We ate spinach and garlic chives from the garden.

We picked white strawberries from the garden.

We picked the first few apricots and peaches that are just starting to ripen in the garden.

 Strawberries and artichokes The Prudent Homemakerjpg

We went to the community garden and picked strawberries and artichokes. We left a donation and will be back to donate seeds and help plant them.

I downloaded a free chocolate bar to my Smith’s card. They have a free item that you can download to your card on Fridays, and pick up anytime in the next two weeks. I now have two items on my card (the other is a grapefruit juice) that I can pick up the next time I am there.  Smith’s is a Kroger affiliate; I believe other Kroger affiliates have the same program.

I used a coupon code for a free 8 x 10 print from Walgreen’s to order a photo for my daughter’s room. I’ve now had three pictures printed for her room using free coupon codes.

I cut roses from the garden for my nightstand.


What did you do to save money last weeK?


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  1. Hi Brandy,
    This weeks 5 frugal thIngs are
    Caught the warm up water from the showers to water the figs out the front
    Used the slow cooker twice
    Finished a baby quilt to give as a gift
    Finished planting out some Autumn seedlings
    Moved the sorrel to a better position in the garden so it will hopefully grow better
    Hope you have a great week
    Fiona from stayhomeinstead.blogspot.com.au

  2. Hello Brandy and all from Australia 🙂 , and here is our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked a large batch of pumpkin soup from pumpkins and onions harvested from the garden making tea for the 2 of us for 4 nights. This made a meal for each of us for 4 nights costing just 0.48 c each serve.
    – Cooked all our bread from scratch from ingredients in the pantry using our bread machine.

    Grocery savings –
    – Ordered all the items to stock up our raw ingredients for the kitchen from our favourite online store with a 15% off voucher sent to us via email saving $15.70 on their usually low prices.

    In the Garden –
    – Weeded 1 x 9 x 2 metre garden bed.
    – Picked 12 ripe pumpkins from the garden and sat on the shed roof to season.
    – Picked strawberries, snow peas, pumpkins and onions from the garden for teas.

    Craft sewing hobby business –
    – Made $ 6.13 from the sale of pocket wallets and was blessed to get another customer special order.
    I hope everyone else has had a wonderfully frugal week too 🙂

  3. My frugal accomplishments:

    I took my son to the mall to pick out a watch for graduation (he wanted a watch instead of a ring) and a pair of dress shoes for interviews. While we were there, I got some of birthday freebies. I had $10 at Godiva so I got a bag of truffles for $2. I had a free burger at Red Robin, so I just paid for 1 burger and tip (we each got water to drink). I bought a $75 JCPenny gift card and earned a $10 coupon to use another day. I got my son a pair of dress shoes that were $20 off on sale, used another $10 I got in the mail, and paid for the rest with the gift card I had just bought. I also went to Sephora and got a free lipstick and eyeliner for my Bday reward.

    I picked a big bowl of black raspberries in the garden.

    I went to CVS and got a free deodorant.

    Have a great week!

  4. Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a good weekend. The community garden sounds great. We have plots owned by the city that individuals can rent for a yearly fee and they take care of themselves.
    Last week: I got the free 8 x 10 from Walgreens. I put it into a frame I already had that I had gotten free and fixed (one corner had come apart). I chose a picture of my mom, my daughter, and myself. She loved it.

    I got super cheap strawberries, apples, broccoli, cabbage, from the “about to be tossed” bin. I also got some organic blueberry applesauce cups and a package of chocolate covered donuts simply because the package was damaged.

    My mom is giving me some 3 drawer plastic dresser things she no longer uses. I need some to organize my stockpile.

    I found more perfectly good flower bouquets the store was throwing out. I took them off of their hands 🙂 and they are now making my home smell wonderful. I also found 4 shower curtain liners that the store was throwing out due to damaged packaging. I also took those off their hands because I needed a new one.

    I started my seeds in egg cartons I had saved all winter. I did have to buy a new watering can so I got the cheapest one the store had. I have more seeds I will start directly in the garden. My hubby will be renting the tiller, hopefully, this week to till the large garden bed. I discovered a cat has used my already planted with lettuce and herbs raised bed as a litter box. YUCK! We will have to fence it in now. We normally do not fence this bed in. Our neighborhood has lots of feral cats. I planted extra lettuce and herbs to share with my mom.

    My mother in law gave us some “chocolate” flowers (not sure what kind) from her landscaping. She is buying a house soon and will be taking most of her plants (her landscaping is extensive, that is what she does for extra money) with her but is letting us have the plants she doesn’t want or her extras. We will go over sometime this month and get more. She lives a half hour or so away, not to far. I can’t wait to see what the flowers look like.

    My Amazon membership was due to renew in June. I cancelled it so I will only have Amazon until then. We use Netflix or other internet sites to watch shows and I don’t order much from Amazon anymore so I decided to let it go to save money.

    For Mother’s Day my 5 year old made me a card and all the kids in her preschool class grew grass in cups with their pictures taped to the fronts. The grass is their “hair” lol. it was really cute.

    My water went down $10. I continue to do what I can to save water and electricity. I don’t shower every day since I don’t work, I changed it to every other day. I fill the sink halfway with water and use the dishpan to rinse. I make sure lights are off and things are unplugged when not being used.

    I have an interview Tuesday ( I really want this job!) through Manpower. It’s for a Receptionist at a law firm in the next city over. The commute wouldn’t be that bad. I have 6 weeks of unemployment funds left plus about 3 months worth of $$ saved in my emergency fund. Hopefully I will get a job soon!

    I hope everyone has a great week!

  5. Those strawberries look so delicious! We won’t get local ones until June. I’m so looking forward to it!!!

    I had a good week for frugal accomplishments! 😀 My frugal accomplishments this week were:
    *Great news…my husband has officially been offered 2 jobs! One is at a restaurant only 2 minutes from our house which will be during the week and it’s only open until 9pm at the latest. The other is a seasonal job where he will work long shifts on weekends at a golf club restaurant (members only) in the same town as his old job (1 ½ hours away). He will be working 7 days a week until October, but at least one of the positions is close by. Our OOP expenditures on gas will definitely be going down! Whoohoo!!!!

    *A store had a one day only sale on gas. I received $0.10 off/litre plus I bought 2 car washes for $10. I rarely use a car wash but my car was covered in bird poop from parking it under a tree so it was good timing!

    *Meals made at home included ham & cheese crescent rolls with noodles & sauce side dish and yellow waxed beans, battered fish with cheese topped baked potato and corn, chicken baked smothered in cheddar cheese soup with rice and broccoli, ham steaks with mashed potatoes and carrots, and BBQ steaks with loaded baked potatoes and corn.

    *Took a bagged lunch to work with me every day. I took leftovers whenever there were some and I used an insulated travel cup to take ice water for my drink. Leftover treats from a couple events at the museum were also offered to us as well.

    *Brought home 2 free bleeding heart plants from work and gave them to my mother. A co-worker brought them in from her gardens to plant in the garden of one of the historic houses, and then offered the leftovers to whoever wanted them. Our yard is very shaded due to several mature trees, so these will be perfect. My mom decided to plant them in containers so that we can take them with us if we decide to move in the next few years.

    *Grocery deals this week included 4 dozen eggs @ $1.77/dozen, 2 bags of apples for $1/bag (2.2lbs each bag), 2 bunches of celery for $1/bunch, a container of fresh mushrooms for $1, 3 large containers of yogurt for $1/container, 4 large cheddar sausages for $1 each, 2 jars of dry roast peanuts for $1/jar and 4 cases of bottles water for $1/18 bottles (restock for emergencies and to use for day trips). We also found hot cross buns (my mom LOVES these buns) discounted @ 50% off because they were close to the expiration date, so we bought 2 paying $2.50 for both and put them in the freezer.

    *Attended my daughter’s end of year bowling banquet. We were paid $100 for the treat trays we made (I gave $40 to my mom as she helped with the baking). My daughter was awarded $20 as part of her yearly bowling awards. All the adults who attended received a free gift. We received a 3 piece LED candle set, a lovely picture frame and a bath/lotion gift set.

    *My husband volunteered to help cook and prep the food served at the banquet, at the request of his mother (he does it every year). Afterwards, we were allowed to bring home some of the leftovers. We brought home 2 full Little Caesar pepperoni pizzas, 2 full bags of crazy bread, a bunch of cheese cubes, an entire 6 pack of romaine lettuce (from Costco) plus some lettuce in a bag that was cut up, a huge bottle of Caesar salad dressing (Costco sized, unopened) plus what was left in an open bottle, an almost full bag of croutons (from Costco), an almost full bag of bacon bits (from Costco), and an unopened large container of onion dip.

    *Received a free Sunday at Dairy Queen for Mother’s Day.

    *Finally planted peas in the garden and spinach seeds in pots (both were heirloom seeds I collected from last year’s garden). It’s still too cold to plant most of the veggie seeds.

    I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s day. Have a great week everyone!

  6. With the exception of milk and a bag of potatoes we ate from the freezer and pantry.
    I made homemade pizza for DD and a friend one evening from scratch (they both like my homemade much better than take-out anyway!).
    Worked together with husband and DD on several projects around the place instead of hiring it done.
    Planted flowers that we had grown from seed and worked in the veggie garden.
    As part of a home schooling project helped DD plan redecorating her room using only things we have on hand pus a couple of pints of paint.

  7. Happy Monday 🙂
    I had a great and frugal week.
    Got some goodies from work such as tickets to a musical, a pair of boots (of all things ), some canvas bags and a tshirt.
    I prepped and cooked all the meals at home, enjoyed free entertainment on the weekend (walking, people watching, watching a free movie on Apple TV)

    Weekly summary is here:


    Wishing everyone a great, productive and frugal week. X

  8. Oh, boy, those strawberries look wonderful. You are quite a bit ahead of us for those, since we are quite a bit north of your location, but that picture is making me hungry for times to come. How wonderful to get artichokes as well. We just love them and don’t have them very often. We did grow 2 bushes last year, but only 1 survived the winter, and it hasn’t given us artichokes yet. We did get a few last year. The new owners of our house will get artichokes and hopefully (for them) lots of strawberries from my strawberry bed. There is a u-pick right up the road from my sister’s house, and I plan to pick some to eat from there when they get ripe.

    I have never had a baby. Mine are all adopted. So, I don’t pretend to know how you are feeling right now. But, I do know how it feels to have 8 children. I’m praying for you that your strength holds up, and you feel as well as you can during this time. I’m assuming you are tired. Just feeding and caring for the other 7 is a task (even such good helpers as you have–there are things only you can do), not including the new baby. I am very happy for you. I never take a baby for granted–such a precious gift.

    I’m glad you have discovered the community garden. I’ve passed by a couple lately, and will check into them if the need arises in the future. It’s great that you can help out there, and get produce. Does each person have their own raised bed, and then there are some that are to share? Or is is all for everybody? I’m not sure how they work.

    We are continuing to pack and tear the house up. We were able to do quite a bit of gardening at my sister’s house in the garden we are doing together and got a lot more things planted, tilling done, and the things we planted before are weeded out really well.


  9. We went to visit my sister in law. She gave us more that a bushel basket of pecans. We are going to be cracking pecans for months. Her trees are loaded again with more pecans.

    I used a coupon at Dollar Tree and got 2 packages of paper towels to add to a big box of supplies we (our church) is collecting to donate to a family that lost almost everything in a flood a few weeks ago. I also donated laundry soap, dish soap, tooth paste, toilet paper, shampoo, and some other cleaners as I have a large stock. (I buy with coupons and a sale)

    Saved 20 cents a gallon on gas using my points from Randall’s. I meal planned this week and had very little to buy at the store. Milk and butter were the main items. I did get some sale priced cheese too. Spent less than $20.00 for the week.

    Picked some of the first tiny tomatoes from our 2 cherry tomato plants. My husband ate them for a snack with cottage cheese for lunch. I plan to use the next batch in a salad.

    I did all the other normal things. Hang laundry outside. Cooked at home. Made 2 batches of brownies to eat now and freeze. Made banana bread too.

  10. Last week was a busy one!
    I experimented with my bread recipe. I was trying to make my own hot dog and hamburger buns, but it was not a success. They tasted like rocks! Oh well, on to a different recipe I suppose. 🙂 Our goal is to stop buying bread altogether and make all of it at home.
    We saved vegetable scraps in the freezer and plan to make veggie stock next week.
    There was a fire sale on strawberries at HEB, so I picked up four cases. I cut and froze them, and plan to use them to make pies, éclair fillings, and syrup. Yum!
    I also made another batch of yogurt and used the whey in my bread experiment.
    I finally cooked the pork shoulder I bought on sale and froze a month ago. We spent $8 on the meat and it made 30 servings. That’s not too bad of a deal!

  11. Hello Miss Brandy and Readers,

    I harvested basil and mint from my little garden.
    I got a free miniature purse from Kohl’s for with a $5/$5 coupon.
    My children bought Mother’s Day gifts with coupons from JC Penny’s and Kohl’s $10/$10. In addition picked greenery from the yard for decorations.
    I worked 2 jobs for that last few months and am read to pay off 3 significant medical bills.
    I made another Christmas afghan for Xmas. I want to make four and have made 2 now.

    My wish is everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day. We had a quiet celebration and went to the rose garden. The weather was cool and sprinkling. The rose garden was in full bloom.

    Best wishes for a wonderful week.


    PS. I check your blog everyday Brandy to see if Baby has arrived!

  12. Our half-bath toilet croaked and my husband replaced it himself. He used a $50 gift card to help offset the cost of it and parts and used his own labor instead of hiring a plumber. I posted a few things for sale on Ebay and already have some bids. We also ditched dance portraits for our daughter since she was sick, and my artist sister will take some portraits at the recital next week. It was the most expensive portrait studio in town, so the minimum would have been at least $30 or even more. No thanks!

  13. It was really nice to be able to get some strawberries. I think the real trick to having success with them here seems to be to plant them in huge amounts! I don’t have that kind of space, so this was nice.

    They have several empty beds, so I am going to bring over and plant seeds for several things as soon as I can. I already spoke with them about what I have. At this point there isn’t a lot that can be planted here (that they don’t already have) but I have some things they can certainly use, and then anyone can come pick them when they are ready.

  14. Well let’s see…I’ve been getting magazines via Recyclebank. That saves me money. Now if I could just get my hubby to agree to cancel the cable…lol

    –Bought eggs for 0.99/doz at a local convenience store
    –bought some chicken drumsticks and thighs for 0.69/pound

    Stay home as much as possible.

    and like Anna, I’ve been checking daily to see if the new baby has made his or her appearance!

  15. This week flew by. I ran my feet off for this temp job. Lots and lots of walking in the hot, hot sun. I was able to come home for lunch each day even though I was hot, sweaty and tired instead of eating out. I also filled both my water bottles at home instead of spending money on drinks while I was working.

    When I wasn’t working, I have to confess that I was glued to the TV and various news sites. The area I grew up, and the province that made me who I am and gave me so much is burning. So many people have lost everything and are hurting. I will never complain about a rainy day again.

    I didn’t do much grocery shopping either. I bought a bag of ripe bananas for .99 before my shift and made a loaf of banana bread. The extra bananas went into the freezer. I should get at least two more loaves of banana bread out of my $1 worth of bananas. My rhubarb is beginning to ripen and I harvested a little. I added this to my freezer to make into chutney later in the month.

    Washed clothes and hung them to dry.

    I spent $4 on a tomato and a pepper plant for my garden. If they grew as well as they did last year, this will be enough to meet our needs.

    I’ve picked two large and fragrant bouquets of lilacs. I put them in my bathroom where they make the whole room smell intoxicating.

    Have a great week every one.

  16. May tends to be an expensive month with Mother’s Day, 4 birthdays and graduation parties. I used a Kohls credit to buy my mom a pitcher w a fruit infused part, a western style frame and bracelet for my sister in law and 2 dresses for me. I’ve been losing weight and this sure was a treat. I used a gift card to buy some sandals as well and a $10 off 30 at Bath and Body Works. That was 3 gifts for $22 when the candles are generally a lot pricier. I also found ground turkey at $1 lb so I’ve cooked up a batch of chili and a pork roast at .69 lb so put that in crockpot for several meals. At Saturday’s 5 K, I took a couple of bananas and water bottles home. Instead of going out to eat yesterday, I cooked up a batch of lasagna and took some leftover salad and home made bread for our meal. My mom gifted me $25 for Mother’s Day. TX got a few hail storms and as a result, many of us have roofers and damage to our cars… We are getting a new roof and they are also installing a new fence as well as power washing our patio/gazebo and staining it- which we were saving up to do! It’s a blessing!

  17. I didn’t get much done this week except not waste food. We are slowly decluttering the house and giving away what we don’t need. This weekend we went to the thrift store and picked up clothes the kids will need in the next year or so and I got breakfast in bed. Our mothers day plans changed due to rain and we went with Plan C and a good time was had by all. I was wishing we could send some of the water to Alberta since they need it more.

  18. I thought of you yesterday, Brandy. I hope you had a happy Mother’s Day.

    We had drizzly rain all weekend and I took advantage of the moisture to plant broccoli, brussels sprouts, radishes, more carrots and Swiss chard and a bunch of flower seeds. I got 36 gladiolus bulbs for half price and planted them. I also bought $35 worth of annuals and made up 6 hanging baskets, two large pots of flowers and a window box. My husband was impressed when I showed him the next day that Home Depot had hanging baskets “on sale” for $19.99 each. We ate the last of the collards from the garden and I pulled them up, along with some cabbage that had started to bolt.

    My husband donated blood and received a free T-shirt. He has earned enough points through donations now to qualify for a $10 Amazon GC. I took a survey for a $5 Amazon GC.

    I made 6 patchwork potholders that will go in gift baskets this Christmas, along with some home-canned jams, herb mixes, etc.

  19. Made a salad of lettuce, spinach, dandelion greens & a snipped garlic green.

    Made a rhubarb meringue torte. It got eaten, but I think we prefer clafoutis, since the crust is always an issue with gluten-free, and no one really adores meringue at our house.

    Set the rest of the Lodgestones I had purchased for the edge of the back perimeter bed. I have set 141 stones this year, not counting those in the garden that had to be dug out & re-set after being driven over. Continued to save cardboard & newspaper to lay down as the weed barrier behind the edging under the dirt. When I thinned the tiny green apricots, I saved them to add to the “fill”, since they will break down & add humus to the soil.

    Planted a Crimson Rocket columnar peach tree in the back perimeter bed, & put in 2 stakes to hold it in place in the wind.

    Used the grass clippings from mowing the lawn for mulch.

    Picked up grounds for gardeners from Starbucks every time I was on the other side of town. Some of them are to mix in the fill for the back perimeter bed & some are for my oldest daughter to use in her garden.

    Planted the butternut squash, Boston marrow squash & pole beans in the garden with a glass cloche on top of each planting. Planted the carrots, beets & parsnips as well. Watered the lettuce bed & pea plants every day with a little of the gathered rainwater in the jugs.

    Picked up some hens & chicks for my oldest daughter from our freecycle. I potted them up in foil pie pans & other foil bakery tins from items purchased in the bargain basket until I could take them to her. I could not make the trip to my daughters until 4 days after I picked them up, & they had already been out of the ground for almost 24 hours when I got them, so I thought it best to plunk them into a little soil & water them while they waited.

    Dug out some of the grape hyacinths that needed thinning & trimmed the tops off the bulbs. The tops went into the “fill” for the bad perimeter bed, as they will compost there. The bulbs will go to my oldest daughter, also for her garden. Free is always my favorite price.

    Brought in the political sign from the yard after my candidate suspended his campaign. The wire supports for those political signs make a nice little climbing trellis for peas, if you secure a piece of wood a bit smaller diameter than your pinkie across the middle. I save them from year to year, as they hang nicely from a nail in the shed. Most years, the signs are free & the campaigns are happy to deliver a sign to you.

    Several days when the temps were supposed to be in the 80’s, I opened all the windows in the morning to cool the house down, then closed the blinds & the drapes after the house cooled down, to keep it that way to save on AC costs.

    Bought 2 pork loin roasts from the bargain basket, marked down over 50%.

  20. Anna, it’s always a joy to hear about you and the girls! I do worry when you don’t post for awhile, are you ok, the girls ok, etc. You are such an inspiration in your work ethic, two jobs, paying medical bills off, afghan making, etc. Glad you had a wonderful Mother’s day.

  21. You have a beautifully empathetic heart, Becky. 🙂 I have had two babies, but never have cared for eight children! All of you who have done that have my complete awe. I struggle to get dinner on the table for the three of us who are normally here!

  22. We’ve been following the news closely about the fires in Alberta as well. Despite all the loss and devastation, the people that they have interviewed have had a really positive attitude! It seems like every store and restaurant in town are doing fundraisers or asking for donations to help. We hope the fires get under control soon.

  23. The fires have started a few concerning conversations with my hubby – Like if we had 5 minutes, how many of the dogs and cats could we get out into the bus and gone in that time frame……he said something about grabbing clothes – in 5 minutes, unless I was naked, clothes would be the last thing I’d worry about. Rounding up the dogs would be easy enough but the 5 cats? They scatter if the house gets “too wild” which it would be in that type of panic situation. It also made me realize that I never made that folder of important documents I’ve been meaning to do. That has been put on the priority to-do list! We also need to update our bug out supplies with more animal supplies + a copy of the animals photos, chip numbers and vaccination records.

  24. As others have noted already, I too check this site every day to see if a new baby had arrived yet ;). Happy belated Mother’s Day to all.

  25. I am looking forward to berry season here. Our community garden had an area with raspberries and blueberries for everyone to share, but this year they dug them up to make more plots for new gardeners. So no berries from our community garden this year.

    I haven’t posted in a while, so my frugal accomplishments cover several weeks. My life had a big non-frugal event recently. My husband took me out for lunch on my birthday in mid-April, and I got food poisoning (apparently from shellfish). I ended up in the ER….neither frugal nor fun. It has taken a few weeks but I am finally feeling better. I had to take some pricey prescription meds as well. In any case, this pushed us over the deductible on our insurance, so that will make any additional medical issues this year easier on the pocketbook.

    – I cut roses from our rosebush to enjoy inside. The bush has the most fragrant and beautiful light pink roses, and is healthy and disease free. I have no idea what kind of rose it is, as it was already planted outside our condo when my husband moved in.

    – I planted peas from seed in my garden plot in early April. I bought starts for celery, which I have never grown before. I also planted onion starts and a few flowers. Next up to plant are jalapeno and tomatoes, which I bought from a local farm. I also added a few herbs in pots (so they don’t take over the entire plot): thyme, oregano, and mint. I planted a small lavender bush in one corner. I’ll start beans from seeds in late May or early June.

    – The weather has been nice and my husband and I had a couple picnics in the park. We also played bocce ball for a fun and frugal date.

    – I finished sewing my husband a shirt that I started last summer (before I started my job and got very busy). I have fabric on hand to make him a robe, which I hope to finish before his birthday in two weeks.

    – As a result of the food poisoning, I have totally lost my taste for chocolate and coffee. This is odd but it’s definitely frugal.

    – I have continued cleaning out drawers and closets. Some repairs are going to be made to the exterior of our condo building and windows on that side are going to be replaced, so we will have to move everything away from that wall. That means we will need places to put everything. I already moved one bookcase and have figured out where to put our small chest freezer. It’s going to be a pain to move all this stuff, but it will be good once the repairs are finished.

    – I made cards for Mother’s Day (for my mom, MIL, stepmom, and two sisters) instead of buying them. My sister hosted a Mother’s Day lunch at her house for my mom. It was simple but nice.

    I’m looking forward to reading about everyone else’s week. 🙂

  26. I walked my dog for free exercise.

    My parents came for Mother’s Day and brought a nice bike for me to ride.

    I bought some plants and made my own flowering container arrangement.

    It was garage sale weekend this week here in town so I got a container flower book for a quarter, several glass dishes for two dollars and some Coke memorabilia for $4.00. I also found a nice mission style wooden rocking chair at a reasonable price.

    I continue to eat out of my pantry and freezer.

    I successfully completed a no spend week last week.

    My dog’s retracting leash broke beyond repair so I made a long leash out of the ribbon and hook part.

    I put my window air conditioner in anticipating hot weather this summer. It is cheaper to heat my bedroom then the whole house and I only really need it cool to sleep.

    I changed the furnace filter myself.

    I am still on the low sodium good recipe search, trying one recipe a week. Still more losers than winners but my cooking skills are improving.

    Happy frugal week everyone!

  27. Hello Everyone!
    I haven’t commented in several weeks and am glad to finally have the energy to be back again! The last 2.5 months have been absolutely crazy for our family…I am recovering from back surgery, my Grandma passed away and my husband broke his ankle! Even though we have walked (sometimes crawled) through this tough season, we have be loved and blessed by our church family, wonderful neighbors, family/friends. I am so grateful! We have also had to replace many things in the last 3 months…after 12 years of marriage, big things were literally starting to fall apart….bed, couches, washer, computer. Those purchases made me realize (again) how important replacement and emergency funds truly are! So, after lots of replacing and spending, I am glad to be back making deposits into our account.
    I am hoping by recording what I do each week…it will help me stay more focused and on target.
    Here’s my list for the last few weeks:
    *picked rhubarb from our yard to use and freeze
    *made several freezer meals before my surgery and we have been eating those
    *for the first few weeks after my surgery, many meals were brought to my family
    *founds lots of ‘manager specials’ at Kroger. * Best find= several reusable Starbucks cups with straws on major sale-picked a few up!
    *bought everything we had to replace with cash. (we are debt free except the house)
    *used the library for books and DVD’s
    *took my children to watch a Home Track Meet for entertainment. The track is right down our street and it’s free to watch.
    *my husband and I sat down yesterday afternoon and got May’s budget worked out.
    * used coupons for free Cheerios and Kroger Frozen Veggies
    *while at our local Artisan chocolate shop last week, I ordered a coffee and granola bars and was given these for free!
    * continued with our regular things: turning off lights, turning off heat some days, opening windows, composting, recycling, washing baggies, paying all bills online, no cable TV

    Thankful for this community and all the inspiration I gain here!


  28. I’m glad you’re better. Food poisoning is an awful thing. I had an 8 year old with it several years ago and she had a terrible time with it.

  29. I am keeping my eyes peeled too for more ‘announcements’ like all the rest. I do hope you’re doing well, Brandy. I had an all clear from the doctor today after a year of medication and tests following my life event last spring. It’s hard to believe a year has gone by. I am so grateful to be on this side! It was a lovely Mother’s Day for me. Here’s what I did to save money this past week: http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2016/05/my-frugal-week-may-i.html

  30. Roxie, you must be a Texan! Nobody loves pecans like Texans! The only difference between a GOOD cook and a GREAT cook depends on how many pecans she used in her baking—LOL!

    So many families have been affected by the floods here in the Houston area. Thank you for sharing your bounty to be a blessing and encouragement to others.

  31. Mrs. Picky Pincher, you, too, must be a Texan, as HEB is a “Texas” grocery store; it is my favorite!

  32. Brandy I completely forgot to ask about you. How are you feeling? Please take care of yourself. God bless

  33. You have my sympathy on the food poisoning issue. I had it once from a big lobster dinner we attended—I was sick for nearly two weeks and lost 15 pounds in that time. It was not pleasant at all!!

  34. Thank you, Sheila. One trick is to make lots of something, like soup or a big casserole. Trouble is: I just keep doing it even with only 3 kids left at home. Then, we eat it over and over and over and over………So, I’m thinking I need a new plan:)

  35. Brandy,
    I think that’s the trick here, too. I usually grow a large raised bed (about 4′ x 12′) just for strawberries. Also, they like to be renewed after about 3 years. The first year, I get very little. The second year is usually awesome. The 3rd year, the patch is not giving as much. I actually dig them up, enrich the soil with compost and bone meal, and then re-plant new runners. This past year, I had just planted 1/2 of another bed in anticipation of the first full bed slowing down due to its age. I top-dress the established patch during the 2nd and 3rd years with organic fertilizer (because we got it for free from a friend) and water well so it doesn’t burn the plants.

    They take a lot of water during the hot part of our summers, so I can’t imagine how much they would want there.

    I grow ever-bearing strawberries, so get a supply through out the summer. I’ve tried Tristar, which doesn’t run very many runners, so????Not sure what to do. Not my problem anymore. Last summer, my mom bought me some Seascape strawberries. I didn’t get a crop from them yet, but the occasional berry that came on them last summer was good.

  36. I am totally out of pecans. We forgot to get the large bags at Sam’s club. I realized this after I started the pineapple upside down cake. I actually picked through the can of mixed nuts and took out all the pecans and used those. No one noticed or at least no one told me they noticed.

  37. Hi Tina and another food poisoning victim here, we went out for my birthday on May 2nd and on May 4th came down with the worst case of food poisoning I have ever had. Only starting to come right today with no pain in my stomach, and like you lost my appetite for a lot of things.

    So sorry you have been through this too, believe me I know your pain and discomfort and it isn’t good at all, it lays you out flat for ages and talk about sleeping, one night 12 hours straight and still felt tired. !.

  38. Thank you for the prayers and well wishes! I was offered a job yesterday at a Chiropractor’s office as a Receptionist in the next city over 🙂 I have an interview this afternoon as well through a job agency at a lawyer’s office in the same city as a Receptionist. I have to get certified for the Chiropractor’s office to do ultrasounds and some other machines, they pay for the classes, hotel stay (it’s out of town), and mileage. So grateful to be employed!

  39. Anna, thank you for the Mother’s Day wish. I hope everyone on this list had a lovely day and was blessed in some way. How nice to see roses in full bloom…We are just ending tulips now . perennials are up but not blooming yet. Forsythia and flowering clan are in bloom.

  40. The fires look terrible and frightening. I hope they will end soon. Is there any rain in their forecast??

  41. [i] As a result of the food poisoning, I have totally lost my taste for chocolate and coffee. This is odd but it’s definitely frugal.[/i]

    Good heavens… I can’t even imagine! I don’t think a single day goes by without either of those treats in my home, ha ha!

  42. Cara, I am sorry for your loss.

    I hope your and your husband’s recuperations proceed smoothly.

  43. * We saw a matinee movie at the “cheap” theater (hubby was dying to see Captain America: Civil War) We can see a movie AND get popcorn and for $20 which is at least half of what the other theaters in the area charge.
    * My daughter helped me clear more sod so we could get the potatoes planted. She also helped plant lettuce and replant the carrots that the hen had destroyed. That also allowed me to build and fill 2 more boxes for later planting. I used cardboard boxes I have been saving underneath each bed to keep the weeds out.
    * Made homemade bread rather than purchasing a french loaf. We all got [i]A[/i] piece and the puppy (who can now put her head in the kitchen sink!!) snuck the rest of it off the counter while we were all sitting at the table eating!!!
    * Purchased the dogs food on sale and with a $5 birthday certificate AND a manufacturer coupon.
    * Purchased a bunch of canned cat food on clearance.
    * Was given a grocery bag full of Jack Links sausage – I threw them all in the freezer since it was close to the sell by date. They are good for day trips and don’t need refrigeration.
    * Re-used the zippers from the old Bimini top for our pontoon. Since they were on the underside, they didn’t get any sun damage.
    * Sold our old car dolly and funded our trip to Oshkosh, WI in July 🙂
    * Sold an old grill which paid for groceries for 2 weeks. And bonus – I put a free ad of Craigslist and got rid of a junk desk chair, 2 metal folding chairs and a junk grill – I am amazed at how much room that cleared out on our patio! Now to find some pallets and make the seating I have been eyeing on Pintrest.
    * I am continuing to clear out unused things and have a huge pile to dump off at Goodwill this week – the house is finally starting to look a bit less cluttered and it definitely makes cleaning less of a chore.
    * We picked up the trailer we are flipping from my Dad’s place. He did all of the repairs to the water damaged areas and where the previous owner backed into and over something. We already got the outside painted, the upholstery is complete and I am working on curtains. It still has it’s original hardware for the curtains so I am just going to sand them and spray paint them to cut down on costs. Hopefully it will sell quickly and we can turn around and get another one to do.
    Otherwise, it’s been the same old routine 🙂
    Hope, you are doing well and able to rest at least a little.

  44. Thank you for posting the link to the birdseed wreaths! Am thinking they’d make wonderful gifts for my Mama and my M-I-L next year!

  45. Hello All,
    Our family hasn’t had much of a frugal few weeks. Daughter was flown to a children’s hospital due to a heart arthymia. She was fixed by a very good heart surgeon and sent home within a few days. That was one costly week. One way to save money while in the hospital was to take advantage of the Ronald McDonald room they provided. With generous donors, we ate there for all our meals and socializing with other parents.
    Our dog got sick while she was in the hospital and he had to have his eye removed from scratching it. It made us all so sad.

    I have an interview for a job today. I hope I get it as I have been working only part time for the last 10 years. My husband’s health hasn’t been so great so I need this income in case he isn’t able to work. We did put out a garden and it’s doing great. I cook most all of our meals and shop at Aldi’s. My pantry is looking a little bare in some areas so I’ll be watching for sales. We were able to garage sale many items we needed for our kids this week. You all know that for growing kids, this is the way to go.

  46. Are those the full size bundt pans that they used or the mini ones where there are 6
    smaller? I think I would like the smaller actually. My bundt pan is quite large and I think that would make an awfully heavy wreath. I think I would like a number of smaller ones for multiple trees/multiple gifts.

  47. My husband and children donate regularly…we’re a family of O’s. I used to when I was younger, but the older I get, the harder time I have meeting the hemoglobin minimum level due to medicines I’m on long term. Now I just volunteer to bring food when our church hosts a drive.

  48. Marivene, are you rural? I thought one time you mentioned fields next to you with animals…horse maybe? How many fruit trees do you have now?

  49. Our veterinarian’s office does not recommend retractable leashes, for various reasons. My son in law, also a vet but for large animals, said he saw a number of injuries while he was in school due to the use of retractable leashes. Mostly dogs, but occasionally cats.

  50. Haha, I was wondering where this went! This was supposed to be back on Anna. When I use the kindle to type it can be so temperamental.

  51. Just about every time I go to McDonald’s I drop my change in the Ronald McDonald House collection box just because I know that if God forbid anything bad happened to one of my children, I know we could stay there and not have to worry and I like knowing that other parents can do that too. Prayers of continued healing for your family. Good luck also on getting the job you want and need.

  52. TerriC, so happy to hear of your “all clear”. I’ve followed you on Bluehouse and prayed for major improvement. Hope you are finding some time alone to regroup and recharge. I was thinking how nice coffee on your pretty porch would be in the early mornings, or tea. Maybe a sign hanging on the knob that says something like “Enter at your own risk”!! lol

  53. How wonderful they are paying for classes to learn new skills as part of your new job. Congratulations!!

  54. Last week I picked some strawberries, not a lot but enough to make a strawberry vinaigrette for a salad. Picked some spinach and kale for the salad ! Picked more asparagus. We have been gathering 3-4 eggs a day from our girls (we have 6). My herb garden is doing so well and my chives have been flowering.. I decided to make chive blossom butter and I must say it was so good to eat but just beautiful too ! (you can see the photos on FB under Living Planning Doing page ) Went to Kohls for their big clearance sale and spent 86.00 on clothes for my Husband and saved over 1000.00 dollars ! Woohooo !! and finally picked some absolutely beautiful peonies from my garden ! They make my bedroom smell so good !

  55. This was a pretty quiet week on the frugal front here. We had a goodbye party for my second son in the Army as they head to his first assignment. I supplied the hot dogs buns, beans and strawberries and my daughters supplied the rest of the sides. Everything on my end was marked down food.

    I got more day old bakery items today and though we can not use much, I have some for my daughter’s families, and families from church. That makes my day!

    Our garden is getting eaten by bugs and varmints. Right now there is kale and the beets are about ready. I have planted kale and lettuce twice, and it is getting too hot here to try again till the fall. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

    The power company sent a crew for two days to clear around the power lines on our property. They took down a rotten pine saving us the expense and then ended up cutting another down. My job is to clean put the scrub stuff, collect cardboard and then spread the mountain of mulch they left behind. They said I could call to get more mulch for free, but right now I have a lot of work to get the area under control.

    Brandy, praying for you and the little one due to arrive soon.

  56. Rural would be lovely, Athanasia, but alas, I simply live next to one of the last animal rights properties in town. The day we moved in, a foal was born across the fence in their back pasture, which was lovely. The owners when we moved in kept steers, that ate everything they could reach over the fence. They moved out after the husband died suddenly from illness, & rented to wonderful people, who kept horses & a few sheep. Then they sold the property, to younger friends of the owners, with the same mindset. When the new owner told me he planned to put a couple of weaned calves in the back pasture come fall (2015), I talked to DH. I first mended the existing #1 field fence, which is theirs, not mine, then we had a new vinyl fence installed on our property, about 8 inches from his wire fence. He did not end up buying the steers (probably because they went from $400 to $1200 each). They drive an ATV in the back recreationally, often while under the influence, often with a young child sitting in front of them. We put in a 6″ fence, so the animals on his side can no longer see anything on our side, & I don’t have to see the stupidity.

    We are up to 7 apple trees, 1 apricot, 1 pie cherry, 4 peach, 1 plum, 1 pear, 1 walnut, plus a Maypole crabapple that I potted up & will put in the front somewhere, but haven’t decided exactly where yet. Most are in the back yard (11), & the others are sprinkled thru the landscaping in the front. I only have 0.19 acre, but the lot is triangular, & the point is in the front yard, so I have a decent space to work with in back. I was planning to put both the new columnar peach & the Maypole int he front yard, but several of the homes in our neighborhood have become rentals, with children who are completely disrespectful of the property of others, so I re-thought the plan & decided to put the peach in the back yard, where it would be more protected. A neighbor of mine down the street has a peach tree in her front yard, & one of her neighbor children used to pick her peaches & throw them against the fence. Thankfully, that boy moved.

  57. Ach, it’s the end of a week again and I don’t know where it is gone. I am anxiously waiting to hear of a new baby too.

    We have had a lot of heat, for us, in the 70’s even with sun, rain, so everything is growing here. Anxious to put out the annuals but we are not past last frost yet. Last week we had snow flakes one day (not amounted to anything) and we still got some freeze warnings as of 2 weeks ago. We will be able to pull rhubarb soon and cut asparagus.
    We’ve picked chives, kale and mint. My husband picked dandelion greens 2x for salad, but the heat brought out the flowers now. Peas are in,. So are a lot of the vegetable plant transplants under the hoops. Fruit trees are flowering.

    Did all the usual of composting, recycling, re-using, hanging clothes to dry when possible outside and in. Days are so nice and long now with so much more daylight. Sent in 2 rebates for oil/oil filters. Darned one sock. Started washing scarves and hats , mittens and gloves and doing any repair needed before packing them away. They just go up into the back entry storage so not too far away if still needed. Too soon to put the flannel sheets away. All the storms and screens have been washed and switched over now, whole house and breezeway. We can have open windows when ever we want.

    Hung the swings back up, put slide back out, added old sand from sandbox into gardens and filled with fresh. Put the gliders and furniture back out onto the patio. Put the hammock frame out into the yard. Son replaced some of the stones in yard fire ring that shifted over winter, moved the ash into the gardens and compost. Husband and son capped and moved the woodstove out for the summer now and it gives us more room, makes the house feel opener and lighter. We don’t need it for emergency cooking as we have a fire pit out in the yard and a bbq on the patio. Scrubbed out the garage, washed windows, touched up paint on walls and recoated the floor. Sons did this for me as my mother’s day present. They do this every year…I need a good surface for walking always and especially in the summer and fall we use it as an extension of the house. It is 3+ car size, has a summer kitchen along one side, screens for the bays…we use for large canning and other projects, reunions, church gatherings, etc. We need it for graduation open house this Saturday.

    Cooked all from scratch, (over last 2 weeks) except attended one funeral with a meal after, one wedding shower with lunch, staff appreciation lunch at school put on by parents, 1st Sunday church meal potluck, end of year picnic potluck for the younger youth groups, and a birthday open house for a cousin with dessert. (Over last 2 weeks) baked white bread twice, made rye rolls, snickerdoodles, rhubarb meringue torte from last years frozen fruit, angel food cake and shortcakes both to use for strawberry short cake…some like cake, some like sweet biscuits. Pureed pint of sugared frozen sliced berries from last year and added 2 large boxes bought fresh, 2.00 per box , sliced to the mix. Whipped up whole quart of cream. This was the Mother’s Day dessert. Made popcorn 3 times. Made spaghetti sauce, made vegetable soup, made an egg bake, made chicken stuffing casserole, made 4 bean salad, cold (American) potato salad, coleslaw, tuna noodle casserole and tuna sandwich filling. Made chocolate pudding. Took enchiladas and rice and beans out of freezer for a meal, took stuffed peppers and double baked potatoes out of freezer, both times to use with meals of fresh caught fish. A family friend traveling from Ohio to Minn stayed overnight with us and stopped at the grocer and brought deli fried chicken and fresh corn on cob. I served it with a tossed salad and the pudding and cookies.

    That’s all I can remember. Graduation is this weekend for middle son Markus. Master’s. We’ll have open house in the evening with picnic foods and dessert stuff for relatives, friends, church.

    Again Brandy, I am so looking forward to your news. I pray for a safe delivery of this newest little baby.

  58. Strawberries and artichokes sound like delightful spring eating. I saw many blooms on our strawberries today, but no fruit yet. I picked blueberries once on a donation basis. It sounds like a great opportunity for you to be part of the community garden. I have been away from home travelling. Now that I’m home, I look forward to catching up here, and joining in next week. Every time I saw a King Sooper store while travelling, it brought to mind this wonderful community.

  59. I am a O negative too but have anemia so wouldn’t qualify anymore. I use to donate when I was younger and healthier.

  60. I agree retractables are terrible.. they give very little control of the dog. We have a Rottweiler and we use a short sturdy leash that keeps her close to my side at all times. The two little ones I am going to have to get harnesses for as they keep pulling their collar off and get free those harnesses are a pain in the butt to put on but it is what it is. But for big dogs definitely a short leash I don’t let any of my dogs sniff or get ahead of me when we are walking, too easy to loose control. A customer of mine got tangled up in a long leash with her little dog, fell and cracked her skull open. Long stay in the hospital over that one.

  61. Good luck with the job interview hasn’t been that long ago that I was going through this.. been at my job now a little over a year. It’s scary trying to sell yourself and competing with a much younger crowd.

  62. I used a 10 cup bundt pan. The recipe filled it about half way. I haven’t been able to make one for myself yet, but they seem a bit heavy. My mother in law said she put the one from Christmas up and forgot about it for a few days then when she went to look it was gone.

    You could definitely use the same recipe and use smaller bundt pans.

  63. That is the plan 🙂 Hubby has a pilots license and has really wanted to go again while he is still mobile. I have been to it once before – it’s not really my “thing” but I am going for him.

  64. Lynn, that sounds like a good idea. We sprinkle the brushing of dog hair around the most vulnerable plants. Right now the German shepherd sheds at least half her fur as summer arrives. She gets brushed daily.

  65. Marivene, sounds like you have “Peck’s bad boys”, as my mother would call them, living in your neighborhood . Too bad.

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