Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

White Larkspur The Prudent Homemaker

For the first time ever, I have apricots and peaches ripe at the same time (usually the apricots are ripe first). This past week we enjoyed both from the garden.

I watched a few shows on pbs.org for free.

I harvested a few white alpine strawberries from the garden.

Strawberries were on sale for $0.99 a pound with no limit at Smith’s. I bought 24 pounds. I froze berries and made strawberry popsicles made chocolate covered strawberries.

I went to several garage sales with my parents on Saturday morning. I found a few clothing items for our family, each priced between $0.50 and $2 each. I found a small urn for $2 (an item that has been on my list for a while). I found a garage sale where the books were free! I brought home several free books for my children and one for my husband (a photo book about Prague). I also purchased a few books for them between $0.10 and $.50 each. I found a small basket for $0.50 that I will use to organize some things in my sewing room. I found a lightweight coat for my husband for $5. I found a small purse ($0.50) and some decorative bobby pins ($1) that I will save for gifts for Winter. 

I found two games for $2 each. One of them was Stratego. My friend’s son (our exchange student) has loved playing this game while he has been here, so I bought it for him to take home. When I sat down in the car, I noticed the front of the box was in English and French! I peeked inside and noticed that there were instructions in both languages inside, and also that the board was marked in both languages! When I got home and double checked to see that all of the pieces were there (something I should have done at the sale but had not), to my surprise, the pieces were still sealed in the original bags–the game was brand-new!  (The other game, 7 Wonders, also looks to be brand-new as well!)

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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92 Comments

  1. What fantastic garage sale finds — that game is an especially nice memento for your friend’s son to take home with him. Hearing about peaches and apricots made my mouth water — not to mention all those strawberries.
    I am getting enough lettuce and arugula from the garden for salads a couple times a week.
    I found some narrow elastic in my sewing room and used it, along with some knit scraps, an old T-shirt and a free pattern I found online, to make a free pair of underwear for myself. I am so pleased with the fit and comfort that I cut out fabric for 3 more pair. I will have to buy more elastic, but can get all I need for less than $5. Good underwear costs more than that, and this was a great way to use up some scraps.
    I made a homemade card for my MIL for Mother’s Day. We already gave her her gift (pillows I made) when we visited last month.
    I returned a bunch of plastic pots to the nursery – they will reuse them and it cleared out space in my garage.
    At the family reunion we attended last month, we were given a bunch of old family photos that had been in my husband’s grandmother’s house when her children cleaned it out after her death. Many of them were of my FIL’s childhood and his time as a young man in the Navy, and as a young husband and father – including the only pictures of his at-home wedding to my husband’s mom. I scanned all the photos into my computer, then used a free coupon to create a photo-book on Shutterfly – I only had to pay shipping. This is going to be a wonderful Father’s Day gift I know he will love. I also ordered a second copy for my husband – he will treasure it as well.
    I mended the collar on one of my husband’s shirts.

  2. What a great “win” on buying a brand new game for that price! Love it!

    Frugal accomplishments last week include:
    spray painting an old metal chair a color called rubbed bronze, previously it was hunter green
    cutting up wood with a chop saw, pieces were too small to split, but thick enough to burn in our wood furnace
    re-purposing an old vintage tablecloth into new, vintage aprons
    finding a vintage glass Turkey candy dish for $2.00 at a garage sale
    broke my sunglasses, but found a like new pair at a garage sale for .50
    repaired my sunglasses
    ate from the freezer, found some yummy soup for a quick thaw and eat dinner
    and as always, hung dry our laundry!

    Have a beautiful, happy week everyone!

  3. We had 28 people over to celebrate a relatives 1st birthday. The theme was spring butterflies. Made butterflies out of tissue paper..pipe cleaners..hung from fishing wire all over room. My daughter painted beautiful signs on large roll paper we had. Hung balloons.
    Some guest stayed for Mothers Day. Frugal meal.
    Burger on sale..on grill. Pasta salad. .49 pasta 1.00 Italian dressing. I had other items to fill in. Homemade potato salad. Had everything to make on hand.
    Few bags of chips bought. Other frugal items.:
    – Gifted a beautiful vera Bradley apron..*I love your aprons Brandy
    -bought a few silver spoons at an estate sale. Cleaned up and will add to small blue n white pitcher next to coffee
    -free cookies at grocery to snack
    -free items at grocery with in store game
    -free medicine I need
    – able to use my carpet cleaner and get all carpets done.

  4. Last week was filled with medical appointments for me. I have an outpatient procedure scheduled for this Friday afternoon and should be recovered by Monday morning. The Doctor’s office was 2 cities over (for the procedure) and the other Doctor’s office was 1 city over. I managed to not eat out on any of those days. I brought snacks with or ate when I got home (depending on if my daughter was with). My husband took Friday afternoon off to pick up our daughter from school and my mom is taking me for the procedure.

    We put the fencing around the garden back up, including some new-to-us fencing given to us by my mother in law. That left some plastic fencing not being used. I used that fencing along with some bamboo poles I purchased ($5 for a pack of 10) to create trellises for peas, cucumbers, some squash, cow peas, and something else to grow vertically. I also planted carrots, turnips, tomatoes, delicate squash, pumpkin, parsley, basil, green onions, yellow onions. We spread fertilizer around the previous day.

    I started a new job today (Monday)! I took my lunch with me but my new employer bought us lunch 🙂

    We did the usual things: keep lights off, turned the heat off for good last week until this fall, was mindful of how much water I used, washed and reused baggies and jars.

    Have a great week!

  5. Hope everyone had a happy Mother’s Day!
    – Borrowed both electronic and print boos from the library and bought one for $1.50 from the Friends of the Library bookstore to support my borrowing habit
    – Continue to eat all meals at home
    – Gave some extra storage bins that were bought secondhand and used to move across the country to my son for his business
    – Shopped carefully for items needed for our new home and found low cost but acceptable quality versions of what we needed
    Not frugal: my dog had a bad reaction to bee venom after stepping on one so off to the vet and a hefty bill

  6. Wow! What awesome garage sale finds!

    Here are our frugal accomplishments:

    * I took inventory of everything left in the pantry, fridge, and freezer, and reworked our meal plan a bit to use up some more items from the freezer so we won’t need to haul them with us when we move.

    * I cut up a pineapple and froze the pieces for smoothies, since my SO shouldn’t be eating pineapple (due to wisdom teeth removal), but it was a very good price. I have a few bananas and strawberries in the freezer for the smoothies.

    * I made an apple and cranberry chutney (ala BudgetBytes) that’s delicious in oatmeal, plus it used up a bag of cranberries from the freezer.

    * I purchased cards for mother’s day and my dad’s birthday at the Dollar Tree, instead of paying $3 per card elsewhere.

    * I did laundry at my mom’s house, so I got to spend time with her and avoid paying $2.50/load.

    * My mom and I swapped some food items- I gave her some baking chips (and half a bottle of rum, since my SO and I rarely drink), and we got some ham and some sparkling juice in return. She’ll use both for entertaining in the summer, and we got items that we will actually use in return.

    * We got a free item when we ordered takeout (to celebrate my successful thesis defense for my Master’s). I had long ago budgeted for the takeout, but it was nice to get the extra freebie!

    * The spinach seeds that I had gotten for 9c for a packet have given me 8 spinach plants so far! More seedlings are continuing to sprout from my herb and greens starters. I will be asking my family members for extra planters, as I do not want all of these plants to go to waste! In particular, extra spinach and herbs can always be frozen!

    * I started my meal plan for after we move, based on what will be left in the freezer and pantry. I’ve also started plans for restocking the pantry post-move.

    I hope everyone else is having a good week!

  7. After reading several posts about making yogurt , I tried it. Oh my gosh, it is amazing. I used a gallon of marked down organic milk. My stock up item for the week was 40 jars of pickles. Coupons netted me 8.00 cash back for the deal.
    1. Groupon with a coupon bought me my favorite magazine subscription to Cooks Illustrated for 9.00.
    2. Bought a shirt for 1.20 and a Mary Higgins Clark book for 60 cents at thrift store.
    3. Bought lunch for 1.79 , Cooks Illustrated cook book, 6.00 and bakery cookies for 2.33 at Sam’s Club. Enjoyed my mother’s day outing by myself even if it was a strange location.
    Groupon provided us with a 45 day free trial to Hulu.
    4. I bought two bicycles at Wal-Mart for 69.00 a piece. They were marked down from 150.00 a piece. I used Ebates and will be getting 80.00 back from referrals. I had not planned on this purchase but, I have a special need child who can use the exercise. She can’t ride alone so this will benefit both of us. Sometimes I save a lot and other times I might be off budget, but it always balances out. By always being frugal, I can take advantage of good deals when we want something. After dropping my son off at work, I stopped at the salvage store. My lucky day. The Wal-Mart bins were 4 for a dollar. I got 6 Ziplock boxes and 6 lint roller refills. I picked up a total of 36 items . I saved 170.00 , out of pocket, 9.00.
    I also collected about 2 reams of scattered copy paper from the boxes. He lets me have that for free, so baby girl can draw.

  8. I love the Shutterfly books. This is a special gift he will cherish. I stopped at the grocery store earlier today. The Catalina machine was distributing Shutterfly coupons for 20.00 off a purchase. I picked up 5 all together. ( most people seemed to drop them in the trash can ,next to the register ) I will use them for gifts during the year.

  9. Hi to all
    I had a few nights of ordering out – which was ok as I almost never do. So it was a treat. I sold some more things thru a quick last garage sale and donated the rest. Money earned is being split on new house and graduation gift.
    I have not had to grocery shop much since we are using what we have.
    Another not frugal thing was taking my husband shirt shopping – very hard to find for him. Found several at Dillard’s, most were on sale but not all – very expensive!
    All I can think of for now.
    Have a great week everyone!

  10. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Brandy well done on picking up so many things for you family at such a good cost especially the games that were new 😀 .

    This weeks frugal accomplishments are –

    Financial –
    – Banked more money into our saving for our home with cash bank account bringing us to 20.02% of our target.
    – Decided to not go grocery shopping instead spreading our grocery shopping out to 6 weekly. We have found by doing this so far we are reducing our grocery spending even more.

    General Frugalities –
    – Watered the vegetable gardens twice with rainwater from our tanks and watered newly sprouted vegetable seeds as well, instead of using town water. We also reduced watering times when we got rain.
    – Boiled water on top of the slow combustion fireplace to make hot chocolates with and steamed our vegetables on there one night for tea reducing electricity costs.
    – Used our solar lanterns instead of turning mains powered lights on in our home at night.
    – Turned off power points to unused appliances in the home.
    – Did all our washing and hung it on the clothes line to dry apart from one load that didn’t dry that we put on for 30mins to finish drying.
    – Picked strawberries, cherry tomatoes, capsicums, silverbeet and spinach beet from the gardens.
    – Blanched and froze silverbeet and spinach making 2 packets of spinach and 3 packets of silverbeet extra in our freezer for advanced food storage.
    – Washed, diced and froze 21 bags of capsicums from the garden for advanced food storage.
    – Combined multiple errands to save on fuel costs.

  11. Dropped some unwanted books off at our favorite “Little Library” and picked up a book I’ve been wanting to read! We celebrated Mother’s Day cheap this year. Fire in our homemade fire pit, hot dogs and marshmallows for dinner, slept in our tent in the back yard, woke up and hubby made breakfast. It was wonderful! We picked dandelion flowers from our yard and I made dandelion jelly from it. It was surprisingly good but a lot of work! We used up pantry and freezer foods. The freezer needs to be defrosted again so it was a good time for it. The kids needed about $70 worth of unplanned “Stuff” for school this past week so it was really good that the grocery bill was so small for the week.

  12. Maybe the game comes from Canada. Everything here has English and French packaging, since we are officially a bilingual country. Its very good luck for you and your young family friend.

    Some frugal successes over the last couple of weeks:
    Went to two different meetings where a meal was provided. The meetings were both very interesting, which made the week more interesting too.
    Bought five 5 lb chickens directly from a Hutterite colony. They delivered to the Hutterite colony near my town, which I had never visited before. One of the ladies kindly carried the package of chicken out for me, and told me how she makes chicken and rice which was cooking the morning I visited. The whole dining hall had a wonderful smell from the chicken and peppers that were cooking.
    Roasted one of the chickens, and had several meals of leftover roasted chicken. I also used leftover chicken to make chicken tacos, with homemade tortillas and mozzarella cheese, and my own version of chicken and rice, which also resulted in several leftover meals. It was not the least expensive chicken I have bought, but the quality was excellent and it made many meals.
    Stocked up on 12 small cans of chicken and turkey on sale for $1 a can (Cdn) for quick meals and emergency stores, and 4 lb of cheese at half price.
    Made oatmeal cookies, using applesauce instead of butter, since I am nearly out of butter and completely out of oil. The cookies have a pleasant, mild apple taste that goes well with the cinnamon I add to the oatmeal cookie recipe. They are also healthier.
    Started to have oatmeal for breakfast. It is not my favorite breakfast food, but I am liking it more now that I am having it regularly.
    Mended a pair of pants. Wore them with a jacket that was given to me several years ago secondhand, that I’ve never worn. It fits well now and gave me something business-like to wear that didn’t look too wintry.
    Was having trouble finding affordable shorts for summer. Found two pairs of capris at a local discount store in the style of waistband, pockets, and fabric I wanted, at a reasonable price. I will shorten them to the perfect length. We had more snow this morning, so I think I will delay shortening them until it is actually warm enough! I’ve decided to do without “new” shoes, unless I see some at a thrift store next month.
    Spent a couple of days doing a new resume and some editing tests for home-based editing jobs. My goal is to increase my income, so that my budget this year is a little easier.

  13. Happy Mother’s Day everyone.
    This week we did a pretty good job of minding our pennies this week.

    [*] I voted in our provincial election and discovered that our community center has a free book exchange.
    [*] Rendered free pig fat into lard
    [*] Designed and printed a label for a bottle of wine for my mom on Mother’s Day.
    [*] Went shopping in the boxes of stuff I have stored at my mom’s and brought home some canning supplies and household tools.
    [*] Happily accepted a bouquet of flowers from my mom’s garden
    [*] Harvested rhubarb and dandelions from my garden. I made a strawberry and rhubarb cake and a batch of dandelion jelly.

    Have a great week everyone!
    https://hiproofbarn.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/frugal-endeavors-mothers-day/#more-2654

  14. Continued to dig out grass roots & weeds from the planting beds. Emptied the 2 bags of dry leaves that have sat on the garden all winter into the green Rubbermaid tub & used the mini-tiller to grind down the leaves. Buried some in the bottom tier of the garden, & used some as a bottom layer in an open part of the red raspberry bed. Covered the ones in the red raspberry bed with some of the fresh grass clippings from mowing the lawn the day before.

    Removed another western yellow jacket nest in the back yard.

    Sent home youngest daughter with garlic in one pot & onion sets in another, for her little patio garden. Deer should not bother either of those. Separated & reset a small clump of garlic, where it will have more room to grow.

    The strong wind gusts we had over the weekend knocked over the tuteur, so I used my bulb planter to dig 4 deeper holes in which to re-set the posts.

    Planted heirloom corn, radishes, heirloom pole beans, carrots, more onions & beets.

    Harvested a lettuce head on Sunday afternoon & made a salad to go with the chicken & rice casserole.

    Harvested about half of one of the rhubarb crowns (so far). This cutting I sliced, then simmered with a few strawberries from the freezer for color, then strained the juice & will freeze it in the ice tup molds again. This cutting yielded 4+ quarts, so that should be enough for ice cubes for slush. Cut more rhubarb & stewed it into sauce to serve over vanilla ice cream for Mother’s Day.

    Crocheted a pair of black pants, a little grey sweater, a blanket, & a white bonnet for Little Stuff’s doll baby.

    Used the remaining funds on my Home Depot gift card to buy 24 more pavers for the edge of the front bed.

    Cashed a pine cone check.

    Stocked up on lemonade Koolaid while it was on sale. They had regular & pink, but not the strawberry lemonade flavor, which was a bummer, since that is my favorite!

  15. I’m calling this past week the “Wild Week Edition!” It was so crazy busy, but we still managed to save some money along the way. One thing we did was watch 2 nieces and a nephew all weekend. We managed to get everyone everywhere they needed to be, and not eat out very much–just a small thing here or there. (Since 2 of them are extremely special needs, they have very unique eating patterns and we usually get them a thing or two, such as french fries or a soda. Because that is what they are used to at home, it helps them keep calm to stay to routine.) Instead of running through drive-throughs constantly, I took my autistic niece to Winco and let her choose some items she wanted to eat and let my nephew live on bagels pretty much. She chose animal cookies, a Red Delicious apple to go with her constant diet of peanut butter sandwiches (no jam), and a donut. I felt good about the apple–she rarely eats them and she ate a 1/2 of one. We had a great time.

    I got a lot more of my garden planted before it began to pour again. Whew!

    I put the week down on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/saving-money-wild-week-edition-may-14-2017/

  16. Mended a bunch of the husband’s socks—his big toe must have a switch blade hidden in it because I swear he can put on a new pair of socks and the big toe opens up after one wearing!

    Several cotton dresses have gotten shorter as they aged (sort of like me!), so I shortened them enough to use them like tops.

    Found some old lumber to build a flower box for the front porch, instead of buying one. Looks really nice, too.

    Have made soup for five out of seven nights the last week, to use up odds and ends in the freezer. Some nights tasted better than others, but I kept reminding myself I eat to live, not live to eat.

    Traded 10 jars of tomato confit that I had canned last September from my greenhouse tomatoes, for five dozen eggs from a neighbor with chickens. I sort of went overboard on the tomato plants, so ended up with over 40 jars of tomato confit, plus jars of tomatoes for spag sauce and chili, so trading some was a relief since we will be harvesting this summer’s tomatoes so I need to finish off last year’s bounty!

  17. Gorgeous photo! And great garage sale finds!

    My frugal accomplishments:
    – Made yoghurt – extra delicious when I mix in my homemade strawberry jam!
    – Bought a pizza for only $5 on a day when I was too wiped out to cook and made it last for two days. The deal is only available as a walk-in, so I picked it up on my way home from work.
    – I made my mom an Almond Sherry Bundt Cake for mother’s day, and used GOOP to make it! (http://approachingfood.com/goop-a-baking-elixir/) GOOP is a sort of homemade replacement for cooking spray/Pam, except it’s brushed on. A lot of cake-makers swear by it. I like it because it’s homemade (so I know what goes into it – oil, shortening, and flour) and given that I buy all the ingredients in bulk, WAY less expensive than any store-bought cake release spray. For the cake, I followed an Almond Amaretto Bundt cake recipe, but substituted Almond Sherry because that was what I had in the house (a gift from a client many years ago). I love using substitutions to avoid having to buy extra items! My family loved the cake so much, my sister and my dad have already requested it for their respective birthdays!
    – Made burritos to freeze for future lunches, using leftover refried beans and leftover Tex-Mex rice that I had made last week (and then stuck in the freezer)
    – Used the last of the leftover refried beans and leftover Tex-Mex rice to made a modification of Brandy’s taco soup. I stuck two quarts in the freezer for easy meals sometime in the future, and packed the rest for lunches.
    – On my balcony, I planted the sweet potato slips that I grew (and am still growing more). Am hoping for a sweet potato harvest this year! Speaking of gardening, my nasturtiums are sprouting despite the hugely fluctuating temperatures, and my radishes are growing well too. My peppers and eggplants didn’t sprout, and likely won’t as I think I planted them too soon. But am pleased with my radishes and nasturtium sproutlings!
    – I replanted an indoor plant I had that was becoming root-bound. I repurposed some dirt from my lettuce that (again) didn’t grow (likely still too cold) to pot it in a pot I had purchased at a garage sale a few years ago, and put the old pot on my balcony to be used for future vegetable plantings.
    – I covered the single lettuce seed that sprouted with a canning jar cloche. Crossing my fingers that it helps!
    – I was able to take advantage of several Starbucks promotions to turn a $10 Starbucks gift card from Swagbucks into four (half-price) frappuccinos and a free lunch (from rewards points). Made for a treat-filled work week! I drank frapps on my lunch hours, while playing with kittens. Seriously the best part of my day! 
    – Redeemed a Starbucks reward for a free lunch box – TWICE!
    – Made a batch of chocolate profiteroles (filled with vanilla pastry cream and drizzled with white chocolate) to give as my contribution to a potluck. I found a recipe that used less eggs than other recipes, and everything else for the actual profiteroles was from pantry ingredients. They were very well received (everyone thought they were store-bought!) and not very expensive to make.
    – I also gave a bottle of wine as a hostess gift (from my husband’s wine collection – and I think this particular bottle was actually gifted to us) that I placed in a recycled gift bag.
    – I was able to give a bag of gifts to a family I know – I bought some alphabet games for the kids from Amazon using Swagbucks gift certificates, and added in some funky pens and some bath products as well, all from my gift stash.
    – Baked two loaves of potato bread, and froze half of it. I used homemade yoghurt instead of buying buttermilk. I’ll be eating sandwiches for lunch this week. I do love fresh bread!
    – Carpooled with my mom to a garden store, and checked the prices of planters, including the most affordable, plastic. Then ran next door to the dollar store and got (non-tacky) plastic planters for ¼ price. I did buy some good dirt from the garden store to fill my planters with, though! I’ll keep an eye out for sturdier planters at the next church bazaar in my neighbourhood.
    – For mother’s day, the DH and I gave my mum a pair of tickets to the cinema, so that she and my dad can have a date night. We tend not to give big gifts, and this was perfect, as the price was $0! (We got the tickets as a free-with-purchase items at our drugstore several weeks ago). Because I am my mother’s daughter, I told my mum what I paid for the tickets (nothing!) and I think she liked the gift better because of that!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else!

  18. Wow! Talk about a serendipitous find on the game! Even down to the right languages!

    I had a good week here. The new meds the son is on are slowly working, the husband got paid for his first three days of work and I determinedly made up a “war plan” to cut expenses as with the new job we need all the help we can get. It feels good to have a plan, though, I have to admit.

    My list for the week can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2017/05/frugal-friday-money-saving-weekly-recap_13.html

  19. Still haven’t been able to find Alpine strawberries near me. I love the unique color and really want to try them!

    I don’t have much luck finding my size at garage sales. Finding things on clearance at the outlets works much better for me and may be a good idea for anyone else that’s an irregular size.

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales, stockpiling, and using coupons/rebates when possible. I love when products launch because it often means high value coupons. Playtex just released something new and I was able to get 4 boxes of free tampons at Rite Aid. I also found $0.19 V8 drinks, $0.99 laundry soap, and free candy bars. All of my transactions can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-51317/

  20. We are getting 2 eggs/day from our chickens and we were able to get another 45 pounds of produce discards for free from our local grocery! They like me to come in the early morning while they are restocking and will bring me an empty banana box to fill! So that they aren’t slowed down from their restocking by helping me, they just let me go through their bin and choose what I want and fill the box myself! Last time there were some beautiful cauliflower heads (that hubby loved in his snacking container) and this time I got several heads of celery that I chopped up and dehydrated! There were also about 16+ bell peppers- yellow, orange and green ones! Only a couple had soft spots and I cut those out and gave them to the hens while cutting the rest into large chunks and freezing them! The hens also got lettuce, spinach, kale as a supplement to their commercial feed! This saved us a lot because they eat less of the commercial feed as a result!

    We made a Facebook page for our business and posted on some local Facebook selling sites too for our planter boxes and outdoor benches that we build from recycled pallets that we salvage for free! Within 24 hours of posting we had almost $400 in orders that we filled this week! We were able, on our site , to let people pay via PayPal rather than needing cash which made it easier! We are adding Square as a payment option this week too and feel like it will increase our business!

    We also got our checks for working the election which gave us another $297 of extra income!

    I applied for an Amazon Prime Visa to use for our business primarily and they gave us a $70 Amazon gift card! We needed a replacement part for our band saw that cost $2 more on Amazon than anywhere else, but with the gift card– it was free!!!

    I was worn out from a long day of unexpected service that I gave so I was about to order pizza delivery (about $26 after delivery charge and tip)! Instead, I brought up a pint of home canned beef chunks, a pint of home canned black beans, another one of salsa and made up some rice from our food storage. Mixed them all together and with chopped lettuce from our garden and shredded cheese that I had on hand and tortillas from the freezer, I made really delicious and filling beefy burritos! They were gobbled up but because of the amount of filling I made up, I was able to make 5 two-packs of the burritos for grab and go lunches! I feel silly that I almost went with the “easy” option of pizza delivery when I had an “easer” option right at home in my pantry!!

    Was given the embroidered blocks and other materials to piece together and quilt a baby quilt and was given $50 for my labor!

    All this extra income made it possible for us to hire one of our daughters, who is a single mom with two teenagers, so that she could replenish her emergency savings which had take a hit from an ER visit for their cat and some unexpected car repairs! So proud of her self reliance skills and her willingness to work extra jobs to rebuild her savings buffer!!

    I have been picking spinach, lettuces, Swiss chard from our garden as we need it for our salads/meals and love that it stays fresher in the garden until I’m ready for it than if I bought pre cut bags of Spring Mix in the store and have some of it get wilted after a few days!

    We used some of our extra income this week to save for paying 3 people to do some heavy shoveling and dirt moving over the holiday weekend coming up so we can then level and lay our recycled bricks into a new wider walkway in the side yard! Some of our profit went to hubby to buy new tennis shoes and socks and the rest went to pay extra off a hospital bill ( from original $5000 to $350 today!!) we can feel the end in sight on that hospital bill! Then we will roll over all of the extra into our final hospital bill and be totally finished with those!!

    A really great week!!! Well, I better go feed the chickens!!

  21. Molly, I have been wanting to try making cottage cheese. I’m hoping you might be able to answers some questions I have. Have you ever used milk that was starting to spoil to make your cottage cheese? How long can you keep the homemade cottage cheese in the fridge before it goes bad? Can you use skimmed milk to make cottage cheese? I would so appreciate any info you can provide, as I have not been able to find these answers on-line through research!

  22. I’m betting the game you bought was from Canada as all of our products have both French and English printed on them. That game is traveling the world! Glad you were able to find some awesome garage sale deals, including some for your husband this time. As for your produce, it seems so odd to here you getting strawberries and peaches at the same time. Our strawberries in Ontario produce in June and peaches don’t come out until August. So looking forward to both!

    I had another crazy, busy week. So busy I didn’t get a chance to record some of the things I normally do. Oh well. Frugal accomplishments for my family this week included:
    *The 12 week ABA program my daughter has been involved in finally finished on Monday. We celebrated with pizza, for both the teens and the parents, plus the teens enjoyed an ice cream sunday bar as a reward for their hard work. We took home a slice of pizza and 3 little containers of garlic dipping sauce that were left over (they offered my mother a big container of ice cream and she declined…bad grandma!) All the teens were invited to a birthday party this summer for one of the peers in the group. A pool party and reconnecting with these new friends will be a perfect way to spend a day this summer!
    *There were 2 big boxes of “monster cookies” left over from last year in the freezer at work. The lady who organizes ordering food wanted to throw them out, since they had been in the freezer for a few months. However, our maintainance guy was horrified that she would want to throw out perfectly good cookies, so he fetched them from the freezer for staff to snack on. I brought home 8 free cookies to share with my family and there are still plenty left to snack on at work!
    *We attended my daughter’s bowling banquet on Saturday. DH helped with cooking (unpaid, volunteer work), plus my mom & I made the dessert trays, for which we were paid $100. We each won a small gift (a candle, a decorative dish and a garden decoration). DD received a plack and $29 prize money for her efforts this year. Afterwards, my husband made sure to take home some of the leftover food, including 3 heads of romaine lettuce, 2 whole cucumbers, a very large bag of baby carrots (open but nearly full), 3 large jars of Renees Ceasar salad dressing, 4 unopened bags plus 1 opened bag of croutons, a Costco sized bag of bacon bits with only about 1/4 used, a container of cheese cubes and all the remaining treats that were not eaten. What a blessing! We have a Guinea pig that will happily help us eat up the produce before it goes bad. I also plan to blanch and freeze the carrots for future meals.
    *One morning this week, my daughter said she wanted me to buy waffles with groceries for her to have for breakfast. I told her that we had pancakes in the freezer she was welcome to eat, but if she wanted waffles then she should buy me a waffle maker for mother’s day, because I was not buying expensive Eggo waffles! So I got a new waffle maker for Mother’s Day this year.
    *I noticed that gas prices were being hiked up significantly mid-week. So I made a quick trip to Costco to fill up on gas before their price went up, saving me about $0.10/litre!
    *My MIL went to emerg on Friday with stoke like symtoms (she knew what she wanted to say, but couldn’t form the words). They admitted her in quickly and did a CAT scan. Luckily it turned out she had a bladder infection and she was very dehydrated. So they gave her I.V. fluids, then sent her home with an antibiotic prescription, orders to rest for the weekend and an appointment for the stroke clinic (just to reassess and make sure). Only cost out of pocket for her was the cost of the antibiotics. Out of pocket costs for us was dinner out. Since following this blog, I am far more aware of and appreciate how much of a blessing having health care in Canada really is!

    Hope everyone has a great week. It may take me a while to get through all the comments, but I will read them!

  23. Rhonda,

    This is an early variety of peach that has very few chilling hours. I have a mid-chill variety that is ripe in July. There is a high chill type that is ripe in August. I don’t grow high-chill varieties of fruits as we don’t get enough chilling hours for those here.
    The alpine strawberries are ripe whenever it is warm enough (but not too hot). For you in a cooler climate, they would be good all summer long. Regular strawberries (“June-bearing”) types are ripe here in April (In California, too; I grew up buying them in April for my birthday). But in a hotter climate (Florida) they are ripe in February!

  24. I love garage sales and thrift shops! I am still harvesting mulberries and freezing them, but the last of the crop will probably be today. I think I have enough to last me for the winter. I met my cousins and drove a couple of hours and visited my older relatives who are in their 80’s and 90’s. We all enjoyed the visit. I have worked on clearing more bamboo from my back yard. I walked around the neighborhood, in addition to working in the yard, for free exercise. I visited with my three sons and spoke to my daughter by phone on Mother’s Day weekend. My youngest gifted me a crockpot. He said he had hear me say I needed one….I do not remember saying that but it was true! I am excited to cook beans in it this weekend! I cleaned out my closet and rearranged my summer clothes and tried on my swimsuit to make sure it still covered everything respectably…lol. I do not need any clothes for summer, I am happy to say! My $19.95 Total Wireless prepaid flip phone is working out well. My monthly prepaid amount is almost half of what I was paying, and I get good reception on it where I live in the boonies. Phone reception is always an issue where I live. I did not need a phone except for talk and text anyway. I found that I wasted too much time on my phone, when I had my cheap $35 smart phone, which only worked for a year, mainly because I am so rough on phones. I have started just bringing bread and ham at the beginning of the work week to the office refrigerator, and just eating that for lunch all week. It makes my life less complicated to not have to pack a lunch every day. I made a sort of Mexican dish, I used a can of corn, beans, jalapeno peppers, leftover tamales, salsa, a little cheese, and cooked it in oven and topped it with sour cream, or plain yogurt, depending on which container I grabbed. I will eat on that for about three days for supper. I do not like to have to think about what to eat when I get home. I hope the crockpot will help me prepare dried beans every week, so I can eat that at night. I am running no air, even though temps are up to 90. I have stated before that the way my house is situated in a heavily shaded area, and is a modified dogtrot style common in the deep South a century ago, have made it very easy to keep it cool. My power bill has dropped to under $60 a month ( I am all electric) and I usually do not have a bill higher than that even in the middle of the summer, which is unheard of down here. I called my car insurance and was able to get my insurance reduced by $30 a month. I do not have a tv and use the computer at the library, so I do not have to pay for that either. I hope everyone has a great and frugal week!

  25. Wow, great finds this week, especially on those strawberries! I keep waiting for strawberries to go on sale here. I’m hoping to make my own strawberry wine. 🙂

    This week:

    1. I received and am set to get more free meals from my employer during work travel. I’m also set to get a few nice checks for mileage reimbursements, so no complaints there. 🙂

    2. I mended a few of Mr. Picky Pincher’s shirts.

    3. We’ve been much better about our menu and about cooking at home this week, which means we’re saving moolah. 🙂

    4. I turned some dry white meat chicken into chicken salad and it’s delicious!

  26. I so enjoy reading everyone’s updates! We had a pretty frugal last couple of weeks. We did our grocery shopping and restocked our pantry and freezers to capacity. Complicated story, but my car will be paid off in 3 more payments (we bought it last April, so I am pretty happy about that), and at that point we plan to accelerate our mortgage payments. We origianlly took out a 20 year note, but plan to have it paid off in 17 years. So we are trying to keep everything at home completely stocked up in preparation for having less expendable money when we are making bigger payments. We also found out that my husband’s company will no longer pay for fuel, but will pay mileage instead, so we need to adjust our budget to compensate for that. Not a big expense, but still something we need to account for.

    I brought home a loaf of free sandwich bread from work (left over from a luncheon). Bought a brisket on markdown and used half for corned beef (cooking today in the slow cooker for sandwiches this evening), and half was slow cooker tacos. Most meals were at home, although we did pick up a pizza last Saturday night as a treat.

  27. I earned $50 from Swagbucks, with which I bought a Paypal card and then downloaded the money from Paypal to my bank account.
    I made an apron for a grandchild from a dish towel I bought at an outlet store.
    I marinated some grass-fed beef with homemade marinade — it’s cheaper, easy, and no weird ingredients.
    I’m going to slow cook a pork roast with homemade barbecue sauce, and will use dry beans to make slow-cooked baked beans to go with it. Two crockpots may not sound frugal, but I use them both a lot.
    I replaced another blown bulb with an LED bulb.
    I sewed bread bags from an old pillowcase.

  28. Hi all – recovery from surgery has been very easy other than the annoyance of a 5 pound weight limit and getting tired far too easily. I discovered very quickly that pruning my grape vines takes alot more stomach muscles than I thought it would so that chore is going to have to wait!
    * I planted lettuces, New Zealand spinach and peas in the garden. I built 2 new trellis’ for the cukes, peas and summer squash plants to climb on using 1/2 inch PVC pipes we had and rope I already had (these can also be covered in plastic and be used as greenhouses) I painted an antique chair with left over paint and it will be a planter. I fixed a window box and attached to my chicken coop to pretty things up a bit. I greased up all the window cranks in the chicken coop (they are vintage trailer windows) so they can open and close easily again. I also painted the back side of my duck coop with some very old leftover paint and did some much needed repairs and put leftover shingles on it. I need more paint in order to get that coop + the chicken coop all taken care of so I am watching Craigslist for some free exterior paint. I have several perennials that I need to split and move to an area where the Danes don’t have their race track. I think we lost all our strawberries, mulberries, grapes and apples to heavy frost last week but since I still have so many berries in the freezer that I haven’t gotten around to making jam with, I’m not too upset. The trees and plants are fine – the blossoms just got hit. I also made plant markers out of leftover paint sticks – I painted them with bright colors and then clear coated them so they’ll last for at least this season – I am hoping longer. I took a rusted bathroom shelf that had been on the wall behind the toilet in the master bath and hung it in my shed. It is now holding all of the winter heated bowls, extra feed dishes and chick starter supplies. I am hoping to get a rabbit or two and some quail again soon so I am hanging onto some of the supplies needed.
    *I sold quite a few little things to have money to go out to the huge greenhouse and out to lunch with my mom and sister in a couple weeks. It isn’t much but I am really looking forward to it!
    *I trimmed my long hair again – the ends were getting really ratty and it wasn’t getting better with paint in it hehe OOPS!
    *For Mother’s Day, we needed to bring dessert so we bought a huge cheese cake at the discount grocers and I made a raspberry sauce from berries I had in the freezer.
    *We have stayed out of the big grocery store and have tried to only shop at the discount grocers and only for things we were out of. Almost all of our meals have been at home – they haven’t been very creative but at least we aren’t spending $20-$30 eating out!
    *For sewing projects: I put elastic in 3 pairs of jeans, recovered a chair cushion to match the new room colors and started on taking in a sweater and shirt that I love, but they are now too big. I still have to get to the 2nd roman shade for our master bedroom as well – i have all the supplies – just have to find the motivation to do it 🙂

    Hope you all are having a great week – Did any of you get hit by the massive hail storm???

  29. I’m having some trouble with how things are showing up on my computer for this blog, so I’m not sure where this comment will show up. Hopefully it works. Anyway, I wanted to say in response to Jo’s comment, that I also have 2 Crock Pots and an Instant Pot (new from a Christmas gift) and I have had many times when I have 2 or more going at once. It gets me a lot of food cooked up so I can grab and warm up on nights when I work. Or, the rest of the family can easily do that, too, if I’m gone. I think any way I can get food on the table, vs. going through a drive-up, is frugal, and a success! So, when a friend offered me yet another Crock Pot last spring, I gratefully accepted even though I had 2 already. Since then, one of those has broken and I’m back down to 2. So, I’m glad I took it. I’m still figuring out the Instant Pot, but have a few things I’ve made and they’ve turned out well.

    Today, I have a pork roast in there, cooking in an apple juice/honey mixture with an onion and salt and pepper. I’ve never tried it this way before, but it sounded good, and will be cooked when I finally make it home around 7 tonight.

  30. I haven’t posted in a few months and I am hoping to start posting more regularly…it helps keep me accountable when I am weekly recording what I did to save money. Here’s my list for the past two weeks:
    *had a garage sale during our community sales. I sold a boat-load of things and put all my earnings towards paying for Family Camp over the July Fourth Holiday
    *have a free daily bagel from Panera during the month of May. Have been redeeming this daily
    *paid all bills online
    *combined errands when I did leave the house
    *my parents babysat for us two times
    *cut toothpaste tube in half to get a few more ‘brushings’ out
    *completed some Pinecone surverys
    *free samples in the mail
    *free BHG, Family Fun and Parents mags in the mail
    *cooked most meals at home
    *continued to eat down the freezers…I am now starting to put away food from our 2017 Season. Rhubarb is ready here!! I cut some rhubarb from my parents plant to use and freeze. I also have two plants that will be ready very soon.
    *bought a bag of 6 pairs of shoes on a FB group for $10. I knew the woman selling them-so know they were from a clean home. All the shoes were very gently used (some look new) and both of my daughters can wear the shoes
    *stopped at some garage sales. At one sale, found many clothing items for both of my girls. Everything at that sale was reasonably priced- most clothes were $0.50-$2.00 /each. At another g. sale, I found soccer cleats and shin guards for one of my daughters-both in excellent condition and $2/each. I am very happy garage sale season is here in Ohio!
    *while at Barnes and Noble, I found a 50% off bin. Bought some beautiful note cards for myself and for my mom for Mother’s Day. Also picked up a few stocking stuffers for Christmas.
    *my husband fixed our dishwasher using items we already had. Saving the cost of parts and labor.
    *turned heat/air off-this is going on 2 weeks -the next electric bill should reflect this savings
    *we are selling a rental property we have and some windows needed replaced. The seal broke btw the double panes of glass. When we called the company, found the windows were under life-time warranty! We ordered the new windows and my husband will do this repair himself. Totally free expect his time. We close next Friday on this house.
    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments. Have a wonderful week!

  31. Hi Brandy:

    Inspired by your beautiful embroidery posts, I hand embroidered a pillow for my Mom for Mother’s Day. I’ve never embroidered before but I was pleased with how it came out: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2017/05/embroidered-pillow-for-mothers-day/. Our lettuce is ready to harvest from the garden. Our peas are doing well. My girlfriend brought me a rhubarb plant as well as some cut stalks from her own garden. My cole crops such as celery, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage are flourishing. Tomorrow is the military appreciation day at my local nursery. I’m going to buy tomato plants and roses (in PA, we wait until Mother’s Day before planting tomatoes. My other goals include finishing some sewing and mending projects.

    Additionally, I taught at my children’s school Art’s day today. We made hummus from scratch for all 4 first grade classes. I bought most of my ingredients cheaply at Aldi and the presenters were treated to a lovely lunch by the PTO. It was so great to see children tasting and creating foods. Teaching young children food appreciation and cooking is one of my passions. Have a good week!

  32. What a beautiful flower! We are still in spring here with tulips and daffodils. Those 100+ bulbs my daughter found that were being thrown away have come up just lovely…some of them are ruffled yellow with red splashes. The flowering trees and bushes are abloom…the forsythia, lilac, crab. The bleeding hearts are open too.

    I haven’t had a chance to post since the beginning of April. Time just speeds by.

    The blog configuration seems to have gone off, as it did a couple weeks ago. Not sure how this post will end up, or where, so will wait til it comes through and the blog goes back on track before I finish. In the meantime, I’ll go back and read everyone else’s posts.

  33. I don’t understand these Shutterfly coupons I get, and the notices of free gifts with Shutterfly that come from Joann’s. Not sure what to do with them and how are they giving us free books etc? Do we have to give them all kinds of our information? I suppose they want credit card information for the shipping?

  34. Brandy- good job on the garage sale finds!
    My week went well. I picked up two packages of fresh mushrooms at the grocer for $1.50 and dehydrated them to use later in soups, stews and spaghetti. I hosted a birthday dinner using only items I already had in the pantry and freezer. I hosted Mother’s Day brunch for my mom and two sisters and their spouses. I served strawberry waffles and bacon, juice and coffee. Everyone enjoyed it.
    My kids were very generous to me for Mother’s Day. My son gave me a thyme plant and 3 magazine subscriptions. The new subscriptions will save me a ton of money because one of my weaknesses is to buy home/garden magazines at the check-out counter.
    My daughter bought me a very nice quality pruner which I will put to good use in my gardening activities. My grandson gave me a big bag of M & M candies and a glass bottle of Coke as he knows those are Grammy’s favorite treats. Very generous!
    I actually bought 3 Christmas presents. I found Lego/Duplo sets on sale at WalMart for $2 so I picked up two for one of my nephews for Christmas. I also found these awesome rubberband Hot Wheel cars for $10 each (regularly $20) so I picked up two of those as well and marked off two more nephews. The cars may not seem like much of a bargain but I like to encourage the kids to play with something other than electronics and these cars are see through plastic and you have to wind up the rubberbands to make the car go- they also come with lots of extra rubberbands so I think it will be a toy that will last and can be passed down to younger siblings.

  35. On a recent trip to the thrift store, I looked in a section I had previously skipped by. I found a package of cards, about 20, for $1.79. I could easily see they were a mix of birthday and thank-you cards. Turns out some of the cards were blank, too.

  36. Yes, you need to give them credit card info for the shipping. And the shipping isn’t exactly cheap. But without the coupon, the photo book costs $29 — with the coupon I think I paid $8 shipping. And they are very nice hardcover books.

  37. So inspired by everyone’s efforts- it really helps me on tired days!
    – Sadly we had to put down our beloved 8.5year old dog. She has a sarcoma (cancer) in her jaw and the only cure was to remove half her jaw and then do radiation. Beyond the cost, it just didn’t seem fair to put her through that since she was already an “old” 8 year old with other health issues. It was so sad saying goodbye to her, but at least she isn’t in pain. The next day, a dear friend of mine delivered 25 week old twins who are in the NICU. It really put my sadness about the dog into perspective. Besides praying constantly for the little ones, I am so very grateful for the health of my two children.
    – for Mother’s Day I made two height measurement “rulers” out of 2×8 in 6 ft boards, walnut stain, and a paint pen. They came out fantastic! I gave one to my mom to mark her grandkids heights and one to my sister in law.
    – menu planned to avoid eating out
    – made 6 loaves of banana bread for our daycare teachers to say thanks for Teacher Appreciation Day. Also gave a little Amazon GC to each.
    – the girl who watches our kids one day a week just gave her notice. We’ll be so sad to see her go- she’s fantastic with the kids plus that’s one day a week j don’t have to rush everyone out in the AM. I think we’ll add a day at daycare because it’s less costly. These frugal accomplishment posts will hopefully keep my resolve to stick with daycare up, as it’s awfully hard for me to get everything done with work and studying to boot!
    – continued to use cloth diapers and pack lunches for everyone
    – stopped by a thrift store and bought a pair of work pants for $4 and 10 books for the kids for around 8. I gave my son some of the books now but I purposely bought 4 Christmas stories. I heard this lovely tradition of having 25 Christmas/winter themed books and wrapping them up. Then each day in Decemebrr you open one and read it. The next year, you reuse the same! I hate the idea of wasting the wrapping paper though. Maybe the kids wouldn’t notice if it was newspaper?
    – filled out a survey for some extra cash. Promptly spent that on a couple of sun shirts and hats for my son.
    – tried to remember to “hypermile” and be gentle on accelerator and brake when I drive. It’s hard to do for an impatient person like me!

  38. What a lovely photo! I was hoping for another update on your French visitor, sounds like it was a good visit and the going home present was a big hit 😉

    I wasn’t going to post this week since my savings weren’t very inspiring but then decided that is the nature of life sometimes. We had a quiet week, my husband had surgery Weds, it went fine but he has been resting a lot in the past week to recover. We ate all but one meal at home. This is week number two of only spending $25 per week on groceries and I have met the goal both weeks! Yeah! The freezer is getting emptier and I am finding it easier to avoid the grocery store sales. Hope everyone has a nice week and good weather!

  39. I stayed home a bit more this week and weekend than last. I did go to the street fair to walk around on Saturday, but did not buy anything. Then took myself to lunch (with a coupon) and to a matinee movie. Brought in my water bottle. Movies are expensive!!! I know now why I rarely go. I can’t imagine taking a family! I went to a painting class at a local bar. Great fun. I prefer it when it’s at someone’s house, but once a month or so it isn’t bad. I have my wine club tomorrow night.
    The 911 Memorial flag was displayed at our VFW post. If it comes to your town, go see it; it is an amazing and moving experience. Picked up the flag caretaker’s dinner/bar tab.
    I am still cleaning out the freezers. This week is lots of random single servings with side dishes from the pantry and freezer: Chicken parmesan, chicken alfredo, freezer burritos, fried shrimp, fried fish, chicken cordon bleu, Swedish meatballs, gumbo, and ravioli. Spent $14 on groceries – I needed milk, heavy cream, sour cream, salad (I was BOGO), and fruit to round out the meals. I will provide bananas for our end of year ice cream social.
    Expenses this week were high, but largely expected: dog food, ac filters, salt for water softener, new mattress pad, bona refill container (the gasket broke on the old one). I did have a couple of splurges (a $7 dress and 2 replacement essential oils) and two home improvement items (stair paint and an interior dog gate; I will do both projects next weekend). I have been using primal pit paste. It works great, but is really pricey for such a small jar, so I found a recipe and ordered the materials to make my own. For about the cost of 2 jars, I got enough to probably make 20, plus reusable roll-on containers to make applying easier.
    I fixed by dripping kitchen faucet, did the mending, and sewed a sample cover for my bona mop with fabric from my stash. The Velcro just isn’t cutting it, as I use the mop more than I think it is intended (old paralyzed dog ). Hopefully, these slip on covers will do the job.
    I broke my work coffee mug this morning. I have used the same mug for 15 years. I will have to start hunting for a new one, once I’m over my trauma .
    I am thinking of painting my worn laminate flooring. I have been happy with the floor. It had a 5-year warranty and we’re coming up on 10 years(!) with 5 very large dogs including the end years for 2 of them. Replacement isn’t in the budget right now, so I’m looking for an inexpensive fix. I figure I can replace the damaged pieces with the spares from the attic and, if I paint it, the fade and wear difference won’t be noticeable. I expect the paint will also provide an extra bit of protection from the old dog and the repeated mopping.
    Has anyone done this? Am I nuts to try?

  40. Hi, Becky.
    My daughter has a crock pot and an instant pot, and she said what she’s seen so far is that the crock pot yields more tender meat when slow cooking. She was cooking for a crowd and used both simultaneously to slow cook the main dish. But she adores the instant pot for the fast cooking.
    I remembered after I posted that I actually have three crock pots, because I have an old big one missing its lid, but I still use it for larger items. I set one of those silicon lids on it and it works just fine. I’m using it today, in fact. I figure it’s going to die on me before too long, because it’s so old.

  41. In my experience, the ‘free’ books are smaller and have fewer features then most of what they sell. The free ones are nice, but there’s certainly room to ‘upgrade’ to something else for money.

  42. I haven’t done it myself, but have seen blog posts where they painted vinyl flooring and it looked great. I’m not sure about laminate though. I wonder if the wetness of the paint would cause warping of the laminate.

  43. Like everyone else, I have been finding this month super busy!
    I am just looking out the window at my garden and I see that I have rhubarb waiting to be harvested. Very exciting – although I sometimes find it a challenge to use it all up. I still have a bit in my freezer from last year.
    I tried the refried bean recipe Margaret suggested last post and it worked wonderfully. Thank you Margaret!
    The garden planning is in full swing here, I always try to plant on or just after the Canadian Victoria Day Weekend.
    Some of our adventures so far this month have been posted here:
    http://www.lifefreedomfamily.com/2017/05/great-grocery-project-mid-may-update.html

  44. We are “refinancing” some of our credit card debt. Our camp payments are due (it’s our summer child care since we are both back to full time work). Though we have cash accumulated we are using our lower interest cards to pay it, and instead are using the cash to pay down our higher interest cards. For $1000 in expenses it will save us at least $100.
    Preteen complained about facial wash I picked out. Reminded her soap is soap and she can use it for a body wash in the shower.
    We are cooking more at home now which is good. Looking forward to the end of the school year so we can have a restful summer.
    Looking forward to a quiet Saturday where I can bless my favorite vendors at the farmers market and get my heirloom plants. I learned the hard way this year my seeds are no longer viable. 🙁

  45. Yup! I’m fascinated about the idea of using milk that has spoiled to make cottage cheese, as my mother has mentioned my grandmother used to do this (though she doesn’t know how). I see short dated milk all the time on discount. Cottage cheese is such a great way to use it up without waste. But everything I have read, they are always using fresh whole or 2% milk, then curdling it with vinegar or lemon juice. Nothing is mentioned about using skimmed milk, which is what I buy. They also don’t tell you how long it will last in the fridge. Since the batch would be relatively large, I want to know how long it can be kept in the fridge before it needs to be used up. That way when I play with the recipe, I can figure out how big of a batch it makes and whether we can use it up quickly enough with our needs before it is no longer safe to eat. So many questions, so few answers…but I’m determined to find out!

  46. I think you would get good results painting the laminate floor. There are tons of articles on the internet about it, so it is definitely something people do. The paint probably would need a good sealer on it, though, to withstand elderly dogs.

    My sister-in-law painted the living room floor in her trailer home years ago. It looked nice and held up for all the years she lived there.

  47. I have 2 crockpots also, plus a mini one that came as a bonus with one of the large ones. We use that for hot dips. We also sometimes use a nesco roaster that we borrow from church (church has 8 of them). They get a lot of use during graduation season, picnics, holidays, birthdays…any celebration. I like that I can set them out in the garage kitchen or even in the breezeway to cook since I don’t have to keep eye on them. We use them more as an extension of cooking capability as when the ovens and stove top are occupied with other items. But in the summer I am more likely to use them to cook something like baked beans rather than use the oven.

  48. Melissa, glad to hear your recovery is going well. No we did not get hail. Thunderstorms and lots of rain, another big one last night.

    Did you succeed in screening your chickens from the neighbors??

  49. Cara, how do you get the free bagels? We’ve had a Panera bread for a few months now but have never been there.

  50. Instead of going out to eat for Mother’s Day, we had a Little Caesar’s pizza for lunch. For supper, when Daughters were coming, steak was on the menu — but I got beef chunks instead (saving more than $1/pound, even on the sale price), marinated them in teriyaki sauce and used them, along with vegetables, in shishkebobs. Delicious.

    You’ve been a real inspiration for me — I’ve started cataloguing my own “Frugal Hits and Misses” reports. Here’s April’s version:
    http://cindybrick.blogspot.com/2017/05/frugal-hits-and-misses-april-report.html

  51. Jennifer. Years ago we moved into a fixer house. It had hideous counter top in the utility room plus an ugly floor. My husband sanded them and I painted and stensiled them. We put 3 coats of satin polyurethane on top. 8 years later when we could finally afford to tile the floor and countertop still looked good.

  52. Yay! Glad the refried bean recipe worked out for you! 🙂 And am totes jelly of your rhubarb! I love stewed rhubarb for dessert or stirred into yoghurt; strawberry rhubarb pie, rhubarb jam, rhubarb coffee cake, rhubarb lemonade…I could go on! When I was a kid I would pick rhubarb, stick the end in sugar and eat it raw. Deliciously sweet and sour! 🙂

  53. The money I had set aside for bushes had to pay for a car part and to help buy my daughter some new scrubs for her new job 🙁 So, no, I haven’t managed that yet. They haven’t started building behind us – yet – but I am putting a call in to the township to find out if the project is still going ahead. I did pretty up that whole side of the yard and I found out that 20 year old paint that has never been opened (we had big intentions of painting the whole house’s aluminum siding when we moved in) but stored in an unheated garage takes ALOT of mixing and doesn’t give a very smooth finish but it worked PERFECT on my coops 🙂 Now I just need to get my annuals planted in the pots and window boxes to give it a more finished look.

  54. Hello everybody, here I am writing down some of my frugal accomplishments. I dont write every week because it takes a lot of effort to write in English but I read your comments every week. Right now I have a cake in the oven to take to a birthday this evening, and rolls are ready to go in the oven for hamburger buns.
    Last week I made myself a T-shirt and a blouse, I finished a pair of socks for an Armenish women I know from the vegetable garden complex. I did a shifft in the sportskantine in our village (volunteer work) an wil do so almost every weekend during the summer months.
    It is a nice way of getting involved in the community.
    I fixed a hole in jeans for an acquaintence, but our young dog decided to chew in another very large whole in the same jeans. We have a good insurance so he could buy a new pair of jeans, paid for by the insurance.
    I sowed lots of stuff in my vegetablegarden, now all we need is the temperature to rise.
    Made soup the other week using a oxtail: it was very good.
    I ordered a lot of organic food and flour at a wholesaler, we know somebody that ownes a company in all sustainable technicks so they can order there for low prices and let us order on there account.
    We always line dry our washings, always eat home cooked meals and do almost everything by bike. (shopping, going to work, kids going to school)
    Have a good weekend everyone!!!

  55. Hi Molly,
    I was wondering how long your homemade mayonnaise stay safe? I’ve always wanted to make some but can’t find this information. This would be for my husband and myself so it would need to last a good while. Thanks for any tips you can share.

  56. You can sign up for their rewards program on their website. Once you register, they send you a free cinnamon roll offer. We have never bought anything there and have still gotten the free daily bagel offer several times each year!

  57. Elizabeth M…(hope you see this…would not attach to your post) How nice you were able to visit the Hutterites. They are a “sister” denomination to ours, though we do not do the communal living as they do. If you are interested there is a good book published by Herald Press called THE HUTTERITE DIARIES by Linda Maendel (sp?).

  58. Lillianna Pickles, what a nice purchase of the two bicycles. I hope you and your daughter have many enjoyable rides for fun and for fitness.

  59. Jess, what a fun backyard Mother’s Day.

    Yes, have made dandelion jelly. Yes, it is a lot of work. I used to make it when the children were younger and all at home as it is a good project for them to go out and pick the blossoms. I think we last made it 3 years ago when several of the children were home at the same time. My husband’s mother is the one who taught me to make it. She had 8 children. So my husband does ask for it once in awhile but someone else has to gather the blossoms for me.

  60. beautiful flower photo by Brandy, what is it I wonder? nice to see Tanja writing in, the reminder of oxtails made my mouth water, my mom used to cook them, SO delicious … I will watch to see if some become available and try my hand at cooking them. What an ambitious group of writers here, lots of different ideas too! ann lee s

  61. I didn’t buy much of anything but found the cheese I love so much was on sale for a third of the price but “at this location only”. I put several packages in the freezer. I obtained a free library card and am discovering it has so many uses. For example, I can go online and read reviews in Consumer Reports.

    I sold my historic bricks to someone who needs them to restore his flood-damaged house. Not making a profit but feeling good about helping someone restore his beautiful flood damaged home.

    I borrowed my neighbour’s long-handled pruning sheers and trimmed the overhanging branches so the brick pick-up truck can make it up the driveway. When I returned the beautiful sheers, my neighbour gave me an old pair (not as nice as theirs but still a great gift).
    I didn’t have to hire someone to prune.

    Love your bargains!

  62. What a great week!
    -spent a total of $14.15 on groceries for the week (normal spend is $120 Australian dollars per week)
    -went to a free local event ‘teddy bears picnic’ by the ocean. It included rides, petting zoo, take home craft, a tomato plant, water bottles and a beautiful fairy stage show. We packed a picnic and took teddy
    -went to the park by the beach for mothers day and walked along the pier, very relaxing
    -hanging washing inside while it’s pouring rain
    -didn’t have to put fuel in our car, we do this around mid month, every month. It should last another 2 weeks
    -picking an abundance of riberries off our Lilly pilly’s to eat and use in cooking (ice cream, Popsicles, jelly, pancakes, jam). Freezing lots.
    -sold a wooden toy box for $60 on our equivalent of Craigslist (gumtree) which we got for free several years ago
    -borrowed two DVD’S from the library that I have really wanted to watch…we don’t have Netflix or cable or any subscription service nor do we have Internet or a computer.

  63. I love that it is so easy to use that other members of the family can use it too. It is also saving me from slaving over a hot griddle making massive amounts for the freezer! We’ve been mixing up one batch of waffle mix, then keeping leftover batter in the fridge for the next day. Fresh waffles in about a minute makes for a delicious but fast breakfast item and topped with some fruit to make it a bit healthier.:D

  64. Hi everyone,
    It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve checked in here.
    -Gifts: Mother’s day- we coordinated to go in with our siblings and spent $30 Birthdays- hubby, I got bluetooth headphones on a lightening deal $15, oldest son- got clearance skates $27, a $3 dress shirt, and $1 external battery charger. Graduations- I have used the XL twin sheets ($5) and single brew coffee makers ($7) I had in my gift stash. Wedding shower- gave an electric skillet I had in the gift stash ($15.)
    -Cut both boys hair and groomed the dog. Saved $95
    -Ate in for every meal but one. We went on a lunch date since the kids will be home for the summer soon.
    -I went to a meeting at work and suggested a way to make my job more proactive and networked a lot- job security.
    -Saved $400 in the “pay off the mortgage” fund! I put that savings on auto transfer for the rest of the year.
    -garage sale: found a digital camera for youngest for his bday $2, got a brand new pair of shoes for myself for $2.
    -Planted a garden. I have a small area that was unused, so I started small. 4 tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, snap peas and lettuce.

  65. We came in under budget of the things we had to buy. Waited until Menard’s had their 11%rebate .Have about 30 different types of seeds and some plants to still put in garden. Eating from the pantry…taking in clothes as Hubby has lost enough weight that his pants are too big.
    I Brought some peonies in for the house but had to take them back out due to the ants that I couldn’t get off them. IF anyone has a suggestion how to deal with that let me know.
    A friend was bragging about how frugal they were being and I started playing 20 questions of “how do you save buying groceries? Clothes etc” then she realized they weren’t bring frugal and told me about some repairs they had to do because they hadn’t been maintaining their home…

    More here http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/05/being-frugal-may-19-2017.html

  66. great idea to save the batter. My family of all things will not eat fresh waffles (except my husband) all the rest want those stupid expensive chemical filled Eggos. Sometimes my grandson who is five will want a fresh one and sometimes my son will eat a fresh one but who ever heard of Eggos over homemade waffles??

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