The garden was full of wonderful fruits last week!

We picked peaches, white strawberries, and blackberries from the garden. We made a delicious fruit salad with them, ate peaches for snacks, made peach pie popsicles, made peach shortcakes, made peach smoothies, and froze sliced peaches. 

I made lemonade from our lemons. The children picked more lemons from the trees.

We picked the first tomatoes from the garden.

I picked spent hibiscus flowers (they open for one day and then die, so I pick them the next day or the day after that) to dry on the counter. I have been saving them up to make hibiscus herbal tea. 

Herbs The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut oregano, parsley, chamomile, and lavender from the garden and dried them.

I cut garlic chives, swiss chard, and spinach from the garden.

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy inside: the first of the Queen of Sweden roses (pink), Iceberg roses (white), lavender, and larkspur.

Several weeks ago, a friend of my mom’s was out shopping with my mom (My mom drives the woman, as she is older and needs help shopping each week) when she found onions for $0.38 a pound. I hadn’t found any earlier in the year, and when they saw them, they picked up 40 pounds for me. As it is getting warm, they were starting to turn. My husband cut them, ran them through our Kitchen Aid slicer attachment, and we dried a full 10 trays of onions in my dehydrator.

I ordered some buckets from Lowe’s for us to bucket some of our bulk food. I went through Ebates first to earn 2.5% cash back. I’m not sure how (perhaps a minimum order amount?) , but we also qualified for free shipping on our order.

My husband and I had a date at home and played several rounds of a card game.

We borrowed a backyard fire pit and roasted marshmallows and hot dogs for an al fresco dinner one evening. We had sveral skits and had a family continuing story (each person added to the story for 30 seconds) and songs.

My husband gave Cyrus a haircut.

I watched several episodes of Castle and Call the Midwife for free online.

Thankfully, the baby is nursing well, and I’ve been able to go longer stretches in between nursing than I ever have in the past (for those who asked about my pump, the Avent pump is a very highly rated hand pump. By the end of the week, I was pumping 6 ounces in 20 minutes–triple what I was pumping the week before!)

A few months back, I signed up for a baby registry with Target. They gave me a bag of baby goodies, samples, and coupons, and also offered 15% off remaining registry items at the end of your pregnancy. I used the 15% coupon to purchase diapers and toiletries for the baby, as well as some additional coupons for those items. I also received a $10 gift card to use on my next shopping trip, as it was part of the diaper deal. I’ve been asked many times if I use disposables or cloth diapers. I have done both, and truly prefer disposables. In the past, diapers and wipes have cost me around $240 a year, which has been well worth it to me. This expense is part of my grocery and toiletry total for the month. I buy the Target brand diapers (usually on sale with gift card deals and coupons) and Costco’s baby wipes (sometimes on sale; I have my mom pick those up for me since she has a Costco card).

I’ll be sharing more pictures of the baby and his name in the next post, so check back this week!


What did you do last week to save money?

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  1. Good morning Brandy,

    I cut lettuce this past 2 weeks from our garden and have had salad everyday. I have 3 different types which are all thriving well. I cut kale as well and will use it for a veggie soup this week.
    We had bought an outdoor shed we needed and a neighbor came over to help put it up in our yard. I gave him 3 bags of fresh cut lettuce as a gift for his help.
    My husband found 2 pairs of jogging pants which was a need since his was falling apart. He paid $ 20.00 for the both as they were on sale .
    I have stayed home this week and not used gas in my car to drive. I’ve also used storage foods for our meals which can get tricky because my husband is vegetarian. I need to buy a few fresh veggies each week which can be costly so the panty helps with cost. I have meat in the freezer and did bake one whole chicken which I used for 3 meals and soup last week. I use 1 meat dish per month and my freezer is stocked from sales at different times of the year.
    We are expecting my husband’s family from Boston to visit in 4 weeks and we will have a family reunion BBQ here at our home. I sent my sister in law some ideas while they are here for the week that do not cost money such as going on a picnic, day trip to the mountains to see waterfalls and possibly a day trip to the ocean.
    That’s about it for this week.
    So happy you are doing well with breastfeeding and using your breast pump. Sounds like a wonderful process for you and your little one.

    Have a wonderful week
    blessings, Patty from the NW

  2. Congratulations on the arrival of your son. I’ve considered purchasing a dehydrator, but I wondering if you would happen to know what the cost would be to operate the machine? My husband has said that any savings on food would probably be used in electricity.

  3. I have been reading your blog for quite some time and it is my all time favorite. I never miss it. I always read about the wonderful gifts you make for next to nothing. I never thought I could ever come close to what you do.

    I have an upcoming wedding shower to attend. This weekend I knitted a kitchen dish cloth using scraps of cotton yarn I already had, I had a brand new white kitchen cloth and crotched an edging on both ends, I then used scraps of fabric I already had to make a table runner. The colors all coordinated to make a set. I purchased a bottle of nice boutique dish soap to add to the gift. I took a cardboard box I had gotten in the mail and covered it in wrapping paper I already had, wrapped a nice bow around the box, filled the box with all the goodies I made. Then I wrapped it in clear cellophane. I made a card by cutting out a picture of flowers from an old magazine and gluing to nice card stock. I hole punched the card and tied it to the outside. The gift looks like it came from an expensive gift shop and it only cost me $5.00- the cost of the dish soap. It took me about 2 hours of time to sew/knit the gifts.

    I found the two hours of time I spent making the gifts to be relaxing and enjoyable- far more pleasurable than shopping.

    I was so happy and pleased and never would have tried had it not been for the encouragement of your blog.

    I have more ideas for future gift giving. I went to an estate sale and purchased some really nice silk yarn for a fraction of the retail cost. My daughter is a kindergarten school teacher and likes to be able to give Christmas gifts to her adult helpers. This can get costly in a hurry and she has a very limited budget. I plan to use that yarn to knit scarves for her to give as gifts this year. We should be able to get six gifts for the $5.00 I spent on the yarn. She will make gift cards to go with them.

    I took Friday off from work because my grandson’s daycare was closed. I had him for the day. He is 3 years old. He likes to do crafty projects. He wanted to make his Daddy something. We went to the Dollar store and purchased a small handsaw. Then we took a sharpie marker and I wrote “Thanks for Building Memories with Me Dad” and he added his artwork and scribbles to the saw blade as well. I let him wrap some ribbon around the handle of the saw. Now he has a great father’s dad gift for his daddy and it only cost a dollar and was lots of fun for us to make together.

  4. We have such a bumper crop of strawberries this year. Oh my! One of our fridge freezers was nearly full of them so I decided I had to find time to make jam! I just made 7 quarts and plan to make 7 more tonight. Once years ago we made 25 quarts of strawberry jam. I’m pretty sure we will beat that this year. (We had some lean years on the strawberries after that and I learned to save some of it for lean years.) Most of the rest of the frugality is tons of weeding in the garden (and my husband is planting a lot) and a great deal of altering of clothing for my little ones. Oh I hit several good garage sales last week. I bought two cute antique, wooden chairs for $5 each and many clothes item and several things to stock away as gifts for birthday and Christmas. I added to my stocking stash too. Off to find some more canning jars. Later in the summer they are harder to come by when everybody is canning. I need to get them early this year so we don’t have to break down and buy new ones. Oh, does anyone know of a cheap source for the lids? Thanks!

  5. I can’t wait to see and hear more about the baby!! I’m waiting for you to announce his name before I finish his gift and send it over.

    Last week I made two 2lb loaves of bread (which are GONE), a double batch of laundry soap, some household cleaner and picked up to flats of strawberries from the fruit/veggie co-op to make jam with this week. I also went through my oodles of fabric and picked the pieces I’m going to use to make the nursery bedding set for a friend’s first baby (a boy) due in August. We’ve also been sorting through all three of our girls’ existing summer wardrobes to see what still fits, if anything needs to be mended or altered and what can GO AWAY.

  6. Dang girl! You’ve been busy! I bow to you. Can’t wait to hear that precious baby boy’s name ☺

  7. Shannon – check thrift stores for dehydrators. That’s where I found mine. I more then made up its cost the first season I made ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes from my garden’s surplus.

  8. I’m glad that nursing is working out better for you. 🙂

    Things were pretty busy for me this week. We managed to cut the toddler’s hair for the first time at home with bribery. I got to use my refurbished kitchenaid for the first time. My power bill was a lot lower than I planned so I put the extra money in my husband’s ROTH.

    Here are my other frugal efforts this past week:

  9. I have to agree with an earlier post – my strawberries are coming in like crazy. I’ve picked every day and actually put a quart in the freezer. I also harvested salad greens and radish. The best money I spend each year is for my community garden space.
    I continue to shop the sales and the senior’s day at the thrift. I haven’t been driving any where to speak of so haven’t had to fill up my car. I continue to be diligent about turning lights out when I leave a room. I keep my budget notebook updated for what I do spend. It’s just a lot of little things that keep me on budget.
    Thanks as always for keeping up these posts especially with a new baby.

  10. – This just happened today not last week but I was so excited I had to share it. We found out today that insurance is going to cover the cost of a new roof for us due to some hail damage. We knew that we were going to have to replace the roof in the next couple years anyway just based on its age so it was so awesome to find out that a new one would be paid for! We have a lot of roof so that’s basically close to a year of college for one kid!
    – The day lilies that I got from freecycle last year and planted have come up really nicely and look nice and healthy. They will add some free beautiful color to our landscaping beds when they flower later in the summer.
    – My daughter is home sick today, poor thing. But that means I go no where and spend no money. She’s feeling slightly better so I’ve been hanging out on the deck, enjoying the warm day, sunshine, birds, and browsing blogs on my iPad.
    – We spent the weekend in Traverse City for a soccer tournament and while the weekend overall was decidedly un-frugal there were some frugal moments. I packed snacks and some food so we could munch in the room or at the tournament and not have to buy snacks. I packed beer, of which we only had a few, but we didn’t have to purchase it in restaurants. Our friends treated us to dinner one night (so we treated their son to lunches when we took him with us). We bought breakfast at McDonald’s across the street instead of paying the higher prices at the hotel restaurant.
    – I keep adding to a huge pile that I have set aside for a garage sale that our neighborhood is having. I’ve never participated in one before but I really do have a lot of stuff I’d like to get rid of and it will be nice to try and recoup at least a bit of the money I put out on the items. Just kind of dreading pricing things and the actual sale!
    – Discovered the Overdrive app for our library so I’ve been downloading some books I have on my “want to read” list and reading them for free without even needing to drive to the library!
    – My husband checked the balance on some gift cards he received from work. They can only be used at a certain number of places but Panera is one of them so I can use them for some free lunches out!

  11. I noticed the first wild blackberries coloring up yesterday, & our raspberries today. We’ll soon be eating them, I hope! I hope to be drying hibiscus flowers this summer too. I bought one at a plant sale a few weeks ago, & it’s a fairly good size already. I did plant seeds as well, but have not seen any germinate yet. We watched our first Amazon Prime movie free last night. I asked about Call the Midwife, but he said only Season 1 was on it. I’ll plan on watching this season through pbs on my laptop. I’m glad to hear things seem to be going well for you and your little one, and am looking forward to hearing the name you’ve chosen. Joining in here:

  12. Glad to hear all is well and I can’t wait to learn the wee one’s name next week. Hope you are getting some much deserved rest.

    Received three new food storage buckets I had ordered and filled them. Rearranged the pantry and also moved a few food buckets to a different closet to make the storage plan more sensible. Made bread, ate two meals from the freezer and ate all but two meals at home. Overall, this month am a bit over on planned food spending so am working to buy only the critical items now. Between now and October, my goal is to use up all the freezer food and canned goods so that I can restock during the fall sales. Butter was on sale this week for the lowest price I have ever seen $1.49 per pound, but I have 6 pounds in the freezer so in a huge effort of self control, I didn’t buy more 😉

  13. You can call your electricity provider and they will help you figure out how much it costs to run the dehydrator per hour—so you can figure out if it saves you money. Last summer I dehydrated green onions and ended up with about 12 gallon bags of them. We are just finishing off the last of them this month, in time for our new harvest. Scallions cost 99 cents for a bundle of four scallions so there is no way that it was more expensive to dehydrate a fall, winter and spring’s worth of scallions than to buy them fresh. But electric costs where I live are steep, so you may find it less economical.

  14. Saved the free “trial” Sunday paper that was delivered to our neighborhood to use as weed block in the back perimeter bed. My husband brought home a few more papers from work, as well.

    Sent 2 bags of grounds for gardeners back with our youngest daughter to use on her community garden plot. Picked up more grounds whenever I was on the north side of town.

    Began to thin the peaches from the largest of our peach trees, picking them into a gallon container. I am saving them to use as part of the “fill” for the back perimeter bed, since they will compost in place in the dirt.

    Used the papers, layered with cardboard, & the grounds to fill in another 5 feet or so of the back perimeter bed. Topped it off with a thin layer of dirt, knocked off the pieces of sod I removed to set the base stones, & covered over top with a thick layer of fresh grass clippings.

    Gathered water from the downspouts to refill my garden jugs during the weekend storms. Continued to use that water to hand-water the garden. Also continued to place the glass cloches over the tender plants (pole beans & squash) every night & remove them every morning.

    Completed 2 pine cone surveys & redeemed the points when they posted the next day.

    Removed 6 yellow jacket nests from inside our grill, early Tuesday morning while it was still cool outside. Dropped them (& the slow moving yellow jacket still attached) into 2 grocery bags (3 nests per bag), tied them shut & placed them in the garbage can before the pickup. There are always nests in the grill; & in previous years, I just lit the grill, but there is a hole in one of the hoses, so I dare not turn on the grill until that hose is replaced.

    Made rhubarb in strawberry gelatin again & made 3 rhubarb crisps.

    Took the meat from 3 leftover baked chicken wings off the bones, then put the bones & the skin in a quart saucepan with 2 cups of water to make broth. Chopped the meat & placed it in a frying pan with a little olive oil to warm, then added a small handful of freshly picked & washed spinach leaves & dandelion greens ( about 6 over each), cut into strips, to the pan to saute for a few minutes, then added the broth. Stirred to incorporate the spinach well, then added about a cup of brown rice shell pasta to simmer. Covered the pan & let it cook for 15 minutes, then stirred in about 2/3 cup sour cream with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Let it cook another 5 minutes, then we ate. It used up the wings & spinach/dandelion leaves that needed picked & it tasted great. The broth was already seasoned due to the baked chicken skin having the seasonings on it, so a very low out-of-pocket meal using leftovers.

  15. It’s good to hear your nursing is more successful this time. My oldest daughter has struggled both times and could pump only, a little bit at a time, and felt so down about it, especially since my younger daughter and I nursed successfully with no pumping at all. We’ve reminded her that however much she manages is that much better than if she’d managed none at all, and in truth, the second time was a tiny bit easier than the first.
    You got a lot done for someone with a newborn plus other kids. Kudos to your husband for cutting up and drying that many onions! I would have been “onioned out” by then!
    You keep me inspired to stay busy and not waste time wishing, but make things happen by DOING.

  16. Last week:
    -I made vegetable stock from frozen veggie scraps. We reduced it down to just a pint, so when we’re ready to use it we just add water!
    -I sewed a stuffed puppy dog for my niece out of fabric scraps
    -I ate at home when I reaaaally wanted to eat out.
    -Mr. Picky Pincher and I went over our budget together.
    -We ate way more vegetarian meals. We still need to find recipes that will work for us, but it was an overall success. And a $60 grocery bill didn’t hurt either!

  17. At our local grocery chain, I noticed a rolling trash cart in the produce department that was almost full. In it were peppers and apples that, from my view looked fresh- an occasional bruise on an apple. I asked the produce lady if I might be able to have their “discarded” produce to add to my composted. She said I probably could and took the cart to the back. She came back out with an apple box filled with peppers- mostly green, red, yellow and orange bells, some cubanelles, a flatter than normal onion, and over a dozen big apples!
    When I got them home, I thought I would cut out the bruised or bad areas and freeze or otherwise use the good parts that could be gleaned.
    Imagine my shock when only 1 of the peppers had a small spot to be removed- out of 35 peppers! The dozen plus apples were huge- I did cut away a few bruises, but was left with apples to eat fresh, make a 9×13 apple pecan cake and will be making apple muffins today too! The flat onion? It was tossed in the box because it wasn’t fat and round! It was, in every other way, perfectly fine! That got chopped up and added into our dinner!
    My freezer was getting low on peppers since several were put into freezer meals earlier. I also used some marked down beef and these peppers to prepare 4 more freezer meals! We sold another $225 in planter boxes this week and have received orders for 20+ more! This has been nice to split between savings and extra principal payments on our little mortgage! I’ve been “rotating” freezer items into muffins, meals,etc and it’s been delicious!!
    I firmly believe that when we open our eyes to the “possibilities” that we are blessed beyond measure with ways we can become more self-reliant and prepared!

  18. Last week I used 4 coupons for birthday items at restaurants , I had a free 1/4 tub of chicken salad, one free entree, a free hamburger, and free pancakes. They were all good except the pancakes. I had 3 jobs to earn some cash on the side and I wrote to several companies that sent great coupons back to help us to save money on food items. I returned several items that we did not end up using on home projects to Home Depot and I got a gift card , I used it to get garbage bags and dish washing soap with coupons. I returned several items to the grocery that were bad and I used the money to get produce this week. I am stretching the food and we did a frugal outing using our National parks pass for my birthday. My main gift was a new purse , purchased with gift card, coupon and birthday cash!

  19. The description of all that fruit made my mouth water! It will be months yet before we have fruit here.
    I replanted all the lettuce the voles have eaten and it is just coming up. Lots of other vegetables sprouting, and I have tiny green tomatoes on my tomato plants in the greenhouse.
    I made new pillow covers for the pillows for the porch furniture — this spring the squirrels chewed holes in all the pillows, using the stuffing for bedding. The covers were badly faded anyway. Instead of buying new fabric, I used fabric from my stash. The colors go together, but each pillow is different. I think it looks cheerful.
    My husband bought a bucket of electrical parts at a garage sale for $10 — he says the parts are worth hundreds of dollars. At the sale, he ran into a neighbor who is looking for someone to do electrical work at his house, so he may pick up a little extra work from that.
    I scored some good deals at the grocery store — 2 dozen eggs for 50 cents a dozen, pork chops for $1.79 lb and shrimp for $4.79 lb. Oh, and canned veggies for 35 cents a can. I can’t remember when they were that cheap. I bought the limit of a dozen.

  20. Oh my, fresh peaches sounds so wonderful! We won’t have them in season in our area until August. So looking forward to eating them, though!!! Strawberries should be out next month, which I’m really looking forward to as well.

    I, too am looking forward to hearing the name of your new little boy and seeing more of your beautiful photographs. It sounds like your family has really stepped up to help you in so many ways. Good to hear even your husband has taken on some of those pressing domestic duties! Cutting and dehydrating that may onions was definitely a labour of love on his part.:D

    This week seemed quiet on the frugal front, until I realized that the quiet was actually contributing to my frugal efforts! I guess we need some quieter weeks sometimes. Anyways, this week my frugal accomplishments were as follow:

    *Meals made at home included chicken souvlaki with rice and corn, ham and cheese crescent rolls with salad, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with noodles and sauce, deviled eggs with mashed potatoes and carrots, ham steaks with rice and corn, BBQ chicken with loaded baked potatoes and corn, and homemade lasagne with homemade garlic bread.

    *Took all my lunches with me to work, including an insulated cup with ice water to drink. Most days I took leftovers for lunch.

    *Prepared extra trays of lasagne (uncooked) for the freezer at the same time I made the tray for dinner. We now have some easy meal options for later.

    *Cut up and froze the case of ripened mangoes that I bought last week on sale.

    *I gave my mother some money to get a few grocery necessities, thus avoiding the stores myself. I’m trying to move to buying groceries every other week for the summer while I’m working.

    *My peas in the garden and spinach in pots are starting to sprout already…Yay!!!!

    *Planted the rest of the seeds in the garden: 3 types of lettuce, Swiss chard, radishes, beets, cucumber, carrots, dill (in pot), catnip (in pot), green beans (in garden plus 3 extra pots), yellow/waxed beans, and pole beans (in pot). I also transplanted the tomato and pepper plants I started indoors a couple months ago into larger pots outdoors.

    *Potted up a volunteer violet plant that sprouted in the garden. My mom had a pot of these sitting on the deck above this garden last year. I guess these reseed quite easily! We placed the pot on the table of the bistro set out front as a pretty centerpiece.

    *My husband started his second job this weekend. He will be working in a restaurant at a member’s only golf club every weekend now until sometime in October. This means most weeks he will be working 7 days a week until then.

    *A miracle happened at our house this week…we ate ALL meals at home this week! That means no breakfasts, lunches or dinners eaten at restaurants, fast food or otherwise. It apparently pays for my husband and I to be back at work in more ways than one!:;)

    Looking forward to gleaning more frugal ideas from everyone’s comments! Have a lovely week everyone!!!:D

  21. Wow, you guys got a lot done this week (I’m assuming the kids did the majority of the work still :). My seedlings are just starting to come up well, so I’m looking forward to being at the harvesting phase sometime soon.

    I’ve been spending the majority of my time while waiting for the garden to come into the “fruitful” category canning things I already have around here and such.

    Can’t wait to find out the name of the baby!

    My list for the week can be found here…

  22. Glad to hear things are going well with the little one and that you’ve got such good helpers in the family. What a blessing! I was unable to successfully breastfeed (I was 39 when our son was born), so I was so thankful for formula even though I would have preferred to nurse. We did a combo of cloth/disposable diapers. I say do whatever works for your family. 🙂

    I’ve not been good at writing things down lately, but here are some of the frugal things we’ve done (over the last month, probably).

    Updated our son’s room (larger dresser, desk, chair) with purchases from a local thrift store. He’d outgrown his other things.

    Used a gift card to replace some worn out towels and bedding.

    Hubs did several plumbing projects around the house.

    Hubs replaced a broken hinge on the refrigerator door.

    Made son’s costume for Greco-Roman Day at his school. He wore a large white T-shirt embellished on the shoulders with buttons from my button tin and a wide purple ribbon down the front. I also embroidered a purple cross-stitch design around the neckline. For the toga I cut out the center panel of an old dust ruffle, hemmed it, and sewed purple ribbon along the sides. We used a large decorative bead and a safety pin to fasten the toga at the shoulder. He finished his “senatorial” ensemble with an old leather belt of mine, a money pouch he made from an old leather marble bag and some Chuck-E-Cheese tokens, a scroll he made from tracing paper and sticks from the yard, and a pair of sandals (they were new, but he needed some for summer anyway). He was very pleased with the results.

    Harvested green onions, lettuce, peas, yellow wax beans, cabbage, and the first zucchini from the garden.

    Dehydrated some fruit for trail mix. Made trail mix.

    Made all of our bread (thank goodness for bread machines!).

    Made yogurt.

    Made veggie stock with some veggies in the freezer.

    Paid bills online (no stamps!).

    That’s all I can remember for now.

    Can’t wait for the post on your new little one.

  23. All that fresh garden fruit and veggies sound delicious! I saw this on a blog I follow and thought of you: . Just in case you want to check it out.

    Last week:
    I scored some good deals with coupons, super cheap TP, pasta sauce and free pasta. This week I will get (hopefully the store isn’t out already) free natural kids medicine, free band aids, and free almond milk, free ice popsicles. I spent $20 on groceries last week.

    I got my first free chiropractic adjustment at work and my hubby goes this week to get his. I won’t be able to get another one this week as my only other co worker is on vacation but hopefully next week.

    A furry critter ate all my plant babies in my raised bed. Kale, lettuce, parsley, basil. 🙁 We will put up the fencing over the weekend and I will replant. I have several trays of sprouts ready to plant in our breezeway that I started from seed. I used egg cartons as my trays.

    I took my lunch and snacks to work all last week and read in my car at lunch time. We also ate all meals at home and did not eat out at all 🙂 This is an accomplishment because working so many hours leaves me exhausted.

    That’s about it, have a great week everyone!

  24. Seasons 1-4 of Call the Midwife are on Netflix. Also, I discovered yesterday that the current season’s episodes only seem to be available for a few weeks after they air. I went on to to watch the past few weeks that I had missed and discovered Episodes 1-5 were no longer available to view and 6 was available only through 5/23. I haven’t had time to do any further research to see how else to view it.

  25. Hi Brandi and all 🙂 .

    It is wonderful that you got 15% off all your baby items, what a great deal, and also an added bonus of getting a voucher on top of that ! .

    Our frugal accomplishments were –
    – Turned off dryer, washing machine and small appliances at the power points to save on electricity costs. Last time we did this it saved anywhere from $20 – $30 on our previous electricity bill just by turning off the computer router, chargers & tv off at the wall when we were in the garden doing work.
    – We have been washing in cold water instead of warm and shall investigate how much this saves us in electricity costs on our next bill. We pretreat and soak using our own homemade soaker, so no need for hot or warm water washes.
    – Been leaving it a longer time to turn on the lights at night to save on electricity costs even though the days are getting shorter as we are coming into winter.
    – Saved water from our showers and all washing machine water to water the lawns around the house – saving on town water and tank water used.
    – Supplement watered all new seeds planted, on days we weren’t using the watering system, with rainwater from our tanks – saving on town water use.

    Our current goal is electricity wise since we purchased a second freezer to store our vegetables picked from the garden to claw back the extra $16 in power usage, and also the additional rise of $5 in meter reading fees too. We shall see how we go 🙂 .

    Everything seems to be going up in price including groceries so we are fighting inflation and with our power bill despite the costs going up over 50% over the last 11 years. We are blessed that our electricity bill is still around the same as what it was back then, so we are very happy but are always looking for ways to reduce any household costs.

  26. I used cloth for #1 but used disposables for #2 and #3. I liked the Target brand too, since they are always offering gift card promotions. I spent very little on diapers and wipes too.

    I used ExtraCare Bucks at CVS to get some things super cheap. I sold some of my son’s old shoes on Ebay and we had a cookout for family using Aldi hot dogs and sides instead of eating out dinner for our son’s birthday.

  27. I too am excited to hear the name of your sweet baby boy. I read this blog one night before going to bed and had a dream about various baby names, which totally cracked me up. 🙂

    This week wasn’t particularly frugal, but here are a few things I did:
    – I picked a few strawberries off of our alpine strawberry plant. I bought some local strawberries at our health food store (a delicious splurge). I am waiting for our berry season (usually starts in June or July) to get raspberries and other berries, and then I will make a bunch of jam. I made a lot of low-sugar jam last summer, and there are only a few jars left. Yum!
    – I walked to work and took my lunches each day.
    – I took a box of unused items to the thrift store and sold some books to a used book store.
    – We celebrated my husband’s birthday by going out to dinner (planned expense). I gave him his present (a robe that I made) a week earlier. I offered to make him a cheesecake (his favorite) but he didn’t want one.
    – One night when I was very low on fresh produce, I made a delicious dinner using only home canned and frozen items I had (plus two onions). There was enough leftover for another meal.
    – I sewed a button on a pair of my husband’s shorts.
    – I needed a couple pairs of light pants for work, and found just what I needed at the thrift store. I had a 30% off coupon I was able to use for an extra discount.
    – We have had rainy weather I didn’t work in my community garden plot last week. I need to go check on everything and plant pole beans in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully my peas will be ready soon. We are getting impatient!

    Hope everyone has a good week.

  28. Fresh peaches already! Lucky you.
    This week I went through my stash of fabric and found some lovely green corduroy to cover some floor pillows in my sewing room.

    I harvested and froze some more rhubarb. This early in the year, it is the only thing ready for harvest, but it’s a start.

    I cut the Man’s hair again.

    I went shopping in some of my boxes that I have stored at my mom’s for some new bowls for my kitchen.

    I added a kilo of chocolate chips to my pantry. If I am going to be broke this winter, I intend to be broke with cookies.

    Speaking of cookies, I made a batch for work snacks. I also made a couple of chicken meals/snacks for the freezer.

    Have a great week everyone.

  29. I have not figured the cost, but the Excalibur dehydrator website says it costs 4 cents per hour in electricity. Some weeks during the summer it runs almost nonstop, and I have never seen a significant increase in my electric bill.

  30. I collected as many birthday freebies – fruit, snack bag of cheddar popcorn, tea from Panera.
    I sold a dozen items on Ebay just by going through my closet.
    Lettuce and spinach had self seeded and has been thriving in my garden. I have been picking enough to make large salads to go with dinner or for lunch.
    I am using my Shop Your Way Reward points for 6 bags of mulch.
    I made this soup replacing the spinach with chard that I had chopped/frozen last fall.
    My family business will be closing next spring. Due to my age, work talents I am/was nervous about what I was to do next. After much talk/research the plan is for me to work from home PT. I paid for a book using my BING rewards points to brush up on the future freelance work I plan to do (I have offers, but really need to relearn some things before saying yes).
    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  31. Keeping a list has helped me stay focused this week and put a real effort into keeping costs down. This week:
    -I was discharged from physical therapy. This saves a $25 co-pay each visit, plus my time driving to and from therapy. I was given a print out of all my exercises to continue at home. Plus, my therapist gave me a couple different resistance bands for free.
    -I was given an elegant shirt that I had borrowed from a co-worker for a formal event.
    -I cut up old school papers and old work papers into pieces of scrap paper for our family to use. We won’t need scrap paper for quite awhile!
    -My mom gave us strawberries and raspberries. In addition, she gave me un-opened packs of streamers and balloons to add to my party stash.
    -We bought 1/2 hog and I had the meat processed at our local meat shop. Now, our freezer is full of various cuts of pork and ready for the winter.
    -My husband and I attended a mtg. at church and enjoyed fresh fruit and snacks at the mtg.
    -Our neighbor brought over a baseball cap for my son. It’s our school’s logo and their grandchildren had outgrown it. My son loves it and now I won’t need to buy one.
    -Picked rhubarb at my parent’s house & diced and froze 7 quarts. That will be all the rhubarb I need until next year. There is a lot more left, so we will offer it to friends and neighbors.
    -I signed up for free samples
    -Went to numerous baseball games as free entertainment. We live right around the corner from the ball diamond and rode our bikes over to watch a few different games. Our kids love to run around with their friends at the game and my husband and I enjoy being out in the beautiful weather. The best part- no charge to watch the games!
    -I stayed home many days and said ‘no’ (mostly to myself) numerous times
    -Our family had a 60th Birthday party for my mom. I was tempted to run to the store to buy paper products in her favorite color, but decided to use clear glass plates and cloth napkins I have at home. My girls painted a birthday banner for her with supplies we have at home and I used decorations from my birthday party stash. It was a great time and I think my mom felt celebrated and loved.
    -I did all the usual…recycled, composted, borrowed from the library, turned off lights, no heat/air needed the past few days, kept windows open during the day,etc.

    Have a great week everyone! Brandy, so excited to hear what name you choose for your baby!

  32. Our homeschool year finished up and now we are enjoying the break.

    I gave the four boys a haircut.

    I was given a 50lb bag of spring wheat flour. I turned around and gave it to a friend as her husband lost his job a couple of months ago. They needed the flour more than we did since I had just bought a few bags of wheat berries.

    I was given some clothes for the children

    Cooked from scratch. Ate leftovers.

    Made two quarts of vanilla ice cream and used our non_electric ice cream makers to make it.

    Bought 12 bags of pine bark nuggets at Lowe’s for half off since they were torn open and the store had rebagged them. I also bought some knockout roses marked down to $5 each.

    We go camping this weekend. My menu is made up and there are only a couple of things we have to pick up…. milk and ice.

    I popped into a store near my daughter’s and they had eggs for .69 a dozen. I bought 30 dozen. There are 8 of us still at home so we can easily use two dozen at a time for breakfast.

    I downloaded some free crochet and knitting patterns from

    Kept the lights off until dusk. We still haven’t used our AC and just kept the windows open. Even ceiling fan use is down.

    Cut some boxwood greenery for the table and buffet in the dining room.

  33. Hi, Marivene!
    I’m wondering about the rhubarb crisp. Is there something else you add with it? I use rhubarb as more of a ‘seasoning’ in other crisps, never the main fruit…How do you keep it from being too tart? Thank you in advance!

  34. It’s great that you have been able to get a little business going with those planter boxes. You’ve been at that for a while now, and it seems like it’s taking off for you:)

  35. We are officially moved out of our house, have the money in the bank, and are living in our camper until we find another place! So, clearly, my most frugal accomplishment is that we no longer have a house payment, an electric bill, a garbage bill, an internet bill (until we figure out a wifi hotspot or something), a house phone bill, etc. We will offer to pitch in for electric, and have to figure out something with the garbage, but it is a freeing feeling, at least for a week or so:)

    The garden my sister and I is flourishing and I’ve been eating food from it already. I’ve had boc choi, lettuce and spinach so far. We went strawberry picking and they were only $1/lb. I think it’s because the field was weedy, but the berries are awesome. I just wish I was freezing and jamming this year–I’d buy a bunch. But, I’m restraining, and only got a bowl full to eat up and make strawberry spinach salad. I have quite a few berries left over and lots and lots of jam. I just like to preserve, and this is a great price.

  36. Several people have put full episodes on You Tube. One woman has the entire third and fourth season. It seems that it was recorded in a movie theatre on a giant screen. You have to zoom in to watch the episode but it works!

  37. 30 dozen is a lot of eggs, but they keep well. At your stock-up price, breakfast eggs for your family are less than $1.50, which is a wonderful bargain. Keep up the good work!

  38. Laura – I just read a tip for camping on Mother Earth. The article said to keep your cooler cold longer, fill an empty milk jug with water and 1/2 cup of salt. Apparently it won’t melt and will keep your food cold longer.

  39. +Made all but one meal at home and we used a coupon for that treat. Some meals were chicken Tikka Masala, Chili, burgers on the grill, grilled chicken salad, fried buttermilk chicken (and fed the chickens the leftover breading and milk wash) and a new shepard’s pie recipe that used sweet potatoes as well as regular ones – it was okay but was too much work for just an okay meal.
    +Planted out all my tomatoes and sweet peppers – and ran out of room for the tomatoes and had to improvise for other places to put them. I still have another 6 hot pepper plants to put out as well. Also put in the bean, cantaloupe, cuke and popcorn seeds. My peas are growing very well for a change, the carrots finally sprouted but the lettuce appears to be a no go again – I think the seed is just too old and it was really cheap seed to begin with.
    +Buzzed hubby’s hair for him and trimmed my own bangs.
    + We saved a canopy that was on a free popup that was beyond repair just in case we needed it for a trailer we were flipping – It works perfectly for the current flip YEAH!
    + Did walk in nails for a client at work and was paid a ridiculous amount for it but she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer – I will use it to go with my mom and sister to the greenhouses later this week. It is our yearly girls day out 🙂
    +I requested that my prescription go to a three month supply which has the same co-pay as if I was only getting a months supply. It doesn’t save me alot but it adds up to a tank of gas at the end of the year :p
    +Fixed the slider’s screen door to get some more airflow going thru the house which will help us keep the air off for a longer period of time. Now we have to cut down another screen that was gifted to us to fit the second slider which will REALLY help with the hottest room in the house.
    + Cut lilacs for the house but have to keep them away from the areas my hubby frequents as they make his allergies go nuts.
    + We got our electric bill and have reduced it another $10!
    + My Aunt gifted me and my daughter with all of her stamps and ribbon left from her garage sale 2 gallon size ziplocks of Christmas stamps along and a huge basket of ribbon + a bunch of other odds and ends!
    + We have listed a bunch of other “junk” for sale and I cannot wait for it to be out of here – less clutter and things to clean

    I too used cloth – mostly because I couldn’t afford disposables and both my kids were allergic to something in them as well. If I had been able to, I so would have used disposables just to lesson the load on me with laundry.
    I am glad to hear you are having a better time of nursing – it’s alot of work sometimes. And I can’t wait to hear the new little one’s name and see another pic. Enjoy him – it goes by so, so fast!

  40. Momsav, I slice 3-4 cups of rhubarb & place it in a 9 x 9 square baking dish. I sprinkle about 1/3 cup of sugar over top, stir to mix, & let it sit for a bit while I mix up the topping. Melt 2/3 cube of butter. Measure out 1 cup of oatmeal, 1/2 cup flour, and 1 cup sugar into a bowl & stir with a fork to mix. Pour melted butter, in & stir to mix. Add 1/4 cup water to the cut rhubarb mixture, then spread the topping evenly. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned. Good plain, or with a little ice cream

  41. momsav, I replied, but we experienced a computer glitch just as I hit post (thunderstorms). The post did go thru, but at the end of the queue instead of here, so scroll down a little further.

  42. All you with such early strawberries are lucky. We have another 3-4 weeks before ours are ready. Lots of rhubarb though!

  43. Laurie, have you checked your library? Our public library system has 5 seasons on DVD…well 4, but it is marked that season 5 is on order.

  44. Rhonda, congratulations on all the home meals. Sounds like you will be having a busy summer.

  45. Yes, summer does get a little busy when I’m working, plus harvesting and canning/preserving things on my days off. Sure wish my life was more balanced out, instead of either being in full throttle or hibernation mode.

  46. It sounds like Spring and even Summer has come to just about everybody on the list. Everything is shades of pink and purple and white here…lilacs, lily of valley, bleeding heart, bridal veil, honeysuckle. Plus it all smells so good. Iris and peony are budded but not in bloom yet.

    We don’t have to do much for the holiday as everyone is separate directions. Husband and I and youngest will be by his family, middle girl will be there too. Then we bring husband’s brother back with us for 3 months. Next week is the wedding of his sister, so we will work on some stuff while there.

    Last two weeks (i don’t remember writing last week??) we did all the usual of composting, recycling, using up leftovers, eating at home, hanging up laundry, gardened. Did much sprucing up around the house, inside and out and we will have large amount of relatives here in 2 weeks for the wedding. Still more to do though. Borrowed the power washer from church to do the patio and driveway apron, added cedar mulch to all the flower beds over the homemade wood chips (we have a chipper) for a bit of color, filled the flower pots to hang and for various spots around the yard with the annuals started in greenhouse. Scrubbed off all the lawn and patio furniture, sandblasted a few rust spots and repainted painted them, son in law rolled the side yard behind our garage/breezeway to get rid of the vole bumps that develop. That is a good spot for setting up tents for those who will be tenting. The people bring RVs and campers will stay in fallow field behind the old barn. The barn quilt was installed and it looks very very nice on our freshly painted barn. Had cousin fill spots in gravel drive and roll them…he takes care of all the family properties. No matter how careful you plow in the winter, they still get torn up.

    Since the first things you see before our house are the woodworking shop and the farm stand, we did a little work on those too. Not too bad, though since son’s wedding was 2 years (already!!) ago and we did work then. Same things with flower beds, touched up the signage, also re-graveled the drives (off ours), painted the farm stand and put new shingles on it (2 uncles did that). My daughter repainted the little library. Let’s see, set the volleyball net back up for the year and put the basketball net back up. Exciting news that 2 cousin families of my husband have rented a van to bring them out for the wedding/vacation. We think they may be thinking of relocating which would be very nice. (They are still Amish) They will stay with the in laws.

    Mended more socks, mittens, before putting away for season. Cleaned out root cellar…open and empty now for the summer. Moved a portion of the canning supplies from basement storage up to pantry storage so easier for me to get. Decided I wanted a new dress for the wedding and found really nice purple patterned (my favorite color) fabric with a soft drape. My nephew’s wife is making the dress for me; she’s a seamstress. I sew, but she’ll do a professional job. My husband’s suit is fine…he bought a new one when the first child married and has saved it for very special occasions…he’ll give Susie away as their daed has passed. The others are all old enough I am no longer worrying about their outfits.

    Cooked from scratch. Made spaghetti sauce, Spanish rice, tostadas with toppings of beans, cheese, gr beef, avocado…people could choose. Made cherry cobbler with last year frozen cherries, rhubarb sauce, rhubarb crisp x 3, froze 3 qts. Will get many more qts before the season is over. Baked 2 loaves white bread 2x, cranberry walnut muffins, lemon poppyseed mini muffins, zucchini bisquit mix quiche with last year frozen zucchini, sugar cookies, lentil rice loaf and meat loaf for dinner and for leftovers for sandwiches, stir fried vegetables with choice of beef or tofu, grilled fish once with fresh aspargus, broiled fish another with home fried potatoes. Had asparagus several times broiled with olive oil and salt. Added trimmed ends to my storage in freezer for making soup later. French bread loaves were BOGO at store so bought 6, used one for sub sandwiches, made 4 into garlic bread (had one w spaghetti dinner and put rest in freezer) and made one into French toast. Made American/cold potato salad, hard-cooked a dozen eggs for eating and for egg salad, made crab-macaroni salad. Cooked a party pack (13) of brats from freezer bought at last sale so we had a couple quick meals with the cold salads and some baked beans.

    Our school is over for the year, so I only work 2 days a week now. The extra free time is nice, but it fills up quickly. Hope to hear more about your baby boy soon!

  47. If you peel the skin off the snapped off ends of asparagus, and then use a potato peeler to shave the insides into strips, they taste as good as the rest of the asparagus and can be used in salads and stir fry. And the peels can still be added to your vegetable stock bag…I end up with so many bits for vegetable stock that I would rather use the ends as a regular vegetable for another meal because it seems like a more frugal use, but perhaps you don’t get enough vegetable bits so the entire snapped off ends are more essential for your stock.

  48. Great job on saving the produce! I have found the stores in my area are so wasteful and try to rescue the produce when I can 🙂

  49. Hi Mabel, I don’t use these in making vegetable stock. I save them to make cream of asparagus soup later on when it is colder out. We have a very large amount of asparagus so I get quite a few ends. They just get pureed up into the soup and all tastes the same.

  50. You are very lucky that they let you have that produce…. here they throw it away, won’t even sell it at reduced prices. Gordon Food Service, Krogers, Walmarts, Giant Eagle. I worked for Gordon Food Service 1 1/2 years ago and they would not even let us as employees buy it marked down, insisted on throwing it away period. Such a shame. There is a book out that talks about this called American Wasteland.

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