White Rose The Prudent Homemaker

I spent a lot of time in the garden last week, pruning.

I also spent a good deal of time during the dark hours of the days reading online about pruning and propagating. Even though I’ve gardened for 15 years, there is always more to learn, including specific rules for my climate. I love that there are so many online resources where I can learn for free.

One of my goals for this year is to make the unproductive areas of my garden more productive. Areas that used to be more productive have become less so as the fruit trees have grown, leading to more shaded areas in the garden. I’ve tried several plants in these spots and have been less than happy with the results, so I’m changing some things up to try some new things for these areas.

I spent time pruning the hedges in the backyard, which had become wider than they need to be for the space. This will allow more room for me to grow vegetables and flowers inside them.

I’ve decided to grow both more flowers and more vegetables this year within the hedges.

I ordered flower seeds with a 10% off code. Several of these are ones that will be easy to collect seeds from after they are done blooming this year, so I won’t need to buy them again.

I ordered rose bushes with a 20% off code. 

I found a less expensive source (after looking at several online sellers) for some hellebores I want to try in the white garden, and I ordered those. 

Euyonomus The Prudent Homemaker

I moved a couple of euyonomus bushes that I had started in the garden a couple of years ago (by tip layering my existing plants) into smaller pots, to allow me to put two of the hellebores that I’ve ordered into those pots in full shade in the white garden.

I dug six new tiny euyonomus bushes from ones that I grew by tip layering last year. I planted one in a pot that I already had. I moved the pot to a place where it would be better seen in the garden. I planted the other five in spaces that are in my hedges in the backyard.

I cut back my lavender plants to form a small lavender hedge. This should make for more compact, attractive plants, and also allow me to plant two rose bushes in front of them.

I spread manure in the garden.

I cut roses from the garden when I was pruning.

I cut Swiss chard from the garden twice.

I made lemonade from our lemons. I also made lemon bars.

I cooked a large pot of white beans in our solar oven.

I ground wheat in our wheat grinder for a batch of whole wheat waffles.

Winter participated in a clothing exchange as a youth activity, and came home with a cardigan, a spring coat (thin like a jacket but a coat style), and 2 blouses.

My husband gave Cyrus a haircut.

I ordered new glasses for Cyrus after we took him for an eye exam. I ordered them from Zenni Optical, going through Ebates first in order to receive cash back. His new, stronger prescription requires a different type of lens, so I paid more than I have paid in the past, but the deal was still great: I ordered two pairs of glasses for him, shipped, for $65 (plus I’ll get a few dollars back from Ebates).  We’ve ordered from them before, and I always go through Ebates first for a bit back. 

I redeemed Swagbucks for a $15 Amazon gift card.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  1. I would really love your tips on making Swagbucks work for you! I can’t seem to get any profit from the time I spend on there. Thank you for the encouragement that even you need to learn more in your garden! I was feeling discouraged.

  2. Wow, that is a lot of yard work. We’re still in the armchair season of gardening, what with the planning and estimating needs.

  3. I couldn’t agree more—there really is always something new to learn about gardening! I love seeing your white garden. It is so pretty. I don’t grow as much as you do, but I hope to do better this year.

    I continue to shop the sales weekly, using coupons and rebates when I can. I ended up with a huge score at Rite Aid on Huggies Diapers. By splitting transactions, I got 8 packs for free after store rewards and catalinas! My other huge deal was Perdue chicken—after bogo and coupons, I paid $1.88 for per package (normally a ridiculous $11.99!) All of my deals with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/6305-2/

  4. Hello Brandy and all from Australia :).

    Service –
    – Picked a box of excess green beans and took them to church to give to others.
    – Helped a sister & her husband clean the house that they were in as they had just purchased their own they were moving into.

    – Went grocery shopping & paid for the month’s worth of groceries with extra income my husband had bought in from paid gardening jobs he has picked up.
    – We were $55 over our budget, but we are transitioning to monthly grocery shopping and topped up on additional gaps of items we had used previously that we hadn’t purchased. So next month our bill will be a lot less.
    – Purchased 2 x shampoo, 2 x conditioner, 2 men’s shaving creams on special saving $8.60 in total on usual prices.
    – We have now stocked up our shampoo & conditioner to a years supply all on specials at 50% savings.

    Garden harvesting & in the garden –
    – Picked cucumber, tomatoes, strawberries, beans, peas, turnips & spinach beet for teas, snacks and lunches.
    – Planted a 4.5 x 2 metre section of garden with cucumber seed & mulched.
    – Weeded 1 10 x 2 mt vegetable garden.

    Everyday savings –
    – Washed out all Ziploc bags to recycle to use again from vegetables we had used from the freezer.
    – Used all grey water from showers and washing machine to water lawn around the house.

    Craft Frugalities –
    – Packaged 2 sets of reclaimed & other wood coasters we had made and sold using recycled bubble wrap I had saved from parcels we had received.
    – Took advantage of 100 free listings on Ebay.

    Craft Earnings –
    – Earned $60.91 profit from selling 2 sets of 4 curtain tiebacks, a table runner & a set of 4 wood coasters sold on Etsy.

    Purchases from craft money earned –
    – We are buying everything in numbers we need for a few years, both prepping items & everyday items including clothing on the internet from overseas, before the government brings in an GST tax of 10% on all goods on 1st of July this year. They are so much cheaper than purchasing items in Australia at the moment, and the prices in the shops just continue to go up and up.
    – Purchased 2 wool felt/wool broad brimmed hats for myself for church and other functions for $4.74 ea, usually priced here at $30 – $50 ea.
    – Bought 4 cotton camo canvas broad brimmed hats for my husband for yard work for $3.33 ea, usually priced here at $10 – $15 ea.
    – Purchased 2 everyday use solid coloured cotton broad brimmed hats for my husband for $3.50 ea.
    – Purchased 4 cotton forest leaf printed broad brimmed cotton canvas hats for yard work for $4.36, I decided to splurge :p, and buy slightly more expensive ones as I just couldn’t do the camo thing, and wanted to go with slightly more feminine style for a change. However saying that I usually wear men’s work shirts to go timber cutting & working in the garden in anyway :).
    – I shall keep the rest of the money in Paypal until next month and with a bit of luck & a few more sales this month, I might have saved up enough to reimburse grocery overspend, pay for the phone and internet, and some more fire starting & water purification prepping items as well.

  5. You’re garden sounds like it’s going to be lovely again this year Brandy!

    I started working on my price book.

    We shopped for groceries the first week in Jan. and have decided that will be it for the month. I may need to purchase some banana’s for my husband as he can’t start his day without them. Other than that, we will be fine. Our freezer needs to be eaten down a bit and this will be a good opportunity to do that and save money on our monthly grocery budget at the same time.

    I roasted a small chicken from our freezer. There are only the two of us living her now so I was able to stretch it into 4 meals. The first meal was the roast chicken with potatoes and veggies. Then I made a basic chicken and vegetable soup using up the ends of veggies from my refrigerator. I turned the chicken soup into several freezer meals by adding noodles to 1/3 of the soup for chicken noodle soup to be served with fresh baked bread. To another 1/3 I added some tomatoes and spices for chicken tortilla soup. It’s lovely with a few shredded tortilla strips or chips, and a bit of sour cream. And for the last 1/3 I just thickened the broth with some flour and will use it for chicken and dumpling.

    I used a $10 birthday coupon to purchase a hair care item I needed anyway.

    I spent time cleaning and organizing my home. I seem to always have this urge after all the Christmas items get packed up and put away. It doesn’t cost anything but it always makes me feel fantastic!

    I’ve stated to plan my garden as well. I can’t wait to get outside and get started!

  6. Oh my I can’t wait for spring to dig in dirt…..it’s minus 1 here, freezing cold, snowy…..but I do live in Ohio

  7. Your plants are always so lovely.
    I made blueberry muffins and I have to go make banana muffins. I used a cup of leftover ham to make my husbands favorite ham broccoli cheddar casserole, you put mashed potatoes lightened with an egg on top. Bonus, no cooking tonight. I crocheted my son a scarf, he chose quite a chunky yarn so it was done quickly, my eldest chose a very fine yarn and I am slogging away. I wish it was done, it’s bitterly cold here today. I have had great success switching part of our shopping to Aldis, I have seventy dollars left in my budget and that is after all manner of stocking up. I was going to save it, but I think I am going to get a few more things, since we might get a storm Friday and I haaaaate driving in snow.
    I ordered snow pants and boots for our oldest, ( everyone seems to have grown out of last year’s while somehow not growing into the next size up) with a gift card I had saved, and a discount and then emailed the sale to my husband and he got 25 dollars off, and then I will get a 25 dollar credit next month. So I am quite pleased about that.
    I found all the practical play clothes in 2T for our daughter ( grandma is having a great time giving us very impractical dresses lol) I found some shoes at MArshalls ( to match the crazy dresses) and snow boots for our daughter.
    I got a new( used) phone that will save us 20 dollars a month on our bill and we are selling my iPhone.
    We are kind of in a slump with Facebook garage sales after a very productive time. Hopefully someone will buy my 12 month snowsuit.
    I have a five dollar off produce coupon for my store. I hope your health is continuing to improve.

  8. Took the last of the Christmas ham from the freezer for ham and beans.
    Made homemade bread and yogurt.
    Made pizza crusts-one for now and one in the freezer for later.
    Made breadcrumbs from leftover odds and ends in the freezer.
    I am using up food in the back of the freezer and planning our meals around those items before going shopping for groceries. I am also sticking mostly to the loss leaders at the grocery store. It has helped me stay within budget.
    We ate all of our breakfasts and dinners at home and made our lunches to take with us to work.
    Made laundry soap.
    We kept the thermostat on 64 degrees during the day and 62 at night. It’s been bitterly cold here. We use space heaters for the rooms that we are using and electric blankets on the beds.
    I took a day off work so I was able to save a day’s worth of gas. I stayed home and got some things done that I’ve been meaning to do such as cleaning, organizing and prepping the bedroom and closet for painting. I’m hoping to finally get it painted next weekend. It is difficult to get major projects done since I work full time and am no longer as young as I once was. 🙂
    We kept lights turned off.
    Got several books from the library.
    I washed and reused large and small baggies (I never reuse baggies that have had meat in them).
    We are putting money aside each payday for things we always need, such as car maintenance, birthday and Christmas gifts. This will give us peace of mind when we need the money.

  9. It’s been too cold here to do anything more in the garden besides picking a few things to give to the chickens, but I enjoyed vicariously gardening through your post. I’m hoping to have some hellebore blooms this winter, but none yet. Our grinder should be set up in its new, indoor spot in a few weeks, which will make it much more pleasant to grind wheat. That will be a happy day. Joining in here: http://www.abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-january-table-and-frugal.html

  10. Have you tried retailmenot.com for coupons and discount codes? I have used them several times. This Christmas my husband bought me a new wedding band. The one I wanted was cheaper to buy online and I was also able to get another $100 off by using retailmenot. I check for codes and coupons before I buy anything from anywhere now. It’s another great resource for discounts so I like to tell anyone who may be interested

  11. Have you ever thought of selling pots of your propagated plants to make a bit of extra cash, Brandy? It sounds like you’ve really have a talent for it. As for the more shaded areas of your garden, are you thinking of trying some new veggies or fruit that prefer a more shaded area? Just curious.

    Well, winter is really settling in here. We are now having some really cold snaps. Not as cold as it has been in previous years yet, but certainly cold. I’ve been working in my resume to apply for a position with the City. Not sure if I will get it, but I’m hope to at least get an interview. Fingers crossed! Frugal accomplishment for this week include:
    *Meals made at home this week included tacos and homemade macaroni and cheese with veggies (some of us love tacos and some don’t, so we made 2 separate meals one night to satisfy everyone), breaded chicken wraps with rice, ham and cheese cresent rolls with salad, chicken bacon ranch pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches with baked beans and mini corn on the cob, homemade pizza (made crust dough in bread machine), and ham steaks with scalloped potatoes and corn. Left overs from some of these meals served as lunch options.

    *Stayed home a lot this week. On Wednesday we finally had had enough of being at home, so my mom and I went shopping. I nearly bought a pair of slippers but decided that I couldn’t justify spending $9 on them, despite the fact they were on sale. So I walked out of the store empty handed! On friday, my husband suggested I go thrift shopping to get out, but I declined, as I didn’t want to risk spending money on something I didn’t need.

    *My husband is looking into courses that would help him get a higher paying job. If he decides that he will go ahead with doing a course, I will absolutely back him on this. Schooling is very difficult for him, so this is a huge personal accomplishment to even consider it. I’m so proud of him!

    *Despite lots of good sales, I decided to hold off in getting more groceries until early next week. We have plenty to keep us going thanks to a well stocked pantry. I did stop on Saturday at one grocery store to pick up milk and I bought a few stock up sale items, instead of going back next week for them, thereby saving time and gas money.

    *This one’s a bit odd, but I thought I would share it. I downloaded a free collection of background wallpaper for our new laptop called “pathways”. I have been really enjoying turning on my computer and see these beautiful, serene images from all over the world with one connecting element of a road or pathway in each scene. My husband even commented on how nice they are. Sometimes I just stare at the pictures and soak in their lovelyness for a minute.

    *I decided to browse in a thrift store while my daughter was doing her weekly bowling (it’s in the same plaza) and found a better quality, quilted, waterproof mattress cover in near brand new condition for only $4. Just to buy a cheap flimsy plastic one for a single bed costs about $10 new! I knew my daughter needed a new one for her mattress, so I bought it. When I got home, I discovered that my mom had already bought her a new one (the cheap flimsy plastic kind) and the mattress cover I bought was for a double sized mattress (my daughter’s bed is a single). However, my mom needed one for her bed, which is a double sized bed, so I gave it to her to use instead. I also found a fabric shower curtain that was made of a durable cotton fabric I liked for only $3. I intend to reuse the fabric for a sewing project. I’m not sure yet what I’ll make, but I’m thinking perhaps some embroidered throw pillows for my mom for Christmas next year.

    That’s about it for this week. Looking forward to everyone sharing their frugal accomplishments. Have a wonderful week!

  12. You still need to have an eye exam to get a prescription, but as an adult it can be used for a couple of years to order glasses, as your eyes aren’t changing as often as they do for a child. We went to Walmart, which is $69 for the exam. Sam’s Club is the same price. It’s the lowest price I’ve found, but if anyone knows of a cheaper place, please share!

    If my son didn’t need the more expensive lenses for his high prescription, it would have been even cheaper–$25 for both pairs, shipped. So you should be able to find something on there that will work for you, and you could have the exam and glasses for less than $100. Prices are what you see (including lenses, for regular lenses) plus $4.95 shipping. If you order more than one pair, shipping doesn’t go up.

  13. I can’t wait until the next few months are over so I can get some flowers too! I invested in some indoor plants I found at Aldi, plus we have an aloe, cactus, and bamboo plants that have been giving our house some freshness. I’m glad we have them. It’s freezing here.

    The past couple of weeks, I have been working on getting our pantry back in order. I broke my kneecap and had to wear a brace from my upper thigh to my ankle for 6 weeks. It’s off now and I’m getting a lot of my mobility back. Believe it or not, I had to make small trips to the store because I couldn’t carry many bags at a time. Plus, I had to get a lot of convenience items because I couldn’t stand for a long time to cook. (Husband works a lot and it wasn’t always possible for him to come with me) We’ve been working on eating those up and stocking back up on true essentials. I was back to once a week and this week, I’m only going to have to run get some fruit. I actually made homemade bread again!!!!

    Went to petsmart because they had a great deal on fancy feast can cat food. Right before I left I got an email from them saying there was $10 off $30. When I got there, there were coupons for a dollar off. I ended up getting twice as much food for our normal price.

    My brother got me a gift for Christmas that I already had. I asked if I could return it and he didn’t mind at all…told me to keep the entire amount. With Swagbucks I have been saving and the return (all from Amazon), I had enough to buy a smaller nice Brother sewing machine ($80). It’s coming today hopefully in the mail. I don’t make a lot but really need it to make repairs.

    Went to dollar tree because I heard they had seeds in stock. I don’t but in bulk because we are in a townhome and I have minimal space. We have had nice success with these seeds. I haven’t laid out my plans for the food portion but I did buy some hummingbird mix that covers 100 sq feet. I love my birds and hummingbirds are the most frugal to attract. You just need a feeder, sugar, and water….plus some red flowers. Our back is a mess and when we heat up some I’m going to get out there.

    That’s about it for this week!

  14. It takes too long to get the plants big enough to sell (at least 2 years) plus there would tbe the cost of dirt and pots, so it’s not worth it to me. Euyonomus are easy, but I want to try some harder plants (roses), just for myself, and maybe a couple more to give to my neighbor, who wants some but can’t justify the cost of buying them. I have done grapes, too, and I have a few new vines from it, but they are young still.

  15. Hello everyone! Last week on Monday my 5 year old daughter said “Mommy I don’t feel good”. She kept getting worse with cold and flu symptoms. I took her to the Doctor on Thursday and the Doctor gave us prescriptions and said to come back on Saturday because she was afraid it would turn into pneumonia. Saturday confirmed my daughter had pneumonia and we were taken to the hospital via ambulance. She was diagnosed with RSV and Pneumonia. She came home yesterday and is doing much better, knock on wood. I take her back to the Doctor tomorrow afternoon for a recheck. The hospital was 35 minutes away so lots of driving. My husband and I took turns staying the night. They provided some snacky type items for breakfast for the parents and free coffee and ice water. We watched free cable and I was reminded why we had ours shut off lol 80 channels and nothing to watch. I am physically and emotionally drained from watching my baby be so sick and listless 🙁 But I am so happy she is doing better. I am also very paranoid right now and every little noises she makes freaks me out lol.
    SO not much frugal from last week:
    We did manage to only “eat out” once and that was a $10 pizza from us and my mom at the hospital the day she was admitted. It was a LOOONG day and we were all starving. My sister in law gave us a gift card to the cafeteria and we used that to eat meals, we just ordered small to make it stretch and made due with the above mentioned “snacky items” for breakfast.
    That’s about it. It was all about my daughter last week. Have a great week!

  16. Hubby has always appreciated what I do at home to save money and he has often said that my savings are probably equal to or greater than his paycheck! So, over our 45 years of marriage and 11 children, I have been blessed with such a great partner!
    So it has been interesting starting up the “Vicky challenge” for 2016 from Annabel Smith’s blog to keep a daily log on the amount I save during my everyday. It has been an eye-opener that shows me that by small and simple things, great things can be accomplished!!
    This week, I put 3 small, starting to freezer burn, boneless pieces of beef into my crockpot and slow cooked them into tenderness! After slow cooking, I shredded them in my Kitchenaid mixer to give me 6 ziploc dinner size bags of shredded beef that will each become a different meal- chimichangas, BBQ beef sandwiches, beef taquitos, etc. Each meal will also yield leftovers for lunches or 2nd time around dinners!

    I got a refund from our bank for $7.62, so I added 38 cents of change sitting around in the house and deposited $8 into our savings account!
    Renewed our savings card for hubby’s Pradaxa- 5 minutes online which saves us $660/year for his copay!! Makes our copay $5/month instead of $60/month!!!

    Used some wrinkly apples, homemade brown sugar and leftover sour cream into an amazing apple cake to portion out for brown bag lunches.

    We renegotiated with our internet provider to save $10/month more- that’s $120/year!

    My Amazon Prime renewal was pending on Thursday night in my bank acct when I called them and found out that I could cancel it and Hubby could, with his email address(actually a new separate one he set up for us) and by using his bank card to pay membership, get in on the $73/year promotion they were running this past weekend! Yay!! Saved another $26!

    By purchasing gas for our car in the area where I was already running errands rather than by my house, I saved 18 cents/gallon ($1.80 savings) plus, even though my car was not much more than half empty, I didn’t have to pump gas a day or two later wen our winter weather was extreme!!

    Buying groceries on sale and with coupons to restock some things in our pantry, I saved about $110 and spent about $45! Btw- I go to the grocery store infrequently enough now and only for sales on basics we will need/use, so I’m not getting much in the way of fuel points any more!

  17. I checked missingmoney.com to check my name for unclaimed funds in my state. I found there was an old check from my high school job at Kmart 20 years ago, and it was for $91. I had to scramble to find documentation, because I hadn’t lived at that address since I was 19, and I had married and changed my name, but I was able to find what I needed.

  18. Well I don’t make as much on there as Brandy does, but the way I do it is to use it while I’m doing chores around the house. If you go to the section that says “Earn Easy SB with Sponsored Videos” you’ll often see a laughing girl with a note under that says 2 Swagbucks. Click her as many times as it will let you and it just an ad for Home Depot or another place. Every time you see the ad and click on it one time, you’ll get 2 SB. It’s easy enough to do while you’re folding laundry or dusting or whatever. Also, the guy with the laptop takes 10 clicks to get 2 SB, but I use him, too. Also do the daily poll and the daily crave.

    The little bits here and there add up, and even if you only wind up with an extra $5 per month for clicking while you’re doing other things, to me that’s worth it.

    Hope that helps!

  19. *Worked on refurbishing the angels in the yard display for next year. It is important to me to have my Christmas decorations reflect the true meaning of the season, so our yard is “And there were in the same country…” – the angels appearing to the shepherds. As a result, all my grandchildren, & some of the neighbor children as well, can quote those verses from Luke 2, from explaining the display to others. I have repainted the wings & haloes, as well as the hair, on most of the angels. My yard display uses 4 watt bulbs (nightlight bulbs), so the 10 sheep & 5 angels that light use less electricity than a 100 watt bulb left on overnight. That is a lot less than the lights we used to put on the house, & the yard display is easier to put up, too. The 2 shepherds do not illuminate, & I just bought another small angel on clearance, so now there are 6. Tried to find a very light pink tone paint for the faces & bought one that was “warm tone”. I started to paint one angel & the paint was very thick, even after stirring. The one little angel I painted now has a light brown skin tone, with bright yellow hair – I think I will repaint her hair brown. The bright yellow hair with the brown face just looks weird, & I would like to have more than one hair color in the angels anyway, since I have grandchildren with various hair colors. I already painted the tall angel’s hair brown.

    *Drove up to Washington to take the rocking chair my 2nd great grandfather built to our middle daughter to use with her baby. It cost me less than $70 to drive up (one way) with the gas prices as low as they are right now, which was a lot less than flying, & I can’t “check” this rocking chair. It is made of old oak, is very comfortable & has rocked generations of babies in my family, including me. The arm rests are wide enough that a toddler can sit on one to “help rock” the new baby with mama, when that situation applies. Because I was driving, I also took a bunch of other stuff with, & was able to cuddle the baby for a couple of days before I came back. Made it a short week for preps, but it was a great way to spend my birthday.

    *Youngest daughter gave me wool yarn in a popcorn tin for my birthday, which was exactly what I wanted.

    *Put more water into storage.

    *Crushed the metal cans for recycling. I recycle both soda & tin cans, & any other metal they “find”, with 2 of my grandchildren who are too young to earn money otherwise. It reinforces how to work, how to recycle, & how to pay tithing on their earnings, all without being a drain on a tight family budget.

    *Shoveled the snow from the driveway & walks onto the blueberry bushes & fruit trees in the front yard, as well as where the daffodil & tulip bulbs are planted, so those will benefit from the water when the snow melts.

    *Hung about half of the clothes to dry when I did the wash after I returned home.

  20. I use Swagbucks as my default search engine and accumulate quite a few points that way during the day. When I’m watching TV in the evening, I’ll also “watch” Swagbucks videos on my laptop at the same time with the volume turned down if I’m in a mood to accumulate points. I do the 3 basics every day: the one question poll, the offers, and the little count-down video for 4-5 points. Some days, I’ll also look for the Swagcode but my timing tends to be off. Don’t go overboard, just be happy for those points that do show up. I did get $15 in Swagbucks when I decided to sign up to sell Avon, which paid for the first little kit.

  21. America’s Best offers 2 pairs of single-vision glasses for $69 with a free eye exam and 2 pairs of bifocals for $99 with a free eye exam too. They’ve been running that offer for ages here in Michigan but it is a nationwide offer. The only catch for you would be the 110 mile drive to the nearest location in Utah or an even longer drive to Glendale, AZ. http://www.americasbest.com/eye-exams I got my glasses through a local optician who took my insurance but before I had the insurance, I visited their nearest shop to me and looked over their choice of frames. Not bad at all.

  22. No, it is sterile bagged manure. I will never do free manure again; we lost half our trees and bushes because of it (it was too hot and not composted as we were told), and I am still dealing with weeds that we would not have otherwise had because of it (I spent about 3 hours working on gettting rid of more of them last week, and they are still a problem after 9 years; I am going to have to do some major work and tear out hedges to try to eradicate them.)

    We’ve discussed rabbits in the past, and we won’t be doing them.

  23. Marivene,

    I know Utah has outlawed water barrels. I love that you have a way to save the snow for water in your garden. I have read that drought restrictions on watering are getting stricter in Utah. I think your snow saving in the garden is fantastic!

  24. Most of the frugality of the last week involved food, especially those bananas. I figure that between the 40 pound box and the bag we received besides, I had between 50-55 pounds of bananas. I am thrilled with all the things I did with them and am probably the most happy with the gallons of frozen banana chunks I got.

    We did a lot of cooking from scratch. I had the girls help this week, since I was so busy.

    I am still working on purposefully using up as many things as I can that have been around for a while. I am finding that occasionally I find an item that is not usable, such as the freezer-burned bacon we tried to salvage this morning, but almost everything has been usable. It is so good to be getting some of those items that had been forgotten used.

  25. Love, love love your garden expansion plans, Brandy. I am actually thinking about taking down one mature tree in my yard, All my trees are very large, and I no longer get enough sun to truly grown food. And I have a half acre, so that’s just silly.

    My most recent contract job ended suddenly on Friday. This has been an awful 12 months in terms of employment. It’s hard to even find a low wage job to carry through, so prayers appreciated.

    Here are my frugal, and getting frugal-er accomplishments for last week:

    [*] Made all meals at home, from ingredients I had on hand. Have been doing a much better job of getting creative what things in my food storage.
    [*] Baked biscuits and cookies
    [*] Turned the heat down to 62 degrees. It’s been below zero here.
    [*] Finally cancelled cable tv. I had kept it at my elderly mother’s request, but she now agrees it’s a huge waste of money. Saving almost $90/month between the service and equipment and tax charges
    [*] I got a leaf antenna, that I had purchased, to work on one TV. I get local channels, including two PBS affiliates, who each have multiple channels in our area. I only ever watched PBS, which is great.
    [*] More reading and sewing, less mindless entertainment. I am using less energy and feeling more productive
    [*] Had some bruised and reduces lemons on hand, so i made lemon curd, and froze some juice
    [*] Made homemade granola
    [*] Ate many meatless meals

    Now on to continue my job hunt, which is daunting.

  26. I’m looking forward to gardening here as spring approaches. I went out to my community garden plot a few weeks ago take a look, and I noticed that the herb bed (which had numerous established perennial herbs, including a beautiful lavender bush) had been completely cleared out. All the plants were gone. This was a community herb bed for all the gardeners, and I used it all the time. I contacted the city employee who administers the garden, and she was shocked as well that the herbs were gone. As far as we can determine, an overenthusiastic gardener probably completely cleared out the bed at the end of the year (in a rush to complete his or her required volunteer hours). After some discussion, it was decided that the herb bed will be replanted. I suggested that we address the issue at the start-of-the-season garden meeting, not to blame anyone, but to explain about perennial herbs and how to care for them.

    My frugal accomplishments for the last couple of weeks:
    – I repaired a drawer by replacing a screw. It works a lot better now.
    – I found two 8oz packages of sliced Portobello mushrooms on sale for 49 cents each on clearance. This was a crazy good price. My husband hates mushrooms but I fried them up for myself. Yum!
    – I bought grapefruit 2 for $1. This is the least expensive I have seen them this year. Usually they are 3 for $1 a couple times during the season, but I know the citrus growers are having some major issues.
    – I cooked a big pot of split pea soup using items from the freezer and pantry. I was able to cool it outside my front door (with the top secured to keep critters out) because the weather was close to freezing. A big pot of soup won’t fit in my fridge.
    – I made carnitas (Mexican pulled pork) one night, but didn’t have any tortillas to serve it with. Then I remembered I had some masa harina corn meal. So I made my own tortillas for the first time ever. I didn’t have a rolling pin so I used a jar to roll them out between two pieces of parchment. They were delicious! I will definitely do this again.
    – I walked to work and brought my lunch with me.
    – I was walking to work one day, and I fell – twice – on patches of invisible ice. The frugal part of this is that, thankfully, I didn’t break anything! I was in pain for a few days, but I took hot Epsom salts baths at night, which helped a lot.

    That’s all I can think of right now. Hope everyone else had a good week.

  27. My week was not as frugal as I had hoped, but considering we had guests in town for 5 days and had to manage different expectations (they like to eat out) I think we did okay.

    I finished working on a polar fleece tunic for my daughter that I worked on without a regular pattern. This has gotten me more interested in pattern drafting, and I found a wonderful book (Making Patterns for Kids Clothes) that looked promising. I didn’t really want to spend more money on anything, but then I realized that I still had just enough on a gift card to purchase it.

    I also put holds on many DVD’s from the library of good movies from this past year right before the Oscar nominations came out. This kind of helps me have a chance of seeing them before the summer (the holds can be loooooong).

    Last week one of my sons fell and cut his head on the Wi-Fi router. I tried calling our pediatrician first before taking him to the ER to see if they did stitches/staples (they do). I am hoping this will save us from what would have been a much higher ER bill.

    I decided to buy an extra ham this week as they were 50% off at Aldi (it worked out to 75 cents a pound for spiral cut).

  28. I recently picked up a book on Pennsylvania gardening to learn more. It was on my list to do sit down with this week – with a cup of tea and a cookie. Cookies make reading retention easier sometimes. 
    I redecorated an entry way console using items already owned. I was pretty proud of myself; I have this large thrifted artesian plate/bowl and decided to display it on its side. Using a large weighted tube (filled it weighs about 20 lbs) as the back support (can’t been seen behind the plate) and a thin brick wrapped in linen in front at the base (to ensure it won’t move) I kept myself from spending money on a large plate stand. Also added was a jug with fake forsythia stems – your picture last week really inspired to do this now.
    I bought a bag of apples that were a little past their prime – if I had known this, I would have passed on them. Peeled and with a pinch of cinnamon, I canned 3 pints of applesauce.
    Finally cut up the small amount of holiday cards to use as gift tags for next year. Some had pretty bird graphics printed on the back of the card, so I cut those out too.
    I cleaned small pieces of silver jewelry with toothpaste (take a smidge of toothpaste, rub on the silver and wipe off with a clean rag, rinse jewelry, dry). I discovered this way of cleaning a few years ago and haven’t had an issue. I love how easy it is.
    The people I house sit for got an unexpected vacation, so they asked last minute if I could fit house sitting in my schedule – they were so very kind and doubled what they usually pay and gifted a few handmade treasures they found on their trip. I told them they treat me too well.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  29. This week was a weirdly busy one, but I managed to squeak out a few frugalities!

    1) I made a huge batch of black beans in the crock pot. I added them to meals throughout the week and replaced a few meats in other dishes. Overall we only ate 3 lbs of meat as a family of 4 for the whole week.
    2) My daughter has to bring a birthday treat to school this week so we made low sugar pumpkin cookies with fruit topping from ingredients we had at home. Frugal and yummy!
    3) I made 4 loaves of bread and froze 3. This cuts down how often i have to bake bread.
    4) I did a product review and recieved a $25 amazon gift card plus I got to keep the product!
    5) We went to the free day at the musuem on monday and packed a lunch. Even parking was free!

  30. This past week was very frugal here. I did the cooking at home. We had a gift card for 1 meal out. We used it for our Friday night bible study group. I am working on next years Christmas items. I organized a linen closet. I went to the Randall’s store and got a few of their loss leader items. (sausage $1.99 a pound, potatoes 20 cents a pound, carrots 25 cents a pound) I also made some 10 bags of shredded squash, sweet potato, and green beans for dog food. Now all I have to do is cook the turkey or chicken to make the dog food. It is a real time saver to have these bags already made up….
    My husband used 2 gift cards he got for Christmas to buy a new grass blower for our yard. Our old one was burned out. David is busy planning our garden. We have ordered seeds.
    I got 11 books for FREE for my kindle. I am reading a series of books. I was glad to get all of them at one time. In the past week I have read 4 of the books. (I have not been well, still recovering from kidney stone surgery) So reading has been my pass time. I am not a huge fan of TV. I actually only watch 2 shows on a regular bases. I watch Wheel of Fortune with my husband and NCIS on Tuesday. That is it.
    Had to make a big buy this past week to restock some pantry items and I had coupons. I spent $52.46 and saved 32.00 with the coupons. We are set for a year or more with shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, mouth wash, dishwasher detergent, and tooth brushes.

  31. Another slow and sleepy week. Even so, we still pinched a few pennies. From what I have learned here this week, I will be able to pinch a few more pennies. Thanks for the Swagbuck tips and the snow saving suggestions. I love this community.

    We started the week by going for a walk and playing around with a free GPS app. I am trying to go for a walk every day regardless of the weather to get back in shape. I have also managed to sneak in a few online yoga classes downloaded for free.

    We have done really well eating the food we already have. All our dinners including a venison stew and a fish supper have all come from the deep freeze. I think we did extra well by using up all the leftover as either lunch or dinner the next day.

    We started “armchair gardening” and making plans to expand our garden come spring.

    I cut the man’s hair (#5 buzz cut) using clippers we bought a couple of years ago now. These clippers pretty much paid for themselves after the second hair cut.

    While we were out and about, I found a broken up old fortune cookie in the bottom of my purse that was a souvenir from our birthday dinner last month. We were given an extra fortune cookie, so my brother told me to buy a lottery ticket using the “lucky numbers” on the back of the fortune. We will see if this was a wise purchase or not next week when I check the numbers. Probably a waste of $5, but a girl can dream.

    In terms of generating income, I spent the last weekend helping with inventory at a local store. I have also sent out a couple of resumes. Fingers crossed.

    Have a great week everyone!

    tadpole – https://hiproofbarn.wordpress.com/

  32. Wow! You’ve been busy. I really need to, as soon as the weather starts warming up for the year a little bit, get out into the yard and start hacking underbrush back. This year isn’t shaping up to be a great one financially, but I already own pruners, so at least I can do THAT without worrying about spending money.

    My list for the week can be found here…


  33. Oh wow! I’m so sorry your baby had to go through all of that! Glad she’s finally, hopefully, starting to feel better. Thank goodness you took it seriously, though. RSV is serious and super scary. I’m praying for you guys!

  34. I do have several hellebores, Brandy. None are really thriving, but I usually get a few blooms. I’m pretty bad about fertilizing, and I really need to work on the soil too. Might have something to do with it :o). I’m not sure of the varieties I have. I know some if not all were unnamed in the local nurseries where I got them, other than “hellebore”. They are not especially showy ones, like some of them are now, but the blooms are still most welcome this time of year. I look forward to seeing photos of yours in the future.

  35. I love when you share your garden knowledge and how tell us what you did in the garden, Brandy. Few people appreciate how much work even a small garden can be.

    I am working on eating out of my freezer and pantry. I’m also trying to use what I can and menu plan so as not to waste to meet new low sodium restrictions. Thanks to the ladies last week who responded, they were encouraging and educating! Still open to any recipes, websites or names of books.

    I bought a bright hot pink dog coat for 99 cents to use for a pattern to make a coat for my dog (male), a pattern itself costs more than 99 cents (I am too far from Micheals or Hobby Lobby) and when I get the pattern I’ll cover the coat with some plaid navy flannel scraps that I have.

    I’ve been faithful at walking two or three times a day.

    I’ve eaten at home only buying milk and some produce to fill in what my pantry lacks.

    I’ve enjoyed a couple of shows online.

    I’ve visited the library for books, book on CD and a $1 movie rental. The rental fee goes to buy new DVDs.

    I’ve cleared most of my house of excess clutter and have put it all in one room. Now I am sorting through the items in that room in 15 minute increments, sometimes once but most times 3x a day. My house looks better and I am making good progress on going through things-keep, donate, give away or throw away. Being able to shut the door on this “excess” makes it an easier task for me.

    I don’t have to have the heat on at night when I’m home because my one cat heater and now one dog heater keep me warm when they sit on my lap and I’m under a blanket.

    I also purchased some 90% off Christmas items that I can use year round.

    I hope everyone enjoys a happy, frugal and healthy week.

  36. Sorry to hear that your daughter was so sick, Mandy! I hope your daughter and your family recuperate quickly from her illness. Hospital stays are never much fun for anyone.:(

  37. Actually Brandy, Utah has relented somewhat in the water barrels restrictions. This past summer, Salt Lake County was actually sponsoring free water barrels to cut water useage. Each household can collect up to a certain amount – something like 200 gallons – for use “on the property”. If you have a water right, you can collect more. A 0.26 acre foot water right came with the house. Most of neighbors sold theirs for a few hundred dollars. I kept mine, because it allows me to collect water from the downspouts, up to the amount of my water right, & there is no way on earth I am going to collect 1/4 acre foot of water from the runoff in Utah.

    I have been shoveling the snow onto the trees & bushes for several years now. The daffodils & tulips come up stronger & prettier in spring, & I am convinced that is why, since our ground is still not frozen, so the snowmelt absorbs as it thaws.

  38. Maggie,

    I hope you can get your tree removed and plant a garden! That would be a huge help, especially as you are dealing with unemployment. You may not be able to plant for a while, but when you could, it would help so much.

    We have found that my husband sleeps better when the temperature is 62º. It should be a great help in your heating bill!

  39. OK, this is a long shot, but do you know anyone who keeps goats? They are very good at eating down underbrush and fertilizing while they go. If you know someone who would be willing to bring over their goat for a few days, it might save you some time!:D

  40. I thought Brandy’s comment about not being able to plant for a while after cutting down a tree was interesting. As a historic interpreter at a pioneer village, one of the things that I talk about is the fact that the pioneers would arrive at their plots of land to discover that it was just a bunch of overgrown bush and trees. They would then have to cut down trees and plant their gardens around the tree stumps in order to try and grow enough food to last through their first winter (Canadian winter, that is). Granted the pioneers did not live on vegetables alone, but it is possible to put in and grow gardens around tree stumps. The pioneers are living proof!

  41. “Cookies make reading retention easier sometimes.” I love this! 😉

    Also, thanks for sharing the tip about cleaning silver jewelry. I have a pair of earrings that I just love but haven’t been wearing lately because they’ve become so tarnished. Does it matter what type of toothpaste (whitening, anti plaque, etc.)?

  42. I am inspired to spend some time in our garden this coming weekend!

    Our frugal accomplishments this past week include:

    I took on some extra work, and got paid with a bookstore gift card!
    Husband started work screening in our porch himself.
    We ordered our Spring garden seeds, and took advantage of a free shipping offer to get them.
    Husband looked on YouTube to learn how to do a repair using a $20 part instead of paying $50-$200 for them to do it at the shop.
    We socialized with friends this past weekend in their home, instead of going out.

    I hope everyone has a great week!

  43. This is the first time posting our “frugal accomplishments.” I’ve been reading for a few years now and have learned so much from this community. Thanks, everyone, for sharing! (And, Brandy, I’m always so impressed by your garden–especially given the tough gardening conditions in which you live.)

    Last week’s accomplishments:

    Mended three shirts.
    Sewed on son’s merit badges (We used to take them to the cleaners, but now I’ve learned how to do it myself.)
    Hubs made me some wooden cutting boards and we tossed the plastic ones.
    Made several loaves of bread.
    Hubs shredded old bills/paperwork to use as nesting material for our chickens.
    Dehydrated some grape tomatoes that were about to pass their prime.
    Gave some “too tart for us” yogurt to our hens.
    Harvested lettuce, kale, spinach, and oranges from the garden (hubs is the gardener in our household). Sadly, due to the drought we have only 12 small oranges this year. Still, a dozen is better than none! 🙂
    Made banana bread from some too ripe bananas and stashed the loaves in the freezer.
    Collected buttons for my button tin and tossed the old shirts, etc., into the rag bin.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  44. After reading your comment, I think I need to learn more about fertilizing hellebores. I do have decent soil where I am putting these in (mostly in pots but 2 in the ground). I hope they do well; I have struggled to get anything to grow in this full-shade spot.

  45. Mandy I am so glad that your daughter is better. It hurts to see our little ones sick and nothing is bound to make you feel as helpless as knowing you can do nothing to help.

  46. Tina our Aldi in mid Georgia had 5 pound bags of Grapefruit for $1.69 this week. I only wish I could eat all the grapefruit I want but at present I can’t due to a medication I have to take for the next six months. I just hope the prices are that good next year!

  47. Don’t forget to get your printable coupons through Swagbucks. Every time you redeem one you earn 10 SB. It can take 2-3 months for it to show up, but once you start regularly redeeming the bucks will steadily trickle in. To find the coupons, click “shop” on the left sidebar,. then “coupons”, then “printable coupons” I don’t have the patience for the other stuff on Swagbucks, but it just takes a couple of minutes a day to do the daily poll and NOSO. Just those alone are $10 in gift cards per year. I appreciate Jamie’s ideas though, I think I’ll try them!

  48. I didn’t post in my savings post last week but we were pretty happy with the way our car repair turned out (deer hit husband on his pre-morning drive to work). The insurance determined that our car had a depreciated value after they sent out the repair check (minus our $500 deductible). We got another check for$100 to ‘adjust’ our account. I told John I’d apply that to the deductible amount we had to pay. When we went in to pick up the car, I sat down to write out a check for full payment and we were given a discount for paying in full! I guess that’s not common hereabouts in our rural area and they usually work with the customers getting deductible amounts in increments. Anyway, our discount was 10% of the bill…That meant we had only to pay $200 for our portion, so just $100 more out of pocket for us. It was a great blessing to us!
    Here’s what I did last week to save: http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2016/01/frugal-fridays.html

  49. My frugal accomplishments for last week:

    -trimmed my dog’s bangs to lengthen the time between grooming visits
    – A couple months ago I put mine and my husband’s names into the “unclaimed money” websites of the various states we lived in. Something came up under my husband’s name. Just today we got a pretty nice sized check in the mail that will almost pay for our Florida vacation coming up (staying with my in-laws so no hotel expenses!). All from just spur of the moment deciding to run our names through where we’ve lived before!
    – Sold about $115 worth of stuff on eBay
    – Colored my own hair (with hair color I already had)
    – Daughter really wanted to go skiing with a friend on our snow day so I checked on groupon and found a ski rental and lift ticket for $39 which is normally just the price of the lift ticket itself.
    – My friend gave me some great stuff she didn’t want…a Rachel Ray magazine, an unopened packet of protein shake that I drink every morning, some fancy salsa, artichoke bruschetta and fancy mustard! Yea!! She knows I love fancy foods!
    – To force myself to “embrace” winter I went cross country skiing with friends. The rental was only $8 for the skis, boots and poles. I got a great workout outside and had some fun with friends.
    – Used up all the leftovers
    – Had to order a new extractor blade for my nutribullet and I got a 10% discount and free shipping. Always a nice little bonus!
    – Had a coupon for a haircut for my son so saved a few dollars there
    – Was asked to go out to lunch but declined
    – My friend gave me some fruit syrup in the cutest little bottle so I washed the label off and am reusing the bottle. It would be perfect as a bud vase.

  50. I got busy inside the house this week, since it was so windy, snowy, and cold that we didn’t want to leave it anyhow. My husband reminded me that I hadn’t finished re-covering HIS car pillow–we both have lumbar pillows in the car. I had the cover sewn into 2 pieces but had gotten discouraged that mine didn’t fit as well as I had hoped. So I put his on his pillow entirely with hand sewing, and got a much better fit than with the first one. And it’s done just in time for a drive to Florida we have planned for next week. (We have a wedding anniversary in February, so it’s our annual gift to ourselves to spend it somewhere warm.) I did another couple small mending jobs while I was in the vicinity of the sewing machine too. Also cooked all but one meal at home–it was warmer on Sunday and we hadn’t been out in a long time, so went to our favorite BBQ restaurant for dinner. It’s pretty frugal because the portions are large—we generally just get a sandwich which comes with one side, and have more than enough to eat!!
    Also have been putting away the rest of the “Christmas” things–both decorations, gift wrap, etc are back in the attic, and all our “new” things are put away, although I am still cleaning kitchen cupboards as a result of having more stuff to fit in them. They were due for the cleaning and I’ve thrown away a lot I’m not using plus have a “donate or give away” pile going. Making clear progress every day makes me happy with a sense of accomplishment!! It’s too easy in mid-winter to curl up with the computer or a book, newspaper, or magazine and let the day slip away.
    Thanks to Brandy and all the rest of you for sharing such great ideas every week!

  51. Our exam at Walmart was 49$; We were quoted 59$. The price must depend on location so i’d call around. I love zenni!

  52. Nope. Don’t know anyone nearby. My husband and I keep hoping we’ll get some money together so we can get a piece of equipment in here to just plain rip the underbrush up. We have some pretty nasty weeds around here. One is called Devil’s club. It’ll grow about a yard tall and has nasty spikes on it. Since I am pretty sure that we’re not going to have money this year, it’ll just be me and a pair of pruners :). Hopefully I can get at least some of the yard reclaimed (we’re on 2 1/4 acres here) from the underbrush this year.

  53. Hi Mandy and I have to say that pneumonia is just the worst and particularly for a young child.

    I had pneumonia around a year ago and went to the hospital after passing out and telling my husband for some days I was feeling unwell. Poor man was having a sleep and then just heard crash and I woke up with my husband stroking my face, saying are you alright multiple times. We have a small bedroom and last I remember was holding the end of the bed, I must have just from a standing position hit the carpeted floor directly backwards, fortunately missing the bed and tallboys at the end of the bed.

    When we got to the hospital it happened to be a friend who was the doctor on shift, he said we can admit you or you can go home, knowing I was an ex nurse and hated hospital stays. I of course took the option of go home with copious amounts of antibiotics and lots of bed rest.

    It took me around a month to get my strength back to do the regular housework and washing. During that time I just did small things like hang one load of washing, puff and pant and rested for 2 or 3 hours.

    Poor little thing she must have been so scared & I hope she gets well soon. It will take her a couple of weeks to a month to get back her strength and usual energiser bunny 5 year old ways though as I found out. Keep up the regular doctor check-ups to make sure she is fine though.

  54. We did this also and there was $2200 in my husband’s name in a state we lived in three states ago!! That was such an unexpected and fantastic surprise! We did send the info (because it includes your social security number) via FedEx overnight sealed envelope for extra security.

  55. Hi Brandy and yes free manure does have a lot of weeds I do have to say, if you use it straight away.

    Through experience in the last 2 years of gardening at the property we are at, I have found that if you put it under black plastic and leave for a month to kill the weed seeds in the summer before using it, you don’t have that problem. It can though be more difficult of course in the winter.

    We too did the put it straight on trick and yes have to agree prolific weeds overtook the place. We now order all our manures in summer and put it under black plastic in the sun, and that is what we use also in the winter. From what I read online, yes still learning too after all these years of gardening, if you put it under black plastic for around 3 days in 30oc or above days it kills the weed seeds.I tend to go for the 2 weeks to a month to make sure, and found that it works a treat. I hope this helps.

  56. Greetings!
    -I did some walking this week; not near enough, but that’s okay since it all helps. Shoveling snow was my frugal exercise. I can’t wait for it to end.
    -Talked to all my children this week; mood lifting..
    -I made Brandy’s recipe for minestrone soup; the first time i’ve ever made that kind. It was delicious! We’ve had three meals from it with one more to go. I had everything on hand. For the 1-2 cups of greens i used some dried kale i have from Summer.
    -I made cheese bread, from a Cook’s recipe, to go with the soup; excellent!
    -Sold several things on ebay
    -We bought a Mr. Buddy heater to use in our home. This heater uses propane canisters, like the type used for grills. In our tiny home, this is perfect for taking the chill off. The furnace didn’t come on when we tried it. I’m not sure the cost is a savings, but i love it anyway!
    -My husband loves boxed brownie mixes. I make a box about every fifth day. (I save the inside bag for putting between patties for the freezer, etc..) I found a recipe for homemade brownies that he’ll tolerate once in awhile. He likes his brownies very rich, think dark chocolate, and dense. (I like mine more like a cake.) I’m excited to have found these. I’ve got two ‘mixes’ in the cupboard, ready to go. This should bring the cost down a bit.
    -I had some yogurt languishing in the refrigerator, so i strained out the whey and made yogurt cheese. (labneh?) When i went to make smoothies, i didn’t have any liquid for the fruit. So, i used the whey and labneh, since technically, the seperate components still amounted to yogurt. It was delicious and made three lunches for me. And, i still have some of the cheese, which is very good with crackers.
    -I made rice pudding for the first time. I used leftover rice. Although it was good, i have a hard time with texture; a little goes a long way. And, since it’s not chocolate, see above, i may have to eat it myself…
    -i tried a new-to-me bread recipe where you make it up one day, leave it in the oven with the light on, and bake it the next day. It is a wet dough so it spread quite a bit. Still good, though. I think i’ll add a bit more flour next time.
    -The best thing i’ve done all week was take a nap today! I’ve been exhausted from all the shoveling; blah! Spring can’t come soon enough for me.
    I hope everyone has a grand week! I look forward to seeing how everyone saves time and money with their frugal accomplishments.

  57. Hi Brandy as just curious as I am from Australia as you know. Does the Utah restrictions also cover rain water tanks as well and are you allowed to have them in the States ?.

    Here in Australia the previous government gave rebates to homeowners who installed rain water tanks and water efficient toilets and things to save on town water usage. We have no restrictions on the amount of water we can collect from our rainwater downpipes.

    We are in a rental whilst saving for our home and noticed that the downpipes simply came out from the side of the house and went on the lawn. Whilst a plumber that was sent out from the real estate agent was here fixing another problem, we asked if he could install an extension pipe from the existing pipe so that it extended out from the side of the house so we could collect rain water. He did it free of charge as he already had an offcut of pipe in his van from another job and just popped it on for us.

    We then purchased 2 collapsible 1100 litre water tanks and put one underneath the pipe, we then when that one gets full bucket into the other. Next on “the to do list when we can afford it”, is to plumb them together so the overflow automatically goes into the other without human intervention.

  58. Hi Becky and glad you were given so many ideas for how to use the bananas and sounds like your whole family had fun cooking with them.

    I hope that your yellow banana tinged skin has faded a little to a pastel lemon :p, from eating that many.

  59. I wouldn’t recommend rabbits in your area unless you have a climate controlled area to keep them in. They do fine in the cold as long as they are dry and sheltered from the wind but the heat will kill them very quickly – even in the shade. I have had rabbits since I was 3 (so over 40 years) and when our kids were really into 4-H and ARBA shows, we had over 30 breeder rabbits and approx 50 young ones growing out year round 🙂

  60. Hi Roxie and well done on the year or more supply of shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, mouth wash, dishwasher detergent and tooth brushes.

    Ironically we have just done the same thing and stocked up to a years supply of toothbrushes last week. We also during January were able to stock up on to a years supply of deodorants, shampoos and conditioners as well for 50% off usual prices. We had some supplies for a few months but just decided to up our storage.

    Now that the Australian dollar has plummeted we are expecting everything to skyrocket in price as most of our goods are imported grocery wise. We are also about to go and buy the second freezer we had planned to buy in August as the financial experts have warned that our prices could soar up to 50% higher. We shall just bank our tax cheque refund we were going to use when that comes back.

    We tend to buy all of our larger household appliances and garden equipment when the Australian dollar is higher so save us money. We are glad we purchased all of our garden equipment we needed when the dollar was near par & above with the United States dollar. Yes this might shock you but the ride on lawnmower we purchased for $5100 under a year ago new is now around $7800 – $8500 to buy.

  61. Lorna,

    Every state and city has different rules.

    Cisterns are very unusual in the west, unfortunately. There has been a bit in the news lately about how California needs to make this possible, like Australia has done. The problem is, it should have been done years ago when the homes were built, and there are a lot of zero-lot line properties where installing them would be difficult. Further east there may be more; I know in the mid-west (in Missouri) my dad said he used to have a job cleaning cisterns for people, and that lots of people had them. The west is the dry area (easy to see from space via Google Earth; it’s brown instead of green) and we could really use them, but no plans were made for them.

    Water efficient toilets are the law in some areas, but not everywhere. In our water district (encompassing several cities in the south of the state) they required builders to install low-flow toilets and shower heads. They later outlawed grass in the front yard of all new home construction, and put in restrictions on businesses and churches on their landscaping. They also have alloted water days and our water bills are tiered, and most people have rock landscaping, and water with drip irrigation. I live in the driest state in the nation. Other water districts in the state are having to make more water restrictions.

    California has had their own restrictions lately (though many years later than need be). They required some cities to have up to a 36% cut in water usage. The concern with putting in cisterns in California is the expense, as well as the fact that most rain comes in January. Unlike here, though, the water is not reclaimed in most places (in our city 95% of the water is reclaimed) and it flows out to the ocean.

    Utah is desert, too, but they get higher rainfall than we do here. A law was passed a few years back outlawing water barrels, but as Marivene said, they have been making changes as their drought has gotten worse.

    So, it really depends on where you live. Some readers in the east have mentioned restrictions prohibiting all outdoor watering in times of drought.

    Brazil and South Africa are having even more serious drought problems right now, with people not getting water every day.

    Australia and Israel have done great things to make sure they have water. The rest of the world really needs to follow their examples in making sure we have water.

  62. Terri – Wow, that’s a great price! We don’t have Aldi here, unfortunately. The grapefruit 2 for $1 was at our Kroger (QFC and Fred Meyer).

  63. Hi Erica and my husband does occasional paid yard work and maintains large racing pushbike velodromes.

    You may want to look at a whipper snipper that has a blade attachment you can put on it for using on underbrush. Check on Ebay and see what you can find , as from what I saw the prices were very reasonable. You will want to go with one with a higher torque and horse power to do the job. By the way the Chinese brand ones do a great job as my husband can testify to and they are only around a fifth of the price of the usual ones in the stores here. We got a back pack one and it is fantastic.

    I hope this helps, and with a limited disposable income we have as we are saving for our first home together, I have become quite adept at getting high powered garden maintenance equipment at rock bottom prices.

  64. Hi Mitzy and can totally relate to the body heat of our beautiful cats and dogs.

    We used to own a very old cat who used to live across the road and decided to move in to our home suddenly after we fed and washed and brushed him as he was infested with fleas, as he was never fed and was beaten by his previous owners. I called him Mr Moo as he was black & white, and around 10 years old and had bad arthritis and epilepsy due to obvious reasons.

    In winter he would sit on my or my husband’s lap with a blanket completely covering him, the heat he generated was astonishing. Through much love and attention he used to play peek a boo with us. I would say I am going to get you, and he would run under a chair and put his head under and leave the whole back of him out in view, and purr so loudly and waterfall dribble in excitement when I would tell him I was getting close. We had 6 beautiful years with him and that is proof positive that an abused animal with love can be rehabilitated into a happy contented cat who learnt how to play.

  65. Maggie,

    How do you keep the heat at 62 and your mother happy? My tiny mom doesn’t like the thermostat set below 70 at night and she sneaks it up to 76 when I’m not looking. I soon notice because I start melting when it is set above 74. When I lived in coastal San Diego County, I never turned on the furnace and only ran my little 9″x9″x9″ heater for an hour or so in the evening during the coldest weather. Fifty-five at night was fine for me.

  66. Thanks Brandy for explaining that to me.

    We have had drought in a lot of areas in Australia too, and therefor do have different water restrictions according to the level of water in each dam in an individual area. Recently we were high level restrictions, which included no outside use of water between the hours of 10 a.m – 4 p.m, no washing of cars, windows, houses or pavements other than with a bucket, and watering for an hour only 3 times a week only with drip irrigation or watering can. The water usage on extreme restrictions is 140lts per person per day, high level 170 lts per person per day, medium 200lts per person per day and not drought or normal permanent water restriction 230lts per person per day.

    We set up our garden beds with drip irrigation systems with a shut off tap on each one and plant according to the water restrictions and reduce planting if necessary, or water with the tank water, vegetable steaming we save. Each property owner pays a water connection fee and is allowed a certain amount of water per year, after that allowance they pay excess water which is about double to triple the KL water price of normal. Some areas get no allowance at all and pay per use of their water.

    We are in a country area so get a certain amount to use free of charge through our local council.

  67. Hi everyone- thanks for everyone’s great ideas. My biggest frugal accomplishment this week was resolving an issue where a significant number of Swagbucks hadn’t been credited to my account- so far this month I have gotten $100 in Amazon credit from Swagbucks. I almost spent part of it on a pressure cooker that was the deal of the day on Amazon but decided I wanted to think about that purchase a bit longer. I placed a large Bountiful Basket order last week and I am working hard to use the produce in our meal plan- I hadn’t ordered in several months but planning our meals around fruits and vegetables from the basket is a nice change of pace from what we had been doing. I also took a ham and whole chicken out of the freezer and cooked them for meals-we will use the ham bone to make split pea soup this weekend. Cooking from our pantry and the Bountiful Basket proceeds has allowed me to spend a lot less than normal on groceries. I am also working on developing a meal plan and grocery list format on excel that I can use to keep track of what we have and what I am making for 2 weeks at a time- my goal is to cut down on the impulse grocery story trips that add up to too much money spent.
    I have been knitting every night and I have enough yarn on hand to make many things this year so I am resisting the temptation to go to the craft store yarn sales.
    We had additional insulation placed in our crawl space 2 weeks ago and it is definitely making a difference- my husband works for Lowe’s so he got the insulation at a discount and he had a contractor he knows do it for a very good price.
    That is all I can think of for now- I hope everyone has a great frugal week.

  68. Brandy,
    Actually the issue in Utah isn’t rain barrels per se. Historically, water rights (including rainfall) have been owned by the state, not by property owners. Because of those laws, it was actually illegal to capture rainwater. I know it sounds crazy. As there have been greater pushes toward sustainability, municipalities have had to relax those laws. I’m in SLC, and we can now collect rainwater (legally). I’m sorry I didn’t hear about the free rain barrels Marivene mentioned though!
    BTW there were definitely towns last summer that banned outdoor watering. It happened to relatives of mine who live near Price. Since they expect the same ban this year, they’re working on a gray water system so they can garden. To me, it seemed really short-sighted on the part of their town, though. I can see banning lawn watering, but not edibles.

  69. Lorna,
    I had no idea Australia was going through such hard times! I am shocked at the lawnmower prices!
    After going through our recession, and losing a third of our 401, (and we still haven’t regained it), I feel for you!
    We have two freezers; one for breads, nuts, flours and others baking supplies; the other freezer is for the meats, cheeses, etc; and our freezer on top of the refrigerator is for vegetables, for the most part. Every little bit helps, as they say. Good luck to you! I’m going to read up more on the happenings of the world. (We don’t have regular TV)

  70. Canada is being hard hit right now too. We are going into a bit of a recession as our dollar keeps dropping. Our Canadian dollar was at par with the U.S. dollar not that long ago and is now it’s worth around $.70 American (and still dropping). The down side it that trips to the U.S. are more expensive, cross boarder shopping has all but ceased and we are seeing a lot of price increases in everyday goods (especially food costs). The up side is that American tourism in Canada is increasing again and our gas prices are dropping significantly.

  71. Thank you everyone for your well wishes! I appreciate it so much 🙂 She was feeling much better yesterday but we still won’t let her run around much because it makes her cough to much. After her appointment today I will be scheduling another appointment with her Doctor next week, just to be safe. This experience was the scariest I have ever dealt with. She was a trooper, though. She, obviously, became hysterical when they put her IV in and during nebulizer treatments, otherwise she was really good about it all. I hope she continues to get better fast! Thanks again!

  72. Cathy, it’s not surprising you did not hear about the free water barrels. They were gone in less than a week. Water rights in Utah did not historically belong to the state. Water rights belong to the water organizations, like the Strawberry Water Users Association or the Central Utah Project. The members of those associations are the ones who put up the money to build the dams that retain the seasonal water, so they are the ones who held the original water rights. Water rights can be rented, bought & sold, but can only be sold downstream. When land is sold, the water rights are usually divided & sold with the land. After the land, & the water rights are sold, the water rights can be sold separately, but again, only downstream. It gets very complicated, especially in the West. Last year the city offered to buy up water rights attached to small subdivision plots like mine, where there is not infrastructure to deliver the water. They were shut down immediately by the water users association, because among other points, that would have been selling “upstream”. I have had many conversations with our water association, because in order to retain my small water right, I pay the relevant dues that are assessed. I consider them my water insurance, because paying the dues insures my right to collect the rainwater on my roof, which is sufficient to maintain my garden & fruit trees.
    As the levels in the aquifer have fallen, & the reservoirs have been drawn down, the water laws came down on the side of rain “belonging” to the aquifer it recharges, & the water rights attached to that aquifer, so rainwater collection was illegal. A few years ago, one of the large car dealerships in Salt Lake expanded, & during their rebuild, put in a cistern to collect the rainwater from their roof, which they intended to use to wash the cars, to conserve water. All sorts of legal upheaval happened, with the state getting involved & telling them they did not have the water rights to do that. Several water rights were given to the dealership, but not before the media made the point that collecting water to use on the garden & lawn only interrupts the flow to the aquifer, rather than diverting said flow. That was a turning point for legalizing the collection of rainwater, & the reason for the law stating “for use on the property”. All of the cities in southern Utah county had water restrictions last year – some on the days you could water, some on the times, & some a ban on outdoor watering altogether. My town has forbidden watering between 10am & 6 pm for several years now.
    One of the rather simple things we have done to lower our water bill is to not fertilize the lawn. I mow every 10 days -2 weeks now. If we fertilize, I have to mow every week. Less growth takes less water.

  73. Hello Everyone! It’s snowing really gently in NW Ohio today…it’s cold, but really beautiful outside! This week I didn’t feel like I accomplished many ‘frugal’ things; but, faithfully stuck to our January budget, so I suppose that counts too! Anyway, I did save a few ways:
    *had lunch with a friend and used a $1.00 off a coffee and a gift card for my order for nothing out of pocket
    *had to wait quite a while in the drive-thru line at Starbucks and as a result, the man working gave me my order for free!
    *found Star-Wars Christmas paper and 300 gift tags on clearance for $0.62 each
    *made all meals at home
    *filled up with gas at Costco for $1.28 per gallon
    *my children had an extra day off school (for a teacher work day) and instead of going to an indoor trampoline park, we played at our church’s free indoor playland (and they loved it just as much!)
    *sold a few items on a FB garage sale site
    *borrowed books and DVDs from the library
    *continued with all my usuals= turning lights off, using extra blankets, washing baggies out, composting, etc.
    Have a fabulous week, everyone!

  74. I’ve had good luck with exams and prescriptions at both Costco and LensCrafters. Here, you do not need to be a Costco member to use optical or the pharmacy. I ordered glasses once from Costco and was very disappointed in them. The frames started to fall apart just after the warranty expired.

  75. Hi Everyone! I appreciate Brandy and everyone who comments. Reading everyone’s frugal accomplishments is very motivating!

    Frugal Blessings/Accomplishments
    — Bought Easter/piano recital dresses for two of my daughters on clearance at Dillard’s. I am very thankful because it is often hard to find cute, modest dresses for girls just entering adult sizes.
    –Stayed within my budget on my Sam’s grocery trip. We live in a small town, about an hour and fifteen minutes from Sam’s, so it is a temptation for me to over spend when we go because we don’t go very often. I used the order-ahead feature on their website. It allows me to play around with different combinations in my cart until I decide what I can get and stay within my budget. It also saves time because it is ready when I get there.
    –Colored my own hair
    — Downloaded several coupons for free items on my Kroger card.
    –Made homemade granola, pizza crusts, pancakes and bread. I also made a couple of pots of beans and made chili and bean burritos, then froze quite a few beans for future meals. I froze a meal’s worth of burritos to pull out on a night that I need a quick meal.
    –I made spaghetti sauce using Brandy’s recipe. I used the leftovers as pizza sauce.
    –I used Kroger fuel points to buy fuel for $1.17 a gallon.
    –I bought canned pumpkin for 25 cents a can. They don’t expire until 2017.
    –I started setting aside some free and inexpensive items for goody bags for my children for Valentine’s Day.
    –I signed up for Six Flag’s Read to Succeed program. This will allow us to earn four free tickets for our family for a summer getaway.
    –Several years ago, we paid electricians to install a switch in our house to allow us to safely plug in a generator during power outages. We wanted to make sure that it was done well so that it would not endanger us or anyone working on the power lines. We finally needed to try it out on Monday night when we were without power for six hours on a bitterly cold night. We were very thankful for how well it worked. It powered the blower on our hardy wood stove and kept our house warm. We decided to go ahead and fill up all of our gas cans this week while gas prices are so cheap.
    Have a wonderful week!

  76. I have used all types – I use the free samples from my dentist. All work fine. I can guarantee the whitening paste will turn your silver white :).

  77. Hi Maggie and advice from another tiny no natural insulation slim woman to help your mum.

    I have a selkbag , which is technically a sleeping bag you can walk in. Yes I do admit you look like the Michelan man or a NASA astronaut in them but they are so incredibly warm. You can get them in different temperature ratings, some for sub zero temperatures. Just search selkbags Australia in google and you will find them.

    Also I am not sure if she has thermal underwear, but get her some of them, and put her in 2 pairs of warm woollen socks and that will do the trick. She will probably not need the heat on at all then.

    I hope this helps.

  78. Hi momsavv and yes the lawnmover prices are through the roof.

    I do admit that when we get garden equipment, as my husband does a fair bit of paid industrial type gardening work with them, that we purchase bottom end of industrial machinery. So when we purchased we could have got home use ones for around $3000 and up but they just wouldn’t have done the job for us. We also live in a country area and do a lot of service of mowing & yard cleaning for our elderly members who are on properties of a few acres and more.

    Yes it is a shock the price rises and as we are on pensions our income is pinned to the inflation rate, which does not reflect the 20 % rises in grocery costs and other price rises we are currently seeing. The only bright light is that the price of fuel has come down, so I suppose that is something :).

  79. Hi Rhonda and I feel yours and your families pain on price rises. When you have a fixed income and it just isn’t rising in line with the price of goods, the pain is enormous and may I say there are many families going without food and necessities because they simply can’t afford them.

    I know in our church a lot of the members are on old age pensions which are very low and they truly struggle. My husband and I when we have excess vegetables in our garden that we can’t use, we surprise them and bring them large bags of vegetables and give it to them. It all helps in the long run and it gives us satisfaction to know that we have in our small way made sure that they can eat well, even be it for a few days, and we can help serve others even though our income is not huge either.

    From reading and seeing what the stock markets have been doing, I knew we were heading this way financially wise around a year ago, so prepared accordingly. As a pest control man said to us when he came to our home to spray for insects, ‘you two are like a pair of squirrels storing your nuts away for the winter”, referring to the huge supply of cut and split timber we cut and got for free that we have on our veranda for the winter ahead.

    I would say that if you are putting away extra supplies of groceries, to increase your supplies at any opportunity you have when you see super specials to save money where you can. Buy any major appliances now if you need them before the currency rates bottom out further. Stock fuel supplies, be it wood, cheap petrol, clothing or whatever you need and sit and calmly ride out the financial storm that the world is in now until situations improve.

  80. For the person asking about swag bucks…. I do some of the surveys and look for the shortest ones with a decent amount of bucks.

    Frugalness this week:
    * our grocery store had a daily freebie last week which I downloaded to my card ~ popcorn, a candy bar, water, gum
    * my daughter started a job at a new sandwich shop, we were invited to the soft opening and all got free meals
    * rethinking my grocery purchases… produce has been really high so I’m focusing on the in season items… bananas, carrots, etc…. grapes were $4/# last week…yikes! This also has me thinking about my garden this summer and what I want to plant.
    * dehydrated some pineapples slices (so yummy!)
    * sold some outgrown snow gear and some rain pants and a text book my daughter was done with
    * kids had no school monday so that was a nice extra day to stay at home
    * made a loaf of bread
    * added an extra blanket to our bed…. we keep the heat low and bundle!

  81. Holly:
    I got her the right things to wear in the house. Wool sweaters. Wool blend socks from Costco. Some lovely boiled wool slippers. She does a lot of knitting, so she sits up in her bed to do that. I think it helps that in the old country, she didn’t have heat in the house growing up. When we went to visit my grandfather many years ago, I slept in an unheated room in the winter, covered with a heavy down comforter. Grandma has little packages of guest knitted slippers, caps, and sweaters to wear too.

  82. Hi Momsavv and totally agree.

    The poor little thing was so insecure when he moved in he would jump around 3 ft in the air at any loud noise. He calmed after a while and it took a while but he learned that cuddles were a good thing and that he wasn’t going to be thrown.

    He was bought up with a Rottweiler dog and took on similar characteristics with us and would guard us like a watch dog would. When dogs would come into the yard he would attack with a guttural raw from the front stairs and attack whilst hanging on to their backs all the way up the street. You would never see that dog again. If any bug got near me or my husband he would pounce on it and kill it. I think it was his way of looking after us in return.

    He got used to our regular visitors and loved them and liked the occasional cuddle. He deemed everything that hit the floor was his, if a piece of paper from a guest was on the floor he would pounce on it and rip it to shreds with his teeth, all cardboard boxes from deliveries were his and he would climb in them and claim them, if I was sewing curtains for the house he would jump on them if they hit the floor while I was taking them to be hung up and got most upset when I took him off them. Some of an abused animals idiosyncrasies.

    One ladies puppy that she was walking pulled her into the yard and the puppy was approaching the cat. I had to hang on to him for grim death and tell her to quickly take the dog away. She really sweetly replied ” it’s ok the dog won’t hurt the cat”. To which my reply was “I am not worried about the cat it is your puppies welfare I am looking out for as the cat will attack and hurt him”.

  83. Hi Tina from Australia, and yes I agree the cost of fresh produce is going through the roof in price here too. Overall grocery prices have increased recently by from my working out around 20% and more in some cases here.

    Will give you some prices from here at the moment, bearing in mind we are in summer here :-), around 2.2lb to the kg –
    Bananas – $1.90 kg on special though – normally around $3 – $4 kg here.
    Grapes – $4.90 kg.
    Green Beans – $4.48 kg
    Carrots – $1.20 kg
    Snow peas – $11 kg
    Potatoes – $1.95 kg or 0.88c per pound
    Turnips – $4.98 kg or $2.26 per pound

    Fortunately we are not affected by most of the price increases here on vegetables as we have our own large vegetable patch growing.

    The fruit prices though are affecting us as we don’t grow our own fruit trees yet, things such as lemons are $1 ea, and oranges $2.98 kg. So we are now going to expand to include dwarf fruit trees in pots here too to try and stem some of the huge price rises and save money. We are fortunate we do have some friends with fruit trees and I trade some of my vegetables sometimes to get fruit when available, which works well and benefits us both. Other than that if the prices are too high we eat from our pantry on tinned fruits. We do also have a large strawberry patch that is producing well, so fortunately an alternative form of fresh fruit.

    Having your own garden does certainly save you a lot of money over a period of time and wish you luck with your summer garden too. We grow quite a bit and blanch and freeze our produce so we have a stock over the winter as well.

  84. We sleep better here, too when the heat is turned down to 62 at night in the winter. I am ok with even lower, down to 58 or so, but my husband likes it at 62.

  85. An alternative, for those who can’t grow large gardens (like my self), I watch for really good sales on veggies. I will buy a bunch up while on sale, then blanch and freeze them to use for the next few months. I find certain veggies (such as carrots and potatoes) often go on sale around holidays (next holiday being Easter). Some that are in season during the winter from other countries will sometimes go on big discount for maybe a week or two during the winter which helps to restock the freezer. Otherwise, the best time is to buy during the summer harvests and stock the freezer for winter.

  86. I’m jealous that you are already working in your garden….winter is just kicking in here in NJ. We are expecting our first snow fall this coming weekend and its supposed to be a whopper. I don’t want to complain since it has been a mild winter till this point and it is going to be a weekend event so I do not have to worry about traveling to work.

    A couple of weeks ago I refinanced my home. I was able to consolidate all of my bills and now I am in the process of taking care of some major “repairs” that needed to get done. I replaced my heating system at this point and now I have to have the roof replaced. I created a “budget” that I am praying I am able to stick to. Reading this blog and seeing what you do and everyone else gives me great ideas and keeps me motivated.

    Here are some of the ways I have saved this week…

    I continue to open all the blinds in the house during the day so the sun helps to warm the house. I only keep the heat on 65 degrees during the day since no one is home and then I will put the temperature up to 68 when I get home to take the chill out of the house. Once the house is warm I turn it back down, by the time it starts to cool down I have already taken a nice hot shower and put on warm pj’s and have crawled into bed to watch TV under the blankets. My PSEG “budget” was up in January for the year and I ended up with a nice credit. I did not have to pay a bill in January and I am going into February with a credit of $172.

    For entertainment I watched a movie FREE ON DEMAND and took out a book from the library. I also had dinner with a friend. Each month we get together and take turns “treating”, this month was hers so I had good company and a free meal.

    With some extra expenses in January I have been planning meals around what I have in the pantry. Trying to take the $$$ for these expenses out of the food budget so I can still put money into savings each week. So far I have been successful and I am determined that 2016 is the year I really get back on my feet!

    I decorated for Valentines Day. The mantle looks very pretty and was so cheap to put together. I have pillar candles on each side in red (that I also use for Christmas) and a long basket of silk english ivy (in the center) that I put glittered hearts into that are on pics that I got at the Dollar Store. I also attached to the center of the basket a red velvet bow (from Christmas decorations). I looks so pretty that I decided I am going to do the same for Easter with Easter Eggs and a bow from the Dollar Store and of course change the candles (I have white I keep out most of the year).

    All meals were cooked at home and leftovers were lunch. No food waste at all!

    Now….looking forward to reading all the frugal posts!

  87. Thank you Jen and Brandy! I was able to go directly to my former state’s department of revenue and start a claim 🙂 Thanks again! 🙂

  88. Hello everyone! I new to posting but have followed and appreciated for a long time! I want to thank Brandy and everyone here for your valuable input!

    This week I saved money by:

    ~Making my own Granola, Breads, Marmalade and Cranberry Sauce.
    ~I used some Clementine Peels to make cleaner along with White Vinegar and Whole Cloves. I purchase Mrs. Meyers cleaners (we are sensitive to smells and chemicals) and while a little goes a long way I thought I would give this a try. it is still ‘steeping’ as I write 🙂
    ~I made my own deodorant, detox bath to have on hand when ill, and whipped body butter which I am still working on the recipe 🙂
    ~I had a quilt that the dogs got too playful on and ended up tearing (grrr, not entirely their fault, it was made with cheap fabric) anyway, I cut away the torn part, stitched the ends and made a sleeve for a curtain rod to go through. We hung a rod over our back door which is where a lot of drafts come in. It looks cute and has helped so much!
    ~I earned a couple of books through Tyndale House Publishers by participating in surveys, etc. I got the tip from a reader here (I’m sorry I can’t remember who!). Here is a link: http://tyndalerewards.com/signup/?pc=qnyg-pb4j-fgdr-rigi
    ~We raise heritage hogs (2 endangered breeds of hogs), one of the items in their diet is Wheat Bran. We have a local milling company where we can purchase in bulk and if we return the feed sacks we receive a 20 cent credit for each bag returned. This makes it a little less painful 🙂
    ~My husband makes soap and we sell it locally. We rendered the lard from butchering to make it which saves us money from purchasing it and we have a better product.
    ~We found out that the price of propane went down so we topped off our tank. We use propane and heat with our woodstove so use is minimal. We also have an on-demand water heater which has already paid for itself after one year.
    ~Found a source for inexpensive firewood and purchased a couple of cords. We have resources to cut our own for free but my husband just had back surgery and is not quite ready for that kind of work yet.
    ~We have been cleaning out the pig shelter (where they sleep) and adding this to our garden. We still have alot of snow here but have a pile of compost that we will work and till in the soil once the weather gets better.
    ~I cleaned and polished all of my shoes. This will help keep them longer. While working on them I noticed that I have only purchased new one pair of Ariat Boots. Four pairs of Dansko Shoes, a pair of Dansko Boots and a pair of Justin Boots I purchased at the Thrift Store and the total for the above mentioned didn’t even come close to half of what I paid for my Ariat boots 🙂 Feeling happy to find quality items in good condition and a good price. I just spray the inside with Tinactin (or another type of anti-bacterial spray) and then clean thoroughly inside and out 🙂
    ~I have some plant cuttings starting that a friend gave me 🙂
    ~I have been able to get items from Shutterfly free only paying the shipping fee. This has equipped me with address labels for a while.
    ~I found Christmas lights and cards for 75% off for next year 🙂

    Thank you again everyone!!!

  89. Hi Rhonda & Tina, and yes agree with that too, if you don’t have space to grow gardens to buy produce on special is a great idea and blanch and freeze for the winter months as well.

    Here is a guide to blanching and freezing of produce that may help a few people and give them a guide. We tend to blanch and freeze in large lots from our garden as we have a large 7.2lt capacity steaming pot, for larger quantities as we do in one batch I recommend you take the 90 sec instructions up to 3 mins because of the larger quantities take longer to steam. Just scroll down to freezing instructions.

    It also has recipes for canning, making jams etc as well which might come in handy.

    Here is the link – http://www.pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm

    I hope this helps

  90. I have several hellebores that are spreading like crazy; they must like the area they are in. The blooms are not very colorful (pale green and a pale pink). I don’t fertilize them ever,but they are located on each side of a gravel walkway to my compost pile-maybe that helps some. They do get a little bit of sun but not much. I’ve split some of them and planted in the front if the house. I’ll be interested to see how they do this year.

  91. Thank you for giving this cat a loving and comfortable life the last 6 years of his life. I so don’t understand people who can abuse animals.

  92. I just wanted to add……….don’t forget St. Patrick’s Day! Cabbage, carrots and potatoes should be marked quite low at that time also! I usually try to get a corned beef or two to keep in the freezer if the sales are good enough. Depending on the sales, some years I get three, some years one.

  93. Hi Sharon and they were from Ebay in Australian dollars.

    If you are after the cotton one just search for cotton canvas hats, if you are after the wool / felt ones do a search for wool felt hat or wool felt fedora. I put in the search and then use the drop down menu at the top of the page and search for price plus postage lowest first and that will give you the cheapest price.

    I have found this to be the cheapest way to buy most of our things for us, most are from China, but I have found that the quality is just as good as in the shops here for 75% and more higher prices, and let’s face it most of the clothing and things are mostly from China in our shops anyway, just with a much higher price :).

  94. Oh no! Yes, I guess you’d have to really know what you are getting. That’s a shame that it wound up costing you so much time and money.

    I didn’t realize that rabbits would have trouble in your climate! I only know what I learned from having them here, but we never had anything fancy. Just pet rabbits. You learn something new every day.

  95. Hi Sharon and welcome to our community of frugal people. Sounds like you and your husband are doing well on the frugal front as well.

    How wonderful you make your own soap and sell it, and the price of propane gas went down for a change so you could stock up too at a lower price. We always get a shock when anything goes down in price here, we are fortunate that the price of car fuel has gone down at the moment and shall stock up this weekend as well.

    Hope your husband’s back problems improve so that you can source some timber independently too. My husband & I go timber cutting together and I too can use a chainsaw as my husband taught me, he used to be a professional scrub cutter in his younger days. It helps as my husband too has back injuries. So if my husband’s back is acting up, then I cut the timber pick it up for him, and he puts it in our trailer that we back up right near where we are working. If not my husband cuts the timber with the chainsaw and I load the timber. Most of my female friends are aghast that I can use and operate one safely, particularly as we have one small chainsaw and one large forestry chainsaw for larger tree trunks. Being a small built woman they are surprised that I can lift the large one, let alone cut with it :).

    In relation to where I purchased the cotton hats have answered in page 1 for you and hope you can get some at that low price too.

  96. When I shop online, I always check Ebates and Swagbucks. If they’re close to the same, I’ll go with Swagbucks. I use the Swagbucks TV app on my phone to keep videos running (on wifi) even while I’m at work during the day, and as long as I can keep it going, I can get 30-40 in a day just from that. I always do the daily poll and the NOSO, and use the search engine. Some days I do great, some days I don’t. But I’ve gotten several Amazon gift cards, and I’ve gotten one $100 Paypal payment, and I’m currently working on another one! It does take SOME effort, but there are ways to make it work. Good luck!

  97. Maybe she will want to be a nurse now,or a doctor. My middle girl was in the hospital for pneumonia when she was 3. When she came home, that is when she started saying she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up. And now she is.

  98. Hi Brandy!

    I was wondering where you bought your roses from? I received a 20% off coupon in my email from David Austen and thought maybe you received the same offer. I’d love to know what varieties you chose. I’m on the zone 9b/10 line here in Florida and roses can be difficult due to our humidity, but I’m wishing for a Munstead Wood for my birthday. =)

  99. That is a big stock up time here too. That is when we buy the cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions we need for a few more months until the Memorial Day/summer picnic sales start. But St Patricks sales will be the lowest for the 4 mentioned vegetables. We like to buy and cook up several corned beefs as we package up the left overs for making corned beef hash the rest of the year. In fact that is what is heating in the cast iron skillet right now and we will serve with poached eggs and toast. Saturday is always our big breakfast day.

  100. Becky,

    That is where I ordered them from! If you look at the catalog they have lists for high heat and high humidity in the back that should help you with your choices. The info is on their website as well.

    I had to narrow it down–because I would have loved to order a LOT more–but I decided to order some floribundas (which aren’t like the typical David Austin roses at all, but I can’t get floribundas locally in other colors), so I ordered Julia Child (yellow) and French Lace (peachy white) floribundas for repeat blooming. The David Austins don’t repeat bloom as much for me in the location I have them in here, but they did at my last house; I think the ones I have now are getting too much shade (I have Graham Thomas Climbing and The Shepherdes). They bloom once in April/May and then they quit because of the heat. Sometimes they bloom again in fall (just Graham Thomas). I am seriously considering moving my Shepardess bushes. I ordered Claire Austin and Queen of Sweden. I wanted to order these as potted 2 quart roses, as they have a better chance of success of over bareroots in our heat, since it is already getting so warm, but of course they were already sold out of just those two varities that way, so I ordered them as own root roses. Hopefully they will take well. Since you are even hotter, I would look to see if what you like comes potted. They only had some types that way; not sure if your preference was one of them. Then it says they will have 3 quart potted plants in April, but no indication of which ones, and the coupon is no good by then anyway.

    I like so many others, too–Jude the Obscure, and some different pink climbers–but I will do these this year and see how they do.

    I’ve never seen a coupon in the catalog before, and I’ve been on their mailing list for a decade. Maybe I just missed it, but the timing sure was right this year when I can afford to put them in!

  101. Thank you Lorna 🙂

    I am blessed that my honey makes soap and that we can sell it. It is winter here and one of the local nurseries/greenhouses has a Winter Market that we sell at on Saturdays. Among different arts and crafts, there are vendors that sell meat, eggs, and produce. It has been fun getting to know people 🙂

    I have to admit that I am intimidated by chain saws 🙂 I need to work on that! A couple of years ago friends blessed us with a log splitter (they were moving out of state). That has come in so handy especially when we purchase firewood and the rounds are big. Good for you and your chainsaw abilities 🙂

    I saw your reply for the hats, thank you! 🙂

    Have a blessed evening! 🙂


  102. I watch movie trailers on my phone. I can’t find the same thing on the computer. On the phone click watch on the lefthand bar. It takes 6 videos to earn 2 SB and there is a limit of 36 a day. It will automatically load the next video so I either turn it on and let it run while I clean or at night while I watch TV I let the video play 3 seconds and click the X to close it, hit next video and continue through all in about 10 minutes.

    I do the daily poll for 1 SB.

    Do a search through the Swagbuck search engine. There is a magnifying glass is where you do it. I usually hit a win within 3 series so I just put in random things. A box will pop up when you win that you type in the 3 letters you see and win 2 to sometimes 15 swagbucks.

    I am starting to print grocery coupons and you earn DB when you redeem them at the store.

    I joined the Facebook group. They will tell you the code to put in the code box. I get random alerts to put in a swagcode. You have a certain amount of time, usually an hour or two. Most tell you to search somewhere or other thinhs, buy if you go to the Facebook page in the top post people will put the code for you. Also, they will sometimes say to go to instagram, so I joined Swagbucks there and they will put codes on there.

    The surveys are never worth it. I never qualify.

    I get a minimum of 40 a day pretty passively.

  103. I love the varieties you chose! Especially the soft apricot/pink ones. And oh my, the Claire Austin! I can’t wait to see how they look in your garden.

    My husband did end up buying three Munstead Wood bare roots for my birthday (yay!), I’m just waiting for them to get here.

    Jude the Obscure is also on my wishlist. I just LOVE that color and it says zone 10 approved. Maybe I’ll get that on my next birthday… another 20% coupon would be nice as well.

  104. Under “Garden harvesting” you said “Picked…turnip & spinach beets for tea…”. I don’t understand. Are you using the greens off of beets to make tea to drink? or are you eating them at tea time? I have never heard of turnip or beet tea? Perhaps this is something I should try?

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