Lettuce and Spinach The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested lemons, lettuce, garlic chives, oregano, spinach, and a couple of apricots from the garden.

I cooked chicken in my solar oven, which not only didn’t use gas, but it also kept the house cooler.

Peppa Pig Cupcakes The Prudent Homemaker

We celebrated a birthday at home for my 2-year-old with homemade cupcakes.

My son picked more mulberries from our neighbor’s tree (with permission). The birds planted this tree in her yard, and while she likes the tree, she doesn’t like mulberries. Most of the berries were too high to reach even with our extension ladder, but we had enough to put over pancakes for breakfast.

We renewed library books online when it became obvious that we weren’t going to get the books back on time.

My 13-year-old sold a few camp cards to earn money for his Scout camp this summer.

I got some free exercise at home while I pulled weeds and bolted chard plants from the garden.

Elsa Baptism The Prudent Homemaker

My daughter was baptized on Saturday. She wore the dress that I made for my eldest daughter, which each sister before her has worn.


What did you do to save money this past week?




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  1. The little dress is so beautiful and the little girl, even more beautiful. I’m sure it was a special day for her, and all of you.

    I’ve got a little while to wait before my lettuce is ready, but it’s coming along. I tried growing it in the greenhouse, but it got too hot or dry or something and turned out bitter. The experiment was still worth a few seeds to me, to see what would happen. Just because it didn’t turn out how I wished doesn’t mean I didn’t learn something from it:)

    I worked several hours in the garden. I keep planting little by little. My husband got the last part tilled for the second time, so it’s all ready to plant now. It’s turned warm here, so we are having to hand-water everything to keep it from dying, as the sprinklers are not out or set up, yet. Soon. We just can’t do it all at once. My husband and daughter did a lot of clean-up in the back yard, including spraying some sidewalk cracks to kill weeds, junk removal, trash disposal, etc. I also did some trash removal. Mine was mainly things from my plant starting–empty and broken planting pots/trays, junk, and so forth.

    My husband got a stack of library books for me to read. We paid daughter for her work, and she paid off her library fines, so she got some books, too.

    I got several free items this week from the stores. They included a candle, and some candy from Fred Meyers, and a couple of things from Safeway, including a meatless entree for my daughter who is a vegetarian.

    I signed up for the Ibotta app, managed to load one shopping trip on it, and am waiting to see how I like it after I’ve done it for a little while. My goal is to get the rest of the way to the amount I need to get the free $10 for joining, and then decide if the time I’m spending is worth it or not.

    I went to a garage sale and got 4 pairs of jeans and a pair of sweat pants for my daughter. They all fit. It was a miracle, since they claimed to be different sizes, and she was not there to try them on. They were $1 each, and I would have been happy if one or two had fit. I turned 3 pairs into shorts. Now she has shorts for summer, where before this weekend, she did not have one jeans pair that still fit–just one nylon pair that she can still squeeze into. And I have almost all of the money I set aside to buy her some clothes with. Since I don’t have a large budget for that, I’m determined to stretch it as far as possible.

    My husband saw some jeans shorts with eyelet lace on the bottom at the store, so I added lace to two of the pairs. That post is: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/how-to-make-jeans-shorts-from-yard-sale-jeans/ The lace cost me nothing today. It’s some I had from long ago, likely from old projects or a yard sale.

    The weekly update post with pictures of my savings is at:https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/05/13/weekly-update-and-saving-money-may-12-2018/. I made several meals, helped take food a couple of times to youth events, and made a fruit tart. A picture of that is on my blog, too. We gobbled that down quickly, I’ll tell you:)

  2. I’m so impressed that you were able to do all that despite having a baby so recently! You really bounce back quickly, and manage to stay frugal at the same time. I think it’s so cute that you served the Peppa Pig cupcakes on the pig-shaped cutting board.

    My week was productive, and I managed to get a number of things done while staying frugal, so I was pleased:
    – I made 3 ingredient Bumbleberry Jam (http://www.approachingfood.com/bumbleberry-jam/), using berries from my freezer. Super-easy, and no need for pectin!
    – I fixed a pair of shoes that were going to wear out in the toe, by placing some moleskin inside in the toe. This will prevent the toe from wearing out for a long time. My mother had something like this done at the shoemaker and it cost her $20 (for her it was worth it to have a long-lasting comfortable pair of shoes) but my quick fix only cost me about $1.
    – I redeemed a Starbucks reward for a free lunch. I do love getting a free meal!
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gc to Starbucks.
    – I turned the leftover stock from my Greek-Style Lemony Potatoes into vegetable, pasta, & ham soup, using a bit of frozen chopped ham from a trade several months ago, plus a couple of carrots, some small pasta shells, a potato, and some green onions. No waste, and my husband really enjoyed it! (I enjoyed it before adding the ham)
    – I soaked the last of my wizened carrots (once peeled) in some cold water in the fridge to firm them up. Worked a treat and I ate them with lunches through the week!
    – I’m re-growing some green onions in water. I plan to plan them after I’ve regrown them several times, so that I’ll have green onions all summer long, and hopefully some to freeze for the winter too.
    – I told a colleague that if she was going to buy Starbucks anyway (key word being ‘anyway’), she should buy a gift card, register it, and would therefore collect points to redeem for free items. She told me yesterday that she had taken my advice and already redeemed for a free item. I was pleased to pass on some money-saving info!
    – I bought some herb plants for my balcony garden: thyme, rosemary, and parsley, all for $1.79 each (a pretty good price for around here). Given our short growing season, it would take too long to grow from seed, so starting with small plants is best. I made sure to choose plants with multiple seedlings in the pot, or a 4-pack.
    – I dug out some frozen Easy Enchiladas (www.approachingfood.com/easy-enchiladas-a-20-minute-weeknight-meal/ ) from my freezer one day when I was too tired to cook. I do love the luxury of a freezer! I know it’s commonplace these days, but compared to my grandmother growing up, it’s such a time-saver and waste reducer!
    – My freezer was getting over full, so I took out a bag of sliced red and green peppers (that I had bought on sale and frozen several months ago) and dehydrated them. I like to use them in pasta salads or to toss into soups.
    – I read a book online through my library. Saved time to check it out electronically, and no late fees because it will automatically be returned when the time is up.
    – I made macaroni salad using all pantry ingredients, except for mayonnaise. Usually I make my own mayo but I had a jar in the fridge from a sale a few months ago. My husband loved it! It really is a pleasure to cook for someone who appreciates it.
    – I made ranch dressing from scratch, as well as a batch of sun tea from tea gifted to me.
    – I stocked up on pasta, for 49 cents/lb.
    – My sister invited my family over to her place to celebrate Mother’s Day. We contributed a very nice bottle of wine that I had traded for about a year ago. No cost OOP!
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research rewards for $5 to my paypal account.
    – I ordered an inexpensive silicone ice cube tray to make pineapple shaped ice cubes, online from lightinthebox.com (great place to order inexpensive items; they just take a few months to arrive) using some money in my paypal account from doing surveys. It will be the perfect gag gift for my father for father’s day! (We have a running theme of pineapple-themed jokes). Plus, it’s actually useful.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

  3. Happy Mother’s Day Brandy!!
    I did all of the usual things to save money, time and gas.
    I did plant sugar snap peas and bush green beans in the garden and made a mini greenhouse from a tote and have some seeds that have already sprouted and some that did not.
    I had babysitting duty and my grandkids and I made homemade pizza for dinner. I had all the fixings for 3 large pizzas in my freezer. My 2 year old granddaughter aka Princess Sassy Pants only wanted cheese on her pizza but ate the pepperoni out of the package while the pizza was baking!
    Have a great week everyone and Happy Mother’s Day to you all!

  4. I flew to CA on Tuesday courtesy of a plane ticket from daughter and son-in-law! They brought me here to mentor and teach them how to buy, prepare and store food/meals! My daughter actually took notes when I was going over some basic food purchasing techniques to save money and build up their pantry!
    Then we made batches of apple cinnamon cooked oatmeal cups, sausage,egg and cheese breakfast burritos, French toast sticks and baked omelet cups for easy breakfast options to have in freezer! We also made up 3 chicken freezer meals and put 7 pounds of chicken breast in crockpot to cook up, shred and package for freezer for easy meals! All this was yesterday while walking her first grader to school and back (2 round trips) and taking preschooler to speech therapy for an hour! The next day, we prepared another 10 pounds of chicken breast from her freezer into convenience meals! She wants to have options that streamline breakfasts and dinners for her family of 3 little ones (7 and under) and hubby ! She is seeing the $$$ savings that just a little planning and preparation ahead can give!! I am thrilled to be helping!

    While I’ve been gone, Dave sold another 4 dozen eggs which brought in another $10!
    He is also finishing another wedding tray order for a client and just needs to do the final monogramming on it!

    Through savings on things and earnings, I have been able to pay down $1400 in just one month from Dave’s heart surgery bill! I had committed to paying $219/month but this is getting reduced much faster! Only about $5600 to go!

    I had Dave buy pineapples that are on sale at home for 99 cents each and I can can up pineapple chunks for our daughter whose husband was in the hospital for almost 3 weeks and is still having dialysis 3x a week! She is back to working full time since he is on disability for 3 months before the doctors will let him go back to even light duty work. She had mentioned that they were getting lower on those!
    I will make and freeze several batches of muffins in the morning to add to their freezer breakfast supply. Then we will make some entrees that we will portion individually for them to have ready to grab and go for lunches!

    What a great feeling to be able to prepare and also beautify our surroundings using creative, inexpensive ways!!

  5. Love the photos, as always!

    Stark Brothers suggests harvesting mulberries by putting a tarp or sheet under the tree and gently shaking the branch. Maybe the wind could do the shaking of your neighbor’s tree’s highest branches?

    Now that it is finally spring I have been getting my mom out more by taking drives (not frugal, given the cost of gas, but good) and, this week, insisting she get out of the car at least once each ride to walk through a small store. We saved money today by not buying anything at our local Goodwill. I also took $6 into Kroger to collect the last three week’s Friday freebies and to buy eggs along with some produce. The eggs were so expensive! We have a can of scrambled egg mix in the pantry closet and if I was cooking and baking only for myself, I would have skipped the fresh eggs. But yesterday, we got four different loaves of still-fresh bread for fifty cents a loaf along with a bag of bagels and a box of donuts for $1 each at a bakery outlet. I wish the store was closer. I cannot justify making the drive, despite the fantastic prices, just to shop there. Yesterday, I was also surprised at the cost of bagged grass seed. I wanted just a bit to spread where I hand pull dandelions so I bought a small amount from bulk bins at a farm supply store instead. I also got enough onion sets from an old-fashioned greenhouse to plant a couple of flower boxes on our porch. I love the convenience of having scallion-substitute white onions growing just outside the door until late fall. Marigold seeds will be going into those boxes too. If I come across inexpensive nasturium seeds soon enough, they’ll be the third plant in the onion boxes. Our last frost date is still a couple of weeks from now so I am trying to be patient when it comes to tomato plants. We are not planning on buying any flowering annuals this year. I saved marigold and bachelor button seeds and will be planting them again this year. I also have some flower seed mixtures purchased at Dollar Tree that I hope will grow and bloom with a bit of care and attention.

    I am exceedingly challenged by a squirrel who is wary of the diy trap I have been using. He has decided the sunflower seeds offered as bait are not worth the danger. Today, I moved the trap, hoping he is just location adverse. I play rattlesnake, owl, and coyote Youtube videos as loud as I can on my Kindle to break up any squirrel parties that still take place in the attic. (Spoilsport.) But I have to outwit him and his pals and relatives–and soon! Once they have moved on, mom will be hiring a specialist to properly screen the gables as the attic is not the type that can be easily accessed or walked in by humans, especially old, large humans. I so look forward to the quiet!

    I hope you all have a frugal and productive week, and are able to take full advantage of the better weather after the long winter.

  6. Brandy, sounds like a nice, quiet week at your house. When are you going to tell us more about your newest son?

    We bled money last week as a result of having bought a new car the week before. I was about to spend $110 on non-essentials when I pulled myself up by my big-girl knickers and put a stop to it! I have officially climbed back on the frugal wagon.

    I planted seeds of perennial flowers around the 10th of April. Last week, I pricked them out of the seedling trays and transplanted them to individual pots. I have 13 purple lupines, 13 balloon flowers, 26 columbines and uncounted sweet Williams coming up. Four-inch perennials cost $3.50-$4 each. My cost: 4 packages of seed @ $1.79 each. Lots of seeds left over, and very little work on my part. They are growing in my kitchen window. I expect to plant them at my new home in about 6 weeks.

    I also packed my own water every time I went somewhere. I probably would not have bought water each time I was out, but one time, I would have…and it would have cost $2.49. Gasp!

    I also discovered I had a $133.76 PayPal credit! I have no idea how long this has been building. I have withdrawn $125 and added it to my $1,000 savings challenge.

    Hope everyone else has had a great week!

  7. My mother and I attended church together (we both sing in the church choir), including the pastor’s book study ahead of the service. Several hours later, she and my adult son came to my home and my son grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for us all. We “dined al fresco”, enjoying the lovely late-afternoon/early evening in the back yard. My mother brought a large bag of oranges from her tree, and I used them in a fruit salad. She also brought a huge bouquet of roses from her yard. We did not exchange gifts, deciding that time spent together talking and laughing (and singing!) was the best present. My husband cleaned up. We enjoyed videos and phone calls from the out-of-town children/grandchildren. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer, more low-key Mother’s Day, and the frugality was part of that.

    Earlier in the week, my husband and I combined a number of errands, saving time and fuel. We donated many bags of clothing and household items to the thrift shop that supports a local charity I believe in strongly – we received a receipt for our taxes, and will continue to weed out and donate clothing, books, and housewares. My husband sold an old movie poster on ebay (he got it when he was in college, and he’s 62, which should tell you how old it was). He put the money in our auto repair fund.

    I continue to collect water from warming up showers and washing produce, and using it to water the herb garden and potted plants.

    The weather has been so pleasant, we haven’t run either the heater or the air conditioner. I dry clothing on the line whenever possible, saving running the dryer.

  8. What a beautiful dress you made for your daughters to wear to baptism. I love the sparkle and spirit in your daughter’s eyes.
    Beautiful photo, too.

    Thanks for posting the photo of the hummingbirds. So nice to see them grow…

    I am planting lots of seeds that I got on sale: Cherokee wax beans, Scarlet Runner beans, peas, carrots, nasturtiums, etc. I’m wondering, Brandy, if you ever eat your nasturtiums? I’ve never tried them but some kinds are edible. I have little peat pots that I can start things in except for the nasturtiums which are better directly sowed into the ground. I have been thrilled to see that all of my perennials have made it through winter. From the annuals I bought on sale at 50% off, I will end up with 8 hanging baskets and 7 planter pots. The cost is a fraction of what I would pay if I bought already planted baskets…

    I am not able yet to hold my camera with my broken arm but have tried with the good arm. After, and apart from, the initial investment in the camera, this is an inexpensive hobby. I took photos of White-crowned Sparrows who were passing through on migration. Here yesterday, they were gone today. Today I was being charged by a territorial butterfly. Quite funny! I got lovely photos but the butterfly was tattered by the birds.

    I sorted through clothes to give to charity. I’m busy washing them. I don’t have to take a cab to deliver them but the charity will pick them up. I’ll save money by their pick up. I am also sorting books to give away, too.

    I’m not sure what to do with old sweaters my mother knit for us when we were children. Not in good enough shape to give away but it’s a pity to throw them out. All that work!

    I used plain Greek yogourt on my face instead of cream.

  9. Last week we came home from our long holiday and are settling back into reality.

    My in-laws picked us up from the airport, saving a taxi fare. They had also kindly bought some groceries and a bunch of flowers to get us through the first day.

    Before we left, we had bought some party fingerfood on special and frozen for a quick easy meal when we returned late in the evening.

    We washed two full loads of laundry and dried them inside on racks.

    During our monthly grocery shop, I bought two treats at 50% off, which made coming home a bit “sweeter”. 😉

    My husband washed both our cars.

    We clipped our cats’ claws.

    As we visited family over Easter, we came home with a bucket load of chocolate. I like chocolate from my home country much better than what is available here so I’m trying not to eat it all at once.

    Most meals were made at home, partially using free products. One lunch was eaten out as we were out most of the day. We kept it cheap.

    I picked up free tomato relish, cauliflower relish, lemons, parsley and chillies from our local produce carts.

    We combined most errands into one day and took our water bottles.

    Some fancy clothes had to be dry-cleaned and we used a 30% discount. I asked the staff to also repair a zipper on my favourite jacket which was not covered by the discount and came in mighty pricy… I really need to improve my sewing skills.

    We submitted some paperwork to our travel agent to be reimbursed for some overcharges during our trip.

    I bought a needed item at the pharmacy and redeemed $4.71 earned with my loyalty card.

    We bought a needed winter coat, winter dress and some picture frames at the thrift store. I had three $2 off vouchers from doing their surveys, minimum spend $5. The fine print said you could not combine them, so I decided to split the transactions. My husband was uncomfortable at first but the cashier actually commented that it was a smart idea so he wasn’t embarrassed anymore. Another survey printed off on my receipt and we will also receive a 10% discount next time due to making a donation.

    Unfortunately, we did not find any suitable winter clothes for my husband at the thrift store as men seem to wear their clothes until the bitter end… We bought two items at a regular store and at least one was on special.

    My SIL suggested inviting my in-laws out for Mother’s Day lunch and splitting the cost. We had to decline as it is just not feasible with me still being out of work. Instead, we printed out a photo from our trip and put it in one of the thrift store frames. We also snagged some potted tulips for $11 and replanted them in a nice pot we already had. MIL was chuffed and we were happy with the price tag.

    We went for a long walk for free exercise and found a recycling bottle.

    I worked out our winter menu plan with mostly budget-friendly meals. This will save a whole heap of money and time in the long run. I used scrap paper for all my notes.

    We strategically opened and closed blinds and curtains to let and keep heat in.

    We ran a full load of dishes, saved warm-up water when hand-washing dishes and rinsed out suitable Ziploc bags.

    I made yoghurt in the slow cooker. It did not turn out great but will be eaten anyway. Better luck next time! I also made bread and dried some homegrown rosemary while the oven was already running.

    Coming home from lovely European spring weather into the onset of winter was a shock to our systems. As a result, the heater has been running more than I would have liked. But we’re working on it now.

    We came home to our car registration, car insurance and yearly pest control being due. 🙁 I’m so grateful we have a sufficient savings account!

    Wishing everyone a lovely week!

  10. Well let’s see overall I did stay on budget. I got very ill so staying in bed a few days helped.
    Strawberries are $1.29 a pound here and beautiful.
    Got a cantaloupe for $0.88
    Ground beef is on sale for $1.99 too, so I got some of that
    Every meal was ate at home.
    Also I have been washing all my clothes on cold and quick setting.

  11. Congratulations to your DD on her baptism! How awesome!

    I love the balloon on sticks idea in the cupcakes. How festive 🙂

    It was a quiet week here and I mostly just decluttered and cleaned. However, I did freeze substantial leftovers from two meals to be eaten at a later date.

  12. I love the fact your daughter is wearing that dress. My daughters did the same until Daughter4 passed the oldest at age 13.
    I got my exercise by playing outside with the 3 dogs, mainly the pup Charlotte. Also we dug up most of the square foot gardens to be moved to our new home this coming week. I really really miss not having my garden though I did get rhubarb here (will transplant in fall or might leave if the landlord wants it for himself) and asparagus from the new house garden that fed us for a week and I canned.
    Blessed Be Brandy to you and yours and all that read and/or share here.


  13. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Firstly congratulations on your daughters baptism how wonderfully special for her to have the gift of the holy ghost in her life and the family tradition of wearing the same special dress as her sisters made with love by yourself 🙂 . All of the lovely produce picked from both your gardens and the neighbours all really help with the budget.

    Here is what we did last week in our home to save money –

    Finances –
    – Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bringing us to 25.25% of the way there.
    – Made $5.95 from the sale of dried sage from the gardens on the internet.
    – Listed 10 homemade items on eBay taking advantage of a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases –
    – Purchased 3 chicken Maryland on 50% off special saving $4.63 on usual prices.

    Sewing –
    – Made two bread bags from fabric I had here and listed on eBay in my internet shop.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Made a quadruple batch of honey, almond, coconut, almond and sultana granola saving $27.85 over purchasing the same amount in the supermarkets.

    In the gardens –
    – Picked 3 cobs of corn and a bunch of silver beet from the gardens saving $9.10 over purchasing it.
    – Trimmed the sage, lavender blossoms, and rosemary and hung them to dry for more herbs and lavender for home use and some for sale on the internet.
    – Separated more dried lavender making 20g more for our stocks and some for sale saving around $3 over purchasing it.
    – Worked on another lily bed and dug up and trimmed half of the canna lilies and native lilies to put into a newly amended flower bed and put the scraps and trimmings in the bin.
    – Mulched the equivalent of 1 x 9 x 2mt garden bed using half hay and half dried grass clippings and dried leaves raked from the yard and ran it through our ride on lawn mower with catcher. This saves us using and buying so much hay as it is getting rather expensive here.

    I hope everyone has found some ways to save last week :).

  14. Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I, too, renewed my library books online. I love having that option.

    We ate all breakfasts and dinners at home.

    We took our lunches to work everyday, including salads, leftover soup from the freezer, and dinner leftovers.

    I made laundry soap.

    I cut my husband’s hair.

    I used a workout video my daughter gave to me and have noticed my level of endurance is increasing. I feel so much better when I exercise.

    We found tomato, pepper, and chamomile plants for $1.49 each at our local grocery store. I went to the local family-owned nursery and found basil and spearmint for $2.49 each. I bought a stevia plant from them last year but they don’t have them this year. My granddaughters loved putting the leaves in their ice tea.

    I planted spinach and lettuce seeds a couple weeks ago and they are coming up!

  15. Happy Monday, frugal folks. Last weeks frugal accomplishments: my car needed a new part, so my dad and his mechanic friend fixed it for me, allowing me to use my mom’s car to accompany my SO as he moved upstate 3 hours away, and thus not having to rent a car. Additionally, my parents watched my pups for me, so I didn’t have to pay to board them anywhere. SOs company paid for the uHaul and $100 in packing supplies and boxes. He didn’t have a lot to box up, but we spent the entire amount, and got tons of boxes to use in the future when it’s my turn to move upstate. They also gave him $65 per diem so we expensed our trips to the drive thru as we moved. My only expense in my trip upstate was filling up with gas.

    While helping SO unpack and get settled, I saw a new-to-me grocery store chain. They’re actually opening the same store here in my town but it’s going to be a couple of weeks, so we stopped in to check prices. The store is Lidl — kind of like Aldi but much nicer (in my opinion!). Do any of you shop there, and if so, what do you recommend? I saw butter for $1.99/lb and if that’s a price they’ll have at my store, I am definitely stocking up. Aldi butter has been $3.99 in recent months, but i bought some on sale during the Easter holiday.

    I picked a handful of blackberries that are randomly growing in my front yard. There are more ripening. I saw a mulberry tree yesterday at a seldom used park but it was too tall to reach. I used to have huge mulberry trees in my backyard in Maryland but I had no idea at the time what they were or what to use them for. So many wasted years. lol I still don’t see fruit on my pear tree. When I first moved into this house in late June 2016, the pear tree was absolutely loaded with fruits. I didn’t get a single pear last year, and I’m presuming a late season freak snowstorm that happened in mid-March likely caused that. I have no idea if I should be seeing pears on the tree yet, but I don’t. Maybe we’re just not there yet? I hope I get more this year, as I’ll have the time and inclination to actually do something with them.

    I’m redoing a bedroom that previously my SO’s kids used while here but since he’s relocated, they won’t be coming here much anymore and I desperately need a in-home office, as I’ve been having to drive across town to my parents house to work. The kids broke some of the slats to a mini blind in that room. I bought a new one, but realized when I went to hang it that I’d picked up a blind that was 34″ instead of 35″. I had some extra time that night so I disassembled the broken blind, removed the broken slats, put the slats that were still usable back in and was able to hang the old blind. The broken slats were in the middle of the window and there was a lot of excess slats at the bottom, so this worked well. Not a savings in time at all, but hey, I can return the 34″ blind now and get $4 back!

    I found a Nielsen survey in the mailbox at SOs new apartment. He was going to throw it out, but I said I’d take it, and found $5 inside!! I answered the questions for him, and mailed it back off, and he should get $5 in return. Not bad for 20 seconds of my time.

  16. Brandy what a beautiful daughter!

    Spring has sprung in Minnesota finally. Asparagus is coming up. Rhubarb is shooting up too!

    I went to a few garage sales this week-bought clothes for grandkids. Also a couple of larger baskets for storage, a large enamel wash pan (oval shaped) for $1.00. I love to use these in the garden, sturdy and easy to wash out. I also got a metal coated dish drainer in the free pile. It got cleaned up and now is on my desk with file folders in the plate rack area. I am using it to organize bills, papers, etc.

    Went to the Amish greenhouse to buy flowers and seeds. Only spent $100.00 as I had some seed from last year. Got my 8 planters done with flowers. Now just need to get garden tilled this week and get it planted. Got perennial beds cleaned out, strawberries raked out from the straw covering, and lawn swept with the lawn sweeper. That sure is a time saver from raking up all the old leaves, especially since we mow 2 acres.

    Hanging clothes out-they smell so good!

    Farm market opened. I bought fresh asparagus. Usually buy once before ours is ready. Bought a large bag of dried kidney beans. Pressure canned 21 pints. Also bought sunflower oil and some Italian sausage. Can’t wait for more of the produce to start coming in.

    Made yogurt; a double batch of Brandi’s granola; grilled hamburgers with homemade potato salad; sausages, home canned green beans, and hash browns; French toast and link sausages; taco salad; and potato leek soup. With 2 of us we also ate leftovers and froze some soup for later. The frozen soup is my go to for a quick supper if I get home late from work.

    I am off from work today and supposed to be mid 70’s. Plan on working on some spring cleaning-windows cleaned, a couple of closets cleaned and organized and the garden shed cleaned and sweeped out. Plus take an inventory of canning jars stored in the gardening shed in Rubbermaid containers.

    Have a great week everyone.


  17. Brandy,

    What a delicious treat to get some mulberries! I love how you do your best for your family. The cupcakes look like they came from a bakery. 🙂

    Last week, here is what I did to save money:

    * Contently stayed in town while my husband helped a friend after church
    * Efficiently ran about 5 errands back-to-back to save on gas and time
    * Joyfully delivered two Mother’s Day presents to a client. I purchased the boxes for them at 40% and 50% off at Michael’s.
    * Gladly met the client halfway to deliver the presents
    * Purchased very little food and ate what we had at home instead
    * Strategically met a friend at a nearby park (5-minute drive for both of us) to get fresh air, exercise, and catch up time
    * Gladly turned off lights in the house because it has been such a blessing to have many more hours of daylight now
    * Counted my blessings; it cost me nothing and helped me with my spirit
    * Spent time at home with my husband where it’s peaceful and quiet
    * Went to get my hair cut and was pleasantly surprised to receive a discount

  18. What a beautiful dress you made for your daughters. Your solar oven comment brought to mind my recent thoughts of baking some things on the porch in the toaster oven, to keep the house cooler. I harvested lettuce, oregano, asparagus, and thyme from the garden, and cut bouquets for the house. Mulberries are probably my favorite berry, but as our tree has gotten much larger, I share most of them with the birds. It’s difficult to reach many, though I’ve pondered putting a tarp underneath to catch some. I weeded in the garden, and almost caught up on my mending. I hope you & all the readers had a lovely Mother’s Day. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-few-new-animals-on-homestead-frugal.html

  19. What a lovely dress with such a precious tradition attached to it. Your daughter is so pretty, too. Happy birthday to your 2yr old! The cupcakes look delicious. Sounds like you are getting back into the swing of things after the birth of your newest addition!

    I’ve been struggling with a very sore back this week. Fighting through the pain and stiffness the best I can, though. I don’t want to loose out on the extra work hours I get by starting early with cleaning the village buildings each spring! This week, our frugal accomplishments for our family included:
    *Meals made at home included ham steaks with knorr noodles sidekicks and leftover mixed veggies, lasgna with salad, homemade chicken souvlaki with flavoured rice and carrots, tacos (choice between beef or black beans), and pasta with choice of sauce and optional sliced cooked sausages.
    *As we were leaving work on Monday, one of my supervisors informed us that there were cases of soda that were expired to the public, but we were welcome to take as much as we’d like. I brought home 5 cases (24 cans/case) of diet Pepsi, 1 case of Brisk iced tea and 1 case of Dr. Pepper. I don’t drink pop much, but my mom enjoys a cold drink when doing yardwork on warm days and DD (along with her friend) likes to drink it, like most teens do. Even if it is a bit flat, they’ll lap it up in no time, I’m sure!
    *Hubby helped my MIL with a bowling banquet on Saturday. My mom and I made treat trays for the banquet, which he delivered over for us. We were paid $145 for the trays. I kept $40 for myself (I bought most of the ingredients), gave my mom $80 (she made most of the treats) and $25 for her to buy dirt for her flower gardens & flower pots. Hubby brought back the leftover treats, which we can use in our bagged lunches and for dessert!
    *Made our bi-anual trip to place flowers on my grandparents gravestones on Mother’s day. We stopped at the chocolate factory to pick up our chocolate stash, then hopped over to the cheese factory and bought some amazing local cheese. I bought a brick of 4 year old white cheddar and some fresh garlic cheese curd. DD bought me a brick of 10 year old orange cheddar for my mother’s day gift (using Grandma’s money of course). Looking forward to enjoying these treats over the next little while!!!
    *Hubby and DD treated my mom and I to dinner our on Mother’s day. DD made me a homemade Mother’s day card, complete with her wonderful artistic drawing, which I absolutely loved!
    *Picked dandelion greens from the yard to feed to our Guinea Pig. She loved the fresh greens and I love giving her free food!
    *My garden is starting to sprout. Now I just hope the wildlife doesn’t eat them all! I started soaking the bean seeds and will plant them Monday or Tuesday after work (my back was just too sore to plant on the weekend).
    *Was in serious need of gas for my car on Wednesday. Most gas stations were $1.26/litre. Went to Costco and thankfully paid $1.21/litre to fill my tank. Next day the gas prices went up$1.33/litre. Although $1.21/litre is pretty high, I’m really happy I got it at that price at the moment!

    Looking forward to reading everyones comments as I get time. Hope you all have a awesome and frugal week!

  20. Such pretty, simple cupcakes! I’ll have to remember that.

    City-wide garage sales were this weekend! I found a few estate-type sales with vintage treasures galore. I had to use a lot of restraint! Some of my best bargains included a full box of misc. vintage Valentines and greeting cards for $4, a dozen wide mouth Tattler lids for $2, a box of nearly new window shades for $1 (I’ll be able to use at least 2 of the 7), 4 books (1910s era) for $3, and a brand new French press coffeepot for $2.

    I only bought a few necessities for groceries this week ($6) and we ate out of our pantry and freezers.

  21. Doing a lot of the usual of reading library books, cooking at home, reusing zip-lock bags, etc.

    We had a frugal and non-frugal Mother’s Day weekend as we took a son and DIL who came to spend the weekend at my request out to dinner Saturday night and had great fun. We did have cocktails before and dessert afterwards at home. But we also spent time walking the dogs and using the free rec center activities in my retirement community, they cooked brunch and I cooked lunch on Sunday so no other costs. It was too chilly to use the patio but we cleaned it up to get it ready for warm weather in hopes we could be out there and I’m sure we will be enjoying it soon.

    I am doing a couple of wardrobe challenges to find new ways to wear what I have and to see what kinds of alterations may help make me like some items more. Free entertainment.

  22. A beautiful girl and a beautiful dress.
    I cashed in PineCone Rewards for a $50 Amazon GC and used the money to buy organic fertilizers for my garden and fruit trees. This week in the garden and greenhouse, I planted my tomato seedlings and planted seeds for basil, squash, okra, lima beans, runner beans, nasturtiums, and zinnias.
    We went camping at a state park for two nights, using our annual pass for a discount. We took all our food for the trip and had a very nice, relaxing time. I read books I had downloaded from the library while my husband fished, and we took several hikes.
    I cooked a big pot of pinto beans and divided it into meal-sized servings for the freezer. Being able to pull out a container of refried beans for quick bean tacos for a last minute meal has saved us many times. I also made a big batch of pumpkin muffins and froze half.
    I harvested lettuce, arugula, green onions, and asparagus from the garden.
    I had to get some prescriptions refilled and the pharmacist saved me some money on one prescription my insurance doesn’t cover by running it through the store’s prescription card. Instead of $50, I paid $6!
    My biggest accomplishment this week is that I finally got the queen-sized quilt I have been piecing for our bed sandwiched together and in the quilt frame a friend gave to me last year, and I’ve started quilting it. It’s going to take me months to hand-quilt, but I can keep the frame set up in the living room, and my husband attached a (trash-picked) work light to the frame so I’ll have good light.

  23. This week we..
    ..skipped supper a few times. My husband and I had both gotten home late a few times last week and just decided we weren’t really hungry and didn’t want to deal with cooking.
    ..ate PTO provided pizza, pork chops, and soup for lunch this week for teacher appreciation week. Also enjoyed snacks from their snack bar each day.
    ..stayed under budget on groceries
    ..made food for Mother’s Day lunch using only items I had on hand except for one box of jello.
    ..bought gas when I was in the city running errands
    ..saved 7 cents per gallon versus our town’s gas station.
    ..went to my sisters graduation. Had to stay in a hotel; but I took the shampoo and conditioner home. Also ate free breakfast they provided.
    ..carpooled with my parents to the graduation.

  24. Baptism days are so special! She looks beautiful and happy. 🙂

    *We made all meals at home – I even made my Mother’s Day meal from scratch on Saturday. My family put it all together on Sunday. I wanted a Chocolate Raspberry Torte Cake for dessert. I found the recipe and had all ingredients on hand. I loved being able to use my handmade raspberry jam in the recipe.

    *I found a big jar of salsa on clearance for 1.79. I had a coupon to use with it and got it for less than a dollar.

    *We still have a landline. It stopped working. I called and they came to repair it for free because it was their fault.

    *I got my Mother’s day cards for free. I buy the 99 cards and had a $2/2 coupon.

    *Opened windows as much as possible. I don’t handle heat well and get quite sick when I am overheated. But I did the best I could and used our overhead fans. I don’t use heat once the kids are gone at school and turn it off. We’ve had very up and down weather this past week in our temperatures. Went from 80 – 47 for the days highs.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week 🙂

  25. I am surprised you are still able to get lettuce. Mine has started bolting so I’ve been pulling it up. I planted tomatoes and cucumbers this weekend. I have been able to get a handful of snow peas every day. I went to Kroger last night and saw that a pound was going for $6.99. I will be lucky if I get a pound over the whole season but better than spending $7!

    I cut some of my hydrangeas to bring inside. I love being able to grow my own flowers. I planted dahlia tubers- so far only 1 is sprouting but the rest should come up soon.

    I am almost out of laundry detergent. I saw Kroger was having a sale so saved about $8. I now have enough to last half the year.

    We had an early Mother’s Day dinner on Saturday. My husband and I brought home leftovers. One of our family member’s won’t eat leftovers so they throw out any food left. Of course we’ll take it!

    It is supposed to rain here the rest of the week so I won’t have to water my garden. I hope that the forecasters are wrong because 7 days of rain is currently predicted.

  26. Regarding re-growing store-bought green onions, I had tried a few in water some months ago, but they rotted (and smelled!), even after I changed the water often. However, I am having excellent results with some about 1 1/2″ bulb bottoms I just poked into a pot with good soil and left outside. I have also found that they grow in their original plastic bag in my refrigerator drawer. I use them slowly, and though the outside layer might need to be peeled off, they get taller every week. I put a paper towel in the bag to absorb some of the moisture.

  27. They are super easy to grow from seed, as well. At the Dollar Tree, I have purchased 25c/package seeds, and they work just fine. Of course, there are numerous other places that you can get the seeds, as well. Once I got them established, they have gone to seed each year, easily wintered over in our fairly mild climate, but even made it through snow, and re-seeded. Now, I have mature plants going to seed, mid-sized plants I’m using, and tiny babies that will grow to be used. I’m not sure how long I can keep this cycle going, but it’s worth a try. This is only the 2nd spring on this experiment. I’m considering planting a fresh package of seeds in another place in the garden just in case these get tired of growing in the same area. I usually rotate things.

    I always love hearing about other people’s experiments, too:)

  28. I convinced my son to NOT take me out on Mother’s Day, I dislike crowds. I made lunch of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas with garlic bread. My other kids, all contacted me. They are all working out of town, my oldest is on the river barge, my daughter is in Utah, and my middle one is well, I really think he overslept, but maybe he was working out of town…lol. My youngest surprised me with Pioneer Woman bowls, which are so pretty! I promptly sent home leftovers to him in them. I did have a frugal fail, the neighbor was weedeating, and a rock flew and shattered my car window. It is below my deductible, so I will have to pay to fix it. My neighbor did agree to mow my lawn this summer, up to the price of the window. I am harvesting mulberries. They are small this year, so I have put sheets down on the ground, and I am gathering them that way.

  29. I really enjoyed shopping at Lidl when we spent 3 weeks in England a couple of years ago on a house exchange (a frugal and fun way to travel). At least there, they would have 2-3 different fruits and vegetables on sale each week at a bargain price, I found their prices very good on dairy and meat. I wish we had Lidl here in Canada.

  30. Thanks Juhli for the suggestion. I found a beautiful dress that was my Mother’s. It is a beautiful Welsh handwoven material and I’m thinking of cutting it and making a quilt out of it. Your pillow covers sound like a great idea. Ann

  31. You have a gift for making frugal parties look professionally done. Love it. Also … the gap-tooth smile your daughter has is too precious, and the dress is amazing. You are one talented mom.

  32. I’m surprised your lettuce is still good, too. It’s awful by this time in Florida.
    I made a five-gallon bucket of laundry detergent; that will hold us for a good while. I found that Zote soap sells pre-flaked white soap at Walmart, making the whole process much simpler. I was grating about 5 ounces of soap each time, so now I just measure out five ounces by weight. The price is not bad — a 17.5 ounce box of Zote to make 3+ of the five-gallon batches of soap costs about $2.80 here.
    I paid some medical bills by phone. Some websites charge “convenience fees” but using the phone for these bills was free.
    I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot and pulled the meat off of the bones. Today I have the bones cooking in the crockpot to make bone broth.
    I hung out most of my laundry.
    I trimmed my bangs.
    We didn’t go out to eat for Mother’s Day, keeping it frugal for my kids. Plus, the restaurants are so over-crowded!
    I love the white dress as well. It looks very sweet on a very sweet girl.

  33. We spent Mothers day at my parents place because it’s good to spend time together and we don’t need to go out to do that. In truth we usually spend time together at least once a week, not just on Mothers or Fathers day.

  34. Your daughter looks beautiful. Congratulations to all of you. I cannot wait to start getting lots of food from my garden. All I am getting right now is kale and I am grateful for that. I had a wonderful Mothers Day. I was spoiled. I hope you enjoyed yours. We did our first fire pit of the year. It was a beautiful night and we roasted marshmallows and listened to music. The rest of my list is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/05/my-frugal-list-week-of-may-6-2018.html

  35. Frugal accomplishments for last week were as follows:

    – The peonies came into bloom so I picked a bouquet for my kitchen counter.

    – I noticed some plants growing in a container that I thought was empty. I thought they were weeds, but decided to let them grow a bit longer. They turned out to be white petunias so I transplanted them into a pot and set them on the patio table.

    – I sold one item on Ebay and listed another item.

    – Received a check from the consignment store I had taken things to.

    – Completed one PineCone survey and received credit for it.

    – My son sent me a beautiful bouquet of roses for Mother’s Day. Despite putting them in water upon arrival, several of them wilted and fell apart the next day. My son called the company he purchased them from and sent them a picture. The company agreed to send a replacement. In the meantime, my tea roses began to bloom in my garden so I cut a few to replace the ones that had to be tossed.

    – I thought the jarred salsa my husband bought could used a flavor boost, so I went to the garden and snipped some cilantro to add to it. It won’t be long until the cilantro will bolt here as our temperatures are now in the 90s.

  36. Maxine, I’ve been waiting until we had decided on a name for the baby. It took a lot longer to decide on a name. We have one now and I’ll be sharing it in an upcoming post with some photos (which also took a while, as I simply wasn’t feeling up to taking photos and had to expend my energy on other needs at home).

  37. Mine is bolting but I am eating it anyway. It’s starting to get a bit bitter because of that, but I am happy to have salads and if I combine it with the spinach (which has usually bolted months ago, but didn’t this year) it is not so obvious. Usually our lettuce is done by now, but mine slowed way down when we had a cold spell a while back and it is just now large enough to harvest–even though it’s going straight up now. I plan to collect seeds from mine as they are are open-pollinated, so mine will be getting tall soon. Looseleaf can take the heat better than head lettuce; I find head lettuce almost impossible to grow.

    My snow peas are all burning; I tore most of them out and have a few more to take out. It’s much too hot for them.

  38. It’s bolting, but we had a cold spell earlier in the year that slowed it all down, and so much of it is just now ready–and of course, bolting because of the heat. It’s starting to be a bit bitter but we are eating it anyway.

  39. Becky: Rather like chives – we have them all over the gardens and yard. Wonderful smell when they are hit with the lawn mower! I’ll have to watch to see if my potted green onions set seed heads so I can follow your example.

  40. Congratulations on your daughter’s baptism. You have many wonderful things to celebrate lately in your family!

    This last week has been a rough one. Our cat (who is a rescue now between 18-20 years old) was diagnosed with oral cancer and advanced kidney disease. He very suddenly lost weight, hesitated when eating, and generally declined to a cat very unlike himself. We’re pursuing a ‘last ditch’ treatment similar to dialysis this week in hopes that it extends his life and comfort, to some extent. We’re both very surprised by just how difficult this is, particularly given the suddenness of it. We can rationalize that he’s an animal, but he’s such a significant part of our home and lives even still. I’m glad we’ve been frugal and set aside an emergency fund to ensure we have one less thing to worry about when surprises strike. It’s quite the blessing.

    +I purchased some pineapples to freeze for smoothies and fruit salads at .97c each.
    +I redeemed my freebies from Safeway’s monopoly game.
    +Attended our non profit community garden plant sale and purchased a few plants that failed in the cold frame including tomatoes, some herbs I needed, and a couple of flowers and spent well under half what I would’ve at a nursery- all to a good cause.
    +Continued making sun teas (chamomile, green, sleepytime, and black) to enjoy.
    +Celebrated a frugal mother’s day with my mother in law and mom with home cooked meals and gifts baskets that I’ve filled by buying reasonable goodies throughout the year. I also bought each a gift card to go in the basket and bought them at my nearby grocery store for fuel points.
    +I’m helping my senior parents manage their budget and helping them through a debt snowball process. They are on a fixed income in retirement, and my mom has a spending/shopping problem, and they need some help managing.

    I hope all the moms on here had a great mother’s day with their families, and that everyone has a great week ahead!

  41. Cindy in the South thank you for your encouragement and we do too 🙂 . Additional funds banked today as well which I will update next week :).

  42. I did this in our old house and kept them going for 4 years. I need to plant some in this house too. I miss them!

  43. Holly
    If you don’t have any pets in the house, try this for squirrel. We had a house that was empty on the lake…every year we would spend thousands fixing boards the squirrels chewed thru then had their babies in the attic. Tried everything!! We hired a man to trap and remove them for 2 yrs! very expensive. The 2nd year a young man who was working for him came out and told me to purchase a large mouse/rodent deterent that you plug in the wall. It emits a high pitch (out of the human range) sound that the squirrels/mice/rats hate and will leave. We had pets and literally boarded them one weekend (with a coupon) left town and came back and they were gone. We only plug it up when our pets are gone..but seriously they leave your house within minutes and won’t come back. We use it for mice and squirrels. I wouldn’t leave it in long term (it kind of scares me on humans) but you seriously cannot hear a thing and then they are gone. We have used it off and on for 6 years and save tons of money on the exterminator and haven’t had to deal with the pest! In my area they cost around 35$ well worth it over the thousands we paid before.

  44. I did that once–and just this month I saw another cooked lettuce recipe. NEVER AGAIN. It was so nasty. No one in my family would eat it and I ended up throwing it out.:( I guess some people care for it , but I will stick with salad.

  45. I’m sorry to hear about your cat, Samantha. I’m sure your vet has already spoken with you about this, but cats with kidney issues are recommended to be on a special kidney diet. Hill’s Prescription foods has k/d (kidney diet) in both wet and dry forms (wet food is better as it contains more water, but dry food is generally cheaper. ) and Medi-Cal Royal Canin has 3 types of wet food (in both pate and stew form) and two types of dry food. You can experiment to see which your cat prefers. If your cat has very high kidney values, the doctor might suggest putting him on a drip for a day to try to lower the values, and then can teach you how to administer fluids (lactated ringers sol’n) at home (much cheaper than bringing the cat into the vet every few days). Administering fluids will go a long way to lowering the kidney values, helping your cat live longer, and helping him feel better. In terms of weight loss, dry food will have more calories, but wet food can be heated in the microwave for a very few seconds to heat the oils in the food and make it smell more appetizing to a cat. As kidney cats need a lot of water to help flush their system, you can experiment with ways to increase their fluid intake. Some prefer fresh water, some distilled water, some tap water, some water with ice cubes, some water with a tiny bit of tuna water added. I’ve seen cats live a long time with both kidney disease and oral cancer, by the way. Best of luck with your cat. I had two cats with kidney issues myself.
    Oh, and since the cat food companies stand behind the palatability of their food, you *should* be able to return opened bags to your vet, and they should be able to return them to the sales rep. Might save you a few dollars at some point. Some vets will also let you return unopened cans, but I think that depends on the vet.
    Oh, and one last thing, if you buy canned food from the vet, they should be able to give you a lid to keep the canned food fresh, free of charge. They should be receiving them from their sales rep. Again, best of luck!

  46. Dear Brandy, I love the photo of your daughter. Baptisms were very special in our family and all the children wore the same outfits handed down from previous generations. I am a sentimental fool. I hope that baby Simper is nursing , sleeping and being quite content.
    Mothers Day started out well. The girls and I went to the thrift store and picked up some random odds and ends for pennies. We actually bought chili slaw dogs and drinks for lunch. We had planned on an outing to Olive Garden but that didn’t work out. Sugar cookie became very ill and we spent the day in the emergency room. Thankfully this center is staffed around the clock and she had necessary scans done at two in the morning. We will be making the rounds again with oncology as soon as they can schedule her. I am grateful to be cared for by such an amazing team in this ER. She is feeling better today. I can only imagine that this was not a frugal visit. On the other hand, when you owe many thousands, what’s a few more !
    I collected greeting cards from my stash and mailed out to various loved ones for Mothers Day. I actually processed a jar of pennies at the coin star and cashed out for postage stamps. I gave my neighbor a gift of Bath and Body works from my gift closet. I have pretty much stopped giving gifts and my stash of presents has about run out. I purchased some diapers for my son’s friend who is a soon to be dad. My Amazon account is coming up for renewal and I am not renewing it. Instead, I will share benefits off of said friends account and continue to find him deals for the new baby. I did receive a welcome baby box from Amazon from the items I purchased on my account. I have no idea what is in it, but I forwarded it on to a friend. Sugar cookie asked to go to the movies. I used a promotion on yogurt and bought 4 packages to redeem for two Fandango movie tickets. I will use the yogurt to make frozen pops for her. College girl has told me that my frugalness knows no boundaries. While out with her, I picked up a red coke cap off the ground. Then at the pet store, I walked past a front door mat on the ground. It was covered in white dog hair. When we came out of the store, I stopped and looked at it. I don’t have one. I would like one but it’s not on my list of needed items. I decided I wasn’t to proud to take it home. I put it in the trunk and my son cleaned it. It looks brand new and is beautiful. College boy has a movie and dinner date with a friend. I suggested he do the yogurt deal for the movie tickets or go to Sam’s Club and pick up the 50.00 dollar gift cards they sell for 40.00. I reminded him that a late lunch would be cheaper and that he should check for a coupon. I downloaded two books for free from Audible while at the hospital. At the moment, a sliver of encouragement was much needed. I chose Wayne Dyer. I hope everyone is having a great week. I am enjoying the red birds in my backyard. I have male cardinals everywhere. I hope to put up some type of feeder this week.

  47. I hope your daughter is all right! That must have been scary for you all.

    It sounds like you were able to save a lot of money here and there all week. Good job! That’s great that you could get movie tickets from a promotion.

    I think red cardinals would be so lovely. We are on the west coast, so we are not in their range.

  48. Hello everyone, here just a few frugal accomplishments from the Netherlands. Worked a lot in my vegetable garden as the weather is beautifull and warm for this time of the year in our region ( about 25 degrees celcius and a lot of sun). So the solar panels are producing a lot of energy!
    I harvested Swich chard , leeks and herbs from the garden.
    I cashed an rather unusual gift card from master card, it was hard to get it cashed in a real store ( our facuumcleaner dead so I tryed it in this shop, but they didnt take it). We needed to cash the exact amount of money, otherwise we had to pay MC for keeping an account!!!
    So I bought washingpowder and toiletpaper online. (I make my own washingpowder to, but for the really dirty stuff I use store bought powder). It wil not go to waist and you always need toiletpaper.
    I mended a sweater and a t-shirt
    For mothersday we picked up chinees/indonesian food (wich is very cheap in our country) and eat the leftovers on Monday.
    Goodbey to you all!

  49. When we were driven to distraction by mice scratching in the walls, we bought a number of bottom-of-the-line detectors from Walmart. Our spiders didn’t leave despite what the packages suggested. But when I would plug a device into the outlet nearest the noisy mice, they would quiet down so we could sleep in peace. Traps in the basement ended the problem. The frequencies broadcasted by the little devices vary. Unfortunately, my ears can pick up one of the frequencies. When that happens, I unplug the offending device for a bit. Obviously, our squirrels don’t mind the bottom-of-the-line noisemakers. What brand device did your squirrels hate? I could place one in the attic by moving a ceiling tile in the garage.

    The rattlesnake recorded sounds might have caused the squirrels to look for a safer neighborhood. They were quiet yesterday. We live close (less than a mile) to public lands that are managed as Massasauga rattlesnake habitat so our local squirrels have to be rattlesnake aware.

  50. 1. We finally got our state tax return back, so that went straight into savings.
    2. My father gave me two freshly butchered chickens and 3 dozen eggs…it pays to have a farmer in the family:)
    3. No food waste this week
    4. Used digital coupons at Kroger to get cheese for great prices and stocked up on chicken breasts while they were on sale (this was before my dad gave me those chickens!)
    5. Earned $30 in cash back bonuses from reward points on my credit card

  51. Samantha, I am sorry your beloved kitty is sruggling with some serious health issues right now. You are very lucky your cat has lived to this age! As I’ve mentioned before, I was a vet tech for over 10 years. I know you love your kitty very much and I respect your decision to treat. However, I would like to offer some words to consider as you proceed with expensive treatments. Kidney disease is one of the most common ailments that cat often pass away from as they get older and cancer, any many humans can atest to, can be very painful. Treating a 20yr old cat is like realy like treating a 100yr old person. No guarantees they will live many more years, even if you are successful at treating this round of problems. When making decisions for your cat, please don’t make them for your sake…make them for your cats sake. I have watched many of owners insist on treating their beloved pets because they couldn’t let go, all while the animal was suffering immensely.

    On the flip side, I have worked in an animal shelter and have had to euthanize perfectly healthy animals because there were just not enough homes to take them. You will never forget how special this beloved family was to you. No one will deny how much you loved them. There are many more animals waiting to find a wonderful family like yours who will love them as much as you love this cat.

  52. I love that you use what you have i.e., lots of sunshine to be able to cook a chicken in a solar oven – just brilliant.

    Thank you for continuing to post when you have a newborn. I love this community you have created 🙂

    • Went to Manhattan for the day using up the last train ride on a punch ticket and the last sightseeing entries on a pass. My only cost was for food, water, and the parking garage at the train station.
    • Made swag goal x 2
    • Researched how much state park annual passes will be this year and was pleasantly surprised that all fees are waived in 2018 for state residents! Yippee – I’ll be going to the beach more this summer. Although I imagine I’ll have to get there super early as the parking lots are sure to fill up fast.
    • Donated to charity shop & got receipt for taxes, found an exercise shirt and velour pants 50% off at the charity shop
    • Washed plastic ziplock bags to reuse
    • Made hummus, asparagus quiche, and carrot cake
    • Watched old Moonlighting episodes via YouTube

  53. There is nothing like a new baby in the house! He is beautiful!

    I have taken a page from your book and started sowing more seeds in my yard rather than buying plants which saves so…much…money! My zucchini are up!!! My kids and I took the day to trim all of the shrubs instead of hiring it out. This is a multi-day ordeal (not in a good way), but it saves so much money, and I have a huge issue with paying someone for something I can do myself with a little sweat regardless of how much I dislike doing it. I also declined to buy poison to kill the very large patch of bermuda grass that had spread into a flowerbed and used some thick black plastic I had on hand weighed down with old bricks to smother it out. Worked like a charm. Next up is using a square ended shovel to edge all of my beds because the metal edging that the previous owners installed is rusting out, and I am not paying to replace it.

    Thank you for these posts. I will have both children in college next year, and this inspires me to think outside the box and see where even the smallest changes can add up.

  54. Ava, I was watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW on PBS and some one had 6 state fair posters (not the movies STATE FAIR, but posters advertising our state fair) from the 20’s and the appraiser said they were worth 400.00 to 600.00 each.

  55. Rhonda, what a lucky windfall of soda and ice tea. They probably will be just fine. I saw cases of soda at the store and the regular price (name brand) were 5.49 a case of 12 cans. Wow.

  56. My mom and DD are quite enjoying their soda stash already. They told me it tasted fine, though neither really care if some of the fizz is gone. They don’t like fizzy soda anyways. The price you quoted is pretty close to the cost of a case of 24 cans here in our area. Canned pop is really becoming expensive to buy now!

  57. Tanja, my husband and I are planning a visit to the Netherlands next April. Where abouts do you live? We are planning to visit Amsterdam and Rotterdam. My husband’s grandmother is from Rotterdam but came to Canada as a war bride. His grandfather was a soldier in WWII (one of the many Canadian troops who helped liberate Holland), where they met. We are really looking forward to seeing the country she grew up in.

  58. I have bought a packet of parsely seeds and kept them going for a good 10 years before needing to buy another packet. They are biennials and self seed easily, plus I shake the stalks when I walk by, and it works great. Eventually they get down to too few and then I replant them.

  59. Daughters come in different sizes. When my first was in Brownie Scouts she wore a size 5 dress. Her younger sister wore a size 12 at the same age.

  60. Lilli, I am sorry to hear of your struggles. I pray for strength for you to handles whatever comes.

    Amazon even suggests you share accounts with another. They are fine with that. Also there are several ways to get discounted accounts…college students with .edu can get them for, I think, half price. There are also ways to pay piecemeal for the portions of their service you want, rather than pay for the complete service. I just received this in an email from them.

  61. Tanja, I had trouble with an electric card like that also. I sent in a rebate for 2 items purchased of vegetarian brand meatless items and the rebate was about 4.50, the price of one of the items, so it was like buying one getting one free in the end. They sent it in an email but the store would not take it! I did not want to give up so I went to the service desk and they also said no. I still did not want to give up as I was using the rebate to buy another of these items. Finally, the store manager decided to take it and give me a gift card in same amount which I then used to pay for the food. He said he would deal with the reimbursement. I hope they did get their money!!

  62. Brandy, it looks like you definitely have mastered and overcome the frosting problems you were having earlier. The cupcakes look very pretty. Blessings to your daughter on her Baptism…such a special moment in life to make that decision. Is that Liberty?

    We are having lovely spring weather. The rain has stopped except for daily sprinkles. The spring flowers and bushes and trees are in full bloom so color everywhere. The trees themselves have not fully leafed out so they still have that fuzzy yellow-green look to them. We have done a lot of yard work. Many sticks to pick up and they have been added to kindling piles. Dandelions are up. Husband cut the grass for the first time…love that smell of fresh grass.

  63. I cut all the remaining leaf lettuce. It was very straggly and beginning to bolt. I was surprised how many good leaves there were. I left the stalks in case they decide to grow again. They are shaded, so there’s a chance.
    I caught all the water I used to wash the lettuce (above). I used it to water some plants.
    My daughter brought home left-over handmade, wood-fired pizza from her job. She said that no one ever wants the leftovers. We sure do!
    Returned an unwanted gift.
    Caught up on my filing and sorted papers to take to the free shredding event this weekend. We used to have a shredder, but it died. We decided not to replace it. My husband burns papers when he has an outdoor fire every once in a while. The free shredding event gives us a chance to get rid of some of the backlog.
    Went together on a Mother’s Day gift with my sister.
    Have not used the heat or A/C in over 2 months. It will be 95-105 here for the next 5 months, so we have to save when we can!
    Husband will have Progresso soup for dinner, bought for 50 cents a can. He’s having a dental procedure and won’t be up to eating much. I will eat the gluten free biscuit that my daughter sent for Mother’s Day, a salad, and an egg. I don’t enjoy cooking and my diet is so limited that meals really are a chore. But on the upside, it’s a really cheap meal. 🙂

  64. Hi Brandy,
    What a beautiful baptism dress your daughter is wearing and what a beautiful tradition of each daughter wearing the dress.

    I am slowing incorporating more of your ways into my life little by little. I bought a small watermelon and when I cut into it the entire thing was rotten. I took my receipt back to the store and got a refund. I bought a 3 pack of socks and when I opened them the middle pair had a huge hole so I again returned this item for a refund. In the past, I probably wouldn’t have made time to do this but now I realize I cannot afford to throw money away like that.

    My husband took our family out for Mother’s Day but we kept it reasonable by going to a middle range restaurant and not ordering any sodas or drinks. We also had enough food for lunch the next day.

    This was not frugal but so worth it to see the smile on her face. I purchased my mom two large, pretty pots for her garden for mother’s day and all the plants and soil to fill them. She sat and told me how she wanted them planted up and I did all the work for her. She loved the end result. It was far cheaper to do it this way than to purchase already made up ones and this way she got customized flower pots. She is in her 70s and not in good health so she can no longer do this for herself but thoroughly enjoys the flowers from her kitchen sink window while doing dishes.

    Looking forward to reading about everyone’s week. Brandy- thanks for keeping up with blog posts even though you have a new baby to care for. I really appreciate your efforts!

  65. What a beautiful girl!

    This wasn’t a particularly frugal week for me, but I tried the best I could.

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • One of our trivia team members had a birthday, so I made a pan of brownies for him with ingredients that I already had on hand, all of which I had purchased on sale too.
    • Used a gift card we had won at trivia last week for dinner at this week’s trivia night. Also won a $10 gift card for another time.
    • Got back from our Mexico trip on Monday and I got sick. So grocery shopping was minimum! Unfortunately, I had to go to the Dr. as it hadn’t gone away, but had gotten worse by Thursday, so I had to pay a co-pay and get a prescription for antibiotics.
    • Made homemade chicken noodle soup with a chicken carcass I had in the freezer leftover from a Costco roasted chicken we had months ago. Used up some veggies from the freezer in it as well as some linguini I had bought on sale a while ago. Also had homemade rice-a-roni casserole This is basically beef rice-a-roni with hamburger and some vegetables in it. I used to get rice-a-roni for about 9c per box back when my kids were young, but now I just make this from scratch. I add celery, carrots, peas and mushrooms. Made enough to put 3 lunch sized containers in the freezer for work lunches. This is such a simple recipe, yet was one of my family’s very favorites!
    • My brother came to town for a short visit. We fixed steak, baked potatoes and asparagus for him on Saturday along with homemade brownies for dessert. Also went out to dinner with the rest of the family who are in town, but chose a moderately priced restaurant.

    Have a great week everyone!

  66. This was a pretty quiet week for us, as we finally got a diagnosis for my husband’s facial and head pain–he has shingles, but only one blister popped out, so it was mostly pain for him. The doctor gave us pills to reduce the pain by lessening the irritation of the nerve–and husband proved to be quite suseptible to silliness while taking them. It was a drug normally used for seizures and he said I would have to watch how he reacted to them, as they were quite sedating. He told me to start with 3 a day and to add or subtract pills as I saw fit to balance between reduction of pain and too much grogginess. Well a couple times husband snuck in 4 day (which is actually what the bottle said) but that was certainly too much for him. One night he told me he couldn’t brush his teeth because he couldn’t find his toothbrush. Definitely too sedated! After some silliness, we discovered that 3 pills was fine at the beginning of the week and reduced the pain enough that we went down to 2 a day after the first few days. He goes back to the doctor in two more days, and I don’t think he will need any more pills. He is feeling much better now, after 2.5 weeks of fairly severe pain until the right diagnosis was found. I cooked every meal at home for about 3 weeks to keep life simple for him. So nice to get back to normal now. Spring has also arrived for real. Beautiful sunshine and flowers blooming, just noticed today that the lilacs are beginning to bloom. I made a macaroni salad with lots of vegetables and fixed bratwurst on buns to go with it–a real spring time meal. Both my daughter and granddaughter came for Mother’s Day–bringing plants, and good things to eat of all kinds. I will make them last or I won’t be buttoning my pants much longer. Daughter made brownies with fluffy vanilla icing, adding part of a vanilla bean to it because I love vanilla, and dusted the tops with a little cocoa for an artistic touch! Granddaughter brought a lovely hanging basket of all white blossoms, which is hanging on the front porch and looking great. When asked what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I had said “chocolate” so a box of truffles also made it’s way here. They have no shortage of ideas. I can spend my time working and not baking. Today was rainy so we went to the lab for blood draws and then I made granola and worked on my closet, switching out winter for summer clothes. Didn’t quite finish but got a good start on it before time to cook dinner. Husband hung a new hummingbird feeder, replacing one that needed it, and mowed the lawn for the second time. Lots of yard work remains to be done, beginning again tomorrow I hope.

  67. What a lovely dress and little girl!
    I was able to find eggs for $.79 a dozen, picked up 4 dozens. I was down to my last few eggs, perfect timing. We didn’t have the most frugal week. We headed up to our camper for the first time this season . So there was gas and a couple of treats. Hubby insisted on picking up some cinnamon rolls. Can’t say I protested too much. we just can’t make it a habit. We are working on clearing some more trees., doing all the work ourselve. Hopefully the weather stays nice the next few weekends so we can continue before the summer heat comes. Have a great week.

  68. Hi Brandy,
    I am new to commenting, but not your website. I have been following along for a few years. I appreciate how you keep beauty in your frugal life and how wonderful you are with your children. I have learned much following you through the years. Some of the highlights have been canning and planting swiss chard. I live in Colorado and the swiss chard grows wonderfully here and is very versitle. Thank you for your openness and encouragement to create beauty on any budget! Here are my frugal accomplishments for the past week or so:
    – I was able to get some tickets to a local play for my family for a few dollars from an organization called Vet Tix. I have been trying to get some free tickets for awhile. It works on a lottery and coin system so I had to save up. I was excited to finally get to go to something. Organizations donate tickets for veterans and their families to go in unfilled seats. What a neat thing!
    – I planted my tomatoes, peppers, some herbs and some swiss chard and spinach. I still have work to do but am working to get the garden going!
    – I signed my children up to attend a free fishing derby this weekend. They also have prizes. It will be fun to go fishing.
    – We went for a hike at our local nature center. I had forgotten how fun this is. I took lots of pictures of beautiful Colorado.
    – I had a nice Mother’s Day with my in-laws. I made a candy bouquet at low cost for a gift from my kids. I was shocked to similar ones at the grocery store for $19.99. http://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/05/12/coupons-frugal-mothers-day-gift/
    – I have used rebate apps like Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and coupons to get various good deals.
    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. But frugality is definitely a lifestyle. I am sure there are more.
    Thank you for your blog and encouragement.

  69. Happy Mother’s Day and congratulations on the new baby!
    For Mother’s Day, I bought the kids lunchables (a treat for them) and took them to a city park that recently reopened. I know that lunchables aren’t frugal, but at least I bought them short-dated from the .99 Only store, and I didn’t have to wash dishes! Kids made some sweet crafts at school.
    I continue to sell kids clothes for my sister on facebook, keeping half of the money.
    I am signed up for a lot of free magazine subscriptions, which I sell to Half Price Books every month or so.
    Used up leftovers with very little food waste.
    Had breakfast for dinner, which is an inexpensive meal for my family.
    Took my kids to the library instead of buying books at the school book fair.
    Found more Christmas gifts at a garage sale, plus some flash cards and half-used workbooks to use this summer.
    Registered my oldest for a free summer camp through the county.
    Started a laundry basket of items to take to the consignment store. What they don’t take I donate.
    Found gifts from our gift closet for daughter’s friend’s birthday, next door neighbor boy’s birthday, and my cousin’s wedding. Used Christmas wrapping paper that didn’t look overly Christmas-y.
    We were blessed with hand-me-downs from a friend for the baby.
    Bathed boys together to save time and water.

  70. Hay Rhonda, so you are visiting the big city’s? I do not know very much about those city’s. I have been to Amsterdam with schooltrips long ago, I don’t like city’s to crowded for me. We have been to Rotterdam with the kids once, take a boat through the harbor and climbing the Euromast, so you can look over the city. It was fun!
    I live in Friesland near a little city called Bolsward (up north). We live very rural. Bolsward is one of the 11 city’s of the ELFSTEDENTOCHT. This is a very famous route through Friesland, you can look it up at google. When the winters where more cold and the ice was thicker it was/is a famous iceskating event. The whole country goes mad when/if it ever happends again. They also cycle this route every year on pentecost (this year 21-5), they hike it, they ride it with oldtimers, moterbikes….you name it. Stavoren and Hindelopen and Workum are also nice little villages to visit. (Promoting province, smile)
    After WW II a lot of dutch went to Canada an the U.S.A and New Zealand and Australia. One uncle on mothers side went to New Zealand and one uncle on fathers side went to Canada.
    I hope you will enjoy your visit, The Netherlands is a very nice country to live in, with our social services and every thing.

  71. After the war, many Dutch people came to Canada. My kindergarten teachers were Dutch; my Grade 5 beloved teacher was Dutch. Many neighbours were and are Dutch. Even now, I have a tremendous fondness for the Dutch. My father fought in the liberation of Holland during WW II. I would still love to go visit Holland. I have always dreamt of doing so.

  72. That is great that your daughter brings home the extra food. I can’t stand food waste. My son brings home lots of leftovers from his job too.

  73. Rhonda, 24 packs are 8.99 here. Sometimes they run sales where if you buy 2 you can get them for 6.99 or 5.99. I have been checking soda what with the upcoming holiday weekend here which also includes 2 birthdays and an anniversary. So I want some soda on hand. I am sure they will be on sale by the next ad, probably 4/11.00 or 4/12.00 or 12 packs

  74. My trap is empty yet there have been no squirrel sightings or sounds in the last two days. Not a single footstep overhead. I saw a bald eagle flying overhead in town the other day. Maybe he now is a particularly well-fed bald eagle. Or my neighbors who are hoping to sell their house decided to tackle their own squirrel problem before their house gets inspected and inadvertently took care of ours too. I don’t know. I just am relieved, very relieved. I hate being the pest control person in this house. Now to tidy up the yard, especially on the side of the house closest to a “for sale” sign….

  75. What a beautiful post! I love your creative Birthday cupcakes with balloon. Your daughters little white dress is precious too Your fresh produce and flowers in vases were beautiful also and inspire me. This week:
    . Make homemade cookies for grands
    . Made meals from winter freeze and a few items such as produce from store.
    . Picked up Free items at grocery.
    . Dug up Hosts and transplanted to other side of flower garden where bare spot was.
    . Weeded and really worked in flower garden .good exercise and this is best it’s been in years.
    . Brought a few flowering branches in.
    . My daughter helped stain an old farmhouse table my husband got free.
    Got dental care needed due to extra inexpensive insurance.

  76. No, I have decided Liberty is older than that. Is it Wren?

    We are having a heat wave today. It is now 78 F…I feel like we can actually see things grow as we watch. If the weather man is correct we will be in the 70’s for a few days with 50’s overnight. My husband is putting all the started plants outside now to get them ready for transplanting. We might have to put some in early because Memorial Day weekend is so busy.

    I hope everyone had a memorable Mother’s Day. Mine was good. We celebrated at my older son’s house after church. My middle girl had to work at the hospital but the younger one drove here for the weekend. She has 2 weeks left to teach in her country day school, then she does paperwork and then she and the other teacher clean out and close everything up for the summer. My younger son and his family stayed home and celebrated with his wife’s family as they will be up here 4 days over Memorial weekend. The weather was sunny and in the 60’s so we had a nice outdoor picnic with brats and burgers, potato salad, pasta salad, relishes and dip, cheese and crackers, grapes and orange slices. I said I would bring the dessert as I wanted to use up pumpkin puree from freezer. I made 2 frosty pumpkin ice cream pies. They are/were delicious. The recipe is in the old Betty Crocker cookbook if any one is interested.

    My husband and son in law and older son did my Mother’s Day present as usual. They cleaned out the garage, rehooked up the stove and sink and got it ready for all the summer activities. They put a new non skid coating on the floor, washed the windows, sucked up all the spiders, sprayed for spiders etc. Now it is ready for picnics and canning and parties through to Fall. The girls gave me an immersion blender which is something I have never had.
    My mother gets a delayed present…after my youngest gets home my mother is off for about a 1 month trip around the state to visit and stay with the rest of her children (my sister and 3 brothers) and their families, attend some graduation parties, spend time with the rest of the grandchildren, visit some old friends and other extended family. She doesn’t drive anymore so the last just drives her to the next. We’ve been working out the itinerary the last month or so.

    Olivia will be home, as I said earlier, by Memorial Day. She will help with the twins full time so Eliana can get back to farming and the goats and the chicken farm full-ish time. Also, my brother in law Paul will be back with us for the summer. We haven’t had him with us in the last year and a half as we had the missionary last summer and his sister Susie (the one with son Henry) was able to take him for a turn.

    At the grocer I keep buying the butter for 1.99. I can get 5 more this Saturday according to the electronic coupons. Have also bought 4 more Breyer ice creams at 1.99 ea for summer use…shortcake, floats etc. We just buy the vanilla bean one. Bought 2 heads of iceberg lettuce for .99 ea as they are still warning against romaine. Bought 2 celerys, olive oil, woolite detergent for dark on sale and with a 2.00 coupon, sweet onions .69 lb, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms (for shish kebab), broccoli with stems so we could make stir fry with the florets and ramen-broccoli slaw with the stems. Used another ecoupon to get 2.00 off safflower oil. (Had 3 of those total…used the other 2 on peanut oil earlier) to be continued.

  77. My sister and I spent a day at garage/estate sales on Saturday. I bought a J Jill dress – black, sleeveless, knee length for $2 thinking if it didn’t fit me, someone could wear it – but it fit like a glove. Yea!
    Found a $1 bill on the ground as I ran errands.
    Able to use airline miles to go to DC to visit son/daughter-in-law/ grandson for $11.20 out of pocket.
    Downloaded free via Amazon prime books for said trip.
    Used a navigator through my state’s Board on Aging to decide on my first Medicare Plan D choice – so much info and so easy to understand through volunteers willingness to help others out – thanks MN volunteers!

  78. Last week was a very worrying week, with several problems that I could do nothing about, but hope for the best result. Slowly, over the week, the problems were resolved, including getting a long overdue check from my retirement investments on Friday morning, just in time to ensure my utilities were not cut off on Monday.

    One of the cats had chewed through the cable to my computer adapter, so I couldn’t work except for meetings on Thursday. I did yardwork during some beautiful weather, prepared for the book club presentation I make later in the month, and did some spring cleaning. If I was overwhelmed by my worries, I would lie down for an hour and the cats curled up with me. They are very sensitive to when I am upset, and make sure to stay with me if they see that I am!

    This week, I have been to both grocery stores in town to take advantage of very good sales on pork loin, canned salmon, oatmeal bars, canola oil, two kinds of grated cheese, and get other food and cleaning supplies that were needed. I also went to the city to buy the computer cable I needed and some toner so I can use the computer printer again, which also serves as a fax, copier and scanner. I stopped at my favorite produce store there, and bought lemons and asparagus at very good sale prices, and some chicken empanadas for the freezer. (I am getting very sick of my own cooking.)

    I have now paid off some difficult tax bills, and can set some new big hairy audacious goals. One of them is to replenish my emergency fund.

    We continue to have some beautiful weather for this time of year, after a really long winter.

    I hope everyone is able to deal with the challenges they are facing. I am thinking of all of you.

  79. If you’ve got many sweaters, you might consider making a blanket, lap sized or larger. I’ve felted wool sweaters and blanket stitched two layers together to make potholders. They came out nice, and work well. I expect Pinterest would have lots of ideas to use them as well.

  80. Thank you, Tanja! I will definitely look into some of the places you mentioned. I suspect your big cities are like ours, very multi-national and don’t always represent what the rest of the country is really like. I was sad to read that Rotterdam was pretty much destroyed during WWII. We will not be able to see much of the city hubby’s grandmother grew up in. However, we did read there was a section near the harbour that was preserved, so a harbour tour sounds like a great idea! Although we will be staying in Amsterdam as our base, we would be happy to do some day trips to other areas to see more of the countryside. It takes us around 2 hours to travel by car to Toronto (depending on traffic) from where we live, and around 4 hours to Ottawa (where my brother currently lives), so traveling a few hours to another place is rather normal and doesn’t bother us at all. We, too, have heard the Netherlands is a very nice country to visit and are so looking forward to experiencing your culture!!!

  81. I am so glad the rodent problem is gone for now, I will get the brand name for the future if you need it. We found (this is so weird) that even a year later when fall or nesting time came the same squirrels would reappear, once we would plug in this device in the attic they never returned. We had a “momma” with a white mark on her back that is how we knew it was the same “family” returning every year. Sorry it took me so long to reply we have teenagers in exam time, plus one graduating from High School so it is a bit wild around here. And struggling to keep the whole house frugal, I feel like all I say is NO lately.

  82. Oh Lori you are an answer to my prayers with this post. I have been looking for someone with kids in college (a little bit ahead of me) to learn from. My oldest is graduating in a few days headed for college this fall 3 hours away. Trying to stay ahead and frugal with one leaving…for example looking at computer $ online to send him to college with a computer (which is required) hard to stomach (refurbished vs new etc) also just looking online and found out the dorm only uses XL twin sheets started looking online for those they range from 26 -46$ I about fell on the floor…he only wants cotton sheets and I understand it is extremely hot where he will be going. So I get it but dang it seems like a racket!!! and boy on paper (as I have not made these purchases yet) looks like I could just choke!!! Thanks for any and all suggestions!!!

  83. Becky, I have made soup twice, cream of cauliflower and butternut squash. It works amazingly well and easier to use than putting in blender etc. Pretty soon we will have cream of asparagus soup once I get enough ends saved up. I always make it from the snapped ends never from the stalks and tips.

  84. Kim, what a nice present for your mother. Pots are easier to weed too, and get much less weeds in them.

  85. Elizabeth, I am glad your cats are attuned to you and there for you, despite the fact that they chewed up your cord 🙂

  86. My current computer is refurbished and came in an open box from Best Buy. When people hear that I only paid $412 for it and it has a solid state hard drive, they can’t believe that’s all I paid.

  87. Thank you Margaret and Rhonda for your thoughtful responses. We only went through one day of treatment, and then my kitty passed away naturally. He went to sleep, and just didn’t wake up. We are certainly heartbroken, yet very grateful for a peaceful passing and so many great years with him.

  88. thanks I looked online at there store and was overwhelmed. The closest Best Buy is 40 min away but I may have to make the trip to get face to face and talk to someone. I did sign up for their student email/deals I am hoping they will send us some kind of coupon maybe when it gets closer. I also looked up the state tax free weekend hoping I could atleast save some sales tax wherever I can find the best deal. This is all very hard to get my head around…I guess if I just wrote a check and choked on it then recovered I would make it. But we live very frugal watch every penny and really, really shop for big ticket items. To keep it all in check. I also want my college kid to realize when he is out in this big crazy world that he has to watch his money and we really try to set an example. Thanks for the suggestion Maxine.

  89. Fortunately, only one of the two cats chews cords, when he thinks I have been out of the house too long or spending too much time on the computer. Every morning, when I have my coffee, he comes to sit on my lap, and visits me several times a day to be patted or curls up beside me if I am lying down or watching a show.

    The other cat talks a lot. (My nickname for her is Walkie-Talkie.) I couldn’t figure out why, but it turns out she answers me when I talk to her. She is just being well-mannered!

  90. The X-long twin sheets and other bedding will go on sale in August before school starts. It might be harder to find 100% cotton, but that’s when the dorm stuff goes on sale.

  91. Try Target for the sheets. I think I paid maybe 12 or 13 dollars there. Walmart may carry them too. Especially in the summer because both places have “dorm” bedding and pretty much all of the dorm beds use extra long sheets.

  92. Marcia, happy to hear the solution to your husband’s pain was discovered and the treatment,too.

  93. Oh my goodness, you are right! I think I saw cases of 24 around $8-9 here too. My apologizes…we are definitely not cheaper than the states!!!

  94. So sorry for your loss, Samantha. I guess it was definitely his time, but I’m glad his passing was peaceful.

  95. And do watch for information from the school in mailings or on its website about computer purchasing, bedding, lists of what is and isn’t recommended for housing, etc. If you go to the campus for a registration or orientation event over the summer, there will probably be parent programs, or at least information sessions when you can ask how to make the best use of your money. Call or contact the school’s computer center if you have questions.
    At least you can look forward to the Lifetime Learning Credit or the American Opportunity Tax Credit in the future!

  96. Kroget has 24pk Coke 4.99 this week. Cheapest I have seen it. It is my splurge but only if it is on sale.

  97. Athanasia, your Mother’s Day present for your mother sound absolutely perfect to me! It must have taken quite a bit of organization and thought.

  98. Congrats on your daughter’s baptism, new baby and beautiful garden!!!

    It has been a race through the past couple weeks, so today I rested up more than usual. I awoke to cold and rain; cleaned the cabin a bit and read a book. A rarity for me. The new graduate and her brother took off with the dogs and have safely arrived back home with my DH. They stopped at DD’s boyfriend’s family house one third the way there, were fed dinner, visited and slept over. They drove the next 20 hours around the clock. Work starts Monday for DD.

    We were as frugal as possible in our travels over the past couple weeks, but it was still expensive. Thankfully, my DH planned well. So happy to have a college graduate!

    I have been eating up various leftovers and the freezer food from the mini-fridge. I’m going to shut down the big fridge Monday and the mini-fridge for the summer before I leave. So thankful to have made it through the past 18 months successfully. It was pretty questionable for a bit, but God provided! He never let us down.

    The garden club has offered up a variety of perennials for my edible landscaping. ( Rhubarb, mint, lemon balm, horseradish) Very thankful! Before my DS left, he was finally able to dig out Ragusa Roses for a friend and bring them here. I need to put in a hedge/ fence and they will be perfect!

    Lunch was included at yesterday’s Community Service day at school. A group of students and I cleaned up the local historical cemetery while others did different projects. It was a great day! After work I stopped at the local thrift shop for a sleeveless white shirt and found one! Amazingly! My daughter bought a couple sleeveless tops to finish the school year out in this new (larger) size. I continue to struggle to keep motivated to lose the rest of the weight recently gained. Ugh

    Found some change, brought back all the left over food from DD’s college apartment, said no to going to the movies and out to eat, took advantage of free coffee, used a filled local store’s reward card for a freebie, agreed to let my sister tackle figuring out the land issues, found the can of spray paint for the old Jeep’s rust spots and cut some flowers for my house and classroom.

    Happy frugal-ing 🙂

  99. I see xlong sheet sets for college at our local Target store every summer before school starts very cheap !

  100. If you do go for a visit to the school, or have a college town close to you, make time to stop at some thrift stores in the area. I bet they have lots of items you are looking for, as previous students gave them away instead of lugging it all home.

  101. Excellent point about thrift stores!
    Also, start watching for student discounts: There are many, including on buses and trains, that he can take advantage of with his student ID. Amazon Prime has a special introductory rate for addresses that end in .edu.

  102. Hi Elizabeth,
    Your candy bouquet looks fabulous, and I’m planning on making some for teacher appreciation gifts for the end of the year. Thanks for the idea! I’m also in Colorado (North) and love how well Swiss chard does here. Our summer squash grows unbelievably well here too.

  103. Laura, we don’t have a Kroger’s. We have a Kroger affiliate, I think they call it. They bought out our local store chain, raised the prices, dropped all our local brands and filled it with Kroger stuff. Can’t say I am happy at all with it. When I see people saying what they bought at Kroger and for what price, well we just don’t see that here. But we are not in an area where we have a choice of multiple stores. But I will look for the soda ad you mentioned and hopefully it will be here. Thanks!

  104. Elizabeth, I like cats but unfortunately I am allergic to them. However, when I am outside, one particular little barn cat whom I call Fluffycat likes to hang around me. She sits next to my chair or bumps up against my leg and follows me around. But if I reach to pet her she skitters off. She doesn’t follow anyone else. She seems to like the companionship but at a bit of a distance.

  105. Forgive me if this sounds rude (not my intent in the least) or ignorant (it happens…) but why isn’t your neighbor liable for breaking your car window? Wasn’t it completely his fault? I would think he would have to pay for it out of pocket, or file with his home owner’s policy.

  106. Athanasia, WOW! I could wish my husband’s posters had brought that much! (Also I’d like to have seen the fair posters, since I love Americana. I’m addicted to American Pickers…) The one he sold (from the original Star Wars movie in 1977) sold for about $100 (after shipping). Since it had been collecting dust in a storage/crawl space, we considered the money a nice bonus, and now someone will have it to enjoy properly. 😉

  107. Your candy bouquet looks terrific and I love that in addition to everything else done frugally and creatively, you used pencils for “stems”. A bouquet that definitely keeps on giving! Thank you for the fun idea, I’ll definitely be doing this in the future.

  108. Ava, I wonder if you could watch the show on line on PBS website? It was the episode that took place in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The funny thing about the posters, as they explained were that they were “stock photos” which, if you could not afford to do your own artwork etc you contacted companies who could send you a catalog. You then ordered what pictures you want and the wording you want printed on them. They were very nice 20’s Art Deco.

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