Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Roses in April The Prudent Homemaker

Thanks to the unexpected rain that we had on the weekend, I was able to have the drip irrigation and sprinklers turned off for several days. I also collected water in buckets where it poured off the roof, and used it to water potted plants in the garden.

The cooler temperatures meant I didn’t have to run the ceiling fans for several days, and we enjoyed the nice breeze that came in the open windows.

Roses in Blue Ball Jar The Prudent Homemaker

I cut roses, peonies, lavender and dusty miller from the garden for arrangements in the house.

I picked lettuce and hibiscus flowers from the garden. I cut chives, rosemary, and parsley from the garden. 

We made some balsamic orange vinaigrette for our salads. I also made strawberry shortcake, black bean soup, rosemary pork loin roast, rosemary olive oil potatoes, a triple batch of cranberry almond granola, and crepes last week.

I planted seeds for basil in the garden.

My husband and I cut his hair.

I bought eggs for $5.38 for 5 dozen at Sam’s Club. I also bought milk for $2.31 a gallon, and strawberries for $0.99 a dozen. I bought a pork loin roast at $1.98 a pound.

I picked up green beans, canned tuna, and canned mandarin oranges at the case-lot sale. I took the store survey for an additional 50 fuel points. 

I ordered some makeup online. I combined a free shipping offer with a free gifts with purchase offer, and went through Ebates first to get cash  back on my order.

I made two batches of laundry soap.

I turned two pairs of pants with holes at the knee into shorts for the girls.

I cut the buttons off a worn out blouse and added them to my button jar.

I took the items I didn’t sell on my local Facebook garage sale page and donated them to the thrift store. I picked up a receipt to use for my taxes next year.

I went through some items at home and started a couple more bags for donations.

I went to a rummage sale and a few garage sales. There weren’t many sales, mostly due to the high winds, but I did find a few things, including a couple of items on my garage sale list.

I watched Call the Midwife for free on Pbs.org.

My husband and I had a date night at home.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

If you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to check it out! There’s an announcement there!

 

 

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89 Comments

  1. Beautiful flower arrangement – and I love the colored glass jar.

    I worked 4 hours overtime.

    I stopped at the mall on the way to picking up my daughter at the airport. I had a $15 off $15 Lane Bryant coupon and got 3 pairs of socks for 96 cents. I got a free pair of panties at Victoria Secret (they let me get cotton ones instead of the lace ones). I had a $10 off $10 at JCPenny and got a Worthington short sleeve shirt for work. The shirt was on sale for $12.99 and I paid with a gift card that had a few dollars left on it so nothing OOP.

    Spent some time picking my daughter’s brain (she’s an architect) on some DIY projects we want to do around the house as well as shingle versus metal roof, costs, pros/cons, etc.

    Other than that…it was just the usual. Skipped the grocery store. Washed and reused baggies. Brought leftovers home from catered lunches at work. Composted fruit and veggies scraps. Wore clothes more than once before washing. Tried to be careful with electricity and water. SO makes foaming soap to refill the soap dispensers using regular hand liquid hand soap.

    Have a great week everyone!

  2. I have been a lurker for some time reading your posts and becoming more and more inspired. Thank you. I love Call the Midwife and the newest show Home Fires. PBS is a fantastic station and we have begun to watch it more and more since giving up cable and buying a 50.00 Leaf Antennae. No more cable bills and fantastic shows to watch.

  3. What lovely news.

    Your flowers look beautiful.
    We had a nice eBay sale last week. We have another going off tonight and looks like we’ll make about 120 ( could go up a bit) to add to our house fund. We went to lunch for free with a gift card and then went to a few thrift stores looking for summer shorts and planters. I found a great ceramic planter ( I think 15 gallons) for outside, I planted it with sweet peas in the center and edged it with these tiny white flowers, the name escapes me.
    I planted some other pots outside now that we are past the real cold.
    My husband installed the window boxes I planted from seed.
    I replanted some of my seedlings that the squirrel got to:( I got off easy, he destroyed my neighbor’s tulips out of what can only be pure meanness. I’m thinking about putting some seeds out for the squirrel across the street, maybe he will pester them since no one over there gardens.
    We got a two hundred dollar check from our son’s school for completing our volunteering hours( you get a rebate if you volunteer).
    I made banana muffins twice. I made chocolate syrup. I told my children no ( unpopular choice, lol).
    My husband worked two hours of overtime.

  4. I tried your cranberry almond granola recipe a few weeks ago, and we have been going through a double batch a week ever since. My husband loved it! I used to make granola back in the 70’s, but got out of the habit. Yours is much easier than the recipe I used, as mine required soy grits and wheat germ, among other things I no longer have a good source for! It’s cheaper to make than the stuff I was buying, and I can mix some in with my regular cereal too. High cholesterol is a problem I have, and oatmeal is good at lowering it.

    I also found pork loin roast on sale, and we have had two meals from it already. Delicious! I think another two meals, if not three, will be forthcoming. Some will go into the freezer for now.

    We have had a warm and dry weekend, and I actually spent some time in the yard yesterday. It felt good, although still a bit chilly in the shade. Most of the week is forecast to be sunny, which always helps me feel like accomplishing more than cloudy, grim greys. The daffodils and some early tulips are blooming and I’m starting to feel more human again. Winter is something we’re always happy to see end in this part of the country.

  5. This week I made 2 more handkerchiefs using vintage sheet remnants and I crocheted edging around them to give them a nice finish.
    I had 3 baby showers to go to and I gave baby quilts at each one that I used all materials from my stash! The moms loved them and I didn’t have to worry about whether they would receive a duplicate of what I gave!
    We rented a bobcat to dig out a big tree stump and level our whole side yard. The cost of the rental was $200, but doing it ourselves rather than hiring someone to do the work saved us over $1200! We also installed the new fence posts along our back yard and on Monday we will install the new fencing to the posts! This saved a lot over hiring a fencing company to do it! We are sunburned and sore but we are grateful that the weather was so mellow!
    I made 3 more freezer meals for hubby and son to enjoy while I am in CA this week helping with new granddaughter.
    Bought 17 pounds of BLSL chicken breast for $1.17/lb!
    All in all, a very good week!

  6. It was a good week at our home, the weather has been glorious and we are healthy! Cooked three major dinners and had leftovers two nights along with extra in the freezer. Only ate out one small meal, which is an achievement for us. Still managing to be spot-on our grocery budget, thanks to what I have learned here about pantries and cooking at home. And that budget is more than 50 percent less than last year. My husband changed the oil in my car, I washed both our vehicles by hand, and he waxed his truck today!

    Washed our dog in the shower rather than going to a groomer. I still haven’t decided to groom her myself but I can give her a shower once a month and if I do that, we only go to the groomers every three months. And I get to laugh hysterically once a month as I carry her into the shower and she gives me the saddest look in the world ;). You would think I was pulling all her hair out, rather than giving her a gentle shower. Saves almost $400 a year plus I get a free bit of laughter.

  7. I am so happy for you, I still can not believe the baby news. I just love babies.

    This week I spent some money (I had saved it especially for this) on my only grand daughter. Her first date and prom all in one. Took her to my hair dresser, got her hair put up in curls, we went to the thrift store and she found a cute clutch purse to wear with her dress. Her dress is gold and the clutch is ivory and gold so it went well. (cost $2.00) Then we went to Utla and I had a coupon for a free make over. She got her make up done for free and I got her a bottle of new perfume. (her birthday was 3-17 so I had saved her birthday money to spend on her too. Gosh what fun for this grandma who never had a daughter to spend such a special day with her grand daughter. The pictures of her and the group are wonderful. (it was a group date of 4 couples)

    While at the thrift store I got 4 large heavy (not sure what the fabric is, it was hand made so no tag) panels for $4.00. (they were half off because they were there 30 days) I plan to use them to cover our dog beds. We have 2 large dog beds. I want to make 4 covers so I can change and wash them as needed. I will take the old one off and use it as a pattern.

    Got strawberries for 77 cents a quart, blackberries for 77 cents a quart too. Got several to eat this week and freeze too. Made a double batch of cooked chicken thighs for dog food. I cook our dog’s food because it is cheaper. I froze it into 1 quart containers and just have to add it to cooked rice and veggies. I use the broth to make a gravy to pour over it with just a bit of flour and water. Our dogs are very healthy and thin. Our vet is very pleased. One of our dogs is almost 16 and is very healthy according to the vet…even has good teeth, not real normal for a dog her age.

    Made several doll dresses…..was a HUGE sale at Joann’s this week. Went on Thursday and got an extra discount for senior day. They had fat quarters for just 75 cents each. With my discount I paid 70 cents. I got a lot of them to match the fabric I had on hand to make the doll clothes for our church’s Christmas project.

    I got 2 free books from Amazon to read. Watched 2 free you tube videos on making a doll shoe. (I was having a problem and needed to SEE it done) Now I can make the shoes well.

    For once in my life I am ahead of the game for my sweet husband’s birthday. He is super hard to gift. If he wants something he gets it. He does not talk much about ‘wants’ and I hate to give him a gift that is WORK related like the weed eater he needed…I found a coupon for a leather company new in our city and had his name embossed on a new wallet for him. I have it here and ready for his birthday or father’s day. He may get it then…I know he is not my father, but I still gift him because he gifts me on mother’s day. His excuse is “he made me a mother” so he wants to give me a gift for being the mother of his children. I often don’t gift him on father’s day because our son and grandchildren always give him something…but I might this year.

    We are being washed with rain this week. Today has been just all wet. Tomorrow is supposed to be too. My rain barrels are full to over flowing. I am so happy too. Hope we can make it through most of the summer without having to water with the hose too much. We have 8 rail barrels right now and our city is selling them this month for $20.00. I might get 2 more to go on the other corner our of garage. (we have a stand alone garage)

    Hanging laundry on racks. Made a double batch of meat loaf too. Froze one and we had one for supper. Will make sandwiches tomorrow as I have a hair appointment.

    Again congratulations to you and the family. I am so happy for all of you. Take care of yourself. I know it is not easy to carry a baby past the ‘due’ date. My oldest son was 1 month past due. He was too big to come through the birth canal and I had to have a C-section after more than 20 hours of hard labor….my 2nd son was born on his due date as he was a planned C-section.

  8. Gathered water from the downspouts for the garden from the Sunday rainstorm & those later in the week. I was so glad for this set of storms, as my rainwater supply was nearly depleted, & rainwater is what I use in the garden until after the last frost date. Now all my garden jugs are full again.

    Refilled the green bud vase with fresh daffodils from the back yard twice. Those by the house in the front yard always bloom first, then those at the end of the driveway by the sidewalk. Last of all are those in the back yard. Dead-headed the spent blooms.

    Watched “Cheese Slices” on UEN.

    I made a shepherd’s pie for dinner one night, & added extra carrots & home canned green beans to stretch the hamburger & gravy so I could make a pie for dinner, & one for the freezer for a future hectic day’s dinner. The mashed potatoes were from some russets that needed used quickly.

    Measured out the distance from where I am now with the back perimeter wall & where I need to be to be able to plant the columnar peach tree. I will need 36 more of the Lodgestones, beyond what I have already purchased, to get to that point. Shifted funds within the budget to be able to buy those 36 while they were still on sale at the Spring Black Friday sale, before they went up 29 cents each. The back perimeter wall has now passed behind the trunk of the cherry tree. When the wall is laid & the empty space filled in, the back perimeter beds will be 33” wide from the fence to the wall. I sprayed the grass between the edge of the previous perimeter bed & the new wall with straight white vinegar, to kill it. Once it is well browned & verifiably “dead”, then I will lay down a thick payer of newspaper/cardboard, & backfill the empty space with “good dirt”, crushed leaves, coffee grounds & perhaps some old horse manure, all mixed together. Decided to go back on Friday & get 24 additional stones before the price went up, so now I have 63 to set when the ground dries out enough.

    Continued to pull at least one tree pot full of weeds/grass per day on the back perimeter. Tuesday before the garbage pickup, I was able to pull 2 tree pots full & get them in the can before it went. Wednesday I pulled 3 tree pots full to give the garbage can stability for the coming set of storms. Friday I pulled grass from in the mint bed while the ground was soaked, & the grass roots came right out of the soupy mess – the mint bed is right under one of our downspouts.

    Mowed the yard for the first time this week, & used the grass clippings as mulch in the garden & on the back perimeter beds. Mulch helps conserve the water I put on the garden here. Without mulch, our wind dries out the soil so fast that the plants die. Some of the lettuce & spinach seed I planted last month is coming up.

    Checked online on etsy for any more cheese domes offered for a price I could afford, but there were none. By the time shipping is added, they are over $20 (& I won’t pay more than $5-$6 for them, tops). That is par for the course now, since people started using both the cheese domes & cake domes as “decorative cloches” instead of actual garden cloches. I found a cheese plate this week at Savers for $4.99, which is more than I like to pay, but reasonable. The base of the cheese plate was not in good shape, so I threw it away. Normally I would re-donate it at the register. More cloches are always useful. Yard sales are lot less expensive places to find them, tho, especially the “fundraiser” type BSA troop yard sales. I have found cheese domes there for 50 cents-$1 before, so I watch for those.

  9. Your flower arrangements are beautiful. When I visit here, something in me just goes aaaaaahhh when viewing your photos. Beauty and peace rolled into one, I think. A perfect combination. You inspired me to cut a bouquet of lilacs last week. The vinaigrette caught my eye, and I will check out the recipe. I made a berry vinaigrette tonight, from mixed berry syrup I had canned, but I love to mix things up a bit. I had some items that ended on ebay tonight and hadn’t sold after several weeks, so I’ll add them to the donation box. I want to see if Call the Midwife is available on Netflix, & your post reminded me to do that. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments. Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/04/new-chickswild-onions-chick-food-frugal.html

  10. The biggest frugal accomplishment this week was a huge barn/shop/tool sale Rob had. It was a huge success and exceeded our wildest expectations. I wrote about it on my blog, as well as the other things I did.

    We continue to do things towards our move, without actually packing in earnest, while we make sure everything goes through with the sale. They said wait a couple of weeks.

    Tomorrow, after work I will go over to my sister’s house and work in the garden. I bought 4 tomatoes today and will plant them in walls of water, which is still a gamble here where we live. But, it’s worth a try. While I am there, Rob will pick Lovana up from work and go over there, too, with a big load that will stay there. It’s things like hog panels, etc., that he is going to save until we see if we end up anywhere that we can use them. If not, he will sell them then. It would be extremely expensive to replace them. He did sell a lot of things that he had bought used and can replace at yard sales later, if needed. We are trying to hit a balance.

    There are some other things, like firewood, that we will try to get over there soon. We have several cords that they can use if we don’t end up with a wood stove in our house. So many of these things take quite a bit of time, and will need to be done sooner or later, no matter what.

    We will probably get a storage unit around May 1, if things continue to go well. We are holding off to save money, but that’s probably as long as we can stretch it. Then, we can take loads every Sunday and Wednesday when we go to church and move a bunch that way.

  11. I also watch Call the Midwife. PBS has the best shows. I’m so sad Downton Abbey ended.
    It’s a little too early for yard sales here in New England, but I’m looking forward to that this summer. I know you always find great stuff at them.

    To stay frugal, I continue to shop the sales and use coupons/rebates when possible. Last week I found $0.48 agave syrup, $0.65 eyeshadow, and $1.99 Revlon lipstick (75% off clearance). My biggest deal of the week was at Petco on Wellness Trufood bags for only $11.98 —normal price is $48.99! All of my deals with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-41616/

  12. Congratulations on the new baby! How exciting!!

    – Project Use it Up: a bottle of Bath and Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena Body Lotion (that I feel like I’ve been working on for years!)
    – Cut open tube of toothpaste and got at least three more days use out of it
    – Received a free big sample of Olay lotion in the mail along with issues of Weight Watchers, Bon Apetit, Saveur, Shape and Oxygen – they are all free subscriptions
    – Went to a newcomers crafters meeting where the woman taught us how to make burlap wreaths. The cost of all the material I bought was probably around $20 and the wreath turned out beautiful and is currently on my door (these sell for about $50-$60 on etsy).
    – Had to go grocery shopping after just coming back from vacation. Found cute little plastic yellow chick treat containers (Easter clearance) that will be perfect for using in Easter baskets next year for 7 cents each!
    – Bought a bag of dog food and there was a sheet in it to take a quick on-line survey for a coupon off your next bag. It took only about a minute and the coupon is for $5 off! (Went back later in the week and used the coupon)
    – Redeemed two free bagels at Panera so far with my free bagel each day in April reward (I was out of town the first week of April). I also had a free tea reward so I redeemed that too.
    – Used the last of the personal training sessions I won at the gym.
    – Went on a 5 mile hike with a friend (free exercise, time with a friend and being out in nature…three of my favorite things!)
    – Repainted the powder room using paint that we had left over from painting my son’s bedroom. It’s exactly the color I would have chosen at the store anyway (a blue-grey)
    – Cut daffodils to put in our family room

  13. I get a bit weary about how short many of the dresses and skirts are even for very young girls. I do not sew very well nor very much, but I am determined to learn a bit about alterations. I added a bit of fabric onto my nearly five-year old daughter’s dress and it turned out better than I expected. I decided that I need to invest time in organizing my sewing area, and also some more items from garage sales that can be used in this way.

  14. I’ve been successful in taking lunch to work.
    I made applesauce out of some apples that were past their prime.
    I went ice skating with my son. We have our own skates so it’s less than $7 for both of us. We took our own snacks and water.
    We had an afternoon at the zoo during some nice weather. We took snacks and bottles of water to avoid impulse purchases.
    I checked my fridge and freezer and found some chili peppers and cheese that needed to be used so I made jalapeno cheese bread.
    I moved some dry beans to the freezer so they don’t get buggy in the warmer weather.
    I”m trying to use up what’s in my fridge, freezer, and cabinets to cut down on food waste.
    I made a big pot of beans. We will eat some and freeze some for later.
    I saved the whey from cheese making to use in in baked goods.

  15. Congratulations on your exciting news!

    Some of our frugal accomplishments over the past week include:

    Rainy weather in central Texas means we didn’t have to give our young fruit trees their weekly deep watering this weekend, and we’ll be getting a week’s reprieve from watering the vegetable gardens at all.

    We picked another 15 or so pounds of loquats from our mature trees… the trees were grown by the previous owners as shade trees, so harvesting the fruit means climbing on our roof! We have a good ladder though, so it’s kind of fun.

    I made another batch of loquat jam, and took the seeds to my friend who uses them to flavor some vodka she gets for free from her neighbor who works at a local distillery. The loquat seeds give it a cherry/almond flavor.

    Husband dug out all the invasive vines on the side of our house, and transplanted all the succulents/cacti into one area. The result is very attractive, and it’s all from “found” plants.

    We bid on a vehicle on eBay to convert into an RV. If we win, we will be getting it for about 1/3 the usual cost! And it will be a fun, frugal project for us to do together.

  16. Hello Brandy & all from Australia :).

    My husbands and my frugal accomplishments for the week are –

    Autumn cleaning and maintenance –
    – Hammered down nails on the front and back verandas.
    – Deep cleaned kitchen benches with citrus vinegar.

    Groceries –
    – Purchased much needed laundry pegs on sale for laundry saving $1 on usual prices.
    – Purchased 5 lts demineralised water for the iron and the car windscreen washers to top up supplies.f

    Winter heat preparations –
    – Collected all fallen dried twigs & small branches from under trees & added them to our combustion stove kindling timber pile.

    In the kitchen –
    – Juiced the last of the 3kg of oranges we had purchased on special and made orange juice, peel went in compost.
    – Made another batch of pumpkin soup to last 3 days out of onions and pumpkins picked from the garden.
    – Blanched chop and froze 1.59 kg of excess green & butter beans from the garden to top the freezer, we should not need to grow beans for a while till we eat down what is in there.
    – Used recipe base sachets that were getting close to their use by dates in meals.
    – Made all bread from scratch with our bread maker using items from our storage.
    – Washed and re- used all baggies.

    In the garden –
    – Weeded 2 x 9 x 2 metre vegetable patches, the back lawn, & part of the side of the house lawn.
    – Refreshed soil and dug in compost and manure and planted a 2 x 2 mt patch of onion seeds.
    – Refreshed soil, dug in compost and manure & planted a 4.5 x 2 metre patch of turnips.
    – Separated parsley seedlings growing too close together and made 2 more sections in other garden beds.
    – Mulched the corn, broad bean, & all strawberry patches in the gardens to keep in the moisture.
    – Fertilised 1/2 of the front lawn, & finished manuring the back 2/3 of the lawn and watered in with grey water. We are gradually manuring all the house lawns before the cold weather sets in and as we have grey water available to water it straight in.
    – Found more sprouted tomato seedlings from previous crop and planted them in the front herb patches & trimmed all Thai & sweet basil plants & put the cuttings as mulch underneath to prevent fruit fly.
    – Staked large tomato plants in the front yard & put a string runner on the stakes around the broad beans to support their growth.
    – Harvested silver beet, spinach, beans, peas, strawberries & parsnips for all teas and snacks.
    – Made lots more layers of compost from kitchen vegetable scraps and by mulching up spent corn plants out of the garden.

    Water preservation –
    – Used all water from the washing machine & showers to water the lawns and water in manure fertiliser.
    – Missed one scheduled garden watering saving 540 lts of town water.
    – Been washing up each day by placing only a half sink of soapy water all day in the kitchen sink and did this for 4 days saving 40 lts of water.

    Sewing & seed saving online craft businesses –
    – Counted all dried pumpkin seeds & put in a jar for storage, some for us, rest to sell on the internet & listed them.
    – Separated the rest of the dried thyme harvested from the garden & placed in bags, when enough will list for sale on the internet and keep the rest for us.
    – Made an eye mask and a set of 4 curtain tieback cuffs to replace ones sold on Etsy.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week one and all 🙂 .

  17. Hi Hilogene and congrats on lowering the grocery bill by 50% from last year that is a mammoth effort and accomplishment.

    We were comparing notes on this together previously. Next month now we have mostly stocked all of our groceries and personal care items to the levels we want our grocery bill should hopefully come in under our budget target, as our grocery budget targets are really similar :). I am however waiting on a sale on tinned fruits to top up those we have used, so hopefully that will come up either last part of this month or early next month. We have a voucher for 10% off our first order and free delivery for $100 or more. We shall just put some of the normal grocery things on that internet order that are the same price that we usually buy from Aldi, along with the tinned fruit we have used to make it up to the $100.

    Our favourite cheapest store for buying tinned fruits shut down for 18 months while they build their new store, so sadly we have to order on the internet from the same closest store which is around 80km away from us.

    Think it may have been yourself that was asking how to use clippers on a dog to cut them last week ?. I used to groom my poodle with human hair clippers and a pair of scissors for his ears. It is much like shearing a sheep, you just put on the corresponding comb on the clippers. The number 1 is the shortest cut, 2 longer, 3 slightly longer again and the no 4. You use the clippers to cut the way their fur lies start at the top and work your way down. I used to start at the neck and work my way down the body. Although it wasn’t a professional cut it did suffice, and a few people even asked me where I had him groomed. I lived in a remote country area at the time and the dog grooming parlours were so hugely expensive and located a long way away.

  18. We ate all our meals at home, including our anniversary dinner. We used some of our grocery money for the week to get a nice steak and some seafood for our dinner and made it at home. I also made a Boston Cream Pie for dessert. We made it extra special by eating by candlelight,with a pretty tablecloth, fresh cut daffodils from the garden, and my grandma’s china.

    I made homemade focaccia, black bean soup, and muffins using ingredients I already had.

    I mended some of my and my husband’s clothes. We are trying not to buy anything except for necessities in the clothing department for ourselves this year.

    We found some winter clothes on clearance for our son-in-laws for Christmas with a savings for over 60% off. We felt very satisfied doing it this way. Since we have been putting money aside into savings for Christmas we didn’t feel stretched in our budget. In June I plan on buying some Bath and Body Works lotions and soaps when they have their annual clearance sale for our daughters.

    I planted some seeds indoors for our garden and did some yard work. My husband mowed the lawn for the first time this year. The weather was absolutely gorgeous over the weekend.

    I ordered a free photo book from Shutterfly for my mom for Mother’s Day.

    I made laundry soap.

    We lowered the temperature on our hot water heater.

  19. Hello everyone! It warmed up enough here (Northern Illinois) that I was able to turn the heat off 🙂 We also were able to stop using the space heaters in our rooms at night. Woohoo!
    I purchased: milk, butter, 2 clearance boxes of pie crust (premade, rolled) for .29 each and froze them, baking soda and tortillas. I didn’t purchase anything else. I only need to purchase milk this week as well. I found another dozen yellow roses a store was throwing out and rescued them. They are currently looking beautiful on my kitchen table.

    I made more liquid castile soap from bar soap and refilled my repurposed gallon milk jug. We cooked all meals from scratch and ate at home (hamburgers, pizza, fajitas, tacos, etc)

    My daughter and I visited my mom yesterday. I was able to give her a few items I can’t use that I got for free (make up remover pads, lotion, a couple tomatoes). She fed us muffins 🙂

    Nothing major this week. We never made it to Menards last week so we have to go this week, also mu hubby needs to buy brake pads for my Prius and change them. Have a great week everyone!

  20. What type of dog?
    Depending on her fur/hair, if you are blow drying and brushing after the bath, cutting her hair won’t be too difficult – unless you want it to look like a show cut.

  21. I picked up a free kiddie pool late last summer (it had cracks in the bottom) and am planning on planting globe carrots and lettuce in it this spring. I am also using dollar store laundry basket to place over my potato plants (cut out part of the bottom of the basket) so they will be easier to hill up. Hopefully it doesn’t look too trashy for the neighbors to look at!

  22. Hello all! Here is my contribution for the week.
    1. I had to buy oil, flour, and sugar this week, as I had finally run out of the items I had bought back in October of last year. I compared prices and bought only a little, as I am waiting for it to go back on sale so I can stock back up.
    2. The young lady that had gifted me with $15.00 worth of dish liquid last week for .42 cents brought me 5 packs of toilet tissue and two packs of paper towels, all for $1.00. She refuses to allow me to give her the money for it, so I pray she is blessed abundantly!
    3. Found smoked hams for .98 a pound. Chicken legs and thighs for .68 pound. Pork chops for 1.48 a pound. Guess what we will be eating for at least two weeks?!?
    4. Accepted some pecan pie that was left over from a church event Friday night. My husband enjoyed it very much.
    5. Found pasta for .50 a bag. Bought 6.

    I think that’s all! Have a great week!

  23. Your flower arrangements are beautiful as always, Brandy. Our flowers are just starting to come up now. We are finally having lovely spring temperatures, after some late snowfalls. This time last week, there was a light layer of snow on the ground and today my daughter went to school in shorts for the first time this year…Canada sure has some crazy weather some years!

    Well, we’ve had a rather interesting week this week at our house. Definitely some big frugal fails! So, here are my so-called frugal accomplishments for this week:

    *Frugal Fail #1: We started the week off with the element in the oven burning out (it started glowing red hot then sparks came off it –rather dramatic moment). Of course it happened on a night that my husband and I were going out somewhere and need to eat by a certain time. I just didn’t have the time to switch gears and come up with another meal, so we went out to eat. Thankfully the stove top still works, so I could still cook meals at home until the problem was solved. They just had to be planned out with that in mind.

    *Frugal Fail #2: We decided to buy a new stove, instead of replace the element. The stove is older and we figure that it’s just a matter of time before more elements blow on it. My husband and I decided we would buy it, so we have the option of taking it with us when we eventually buy our own home (my mom want to sell her house and downgrade to an apartment once we move out). My mother, however, decided she didn’t like the fridge we bought last summer (long story), so she decided she would buy another fridge that met her “needs”. We found a scratch and dent fridge that was perfect and heavily discounted but no such luck on the stove. The 2 appliances were around the same price and they only charged one delivery fee to deliver both, so we split the bill in ½. The next day, the new fridge and stove were delivered; the “old” fridge was moved into the garage and the broken stove was taken away for free.

    *Frugal fail #3: My husband started back to work this week…then promptly quite his job after some major issues arose one night. He was extremely upset about the situation, as were several other co-workers. He told me if he returned to the job, he would most definitely say something that would get him fired. So, now he’s aggressively pursuing other employment this week. Needless to say, I’m not very happy either.

    *Meals made at home this week included BBQ chicken quesadillas with salad (used left over cooked chicken mixed with BBQ sauce and cheese for the quesadillas), chicken fingers with rice and green beans, ham steaks with baked potatoes and carrots (bought during seasonal sales, then blanched and frozen), pasta with choice of red or white sauce, and BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with salad (first BBQ of the season…tasted so good!).

    *My husband and I attended another charity bingo (my mother-in-law bought the tickets for us). This time it was in support of the Young Bowlers of Canada, which my daughter is involved with. Our charity had the biggest turn out, so we won an extra $1000 for our charity! We didn’t win, but it was nice to have a “date night” out with my husband.

    *I received my paycheck for the training session that I taught at the museum I work at. Nice to have a paycheck again! I will be officially starting back full time at my seasonal job on May 2.

    *The weather has finally turned to beautiful spring like temperatures, so we are now using the line to dry clothes!

    *Repotted some of my indoor seed sprouts (tomato and pepper plants) into small pots, to encourage them to grow bigger. It’s still too soon to plant them outside for our area.

    *Made a batch of Chocolate Oatmeal Frogs (recipe link: http://www.christmas-cookies.com/recipes/recipe198.frogs.html) for the treat trays we are being paid to make. The recipe uses mainly pantry basics, is nut/egg free (it may be ok for those eating gluten free diets as well) and they freeze really well. Two family members showed up and commented on how delicious the treats smelled while I was making them and my husband insisted on being a taste tester for quality control.

    Here’s hoping my husband finds a new job really quickly! Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

  24. We have had big snows here and I was afraid the tomatoes in my unheated greenhouse would freeze, so we took some old Christmas lights my MIL gave us and wrapped them around the tomato cages. They kept the tomatoes warm enough that they survived.
    I canned 20 pints of green beans. I found strawberries for $1.77 a pound and bought five pounds. Made strawberry shortcake, canned 9 jelly-jars of jam and have a bag frozen for smoothies. We are reading free books from the library and watched Call the Midwife streamed from PBS. I agree that PBS has so many good shows we can stream for free. We are going to Denver at the end of the week to visit friends. Originally we were going to stay at a hotel, then decided to take our camper and camp at a local RV park. This will allow us to stay a day longer and still save a lot of money over a hotel.

  25. That’s awesome Liz!
    I was never a very good sewer and then one day about 8 years ago I added a band of fabric to a dress so I could bend over and not show my business. That was a success too! Since then, confidence along with practice and it is a rare day that I am not on my sewing machine – even it if it is a quick straight stitch on something. It has defiantly extended the life of my wardrobe!

  26. My husband is not our dogs’ father either, but I give him a silly paw print card and an ice cream cake on Father’s Day. I did it as a joke one year when he called himself their father and he laughed so hard that I now do it every year. And it is the only time I make ice cream cake, which I know he enjoys. I feel like life can be pretty difficult sometimes and finding ways to lighten it up and give him a small treat makes the harder times easier to withstand.

  27. The floral arrangement is Dusty Miller is one of my favorite flowers for cut bouquets.
    This past week I hand made a card for a bridal shower using supplies from my paper stash.
    I found a free cross stitch bee pattern that I stitched on to a scrap of adia cloth to make myself a book mark. I like the simple pattern so much that I stitched it larger with a scrap of waste adia onto a piece of linen like fabric that I recycled from a dress. I will either frame that or turn into a little drawstring gift bag.
    I reclaimed buttons from a well loved stretched out sweater to replace missing buttons on another cardigan. That cardigan was sold on Ebay.
    I was given a large bouquet of flowers leftover from an event. They prettied my kitchen table for a week.
    My husband and I had a date at a free wildflower preserve about a half hour from our house. The preserve was beautiful and the drive to and fro with the clear blue skies and budding trees were a visual vacation much needed.
    We will be hosting relatives of mine and then his sibling/family for the next month. My husband and I made a food plans using pantry items to ensure there aren’t last minute/overspends.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  28. Happy Monday Brandy !

    Your flowers are so very pretty~ what beautiful arrangements they are. Love your posts about the week. You inspire me to be more frugal 🙂
    My husband and I have been working on our small backyard. Since the home was new when we bought it 2 years ago, we have had to work on the landscape in our little yard slowly. I’ve concentrated on planting veggie boxes and have not planted seeds for flowers until this year. You have been such a blessing to me with your posts of your garden and flower arrangements.
    I had planted veggie seeds last week and again this week. I also decided to get a few starters since they were inexpensive at our local nursery. I planted as much as I could in our 3 4X4 raised boxes without crowding them which both included seeds and starters.
    It has been warm here in the NW so we are taking advantage of working in our yard. Last year we bought a dwarf apple tree which produced 1 green apple~ and so far this Spring I see 1 blossom ~~ hopefully we will have a few more .
    Have a wonderful week~~ again congratulations to you and your family with anticipation of your new bundle of joy~
    Patty from the NW

    My daughter came to visit me from So Calif so we had a mommy/daughter date together in a very Norwegian town called Poulsbo Wa. It is on the webpage. Such a quaint town with pretty antique stores. I found a large picnic basket for $12.00 and a red plaid flannel blanket marked down to $5.00. This basket has plenty of room for a thermos, picnic lunches and games. Since the weather is finally getting better here, I am looking forward to spending weekend afternoons outside in one of the many parks and beaches we have here.

  29. Hi, Marivene! I found a small cheese dome at a thrift store; i think it was full price at 3.99 or 4.99. I decided it wasn’t tall enough, and too expensive, so i left it. I knew i’d heard about them somewhere; it must’ve been you! So, thank you! I’ll be watching the sales from here on out. I’m in a zone 4 so i need all the help i can get!

  30. We found our “bus” at a local place – it was from a retirement community. We then proceeded to take all the seats out and converted it into our RV. We have “flipped” many, many trailers so we had many of the parts we needed already. We added solar so we can camp in the primitive parks and still have running water and lights. We found a very cheap electric/propane combo frig which works great for being “off grid” as well. What I would recommend is using painters tape and laying everything out to see if it will really work in the locations where you want them. We could have just bought a used RV and revamped it but starting with a bus that was meant to be used commercially gave us a heavier chassis to build on and a better motor. We also have 3 dogs who travel with us – 2 of them being Great Danes – so we needed to be able to create enough open space to keep them comfortable. We still have some finishing work to do like cabinet doors but we have taken it out multiple times as is and LOVE it 🙂 Be prepared for lots of questions (and I am making a laminated sign this year about the Danes…….People will interrupt your meals to ask questions OR my pet peeve – walk right up to them w/o asking first!)

  31. momsav, the smaller cheese dome size actually work better for me than the larger cake dome sizes, to use as cloches in the earl spring. The larger domes work better for me to plant lettuce in the fall, to grow over the winter. Because they are larger, they seem to be able to hold more heat & keep the ground beneath them from freezing. Using the cloches over lettuce & spinach has helped the garden be more productive earlier, but the best use I have so far is to set them out on the soil to pre warm it for a week or two before planting the squash & the pole beans. I plant both of those 2 weeks before my last frost date. They are up in a week , & can grow for 1 week under the protection of the cloche. When I take off the cloche after the frost date, they are 2 weeks ahead. Last year, that 2 week head start gave me 4 more pickings on the beans, about 20 more pints of home bottled beans.
    When I was first collecting them, I asked my daughters for cloches for Christmas, my birthday & Mothers Day. Two of my daughters shop thrift stores regularly, so they bought them when they saw them. I have 8 in the salad bed right now, and 6 more warming the soil. 2 are cake domes, & the rest are cheese dome size.

  32. I walked my dog for free exercise.

    I continue to eat from the freezer and pantry.

    I bought dog and cat food on sale.

    I turned the heat off in my house and won’t turn it back on. I changed the furnace filter and put a higher quality one in because allergy season is here! I also stocked up on my allergy medicines using coupons and sale prices.

    I am continuing to declutter one shelf, drawer of surface a day. I’m beginning to see real progress. I’ve taken several bags to the thrift store and will give some to the church for their rummage sale.

    I am still trying one new sodium recipe a week, still more winners than losers, but my cooking skills and ability to adapt skills are sure improving.

    I am beginning to mend a huge pile of clothes…

    Congratulations on your “future new addition” Brandy!

    Happy Frugal Adventures Everyone!

  33. We are a BIG dog family. We have 3 rescue dogs. We took them in with the idea to shelter them till a good home was found for them. That was years ago. Now they are ‘the girls’ as we call them. My husband has a favorite t-shirt that he wears almost every Saturday. It reads “the DOG FATHER” instead of the god father……He thinks that is very funny. Our dogs are so spoiled that I cook for them. So we are a nutty family. My husband calls himself daddy to the dogs and of coarse I am mommy to them. They come to me when we have storms or they want food. They go to him for treats. He is also always in his recliner with a blanket. (his diabetes makes him cold all the time) and they love the blanket and his lap.

  34. Brandy I saw that you use Oil of Olay soap for your laundry detergent. Did you know that Dollar Tree sells Oil of Olay soap now? I just got several bars. I use it on my face.

  35. Well, a week ago we were still snowing and this week so far it is in the 70’s. It is just lovely. We spent Saturday in the yard and gardens. Our rhubarb is about 4″ high and the asparagus is coming up. Chives are up, the mint is showing up. So Sunday after church we all spent the afternoon on the patio enjoying the day, had an improptu potluck cookout with the children/families and a family from church–a recent widower and his 2 young girls. They shot baskets, drew with chalk on the drive, played hopscotch, 4 square. Huge vees of Canada geese were heading North.

    We did the usual of recycling, eating at home, packing lunches, using up leftovers, hanging some laundry, composting. The girls and I finished the spare room remodeling and the floor is in. We did more spring cleaning. I’m waiting on putting away the winter covers though. Changed out some of the storm windows so we could open windows. Put the geraniums and hibiscus out in the breezeway. Did mending and some more sewing on pajama present for brother in law. Husband and nephew closed shop for a morning and went fishing on the river to get in on the bass run.

    Cooked mostly from scratch. Made yogurt, 2 loaves white bread, potato pancakes (served with yogurt and applesauce and maple syrup) to go with the pan fried fish, pea and ham soup, fried rice with tofu and vegetables, peanut sauce veg stir fry with leftover chicken on the side, American (cold) potato salad, 4 bean salad, banana nut bread, chocolate pudding pie, refried beans (from freezer) and cheese and onion enchiladas with green sauce, homemade pizza using the thin crust recipe from Budget Bytes.

  36. Celeste, I love the “I told my children no” lol! I always said “It’s not in the budget,” to the youngest girl. They bought a house this year and had a baby last summer. I suggested she look into getting something useful for some area of the house (can’t remember just what at the moment) and chuckled when she told me, “It’s not in the budget, Mumsie…” lol

  37. I didn’t, but I pay less than a dollar a bar. There are $1 off coupons for 4 packs, and I can get it for $.80 a bar before using coupons and before a sale; I often find it on sale and then use a coupon on top of that on 4 or 6 packs at Target. Sam’s Club stopped carrying it by me, but then went back to carrying it, and it sometimes goes on sale there too, for $0.67 a bar, AND the bars are an ounce larger.

    I use it for bathing as well as for laundry soap, and my children use it, too. It works well for sensitive skin.

  38. “I turned the heat off in my house and won’t turn it back on. ” I thought this morning as I shivered in our house, I really need to call a stop on heating the house…I shall have to do that Mitzie just as you’ve done. We used to have a November 1 start date for heat but as we’ve grown older we keep squiggling back into October to turn on the heat, lol. Still, I shall join in this goal as of right now. Resolutions are easy enough to make when it’s 78 outdoors, yes? lol

  39. While reading today I’ve committed myself to joining Mitzi in the ‘no more heater’ usage. Our days will warm into the high 70’s all week and really it’s just a few hours each morning that will be cool. We can put on a jacket or sweater and socks and peel them off as the day warms. I’m also committing to trying to have windows open part of each day as well. Yesterday managed until 5:30 before it got still and stuffy warm indoors and then we set the AC to 75 and it ran less than 2 cycles before shutting down for the evening. I also posted my frugal savings for last week here: http://www:bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2016/04/my-frugal-week_15.html

  40. Hi Liz and Jenifer from Australia 🙂 , and yes the fashions are getting rather dubious in both lack of length and cleavage plunging too I have noticed.

    Being rather taller than average ladies I have to try something on, bend and see if it will accommodate my longer than usual women’s torso and long legs. I have however found some online clothing sellers that do have fashions for taller people, sizing being tall yay :D. Even the average t-shirt in the shops looks like a crop top on me, shorts that are supposed to be long look short on me as well. If the ladies here are looking for a place that sells taller size clothing or slightly more demure go to http://www.ezibuy.com.au , not sure if they ship overseas though from Australia but well worth a look, I shop their clearance sections at the end of each season.

    Sewing and adjusting things has now become a must skill to try and get something more demure to wear unfortunately.

  41. Hi Myra and what a beautiful gesture and blessing for you it is for that young lady who works at the supermarket is able to supply you with the toilet paper and dishwashing liquid. Such a wonderful savings for you, along with wonderful price of the meat and pasta that you found too.

  42. Hi Mitzie from Australia :).

    All for the not turning on heat until necessary as well to save on costs. We use a slow combustion wood stove for heating as we are in an older small home while we are saving for our first home together. We get our firewood for free after stumbling across a farmer who wanted his 59 acre property cleared of all older trees he had cut down by contractors to clear his driving tracks, he didn’t own a chainsaw and is really busy running his own business. So for the small cost of fuel for the car & chainsaw and some oil we are able to get enough fire wood to heat our small cottage really well. I would imagine, as we used to be in a home that was heated by an air conditioner that the cost of heating does indeed add up to be quite costly as we found after a while.

    We purchased thicker blankets that are equivalent to a rating of having 3 blankets, thermal socks and undergarments, wool ugg boots & thermal camp slippers and layer up. We don’t turn on the wood stove usually in winter till the temperatures reach 7 – 10 oC or 45 – 50 oF. Our winter temperatures here are around -7 oC to -10 oC or 14 – 19.4 oF as we are nestled into a mountain range here. We will be heading into the lower temperatures later this month and into May as we are in autumn here at the moment.

  43. That’s encouraging, Jenifer! I was just telling my 18-year old daughter that we are going to have to learn some alteration skills! I am determined. So many times I think that a quick and easy straight stitch would save something or if I could makes shorts out of some too short pants for one of the little ones I could save some money. I thank you for your reply!

  44. Lorna, I can’t imagine. I have tall sons (and a husband) so I know I’m challenged to find clothes for them. It’s hard enough to find things that are long enough for us. I think you are right about it becoming a skill that is needed. I’m trying to rearrange my sewing area so I can better sew. I’m looking forward to the creativity that I must employ to make it happen. I appreciate your reply!

  45. That is a much better price than I have found here. I do not remember ever seeing a coupon to use on the soap. I use a coupon for the lotion. I use that on my face morning and night. (I have dry skin, and my skin is very strange after gastric bypass surgery almost 15 years ago. My skin is almost like crape paper and breaks easy) For years I used Dove soap to wash with but my doctor told me the Oil of Olay was better. I got several large bars, I think they are 8oz bars, (I took them out of the box) that will last a year or so.
    My husband and grandsons will not use my “girly” soap. They use Dial. (again from Dollar Tree) It is 4 bars for the dollar.
    Glad you can get it for less. Our Sam’s Club does not sell the Oil of Olay bar soap. Just the liquid soap. I like that, but it is not frugal.

  46. There is usually a coupon for the 4 pack of soap in the Proctor and Gamble insert. I don’t get the paper but they send themi n a little freebie that comes on Thursdays here. If you know someone who gets the paper and doesn’t use that, you could get some that way. That insert comes out once a month (first Sunday of the month in the paper, I think) and there’s almost always one in there.

    Coupons.com usually has one as well for the soap that you can print. I do that. I believe they have one now, and you can print 2 per computer.

    There are often ones for the face lotion in both locations (I just use the regular Oil of Olay, not the expensive ones they make). Right now Target has a deal where you can buy 3 face lotions and get a $5 gift card. You can use your coupons with that. In addition, there is a Proctor and Gamble rebate deal. I see this deal every year in April and that’s when I stock up on the face lotion.

    Now, if you’re actually getting an 8 ounce bar for $1, then you’re getting a great price. I’ve never seen an 8 ounce bar. The ones I bought at Target are 4 ounces. I double checked the ones that I got at Sam’s Club when they suddenly had them again and had them on sale (after not having them at my store for a couple of years) and they are 4.25 ounces. When I used to get them at Sam’s and then they discontinued them, Target was only carrying a 3 ounce size, but that isn’t the case anymore.

    When I see them on sale at Target it’s usually $1 off the 4 pack or 6 pack, and then I’ll have the $1 off coupon as well. The coupon is usually good for a whole month, so I’ll watch to see if it goes on sale. I’ll often have 3 coupons (2 printed and one from the ad) so I can get enough to last us a while.

    One thing that continues to surprise me is that I can find certain items cheaper in places where I don’t expect them. Target has been cheaper on a good number of toiletries for me, especially when they have a buy 3 get a $5 gift card deal that I can stack with coupons. However, for things like my husband’s deodorant (Speed Stick unscented) I can find them cheaper at a buy 10 mix and match sale at the grocery store! (And there are coupons out there once in a while, too, for that). I’ve found the same grocery store (Smith’s) to be cheapest on the regular 4 ounce containers of Colgate toothpase (10 for $10) and I can sometimes find $0.50 off coupons as well for the regular (not more expensive or specific) Colgate. As I’ve opened my eyes to some unexpected places for deals, I’ve cut our toiletry expenses by quite a bit.

    Of course, it depends on what stores you have in your area and what deals they have. The more stores and competition, the better the deals. We have a lot of stores within 2 to 3 miles, which helps!

  47. I will add that I have sensitive skin, and I have found better results with the Oil of Olay than the Dove. I also agree that it is cheaper to use the bar soap over the liquid. I find the liquid (even marked in the same kind as the bar) to be overwhelmingly perfumed.

    What a deal on the Dial! $0.25 a bar is fantastic.

  48. Hi Liz and most welcome and not glad we are all having the length problem either, I resort sometimes or rather a lot on thick cotton tights under my dresses too to solve the bending problem and revealing too much.

    With legs 2’9″ tall without the rest of my tall torso it makes it extremely difficult. I have however purchased some lovely dress patterns and I think I will start sewing dresses with the advice of my husband who is a good clothing sewer. That way we can just adjust the patterns with some extra length to accommodate my height. I also fall back on longer skirts with tops if I can’t get dresses long enough too which works, but I do prefer dresses where possible.

  49. * The heat has been turned off and unless we get a snow storm, it isn’t going back on! That meant we could open windows and get the house aired out! 🙂
    * All of the outside heated water bowls and bottles have been turned off – the ice skim that forms overnight on the poultry’s water is easy to break this time of year.
    * I purchased the top soil I needed on sale – I did misjudge how much I needed and will need to return for another 20 bags – Filling up a 6 foot by 2.5 foot by 2 foot deep planter takes ALOT of dirt!! This will be my raspberry bed and hopefully it being that deep will keep them contained!
    * I planted all my strawberries and used weed barrier fabric I had left from last year to “cover” them – this will help keep the berries cleaner (and my picky husband happier)
    * Sold 4 more dozen duck hatching eggs which paid for a training session with the youngest dog and the rest was put into the vet emergency fund.
    * Cooked all but one meal at home and used a coupon for a buy one entree get one free for the other meal out. With the coupon our total only came to $12 for 2 of us – with drinks!
    * Picked up 2 brand new gamma lids at a garage sale for only $5 each. Now I finally have good seals for the buckets to store my oatmeal and rice!
    * At the same sale, I found boxes of pectin for .50 cent a piece as well as cinder blocks we need for my free rain barrels for .25 cents a piece.
    * I have started turning off my computer when I am going to be away from it for any length of time. Hubby says it won’t help the bill much but every little bit help!
    * Hemmed my daughter dress for the military ball (and I cannot believe how terribly uneven the original hem is!! Geez – for $100 you’d think the hem would straight!)
    * Hauled out all my summer clothes – It made me feel like I had a whole new wardrobe 🙂
    * Made my own seed tapes for my carrot seeds – it is so much easier to plant them this way rather than attempting to get it right in the garden where the wind blows at the wrong time and you lose seeds or they get planted too tightly and you lose some when you have to thin them out.
    * Took advantage of a job perk and got the yearly shots and heartworm tests done on 2 of the dogs (only available for 2 animals in the household) which saves us close to $250 a year!
    * Thanks to Erika’s inspiration, I am starting to recover the cushion on our very old sectional. I am using drop cloths since I can get them fairly cheap at Harbor Freight and I have coupons as well.

  50. I wish I had saved the box the Oil of Olay came in. It is a very large bar, maybe not 8oz, but it is at least a 6oz bar. When I go again Saturday I will check it out again and see for sure. There is only 1 deodorant my husband will use, Mitchem. I do buy that with coupons. I use the plain (low cost) Oil of Olay for my face too. Not the expensive ones.

    I do buy a lot of toiletries at Target too. I love those $5.00 gift cards. I get their coupons and keep them to buy the baby formula I need for my day care business.

    Last month I got a great deal at Target. I walked out with 5 bags of dog food and $40.00 in gift cards. There was a coupon in the paper to get a $10.00 card if you brought 2 bags. In the store was an ad to get $5.00 off 1 bag. I could not believe Target let me get both. Our dogs get dry dog food in the morning and my cooked dog food at night. The 5 bags I got will last us at least 6 months. It was not any more expensive than the big bag of store brand food I buy at Sam’s.
    We do not have a Smith’s store. Our local store is HEB and Randall’s The Randall’s is part of the Safeway brand. Normally their prices are so high that I can not afford to shop there, but when they have a sale it is a great sale. Example last week, chicken thighs, split breasts, or quarters were on sale for .88 a pound. I got 30 pounds. Eggs are more expensive here too than the price you posted. I am so blessed to get eggs for free from a dear friend at church. I give her garden produce etc. in exchange for the eggs.

  51. That sounds like a wonderful afternoon! It is always fun to see children enjoy themselves. I’m sure it was good for the children whose mother had recently passed away, too, although they must be so sad.

    And, the guys must have caught some fish, if you had pan-fried fish one day. That’s awesome! It’s always more fun when you catch something, at least to me. My husband seems to just like to go, fish or no fish.

  52. I love the flower arrangements that you share with us. I’m curious, where did you learn to arrange flowers, or are you self taught?

    Your arrangements are what have inspired me to add flowers to my gardens this year, and we have found rose bushes for $5.49 each at Aldi, and our local nursery has great deals on perennials – like a 4 pack of the dusty miller for $1.69. I sold a few items on the local yard sale group to build up my gardening fund for this year because I knew I was going to want to spend more than what our budget allowed. Instead of focusing so much on annuals like I have in the past, I have decided to add several perennials to the garden and try to grow some of the annuals from seed. Something I haven’t done before.

  53. Greetings from the U.P.
    *We also turned the heat off for two days. It’s back on, though. Some day…..
    *Swiffered the house with used dryer sheets. I keep them in a basket under the sink. Once in awhile, one of my children will send me a package of their old dryer sheets, too.
    *I’ve been walking around town for free exercise. I don’t think i’ll hit the 1,000 mile mark, but i’ll keep walking.
    *Sent out some ebay sales.
    *Put in my coke codes. I got most of them from my Summer job which should be starting up next month.
    *Saved a nickel that came in the mail. I also got a rebate that i used for some sale items at the store. No out-of-pocket.
    *I used shower water for the laundry. It always feels like a battle for me to do this, but i keep going. My husband will not save water from the shower. He also likes both sides of the living room lit up even when he’s on the opposite side. Those two things make me crazy sometimes…In all fairness, i make him crazy, too! Ha!
    *I walked to the bank, post office and store instead of driving. This added about a mile and a third to my walking totals.
    *I got to hang two loads of laundry this week! So excited about that!
    *I also got some yard work done. Most of the leaves have been raked and bagged. My husband drove a load to the compost pile that the city takes care of. I have a very small compost pile here that needs to break down a bit more before i can use it. I added a bucket of water to the compost from my water barrel. (Sun, i need sun!)
    *All meals were made and eaten at home or work.
    *Talked to all three of my children this week; skyped with one and the grands.
    Our bills are coming down, so i’m really happy about that! Since i’ve been only working one day a week this Winter, i’ll turn the heat down when my husband goes to work. It’s helped, so i’ll do this next year, as well. It’s nice to see results!
    Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

  54. Hi Lorna,
    Yes indeed, you and I have chatted about food spending before. While it takes some planning and some spending when there are sales, I agree it is a good feeling when the pantry is full. You sound like you have done a great job filling in the pantry, congratulations!

    It wasn’t me on the dog clipper question. My husband would love to be a dog groomer but he is super busy and I have a feeling our dog wouldn’t get groomed and would turn into a giant ball of fluff….then we would have to take a lawn mower to her hair. Only kidding. 🙂 Thank you for the clipper idea, who knows, I may actually make some progress on that account. Now that our food spending has come down quite a bit, I need to figure out the next budget area to wrestle downwards!

  55. Miniature German Schnauzer. After the bath, I towel dry her, while she tries to escape and run around the house. Then the rest is airdrying 🙂 We get her a very short trim everywhere except her head (so she doesn’t have the traditional schnauzer cut anywhere except her face). We keep her hair short because for most of the year here in Arizona it is pretty warm. Plus she is not a show dog 🙂 She could be a professional sleeper, if they ever start a dog competition for that….

  56. Stephanie,

    I took a floral arranging class my last year as a university student. It was a great class, and one of several I feel that I use the most in everyday life (the public speaking class I took is another).

    Recently, I’ve been studying floral arrangements more (I have a Pinterest board of ones I like) and I follow a couple of floral arrangers (one is also a grower) on Facebook. You can see which ones I follow on my Facebook page. Their styles are very different from what I learned in class, and it’s been interesting to see how they do things differently.

    About the dusty miller–I hadn’t grown it before, but I learned very quickly how fast it fills in. I put 3 plants underneath each tree, and they were tiny 4″ pots when I started. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed with how fast they were growing, but I quickly realized that would be an advantage when it came to cutting them for floral arrangements (I hadn’t even planned to use them in them when I bought them; I thought they would just be a landscape plant). They do flower in spring with yellow flowers. If you look closely in the photos, you’ll notice the buds that are present in these arrangements. I think they look nice as buds, but the flowers are not much to look at; they are tiny yellow flowers that remind me of dandelions. Since the plant needs to be trimmed (as it is going to flower right now, and I don’t want that in the garden) cutting them for arrangements has been helpful!

    I’m grateful for the perennials I’ve planted. The roses especially are nice to count on to bloom every year in the garden. I do like having a few annuals, too. They take a bit longer from seed, but it sure saves me money!

  57. If all you want is a shave down, get a clipper with the guard combs – start with the longest and if that is too long go down in guards until you get one that you like. Feet can be tricky as they need to be scissor trimmed and if you have a wiggler, it becomes a circus. That’s what is so nice about the bars on the groom tables that you can clip their collar to – keeps them in one spot! The comb scissors (thinners) is what you’d need to blend the head into the body and do around the face.

  58. Hi Momsav and congratulations on the bills coming down, it is always a special surprise to us when we open up the mail and see it is lower as well 🙂 .

    Isn’t it funny in a marriage that we all have our idiosyncrasies and how it always drives the other half nuts 🙂 . My husband has a habit of turning on the lights in the daytime despite the fact it is sunny and bright outside. I am slowly ever so slowly :p , getting him into the habit of opening up the blinds rather than turning the light on in each room he is in, along with turning the computers , modems and chargers off if we go outside to do garden work to save on the power bill. I have him almost convinced as our last power bill was around $30 cheaper when we did these things.

    However to be fair I drive him crazy too as I have half eyesight in one eye and my depth & measurement perception is non existent, so always without fail cut the cheese, bread and anything else I cut crooked along with any wall picture hangings, but at least I am always consistent. I tell him that the way I cut things has artistic merit :p. I use a ruler or a tape measure to hang a picture straight and that does the trick, there is ways around all problems .

  59. Hilogene.. I take my dogs in the shower with me too. We have a glass enclosed shower so pretty easy once I manage to catch them and get them in there. My sisters son who is 15 takes his dogs in the shower once a week, they get shampooed, teeth brushed and nails trimmed. My bil has his so trained on the nail trimming they just sit there and let him do it.. that I have to have done at the Vets with mine.

  60. Roxie.. you sound like our little family, we also have 3 rescues from the shelter. And we are their Mommy and Daddy. Love my fur babies so much. And I cook a whole chicken for them every week they get expensive dry food too only reason I buy expensive is one of my dogs is allergic to corn and corn by products and they eat out of each others bowls so all 3 have to be on the same food.

  61. Lorna,
    Thank you for your insight. If i’d married someone more like me, i’m sure we’d be divorced by now! Boring!!!!:)

  62. My dog food is corn free. It does have veggies in it though. I shred squash, sweet potato, and add just a bit of brown rice. I also sometimes used canned pumpkin. The dogs thrive on it and it is very healthy. I have been getting chicken thighs, breasts, and quarts for 88 cents a pound lately. Last week I got 30 pounds. When I bake the chicken in the oven I add the sweet potatoes and they cook in the juice of the chicken. Then I use the liquid from the chicken to cook the brown rice and squash. Mix and freeze in quart containers. The quart containers are just enough to feed them all. I make 2 weeks worth at a time. Most of the time we grow the squash. We buy the rice and sweet potatoes. I have pumpkin left from last Halloween. (I got several pumpkins and made cooked pumpkin for pies etc.)

  63. Celeste – Another here giving a thumbs up to “I told my children no”… Love it. (That one has been hard for me . I’m not proud of that and actually embarrassed by that fact, but I am getting better and better at it –much to my children’s dismay!!– lol) Heidi

  64. Hi Momsav and totally agree that marrying someone exactly like ourselves would bore us senseless :p. I am truly blessed with the husband that I have.

    He is ex military and I am more artistically inclined. He does everything with military like planning precision up to 12 months in advance on everything, I on the other hand are more a go with the flow type of person and work day by day. Probably more polar opposite personalities you would not find. We do however work very well as a husband and wife team side by side.

    I work by inspiration and feelings and my husband has worked out early on in the marriage that my feelings are usually correct. For example in October last year I walked out on a perfectly sunny day into the garden and had a really bad feeling come over me. I walked inside the house and said to my husband we need to harvest everything in the garden and blanch and freeze it in the next couple of days honey, his reply was “o.k”. Yes you guessed it around 3 days later we had a violent hail storm and mini tornado come through the property that almost wiped everything in our garden out.

    We both stood on the undercover veranda and said ‘ well isn’t it good we have frozen enough to get us through till we plant some more”, and then looked out the window at the back at the pumpkin vines being decimated sayin “well there goes the pumpkins”, they survived and re-sprouted though as they had no fruit on them at that stage.

  65. I collect those too. I just love them. I have about a dozen in different sizes. Often I donate the cheese plate back at the cash register when I buy the dome. I have a couple set up in my kitchen window now.

  66. Becky, days like that are so nice, yes. The mother of the 2 girls had had a long lingering illness, so they barely knew her not being sick. I guess they were prepared , somewhat, for the loss, but still must be very hard.

    My husband enjoys fishing and often goes to our pond over lunch. He never picked up the hunting habit, so my sons always hunted with their uncles and cousins.

  67. Eggs are actually 99c a dozen for large eggs in Jackson Heights, Queens (New York) this week at Key Food. And jumbo eggs are $1.19 a dozen.

  68. Long ago I tried to cut our dogs hair. He was a little mixed breed with very long hair. In TX it got so hot he panted like he was going to faint. I got a pair of clippers at a thrift store. It did not have directions. Poor dog was so embarrassed he hid under the sofa table for a month. It was awful. From then on we took him to a groomer. I am not allowed to use clippers any more.

  69. This past week, we were blessed with a 50lb bag of yellow onions, a 50lb bag of carrots, a banana box of sweet potatoes, about 12lbs of apples, 2 (12pks) of soda, and 8 loose cans of soda, plus 2 half gallons and a pint of ice cream. Today we were blessed with 8 packs of English muffins, 3 bags of bagels, 6 loaves of bread, two boxes of cookies, a big box of multigrain croissants, a big container of mini cinnamon rolls, and a regular size container of iced cinnamon rolls. All the above came from a local food pantry grocery store. They give items such as the above to customers when they make a purchase. I just happen to be there on a Friday close to their closing time and they were wanting the produce items gone plus they know we are a large family as we shop in there often.

    Today I bought 10 dozen eggs at .79 each at a local grocery store. I would have bought more if I had room in the fridge. Also bought a 50lb bag of potatoes for $9.99 thus meeting my goal of .20 – .25lb for those. Walmart had boneless, skinless chicken breast on sale for $1.99/lb (meeting my goal of meat under $2 a pound) I was able to buy two big packages. I’m hoping they will still have that price when I am able to go grocery shopping nex week.

    Oldest son cut Rhodedendron stems, white dogwood, pink azaleas, and lilac blooms for me to make an arrangement out of for the dining room table.

    We donated some items to a locally operated thrift store. Shopped same thrift store for a few clothing items needed. Jeans are only $1.50 and up, shirts .50 and up, etc. I was able to purchase a few other items for a great price as well.

    Doesn’t save a whole lot but I put money on a Walmart gift card to purchase gas with thus saving .03/gallon.

    Picked up change I saw lying in the parking lot, etc. It adds up quickly.

    I cut the 4 boys’ hair. Big savings in my book!

    Enjoyed an afternoon hike at a local state park. We took drinks and snacks with us.

    Bought 3 cases of manadarin oranges at a local store who had them on sale 4/$1. Now wishing I had bought more of those as my children love them. Also bought two cases of cream of mushroom soupon on sale at 3 cans for $1.

  70. I double checked with him about the fish and he said white bass and walleye. He handles everything to do with the fish from catching to cleaning to cooking or the freezing of. I just enjoy the eating of. The sturgeon were running too (spawning season) but that is another river. We’ve gone to see that at other years..that is amazing to see these prehistoric looking fish. They are protected during this time and there will be guards (DNR and volunteers) all along so no one tries to spear/catch one.

  71. Hi Hilogene.
    My 11 year old niece does the grooming on their dog. They bought clippers with diffrent lengh guards for shorter or longer hair. She just pops on a guard and starts to shave groom the dog. It takes a little practice
    but she does a good job now. The hair will always grow back if it comes out uneven. The dog really hated going to the groomer and they have saved so much $$$$$$$$. Lots of you tube videos.
    Patti from San Diego

  72. Hi Laura and fantastic price on the meats you have purchased and the blessing of also being in the right place at the right time on getting all of those free items with your purchase at the food pantry store :). Wonderful that it will make so many more meals with your large family.

  73. The green onions are starting to pop up and I see little seedlings of lettuce and radish already! Mom used that Wash tub to catch the dirty clothes that came down the laundry shoot. Works great as a spring garden ! It’s amazing what you can find to grow food in.

  74. We are thinking about going up and getting in on the free camping that is available on the Black River (Michigan) if you volunteer to help with the guarding. They are incredible fish!!

  75. Yes, I do! But they faded too fast for me to get photos 🙁

    Here’s what I have learned:

    The warmer the zone, the more shallowly they should be planted. Normally they say 1-2 inches, but in a warmer climate, they can be planted as shallow as 1/2″. They need all the cold they can get, so the more shallow, the more frost they receive.

    You can put ice cubes on them in the winter to help them get their chilling hours. You will have to remember where they are and cover the area with ice.

    You need to plant early-blooming varieties. Late-blooming types will burn to a crisp.

    I had some I planned to cut on Wednesday. The temperature rose to 91º and was followed by the same the next day, with a hot wind. They burned to a crisp.

    So, I got to enjoy them for a couple of weeks (I planted Festiva Maxima).

    When the heat really comes in, the plants will burn to a crisp (the leaves this time)–all the way back to the ground. That would be next month, in fact.

    I didn’t get many, but I got a few (this is the third year), and they were glorious! They didn’t last but a day in the vase, despite cutting them early in the morning. Those on the plants lasted about a week each.

  76. Oh I love it!!!! I’m going to have to try this – thank you so much. Peony is my favorite flower and I’ve so wished I could grow them.

    Right now trying to get my veggie garden going and mixing in some edibles in the landscaping. I wish someday, if you have time, you’d show us the plan of your yard. As a newbie to this type of design one of the hardest things for me is what goes with what and how to plan beds back to front so plants don’t shade out each other or it doesn’t look like a disordered jumble. Your yard is my inspiration!

  77. Maria,

    If you go back on all of my white garden posts, you can see the garden as it has progressed, and the first post on the subject has the plan: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/blog?view=entry&id=18479

    You’ll also be able to see the layout of the concrete without any plants in the ground.

    I have made some changes to what is planted in the lower front section (in front of the wall) from the original plan, but the shape is still there.

    The white garden faces north and is in the shade all winter. It is half in shade (to about the middle of the urn) for many more months. The areas closest to the house are in shade most of the year. When planning your own garden, you’ll want to consider what sun you have in the location you have in mind.

    I have three fantastic gardening boards on Pinterest that may help you to plan your own garden: one on Edible Landscaping, a White Garden one, and a Patio/courtyard one for small yards.

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