Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Iceberg Roses in Watering Can The Prudent Homemaker

I cut roses from the garden.

I sold a few items via a local Facebook garage sale, and took the money with me to go garage sale shopping at the community garage sales. 

I went with a list, as I always do. I didn’t find much this time, as we had an unusual rain storm come in, and not nearly as many sales, but I did find a few things, including a new bicyle helmet for $2, a small calculator for my purse for $0.25, a couple of books ($0.50 each), some safety pins ($0.25) and staples ($1), and a cardigan for Winter ($1). I also bought a set of 8 linen/cotton napkins for $1. They said, “Dry clean only” on the label! I intend to wash them on delicate and hang them to dry, and use the fabric to make something else (most likely some lavender sachets). I may not have to cut them down at all, depending on how much they shrink (they are brand-new).

The weather has been very warm, and a couple of afternoons it got up to 83º in the house (it was 88º outside). I resisted turning on the air conditioner and waited it out under the ceiling fans. A storm blew by over the weekend, lowering the temperature from the high 80’s to the low 70’s. We enjoyed open windows all week and only had to run the ceiling fans part of the time. Saturday brought some unusual rain, which was a blessing.

I sowed seeds in the garden for basil, butternut squash, Armenian cucumbers, and lettuce. It’s a bit late for lettuce, but I planted a 29 day variety with hopes that I may get some from it before it gets too hot and just bolts.

Chard Leek and Thyme The Prudent Homemaker

I cut rosemary, chives, Swiss chard,  and lettuce from the garden. I also dug out a leek and pulled a couple of radishes. I am slowly making a rosemary topiary from one rosemary bush by pruning what I need from the bottom.

I watched Call the Midwife on Pbs.org.

I made a batch of laundry soap.

In anticipation of running the air conditioner soon, my husband taught the boys how to change the air filters. Having clean air filters keeps our electricity bill down. The boys are working on earning their home repair merit badge for Boy Scouts, and we also want to make sure that they know how to do several things at home. A couple of weeks ago, Ezrom learned how to unclog a drain. This last week, Cyrus learned how to replace a toilet seat. Teaching life skills will help them to save money when they have their own homes.

What did you do to save money last week?

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106 Comments

  1. Hello Brandy & all from Australia :).

    Major financial accomplishments –
    – Pulled in overspends on stocking up some of our groceries to a 12 month level in January and February from $280.88 down over the months of March and April down to just 0.52c.

    Health care frugalities –
    – Had my bottom teeth deep cleaned at the free dental clinic and was very pleased with their care and the results too :). You see I am terrified of going to the dentist and usually find the experience completely traumatising. However I am pleased to see that the equipment has been upgraded somewhat and with teeth numbing gel & the fantastic electronic tips they have to clean your teeth make it not bad at all. So much so, I re-booked to have my top teeth cleaned as well. Saving me $110.00 on dental visits I usually used to pay.

    Groceries –
    – Topped shampoo, all purposed flour, instant milk powder, full cream milk, sultanas, vanilla extract, bacon & sliced sandwich meats.
    – Found a much larger packet of sliced chicken for sandwiches saving 0.83c per quantity and it is much nicer too :).
    – As our treat for reaching & now exceeding our 10% savings for our new home we treated ourselves to 4 lts of ice – cream and some beef jerky. It gives us something to look forward to to reach our targets faster.

    Autumn cleaning –
    – Cleaned the front and insides of the kitchen cupboards & drawer fronts.
    – Cleaned underneath, top and outsides of all the fridges and freezers.
    – Cleaned underneath, inside and outside the stove and oven.
    – Cleaned and dusted all ceiling fans, venetian blinds, kickboards & belt rails through the whole house.
    – Cleaned underneath and all of the buffet unit in the kitchen and re-organised cook books neatly.
    – Mopped all vinyl, tile and stone floors in the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and around the slow combustion stove.

    In the garden-
    – Pulled all spent corn and broccoli plants.
    – Harvested onions, parsnips, strawberries, beans, peas, spinach and silverbeet for all teas and snacks.
    – Purchased a bulk load of cow manure to last us a year in the gardens thanks to our neighbour picking it up with his larger which holds twice the amount for the same $20, a true blessing.
    – Husband helped a friend and picked up a trailer load of manure in our trailer and as a thank you they 1/4 filled our car with fuel and gave us the leftover manure they couldn’t fit to take home with him, a true blessing. With that manure we were able to fertilise a 1/3 of the back lawn for free.
    – Separated sprouted garlic bulbs found in the garden after the hail storm went through and was able to make a whole bed of garlic, also amended the soil with manure, lots of compost and mulched it.
    – Weeded another corn patch and fertilised with more home made compost and some urea.
    – Weeded the footpath, all front vegetable & herb gardens, front lawn in the front of the house.

    Water preservation –
    – Used all steaming water from vegetables to water herb pot plants on the back stairs.
    – Used all washing machine water and shower water to water the lawns around the house.

    Garden money earned purchases –
    – $20 used for purchasing a years supply of manures for the gardens.
    – Put $40 in our cash kitty in the house for emergencies, more than once of late we have been somewhere and the ATM’s have been down and once we were unable to pay the rent because the internet was down too. We keep this in the home and if situations like that arise in the future we have the funds to deal with them. We are also working towards a similar idea to have another small stash in the car for travelling emergencies as well.

    Craft sewing hobby business earnings purchases –
    – Used $33.41 to purchase items in our grocery house budget, allowing us to bank this amount in addition to our housing savings.
    – Purchased a ceramic knife sharpener for $4.12 and a stainless steel pie slice server for $2.84 for the kitchen from Ebay.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week one and all :).

  2. This week, to make room for the 50 pounds of broccoli crowns I bought for $12 and froze, I canned 9 jars of Sweet chili sauce using a dozen frozen Serrano peppers from last season’s garden. I made 4 hankies from the leftovers of a Goodwill vintage sheet that I used as a quilt backing. I even used a free online tutorial that taught me how to crochet a pretty edging around each hankie!
    I cut out and pieced a lap size quilt top from my fabric stash. Fresh Thyme had a new store Grand opening and 3 of us were in line at 5:15 AM (there were already 45 people in front of us) so we could be in the first 250 customers and receive recycle able bags filled with $50 worth of fresh groceries! The store had free muffins, orange juice, chocolate milk and coffee for those waiting outside for the 7 AM opening and it was a fun time! By the time the store opened, there were over 400 people in line so over 150 did not get the $50 bags!!
    I realized that I was almost out of brown sugar, so I made some more up! I love how the homemade brown sugar never dries out and gets hard!
    For our freezer, I made 22 chicken, bean, rice and cheese burritos- using up ingredients that were left over in fridge or home-canned on my pantry shelf! Our electric bill went down by $101 this month (our house is 5200 sq ft and daughter, her hubby and 2 kids are living with us and using more utilities!) . Our gas bill for heating had gone from our level pay of $103/month down to $33/month last month and this month it went down to $1.18 because we still had a balance credit from the winter!!
    Because of rewards changes, we were able to have 2 large pizzas from Papa Johns delivered to our 3 teenage grandchildren while their mom was at work for just the $2.95 delivery charge!
    We placed an online ad on a local Facebook selling site for our planter boxes (made with free pallets and buckets) and made $205 the first day (yesterday) ! We went and loaded 2 more van loads of free pallets (yes, we have permission!) to make more of our planter boxes! After tithing, we split the money and put half into our savings account and used half as an additional principal payment on our mortgage! It sounds like little ribs and drabs, but in the first 3 months of our 15 year mortgage, we have cut the length down by 3-1/2 years and taken over $1000 off the original $50,000 mortgage amount!
    We had an alert on our phone from Gas Buddy about a 20cent/gallon price raise in our area and were able to get gas at Sam’s Club for 28 cents/gallon less than everywhere else near-by!
    All in all, a fabulous week!!!

  3. It’s great that they are learning those things and nothing makes my sons happier than using tools with their father( we are still in the hindrance phase;) )
    We made 155 dollars so far this week on eBay for our house fund and will have a new total tonight when some other sales complete.
    I have most of today set aside for my husband so he can post the next sale. We are trying to earn three hundred a week, and somehow have met our target. Praise God.
    I took the children out for seven hours yesterday so he could do prep work for painting the kitchen cabinets.
    I am ecstatic to report that switching most of my shopping to Aldis has let me cut my grocery bill by 50% for the last two weeks. I’ve only found one or two things from there that I was unhappy with.
    We got free raspberries at the store because they felt bad they were out of blueberries.
    I saved about 40% on some clothes, I have not bought non-maternity clothes in so long. I got all neutrals, I’m going to watch for some sale blouses.
    I’m making beef stew tomorrow and enchiladas today so that I don’t have to cook dinner this week. My husband is doing a month of bizarre shifts which will give him a third day off to get things done to list the house. He is home for lunch all week but not dinner so that will be our family meal. Then the kids can just have a simple dinner.

  4. We are working on replacing our windows. The windows are original to the house. This last winter I had ice buildup around them. I used rolled up towel and pillow cases to keep the cold out. The windows were installed poorly, and the frames around the window were not correctly insulated. We are hoping this will help with not only our heating bill, but our electric in the summer ( we live in Utah).
    We ate at home for dinner this week.

  5. This is a little hint for unclogging drains…well two things one is to pour boiling water down the drains. I do this all over the house even in the bathroom drains. (Take care with small children or if you have pets! I usually don’t fill the pot very much so it doesn’t spill.) The other amazing thing I have found to de-gunk a drain is blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. It’s amazing. It barely takes any and works well on drains with a lot of hair and bathroom products. When I googled about the Dawn liquid I found out that it’s what a lot of plumbers use. We’ve never had a plumber nor do we use anything like Draino. I do have a little tool to get out hair if I need to but with the first two items I rarely use that tool. Thanks for the frugal accomplishments and everyone else for your comments. It is very inspirational to me and helps me stay excited about saving money.

  6. Continued to pull a tree pot full of weeds a day on the back perimeter, then mulched over each area as it is cleared.

    Continued to lay the Lodgestones to form the back perimeter wall as I had time & as the weather would allow between storms, when the soil was not too wet. I had set all but 8 of the stones, when the semi-dwarf cherry tree, directly behind which the back perimeter wall is passing at present, began to bloom. Since I am not willing to sacrifice the cherry crop this year, I am now confined to early morning before the bees are out & about & dusk, when they have gone in. I bought 12 more stones at the Spring Black Friday sale at Home Depot.

    Continued to save eggshells & throw them on the garden & perimeter beds. Gathered a little water for the garden from the Saturday rainstorm.

    Transplanted two large dandelions from the garden into my “dedicated” dandelion salad bed. Dandelion greens are very nutritious, are good in mixed salads, & are not bitter until the flowers appear. After the flowers appear, the greens are still good as a spinach substitute, & the bitterness disappears when the greens are cooked. The leaves are ready weeks to months before my salad is up & going & do not bolt all summer. In some ways, they are the perfect multi-use greens. By moving them to a “dedicated” bed, they do not ever get sprayed.

    I set the glass cloches out to warm the soil where I will plant the squash hills & the pole beans. I set them out at least 4-5 weeks before the last frost date. Two weeks before the last frost date, I plant under the cloches & water them in well. Within a week, they sprout, because “their” soil is warmer than the surrounding garden soil, & there is room for 1 weeks growth under the clothes. At the end of the 2nd week, we have passed the last frost date & I pull off the cloches. Because the plants start 2 weeks early, I get 2 extra weeks production at the end of the season doing this, & it takes very little time/bother. For the pole beans, those 2 weeks mean 3-4 more pickings & more jars filled.

    Six of our 10 windows were replaced Tuesday. I asked them to save the screens for me, since most of the houses in our subdivision were built with the same 5 or 6 designs, so there are at least 10 or so that are the same design as mine. One of those belongs to my Visit Teaching companion. I called her to see if she would want any of the screens & she was delighted to get two of them to replace screens on her windows that were broken or ripped. I sent a couple of emails, looking for homes for the other 3 screens ( one of the windows was a picture window), to several of my neighbors. It just does not make sense to me to throw away something that is still in good shape & that could be a free upgrade for someone else.

    Dug out several clumps of grape hyacinth bulbs that has overgrown their area, & gave them to a neighbor. Again, to me it makes no sense to throw away something that one of my neighbors can use.

  7. Hello everyone! I have been absent the last couple of weeks so this list covers two weeks. I was super busy the last couple of weeks but my temporary job is now completed. I am back to job hunting and will file for unemployment today. I am hindered at what jobs I can do because I am unable to stand on my feet for long due to health problems. I’ll find something though.

    I used the library to update/redo my resume and print two copies. I can’t get my laptop to recognize my printer again. I downloaded the software, again, from the website, I updated everything. Oh well. I can use the library for printing purposes. I will have my mother scan my resume and email it to me then I can save it to my desk top. My daughter went with me and sat at the computer next to me playing games on Disney junior. We have also borrowed books, movies, and magazines the last two weeks.

    I will be saving gas now that I do not have to drive two cities over for work (45 minutes round trip 5x per week).

    Due to not finding a job to start after my last one ended I made the decision to cash in my 401K and pay some debts. I paid off my Amazon credit card and then deleted it, I paid off both my and my husband’s Fingerhut accounts (used to buy small appliances and build up our credit. I am done with it now), I paid off our Care Card ( medical credit card, can also use for pets at some Vet’s offices) from when my cat almost died. I need this card with a zero balance because I don’t have health insurance. The state I live in refuses to give me insurance, stating I make to much (I don’t, according to their own calculator online) and I can’t afford Obamacare ($266 per month). I feel better knowing I have a resource available if needed other than the ER which accrues a very large debt. I also looked into a local clinic that goes by income. I have to check into a women’s clinic in the next city over to see if I can go there because I am out of state. What do others do that don’t have insurance? (My daughter and husband have insurance but I don’t). I also put half the money from my 401K into my savings account for an emergency fund. I also made sure we were all current on our monthly bills so I don’t have any surprises later. Now that the deed to our house and property is in our name I am finding cheaper homeowner’s insurance and looking into refinancing my car for a cheaper monthly payment.

    My daughter and I have watched tv shows online, but mostly I have not watched tv much. I have read a lot in what little free time I did have.

    I had a bunch of strawberries that were starting to turn so I made strawberry jam with clearance purchased pectin and bulk purchased sugar. I got 5 jam jars for .20 per jar. I made a loaf of coconut flour bread, another batch of granola, coconut milk, I used the pulp from the coconut milk and made “shortbread” cookies (very tasty and simple to make, uses LOTS of butter though).

    Our school district put on a “Fun Fair” for the grade and middle school kids. I took my daughter, spent $10 and she had so much fun. The kids won even when they didn’t and they all had bags to carry their goodies in. The kids got to pick their prizes and one my daughter picked was a kit to make a necklace. She did it mostly by herself (she’s 5) and it’s actually pretty 🙂

    My husband changed the oil on my car but he had to purchase a special tool to get the oil filter off. It was only $5 and he always changes our oil so it will save us money in the long run. He also repaired a tire on his car that kept losing air. It had a nail in it. It rained this morning so free car wash 🙂

    All meals were cooked from scratch and eaten at home. I took my food to work every day. The company bought the people in my department lunch at a hibachi restaurant our second to last day of work. Last Monday they had baseball day and provided employees with hotdogs, nachos, and the fixings. I didn’t care for my immediate supervisor, however the company is a great company to work for. To bad I am not in accounting LOL.

    We will start our seeds for the garden this week and begin getting the garden ready. It should warm up permanently soon enough. I have been saving egg cartons all winter to be my seed trays, I saved egg shells and pulverized them in my blender to a powder to fight bottom end rot on my tomatoes ( I get it every year, hopefully this will help). We are looking into buying our own tiller since we cannot borrow the one we used to borrow every year anymore. It will save us money in the long run and maybe earn us some money by tilling for others (?). We have to purchase fertilizer and soil this week. I am so excited! I have also saved large pots I have found for free to use for container gardening.

    We turned the heat off whenever the temps warmed up past 65 degrees.
    I am excited I can read everyone’s accomplishments this week! 🙂 Have a great week everyone!

  8. I haven’t had luck with boiling water, but I’m definitely going to give the blue Dawn a try. Maybe I’m waiting too late until the clog is too bad for those remedies? I need to get to them when the drain is just a little slow.

  9. I have been meaning to comment about the turnip greens from a previous post. I spoke with my dad about them, and he said he just buys the purple top turnips. Cut the greens when they are about six inches tall. The greens will regrow. If you do that and they are still spiny, maybe the difference is related to the climate. Their climate is warm, but not as warm as yours, and they have a lot more humidity.

  10. We had him learn to take apart the drain to clean out everything. It’s very simple and only takes about 15 minutes; you just have to get under the sink to do it. We’re going to have Cyrus learn to do one as well. The drains aren’t totally clogged; just draining slowly from buildup of hair, etc. This way they can learn to get everything out without having to use anything down the drain.

  11. I have a clothes hanger from the dry cleaner that I use – the kind with the cardboard tube on it that is the horizontal piece (hard to describe). I removed the cardboard tube and straightened the wire except for the hook on the end. I use it to pull hair/gunk out without having to pour anything down the sink or to have to unhook the drain trap below. I can almost always get our drains running fast again using this. I was even able to use it on my daughter’s bathtub drain.

  12. I love the picture of the watering can filled with roses, Brandy. So pretty! Although I’m sure that you needed the rain storm, it’s too bad it happened on the day of the big garage sale. At least you found a few items on your list!

    I have a funny story to share with all of you, so tell me if this sounds familiar. My daughter joined the robotics club at school. They have 2 robots that they had to assemble and program, so the group has divided into girls versus boys. The boys have been trying to figure out how to do things on their own without using the manual. Conversely, the girls have followed the manual. We keep asking my daughter about updates on how it’s going and she said this week “Well, the boy’s robot doesn’t work yet but the girl’s robot is moving in a straight line like it’s supposed to and will say “whoops, sorry” when it bumps into things.” I think she’s learning more than just robotics in this club! My frugal accomplishments this week are:

    *Meals at home this week included ham steaks (cut from smoked ham roast bought on sale during holiday sales) with pasta side dish and broccoli (bought on sale for $0.99/bunch), breaded stuffed chicken with potato wedges and corn (quick convenience foods from freezer after a busy day avoided buying takeout), chicken “shepherds pie” casserole, chocolate chip pancakes with sausages and home canned peaches (made extra pancakes to freeze for quick school morning breakfast option), fettuccini with Carbonara sauce, diced ham bits and “garlic bread” (made homemade garlic spread with butter, minced garlic and dried oregano and spread it on English muffin halves, then topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese), turkey bacon sandwiches with carrots and baked beans, and tacos (fish and baked potato for my daughter).

    *Baked up another apple pie from the freezer for dessert one night.

    *My husband booked my vehicle in to have an oil change and remove the snow tires on Monday. We woke up to a fresh snow fall the day the appointment was booked…darn that Murphy’s Law! We had snow off and on all week too. Can’t win for loosing sometimes.

    *My mother and I have been asked to make treat trays again by my MIL for the upcoming end of season bowling banquet for the Young Bowlers of Canada league my daughter bowls in. We will be paid for the trays, which is some extra pocket change for us. So we’ll be busy doing a bunch of baking over the next 3 weeks to prepare for them.

    *For those who loved “grandmama” from Downton Abby, I recommend watching a movie called “The Lady in the Van” (I believe it may be based on a book by same name) staring the same actress who played her. It was rather humerous….just imagine “grandmama” with the same snobbish attitude but living as a homeless lady in a van. Worth watching!

    *Lead a training session at my work one day this week, which I will be paid for. I took leftovers for my lunch, thus ensuring no food waste and no extra spending.

    *Great grocery buys this week: bought yellow beans from discount shelf for $1.99/bag, using some for a casserole I was making that day and blanching the rest for the freezer, bought 4 of my favourite deodorant on sale for $1.99 each (added to my current stock, I have close to a years supply now), bought 5 MiLo Sport drink mix for $0.99 each (my mother likes using these – they are normally almost $4 each), bought 5 more sub meat packages for $1.99 each as my family has enjoyed having “sub sandwiches” for lunch lately (put 2 packs in fridge to use now and 3 more in freezer for later use), and fresh chicken breasts were finally on sale again at Costco with $4 off per pack so I bought 3 large packages (made up 2 packs into chicken souvlaki for the freezer).

    *My husband and I went for our last mall walk together for a while. He starts back to work on Tuesday, so I won’t be spending much time with him until around Christmas time again. Our grocery consumption will go down though, as he will be eating his meals at his work (he’s a cook in a restaurant).

    Brandy, I’d like to thank you for your suggestions on places to visit in Los Angeles. I finally had a chance to check out your suggestions on line and I think the science center will be put on our list. It looks amazing…I can’t believe admissions are free! If anyone else has any suggestions they’d like to share, I’m still quite open to ideas of places to visit, comments on what not to bother seeing, side trips, frugal suggestions etc. As I said last week, we’re still in the planning phase for this trip that will likely happen somewhere between Jan and April 2017.

  13. Major score at the Goodwill yesterday! I found six practically new Williams Sonoma dish towels for $1.00 each. A four pack of these towels retail for $19.95. The quality is very good.

  14. I can’t even begin to tell everyone here how inspirational I find them. Thanks everyone for giving me something to look forwards to every week.
    Here is how my week went:
    Put my first paycheque in the bank. 😀
    Got money back from Sears on our the hot water tank we replaced last week as it went on sale this week.
    Used last jar of Salsa to make salsa chicken. I froze the leftovers for a future meal.
    Puttered around the house and yard. The new raised beds are built, painted, and waiting for dirt (next week).
    Completed some online work. I picked up an extra shift at my new job.
    Got my little car running for the summer. We can’t use it in the winter but we do use in when the weather warms up for any trip that does not require a truck because it is so much easier on gas.
    Used homemade laundry detergent and homemade fabric softener to wash my clothes before hanging them out to dry.
    It has been hot here this week meaning there was no need to light the fire thus saving on firewood.
    Have a great week everyone.

  15. Greetings from the (still frozen) U.P.
    We’re finally going to start having garage sales here and i can’t wait! I always look for things i can re-sell for a little extra money.
    *I opened up my toothpaste tube and a tube of hand cream to get the last dribs and drabs.
    *I dried celery leaves from organic celery that i didn’t want to throw away. The ends went into the freezer for making broth later.
    *The neighbors brought fresh fish over for my meat-eating husband. These neighbors are young enough to be our children and so nice! They mostly eat just what they catch and hunt.
    *I had an appointment to meet my new Dr.and i love him! He does not reccomend back surgery! He talked to me for about an hour and cleared up a lot of questions that have never been addressed with any of my previous Dr.s. So happy!!
    *Skyed with my son and grands; pure pleasure! The two boys asked me to send cookies, which i’ve done in the past. But, i’m sending M&M’s because that’s what i have. (Bought on sale after Valentines day)
    *Our anniversary was this week. We ate lunch out instead of dinner. We drove to a town that has a nice Mexican restaurant. We had snacks at dinner since we ate heavy so early. (Fruit)
    *Sold several things on ebay
    *Still walking in the neighborhood, saving water, washing baggies, eating most/all meals at home…
    Wishing everyone a frugal week ahead.

  16. Not having insurance is scary. My oldest son (27) came off our insurance last year and has not been able to get any through work. He has a Master’s Degree and is struggling to find full-time employment. Companies want to hire him left and right but only to work part-time to keep from offering insurance.
    There are things you can do. First, become proactive. Learn what your health problems are and look for herbal alternatives. We hardly go to the doctor now because when something happens, I rush to the herb cabinet.
    Also, try and eat as healthy as possible. Take vitamins, exercise, do everything possible to not get sick. You can make a big difference.

  17. I am afraid of the dentist too. To the point that the dentist must use the ‘gas’ on me to keep me in the chair. As soon as I get into the chair I start shaking. I swear to you I can not stop. I almost vibrate out of the chair. My dentist knows this and he gives me a little of the laughing gas at my visit 2 times a year. I have never had a cavity, but there is something about the noise and those poking tools that makes my mind go crazy.
    My whole body seems to be out of wack here lately. Last Friday morning I fainted after my morning shower. I fell backwards into the tub and hit the soap dish. I cracked a rib. It hurts to breath. Suddenly my blood pressure is high and now I am fainting. I went to the doctor and he told me I have anemic and a heart mummer. I have to go to a cardiology doctor next week. I have been under extreme stress lately.

  18. No rain this week so I used water from our rain barrels to water our garden and flowers. Got some free mulch when the neighbor had a dead tree taken down. It was oak, sad to see an oak tree die. They are such pretty trees. I am sure drought took a big toll on that tree. We did not grocery shop last week. This week I used coupons and saved $10.05 with my coupons. Got some mango for my fruit salad this week.
    Made some doll clothes with fabric scraps. Used a $25.00 gift card (free using points from our bank card) to buy some new tennis shoes for me.
    Did all the other normal things, hang dry clothes, etc.

  19. I love reading about all you do Brandy!

    I’m always so inspired to do more.

    My husband and I just spoke about how we’re going to drastically cut our spending (for at least a year) so we can purchase some desired property. I’m actually really excited about it! I will be referencing your site for ideas. Especially your “Cutting expenses when you think you have nothing left to cut” post.

    Thank you for all you do!
    And thank you to your other readers for the saving suggestions they leave in your comments.
    Thank you!

  20. Happy Sunday everyone!
    We are wrapping up spring break. Did several local hiking trips, had a Harry Potter movie marathon, went to the free day at the children’s museum and checked out the library’s pass to the state museum.
    Took some unneeded school supplies to the homeless shelter along the way.
    Kids were at activities so we had an impromptu daye, walked 4 miles. 😀
    Planted garlic and tomato seeds.
    Emptied compost bin, got 4 wagon fulls for happy veggies.

  21. I watched Call The Midwife through the PBS Roku app too. I am hoping Chummy shows up in this series.

    My husband’s glasses were falling apart, and he needing a new script, so his new glasses were covered under warranty for free.

    We were able to max Roth IRAs for both of us for 2015.

    I paid grad school tuition by check because they charge you for using a credit card.

  22. After asking you about strawberry jam and its expense last week, I decided to take the plunge and try canning some of my own strawberry jam this week. I have made freezer jam before, and own a hot water bath canner (thanks to your reference) but have never actually canned anything. I also had a lot of old pectin that needed to be used up, so the expense wasn’t as high as it could have been. I only canned about 4 pints, but it set, and you were right – it did taste better! Now I have gotten the canning bug and am thinking of other kinds of preserves (though I am sure we will still make some more strawberry jam).

    I made two loaves of bread from my favorite book, Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Everyday. I love his method of mixing up the night before and slow-proofing it in the refrigerator. I hope to make some whole wheat sandwich bread too this week.

    I used cloth diapers as much as I could during the day.

    I fertilized my David Austin roses (which I am excited to see are getting buds!) and purchased a tarragon and variegated lemon thyme plant from the nursery as well as a rosemary plant. We also got a few bags of cow manure compost for 50% off because the bags were ripped at Lowe’s.

  23. I do think it is really smart to teach them how to take it all apart and know how to do that should it be necessary! I guess that’s why I like the other tricks because while my husband can take it apart I cannot. Hmmm…maybe it’s time for me to learn! 🙂

  24. Wow that is a deal and the ones from Williams Sonoma are so beautiful. I was looking at some from their website on sale, but I decided I should wait for garage sales ones. Good job, Peggy!

  25. Liz, I’ll second your advice on the blue Dawn. I had a stubborn kitchen sink clog one day and my husband used Dawn (too much so we also created lots of bubbles, lol). It worked! Despite all our bubble making the clog worked it’s way through the line. We don’t use RidX or Draino either and seldom use any bleach. Our septic tank installer came to pump out our tank this year and said we have one of the best looking septic tanks he’s seen because we don’t use all those other things.

  26. Marivene, I’ve a lot of privet coming up outdoors under some trees that are in the yard. I took your hint about pulling a certain measure of weeds a day. I’ve emptied my bucket 3 times now and I figure I’ve two more to go, but it’s been a huge help in breaking up the job and has kept me from overdoing it, which is my usual method.

  27. Oh my goodness ladies! I too am afraid of dentists and have to go in for a cleaning this Friday. Rosie, I hope you fare well with the cardiologist. A doctor told me once that myself, my daughter, and her daughter had a heart murmur. Check it out. There are different kinds of murmurs and ours is not a serious one.

  28. Hi Roxie and so sorry you have hurt yourself, ribs take a long time to heal unfortunately. With the breathing problem if it gets really bad you can bandage around the ribs which gives them some support and will aid your breathing. Other than that no heavy lifting or stretching out and lots of rest are the key.

    With your love not of the dentist have you tried the teeth numbing gel ?, and get them to up the water going through the cleaning tip too, I found it worked wonders for me and didn’t even have to have any injections which is usually what happens with me. My thing is my teeth are really sensitive and really feel the grinding of the whizzy tools going around them but with the added water flow and the tooth numbing gel I hardly felt a thing, there were only one or 2 times when it got a little sensitive this time so I was so incredibly happy.

    I too an anaemic and was only diagnosed just recently, I am permanently on iron tablets along with vitamin c to absorb the iron or alternatively drink a glass of orange juice. Ironically also born with a heart murmur but not the serious kind either and grew out of it. It is a whole in the heart and creates an irregular heart beat which could have been the reason you fainted, but stress does not help either. I have learned over the years after coming from a family more dysfunctional than the Simpsons, to not allow myself to get upset anymore. Instead if I feel anxious or worried I sew, go into the garden, or just go for a nice walk and my stress just melts away.

    I have a saying ” if you worry too much it only creates more grey hairs and ulcers”, so not worth it in the long run 🙂 .

  29. Hi Mary Ellen and good luck with the cleaning you will be fine :), just get them to whack on lots of that wonderful teeth numbing gel before you start and up the water on the cleaning tip and it will take away a lot of the discomfort.

  30. Hi Celeste and wonderful you and your husband and Brandy & husband are teaching the boys how to use tools, it is a valuable skill for them to learn and fully understand the hindrance phase too. I taught my sons to use tools too, as I was forced to be a single parent through circumstance.

    Sadly I have to say neither had any aptitude for it despite by persistence. I realised I failed dismally when son number 1 got his first car and rang me to tell me he had changed his brake light bulb in the rear of his car and couldn’t figure out why when he put the brakes on that the red light shone on the inside of the car. Yes you guessed it he had broken the light assembly completely and turned it around into the station wagon and put the bulb back in. He said to me on the phone ” don’t worry I will fix it”, after hearing that I knew exactly what he had done and in a calm but thinking just how did he do that tone said ” no don’t touch it just bring it around and I will fix it”.

    Aldi does save you a heap on groceries, we shop there too. Once you find the products that you like it will over time save you a lot of money. We also shop for bulk items from a restaurant supplier for our baking soda, yeast and dried fruits which save us a heap of money too, you may want to look to see if there are some in your area who supply to the public too.

  31. Hi Liz and the dishwashing liquid does work along with the boiling water. More efficient too is putting baking soda down each drain, followed by a squirt of dishwashing liquid, then put white vinegar down there and let it fuzz up, leave for around 15 – 30 minutes and wash down with boiling water. This is what I have been using for years and it works every time and deodorises it at the same time.

    You still have to get under the sinks or baths occasionally, I do this once a year, and undo the pipes with a bucket underneath to catch the water and clear the s bends out to get rid of hairs and things that build up in there as well. You shouldn’t need ever to put any tools down the drains if you do this 🙂 .

    I hope this helps.

  32. I cooked all meals at home, avoided driving (I work from home), had a few errands to run and a friend offered to pick me up, had a 5K run this weekend and I grabbed a few apples and bananas as well as a few water bottles. Because of the brand of shoes I was wearing, I also got a freebie (new balance odor eliminators for shoes).. Decided to make a baby shower gift instead of buying (only spent $2 at hobby lobby for the wooden letter) and made a home cooked meal for a friend who lost her dad last weekend.. It makes my heart feel so good to serve others.. She said nobody has ever done that for her (she’s a single parent to 3 boys with special needs).. A friend gave me a free gallon of tea and since I’ve been getting healthier, I can wear clothes that have been stored instead of shopping. My electricity bill was $87 less than normal and I plan to save that to be prepared for the higher bills in the summer.. That’s about it for this week.

  33. Hi Brandy and so fantastic you are teaching Cyrus and the boys to do this as well, my father was a boilermaker, engineer and watch maker by trade. He used to machine parts at the aerodromes for planes that were no longer made.

    I would also say to teach the girls these valuable skills too, as you never know in life when they may need to use them as well. My father used to put me in the car repair kit we had at home, and taught me how to repair and maintain cars, when renovating the house he also taught me how to do that as well along with operating power tools and things too. Over the years it has come in handy, my first husband the father of my now grown children was mechanically inept so I repaired everything, those genes unfortunately carried over to my sons and I repaired everything for them too.

    So grateful to say I am remarried after many years on my own and have a wonderfully mechanical husband now. The only problem is with 2 handy people in the house we have wonderful intellectual conversations / debates on the best ways to do things on repairs, what machinery to buy etc. I find I am loving finally having that in my life and am truly blessed 🙂 . Incidentally I was branded as far too scarily independent to marry by a lot of my male friends and suitors over the years too due to my mechanical abilities.

  34. I know the girls will be taught, too, but since the boys are working on the merit badge and they have a specific list of things from which to choose, they are learning first 🙂 The boys have also learned other things that the girls are learning, too, such as how to use a sewing machine and do some hand sewing. (Both my husband and his brother know how to sew; my brother-in-law often sews things for work.)

  35. My mother in law taught each of her three sons to sew. I, on the other hand, was thrown out of my home ec class because I was so inept with all sewing projects—by hand, or machine. I count myself very fortunate to have a husband who makes curtains, dresses, dog bed covers…

  36. Hi Brandy so wonderful you are teaching all the children skills to be well rounded as well, congratulations on your wonderful parenting skills :D.

    My husband also can sew wonderfully as well and makes clothing too. He was a member of the society of creative anachronism or more commonly known as SCA. He makes wonderful suits of armour as well, makes candles and so many other things as well, I am truly blessed :).

    If you get a chance this would also be a wonderful organisation for your children and yourselves to join as well. It does however require a yearly fee and from memory they do charge for lesson equipment and things too, but again would teach them some more valuable life skills too. But again I am too a fan of google and you can just as easily pick a skill you find on there and teach yourselves a new skill there too for free and just the small cost of some equipment as well.

  37. Hi Mabel and we are all born with special skills and talents I do believe, some things we have to work harder on than others to achieve, some we will never master. One of my never master skills is delicacy it is completely a foreign concept to me and my body makeup. However my lack of delicacy has led me to find out that I am extremely good at repairing things with power tools and the like.

    I have learnt from knowing I lack in this area to steer clear of owning extremely delicate things such as blown glass ornaments, although I love them and just pick things for the house I know are robust just like me :p.

  38. I spent way too much time this week poring over old tax records, but late Saturday afternoon I finished doing my tax returns for this year and have unusually larger refunds coming than normal. I had sold some stock last year (mainly dud stocks that were not making any money for me) and had to go way back in my records to find the costs when I bought the stocks. I will be keeping closer track of things in the future. Everything was there that I needed but it was poorly organized.

    Nothing else special happened this week, except for having decided my cupboards and freezers are full and need using down. I have reduced my bills the past two weeks for groceries, and am trying to be clever with ideas for using things up. I’ve also started making granola again–eating nearly a double batch weekly between the two of us, and not buying commercially made granola. It’s delicious too! The coming week will hopefully see me catching up on some overlooked housework–or set aside, I should say. Things I didn’t get done because I was nearing the tax deadline. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. I have always done my own taxes and this years were quite complicated. It did cost to me use a more complex software program online–but I spent $86 for both Federal and State returns and I am sure that is cheaper than having it done for me. So I’m still happy with that. With a little luck and improved filing, it should be less difficult in the future!

  39. I didn’t realize Boy Scouts had a home repair merit badge. Those are certainly good skills for everyone to have. I looked at my swiss chard today and thought of you. They are still very small seedlings, but once the warm temperatures become more steady, I expect they’ll jump. I hope to expand my repertoire with them this year. Both yesterday and today, I walked by the lilac bush and thought I should cut a bouquet for the house. I haven’t done it yet, but there’s always tomorrow! I had just thought of Call the Midwife yesterday, and am so glad you shared that they do have a new season airing now. I look forward to seeing it. Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/04/blooms-broody-hen-frugal-accomplishments.html

  40. TerriC, I can no longer pull weeds all day due to older joints – knees, shoulders, back, etc – but I can still do some every day, & I have found that the bucket per day minimum works well for me. Once in a while I can do 2 tree pots or 3, but not all at the same time. I have to do something else in between or else I get too sore.

  41. Brandy, I had to thank you for your answer to my question last week about getting a citrus juicer to make your wonderful lemonade recipe. I ordered the Proctor Silex Lemonade Stand model last week on Amazon (cheaper than a vintage model on Ebay!) now it is so much quicker and easier to make lemonade, and it is so much healthier than my former addiction to root beer! Hugs to you!

  42. On Saturday, we accepted an offer on our house. We had to come down a little from our asking price, but kind of expected that we might have to do that, so we put it up a little when we listed it. Now, we are waiting for a few days to make sure it goes through, and then will begin packing like crazy. It was officially on the market for 23 days, but it was very stressful to keep it perfect, so I was so glad to just NOT clean for an hour before church this morning:)

    In the meanwhile, we are having a “shop” sale this weekend, and will sell many outdoor items, as well as a few that did not get donated from inside the house. We have had several men helping my husband set up for that, and he gave them quite a few items, if they wanted them, but there are still lots of things left we need to deal with. This sale has been planned for quite a while, but now there is some urgency about dealing with those items, as we need to be out by May 25. That is a Wednesday, so we will actually get out the Saturday before because that’s when we will be able to get people to help us. Anything left over from the sale will either be donated or taken to an auction in a nearby town and sold by the box for whatever we get for it. It depends on what’s left over.

    I planted a garden with my sister, at her house and will slip over there about once a week to weed, etc. We only planted early things, and will plant the rest in a few weeks.

    We saved gas and time today by staying all day at my sister’s house. We wanted to go back to church tonight to watch a presentation about our daughter’s mission trip she took over spring break.

    We sold a few household things on e-Bay (besides my husband’s small e-Bay business)

    We received a very nice basket of gifts from the 4H club, thanking us for hosting for so many years. We promptly started spending the gift cards to eat out that night, as we got an unexpected showing. That was Friday evening, and we didn’t get the offer until late Friday night, and accepted it Saturday. Now, we’ve been told we won’t show it again unless the offer falls through somehow, it will be shown up as “sale pending” somewhere. I’m not very knowledgeable about house sales, but it has already disappeared off of Zillow, which seemed strange to me, because there are lots on there with “accepted offer with contingencies” that are on there. I’ll look again and see if I missed it somehow.

  43. We have had lots of ups and downs lately.

    We started seedlings for our first garden!!! We got our other seed order on Friday and got them all planted this weekend. We found a 6ft metal rack that we are using for the seedlings and light. which we may reuse when we redo the pantry! ($74).

    My husband was granted FMLA due to a miscarriage that landed me in the ER and he was home a whole week with me to help with our other children.(this is the 2nd in a row and has me praying A LOT, but very thankful for the 3 that we have!) His paycheck was short but was thankful it landed on the week that he got holiday pay for Easter. Thankfully we didn’t have to pull from savings, but I had a smaller budget to work with.

    Both our electric bill and city utilities were lower this month! Saving over $50 this month!

    We had a playdate here at our house, went to the library for storytime and fellowship with friends.

    I sold another custom order on Etsy! This is so exciting! Bought bubble mailers from Dollar tree.

    I am into spring cleaning!! – kids clothes decluttered: packed up or donated.. same with my clothes. went through other rooms and got rid of stuff. Decorated the computer area with things on hand.

    Using pinterest a lot for meals. we are currently cutting out certain things to check for allergies.

    We used some natural remedies for some sickness… Our weather is crazy 55 degrees one day and wake up the next with snow!

  44. I laughed at this Lorna! I’ve been on my own for many years and my friends say it’s because I’m too independent and intimidate men. I’ve had to do all the repairs, yard work, etc. in addition to raising children, and doing the usual “wifey” things! Glad you have someone and have “intellectual conversations/debates!”

  45. It should be listed as pending. Contigency means there is another house involved in the sale, like the buyer’s purchase is contingent upon their old house selling. As far as where, it should be on your local MLS (multiple listing service) where the listing has changed (as well as any other sites where your agent has listed it, including Zillow), so you won’t have more people coming by (for showings) and can now get ready to move, with the exception of someone coming to do the appraisal, someone coming to do the inspection, and the buyers doing a final walk-through.

  46. Hi Mary Ellen and you are right men are intimidated by a capable woman, particularly if she can pull apart a car and put it back together, or worse still fix one of her male friends cars when it breaks down. How I look at it is that if they are intimidated that is their loss and probably our gain 🙂 .

    My husband said he married me for that very reason that he loved my independence, the fact he could have intelligent conversations with me, the fact that he has substantial injuries and knew that the person he would marry would have to be that way as his condition deteriorated.

    My own father said to my husband when he asked if he could marry me ” you will have to tame the wild brumby”, to which he replied “no I love the wild brumby just the way she is”. I will emphasise that my father is of Muslim faith and any independence particularly financial independence shown by a woman is definitely a no no culturally to him, as well as the principle of a woman acquiring an education. All of the above of course I did and as I was not allowed to go to university whilst living at home, I sought further education once I left home.

  47. Brandy, I love how your teaching your children so many life skills! My husband was never taught anything as a child and had to learn them as an adult. There are still things around here that I fix because he has no clue how to go about it.

  48. It’s been a couple of weeks since I shared frugal accomplishment because we have been spending quite a bit to change the way we eat. We have decided to “go paleo” and so far it is going well for us. I did purchase items like almond flour, coconut flour, raw cashews, and dates which are fairly expensive but I am getting into a groove on things we can have and that we like. My husband actually likes the energy balls I made which surprised me! I made him egg cups in muffin tins which are great because he can take them to work for his break or lunch. I have also made some wonderful paleo friendly barbecue sauce and salad dressings- I don’t know why I haven’t been making these items before now! They taste better and are less expensive.
    Our blender broke right after we started this so I first went to JC Penney to look at blenders because I have a gift card from Christmas- I ended up purchasing a really nice blender from Amazon and with credits I had from Swagbucks and a gift card from my birthday, I only paid $3 for a $70 blender. I have been making smoothies for my teenage daughter and I for breakfast each morning so it is nice to have a blender that has a smoothie feature built in.
    We are doing spring cleanup in our yard which will be followed by refinishing the deck- we have a deadline since our daughter is graduating from high school and I want to have a party for her at our house. My husband purchased the stain for the deck last fall when it was on a good sale.
    I will be making my last car payment this month and then I will be using that money to pay off credit cards-yay! I changed jobs early last year and while I am happier at my new job, I make much less. I have been approached about another job that will pay a lot more but require frequent travel- my daughter will be going to college so I won’t have kids at home to worry about. We are also planning to get our house ready to sell because we want a house that is laid out differently- we currently have no main floor bedrooms and only a half bath downstairs. My mother is in great health still but would like to sell her condo and move in with us and pay us rent so finding a house that will accommodate that is the plan. It is a big decision for her and for us but by combining households we will have more money to pay for college for our daughter. I am trying to enjoy time with my daughter and work on a big “To Do” list so we can declutter and prepare our house for sale. As I declutter, I plan to sell items that have value and use the money to pay for improvements to improve the value of our house.
    I think that covers it for now- I hope everyone has a great week!

  49. Faith, so sorry to hear of your loss. Glad you are feeling better now and that Hubby could be with you and have the time and space to grieve also. Blessings to you both.

  50. Marivene, I wrote your “recipe” down a few weeks back (leftover meat & rice) I had pork BBQ leftover and did as you wrote. It was quite delicious and better in the calories department then having the bbq on a roll. I didn’t have a lot of bbq broth so I did add about a quarter of a cup of bbq sauce to add more flavor. Defiantly will repeat. Thank you!

  51. Due to rain, high winds a small snow storm my yard prep for spring has been put on hold. I am thankful for your pictures. 
    I found chicken breasts on sale for $1.69/lb – bought 12 lbs. this will feed us through the end of summer.
    Reclaim water for watering seedlings and house plants. I squeeze my spent tea bags/strainers into the reclaimed water too.
    I recovered pot holders (they were in great shape, just horribly stained) with fabric given to me.
    Stretched pork bbq leftovers – there were about 2.5 servings left and by using Marivene’s recipe. Using a cup of uncooked white rice, juice from the bbq and 2 cups water and onion powder stretched the 2.5 servings into 6 servings. Plus now I can pair it with vegetables.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  52. Roxie, I am so sorry to hear of your fall and health problems. I pray your doctor will find the answer soon and that your ribs heal quickly.

  53. I am very pleased that you sold your home Becky, and I’m holding thumbs that nothing unexpected comes up and that the sale is finalized. I have been following your adventures and have been praying for you that you find a buyer quickly. May this be the start of a happier and more peaceful time in your lives.

  54. Liz, how does it work with the DAWN? Do you just put some in every week or put it in then the boiling water?? We have 2 slow drains now, probably due to long hair. My husband is very mechanically minded and seems to be able to figure anything out, but he is so busy with his own shop that sometimes it’s easier to hire a relative and pay the family rate. Or do a barter. We did that last week…a cousin came over to check our sump pump and fix a leaky outdoor faucet and brought along a rocking chair. His kids were roughhousing and broke the arm off.

  55. Marivene, I like the idea of a dedicated dandelion bed. We don’t spray either but between my daughters and us there are 5 dogs and numerous goats and chicken wandering the properties. We do use dandelions for a couple recipes…the idea of them being untouched seems more appetizing.

  56. My husband took down a huge tree that was getting just too big for the space and was encroaching on the neighbor’s property. My husband split all the wood which ended up being a lot of fire wood. We already have enough fire wood for the next two winters so we gave all the wood to a widow and her special needs son. Their only source of heat is wood. It should be enough wood to last her for a year. It felt really good to be able to help our friends/neighbors.

    When my son was young, his grandfather taught him to use tools and work on the house. My husband had no skills or interest in that area but I am so thankful my dad took the time to teach my son those skills. My son is an adult now and recently purchased his own home at 26 years old. It is a major fixer upper. He completed the living room and moved in the furniture this weekend. I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. He did all the work himself- with my husband’s assistance. That has been an added bonus for me in all this. My husband wanted to help our son so he has been by his side through all the home remodeling and repair and has learned so many new skills from watching/helping our son. There is a ton more work to do but having one room completed is a huge accomplishment and it looks great. The best part is that he had time but very little money so he got very creative in re-using materials and finding good deals on the materials he did have to purchase. Thus far all repairs/remodeling have been paid in cash. He also paid cash for the house which was a bargain price due to the state it was in. It is an old, small bungalow but by using his own two hands and lots of sweat equity, he is turning it into a very pleasant home and improving the neighborhood in the process (which will increase of the value of the other homes in the area). All this because he learned and enjoyed using tools at an early age. By the way, he used his scrap wood to make a coffee table and end table for his living room. He purchased a leather sofa and chair at the thrift store for a total of $40. He is using a hand me down area rug from me and a free chair from a friend of mine so total cost to furnish is living room is less than $50!! It looks amazing-like something from a magazine. Brandy- your boys may do the same one day.

  57. It’s starting to heat up here, too!

    Our frugal accomplishments this week include:

    We stacked discounts and coupon codes on top of sale prices to buy patio furniture at a very deep discount… Yay!

    Made a menu plan for the week ahead based on what was in our house already.

    I volunteered for a final night at our sports league in exchange for free dinner and drinks. I’m feeling over-scheduled at the moment, so I won’t be signing up again.

  58. Athanasia, we do not have any pets, but several neighborhood cats frequent our yard. “Untouched” is definitely more appealing, but dandelions always takes several changes of water to wash out thoroughly, too.

    I placed the dedicated bed right next to the back of the house, where I can get to it easily in early spring, even if there is a spring storm that dumps snow all over. My garden would be a tromp thru the snow!

  59. Like you, Gardenpat, we have extra family members living with us, also. I am so grateful to God! Thankful for a home that’s large enough to accommodate us all and for the opportunity to share what we have with family members who need a “hand-up”, not a “hand-out”.

  60. Mandy, it was good to hear your updates again!

    Fortunately 3 of my children and families are now covered by an employer for insurance. My younger son is covered by the college he is a TA at during grad school duration. He will be done next month but has a job already lined up with the county which will supply him insurance. My youngest has an ACA plan that works well. I have insurance through my school, but being as it is a private school very few are offered the option of insurance. Most, even the teachers, are often covered by a spouse’s insurance. But I made that deal since I most definitely need insurance with a chronic disease, and I gave up the family insurance through the public library years ago when I took this job. Our family doctor is very accommodating and we have always been very healthy. My husband chooses to be uninsured, though he carries disability plan. When the children were younger, up to age 18, the immunizations at the doctor were always free as they are covered by free immunizations from the state that can be used for uninsured/under-insured and the medical assistance population. Our city and county health departments offer immunizations for adults for minimal charge. There are different clinics set up in late summer for students to get a free athletic physical for sports participation in the coming year. Our family doctor takes whatever free samples are offered in the OTC and RX area. He is independent and not tied to a big clinic or hospital so he can take samples…often the clinics refuse the reps access which is a loss to folks. He has tylenol, cold remedies, netti pots etc, plus samples of most every possible (non-scheduled) product. Reps will help the patient with their companies assistance programs when necessary and sometimes bring a supply of the medication for patients our of their supply when nothing else works.

    So it is possible to have no insurance but still be taken care of if you look around. Of course you should have an HSA. We’ve had one for years. Also, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions, ask prices, ask for discounts…I have had bills discounted up to as much as 80% in some instances. Also, reapply to the state every time your income changes. One time denial does not necessarily mean every time denial. Good luck!

  61. Jeannie, that is all good advice. Diet and “clean eating”, a phrase I see used often now, is so tied into good health.

  62. Hi Mandy and I second Jeannie’s comments on exercise, eating a well balanced diet, vitamins and being proactive.

    My husband & I do not have health insurance either, I am however covered for free medical care through the hospital, my husband through his military compensation card. However we could choose to pay for private health insurance if we wished but we choose not to as we rarely get sick. Incidentally I will say that both my husband & I do run rings around, as far as what we can achieve and do, of those who are 10 years younger than us in most areas of life, this is despite my husbands serious injuries.

    Our lifestyles are very healthy and active as we are always exercising running around preparing garden beds, planting, harvesting and eating organic produce from the gardens. My husband has major back injuries and as a result suffers badly from inflammation, we use herbal salves which keep him moving, magnesium tablets to reduce the spasms, and I am well read on vegetables that I can give him such as peas and things that have natural anti inflammatory properties in them. Myself I am anaemic so therefor take iron tablets and have lots of fresh produce with vitamin c in them to help me absorb it or take vitamin c tablets, also I know if the grid goes down I can walk out to the garden and eat parsley which is rich in iron or make a tea out of it which is equivalent to taking an iron tablet.

    I would say read up on the properties of fruits and vegetables and target what you eat to benefit any health disorders you may have, look into growing herbs and their benefits this all helps in the long run.

    Here is a link to the benefits of natural herbs and what they can be used for in an emergency or every day keeping healthy scenario and I hope this helps – http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/10-herbs-to-grow-survival-garden/ . We have a lot of these herbs growing in our gardens but you could just as easily grow them in pots too if you have limited space.

  63. I look forward to reading your comment every week, Marivene. It was very thoughtful of you to save the screens for your neighbors! Thanks for providing details about the cloches. I’ve been looking for some at the thrift store.

  64. Thanks for the information and explanation. This is more complicated than the last time when someone just walked up and bought our place with cash, not caring about the house at all, he just wanted the property for his business:) Then, he let us live there for 6 months while we cleaned, sorted, etc. almost 80 years worth of family stuff that was in the outbuildings that had been in my family since 1925. So, that was the hard part that time. Other times we’ve moved, we had to move for a job and left our houses empty, so I don’t remember much about the details. We have already hit one snag that needs to be addressed, but I think we are already working towards a solution both us and the buyer can live with.

  65. Thank you. We are praying that it will go smoothly, as well. We do expect some things that we will have to figure out, because that’s life, but hopefully, they will be easy to solve.

  66. Hi Beth and congratulations on paying your last car payment and being able to use this money then to pay off your credit cards.

    I remember being left with substantial debt & damages run up by family members in my name which we had to put on credit cards unfortunately to deal with the situation. We worked so hard and accomplished getting rid of those and I cannot tell you how happy we were when we paid that off. We now only use our credit cards in an emergency and pay that off each month and incur no interest, we also now we are debt free have an emergency fund in the bank, and a small cash emergency fund in the house, which is enough to cover most emergencies as well as our savings account for saving for our first home together.

    Keep up the great work and when you become debt free it will definitely be a weight off your shoulders to know you owe no-one anything 🙂 .

  67. It is my week of no buying except essentials so I’m eating from my pantry and freezer. I also have put several items I want on the Amazon “wish list” so I’ll see how badly I want them next week. I’ve already removed one item as I found out the library has it as an audible book I can borrow. I put it on hold.

    I’ve decluttered and have several sacks to go to my church’s rummage sale.

    I watched several television shows on my computer.

    I found an book on CD that I wanted at a thrift shop for $1.

    I bought some small children’s fleece blankets and will use them to make a beds for my cat and dog, a puppy pocket for my dog and a coat for my dog. I am also plucking up the courage to buy a clippers to trim my dog myself. 😮 Anyone else do this? I have a 10 pound Shih Tzu/Yorkshire Terrier cross.

    I have set a goal of doing one shelf, drawer or such a week to get my house deep cleaned. Also taking care of 10 items in a room a day. These are above and beyond normal cleaning. Kind of a “Super Spiffy Day” in 20 minute increments a day.” Even with these two small changes I can notice a big difference already in two weeks. It also helps me to declutter in small increments. I guess the secret of moving forward is to find what works for you.

    I, as a single person, decided I spent too much time alone (when not at work) so I joined a local service group which meets twice a month. There is a meal at each meeting and a speaker who talks about different things in the local community/county. I have enjoyed it more than I thought and I have also met several other single professional women there, which helps.

    I’m slowly finding low sodium freezer friendly meals that I can freeze for suppers and lunches.

    Blessings to all,
    Mitzie

  68. Lorna, I must tell you how much I admire you! One, for getting an education since you werent allowed to do that while still at home. Sounds like you have done many different things during your working years, very well-rounded. Also I admire the way you and your husband work so well together as a team cleaning the house, gardening, and other things. Seems like your hubby does a lot, seeing as how he has been injured and suffers from that. Maybe your pushing him is what he needs to keep going! You two really do seem to keep your home clean and the chores done on a great schedule! I really wish I could get that much done myself! Also I admire how you are saving to buy your home and how you have paid off lots of debt! Truly an accomplishment. Keep at it and you will reach your goals!

  69. Well I can chime in here as with my husband working for his father we have been uninsured for about 14 years.

    Some things I learned over the years.

    1. Be sure to tell the front desk people up front, if you are using urgent care or something, that you don’t have insurance. A lot of times they will reduce the bill because they don’t have to deal with insurance.

    2. If you need a procedure done, be sure to call around to the various hospitals in your area, tell them you don’t have insurance and ask them what their rate for said procedure is. A lot of times you can get over 1/2 off of a bill just by calling around.

    3. Whenever you can offer to pay cash and ask if they’ll take 1/2 off the bill if you pay cash right then and there. Believe it or not, this a lot of times works as they just want the bill out of the way.

    4. If you end up needing a hospital, be sure to check around into the billing options at the hospitals and which ones take into considering you being self pay. We have two hospitals around here to choose from. One will send you to collections after 90 days, no matter if you are paying them a good amount of money every month. The other is not only the better hospital, but also has financial plans where they will work with you to pay what you can until the bill is paid off.

    5. And if worse comes to worse and you find yourself in a really bad situation talk to the hospital! The first year my husband and I were married he ended up with severe acid reflux. His stomach swelled and he couldn’t work he was in so much pain and I at the same time lost the part time job I had and couldn’t find another. I exhausted our savings paying for test after test trying to find out what was wrong with my husband and it finally got down where I was writing notes to the hospitals and labs explaining my severe financial hardships and that I could only pay such and such amount per month until things changed. Everyone was able to work out a payment plan I could afford until I could pay them off completely and I was very grateful to them for working with us during such a trying time.

    Good luck and I hope you can find the job you are seeking soon!

  70. Congrats on the house sale! I know it’s been stressful for you, so it was wonderful to see that at least you won’t have to deal with showings anymore! Hope everything else goes super smooth for you guys!

  71. Kim,
    My son is doing the exact same thing! (And, he was also 26 when he bought his home, a bungalow.) Although, my husband is very good at doing work around the home. (He’s in construction now, but was in advertising for 30 years.) It takes some of the worry out, doesn’t it? Our son is now discovering the fun of gardening for the first time. This is the kid who couldn’t be bribed to pull weeds for me. (Actually, none of them could be bribed!) I love it when he calls to ask questions!

  72. Hello! Love all the frugal accomplishments I have been reading and I am going to add a couple of my own.
    1. Made the last payment on my husband’s truck. We now own two vehicles that are completely paid for. We had discussed buying a new car for myself but we have decided to wait for a while as there is nothing wrong with mine. It is 8 years old but it runs fine with no problems.
    2. No grocery shopping except for a couple of items I needed for church for an upcoming event. Cooking all week from the pantry.
    3. The girl that babysits my grandchildren asked me if I used a certain type of dishwashing liquid. I am not picky so I told her sure. She brought me six bottles, 3 of them worth 3 dollars each and 3 of them worth 2 dollars each so that is $15 worth of dish liquid. She works at the local dollar store and they are redoing some of their “chemicals” as she put it and this dish liquid went on clearance, paired with a coupon, and her store discount, she got all six bottles for a total of .42 CENTS!!!! I was very grateful for her generosity.
    4. Continue to collect 5 eggs daily from our hens. We are now sharing them with my husband’s aunt and uncle as we have three dozen in our fridge at the moment and are getting almost three dozen in a week and I can’t use them fast enough. As eggs are almost 3 dollars a dozen where we live, that is almost ten dollars I am saving a week in eggs.
    5. My front loader LG washer started flashing an error sign that it wasn’t draining. We checked the drain hose and there wasn’t a clog. I cleaned the drain filter at the bottom of the machine, and it still wouldn’t drain. My husband looked up a tutorial on youtube, to try and figure out what was wrong with it. The drain pump had went out, so we had to spend 60.00 on a new pump but the one we got came with a life time replacement warranty and my husband was able to fix it himself with the youtube video. That saved us a lot of money and I was only down one day without a machine. (I wash a least one load a day, usually two). I think that’s all. Have a great week!

  73. I look forward to this post every week and I read through everyone’s comments throughout the week for inspiration. Thank you all for sharing.
    We ended up staying a couple of extra days at my in-laws in Texas, as my FIL had a medical procedure. I am so glad we were able to be of a help to them. My MIL sent me home with a case of canning jars and some dried peas from her garden. As usual, we packed lunches for the trip home and used a discount code for the hotel. When we arrived home we were worn out from the long drive, but instead of take-out, I opened a jar of home-canned tomato soup, thawed some home-baked bread and made grilled cheese sandwiches.
    While we were in Houston we were able to shop at Costco and stock up on bread flour, organic chicken, coffee, and some other things we use regularly.
    Yesterday I found fresh green beans on sale for 88 cents a pound and bought ten pounds to can. We prefer canned green beans to frozen and I figured my cost (not counting the gas to can them in the pressure canner) works out to about 45 cents a jar. I will snap them tonight while listening to a baseball game on the radio.
    I’m watching Call the Midwife on my computer as well. (I read online that Chummy won’t be in this season, but will be back for the Christmas special and next season.)
    I put some books on hold at the library rather than buying them.
    I planted more rhubarb and asparagus. I’m hoping to transplant my tomatoes and peppers into the greenhouse this week. Some of my seedlings are already blooming, though I think I may lose a couple and have to replace them. I am also shopping for raspberries to replace three that died over the winter.

  74. what a blessing to that woman!!

    we are fixing our house up also all buy ourselves. thankful for my husbands experience and youtube! we have done light fixtures, carpet, drywall, insulation… its also really good to work along side him ! bonding time!

  75. Beth,

    Best of luck to you merging three generations. WE did this two years ago and it is extremely difficult! DID I say EXTREMELY difficult !!!!
    I wish you all the best and each family is very different but three generations is a large gap is what we have learned. If we had to do it again, I’m not certain any of us would. At the same time I’m not certain any of us know how painful it would have been without each other to count on either. I just know the gap is soooooooooooooooooooo very wide!!!

  76. We’ve been busy with many family things, so I have not been vigilant about recording here. I do always read, though, everyone’s contribution and enjoy the time with you all.

    Easter was a nice day here, didn’t snow…that was a plus. Took a blueberry filled coffeecake to the early breakfast, attended church, then we all took off for my brother that is 60 miles S of us. All his children were there…we only had the two younger children home this time. Oldest son and family took a trip as that was school break and oldest girl and family traveled to her husband’s paternal grandparents for Easter and some extra family doings. Middle girl stayed with her cousin’s family, my husband’s sister, due to her work schedule. We brought along pistachio fluff, a pecan pie and pasta-fake crab salad. There were 40 people all together. My mother stayed over there when we left.

    Gas has gone up some more here to 2.09/gal. I picked up the sale ham at the grocer before Easter, and the 2 doz sale white eggs for dyeing. Put the ham in the freezer. I used a coupon at Joann and bought some Easter sprinkles. At grocer I bought 3 packs of Yves veggie pepperoni at 1/2 price, the usual milk and butter every week with the coupons of 2/5.00. We received 2 checkout coupons for 1.00 of crackers and 1.50 off a frozen item and used those along with a manufacture coupon next time around.

    Did the usual of recycling, composting, reusing ziplocks, hanging some of the laundry. Have not started yard work yet as there are still chances of snow this early. My daughter brought in lots of kale from one of her hoop houses so I made enough soup for both our families. Cooked our last butternut squash from storage. I still have some frozen. My daughter is going to grow kabocha (?) red squash this year as we bought one at the farmer market last year and it was the best squash I have ever had. Two of the girls and I continue to work on the spare room remodel. Husband continues to help sister on her house remodel.

    My laptop has not been working right, needed updates and cleaning type stuff. Took it along to my brother at Easter…he is tech teacher in the high school and one of his son’s is a Geek guy. They did what was needed for me ( I gave them maple syrup in payment) and my middle girl drove there the next weekend to pick up the computer, my mother and four 5lb blocks of cheese (Swiss x 2 and colby x2) from the cheese factory and bring them back here. Johanna was able to stay the rest of the weekend for a visit with us and we had a small belated Easter gathering as the other kids were back home too.

    Cooked mostly from scratch, other than times we were at a function. Hard cooked 2 dozen eggs for dyeing, made 7 layer salad, kale-vegetable-white bean soup, homemade pizza with veg pepperoni and mushrooms, cream of asparagus soup…I thought I had used up all my asparagus trimmings that I freeze and save but found a packet. Made bread weekly. Baked oatmeal raisin cookies, cupcakes, cornbread, apple-cranberry crisp, macaroni and cheese, lasagna, garlic bread, spaghetti sauce,
    blueberry pie.

  77. I made baked spice donuts to use up some pantry ingredients that were expiring (spice cake mix and Bisquick) and have enough left to make another batch next week.

    I sent an email to one of my doctors regarding a problem I’ve been having. He increased my meds and faxed the prescription to the pharmacy without me having to come in for an appointment. It saved me time, the co-pay and gas.

    Went to Aldi and spent $55 getting some things for the pantry (flour), for hurricane season (water, bean soups, canned fruits and veggies) and also for next week when my son and daughter will both be visiting (yogurt, bagels, half and half, coffee). As vegetarians, I want to make sure we have protein foods that can be cooked easily after a hurricane. I have totes full of dried beans but don’t want to use that much propane to cook them if we lose power. I will get tuna, baked beans and more water with the next paycheck. Paycheck after that will be to top off our batteries, etc that we might need (should be minimal).

    I completed a Pinecone survey.

    I continue to bring home leftovers from catered lunches at work which we eat immediately but I’ve also brought home enough to freeze. I’ve had to drastically cut our grocery budget to cover the mortgage on my father’s house until we sell it, but our chest freezer and fridge/freezer are both still packed to the brim, and we are eating really well! Co-workers are also now taking leftovers home. When I started at this job 15 months ago, all the leftovers were immediately tossed in the garbage. Now nothing goes to waste!!

    Have a great week everyone!

  78. Hi Susan and thank you so much for the encouragement and yes we are both blessed that we are able to work so well as a team husband and wife. It is my opinion that every child in the world should have the opportunity of an education whether that be provided at home or under their own steam if necessary.

    We both indeed accomplish keeping the house tidy too, it helps also that we don’t have small children or any children at home. I think it is that my husband is ex military and loves organisation and cleanliness as I do. Strange we both came from similar backgrounds my husband’s father was a hoarder and his Mum and the family spent most of their time cleaning the mess. In my background (I won’t call it a family unfortunately as it didn’t classify as that), my father was an alcoholic and my mother had major psychotic episodes so the home never got cleaned except when I did it as a child growing up. My mother did accomplish sometimes to do the washing up, clothes washing and ironing but that was it. I didn’t have a role model to learn household chores from apart from my grandmother on school holidays who I was close to, so fairly much learnt on my feet from around the age of 2. My background is a Catholic mother, a Muslim father and I was bought up as a Catholic in Catholic girls schools, but later in life converted to a Later Day Saint.

    It takes a lot of discipline to both save for a home and also to pay off major debt, so I admire anyone who achieves their goals in doing it.

    In the meantime we shall knuckle under and save hard for our first home and shall start looking at properties to purchase when we have reached the savings goal of $200,000.

    We have friends in the financial sector who are saying that a real estate crunch and financial crunch is about to happen in the next year or so (probably starting after Christmas this year), where property prices they expect will drop up to 50%, we also had similar ominous feelings ourselves. A lot of the executives in these financial firms are cashing in their expensive assets, toys and stocks before the end of the year, they are of the opinion it is probably going to hit worldwide. We have also read a lot of other news articles indicating the same trend.

    This is a major reason we are saving most of the money rather than borrowing, because as we all know those who have borrowed will be paying a mortgage worth more than the value of their homes and also the mortgage & general lending interest rates will go through the roof.

  79. Hi Faith and my husband & I did similar in the past. What you can learn from youtube and google is astronomical.

    Neither of us had hung a door before so like most we got quotes to have it done, being it was an old house of course everything was out of plumb and the doors required retrofitting. The quote was $200 per door and that was if we supplied the doors and door fixtures, eeekkkk. So google here we come, doors purchased new for around $25, hinges & door knobs around $6 per door, a hole saw under $10 and tools we already had. Set door in place and marked cutting according to the slope of the house and away we went. Result was 6 doors beautifully hung with surprisingly good results for a minimum cost.

    It is amazing what we can all do if we set our minds to it and just follow online instructions, such a great way to do household renovations and to save money.

  80. Hi Becky and a huge congratulations on selling your home and it sounds like for around the price you were thinking of which is even better 🙂 .

  81. Haven’t posted in a few weeks due to schedule so this will include some frugalities since Easter.
    At the grocery store the highlights were-
    ~Butter was on sale for $1.99/lb. so I bought 15 pounds since we were totally out and we don’t use margarine
    ~10 lb. bags of Russet potatoes were $1.49 on sale, bought 2
    ~Eggs were 88¢/dozen bought 3
    ~ Bought 3 marked down pork roasts to make pulled pork to take to TN to see son for his birthday
    ~Used coupons to get 5 boxes of Ore-Ida potato products free
    ~Downloaded Kroger Freebie Friday items so we could get them when we went to TN. Got a free bag of Doritos and a fruit punch drink. There are no Kroger stores in MD but I have a card so I can save when I visit my son who’s in college at UT.
    Out and about frugalities-
    ~Popped into Lowe’s just as they were marking down the pansies to 99¢. There were the fancy ones that were regularly $3 or 4 each. I got 12 for $12
    ~Filled a Rx at Rite Aid and got $25 worth of Plenti points. Copay was $10. I also got lots of Easter candy for 75% off to use for baking and took some to son in TN
    ~Found 8 Packs of Irish Spring soap marked down to $1.75 at Rite Aid when I was doing a mystery shop. I bought 3 since it’s DS#2’s favorite. I also bought 2 fire logs for 1/2 price. DH cuts these into small pieces to use for fire starters when we run out of homemade ones.
    ~Ordered 2 pairs of sandals when I received an email of a 1 day BOGO sale which applied to clearance ems as well. They are my favorite brand and appropriate for work.
    ~Took my mending kit with me to TN so I could fix DS#2’s glove and jersey he wears for playing Ultimate.
    ~Added to income by continuing to sell on Amazon and using mystery shopping apps. I bought 2 books for $1.50 and sold one the next day for $15. Made about $150 so far this month with mystery shopping. Also using rebate apps for groceries.
    ~Planted snow peas in a large planter that I had gotten for 50¢ at a charity shop. Waiting for freeze warnings to end to plant much else.

  82. Debbie, your mixes are probably still good for another 2-4 years. I just made a batch of brownies using a mix that expired in 2012 and it was perfect. Good for you for showing your co-workers the “errors” in their ways. Hope your family is safe during this upcoming hurricane season.

  83. Hi Kim and well done on making $150 this month with mystery shopping and using rebate apps for shopping.

    Good idea too to cut up the fire logs for fire starters too, thanks for the idea.

  84. Debbie,
    I was wondering if you would please share your baked spice donut recipe? It sounds good and I have a spice cake mis to use up. Thanks.
    Sue

  85. Roxie, I have had heart failure for 10 yrs I take a non brand name heart meds at $15 for 3 mos prescription, my mom lived with her congestion heart failure for over 40 yrs and then in her 70s had a valve replaced …so take a deep breath….heart murmurs are common, and there are lots of new medical ways to treat it.

  86. I have been pretty busy in the last couple of weeks. We found out that my father will actually qualify for the ‘memory wing’ at the assisted living facility where he has been residing for the last four years. I’m so happy about this, as he has just been floundering in a bigger environment. Also he is out of money except for his pension and social security. We will be able to get Medicaid for this.

    I made granola, was out of honey but used some Karo dark corn syrup instead. It worked really well, although wasn’t as sweet. I had over ripe bananas and made a big loaf if banana bread, which I froze half of it. I bring my dad homemade chocolate chip cookies every week. I was delighted to find 12 oz.bags of chocolate chips for $1.25 per bag at Grocery Outlet. They were at the pull datebut there was none of that oxidation that chocolate can get. I purchased six bags. Also found some fragrance free dishwashers detergent really cheap at the same store.

    I made an apron for my sister’s bday – only $4 total, as I found the material at a thrift store. I crocheted two pot holders in the same colors for her. My first attempt at crochet – a bit lumpy looking but they will work.

    I have become a dumpster diver of sorts. I noticed that in the garbage room of our condo, people have been dumping all sorts of good things. I found two perfect chairs – dark brown wood, just like what I have seen in Crate and Barrel catalogs. Also a plant stand, book case, new Rubbermaid kitchen garbage pail, and two days ago I found 2 folding camp chairs in new condition.
    So I am removing these items and bringing them to a local charity thrift store (after I am sure they are clean).
    I just can’t believe what people will throw away. I’m getting the receipts to use for charitable donations for my taxes.

    We are going to southern California for 11 days. A second cousin of mine recently contacted me. She’said been living 3 miles from me for ten years and I never knew of her. So I was invited to a family reunion where I will get to meet about 37 second cousins! Also, we are visiting my husband’s 96 year old aunt, a cousin who recently lost her husband, and our daughter in San Francisco. Mostly a family trip but we will try to do some additional fun things. We have been surfing the Internet to try to find good deals on airfare, etc.

    Brandy, I love the little French touch you add to your sewing projects.
    Guess that is all of the frugal measures I can think of for now.

  87. Michelle, if you have not already picked a company to do your windows, you might want to check out Window World. We just had 6 of 10 windows replaced with the kind with the coating that doesn’t let the heat thru. We have had them for a week now, & are very pleased with the new windows. The afternoon after they were put in, my husband put his chemistry thermometer on the window sill of one of the new Windows, & it read 20 degrees Celsius after 5 minutes. He placed it on the sill of the one window on the west side of the house that was not changed, & in 5 minutes it was at 42 degrees Celsius. Quite a difference. We only did 6 due to the budget, but we will do the other 4 as soon as we have the funds.

  88. Gardenpat, I can’t even imagine a 5200 sq foot house. I had to google it to see what could be filling it up. All seem to have 5 BR and 5 1/2 baths, plus media room, exercise room etc etc. Even our big old farm house next door built for my grandparents and 10 children doesn’t have that much square footage. Our house now is 1600 or so, depending if you count the breezeway. Did you build this? Is this your dream house? Did you plan in mind of having extended family living with you? I am always all for that. 🙂

  89. Robert, I am sorry that has not worked for you.

    I have always lived in a multi generation household, it is very common for us. The same as my husband’s family. My oldest son and his wife share a side by side ranch duplex with her parents. They did some remodeling to combine the family areas such as the kitchen, living and dining areas so that the house still has outside exits that are separate but inside the house is accessible to all. Bedrooms are on the far side of each half. They took down the back yard fence between the two yards and made one large yard.

    Beth, best wishes for your new combined household.

  90. Thanks Lorna! DH came up with the idea about the fire logs. We normally use fire starters that we make from cardboard egg cartons, dryer lint and old candle wax. We melt the candles in a candle warmer in an old jar candle jar. It’s much safer than on the stove. It’s mid April and we still use the woodstove at night so as to keep electric bills lower.

  91. I’m trying to catch up (again ) with posts, and since I’m spending more down time with my mini dachsund Dollface, trying to comfort her through some lower back pain (she’s been to the vet and is on meds but still needs her mommy nurse at times) , I’m using some of that time to read here (: .
    My two cents on the dry cleaning : I’ve rarely sent things to be dry cleaned. The chemicals and the cost are my reasons as well. I usually put the item (s) in a mesh laundry bag, wash on delicate and air dry like Brandy said. Before I found the mesh bags at the $ Tree, I would use pillowcases, safety pinned closed, for laundering delicates. I don’t know if my pillowcase laundry bag was as effective as the mesh ones but it seemed fine, lol!~TJ

  92. Hi everyone from The Deep South. My husband continues to gut the house next door to us that we bought for my Mom. He has stripped about a third of the house to the studs and sub floors. This has saved a ton of money. Now his parents want to pay him to do the same in their house. We joke in retirement we could flip houses. He is way too busy in his day job now to do anymore. My Mom is buying the new kitchen and floors,etc. Now we just need a buyer for her current house! Otherwise, I completed some pinecone surveys, and cut my daughter’s hair. On the not so frugal front, my daughter needed new clothes. She’s 12 and is taking much longer than it used to to find her appropriate clothes. She’s extremely tall for her age. Also, I chaperoned a couple of really interesting field trips for both of my childrens’ classes. Did any of you know that central Alabama has the largest pure marble quarry in the world? Also, we had some free entertainment at the school talent show in which both my children performed. It was quite interesting! We also had a school project due and it’s baseball season. I am ready for Summer! Have a great week

  93. Hi Kim and we have a combustion wood stove here too that we use in winter to keep warm, so much cheaper than using heaters especially if you can source and cut your timber for free like we do (bar of course the small amount of fuel in the car to get there and a small amount of fuel and oil for the chainsaw).

    Here in Australia where we are we are just going from Autumn through to winter, it is around 12oC at the moment at night so when it gets down to around 7oC we shall be arching up the wood fire again. So good not to have a huge power bill like most of our friends do during winter :).

  94. Hello Sue, sorry I didn’t see your question earlier. This recipe makes 12 baked donuts in one of the Wilton donut pans:

    3/4 cup cake mix (Any flavor works, we like to use the spice cake mix)
    1 cup bisquick
    1/4 cup sugar
    3/4 cup milk
    2 eggs.

    Bake for like 10 minutes. After you take them out of the pans, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

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