Katy Apricot Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

Katy Apricot blossoms

We had the most beautiful weather here last week: highs in the 70’s (22-24ºC). It’s been a joy to work outside in this weather!

The beautiful spring weather meant I was able to turn off the heat and open the windows. 

Radish Seedlings The Prudent Homemaker

Radish and spinach seedlings

If I were to sum up our goals for this year in one word, it would be “repair.”  We have a lot of repair projects to take care of this year, and we are working on many of them this month.

Painted Sundial The Prudent Homemaker

My sundial was one of these projects. The children had knocked it down and it broke, and was bent in one place. My husband and his brother mended it. Then, as it had become rusty, I removed the rust with a wire brush, and my husband painted the base with Rustoleum (Dark Bronze). I love the faux aged copper green it was originally painted, but that wasn’t a paint color choice, so I chose another color instead (the top is still the original color).

As part of the home repair Boy Scout merit badge, my boys need to repair/maintain a tool. Ezrom sanded the handles on a large pair of pruning shears. He then oiled the wood handles with linseed oil. I also used the oil to oil the handle on a push broom and on a small shovel.

A neighbor was throwing out two flower pots, full of potting soil. I knocked to make sure she really didn’t want them, and I was able to take home the pots to use the potting soil. 

Potted Pineapple Guava The Prudent Homemaker

Potted euyonomus, pineapple guava, and French Lavender in front of lemongrass

I potted my pineapple guava bushes using this soil, along with a bit more bagged soil that I had.

I trimmed the bottom branches of my bushes that were touching the soil and brought them in to enjoy in the house for some greenery.

Rose and Blackberry Cuttings The Prudent Homemaker

I took cuttings from rose bushes, blackberry bushes, and my pomegrante trees to start new plants. If they all take, I’ll have 8 new rose bushes and 12 new blackberry bushes, and a few new pomegranate trees.

I used a $10 off coupon for our local nursery towards my purchase of manure for the garden. 

I sowed seeds for chives and nasturiums in the garden. The nasturium seeds are ones I collected from our garden last year. I planted the nasturium seeds in the bases of all my potted fruit trees, including the pineapple guava.

I planted seeds for blue larkspur and for Bells of Ireland in the center circle around my sundial, after planting the new roses that I ordered 20% off last month and the pansies that I purchased on sale earlier this month. These should fill in the area nicely. (It will take the roses a couple of years to be large enough to fill the circle.)

I cut Swiss chard and beet greens from the garden.

Summer Snowdrop The Prudent Homemaker

Summer Snowflake, Leucojum aestivum

I picked lemons from the garden.

After reading Marivene’s comments last week about dehydrated lemon slices, I decided to dry some lemons too. I dried lemons, and juiced the ends. I froze the juice in ice cube trays to use later.

I made yogurt in my crockpot.

Winter turned on some music for the family from Freegal. The library allows 3 hours of free music streaming a day per patron from Freegal. For Lunar New Year, she turned on some Chinese music, made Chinese food for us, and made fortune cookies.

The children used Typing.com to practive their typing skills. It is a free online program that teaches typing.

I purchased broccoli crowns on sale for $0.88 a pound, bananas for $0.59 a pound, and milk for $2.49 a gallon. I’ll bury the banana peels in the garden.

My husband and I enjoyed a date night out using a gift card that we received for Christmas.

The boys carpooled on the way to a merit badge activity.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  1. I am so happy for you and the beautiful weather. Here in New York, we had the coldest few days since 1964 (?) Crazy. It went to negative 28 Celsius degrees today. I literally have not left the house since Friday.

    I called my dad (as I do almost every day) back in Poland and was thrilled to hear that it is much, much warmer there. I truly do prefer that it is cold here than back home. I can handle everything and always worry about my elderly dad..

    I had a good, frugal week although I did purchase a couple of work lunches.
    My weekly update is here: http://www.simpleisgoodforyou.com/frugal-accomplishments-ways-saved-money-2/

    Again, thank you for letting us link up, Brandy.
    Wishing everyone a great week!

  2. Brandy, I have a question for you. The pots you got from your neighbor had potting soil in it that you basically reused. I thought potting soil could become “exhausted” after a season or two and couldn’t be reused indefinitely. Do you know anything about that?

  3. I encouraged my two girls when they were in school to take typing. I’m so glad i’m pushed them it is so useful in everything they do now. I’m glad you found a place to learn for free.

    We have been looking for lower insurance rates and we were able to save $400 a year. Really helps to call around! I listed the rest of my frugal accomplishments here;

  4. I always use the same dirt in the garden 🙂 and add to it when it gets low. I don’t repot my potted trees every couple of years 😀 I will top dress them with manure and add fertilizer. I added fertilizer and soil sulphur to these plants as well as some great bagged soil that I had (layering it all in).

    That’s my take on it, anyhow!

  5. Thank you for the typing link! I just put a note in my planner over the weekend to look for a free resource for my kids to use to learn to type. 😀

  6. I am longing for spring! Right now we are in a weird cold snap – temps around 7 degrees right now, but in the upper 50s on Wednesday! I long for consistent warm & comfy weather so I can get out in my gardens. We have been saving banana peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds to put in our garden. We also made arrangements with a neighbor to pick up their rabbit & chicken manure in a few weeks. We will get enough for all of the garden beds, and possibly for the area where the grapes are going to be planted, so we will only need to purchase manure/compost for a small area of the garden.

  7. That springtime weather sounds wonderful. We have had lots of rain here, but thankfully it’s not too cold.

    I had a great frugal find this week. My bike was stolen a few months ago. Today I was at Fred Meyer, and I saw a few bikes leftover from Christmas that had been marked down and were 60% off the clearance price. There was one just the right size for me. I paid $70 for a Schwinn that was originally $180. I even managed to fit it in my car (Honda Civic) with one side of the handlebar sticking out of a side window (I was lucky it wasn’t raining on the drive home). I am so happy to have a bike again! I’ll have to wait a few months to ride it, but it will be worth it. 🙂

    An acquaintance shared sourdough starter with me. I have been feeding it and have already made pancakes and pizza crust. Yum!

    My tulips and daffodils I planted in pots last year are starting to sprout. I fertilized them and still need to top them off with compost.

    I collected eggshells for the garden. I bought seeds on sale, buy two get one free. I also purchased some sprouting seeds online.

    I found a new Azure Standard drop point (the one I used closed a couple months ago). I placed and picked up my first order there. It’s not as close by as the previous one, but it will work.

    Have a good week, everyone.

  8. I took advantage of going to the hospital affiliated with work and got a discount. Combined with my awesome national insurance it cost less than $100 USD to see a specialist and to have a biopsy. Luckily the results were good so I don’t have to go back for 6 months!
    I’ve been conscious of using what’s in my freezer and pantry. I made cannelloni, sweet & sour tofu, meatloaf, and blueberry pancakes with what I had on hand.
    I also worked on using up things that were close to expiring. I used all the various rice and barley I had.
    I’ve been having a neighbor boy come over after school and helping my son. I use free online resources for the activities. He helps my son study the alphabet and numbers using dollar store workbooks.
    We made Valentine’s gifts using free online sources and leftover Halloween candy.
    We were able to go ice skating again at a local rink. We have our own skates and save on rentals.
    I hung the laundry to dry. I have to as we don’t have a dryer. 😀

  9. I transplanted some self-seeded gazania plants growing in random places in the backyard to fill in some bare spots in a flower bed in the front garden, thus eliminating the need to buy new plants.

    I received the gift of several free aloe plants from a friend; they were also planted in the front garden.

    We have had record-breaking heat (temps. in the upper 80s and low 90s!) this past week, so, heater was turned off and windows opened.

    Ate mostly from the pantry and freezer.

    Air dried laundry.

    Saved the “heating up” water to use to water some of the plants.

  10. Hello Brandy and all from Australia :).

    Here is my husband’s and my frugal accomplishments for the week –

    Bill savings –
    – Saved $5.99 on phone internet bill from last month.

    Groceries –
    – Purchased 6 tins of lychees to top up the pantry with with a raincheck we had as they were out of stock previously saving $6.18.
    – Purchased 6 frozen chickens on special @ $3 kg instead of the usual price of $4.99 Kg, saving $32.23.
    – Topped up on powdered milk and flours used from the pantry.
    – Topped up on tinned champignon mushrooms I found I was low of in the pantry @ Aldi saving $2.94 on supermarket prices.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made pasta salad from scratch using pasta, tinned corn and mayonnaise from storage, frozen beans from the garden from the freezer, capsicum given to us that we had blanched, and fresh tomatoes, peas & parsley from the garden. We invited friends from church so were able to feed 5 people for Valentine’s Day which is wonderful 🙂 , with minimal cost.
    – We also cooked 2 chickens from the freezer which fed 5 people and gave us enough left over for 2 teas, and 2 lunches for the 2 of us, along with left over pasta salad as well.
    – Made an apple pie from tinned storage apples to take to church for sandwich Sunday.
    – Cooked all bread from scratch in our bread maker every 2nd day.
    – Cooked all meals from scratch.

    In the garden –
    – Picked snow & greenfeast peas, turnips, tomatoes, parsley & strawberries for all teas & snacks from the garden.
    – Weeded 2 x 9 x 2 metre garden beds.
    – Planted a row of beetroot seeds.
    – Fertilised all vegetables & herbs for the month.
    – Removed fruit fly ruined tomato plants from 1 garden bed & put them in the bin :(.

    House organisation –
    – Restocked medical kit with non adherent & combined dressings sold to a friend @ wholesale purchase price for burns she had sustained.
    – Received our recent order of wound dressings & closures and sorted, dated and placed on shelves in our spare room where we had made room.

    Craft earnings –
    – Made $10.95 from the sale of an eye mask on Etsy.

    Purchases for preparation & clothing from craft money earned –
    – 3 hand crank torches for $6.25 total.
    – 2 folding mini wood alcohol stoves @ $14.50 ea.
    – 50 x disposable lighters @ $19.49.
    – 2 boho cotton blend skirts from China on Ebay for $11.80 ea, saving $34.40 on usual prices in the clothing stores here new.
    – 1 black cotton bolero for $17.07 from UK, saving $11.93 on usual prices we pay in the clothing stores here new.
    – 1 mobile hand crank mobile phone charger for $3.58.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week one and all :).

  11. We’ve been furnishing our new home and saving money everywhere we can OR making smart choices. We purchased furniture that has washable covers. With two small children (and leaving our family size up to God), that will help immensely with keeping our furniture looking nice and lasting.

    It’s always fun for me to see how grocery prices vary throughout the country. I live in Michigan, and our low prices for milk are $1.77/gallon and for bananas are 29 cents a pound. We don’t buy much broccoli, so I’m not sure on the price of that, but I know it’s regularly on sale for 99 cents/head.

  12. My frugal highlight last week was that my 5 year old daughter and I made Valentines for her class at preschool using supplies and candy we already had. The Valentines were simple but fun and my daughter could do a lot of it herself. (Here’s the tutorial: http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-heartbreaker-valentines.html.)

    I also mended a sheet and a couple hand towels that had hems starting to come undone. I hand-sewed them so it’s not pretty on close inspection but it will stop them from getting more raggedy as they were doing. I shopped at Aldi when I was in the closest city to us that has one (kudos to my long-suffering sister who now knows that when I happen to be in that town an Aldi stop will be involved, although she now appreciates Aldi for some things too.) And per usual, I have been shopping the sales at the grocery stores and heating our home exclusively with our wood stove.

  13. Hello! I am envious of the warm weather, but it gives me hope that spring will be here in my neck of the woods eventually 🙂 We went on a short vacation to Colorado. We went to Denver because of a Zero Waste store I wanted to visit. We also went to a thrift store and found lots of stuff that was on my “need” list so we went ahead and purchased that as well as some other stuff I have wanted for ages but couldn’t find in my price range (brand new French coffee press for $7!) We stayed in cheaper motels and I brought snacks and breakfast food with us from home. My Prius got excellent gas mileage. We had a great time. We did come home a day early because we did everything we wanted to, which turned out to be a good thing because I start training for a 3 month job on Tuesday. Otherwise we just did our “usual” stuff, ate all meals at home, did our best to conserve water and electricity. I look forward to reading everyone’s frugals this week!

  14. Oh how I wish we had your weather! I will say it’s supposed to be in the upper 60’s here this week (we have ice right now) and I am going to start cleaning up the garden. It’s my birthday on Sunday so I am super excited. I’m hoping to get it done so we can maybe grill out back!

    This week:
    My daughter is in cheerleading and had a competition this weekend. We carpooled with another family and we brought our lunch and snacks to the venue.
    I haven’t been grocery shopping yet and hoping I can go all week to save our weekly grocery money. I know we will run out of fresh fruit and vegetables. We have some frozen and canned but I don’t know how long those will last.
    Cut back the roses some more (we have one huge climber that is near impossible to cut in the fall) and weeded the front yard.
    Ate from the pantry all week.

    That’s about it. Pretty simple around here!

    Have a great week!

  15. My frugal accomplishments for last week:

    I went to CVS and bought 3 Arm & Hammer laundry detergent for 68cents OOP.

    I had $92 profit from ebay for the week. We spent $32 at Aldi getting a few things we needed and stocked up on tuna and coffee.

    I got my tax refund and put 2/3 in my emergency fund and 1/3 I sent to my son to put towards his college expenses.

    I completed 2 more Pinecone surveys and cashed out for $42 paypal.

    For Valentines Day, I made knish (my SO favorite) with mashed potatoes leftover from a catered lunch at work, homemade applesauce with apples that needed to be used up, and brownies from a mix I got almost free a couple of months ago.

    Have a great week!

  16. When I was in high school, typing was a mandatory class that everyone had to take in order to graduate. My typing instructor had us type to music. lol Now, they call the class keyboarding, since no one uses a regular typewriter anymore. People are amazed at how fast I can type. I think I’m up to 55 wpm.

  17. This week was unusual because I was able to unintentionally save some money-I was home sick from work for two days, which saved me money on gas. Not the most convenient way to be frugal but that’s okay. I got lots of rest and was able to throw together some homemade chicken stock, vegetables, chicken and quinoa that I had in the freezer for soup to eat. I was so thankful to have had these things in the freezer made ahead of time.

    Yesterday I made yogurt in the crockpot, soaked two kinds of beans, cooked them and separated them into 2-cup portions for the freezer. I also made a pork roast that will feed us for several meals (it’s just my husband and me at home now). I have President’s Day off work today so I will be making soup to take with us to work each day.

    I did some organizing over the weekend by going through some books that I have. I will give some to my daughters and some to the local thrift store. I also found a couple that I want to reread! I also did some decorating with things that I already have. We are determined to not spend any money needlessly until we have some debt paid off.

    Our son-in-law who works for our electric/gas company installed our programmable thermostat. We are hoping it will save us on our heating bill.

    Thank you, Brandy, for sharing the typing site. I will be passing it on to my daughter who home schools our two granddaughters.

  18. *My Mom gifted me a stack of magazines she’s already read thru.
    *I purchased a few more seed varieties from a local garden center – they were all 40% off 🙂
    *I sold a rabbit and put that money towards my vet emergency fund. We have decided to be done with rabbits – no point in keeping a breeding trio for meat as a “just in case” (basically they are/were considered part of our emergency preps) if no one really likes rabbit meat. The poultry will all stay though.
    *Hit the bread outlet store and stocked up – .89 organic locally made bread!, 3 free pkgs of pita bread, a free cinnamon swirl loaf, onion hamburg buns for .89, bagels for .89 and hawaiian rolls for $1 (I keep a pkg in the freezer for nights that we want rolls with dinner but i just haven’t had time to bake) I gifted a loaf of the organic and the cinnamon bread to my parents.
    *I found a Corelle platter at the thrift store for 1.50 – it doesn’t really match my kitchen but no one but me will ever notice.
    *Fed all of the cracked, frozen eggs back to the poultry (temps have been FRIGID here and if I’m at work, no one is collecting eggs before they freeze). I scramble and cook them up, shells and all, and then add in whatever stale bread products I’ve been holding onto for them. They LOVE the treat. I also will mix in a scoop or 2 of the dogs freeze dried mix ins as well (mostly freeze dried veggies and fruit).
    *We just purchased a new to us vehicle for my husband to use for work. His other Jeep has 200,000 miles on it and is starting to look pretty rough. To save a bit of money, we just transferred the plate of the car I had been driving onto the “new” Jeep. I now have the old Jeep to drive to work (which is only 8 minutes from home) which is a blessing as I sit up higher so the headlights at night are not blinding me AND I have 4-wheel drive so can actually get [i]back[/i] out of the drive at work!
    *My poor 18 year old daughter had her little mini cooper (not new) die on her on one of the busiest expressways in the area. Thankfully, my husband had traded for a car dolly last Spring so was able to quick throw that on his Jeep and go get her off the expressway 🙂 No tow truck to pay YEAH!! We hauled it right to the shop and now have to wait for them to diagnose it this week. It may be it’s transmission…..that will blow her savings 🙁
    *Dinners were rather unimaginative this week and we ended up eating out 2x – I am hoping this week is better. February is a hard month for me.
    * Instead of buying yet another stove cleaner (at least $5 since I have tried all the cheap ones) that more than likely wouldn’t really work, I bought a gallon of ammonia ($2.29). That smell brings back some perm memories. My stove doesn’t have drip trays and no after market ones will fit so stuff really gets baked onto the stove top. I have used vinegar and baking soda but that still requires some very heavy scrubbing which my arms and hands can’t take right now. So I poured the ammonia into the hollows around each burner and covered/sealed them with plastic wrap and let it soak for a few hours – worked like a charm!!!!! Almost no scrubbing either and the stove is no longer an embarrassment!

  19. This past week was pretty frugal for me. For lent I gave up spending any money on myself so at least my spending was at zero.

    My husband and I got free burrito coupons from Chipotle so we had a free date night one night. I also ordered some seeds for my garden using a gift card I earned from doing an online review. It is still in the single digits here in PA, so I’m planning on starting my tomatos indoors pretty soon here 🙂

  20. I read this post every week and love the inspiration
    I get from everyone! Any time I was tempted to overspend this week, I came back here to read all the comments and resist the urge!
    – I kept grocery spending to $20. I really wanted to do a freezer cooking session, but buying the necessary ingredients would have drastically increased my spending. We had plenty of food to get us through the week, so I stuck to my budget and didn’t freezer cook.
    – I took a survey for CVS and earned $10 ECB which I will save and use to purchase my daughters’ favorite shampoo when I have coupons to stretch the ECB as much as possible.
    – I finally signed up for Ibotta and Checkout 51 accounts and started uploading a couple of receipts. I’m going to build up these balances to use toward Christmas gifts.
    – I joined a Facebook local selling group. I would like to try to sell a few items each week to earn money use toward Christmas gifts. I work full time, so I don’t know how much time I can devote to this, but even $20 or $30 a month in sales will add up.
    – We used our grocery store gas perks to get 30 gallons of gas for free. My husband’s truck got 15 gallons, my daughter’s car got 10, and I kept 5 gallons for my car.

    Have a good week everyone!

  21. Everything is beautiful, as always. That’s a great idea to have your son fix the handles of tools. That’s something that needs to happen around here, and I have some strapping boys that could do that job for sure!

    Our poor plants have no idea what to do here. We have had a winter of temps in the 50s and 60s for a week followed by inches of snow on the ground. I hope they bloom ok whenever spring arrives to stay.

    Here are my frugal ways for last week: http://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-this-week-22/

  22. Shoveled some of the snow off the back patio & dumped it around the base of the fruit trees on the perimeter, where the snow had already melted.

    Finished the pair of dark grey mittens. Watched “Downton Abbey” on PBS & “Cheese Slices” on UEN while I knitted. Began knitting a pair of maroon mittens.

    Watched “Signing Time” on UEN, trying to improve my vocabulary of signs, since I have 3 grandchildren who can handle basic communication in ASL.

    I printed off some free flash cards to add to the 2 sets I purchased. The free cards were 20 cards with names of vegetables, 20 with names of fruits, & 20 with various desserts. The purchased set had one card for “les legumes” & one card for “les fruits”. One of my granddaughters has wanted me to teach her some French, over the phone. I was somewhat skeptical, but she is quite motivated, & has learned quite a bit already. She wanted to learn the names of both fruits & vegetables. I did not want to teach her to translate from the English to the French, so I prefer to use flash cards, since most have a picture, with the French underneath.

    Replaced the broken pull on the mini blinds in the upstairs guest room with a pull from my little box of supplies. We have replaced our plastic mini blinds, as they break, with aluminum ones. Every time, I cut off & saved the plastic pull ends from the broken blinds. I used 4 on an aluminum blind from Freecycle that had none, & have replaced several in the past as well, from my “stash”.

    Cashed a pine cone survey check. Our federal & state tax refunds came, & we deposited those.

    Used a hand saw to remove the 2nd finial from the discarded wooden curtain rod I rescued several weeks ago from a neighbor’s trash can. The first finial became the “topper” for a new staff for the green shepherd in our yard display for Christmas when the original staff broke this past year. The second finial end is now a wooden darning egg for my sewing kit, after sanding off 2 coats of milk paint. The large dowel joined my supply of wood available for various projects, so the only “waste” from the rescue of this wood was the two 1” carved lower parts of each finial, in which the double headed screws were embedded, & those went into the trash.

    Hung wash to dry, rather than using the dryer, as I was able.

    Sliced & dehydrated the leftover celery from a vegetable tray to use in soups. Sliced & dried the zest from another large lemon. I also dried the portion of the lemon itself that I did not use, since the dehydrator was already running.

    Bought a large package of ground beef from the meat mark down bin for over 50% off, along with a package of turkey breakfast sausage, & some rolls of ground turkey, which were over 50% off. Mixed up 5 meat loaves for the freezer with the ground beef & froze the turkey rolls for my oldest daughter, since they quite like it.

  23. The Star Nursery coupon was in the ValPak envelope. I always check the ValPak for them.

    They also will put coupons on the piece of paper that comes wrapped around the grocery ads, on the inside back cover.

    I check both of these places throughout spring, when they’ll send out several coupons. It was $10 off $50.

    You can check their ads online; they run Fridays through Wednesdays. Thursdays nothing is on sale, but it is senior discount day (10% off for seniors; I don’t know the age requirements).

  24. We are blessed too with wonderful weather for Feb. It was in the 80’s two days last week. My husband has today off for President’s Day. He is gone now to get his truck inspected. Tonight we will grocery shop.
    Did the normal things to save a few dollars. Ate at home. Hung laundry to dry. I cleaned a bed room and took the pile of things I got to the local Salvation Army store.
    I needed some shoes. I used a coupon to get 20% off. Used a great coupon at Joann’s yesterday after church. It was to save 60% off a single full price item. I got a new embroidery kit regular $27.00 for $16.00 and then the other coupon gave me an additional 20% off everything in the basket. I got several pieces of fabric to make some new napkins and a couple of blouses for myself for spring/summer.
    We have 2 birthdays this week. My grandsons are 2 years and 2 days apart in age. We always celebrate the birthdays together, but on the day between their birthday. Each year they take turns on setting the theme of the party. This year it is MOVIES. We will have a movie night for them, snacks, and their friends will spend the night and have breakfast..

  25. I’m reading about your gardening and warm weather as I watch snow falling outside in subzero temperatures, Brandy. We went from record high temps to around -40C with windchill within one week. When it drops that quickly, you REALLY feel it. I haven’t ventured outside much for a few days now because of it. Even our vehicles are refusing to start…not that I blame them!

    Anyways, my frugal accomplishments for this week are:
    *Meals made at home this week included hot chicken sandwiches with mashed potatoes and carrots (I bought these on sale, blanched and froze them in Nov), chocolate chip pancakes and breakfast sausages on shrove Tuesday (made extra pancakes for the freezer as my daughter is constantly requesting them for breakfast since I last made these), chicken fettuccine Alfredo (experimented with sprinkling raw cubed chicken with seasoning salt then sautéed with minced garlic, a bit of oil and a bit of butter – family went nuts over it, so I’m going to try making chicken this way on it’s own!), sloppy Joe’s with salad, breaded chicken wraps with corn, and chicken low mien stir fry.

    *Stocked up on some pantry items with some of my grocery money this week. I bought 8 blocks of mozzarella cheese on sale $4/450g package (I store these in the freezer and pull as needed), and 4 boxes of Shreddies cereal on sale for $1.88/box which will be a nice change from generic rice crispies, corn flakes and honey nut cheerios I usually get (my mother eats cereal for her evening snack almost every night and occasionally my breakfast hating daughter will grudgingly have it in the morning).

    *My daughter was asked to bring a “healthy food item” to school to share with her classmates for health class. I happened to have a whole pineapple in the fridge that I bought on sale for $2, so I cut it up and sent it.

    *Pulled out my seed packets and made a list of what seeds I might like to purchase this year. I was able to buy three packages of seeds on my list @ 3/$1. I also pulled out all the supplies I need to start some seeds indoors. I’ll need to start the pepper and tomato plants soon so they will be ready to transplant in May.

    *Went shopping at my favourite thrift store this week. I found a really nice business attire skirt for myself and a comfy pair of Old Navy Capri length sweat pants for my daughter (or me if she doesn’t like them) both priced a $5 each, and a piece of white cotton fabric for $1 (new material, about 1 meter length and perfect for embroidery projects).

    *My husband and I went to the mall and did some mall walking this week to get some exercise. It is much warmer than walking outside and it didn’t cost us membership fees to do it.

    *This was the first year I didn’t have to buy/make Valentines Day cards for my daughter’s class. The school hosted a Valentines Day dance for the grade 7/8’s instead, which cost $2 plus $2 for pop and chips (optional but not really with my daughter). She at least got some exercise and had fun socializing with her peers for the cost.

    *Watched our favourite TV shows and several movies on the Android box. We are huge TV and movie fans, so going without cable/satellite service really wasn’t an option I was willing to do. But, I’m really starting to think that we could get away with just this box, without feeling deprived. If anything, it is more enjoyable as we have more choices and on demand without paying any monthly fees for the service!

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments and accomplishments now. Have a wonderful week!

  26. I read a few cookbooks and some magazines for free on the Ohio Digital Library ( a benefit our town library offers), made air-popped popcorn, and sent valentines to school with my son I had bought for $0.25/box four years ago. I only used 1/4 of a box, so that was about $0.06 for valentines. It didn’t bother him that they were for movies that were four years out of date.

  27. I loved my old Jeep “Bess” she lasted to almost 300,000 – around 200,000 “she” started losing her prettiness (rust, small holes in the floor boards…) – and even as “she” was calling it quits (would literally lose all power and I would drift to a stop randomly) I could get “her” started one more time to get to the dealership for my new to me Jeep. I’m hoping “Lola” holds up as well.

  28. So amazing how prices vary from place to place! I live in Florida. Milk is around $3.59 a gallon. Sometimes Walgreens has it for $2.79. Bananas are around .59 a lb. And a banana travels a shorter distance to us than to you in Michigan!

  29. Beautiful flowers! Thank you for the splash of color. Today my area is prepping for an ice storm. The winter blues have officially sunk in here.
    I had some spinach plants planted in the fall that weren’t really doing anything – I happened to walk by where they were planted last week and noticed that somehow they survived the 3 feet of snow that was piled on top of them from our last storm. From seeing what you have done with canning jars, I placed 4 wide mouth quart jars over top – later that night we got more snow, and the storm today…but as of this morning – they are still alive and a little bit bigger. 🙂
    My mom and I traded homemade valentine gifts – this year she gifted me with her annual lavender sachet – from what she grows. This year she had taken an old embroidered dresser scarf and made a sewed a basic cat shape. It is currently tucked by my bed pillow to drift into a relaxing sleep.
    My husband and I shared a BOGO at Dairy queen for our valentines day treat.
    Finally, I sewed a tote bag from the pattern book my mom had given me. I used a skirt with a print that I liked (found at a yeard sale for a quarter) as the body of the bag. the pattern called for iron on heavy duty interfacing. I have non iron on in my stash- so I basted it to the lining (to hold it in place) before sewing the lining and body together.
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  30. We had a low key valentine’s day at home. Husband made dinner and we watched a movie.
    Took extra time off this weekend for the kid’s school day, saves money from sitters and gas.
    Right now we are trying to discern whether to borrow to fill our Ira (so we can qualify for a tuition voucher) or not.

  31. I was just reading in Southern Living’s 50th anniversary issue that when soil becomes depleted it will no longer hold water. The solution is a drop or two of dish detergent and water mixed, added to the soil and stirred and it should begin to hold water again. It does not add nutrients. I to reuse soil from my pots for several seasons and add in fresh when plants no longer do well. I buy top quality potting soil though and I think that makes a huge difference.

  32. And that is why I seldom make laundry detergent Debbie! I can get it so cheaply that I often get a year’s worth or more for less than $1 at CVS when they have sales/coupons etc. Excellent deal!

  33. As you start so many of your plants from seed I was wondering if you use any heirloom plants. We have planted several kinds of heirloom tomatoes. Our favorite is Mortgage Lifter and Cherokee Purple. They are very good. We love a tomato sandwich in the summer. Just plain white bread, mayo (almost always homemade) and thick slices of the tomato. So good for lunch.

  34. This week I sold some furniture on Craigslist and made 850$ for it. I’ve been working on dejunking and simplifying my home decor. It is really making a difference in the feel of my home. I gave some dresses and costumes away to women in my ward. My husband got invited to a work dinner hosted by a pharmaceutical company at a fancy restaurant in town, we had a free date night and the company covered the tab, which was over 100$ a plate. We never would have eaten there otherwise, it’s a pricey place!
    I’m working on quilting a quilt top that was given to me by my grandfather’s sister for my son, when he was born with a heart defect (TGA). It was made by my great great grandmother and it really lovely. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.
    It is really meaningful to work on, I’ve always felt very connected with this particular ancestor.
    I made some fermented turmeric tea base from the Rebeccawood.com blog. Turmeric is very medicinal. It contains curcumin, which is anti inflammatory and counteracts food allergies. Apparently fermenting the turmeric makes it easier to assimilate. You can’t beat medicine from scratch!
    My daughter was just diagnosed with allergies to gluten and dairy a month ago. I’m embarking on a new adventure cooking without these dietary staples. For those of you with gluten issues, this is the best pancake recipe I’ve ever made, hands down, and it just calls for rolled oats-no expensive flours. My kids love this recipe, they say it’s better than any wheat pancakes they’ve had.


  35. I know I shouldn’t complain as our winter has been very mild, but Brandy, your descriptions of your weather and your gardening is breaking my heart. 🙂 . I can’t wait till spring! Here is how we fared this week.

    The kitchen saw a lot of action this week. I used the two pounds of hamburger I won last week at the Meat Draw to make two dozen meatballs, a dozen sausage patties using on sale bacon, and a big pot of dirty rice. I made beans from scratch in my slow cooker. Once cooked, I used them to make Bacon and Bean soup (using the leftover on sale bacon used to make the sausage patties) and Boston Baked Beans. My youngest son came to visit for the weekend and I was able to feed him and send him home with some baking and some herbal cold and flu tea.

    While he was here, he helped me spring clean the living room. We have very high ceilings with heavy timber beams. I swear they haven’t been dusted since the house was originally built. He used a ladder and a long pole wrapped with a towel to clean off 40 years of accumulated filth. This was the best Valentine’s Day gift ever.

    We went to my mom’s for dinner one night. She sent me home with leftovers and the ham bone. I will freeze the bone and use it the next time I make beans.

    We made a few home repairs for cheap. A $3.00 bottle of glue fixed the gasket on the woodstove and we found. We found drawer pulls for the bathroom for a dollar apiece (instead of$5.00 each) and a new light fixture ($15 instead of $90 !!) at the local Restore run by Habitat for Humanity. We continue to work on an old set of drawers saved from the kitchen reno to make a cutting table for my sewing room.

    I hope everyone had a happy Valentine’s Day!

  36. Check out “dance mat typing.” It’s a free program out out by the BBC. Very cute and funny, my students in the past have loved it 🙂

  37. I had a good week last week on the frugal front. I’ve been continuing a really reduced grocery budget (cut by 2/3) and have been using up what I have in the freezer and pantry as we work on getting bills paid down.

    I ended up making Valentine’s for my son’s class for free (pics are on the blog post I’m linking to here in a sec) and I sent the kids to school with treats for their parties I’d gotten for free with coupons or as a result of product testing.

    The rest of my accomplishments for the week can be found here…


  38. I am on vacation in Florida this week (and the weather back home had been below zero!). We are staying with my in-laws (no hotel), my husband was already down here for a meeting and we could use frequent flyer miles for one ticket (only paying for two tickets for the four of us) and we ate most meals at my in-laws (saving money on groceries and eating out). We didn’t leave until the middle of the week so here are my frugal accomplishments for the beginning of the week:

    – received $7 check from eBates
    – Sold 2 things on eBay for $33
    – Had a newcomers club meeting where there was a nice continental breakfast spread
    – Was able to make the Valentine project my son needed for school by using materials we already had ( we made a homemade foosball game that got rave reviews!)
    – Requested a free subscription to Taste of Home from freebusinessmags.com. I love that magazine!
    – Ordered a free 16×20 print from shutterfly (paid $6 shipping). I’ve been waiting for a coupon for a free one of this size for a while so I was excited to see that this morning!
    – Currently on vacation in Florida and staying with my in-laws. They’ve cooked for us for most of our meals so we bought them a nice meal and some gorgeous steaks to cook for valentines dinner tonight as a thank you for their hospitality.

  39. Here in Phoenix it has been unusually warm, 70s up to mid 80s. So no air conditioning or heating needed, it is wonderful.

    In our year of broken appliances, we can now add broken bread machine to the list (list includes dishwasher and water heater). Thanks to this site, I decided to start making my own bread last year. My logic was that if Brandy could make bread while raising 7 children, surely I could make bread just taking care of my husband and myself 🙂 We had gotten the bread maker last year at Goodwill, I had received suggestions to check there since so many people get bread machines and never use them! We found one that looked new and even had the brand new instructions in it. Well, it lasted 10 months, and the repair parts would cost far more than our initial $10 price. So we went to Goodwill yesterday and found another like new bread machine ($12). Made the first loaf today and it works perfectly! I am not sure if cheap bread machines only last a year, but I am willing to keep using them, versus spending $250 on a high end one. $250???

    Since we make 1 loaf of bread a week, and our normal bread was costing $2.50 a loaf, this change alone saved me $100 over the past year, and we really prefer home made bread now. The money saved isn’t the best part, it is the feeling of accomplishing something healthy and useful. Brandy, thank you again for all I have learned here as well as the motivation to try new things!

  40. Haven’t posted in a few weeks; here are a few recent frugal things from me.
    – Received some lovely free cards in a National Wildlife solicitation mailing; will use one for friend’s birthday next week. Received free address labels in same mailing.
    – Used some of the ground ham leftovers frozen after Christmas to make a pot pie, and some to make ham and wild rice soup. We also have quite a bit of wild rice on hand.
    – Watched some X-Files Season One episodes via Amazon Prime (sad they’re leaving Prime at the end of the month!) All of the seasons of the original show are on there through the end of the month; I just don’t have time to watch them all!
    – Bought my daughter a winter coat for next year from clearance sales (this is the second year she’s worn the current one; at her growth rate, it will not make it another winter)
    – Donated some children’s books daughter had outgrown to school’s book swap
    – Couple weeks ago, took advantage of local arboretum’s free January admission to take a winter hike for fun and exercise on the last day of January
    – Went to a Girl Scout service unit camping event in January (stayed in cabins, not tents! wind chill was well below zero!); some food from the event was left over, so I took home carrots, melon chunks, chicken, turkey sausage patties which family used

  41. His “new” vehicle is actually another Jeep Liberty, a just a few years newer and 100,000 miles less – it holds all his equipment, gets okay gas mileage and we have really rarely had anything major go wrong with the old one so we decided to stick with that brand/model. He did just have to put a new alternator in the old one but I don’t think of that as a major problem (well our daughter thought it was since it quit in the middle of the street and wouldn’t restart :P)

  42. Wow! Those are great prices!

    My prices are more like Rachel H’s – 59-cents per lb for bananas, $3.79 per gallon for milk and broccoli really depends on the season.

    Enjoy those prices!

  43. Hi Erika–Thought of you this week when we were able to still get a turkey at Fred Meyer’s in Fairbanks for $.69/lb. My husband bought 2 earlier when I was in Kaktovik for a week. They had a sign but the ones out were $.99/lb. He asked and they had some in back. I will roast this one this week and use leftovers for probably a turkey potpie. We had a catalina for $3.00 off so will enjoy the cheap protein! I also enjoyed FM’s clearance prices one winter clothes. (Most of mine are in storage in WI. and after 3 years, the ones here are getting worn. I can wear them for home, but it is nice to have a few more presentable things.)
    We have had really good luck gardening, so I encourage you to try green beans. We gave away some and had all we wanted last year. Sugar Ann peas grow well for us also. I like them because there is no shucking involved. We have one raised bed in our front yard and if possible will add more this year. Grandkids can play in the back yard. We also rent 2 community garden plots. I had tomatoes in pots last year –they produced better than the ones in the garden. We freeze excess tomatoes. We will try celery this year.

  44. We were all ill with head colds last week so we didn’t do much, it seemed. We’re all heading toward better so I’m hoping that we really are!

    You can find my frugal week here: http://lea-intherefinersfire.blogspot.com/2016/02/frugal-friday-sick-chidren-and-really.html

    A couple of highlights:
    * Printing off free Valentine’s from online for my children to take to dance and school this week.
    * I did my daughter’s hair and makeup for her dance rehearsal myself. No one could tell the difference! I was pretty proud of that since I rarely wear makeup myself and the cost to get it done was absurd!

    Brandy, your photos are making me think of spring! We still have about half a foot of snow on the ground and we’re not even thinking of starting seeds – planting for us happens typically between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. You’ve definitely kept me dreaming and planning this winter. Thank you for that!

    Have a great week everyone and thanks so much for all the inspiration – both in the blog post and the comments!

  45. Hi Hilogene and that appliance heaven must be enormous with the amount of appliances that go there from all of our homes.

    We have had similar experiences with our appliances and yes got to agree that they all tend to break down at once, probably because we bought them all at the same time :). We used to buy the top end appliances back in the days when I was working and we could afford it, but found that the more expensive appliances don’t last any longer than the cheaper ones, so message to all don’t waste your money on them. I am now a stay at home carer for my husband who has severe injuries from a military accident, so money is tighter.

    We had a friend who worked in the electronics field and just for everyone’s knowledge most new appliances are purposely built by the manufacturers to last only 3 – 4 years, sad but true. So if you get any more time out of any appliance than that you are doing well. We have had our bread machine for around 8 years and it is a Breville brand and is still going strong and was only a cheap brand when we bought it.

    Lately I have had a bit of space between appliance breakdowns, it has only been a iron, a kettle and a foot pump. I purchased a new iron for $15, and a new kettle for $7.50 from BigW, think this Australia’s equivalent to Walmart in the U.S . We decided that we are both getting older to upgrade the foot pump to one that plugs into the cigarette lighter of the car and automatically does it, bit more expensive but worth the money and money and my husband had earned the money from doing odd lawn mowing jobs.

    We now buy the cheapest appliance we can get our hands on new and usually wait for the sales to get them unless they breakdown beforehand and haven’t had any problems with them at all and they work fabulously.

  46. We have hit 70 several times even in Prescott! We still need heat in the morning, and there are still patches of snow around, but golly it’s been great. I sat on the deck for a bit today and enjoyed it. I keep hoping winter is over, but my husband is convinced we will get a couple more snows.

  47. Hi,
    In the great state of Maine it was -12 when I left for work this morning. Had to plug my car for about an hour to warm up the engine so that will increase my electric bill, especially since I had to do this for several days. Tomorrow it is supposed to be mid 30’s above zero and raining which will turn all to ice–what fun to drive in–NOT! Trying to up my frugalness from now on. My current job is mentally draining. When I get home all I want to do is sleep & I do not get my home stuff done, now they want me to complete my current tasks faster so I can increase my workload. I’m discouraged and need to rethink my current situation. Since I started back working, we’ve been purchasing things we’ve needed or to prepare ourselves for getting older like building a garage for those -12 days when we are old. We do need to replace our 16 year old van as I do not think it will pass inspection this year so my income would really help. I do need to get back to the basics of being frugal to help ease the situation. We have continued to cut back on spending. My 6 year old decided to save me money this year by creating her own valentine’s Day cards for her class. She drew a heart on each card and wrote a word that she thought represented each child in her class such as Kind, friendly, funny etc. There was one “handsome”.
    gas prices for us went down 6 cents so we filled up both vehicles. I worked 4 hours overtime. looked up recipes for DIY frugal meals & mixes online.

  48. Your Valentine’s were so cute and crafty!!! Love reading your blog. So glad that Brandy facilitates this one and allows link ups to other blogs so that I can learn more. Thank you Brandy!

  49. Northern California here!

    Milk average is $4.49-$5.49 depending on brand. Organic is as high as $8.99.

    Broccoli on sale right now is $1.99; while bananas are on sale at $.99-$1.29.


  50. Wanted to say Hello Lisa. I to am in the state of Maine. It definitely was an interesting weather weekend.
    Wishing you lots of blessings and prayers as you figure out your job situation. Also, love the Valentine idea that your daughter did.

    Stay Warm and I am excited to look for your comments in future weeks.

  51. Picked up 48 boxes of pasta for $0.49 a piece at Kroger. This tops us off for a year, maybe more.
    Picked up 40 lbs of chicken quarts for $0.29 lb. Boiled it and made stock. Froze 25 meals of shredded chicken and canned 4 cases of stock from the bones. This plus what was already in there should hold us until Thanksgiving turkeys go on sale.
    Used my new food saver to package the chicken so it won’t get freezer burned before I use it up.

    My mother will be moving in with us at the end of March, so I will need to recalculate our storage needs and my water bill will go up, but this should mean an end to the random ’emergencies’ she was having that were draining our accounts. We may also be able to convince her to sell of some of her stuff to reduce her storage bill and bless others with things she no longer needs but is paying to store.

  52. OH My goodness! I so want one of those sandwiches right now. August will soon be here.
    I do plant heirlooms (away from my seed box for the names).

  53. If you want a large drop in your utility bill by using the drying rack you might be disappointed. I use my out door clothes line, my drying racks, and even hang some things on hanger right from the washer. My bill is about $20.00 or so a month less than what it was when we used the dryer. I have gas dryer. It is a big capacity dryer. I do not dry anything in the dryer except for my husband’s uniform shirts. What I am trying to say is a single small drying rack is not going to save you a bunch of money. It is the little things that add up in the end to be a big savings.

  54. Frugal efforts last week include:

    Waited until after January 1 to start our son’s orthodontic work (our dental insurance finally added ortho to the plan–what a blessing!).

    Made 5 loaves of bread (we go through a lot of bread at our house)

    Hubs fixed our washing machine by simply replacing a switch (cost: around $8–[u]much[/u] less that either a service call or a new washer)

    Harvested lettuce & kale from the garden

    Collected eggs from our hens (Yay! They’re laying again.)

    Used rinse water from the dishes and collected rain water from the barrels to water potted plants and veggie seedlings.

    Either composted or gave the hens the scraps leftover from making salads.

    Hubs did all of our yard work (This may seem like a no-brainer, but he’s probably the only person on our street who does his own lawn; everyone else hires a gardener.)

    Watched DVDs that we’d borrowed from the library.

    Ate home-cooked food for all but two meals (We still eat out too much, but we’re getting better.)

  55. They are so delicious. I love the purple color too. That always makes a kid eat them right away. Anything a weird color a kid will eat. I have always wondered why, but it is true.

  56. Great thrift shopping success with my list of what I need – $27 for 2 pairs of Columbia shorts, a silk shell, a wool/acrylic cardigan and a graphic t-shirt. Happy.

    Able to stop physical therapy sessions after semi-diligently doing exercises at home. Also walking for exercise every day the weather cooperates.

    Reading books from library or free Kindle downloads from Amazon only. Not buying any.

    Finished doing our taxes myself. We owe on federal and get a refund on state but overall owe. At least I didn’t pay anything to get the tax returns done. Adjusted estimated tax payments for this year to fix underpayment problem.

    Ordered Spray and Forget roof and exterior cleaner at the lowest price I could find on the internet. We have used this for years to combat the mold/mildew/moss growing on our roof, siding and walkways. Trying to avoid replacing anything before absolutely necessary.

  57. I’ve been sick, so not a lot of accomplishments– frugal or otherwise– happening at the Little Hippie House. But here’s what we did manage to get done anyway:

    Husband stood in line for 2 hours with friends to benefit from a free tree giveaway in our city. He returned home triumphant with a pomegranate tree and a satsuma, both of which he planted right away.

    Um… that’s it, haha. Feeling better this week, so hopefully we’ll have more to report next week!

  58. Brandy, I always learn something new from your posts and really appreciate your thoroughness and attention to detail when blogging.

  59. Your comment made me remember – I have my first hand mixer I ever bought still in use. It isn’t quite as powerful as it was to begin with and struggles sometimes if I don’t put enough milk in the potatoes BUT it is 22 YEARS old!!! And I only paid $5 new for it – cheapest one I could find since I was newly out on my own. I dread having to buy a new one (which I probably won’t – when it dies, I’ll just get a thrift store one)
    My Kitchen Aid stand mixer is somewhere around 18 years old and it too is still working great!

  60. During this past week, every spare minute was spent sorting and packing things. We have taken several loads to a charity thrift shop, burned piles of trash, and packed away only a few boxes and bins of items. I am hoping that all of this pre-sorting will pay off. We will put the house on the market in a few short weeks, and I’m hoping all of this sorting and cleaning will make it look so good that someone snaps it up for a higher price. It’s worth a try anyway!

    Today, I tackled my closet. I got rid of about 1/2 of the items in there, and I’m shocked at myself! There is still SO much left! I figured I would do a first sort, make it look good, and then probably will get rid of more when the actual move comes. This has been my plan in all areas of the house. They say it helps with sales. I know it will help me when it comes time to move.

    It has gotten to the point where I am starting to look forward to going back to work on the 2 days that I teach piano, because I get to sit down for the most part:)

    I cooked some chicken today that I bought and froze on a $5 Friday a while back. I did all 10 lbs. We ate some, and will make other meals from the rest during the week.

    The 2 oldest girls that live at home, Lovana and Ja’Ana, spent several hours today washing and re-washing, grooming and brushing our dog. He is normally an outside dog. Lately, he has been spending time in the same pen with a small pig we have. They have been keeping each other company nicely. Today, the 6 bigger pigs decided to break through the plywood divider, plus fence, to get into that smaller enclosure. Rob found Copper and the pig cowering in the corner of the little building that is Copper’s shelter. He and Ja’Ana fixed the problem. The pig happily joined the other pigs (guess he’s big enough now) and Copper had to be cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. The big pigs had trampled the entire pen into mud and traumatized Copper. So, he had 2 baths outside, and then 2 baths inside. The girls promised to clean everything up if I would let them bring him in, and Lovana did. Now, he smells better, is calmed down, ate some food, and is laying nicely on an old blanket. Lovana can decide how she wants to handle him tonight, but will probably take him up to her room for tonight anyway. We have tried several times to make him an inside dog, but he begs to get outside after a time, so I don’t think he will want to stay in very long. I don’t know how much money they saved, but the price of a big grooming job, anyway.

  61. Hi Hilogene,
    Sorry to hear your bread machine bit the dust, but glad you were able to replace it with another Goodwill find. I bought my bread machine back in the mid 90’s and still use it several times a week. It has been a great investment. I have included a link to my all time favorite bread machine recipe: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/buttermilk-wheat-bread. One caveat: I have the magazine with the original recipe and a couple of the amounts are different from what is listed on the website. Instead of 1 and 1/4 c. buttermilk, the original says 1 and 1/2 c. and instead of 2 t. yeast, the original says 1 pkg. active dry yeast. (I use bulk yeast and 1 pkg. equals 2 and 1/4 t.) Also, the loaf size listed on the original is 1 and 1/2 lbs. instead of 2 lbs. The taste/texture of this loaf is so close to homemade, it is pretty much the only recipe I make anymore. To make it a bit healthier, I have tweeked the 3 c. bread flour amount and now use 1 and 1/2 c. bread flour and 1 and 1/2 c. whole wheat flour when I make it. The rise is not as high, but the texture is still very good. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  62. My mother still uses her hand mixer that she received as a wedding gift. That makes it over 45 years old. The thing is a bit rough looking, but is still going strong!

  63. I don’t know where you are located, but at the kennel where I work a job like that would be somewhere around $75. Somewhere like Washington DC you are looking at closer to $150+!!

  64. It’s nice to read about a 20 something (read that on your blog 😀 ) working on being frugal. After reading your blog post, I say your off to a great start!

  65. Hi Jess from Australia :).

    Milk here in Australia $4.21 gallon.
    Bananas $1.69 kg or .77 lb.
    Broccoli $5.88 kg or $2.67 lb.

    I think I prefer everyone else’s prices :).

  66. Hi Jennifer – My mom is in the processing of moving in with me as well. The most difficult part for her is downsizing and parting with things she had for many, many years. Since she is moving into the smallest bedroom in the house, I gave her the space just outside her bedroom to use as a sitting room. This space was my son’s playroom when he was young. I am in the process of painting and decorating both spaces for her. She chose paint colors to match what she will bring into the spaces. I consider her move in with me a blessing since many of my friends must travel to take care of parents who live in other states. Wishing you and your mom the best!

  67. With my daughter getting married, it’s been difficult to not spend money. Aside from that, this is how i managed to to be a bit prudent;
    *Made my husband’s baked chicken with homemade shake & bake. The chicken was bought on sale for .69lb. Unheard of for this area.
    *Saved my organic orange peels in the freezer to candy for Christmas.
    *My husband won me a bouquet of beautiful flowers for Valentines Day from the Moose lodge.
    *I made mushroom/barley soup from ingredients on hand. I love this soup!
    *Washed all laundry in cold water with saved shower water.
    *Skyed with my son and grand babies; love those little people!
    *Listened to NPR on the computer when it wouldn’t come in on Apple TV. Grrr…
    *We’re getting free dance lessons from the Moose for our Daughter’s wedding; you have to be a member to participate. Love this! We’re having so much fun! We’re going to continue once the wedding is over.
    *I’ve been exercising for free with video’s on youtube, and walking most days. Still trying for 1000 miles this year.
    *At auction, my daughter bought a box lot of books for 1.00, kept what she wanted, and turned some into her local used book store for 27.00 in credit! She was so excited! I thought i’d mention this for others to consider…
    *Sold a few items on ebay for the travel/extra fund.
    *Shopped sales on chicken, (That .69lb) and eggs @ .99 dozen, (Another one that’s pretty much unheard of around here.). To balance that out, our gas went up from 1.67 to 1.79! We never get a break on that!
    Have a wonderful week!

  68. Oops! In the link above, it should be bbc not bc (we can either blame my poor proofreading or the computer’s autocorrect–take your pick. 🙂 ).

  69. Yeah. I’m not expecting to half my bill or anything, but my dryer is old, and I have to run it twice per load. I’d be thrilled with $20 less a month!

    Thank you for your input. 🙂

  70. Would love to hear more about the Lunar New Year party! Traditionally, these celebrations are very extravagant so I would love to hear about how to have a fun, frugal experience.

  71. I was at the store this afternoon (WI) and these are some of the prices I remember:
    broccoli 1.49/lb (with stems)
    bananas .59/lb but I get at the gas station for .35/lb
    milk 2 gallons for 5.00, store brand
    potatoes were 2.99/5 lb but were BOGO (red salad potatoes)
    russet potatoes 2.99/10 lb
    apples…some were on sale for 1.99/lb but most were 3.99/lb or more
    celery 1.19 per head

  72. Last week’s frugal accomplishments include eating all dinners at home except one evening where my husband, MIL, and I ate at Red Robin. While we were there we noticed that they had “chocolate fries” on the dessert menu so my MIL said she would research them and try to make them to contribute to our valentine’s dinner. She found a recipe and made a nice berry sauce to go with- I made a single layer cake with cream cheese frosting and got a small raspberry tart at Trader Joes- we also had grilled flank steak from the freezer, twice baked potatoes, and small lobster tails that we found on sale at Albertsons for $3.99 each- we invited my MIL and my Mom over- it was a lovely evening.
    Our weather in Boise has been very moderate so our heating bill should be lower and I can tell that the insulation my husband had installed under our house is making a difference also.
    I filled out a Fred Meyer survey for the 50 bonus fuel points and got a free candy bar last Friday on the Friday freebie which I gave to my daughter as part of her Valentine gift.
    I am going grocery shopping this weekend for the next 2 weeks worth of groceries- I did ok with my last grocery trips but I think I can do better for the remainder of this month.
    My husband went and emptied the storage unit that was storing our adult son’s possessions- we will find places for his stuff for the next few months until he can take possession of his stuff but at least we are done with the storage fee.
    So far this month I have made my Swagbucks goal every day and I have traded Swagbucks for 2 $25 Amazon gift cards. We rented a movie from Hastings last weekend and it was free because of early return credit from the weekend before.
    That is all I can think of for now- I hope everyone has a great frugal weekend!

  73. The last couple weeks have been busy, but I wanted to get what I’ve accomplished posted before another week goes by. This list is from the last two weeks:
    *picked up extra shifts at work. (I am a RN and my position is per diem)
    *stayed home a few days each week
    *my mom made a huge pot of soup and gave us half
    * my aunt made a darling skirt for my middle daughter and she made both of my girls a few pieces of doll clothing for their AG dolls
    *our children, along with neighborhood kids, walk to and from school everyday. I realized that after 3 years of living in our home and doing this, we have saved quite a bit of gas and it’s been great for our bodies!
    *cut up old school papers to use as scrap paper
    *my parents invited our children to their house to decorate heart cut-out cookies for Valentine’s Day. My parents supplied everything and we got tasty treats! My mom also packaged cookies up for my kids to hand out to each of our neighbors.
    *My husband and I celebrated Valentines at home with a free movie from the library and home-popped popcorn.
    *no grocery shopping this week. We ate out of our pantry and fridge and did not eat out.
    *my aunt and uncle brought me a bag of my favorite coffee for Valentine’s Day
    *signed up to bring cookies to a Pine Car Derby Event at our church. Used cookie dough I already had in the freezer (which I got for free)
    *printed free Valentines for my daughter to take to school. They were bookmark and we used ribbon we had at home to tie on the top. I had them laminated at the library for a minimal cost so they would not rip.
    *I was going to buy my children artisan chocolates from our local chocolate shop, but them remembered I had chocolate melting disks from Christmas time. I found a candy heard mold I had in my stash and made heart chocolates for them for free! I gave each child a Valentine’s Card I found for $0.25/each at our local thrift shop.
    *this past weekend, my husband and I went to his mom’s house to begin to clean out his father’s (who passed away last summer) things. My mother-in-law gave me some Depression glass for my collection, old wooden spools of thread, an old quilt and other treasures we are glad to have!
    *did all the usual: turn off lights, recycled, donated items to thrift shop, washed baggies, packed kids lunches everyday for school.
    Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

  74. What a GREAT idea your daughter had! So sweet and heartfelt. And the ‘handsome’…oh boy..the fun begins! 😀

  75. Rhonda, how do you make your lo mein? Do you buy special noodles or do you use fettuccine noodles or linguine instead? What seasonings do you use?

  76. That is funny. My children and I were reminiscing about the time they put out all the different color catsups…green, and blue and purple I think. They wanted them so much then, but I wouldn’t buy them. I said they could pay for them themselves. So no. Now they say they would never even consider wanting them.

  77. I agree, seeing young frugal folks is a nice thing.

    We have a gas dryer so it too does not make a big difference in our bill, but in the winter months when the furnace is used it does add moisture to the over dry air. For us that can be up to 7 months of the year.

  78. Jennifer and Donna Marie, that is so nice your mothers can live with you. We actually lived with my mother for years, but when she decided to stop driving, about 5 years ago, she decided to move to a senior apartment in town that a number of our church ladies live at. They are all very active, something going on every day. When she no longer wants to live there she will move back to her (family) house. There has always been a grandparent apartment in it though it used to have a separate outside entrance. She will move back there, to live with my oldest girl and her family. We moved 3 years ago to the smaller house next door.

    I hope your parents can take some time to sort through their possessions. That can be very hard. Even if you have to continue paying for storage to allow them to gradually work on it. My mother has every letter, pay stub, newspaper clipping going back to the cards her parents received when she was born, and that is not a bad thing. I have all mine too 🙂 We have her parent’s correspondence also. Her oldest cousin has all the correspondence and journals etc from the generations before that. He is writing a memoir from the war years when a number of men from our family did voluntary service, as opposed to military, due to our religious beliefs. If anyone in this family ever wants to write a memoir, they are set.

  79. We found an excellent recipe in a free magazine that Walmart puts out that uses Ramen noodles! They taste so good in it too! Here is the link to the recipe, though you may want to check out the other recipes using Ramen noodles for some more frugal recipe ideas:


    The recipe can be easily adjusted to suite your preferences. We decided we like it better with chicken than the beef, but that’s just a personal preference. We have found that one to two large chicken breast (from Costco) is plenty of meat for us. We have also made it using frozen broccoli with great success. I bought up several broccoli bunches whenever it is on sale for $1/bunch, then blanched and froze it. It’s much cheaper than buying it fresh in the winter when the price skyrockets to $2-$3/bunch (like it is now:p). This time, I also sauteed the chicken with a bit of oil, butter and a good helping of minced garlic at the request of my family. It certainly added a nice flavour to the meal. I hope you enjoy it too, Athanasia!:D

  80. Wow, Melissa, that made me feel good, that they saved that much $.

    We live in Oregon, and have only had him groomed a very few times over the years, but never under such circumstances, and not for a long time.

    He got all calmed down, stayed happily in the house for 2 nights, and then made it clear yesterday that he wanted out! So, he’s back outside in his little building/fence area, with lots of straw to nestle up in and without his pig buddy. I think he’s recovered from his traumatic experience.

  81. Good Morning All, from New Mexico. For those of you who are starting seeds in the garden but worry about stray “freezing” nights, Dollar Tree has a heavy plastic, clear, garden dish that would work wonderfully as a cloche. I am gluing a wine cork, cut in half, to the bottom of mine to make lifting easier. It is 5″ across the opening and 3″ tall.
    This would also make a wonderful herb dish for window sill, but does not have a drain hole.
    I have been recuperating from shoulder surgery. I had three tears in my rotator cuff, including a complete tear in my bicep that required repairing. It has been 4 weeks and I can’t believe how much it still hurts! I continue to try to do things, but it takes about four times longer…try folding clothes single handed. It was an injury sustained at work, so am not losing money due to the surgery, or time off, but if it lasts over 4 months I could be forced into a different job. : ( . At my age, 68, it’s good to have a job at all!!
    My stockpile has been a blessing. Sent my son to the store to pick up necessary items, milk, bread, lettuce and some soup and a treat (licorice) and he only spent $22. That was three weeks ago and we are still going strong.
    I checked out my Sam’s Club and they don’t have Almond Extract either. Going to check at Costco when I go out for my next therapy session. I can’t drive so must plan everything for one trip, which I usually did anyhow.
    My fruit trees are budding out! While I love seeing spring happen I KNOW winter is not over. A cold snap will come along and freeze the flowers or a wind will blow them off and I’ll have lovely green trees with no fruit. Crossing my fingers.
    OK, time to stop, my shoulder is objecting to this much “work”. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends, keep doing the best you can and remember God loves you. Also, thanks for letting us be a part of your lives. There are over 13,000 friends on this site and you make a difference to many of them, I know you have with me.

  82. We were lucky to have milk for $1.29 a gallon here in Illinois this week. Our grocery store buys it from a local dairy and it is hormone and antibiotic free.

  83. Thank you Rhonda. I checked the link. We like ramen but we hardly ever use the seasoning packets. I know what you mean about broccoli. We freeze a lot for soups and casseroles but it was on sale this week so I bought several pounds of fresh. They charge less if it has the stalk, which is fine because I wanted them to make a ramen coleslaw recipe. They tell you to buy a broccoli slaw mix but I do it myself. ( It’s a slightly different recipe than the one on the walmart site. ) I think Monday sounds good for trying the broccoli lo (ramen) mein for dinner.

  84. Hi Hilogene and yes it is funny when you think about it, if the appliances revert back to their original state as we do, at least when we get to heaven we will have a workable kettle, a hot water system, an air conditioner, 2 foot pumps, an iron, a mower, a whipper snipper, a metal mitre box and that is just from just Hilogene and myself :p.

    If anyone else wants to add the appliances they have sent there recently we should have a heaven that is well equipped with most appliances to do any housework chores & maintenance jobs as well.

  85. This weekend we are having a brief warm spell and my fingers were itching to do some gardening prep work. My neighbor had a large pile of horse manure and so I got 16 buckets of it and will share my produce with him when it starts coming in. He was glad to get rid of it and it was chock full of lovely fat worms, I was so thrilled to get it. He has told me to come get as much as I can use, my soil will be humming along hopefully.

    We got some medicinal sale items for the bug out bags. My son is excited to help me with the tool aspect of it.

    Combined some deals at Kohls to get walking shoes for my hubs. They were not cheap but he has foot problems and walking is one of our main forms of exercise, so it will be worth the cost for the benefit.

    Thank you for all your work Brandi, I learn so much every week from you and everyone else.

  86. Hi Linda and so sorry to hear about your shoulder injuries but good to hear that you have now had it operated on and repaired.

    I too have shoulder injuries sustained some time ago and know how hard it is to try and get things done. Mine were sustained around 10 years ago but I don’t think it requires surgery yet. I have learnt to do things differently over the years that when my shoulder starts to hurt to stop doing what I am doing. We have around 166 sq metres of garden vegetable, herb, and berry beds that are just above ground level that we have at the moment mostly planted with beautiful producing vegetables that we eat every day which is a true blessing.

    It does however require a fair bit of digging, weeding and of course lovely harvesting to maintain. We have purchased a lot of machinery to save us digging manually. However it still does require us to shovel into wheelbarrows manure and mulch to maintain the lovely soils with.

    I just do things in smaller bursts since the shoulder injuries of 1 hour if it is shovelling and then do lighter tasks afterwards and that works and doesn’t overstress my shoulder.

    Like me listen to your pain, work slowly while you are rehabilitating and only do what your body can stand with your pain levels other wise you will do damage, and you will be rehabilitated in no time. I am an ex nurse by the way :).

    Frustrating I know as we all try and do everything the same as we did before, but I know you will get there. Good luck with your rehabilitation and you should if careful get there within the four months.

  87. Lorna, thank you so much for your kind words! I am going slow and using my sling, per Dr’s orders, but I can’t stop trying to do things! Not driving is hard, but it sure saves me money. This site keeps me from feeling so separated from the rest of the world..lol. Thanks again for your “professional” suggestions.

  88. Hi Linda and good to hear you are following the doctors orders.

    You can still do things and it will strengthen the area, but just be careful. Your pain levels will tell you what your body is capable of at any given time.

    Like yourself I am fiercely independent, at the time I had my injury my husband had to brush my hair and put it in a bun for work for me as I simply couldn’t lift the arm where I had the shoulder injury. I was strapped from my shoulder halfway down my arm to limit movement and strengthen the muscles. It was so hard to not do the usual things, but in my case the excruciating pain taught me some hard lessons when I tried to overdo it. I became very adept at doing things one handed, mind you fortunately I am ambidextrous, so that did help.

    Fortunately my husband is very domesticated and tidy being ex military, so he took over most of the housework and cooking chores.

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