. And honey doesn’t let go of ya! I had scars from this…fortunately cleared up with the gel from an aloe vera plant, applied repeatedly over days. So don’t be a doofus like me, and try to ‘warm up’ your honey.

    1. Pat

      Wow you found some really frugal things this week for sure. All that honey alone was a great find and the airlines price reduction, Wow on the original price and then your savings you always do such a good job finding ways to be frugal.

      1. So sorry to hear that Robbie. You have so much to deal with and I think of you, wishing you strength and sending prayers.

      2. So sorry to hear this, Robbie – I hope you and yours are safe and the community is able to make repairs quickly.

      1. Juls Owings and Linda- Here is a photo of the Ball canning book I got: https://pin.it/BbyGK7T. Am I the last person on the planet that found out that Ball published more canning books than their little Ball Blue book? 🥴 Lol!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    2. Gardenpat, what is the title of the canning book you wrote about? Ball has so many books on canning.

  6. How nice to be given a new variety of fig to try in your garden. Last week, I harvested asparagus, parsley, and broccoli, and had enough to make broccoli pad thai. Several varieties each of lettuce and swiss chard were planted. The first two lettuce varieties are up, Thai Oakleaf and Speckled Bibb. I’m trying harder to use up old seeds this year, and the swiss chard especially was sown thickly. I hand washed my new thrifted wool sweater and a wool blanket, using homemade soap gel. I saved two vinyl blinds destined for the trash. My favorite method of marking seedlings is to use pieces of blind, so this should do me for a while. And with perfect timing, as I had just about used up all of the last blind. A few other items were rescued from the trash, including a pack of composition paper. It always surprises me the perfectly good things people throw away. On one of the cooler days, I worked on ironing while watching youtube videos I had saved. I baked German chocolate brownies for my husband’s birthday, a favorite of his. All laundry was hung on the line to dry. The chickens continue to get mash each day, picked greens several days a week, and soaked scratch grains each morning, all of which help to lower our feed bill. At the grocery store, I got our dogfood for $6 off, and used a $7 reward towards my purchase.

    1. I’ve never met anyone else who uses mini blinds to mark plants! I discovered it one year when every penny was spent on our fixer-upper, not garden markers! Pencil markings on pieces of blinds have lasted multiple years through rain and sun without fading.

  7. Thank you for the reminder of the “bean juice” for egg substitute.

    I’m not sure if it changed, but I knew when ThreadUp would allow you to trade some of your purchasing points for free (no restock fee) returns. That may have changed.

    I used a coupon and reward bucks for Easter candy. I used an Amazon GC from using Bing to purchase a used book. I checked at the library first for the book with no luck.

    My one parent has stage 3 dementia. I take them to the library (their choice) for light and quiet entertainment. It is a way for us to stay connected, and if they get settled for a bit, I’ve been picking short topics to do light reading on. I’m so happy for this free resource.

    Some of my perennial bulbs pushed upward and froze this past mild winter. I never saw that before. What bulbs that survived, some groupings need thinned and I can transplant.

    I decided to create a cutting garden. Then I shall not hesitate to use my vases this year 🙂

    Hope everyone has a calm and productive week.

    1. J in PA, what part of PA do u live ? I am in Mercersburg, PA, 10 miles from Hagerstown, MD and 20 miles from Chambersburg, PA. I am about one hour from Gettysburg, PA. I am one hour from Carlisle, PA, and 2 and one half hours from Lancaster PA. I live right on the Mason Dixon line and can be in Maryland in 10 minutes, West Virginia in 20 minutes, and Virginia in an hour. I am also one hr. from Baltimore Maryland and Washington D.C. It might be one hour and 15 minutes.

    2. Hello J
      My husband kindly planted me a cutting garden last year because I didn’t want to cut flowers from the borders and spoil the display. It was a great success and not only provided me with lots to cut for the house but plenty to give bunches of flowers away. In the autumn we planted some bearded iris because I love their flowers and never cut them from the garden so looking forward to that this year. He plants lots of annuals as well as tulips and sweet William, I’m excited to see what grows well this year. Good luck with your cutting garden, please post updates!

    3. J in PA-

      I go to my local garden store (Staufer’s of Kissel Hill) that has a great bulb selection. At the end of December or the first week in January they reduce the bulbs by 75%. I plant them in a raised 4×4 bed immediately for a cutting garden. I am waiting on 70 tulips that ran all of $12. It makes it much easier to cut and bring inside or gift to the neighbors when they are markdowns and the “show” beds are in tact. Best of luck!

      1. I love this idea! Van Engelen has markdown bulbs at the end of the season. It’s not quite that cheap but I think this is a great idea!

  8. -Used plastic eggs I bought last year for 90% off for this year’s egg hunt. We had 300+ eggs for 7 kids. They emptied all the candy out and gave me all the plastic eggs. One family took a bunch of empty eggs home to stuff and use for their contribution to church egg hunt and then I gave a ton to my mom’s caregiver to use for her kids.
    -We always do pot luck holiday meals and brought home enough leftovers for a few days. We have a bring one dish per adult rule but my sister and SiL both made tons of dishes. My mom and I ordered fried chicken from Kroger and someone who had to drive by there anyway picked it up for us. Learned that 48 pieces of chicken for 28 people is too many when you also have 4 other meats.
    -In order to not contribute to the chaos I gave the moms the Easter bags I had made for all the kids to take home and open later. Used canvas bags TJMaxx gave away last weekend and one of the moms told me she plans on using them as beach bags this summer.
    -Scored from the 50 cent bins at 🎯liquidation store today. Beauty products that normally retail for $32, $26 and $25 for only 50 cents.

  9. Those vases 😍 Blue is my favorite color

    I renewed my Amazon Prime account at the student rate. Might as well take advantage since I’m taking classes.

    Earned $13.85 from Amazon shopper panel rewards. Used the money I had earned so far this year to buy my husband a 1 gallon Coleman drink cooler for his water this summer.

    Hubby purchased a piece of beef at the store and it turned out to be tougher than what he expected. So he grilled it, and it’s currently on the dehydrater to become jerky.

    Ate breakfast and lunches at work

    Donuts were brought in for staff on Friday and I ate one

    We got takeout Saturday and I had enough leftover to eat on Sunday.

  10. When I went to the grocery store to get cat food, I was able to get three packs of coffee for $6.49 each, a $2.00 saving per pack. This is a three month supply.

    I’ve been shopping for underwear. I got a 5-pack at the small department store in town. I shopped on Monday when there is a 10% discount for seniors. I also placed orders at two stores online, where there were 40% discounts across the board, and then 15% or 20% discounts stacked for first orders. The discounts seemed artificial to me, with prices for brand-new merchandise coming in at the “sale” price. Nevertheless, glad to see a good selection after the years of world-wide elastic and cotton shortages because of keeping us all supplied in masks.

    I’ve been sorting out photos, to come up with a small number I really love. I went through print photos this week, and the digital photos people have sent me. This coming week I will go through the slides that I took myself, and from a slide show of my dad’s photos that I put together for his 75th birthday. I am not sure how many there are I will want to keep. I have enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. There are lots of happy memories there, but there is no need to keep many photos of people and places and events that I remember well. I am happy to be doing this now, rather than at some point when I am stressed and forced to be getting rid of things. The Minimal Mom on YouTube had some good videos on how to go about this, one on print photos, one on digital. All the decluttering resources tell you not to start with photos, but I have found it worked for me to do this early on while I was still excited about simplifying things so my house is easier to take care of as I get older.

    1. Elizabeth I agree with you on the photos.. we have several photo albums of my husbands parents and most of the people in them we have no idea who they are. I enjoy looking at photos of my husband and his parents and how they dressed, the new cars, the house decorations but most after my husband is gone will be burned since we don’t know who to give them to. Minimalism really is good to do while you can.

      1. I was so sorry to read about your husband’s illness. There is just so much to do to set up things at home for someone who is ill. You sound like you are getting a lot of things done, though. I am sure it good to have him close by you.

      2. My mom has been sorting through her own and her parents photos, newspaper clippings, programs, etc. If she knows someone, she mails them off to them or their family. Several have really appreciated getting these in the mail. And we kids wouldn’t know who they are or who to share with so I’m glad they aren’t going in the trash.

    2. A local history museum/archives/library might want some of them. Another way is to scan them and keep digital copies. Ann

      1. The photos aren’t situated in Alberta, so I won’t be looking to archive them. I’m curious if there are many slides I really want to keep. I’m not looking for a project, so I hope there are only a few. I think it will be fun to have a look, though.

        1. The museums of other areas (in which the photos were taken) may be interested. I myself am going to donate one of the photo albums
          I’ve been working on to a museum of that area. Scanning photos or slides reduces clutter while keeping the images.

  11. Hello from Bronx, NY

    Your new blue and white vases are beautiful!

    Mountain Mama Dawn, I loved your contributions to your uncle’s celebration of life. Displaying photographs on easels was a great idea and I can’t get over the story board! It’s wonderful and something completely new to me. I enjoy service, scouting, military, work and career memorabilia, and family history items at wakes and I always appreciate the work people have done to bring things to the funeral home for mourners who wouldn’t otherwise see them. I keep all the funeral prayer cards I have from the past sixty years or so in a photo journal with clear nylon pages (sadly, I lost some before I started the album). I look at the cards thinking of friends and family and reading prayers for the dead. I have asked to display the book at my wake when the time comes. I hope people will appreciate seeing the cards and knowing that loved ones were remembered.

    Thank you to Heidi Louise and Melissa V. and Laura S. for their tips about extending the usefulness of clothes that don’t fit!

    We started the day at 32 degrees (F) and got up to almost 60. A couple of 70 degree days are predicted later in the week. We have forsythia and pink and purple hyacinths blooming. I watched birds including a bright, bright cardinal and many robins on Sunday in our back yard.

    Grocery shopping this week was disappointing—no meat mark-downs and I had an overcharge which I didn’t notice so I will have to go to customer service for a refund when I go back. There was a promotion to get free pasta sauce, bread crumbs and shredded cheese with the purchase of chicken so by buying a $3.69 package of chicken cutlets (slightly under a pound), I got the other items at no cost.

    To reinforce my reusable shopping bags, I cut pieces from packing boxes to fit the bottom of each bag. I covered the cardboard pieces with plastic cut from delivery bags or those Amazon quilted envelopes. Now the bags are sturdier and I can clean the plastic with a disinfectant wipe after shopping.

    After reading about it on this blog, I started cutting open tubes to use all the product inside. To get the last of any toothpaste, I dip my brush into the tip and it made me think about how I can save money and be less wasteful when I travel. Instead of buying another tiny travel tube, I squeezed toothpaste from a large one I already had into a repurposed small pill container which I can dip my brush into. I have it ready to try out on an upcoming weekend trip so I’ll see how it works.

    I wash and reuse plastic baggies—another tip I learned from this blog. I hadn’t found a good place to drip-dry the washed bags until I stuck one over the tip of an aloe Vera plant on the kitchen windowsill. Now I put all the bags on the plant—it’s tall enough for the bags to hang, any water that drips goes into the plant and the bags are open enough for the air to dry them.

    I canceled an airline credit card which would have renewed at a $95 annual fee. We are traveling again (one of my favorite things), but not enough to make the card worthwhile to pay for another year.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

    1. Hi Kat, Thanks for the idea about the quilted plastic envelopes. I felt guilty throwing one out just last week. I wonder if I could iron the plastic onto fabric in between AL foil and make the bottoms of the bags more attractive. I might be able to make storage boxes for inside a closet shelf.
      Elizabeth H.

    2. Kat – Thank you for your kind comment on my display at Uncle Pete’s service. It was a therapeutic thing to do as we adjusted to his passing and just plain fun. I, too, love old photos and other memorabilia. Old documents are just so much prettier than modern ones (at least, those I have seen.) His service was a full house, many of whom had known him since early childhood, so they enjoyed reminiscing about events shown that they attended themselves. I had hoped it would be a good remembrance for all and I think it was. 🙂

  12. Well, it was a stressful weekend! On Friday when I was passing my hot water tank, I thought it’s about ten years old and that is the maximum
    life span of a modern hot water tank (unlike the good ol’ days when they lasted 20+ years). In fact how did heating/hvac/hot water people ever survive before planned obsolescence? Well on Saturday I suddenly heard a banging noise in the house. First it sounded as it someone were bashing my metal railings on the front porch. Nope. Then I listened to my fridge and freezer above the fridge — a bit noisy but no! then I went downstairs and into the furnace room. I was standing right next to the hot water tank when I heard the loud banging again. I jumped a mile. I had never heard a hot water tank make such a noise. I freaked! I couldn’t afford a new hot water tank this month. I thought I might have a nervous breakdown – surely this warranted one! And then I told myself it wasn’t bad enough to justify it. So I went upstairs. I hadn’t used much hot water recently. I thought maybe the pressure in the tank is high so I ran my hot water taps for a few minutes. As quickly as the noise had appeared it disappeared. Still worried, I phoned my favourite furnace company (we have been through a lot together). No-one called back. So after 3 hours I phoned again and they called back. My favourite guy said “There’s nothing loose inside a tank that would make a noise like
    that”.** And then he said “By any chance did it sound like a woodpecker” and I replied “Yes in fact it sounded just like a woodpecker inside the tank”. And apparently when a woodpecker drums on a vent pipe or the chimney rain cap, the sound gets conveyed down to the vents orin this case right to the hot water tank. And that is how I saved money on a new hot water tank. My adrenaline level has gone, due in part to an increase in chocolate consumption…. On the other hand, woodpeckers drumming is a sure sign of spring. It is supposed to be plus 19ºC here on Easter Sunday. Today I spent $32 and saved $8 on groceries. The best deal of the week is actually Chapman’s ice cream. It is usually $5.99 but is on sale for $3.99. It is their new kind – peanut/nut free and egg free – with lots of new flavours – so I’m very happy. Brandy, I think your fig tree is a great idea. In Canada, some people dig a trench, place the fig tree in it, cover it with earth and leaves and overwinter it that way. there is advice on YouTube about how to do this. Your rose photo is beautiful. I alas missed out on the David Austen roses online from B.C. as they are all sold out. I guess I saved money that way. I noticed my neighbour has been out raking his lawn – his yard is in the sun while I still have iles of snow let in my yard…I think it’s too early to do that anyway as you’ll destroy the lady bugs…

    1. The woodpecker story followed by eating chocolate scared my cats. Not the story itself, but my laughing at it. Thank you. I’m happy it wasn’t anything serious.

      1. Hi Mari,
        Your poor cats! I’m glad it made you laugh! I thought it might make a few people laugh. I emailed it to one of my friends
        and when she dropped off my groceries, she looked as if she were going to burst from holding her laughter in.
        I, too, am glad it wasn’t anything serious. On a serious note, though, and I won’t go into the details of my personal experience about how I know but it does reinforce my belief in God, I found out that if your house is older,
        you should check your gas turn off valves for the furnace and hot water tank. Can they be easily and quickly turned off in an emergency or would you have to have the right kind of wrench right there, and muscle power, and a step ladder to turn them off? This is important, serious stuff. The easy remedy is to have the hard-to-shut-off valves replaced by easily flipped levers. This should be in the building code but isn’t in ours. It doesn’t cost a lot to have a certified furnace person replace the valves – it could save your life. Years ago, it almost cost my furnace servicer his. (I happened to have stepped out of the house for a minute) Is it any wonder I have nervous breakdowns when I hear woodpeckers in the hot water tank?

    2. Funny you mentioned a woodpecker!! About 2 weeks ago, my pup and I were taking a lovely nap and it suddenly sounded like someone was banging on one of those high pitched marching band drums right next to me…the name isn’t coming to me! Pup started barking his head off and I was on both feet, eyes wide open. Yup. A woodpecker was drumming on the spark arrestor on the fireplace. That little guy nearly made my heart stop. I’m glad it wasn’t your water heater. Ours is 9 yrs. old…….

      1. except for last year, I’ve had my hot water tank drained and flushed annually to remove sediment which I hope prolongs its life. Also
        it is possible for relatively little cost to replace the anode rod in the tank. It could be done at the same time you have your annual furnace servicing. Or, one can act proactively and replace the hot water tank before it has problems. Also I have a drip pan under my tank to catch any leaks… Glad your heart kept beating!

    3. OH! I’m sorry, but this had me laughing SO HARD. I never would have thought of that with a water heater, I’ve heard them rap at the chimney but wouldn’t have put 2+2 together on other venting.

      Excellent point about the shut off valves – as we just bought our home in late July, I will put this on my list to check and possibly have replaced. We want to age in place and I appreciated that the door handles are all levers, but I didn’t think to check things like shut off valves! Thank you!

      1. Regardless of age, the stiff, hard to reach, hard to turn gas valves should be replaced with easy to flip levers. I never thought about this
        until a slight mishap almost turned into a major disaster. Quick thinking averted disaster, and the workman was only slightly singed but it could have been a horror show. If you don’t have the right size wrench handy (right next to your furnace and tank) or the old valves are so old they are stiff and even difficult for a strong man to turn, or you need a step ladder to reach the valves and you don’t have one just there, you may be in deep trouble quickly. Most houses built now have levers instead of valves but older homes still have valves…valves which may never have had to be shut off for a long time. It should be part of the building code but isn’t…

        1. Here in California we were taught to keep the wrench in a ziploc bag next to the gas meter (often outside) to turn all gas off in case of earthquakes. It’s a simple thing, but a real safety plan for when you need it.

      1. Glad you enjoyed it. I usually am calmer about household things but that unnerved me. I am now able to more fully appreciate the humour in it. Woodpeckers have often tapped on the house siding or a vent but it never sounded as if something was happening inside the hot water tank

    4. We had a wood pecker checking out our wood stove chimney. Hubby thought something had came loose. I bet him it was a wood pecker LOL… HE LOST and had to do the sweeping. Thanks for letting me know they do that crap. 😉

      1. There are two things that will dissuade such a woodpecker. One is to suspend an old cd disc or the other isto get a strand of tinsel and suspend it. Both shimmer in the light and the woodpecker thinks it’s something moving. Inflstable owls used to be recommended but the woodpeckers caught on…

    5. Too funny, ellie’s friend! Ha ha. You cracked me up. I’m glad it was okay!

      It’s funny. My husband and I bought a used car yesterday at a small car lot. We could have afforded some of the more expensive ones, but I realized as I pondered it that I *prefer* the older cars. I like them better for so many reasons: costs less, low taxes, don’t have to worry if the kids somehow scratch it or harm it somehow and on and on. If we are at fault in a crash it’s not as much money.

      So we ended up with one that had 238,000 miles on it. It’s a Toyota Camry and apparently they are known for lasting for over 300,000. We took our chances.

      Anyway, I think I prefer the older models of things. We have older fridges and freezers and they last and last and last. The same with our washer and dryer and ovens. I had a friend that was in the market for new kitchen appliances…after 27 years or something and she really researched it and most appliances are made to break down after a very short time…you know where the replacement part costs so much that people buy a new one.

      1. My house has its original (pink!) cooktop and wall oven from 1959. I kick myself for letting go of the matching pink fridge without even looking into repairing it. That was when I wanted a pretty and updated looking kitchen. No more, I want them to work! I’ve considered taking them with me if I ever move, because they cook beautifully. Everyone I know that has new ones either break or heat unevenly. One friend with a very expensive brand oven was told to preheat for no less than 1/2 hr. Even then we had to use the bottom rack for cookies and they came out flat. I nearly ruined a roast at my mil’s because apparently even though her new stove said it was up to temp, it wasn’t. Took a full extra hour of cooking. I’ll keep my old appliances, tyvm. They aren’t true energy savers if they require more time.

        1. Good point about the energy savings. I can’t get over how my appliances last and last and last when others keep replacing. Aw, my neighbor had pink appliances and they were so cute!

  13. ** there can be noises from a hot water tank or in the pipes just not like what I heard. I meant to mention Brandy that it was lovely for you to meet your friends at the missionary reunion! and by the way, I don’t think my friends have stopped laughing re woodpecker…

  14. -I finished sewing a dress for my grand daughter from a $3 thrifted piece of fabric. I cut out a dress for myself for Easter from clearance fabric from JoAnne’s for Easter. I will need to sew it this week.
    -I made pheasant wild rice soup from the pantry. I gifted a large container to a couple from church. They borrowed us a walker for my husband following his hip replacement surgery. I also gave a large container to our pastor. I kept one serving for us.
    -My husband’s brother took us out to lunch. I ate my shrimp tacos but brought home the cilantro rice and the chips and salsa. I put the rice in our serving of pheasant wild rice soup. I ate the chips and salsa for lunch the next day.
    -I was able to pick up 2 bone in hams in the clearance meat section. I saw the guy put them in the bin. A 10# and a 7#. $0.94/#. So $9.40 and $6.58. I sliced the small one up and froze the slices to use for sandwiches, casseroles, and breakfasts. I froze 18 packages of ham (there is only 2 of us). The other I froze whole to have baked ham. I am so happy with that. There has been very little in the clearance bin for the last few months.
    -We were the fortunate recipients of an anonymous person. We stopped at a bar and grill on the way home from our grand daughters dance recital. It is a 3 hour drive and we decided to stop halfway at a bar and grill for a burger. When we went to pay, we were told the bill had been paid for already. We only had to leave the tip.
    -I finished two more embroidered flour sack dish towels from supplies I had on hand and I added them to my gift drawer. One more to go.
    -I bought 2 plastic bags of cards of buttons for $2 each at a thrift store. I also bought a beautiful pottery casserole that was just like new for $2. I added it to my gift cupboard. It will make a great wedding or shower gift.

    Have a great week!

  15. Love those blue & white vases – I collect a few pieces every now and again. Our dishes when I was a child was the “Blue Willow” pattern and I’ve always loved it.

    Had my dental check up and cleaning this past week – with 90% being covered by my insurance. They discovered some infection in a tooth that had broken so I am on penicillin for the next 10 days – only cost me $1.60 for the dispensing fee.

    The only groceries purchased for the week were milk, rye bread and some fruit & veg. I got a good deal on tins of tuna, tins of Stagg Chili and some curry mixes, which have all gone into the pantry. I cooked up some chicken breasts from the freezer. used up some previously cooked chili, cooked up about 3 servings of bacon (had avocado, bacon and tomato on a bagel for a couple of suppers) – and then made another large crust less quiche. I portion it up and it makes a quick breakfast when heated in the toaster oven. I used up some of the bacon, onions and peppers and odd bits of cheese to flavour it – may have overdone it a teensy bit with the garlic powder! I made some Spanish rice – added in more of the onions and peppers and then portioned it up for the freezer – I plan to use it up when I make quesadillas over the next week or so.

    Hung up laundry to dry – washed ziplocs & foil to reuse – did some mending of a couple of shirts – read library books and enjoyed a number of programs on the BBC Select streaming service (I have a 30 day freebie) – had a couple of long walks down at the lake for exercise and finally started organizing paperwork for taxes.

    So sorry to read about all the tornados in the US – I really hope that all our regulars are safe!

    1. Margie, I love “Blue Willow,” too. Little Brother gave me a set for my high school graduation, and I have used it since. (At least a few plates are left. I replenish via thrift stores when possible.)
      Blue Willow often shows up on tables in Western tv series…Lucas McCain and his son Mark often use it in “The Rifleman.”
      But stacks of Blue Willow plates were found when investigating the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus shipwrecks from the Franklin Expedition!


  16. The flowers and gardening additions are inspiring.

    We just had 17″ of snow and I am forever thankful for our snow blower. With my dear husband healing and unable to walk he has coached me on how to make it work. When the county plowed the road they took our our mail box however I was able to adjust it enough and did not have to purchase something new. Our power was out and our backup generator kicked in to keep the furnace running. I have a little list of the number of amps each appliance uses and turn them off at the fuse box to conserve the 40 amps our generator can produce. The hot water heater alone uses 10 amps. Every hour that the generator runs uses 1 gallon of LP from the tank along the side of our house. We paid $2.09 per gallon the last time we filled the 500 gallon tank. This winter we have been using an infrared heater in the room we are in rather than heating every room in the house.

    We celebrated my husbands birthday with a homemade cake and friends over for coffee to help enjoy it. It was great conversation and lots of heartfelt laughs. Our grands made his day singing him “happy birthday”.

    Ran all errands today stopped for loss leaders, gas, and a few fill in items for this weeks menu. I enjoyed walking thru the floral department and gasped at the $25 cost for an Easter Lilly- when I went to Walmart they were $6.95. I passed and would rather buy starters for my vegetable garden and grow cut flowers from seed.

    Have a week filled with recognizing blessings.

  17. My frugals this week? My husband had to quit working a month ago due to his cancer and nearing end of life so it’s been a bit of adjustment having him home. We went 4 weeks without a paycheck but had saved money back knowing this day would come so frugal there was saving up money. He now needs a hospital bed and with resourcing we found a church who loans out all kinds of medical equipment free and even delivers it, what a true blessing they have 40 volunteers the lady told me today. They will also be bringing a bedside portable table and some kind of thing that will help him get up and out of bed not sure what it is called but they felt we needed it. Also a fitted sheet for the bed till I can order some since these are used and different sizes we didn’t know what size to order till we get the bed. We are planning to file for Social Security Disability as he will not be able to go back to work and we found a lawyer today who will file it for us free so we don’t make any mistakes they will do everything including contacting our doctors, they do charge a percentage if it gets denied and they have to appeal which is fine it’s still better than us making a mistake and having to refile and hire a attorney later. God is good and he is watching over us and providing for our needs. All meals are from home, still utilizing our library for free entertainment. A caring friend sent us a gift card and told me to use it for whatever we needed.. I will be using it for soil for my container garden. I tried starting seeds and they all died unfortunately with all that is going on here I just can’t stay focused on watering them or attending them the way they should be so I will buy the small starter plants and try again next year. I did plant cucumber seeds outside with the warm weather we are having here in central Ohio they should do o.k. will cover with a blanket if we do get a freeze. Its supposed to be in the 80’s on Wednesday here. I was gifted 50 pounds of apples last week and have been working on peeling, cutting and canning them. I canned 5 quarts today will have about that many more tomorrow then work on peeling and cutting what is left.

    1. It is warmer there than here! But we will reach 82 by Friday.

      I am so sorry to hear about your husband, Anna. I am glad you found a resource for the bed and I am glad that you mentioned it, as I imagine many readers will need such a resource in the future and will now know to look for such a place near them.

    2. Anna, sorry to hear this sad news about your husband. I admire your spirit and resourcefulness in handling this new difficult stage!

    3. Sending you and your husband hugs, Anna – thank you for sharing resources for us to learn from even as you weather this trial.

    4. Anna I am so sorry for you and your husband going thru this. I am happy you found resource for the bed and your sharing your story will help others.
      Best wishes as you go along

    5. Anna, I’m sorry you and your husband are going through this. I wish you both peace, comfort and acceptance.

    6. AnnaInOhio, I’m sorry to hear of your husband’s progressing illness. I hope you take time to care for yourself as well, through this difficult period. If hospice care is available to you, that service was so comforting through the deaths of my parents. You both are in my prayers.

  18. I want led to clear a large cypress tree and a huge amount of juniper from our front yard. Time is valuable so I asked a landscaper to give me an estimate to remove it…$725! No thanks. I took the tree down myself this weekend, hauled the branches to our fire pit, cut them into smaller pieces and burned the whole lot. I also began the process of clearing out the juniper by mutual since it is such a large amount it will take a bit of time to complete. I’ll keep the $725 in my pocket and get lots of good workouts in the meantime.
    I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot and shredded it to make tacos which feed our family two dinners and one lunch.
    My son and I are headed to the beach for a few days during his spring break. I made chocolate chip cookies for the trip and packed snacks from home to take along for our days on the beach or by the pool. I’ll be cooking a roast tomorrow and a pot of chili for my
    Husband to enjoy while we are away. I rented a place for us that has a kitchen and a grocery store near by so I will pick up some things to make easy meals and avoid the cost of takeout where I can.
    I planted some new bulbs this year including ranunculus and allium. I’m excited to see that all that I planted are sprouting. I am particularly excited for the allium which are said to produce large globe shaped flowers that draw pollinators and butterflies.
    We are still moving the remainder of the 30 ft of dirt we purchased in between the rainstorms we have Ben getting. I am hoping to have the remainder moved so that I can plant the garden by April 15th.
    Our neighbor gifted us with a dozen eggs from his chickens. I will return the favor with some homemade chocolate chip cookies tomorrow. It is lovely to exchange goodies with neighbors!
    Since my son and I will be out of town for Easter we will attend a service locally and then I will let him choose some treats to celebrate with for our last day on the beach. Good thing we will have a cooler with us to keep any chocolate goodness he chooses! And hopefully treats will be on sale too!
    Mulch is on sale at our local garden supply store and I will be ordering 100 bags in order to take advantage of the sale price and prepare the yard and flower beds for the season ahead. The sale is 50% off the regular price so it is quite a good buy.
    I baked two loaves of Dutch oven yeast bread over the last two weeks using bread flour, yeast, salt and water. The bread turned out wonderfully and my family gobbled it up. Plus it was super simple to make. I used the oven to cook other items once heated along with the bread.
    The hvac remains turned off, we ate all our meals from home and continue to pull from our freezer and pantry, and combine laundry loads to save costs. Since we have had such regular rain there is no need to water the yard so we are saving costs there too. We played board games for fun, played with our dogs and on the swing set on sunny days. Hooray for Spring!

    1. Allium are beautiful – large globes of purple! The large city park close to where I live always has lots of them as they attract both butterflies and bees.

  19. Hello….Well it has been quite the few months. While I am thankful to have a fulltime job, it has been the most stressful it has ever been over my almost 30 year career. While I am usually very frugal with my accrued leave balances, I decided to take a few weeks off these past couple of months. One week I stayed home and got some projects done around the house. The next week I had a work conference in Southern California. Even thought airtravel was provided, we decided to drive. We were able to spend a few days at a relatives house in a town that we used to live in, both coming and going. That alone saved us $700.00 it would have cost us in hotel. The conference paid for everything else for me, including all meals. My husband and son dropped me off and then headed further down south to have a father son trip at a local amusement park. Not frugal at all, but memories are priceless and both had a wonderful time! The following week I went to Washington DC with my parents to visit relatives for one of their military promotion ceremonies. My parents treated for the flight and we stayed with my cousin, so no out of pocket expense for me. We visited several museums in the area which are free to the public. I wish we could have stayed longer! Work was a little less stressed when I got back, but not stress free. I decided to take a few more days off to recoup and recharge. I am planning, going forward, to take one day off per month for me….either for self care, outdoor activities or just plan running errands. My husband and I went over our budget for the rest of the year. We are now committed more than ever to try and be very diligent about budgeting and not spending money; we got quite laxed over the holidays. There are some home improvements that we would like to do, one per year before I retire. Now that my son has started after school sports activites, we are getting better about meal planning. We also explained to our son that we need to eat what we have and not waste food, even if it’s not our favorite. The cost for my son to do the after school sports activites is free, but we did buy him a new pair of running shoes at a popular shoe outlet. The shoes were already $10 off and I received another $15 off for signing up for their mailing list. Have a great week everyone! I enjoy reading everyone’s comments…it brightens my week!

    1. I’m sorry work has been so stressful for you, Peggy, but happy to hear you were able to take some time for yourself.

  20. My husband brought home a big box of plastic serving trays – my niece hosts lots of parties for extended family, so she will take those. He also brought home a set of 18 outdoor lights. My son-in-law took those home. It’s amazing what people throw away! He brought home a riding lawnmower that someone was throwing away. It is still a good one; the man was just getting a new one! It needed a couple little repairs, but now runs good as new!

    My brother got a large ham for Easter. He saved the nicer sized ham steaks for himself and gave me a bag of pieces and the ham bone, which I was happy to have!

    With Amazon Prime, you get a free ebook every month, and I got mine today.

    I have mandatory training for work on Wednesday for an upcoming event, which will give me three extra hours. I will also work some extra hours other times this week. It won’t be overtime due to having Good Friday off, but will be extra hours, which are always good.

    My daughter and I went thrifting on Saturday. I picked up a few books – 50 cents to a dollar, so that’s a good price. I also got my niece three small storage bowls; her daughter likes to pack her lunch, and this size is good for dips and such. I realized that I am turning into my mom and picking up random things at thrift stores that I think people would like/need. 😂

    My husband and I have been playing cards or dominos in the evenings; such a treat to enjoy our time together now that we are empty nesters.

    I paid extra to our mortgage. I know it helps, but I don’t know how much. I just keep doing it.

    1. Check when making extra payments on the mortgage make sure it goes to the principle and not to interest. When we started making extra payments they applied it to both principle and interest.

  21. I found my email inbox to be full of lil surprises. CVS sent multiple coupons that I used with my Care pass to get several good deals. I got college daughter $27.00 of items free. A recent makeup purchase was returned. This product was a complete failure. I received a $50 , $30 and $30 dollar coupon from them. I purchased several other makeup items to try and spent less than $5.00. For free I am willing to try them. I went to Goodwill in the city and found several of my wants. I had a set of puppy stairs for my dog , a book and a pillow on my list. I spent $14.00. My cocker spaniel has gone completely blind and deaf. The stairs will help her from injuring herself. I was able to take lil Henry’s house a banana box of chicken. It filled an entire shelf in their freezer. My favorite DD items this week were 5 spaghetti squash. I rescued a large pack of TP from a newly discovered drugstore dumpster. I found potted items at Trader Joes. I’m hoping the magnolia bush will transplant successfully. I have some Tulips but don’t know if they will rebloom. I’m a city girl and don’t much about these things. I have some reading to do.

  22. HH went to a professional men’s basketball game for business. He received a promotional basketball which I will place in our nephew’s Easter basket.

    I purchased toys during the 2022 Christmas season at Target using a spend $100 get $25 off promo. I gifted some of the toys at Christmas and will use the remaining toys in easter baskets for our nieces.

    Decorated for easter using items my mother passed down to me and my African violets which are all currently in bloom. The African violets were all grown from leaf cuttings taken during the first weeks of the Covid shut down. I love that something beautiful came from that difficult time.

    Used items on hand to make Easter treats and packaged them in Easter-themed bags purchased on steep discount last year.

    Primarily ate leftovers and odds and ends this weekend to avoid food waste.

    When cleaning out a cupboard, I found enough Culver’s kids meal “tokens” to receive two free kids meals including frozen custard. The restaurant honored them without question even though they must have been 10-15 years old. I guess my place of safe keeping was a little too safe lol

    HH started seeds indoors for the summer vegetable garden. We received 7 inches of snow on Friday night. It will be awhile before planting anything outside.

  23. So fun that you could make your mission reunion! It made me think of how long it would be since my own, and I was shocked to find that I’m going to be coming up on 15 years next year! Crazy how fast time passes.

    Here are my weekly frugal wins last week, which included saving hundreds of dollars on a plumbing repair and making homemade jam, among other things:


  24. I love all those blue and white vases, Brandy! So elegant! And I’m glad you could have a little getaway.

    My frugal week:
    – I made banana nice cream for my daughters (http://approachingfood.com/tropical-coconut-banana-nice-cream/)
    – I redeemed points from legeropinion.com for $20 to my paypal account.
    – I tossed together leftover vegetables with some pasta and homemade red wine vinegar based dressing to make a hearty side dish. I love pulling together little bits of things to make a new dish — no waste!
    – I baked cheese biscuits to serve with my weekly soup, and reduced the amount of cheese. Still yummy!
    – I redeemed loyalty points for $10 worth of groceries.
    – did my usual stacking of coupons, cashback app, and sales when shopping.
    – I bought little glass jars of yoghurt on sale from Costco, then saved them. My girls painted some and are using them to store special keepsakes in, and used nail polish to mark their initials on others to use as toothbrush glasses. And still others were saved to use as little vases.
    – got rid of lots of pieces of paperwork, recipes, by uploading them to a free note app on my phone. Less clutter, but no loss of special recipes.

    I’m sure I did lots more but can’t seem to remember it right now. Looking forward to learning from everyone else as usual!

    1. Were the glass yogurt jars from Riviera? If yes – you can go to their website and buy plastic lids to fit for a very nominal amount in all different colours – I use them as my spice jars.

      1. Oh thanks so much — I’ve been wondering where to buy the lids for those jars. I don’t usually buy that yogourt but I have some of their jars
        and wondered about lids. I’d like to use them for spices. Ann

  25. I bought only groceries that were on sale or combined a sale and coupon for a good price, except bananas which are always cheap, and eggs which are never on sale these days. I bought medium eggs because they were a few cents cheaper per dozen than large.
    I bought extra butter and cheese and pasta because the prices were so low.

    I organized my pantry so things that expire soonest are in front where I’ll be reminded to use them. I also updated my inventory so I can see what I have easily.

    I started meal planning (again). I’m determined to stick with it this time.
    I made extra servings of two separate dinners and froze some to have easy dinners in the future.

    I had a cold, and used cold medicine and chicken soup I had bought when they were on sale months ago.

    I also reorganized my clothes, making it easier to find and use everything I have, and set aside my old worn out clothes to use as rags.

  26. Hello Everyone!
    Those blue vases are lovely. Great find! I had never heard of aquafaba before. I looked it up online and was quite surprised what chickpea canning juice can be used for…wow!! Great new tip! 😊

    The past week I baked 2 loaves of sandwich bread, a batch of plum muffins and a pan of oatmeal bars, and an apple pie. For the muffins I cut down on the butter and replaced it with applesauce. I’m trying to use up home canned produce before the next canning season. These used a jar of whole plums, apple pie filling, and pear mincemeat. In addition I made a pot of minestrone soup. I added a jar of home canned green beans for this. I took a pan of homemade dinner rolls out of the freezer to have with the soup.

    I haven’t yet planted my veggie starts. We’re still getting rainy, windy weather that dips into the 30s at night. I hope it warms a tad so that I can get my garden going. Even so, we’re still eating from the fall garden: cabbage, kale, chard, carrots, celery and leeks.

    I was shocked that 18 count egg prices at Walmart were down $3 this week! I hope it stays down. Gas was $4.55/ gallon at Costco. I heard about an interesting book from a podcast and added it to my Hoopla account for future listening.

    I bought a few more patterns at the $1.99 JoAnn sale this weekend. I used a 50% off Dritz coupon to buy some snaps. I finished a chambray wrap skirt that turned out nicely, for a fraction of department store prices. 🪡🧵It fit really well and I will make more in the future.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week. Hopefully spring is blooming! 🌷🌱

  27. This week I have actually managed to do the laundry in cold.water and I dried it on line. It seemed to have stopped raining and there is no rain forecast for the next week. The water butts are full again I have doubled the amount of water stored approx 1110 litres. This will be cash saved on the domestic water bill.

    I have chitted beetroot, sown 3 packets of pea seeds Kelverdon wonder, Hurst greensharft and telegraph . We live near Kelverdon so it makes sense to grow a local pea. I have at last planted the broad and field beans, better late than never . I managed to rescue 2 bees from the greenhouse, I have put out some water incase any more get trapped. Tomorrow I will sow carrots, parsnip and the beetroot. The chitted carrots came up well but the slugs have eaten some of them..

    We went grocery shopping this week and there were more holes on the shelves especially eggs and baked goods, we did get some yellow stickers and wonky brussels and wonky strawberries. I think that is probably the end of the brussels until the autumn.

    Keep safe everyone

  28. Hello, Thank you for providing a nice space to interact with other people. We have become much too isolated the last couple of years. Your roses are lovely. We are still having the odd days of snow. My efforts at being thrifty have been small the last few weeks. I have been blessed to find odds and ends of nice produce at pre-recession prices, like grapes for 97 cents per pound and two five pound bags of potatoes for $2.50. Yesterday I bought a plastic box of baby spinach for $1.72. I put some in a mushroom stroganoff I made yesterday; today I made a spinach apple salad out of the spinach, some cut up apple, a sprinkle of artificial Baco bits with dressing I made of about a tablespoon of store bought vegan cream cheese, a couple of squirts of lemon juice, and maybe a 1/4 teaspoon of honey. It made enough for salad for three people. I still have enough spinach to make something else. I may add some of it to fruit smoothies. There will be enough to add to a couple of mixed green salads. We were able to visit for a grandchild’s birthday. She liked the Friends Legos I found on a good sale at Zulily’s online. The coats and new pink flowered long johns I found were well received. Her mother, my daughter loves to tease me. She said, “All the girls my age (40s) have puffer coats, and now I have one, too.” She giggled and said, “Thank you, Mom, and hugged me.” Puffer coats don’t seem very stylish to me, but I thought this one had some nice slimming lines to it, if that is possible for a puffer coat, and it is in perfect condition. My daughter told us how she disposed of the expensive, waterproof, safety green with reflective stripes, barely worn, construction workers’ jacket her husband had been given by my husband and no longer needed because he also changed jobs. I am telling it because I like what she said. I have such a hard time finding nice ways of giving people things because I’m afraid I will embarrass or offend them. Anyway, she noticed that at a gas station where she fills up her car all of the workers wear these exact same safety green reflective jackets like they are required for work attire. She noticed that one man’s coat was quite ragged. She said she went the short distance home and came back with the waterproof, safety green, reflective jacket her husband no longer needed. When the man came to fill up her car, she got out of the car with the jacket and held it toward him and said, “Would you like it?” He said, “Yeesss!” She handed it to him, and said, “Then it’s yours,” and that was that. I was so pleased that such a nice coat found a good home and tucked away her method for giving it away for another time. I think I mentioned rescuing the sleeping bag my husband threw out in the yard after finding it wet from a plumbing leak from a thirty-year-old badly soldered joint. He hates fixing plumbing. Well, this week I told him it sounded like a bird was fluttering around in the same attic space as the leak. He found a vent cover missing from the eaves near there on the ground. He said he banged around on the eaves to try to roust out any birds possibly taking refuge inside the boxed-in eave section and put the vent cover back. The next morning we could hear a bird walking back and forth, back and forth inside the eaves. My husband went out in a storm and put up the ladder to the second story to pull out the vent cover to release the bird. He said a black bird tottered to the opening and looked around and then shot out of there to parts unknown. Today was gorgeous, blue sky day. But very very early, when dawn was just starting to break, while my husband was trying to get a little extra sleep in our bed under the sloping roof, a bird trotted back and forth, back and forth on the roof above my husband’s head and pecked and pecked and pecked on the eaves and the trim board in the section where the head of our bed is. This may not be the end of the bird saga. My husband is now working on getting another door for over the gas tank on our car because someone broke the door, evidently in an attempt to steal gasoline from the gas tank. Our car is not new, and it’s looks are not helped by its sporting a missing gas door. Then the microwave quit heating; it runs and makes noise but does not heat. My husband spent considerable time on what he calls YouTube University figuring out how to fix the microwave. He ordered a part and installed it; the microwave did not work; he ordered a different part and installed it; the microwave still does not work. He said if the two cheaper parts did not fix it, he thought we should buy a new microwave. We had driven some distance twice to get the two parts, and then we drove to another town to shop for a microwave. A new one would cost considerably more than we imagined. My husband is rethinking his plan to not order the more expensive part. I like the microwave we have just fine, and it matches the other appliances in the kitchen, so I would just as soon have it fixed. On the way home my husband said he guessed he was just cheap, and I said, “No, you are thrifty; we are both thrifty,” and we smiled at each other because we both like being thrifty. I suppose considering the gas we spent chasing parts, etc., we should have ordered a new microwave online and had it delivered. I was blessed to find eight very lovely damask dinner napkins with a woven chrysanthemum pattern at a thrift store that matches the chrysanthemum patterned damask tablecloth I found at a thrift store decades ago. I am so happy about that. On another note, I have been praying about the drought situation, and I am thankful that the situation is getting better in some areas. May the Rocky Mountains continue to get snow and the Sierra Nevada Mountains have enough. Blessings to you and your family.
    Elizabeth H.

    1. I enjoyed the story about the coat. I am sure he was quite surprised and shocked to receive it, and very grateful.

    2. That is lovely about the coat – I bet that attendant was ever so grateful to your daughter!

      I hope the bird saga is a short one, for you and for them. 😉

    3. Elizabeth – I love it when that happens – when we suddenly realize we have something someone else needs and we are inspired to pass on the blessing. I like to think of that as God tapping me on the shoulder to alert me to an opportunity. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the coat story.

    4. I too *love* the jacket story, and remind yourselves repairing and reusing isn’t just thrifty, it’s saving a microwave from ending up in the landfill.

  29. Hi Brandy and everyone
    The vases are so attractive and make lovely photos with the flowers in them. So nice to attend a reunion, hope you had a great time.
    This week we took dogwood cuttings, repotted the bay tree, planted out the sweet peas and first and second early potatoes.
    I pulled parsnips and all the remaining leeks as we need the space now for new crops. I will prepare and freeze the leeks after using some fresh.
    I gave my collection of hippeastrum some TLC. All my orchids are in bloom, they have lasted for years despite my erratic attention.
    We had some leftover beef casserole and leftover pastry so I made beef casserole pie. My husband laughs when I tell him the names I make up for leftovers.
    My husband chopped some of last year’s bean poles for kindling.
    We saw a sale of terracotta pots at half price so bought several big ones we have wanted for a long time.
    It was my turn to make a cake for my monthly sewing group so I made a chocolate sponge with mini eggs on top for an Easter treat. I only had to buy the mini eggs, the rest was from the larder.
    At the end of last month I had some extra money from a Premium Bond win and selling some ceramics belonging to my late parents. I am finding that not buying clothes/ shoes etc for some time means several things wear out or need replacing all in one go. So we didn’t save the money but used it to replace a pair of shoes, pair of leggings, a dress, some long socks and much needed new underwear. Apart from the shoes everything was bought at reduced prices. I keep a list in my notebook of what’s needed so the purchases are intentional.
    Stay safe everyone.

  30. My week consisted of a minimal grocery shop…eggs, milk and bread only.

    I started thinking up ways to do an Easter morning scavenger hunt with little games/activities throughout for the children. My OOP costs for Easter are $6.10. We are invited to an Easter morning breakfast. They are serving waffles, ice-cream, chocolate and caramel sauces, croissants (with ham, cheese and tomato) and fruit.

    I made a batch of lentil, bean and carrot stew which we have been having either on its own or with boiled eggs, toast or salad. We also went fishing, catching a few nights worth of dinners which we ate with mashed potato and other steamed vegetables.

    I buried all fruit and vegetable scraps in the garden, my electricity bill for the quarter was $0, we rode our bicycles as much as we could, went to the library, enjoyed a swim at a friends house and they provided drinks and nibbles.

    I rebooked camping as we enjoyed it and they sent me a promotional code which I used.

  31. What beautiful roses and vases. I miss my roses from my other house. I have gather my seeds and ready to plant if the weather will cooperate. Warm and sunny one day and chilly with freezing temps the next. My niece has ordered me a book on companion gardening so hopefully our garden will do better this year.

    We had tornadoes come thru our area Friday night. They came within a few miles of our house and we had some damage from the debris falling from the sky. Several towns around us were hit hard and some families lost everything. We went to the basement twice with neighbors.

    My husband and his friend went fishing again for a few hours and caught more fish, He cut them up into fillets and into the freezer. We are trying to get up enough for a fish fry.

    They have built some little free libraries around town, so I went thru our books and the Dollar Tree and donated some. I love to read and hope others will enjoy reading these as well.

    We are going to my step daughter’s for Easter Lunch after church. Each family is bringing several dishes to share. We made the boys some Easter baskets with some candy and small toys.

    Our grandson is paying T-ball. Those three and four year olds are having a ball. They are so much fun to watch. They all run after the ball every time.

    My office has been having meeting so we have been getting free lunches and snacks. This has helped out so much.

    My husband gets home before me, so he has been starting dinner. We work together and it does not take to long for the meal and clean up. He also does laundry and helps clean the house. Definitely a keeper 🙂

    My best friend and I went to a cake decorating class at a local church women’s group. We had so much fun and learned a few things. My friend was awesome at it. They are going to have some different classes this spring and summer.

  32. I love your blue and white vases! I inherited a set of blue and white china that my mother purchased in Vietnam. The plates are smaller, but I use a plain white china with a gold rim under them (the white china was also inherited from my mother) and I love how my table looks!

    I finished making two hats from leftover yarn to donate to Navajo children later this year as part of their Christmas celebration. I also pulled out a ufo (unfinished object) from my knitting bag–a simple sweater shell that I haven’t worked on for two years. I made myself work on it and only need to sew the shoulder seams and finish the neck and arm holes with a crocheted edge. I can wear it when spring arrives and I feel good about finishing something that has been languishing.

    I got a nice deposit into my savings account for using my credit card for purchases the last three months.

    I made instant pot mushroom risotto, but it got a bit gluey in the end. Last night, I thinned with a little mild/half and half and it made a nice mushroom and rice soup.

    I am thankful to belong to a community of conscientious people!

  33. My husband made cinnamon raisin bagels one day and then cheese and onion bagels the next day-they were both a very nice treat as we have not made bagels before. Our neighbour dropped off a gift card for Starbucks because we brought in a parcel from her front step( and other neighbourly good deeds we do said her card). I am not s Starbucks fan but DD is and is coming to visit next week so will re-gift it to her. Other frugal things are the usual this week. On Easter Sunday we are invited to a pot luck supper at my brothers and the weather is supposed to be 19-20 which will be a welcome treat as it is cool and foggy this morning.

  34. Those blue and white vases are beautiful.
    I worked six days last week. It is that time of year. I brought breakfast all days, and lunch 5 days. Our office treats for lunch for all who work on Saturday.
    My DH had a really bad cold most of the week, so he stayed home all week. Glad I made the chicken noodle soup last weekend, as he ate on it most of the week. We cleaned out the fridge and scrounged for dinner all week. I was tired after work and did not feel like cooking.
    We washed all the bedding and hung it on the line on one of the days it was relatively nice outside.
    I cooked a batch of homegrown black beans in the instant pot. Used some to make chicken tortilla soup and froze the rest. The soup had homemade salsa, and home grown and frozen corn in it, as well as homegrown onions and homemade chicken broth. I used one chicken breast cut in really small pieces for a double batch of soup.
    Cleaned the refrigerator. Used all leftovers so nothing got thrown out.
    Returned some egg cartons to the kids next door.
    Hope everyone has a good week.

    1. Nancy – Bless you for giving the egg cartons to your neighbors! We have had chickens for 20 years and never once have had to buy egg cartons. In fact, we are given more than we can ever use which allows me to share with others. Even those who don’t have chickens use the cardboard ones to start seeds. Little things like that make a difference! 🙂

  35. We are eating at home. We use cloth hankies and towels. We are staying home more because we don’t want to have to buy gas. Our lettuce is growing in our windowsill. Things have been so tight, we are using what we have in our pantry and freezer. I plan on not buying anything else until payday to eat, using what we have. And then I will only buy some fresh veggies and fruit that are on sale if we can afford to after bills. I go outside just to feel refreshed in the outdoor air rather than drive somewhere because I am worried about spending money on gas or anything else. We had to fix my car and it took a huge chunk out of our funds. There is no wiggle room for anything extra. We thought about not fixing it and only using my husbands truck. But then my husband’s truck didn’t start. So we realized we needed to fix the car. Getting to work is important. We need to save again in case something else happens and we need to save for taxes. Both vehicles are working for now. I’m glad about that. I guess I should feel blessed that we could pay for the car to be fixed. And that the truck started back up again. My husband was able to put a light in the truck himself. I was happy about the money we saved there. He also fixed our toilet, saving a chunk of money. I am happy we have food and laundry detergent at home along with soap and toilet paper for now. I am listening to music at home for entertainment. Outdoor air is refreshing. Glad we haven’t had to turn on air or heat lately. We have propane for awhile. So we have awhile to save for the next fill up. I’m glad we have jobs.

    1. OHHHH Tammy I am feeling like you, we had a large car repair $4500 but we need this car and it has been bought and paid for since 2017, high winds pulled electric connections off house $4400 to fix and this goes on lol very expensive month- thankfully nothing serious so we are grateful for small favors
      So no driving extra, no buying anything non essential for a bit…. I understand your challenges

      1. Pam,
        Thank-you for your comment. I’m sorry that you are having extra expenses right now. I was so bummed for a few days. I feel better now that we paid our taxes. Not because I’m happy about having to pay it, but because I’m glad we could and it is out of the way. I’ve been finding sources of joy for free…listening to the pitter patter of the rain, listening to beautiful music, gazing at the stars on a clear night, enjoying the flowers; tulips, daffodils, and dandelions, reading relaxing things for enjoyment, appreciating the food we have and being happy to have people I love around.

    2. Maybe consider making sprouts if you want fresh veggies. On the other hand, we eat stuff that is canned and out of the freezer vs. fresh veggies (also things like butternut squash last all winter.) Amy Dacyzyn used to write about eating veggies fresh from the garden and then switching to winter squash as a healthy winter food.

  36. Happy April, all!

    My son volunteered at a college event all day Saturday, which was great for building skills, community, and his resume, but also ended up having a Continental breakfast, a taco bar lunch, and an afternoon snack. (He had only been told lunch would be provided for the volunteer staff, so it was a nice extra, especially as his appetite has grown recently at almost sixteen. I suspect another growth spurt is inbound and I’ll be looking for deals on clothes again soon. LOL)

    My husband and I were able to build the hand-me-down Garden Tower Project planter from my folks – it is now half full of strawberry starts. I tried to find plants that had flowers or the start of berries on about half, to get us going sooner. The planter has 50 “pockets” for plants plus the top area, so we’ve put 30 in allowing space for runners from the plants to hopefully fill it the rest of the way over the years. We also invested in a banana plant and a dragonfruit cactus; ultimately we hope to have at least three banana plants and surround our fenceline with dragonfruit cactus – slowly but surely! I’m investing in a few larger perennials like this a month in hopes that a year or two from now, the “food forest” will be well settled. We also figured out a container to put the horseradish roots into that I purchased a while back, so those are started.

    Visited the library “just for a look” and left with a lovely armload of books to read. I’m calling that a free arm workout too. 😀

    My Kindle (purchased in 2009) had pretty well given up the ghost – it cannot be updated any more as it only had 3G, no WiFi even, and barely holds a charge. I finally caved and took advantage of the trade-in offer on Amazon; a whopping $5 for the Kindle itself, but 20% off a new one. This new one should hold me a while and is much better on my wrists and hands; I’ve been reading on the phone app and found the angles and weight (I have a wallet case that makes the phone weigh more) are starting to hurt me. The Kindle is much better, already feeling my ring fingers heal and the price was “right”, or right enough. Plus I really like not staring at the phone all the time, even if it is for reading – far less temptation to skip off onto social media.

    Placed an Azure Standard order as a freezer filler – the local ranch I was going to order a half cow from recently closed orders and will not be selling this spring after all. This was announced as food prices started to rise even more; I suspect they are focused on sustaining their large family for a bit (and rightly so!), so I figured get a bulk order in while I can and that will hold us while I try to find another source. I had been holding off the past few months on orders through them, which was a temporary savings, but now I’ve hit the “invest now to save later” and bit the bullet to do a big order. I’m betting Fall 2023 Me will be glad for it, but who knows, maybe prices will drop? (Wishful thinking. haha)

    I’ve checked the opening dates of a local orchard that does “you pick” and pre-picked sales, they will open again in July so the budgeting has begun to save up for bulk buys there this summer.

    Paid extra on the mortgage – $75/month doesn’t seem like it’s doing much and can feel not worth it, but checking the payment notice, it’s already added up so I’ll keep going.

    My husband mounted the curtain rods for the living room and kitchen windows and we got the light blocking curtains up. This will help as our warm days have hit, especially as the kitchen is the west wall and I could feel the heat (and cold) coming off that window. Slowly but surely there, too – all I have left for finding curtains is our bedroom windows. (Little tip: we have a soaking tub with a big glass block window/wall – the seller had blinds on it, but being on the north wall the bathroom still gets chilly and turning the light on at night would “blind” anyone out in the backyard trying to keep an eye on the dog. We installed a pressure shower curtain rod and two waffle weave cloth shower curtains – when I open and close them in the morning/evening, you can feel the temperature change as the glass blocks radiated cold! And as they are shower curtains, super easy to take down and wash to keep from getting yucky.)

    The warmer afternoons have meant less furnace – we’re high desert so the nights still get close to freezing and I’ve heard it run now and then at the coldest hours to keep to 65ºF, but the gas bill dropped $50 from the prior month, so I’ll take it!

    I planted six pods of romaine in our Aerogarden (still using up stock from 2021 sale purchases), and the LED lights mean we need little light at night in the open plan living area – just one table lamp on the opposite side and we are good.

    Wishing everyone a good week!

  37. I ordered new parts for my pressure canner rather than replacing it. I price checked a few places for party decorations for my daughter’s graduation from university. I ordered a few things from Amazon and purchased a few things from Dollar Tree that I can also use for my son’s high school graduation next year. Our party food consisted of snacks and sodas that were on sale and meatballs in the crockpot we made from ground beef I got for $2.99 lb from Safeway. I asked for a discount for a gift for my daughter through Etsy and the seller offered 20% off. My husband finished building barn doors for our guest room in the basement. He had to purchase the hardware and paint with coupons but was able to use old antique doors that we had saved from remodeling our previous house. He helped me to inventory our freezer and I am now better keeping track of what we have. I made a menu for the next two weeks to use up some odds and ends in there. We were out and about one day and decided to have an $8 lunch at Costco instead of eating somewhere else or bringing sandwiches. It was a nice treat and a nice rest on a busy day.

  38. I am just starting to recover. Doc finally decided I had the current stomach bug and it triggered my Crohns. Either way is sucks.
    Hubby went shopping, he bought 1 gallon of milk and 1 loaf of bread at Save A Lot. He also got 1 pound of white American cheese and 1 pound of orange American cheese from The Mouse House. I’ve been able to hold down grilled cheese sandwiches and water and that has been about it. Good thing there was plenty of leftovers in the deep freezers for him to just heat up.
    Amish neighbor sent over a dozen eggs thinking I could eat scrambled eggs .Hubby ate the eggs all gone before I got well enough to eat. LOL
    I made 5 gallons of liquid laundry soap.
    We didn’t go to the baby shower (great grand #8) because of me being sick so that fuel has been saved.
    We turned off the propane heater in pump house. If it drops back to freezing we will turn it back on.
    We unplugged dog water bucket (it’s a heated bucket for outside)
    We finally needed to get the propane tank refilled.
    We decided to add more perennials to the gardens for “long” term savings. Since I was sick I spent the time finding roses (especially with hips) elderberry, black raspberry, and horseradish at the best price. Today Hubby told me to look for more rhubarb, red raspberry and honey raspberry as we are not where he thinks we should be with those plants.
    We bartered for honey, Hubby got a pint of local honey for me in exchanged I sent jars to the guy that a friend had given me that she bought honey in. It’s 24 ounce jars and she was going to put them in the trash. I took them figuring if I could use them or someone else couldn’t I would at least send them to recycling.
    I cashed our Ally no penally CDs and reinvested them at a higher earnings. There is NO minimum required.
    Blessed Be
    Prayers for peace

  39. The blue and white vases are so lovely and elegant!

    We received a small bag of ground coffee from a local business promotion and it lasted us about 3 days.

    My tweens went to a free science festival and were able to carpool with friends.

    I harvested cilantro, lettuce, radishes and a few strawberries. I had better-than-expected success with many of my seedling starts & will be looking to trade or give away the extras. I’m very excited to be growing Armenian cucumbers for the first time, thanks to seeing them on your blog! They have a good reputation in this area, where we cope with some of the same heat and drought challenges.

    Target had 30% off swimwear and I purchased 2 new sets of trunks each for my younger children. I expect this will last them through summer. My daughter also wears the boys version (in swimwear and also regular shorts) because they are longer and she’s quite sun sensitive. I purchased a pair of swim pants for her at the same time— which will be useful until it gets over 100 and then she will probably insist on the trunks.

    We’ll be doing a pickup of free mulch from a neighbor this week. A silver lining to all the trees and branches that came down in the ice storms this winter.

  40. Hello, frugal friends! Another week of a nice rain and warmer weather and then sunshine. In frugal ways:
    *I used CVS coupons and got napkins and toothpicks for free. I also found clearance children’s toothpaste for .90/tube. I also received 2 more coupons for future purchases.
    *I found a nickel and a penny.
    *A neighbor brought us some vegetable soup and cornbread which we ate for several meals.
    *I made sourdough English muffins using sourdough discard and pantry ingredients.
    *I have spinach, lettuce and radishes coming up in the garden. In a couple of weeks we will be able to have lots of salads.
    *I only spent $18 on groceries last week.
    *I went to the local nursery and found broccoli plants. I only had space for 2 plants but they came in a 4 pack. I found one 4 pack with only 2 plants. I asked if I could buy them at a discount. I got 2 broccoli plants for a total of $1.20! They are $4.29/4 pack. It pays to ask.
    *We did our usual eating at home with what we have, washing all laundry in cold water and hanging as much out on the line, used cloth napkins and hankies, added pumpkin chunks from the freezer to stretch the dog’s food and stayed home for the most part.
    On the recovery front, I am walking a mile at a slightly faster than mosey pace and have started cardiac rehab.
    I have been meaning to chime in on the pretty tulip photos of past posts. I bought hundreds of tulip bulbs from Van Englen, a great company, by the way only to have the moles and voles eat almost all of my tulips. I would get a first year of beautiful blooms only to get a second year of maybe 50 tulips. I now have a total of 21 tulips after 10 years. Like I have said before, we have the best fed wildlife in the neighborhood. I have dug up what I can find and replanted them in hardware cloth to keep the varmints from eating them. That is why I still have 21 tulips. The daffodils seem to not be as appetizing apparently. I really enjoyed Brandy’s photos of tulips. Blessings to all.

  41. What beautiful vases! One of the best things about this time of year is the return of fresh flowers to the house. I have been cutting a few daffodils here and there and their cheery faces certainly brighten up the place. In addition to the Van Engelen bulbs I have planted the last 4-5 years (since learning about this wonderful company from Brandy) I inherited many that have been on our property for probably 80 years or more. Our property is unique in that it used to be part of the farm across the road (sheep and cattle grazed in the front field and the owners would hunt deer deeper in the woods) so portions of the property down by the road that are right across from the little house and next to the old chicken coop are covered in old varieties of daffodils. I have intended for a long time to research which varieties they are and finally did so. They are Narcissus Poeticus or Poet’s Daffodil – supposedly one of the oldest known cultivars. I love them and now know what to look for so I can buy more. Thank goodness for the internet which can make such kinds of research fairly easy.
    *Much of my time continues to be spent on assimilating Uncle Pete’s things into our lives and cataloging family history. He lived in his parents’ home for several years after his mother passed until the siblings all decided to sell it (was getting to be too much to maintain for him and none of the others wanted to own it outright.) So, the vast majority of his things were really his parents’ things (i.e., my husband’s grandparents.) I am thrilled to now have Grandma’s secretary in my laundry room (I know it may sound weird but my laundry room is like “a room of her own” where I do a lot of things that make me happy and have some of my favorite things so having a beautiful antique secretary in there is not weird at all – to me anyway!) It needed a little love so I cleaned it really well, touched up a few worn spots with Howard Restor-A-Finish and fed it with a great product called Howard Feed-and-Wax. It is made with orange oil and beeswax and smells heavenly. I got on such a roll, I spent the week going around the house and treating every piece of furniture with it. I do that periodically but not usually everything in one week. Little things like caring for my furniture makes me feel like I am being a good steward of these beloved family items and satisfies my love of immediate gratification. 🙂
    *Welcoming these new-to-us items has necessitated moving things around which is always a frugal decorating strategy. I think it makes me appreciate the things I have to occasionally see them in a new light and it is motivation to clean deeply (amazing how you think you clean under things until you actually move them.)
    *The old family photo project continues with me going through old frames I have collected over the years (and some given to me by other family members) to find just the right home for these treasures. I have also been watching many YouTube videos on aspects of framing I have yet to do such as adding spacers for things that will not have a matboard. Doing it myself will be adding more skills to my tool kit, save lots of money and will just be fun.
    *My mother gave me some antique frames she is not using as well as some books and a few math games for my boys. We appreciate her thinking of us when she does her own treasure hunting.
    *By calling around, I found a local print shop to make a high-quality copy of one of the photos of Uncle Pete displayed at the service for a family member. She asked my husband about possibly getting a copy “some day” but we sent it as a surprise. The price was very reasonable and we were happy to do it.
    *Sold eggs to neighbors and traded others for more canned goods. My shelves runneth over! No grocery shopping this week and trying hard to stretch what we have.
    *We planned an afternoon at a park along the river with our homeschool co-op. We have a few families who are new to the area and had never been to this particular park so it was nice to introduce them to it and enjoy some time together in the sunshine. I knew this was the group for us when, on the first planning meeting, one of the organizing mothers said, “We try to do things that don’t cost money.” We have had so many great experiences with them and it has been fun to see and do so many interesting things.
    *A extremely windy day here on our mountain brought down a few large trees in our woods which will become future firewood. We spent some time clearing around them to gain better access and making plans with a neighbor who likes to help us do that sort of thing. Some of them will have to be brought up hill a bit which is hard work but many hands make the work lighter, as they say.
    *My kombucha SCOBY bit the dust a while back and I hadn’t gotten a new one so was thrilled when a friend gifted me a bit of hers.
    *Have taken snippets of time to read “Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook” and just got “Demon Copperfield” from the library yesterday. Have heard good things about it and almost all copies were checked out so must be good.
    *Sending good thoughts to all! Thank you for your continued inspiration and support! 🙂

    1. That is a nice homeschool group!
      I always planned to join a group but then I found out that the local group plans costly things each week, and I couldn’t afford to participate. I thought surely they would have some free things but asking people in the group I was surprised to learn that things were often $10 or more per child per week. That added up to way too much for us.

  42. It’s been many weeks since I’ve commented. I’ve felt like we’ve been spending a lot which in my mind always equals being un-frugal. But I guess that’s not true. One thing we purchased recently was a mini split unit. We live in a 1972 double wide that my grandparents encased in stone. We have one window to the outside in the kitchen, none in the living and dining rooms, and one in the bathroom. When we put a window a/c unit in the kitchen, then we cannot open a window in the main part of the house for the whole summer. In addition, the bedrooms had the original crank out windows but they were broken and couldn’t be opened. They also leaked air so, so badly! So in addition to the mini split, we have been replacing the bedroom windows. We were able to order exact fit double paned vinyl frame windows from a local trailer repair place. We have the girls room done and the last 4 windows for the boys room should be in early next week. This should save us having to use the a/c as much because we will be able to open the kitchen and bedroom windows to pull air through the house when it’s cool outside.

    We also took our family on a short vacation. We chose a location we could drive to easily, went during the off-season, and stayed at a resort. This way, we could sleep all 10 of us in a 3 bedroom condo and had a kitchen where we could cook our own meals. We brought all of our food from home. We looked up what we wanted to do before we went and found some discounts.

    It’s been hard to keep grocery spending low, but there have been some deals. One store is selling 20 lb bags of potatoes for $3.99. My luck for finding marked down meat comes and goes. I haven’t figured out a pattern to it. So, I continue to stop at the grocery store every time I’m nearby to check. This has shaved a couple hundred dollars per month off of our spending.

    My mom took a stand mixer that someone she knew was getting rid of. It’s similar to a kitchen aid but it has a bigger motor and is made by GE. She gave it to me and I’m so grateful. I haven’t had a mixer like that since my kitchen aid died 5 or 6 years ago.

    I was recently thinking as I read through the comments here…wouldn’t it be amazing if we all had the same opportunities for saving money? Like if we could combine all the deals and opportunities I have with those each of the other people who post? We could save so much! Of course that’s impossible, but wouldn’t it be awesome anyway?

    Have a wonderful week, friends!

    1. “…wouldn’t it be amazing if we all had the same opportunities for saving money? Like if we could combine all the deals and opportunities I have with those each of the other people who post? We could save so much! Of course that’s impossible, but wouldn’t it be awesome anyway?”

      Sarah, I love this! Fun to imagine how we could all “mix & match” and get everyone the best deals and what they need. Gave me a smile.

  43. Oh! We’ve also started planting the garden. We’re in zone 6b and this week we planted peas, lettuce, kale, spinach, beets, turnips, radishes, kohlrabi, and potatoes. We’ll plant herbs at the beginning of may and everything else will go in the ground at the end of May but I’m looking forward to seeing some green coming up!

  44. We’ve been doing lots of cooking and baking as usual. I made sourdough bread, sourdough bagels, chocolate pumpkin muffins, zucchini muffins and pumpkin waffles. Trying to use up the rest of the zucchini and pumpkin from last summer before this summer. Also made ham and bean soup, chicken taco bowls and lots of salads. I did use a coupon for a free smoothie. Met a friend out for dinner, which I haven’t done in ages. Another night had friends over for dinner and bonfire. Our grocery store is going through a renovation so there have been some good clearance items, although it’s taking me twice as long to shop there since I can’t find anything.
    The weather has been unseasonably warm(for us), although windy. I’m going to start hardening off the transplants like kale and brassicas.
    Sold some stuff on eBay, gave more kids clothes to friends, and got more clothing for my kids from another friend. My mom gave me a few shirts she got from a friend.
    I have enough CEUs from mostly free events to renew my license. I pay for what really interests me and use the free classes as fillers.
    We have decided to homeschool next year. It wasn’t about the money, but it will save us a lot in tuition (private school) so hopefully we can plan more trips/fun outings, although I will likely also cut back a bit at work.
    Using the library for book club and free ebooks.

  45. I’m so glad to hear you got to go to your 25 year mission reunion, Brandy! We continue to have weather and weather and weather. Starts with rain and thunderstorm, then hail, then slush and sleet, then a dump of the wettest, heaviest snow! But then I see the horrible and destructive storms others are facing and I’m thankful for our weather. Know my heart is with all those who are really struggling with these disasters! That said, Brandy, your garden and flowers are a gift to see! * Husband and I went away for the weekend. We found an air bnb to stay in about an hour away. It was a retreat for us. We spent time watching our church’s General Conference, playing card games, reading and resting. We brought all food from home and stayed in the whole time. It was a blessing. * For fun, we attended our granddaughter’s 5th birthday. Pure joy. * Our ladies group at church is doing a service activity next week, making comfort bags for kids and teens that find themselves in the ER with a mental health crisis. One item in the bag is a tied fleece blanket. We have been that family in the ER, so I want to help. They have some material, but asked if anyone had any to bring it. I’ve been working down my stash for years, so I didn’t have any. So I logged on to Joann and there was a sale 8.99 down from 14.99 then I had a 20% off curbside pickup. I ordered enough for two blankets. Without the sale and coupon, I would only have been able to get enough for one. So, I’m glad I checked early. I’m picking it up today. *I pulled out my Easter decorations and used what I already had. It looks simple but very pleasant. *I keep on with the simple things we always do, make meals at home, read library books, watch shows, play games, grocery pick up, stay home. I finished another baby afghan from the yarn I received for my birthday. *Hope everyone has a safe, happy, and thrifty week.

  46. I love the blue and white! Blue and white wares are some of my favorite wares.

    This past week I found a countertop juicer for $7.99 at Goodwill. It’s manual, but is the kind you press down, instead of turning your wrist or squeezing the handles with your hands. I hope this will make juicing lemons – once my tree recovers from the the freeze this winter – easier on my hands and wrists. My sister used to have the exact same kind of juicer that I just found, and she loved it.

    I placed an order with Azure Standard, and as always, compared prices before choosing items.

    In my family this year, we are sharing the work of Easter dinner. All I will need to make is a dessert and some homemade lemonade for the children, since I still have frozen lemon juice in my freezer from last year.

    I cooked a piece of beef that had a bone in it. I scooped the marrow out and gave it to the dogs in place of their usual bought kibble topper, trimmed around the bone and saved it for broth or soup later, and cooked the meat in the pressure cooker with vegetables to stretch the meat while not heating up the oven or the house. I saved the juices to make gravy.

    I decided to experiment with a little raw cabbage I had leftover – I made a “quick-pickle” brine and poured it over shredded cabbage, then chilled it. It turned out to be a nice topper for the pork sandwich I had the next day. That was good to learn.

    Here’s hoping everyone has a good rest of the week.

  47. Love the blue and white vases. Thrifty actions this week: made Easter candies and sugar shaped cookies for grandchildren, harvested cilantro, kale, chard, bok choy for meals, and composted all kitchen scraps. I’ve stopped watching television and limiting screen time. For entertainment I read, work puzzles, walk the neighborhood, sew, etc.

  48. I feel like I don’t have much to contribute as we’ve just been doing the same things we always do. Eating most meals at home, opening windows (i.e. avoiding the air conditioner as much as possible), etc. It was in the 90s here a few days ago so we’ve had to run the air off and on, but it has cooled down enough recently we were able to open the windows again. We bought pork butt on sale for .97 cents/lb and beef brisket for $1.67/lb. We cooked boneless skinless chicken thighs (from our freezer, previously purchased for $1/lb on sale) in the slow cooker, and had chicken tacos for dinner one night and chicken spaghetti with the remaining chicken the following night. Other meals at home included stuffed salmon filets with risotto and glazed carrots, pulled pork tacos & bbq sandwiches. I ordered shampoo and conditioner for a good (discounted) price from Costco.

    We had several excellent finds at estate sales recently, so were able to replace several items. All of them went to good homes: a wood sofa table (I had it in my office, but found a much nicer one at a garage sale for $10!), 2 sets of dishes went to some coworkers, lots of drinking glasses and some bar stools we had in storage went to another coworker and his wife who are just starting out and didn’t have much in the way of kitchen goods. In the process my husband also cleared out some of his camera equipment and got rid of items that no longer worked or that he did not use. I cleaned out my closet and donated 3 large garbage bags of clothing that either no longer fits or that I did not like.

    We’ve had several storms (no tornadoes, thankfully), but that is spring in Texas. So grateful our cars were parked in the garage during hail.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful Holy Week and a joyful Easter!

  49. Our week was filled with time with grandkids day after day, it seems. One would leave and others would come the next day for an overnight. Pleased to say that it all went smoothly, despite them being very young and still needing a lot of attention. It was fun to feed the 1 year old, because he ate absolutely everything, no pickiness at all. Different from the older toddlers.

    I did two solid grocery trips and filled a lot of low levels in our pantry, though one trip was Trader Joe’s and DH loves some of their vegan frozen options which aren’t super cheap but much less than a meal out, so it works. He mainly heats those up when I’m out and we have no leftovers.
    Meals at home included a vegan taco mix made with old grilling crumbles from the freezer, along with black beans and corn, and we used it to make burritos and soft tacos. Ate several salads to increase our veggie intake, also ate roasted veg bowls with grains, veg potstickers with garlic pepper cabbage, pepper and onion quesadillas, spicy black bean soup with pico and also used up some leftovers from some homemade meals last week.

    I was able to cut vases of daffodils from my garden, many of them were bent down from storms but still in good shape, and they lasted days longer inside. Last year my sister gave me a lot of large fiberglass planters that she no longer wanted. They need repainting and I’ll tackle that this spring. There are too many for just me, so I’ll check with a friend to see if she could use some. I’ll add them to the front of our house later this spring. A few years ago, someone dug out my landscape grass that was on the side of our home and stole it. I came home and there was a hole, and my well-established plant was gone! I want to replace that this spring. I hope no one steals these nice pots if I put them near our front walkway.

    Expenses coming up this month include annual vet exam with bloodwork for one cat ($400) and surgery for her and another, each of which will run around $1,000. This is the only part of pet ownership that stresses me out. Well, not counting when they pass away or are sick. DH gets riled up with the cost.

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