I planted seeds for Armenian cucumbers, red noodle beans, pumpkins, lettuce, basil and sunflowers in the garden.

I made lemonade from our lemons.


Salad Produce The Prudent Homemaker

I cut arugula and picked lettuce, nasturtium flowers, and radishes from the garden.

I found eggs for $0.79 a dozen at Sam’s Club (in the 5-dozen package). I bought 10 dozen.

The children played in the sprinklers several days when they came on.

I wasn’t planning on buying Easter candy until next month, but the sales were good, so I did the following:

I went to Target and bought Easter rabbits this year (I was unable to get any melting chocolate at after Christmas clearance to make my own this year) at 25% off. The coupon (Target cartwheel) was a limit of 4 rabbits a day, so I needed to go twice. I also combined coupons and sales for money off jelly beans and peanut M&M’s. I will still make some tiny chocolate rabbits as part of our dessert that night (I’m thinking to make either a cheesecake or a carrot cake and I will use the tiny rabbits to decorate the edges).

I went to Winco to pick up some potatoes. The former produce manager is now the butcher, and he saw my cart (with 40 pounds of potatoes,  pounds of carrots, a head of cabbage and 7 cucumbers) and asked if I ever buy any meat! He then told me about some chicken legs her had marked down to $0.44 a pound. I bought several packages; we had some for dinner and I froze the rest. I am glad we have been eating down the freezer to make room for new deals. 

I took in a blouse that is now too big on me along the side seams to make it smaller. I really like this blouse and am glad that I will still be able to wear it.


What did you do to save money this past week?



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  1. A local convenience store has eggs XL for 0.79/doz I bought 2 more dozen. My mom tells me ALDI has them for 0.44/doz but I don’t go there often as it’s out of my way.

    Got my hair cut for free by my Mom the hairdresser….she gifted me some cash, so I was able to get a manicure & pedicure with that money!!! Hadn’t had either in 5 months!!

    Received a few magazines in the mail thanks to Recyclebank & Verizon Wireless SmartRewards.

    Wore my green for St Patty’s Day. Things I already owned.

    Winter Storm Stella caused 2 snow days here. No school =no lunches to pack=no gas driving to & from school.

    Got 2.5 (unwanted) hours of Overtime on Wednesday.

    Ate all meals at home!

  2. Those nasturtiums are gorgeous! Sounds like you scored some really good deals this week.
    We are getting ready for our 5-week trip to camp and see family. We cleaned out the camper and have been stocking it. We have arranged for a neighbor to come by a couple of times a week to water my houseplants, and another neighbor to see to our trash carry-out. We will do the same for them when they vacation. I have a bunch of meals made ahead and ready to fill the refrigerator and freezer in the RV, and lots of dry food in the cabinets. We did a little extra shopping, but much of this was from our freezer and pantry. These last few days before the trip we are eating a lot of odds and ends from the freezer and refrigerator, making for some interesting meals.

    I arranged for new house and car insurance, saving a little money. My husband and I worked in the greenhouse, getting it set up. We put on the shade cloth, cleaned out pots, and I planted peas, lettuce, chard and arugula. My husband set up the automatic drip irrigation and I hope when we return from our trip we will be well on our way to harvesting these. I finished the wall hanging I was working on. I started a new pair of socks with some of my Christmas yarn. I will work on these while my husband drives on our trip. Knitting helps the miles pass by faster for me. I did my taxes using Turbotax

    I hope you all have a wonderful week. We are hitting the road Wednesday morning.

  3. My frugal accomplishments this week:

    * My SO and I debated ordering out Chinese takeout, but we decided to make pizza at home instead. I used a single leftover Italian sausage from the freezer and a few spare olives that were hanging out in the fridge to make our usual pepperoni/onion pizzas into something more interesting!

    * Used up some pantry and freezer items in a casserole this week- I made mashed potatoes from the potatoes I had gotten on sale at Aldi, made stuffing from a bag that my mom gave me post-Thanksgiving (using celery from the freezer and some onion from the pantry), pulled some leftover ham from the freezer, and layered it all in a casserole dish. I also made some brown gravy from a packet and poured that over top. I served it with some frozen broccoli, and it was a delicious, cheap, and hearty meal. We ate from it for 3 dinners!

    * I picked up a few sales at a local grocery store- cabbage for 17c per lb, 6 lbs of apples for 83c/lb, and a couple kielbasa links for $1.66 each (I like to use them in red beans & rice and jambalaya). I found a package of their home-brand chorizo in the mark-down section, but I did not get it as we have no space in the freezer and I could do without.

    * I also went to Sam’s Club and bought butter, mozzarella, string cheese, and disinfecting wipes. I also saw eggs for 88c/18-count, so I picked up a package even though we already have a few dozen. This was the last of the shopping I needed to do this month!

    * I bought a $1 pack of buttons to put on a few shirts I got from Schoola- they were meant to be worn with cuff links, but my SO does not have any (nor do I trust said cuff links to not be lost!), so I sewed over the holes on one side of each cuff and sewed buttons on top of that. The buttons are a much darker blue than the shirts, which provides a nice contrast, though I know no one will notice except for me! LOL. I still need to hem a few pairs of pants from that same purchase, and a few pairs of pants may need to be let out a bit (which I may take to a professional tailor, if it’s not too expensive). Since all the pants are nice quality and were only $1/pair, paying $5 to let out each one will still be cheaper than buying the cheap Old Navy version of these pants!

    * I did several loads of laundry at my mom’s house, and as repayment I made dinner for her and my stepdad. My mom would much rather clean than cook, so I offered to make some spaghetti and meatballs while she picked up around the house. They greatly enjoyed it and I was happy to have a project to do!

    This coming week will be very busy for me as I will be gone Thursday-Saturday for an open house at my desired PhD program, so I’m trying to get everything done as well in advance as possible! If only there were a few extra hours in the day! :p

  4. Love the garden pic! Those nasturtiums are gorgeous!

    My own frugal accomplishments:
    – Saved some tissue paper from two presents the DH received, to reuse in the future (they weren’t wrinkled, and anyway, as I learned from this site, it can be ironed!)
    – Accepted a mini hand cream from my mom. She didn’t like it, and I can always use a hand cream at work or to pop in my purse.
    – Took home half my dinner from a restaurant, and ate it for lunch the next day. Makes eating out much more affordable when it actually covers two meals!
    – I redeemed some points from my Starbucks card for a free lunch box.
    – Got a rain check for the face lotion that I use, as it was on sale and sold out. I’ve never asked for a rain check in my life (although I remember my mom occasionally asking for them when I was a child) so I hope I remember to use it! I also have a coupon that I’ve saved that I will stack with the rain check when the store stocks the item again.
    – Pears were on sale this week, so I bought several bags and made pear sauce.
    – I made a Triple-Strawberry Custard & Cream Cake (http://approachingfood.com/strawberry-custard-cream-cake/) for the DH’s birthday, for a family celebration (a simple celebration, but so much fun). I used dehydrated strawberries from my pantry, homemade strawberry jam, homemade apple jelly that I had made from apple scraps, and luckily strawberries were on sale just prior to my making the cake. The only thing I had to buy was whipping cream. I even re-used a ‘Happy Birthday’ cake pick from several birthdays ago (I just wash it and put it with my baking supplies until the next time I need it). A fancy-pants cake on a frugal budget!
    – Made another batch of Brandy’s swiss chard soup, using some of my home-preserved lemon. The DH will eat it for a quick dinner, and I will pack it for my lunches.
    – Bought 14lbs of pasta for 50 cents/lb. I think we’re stocked for the year now!
    – Bought 4 lbs of strawberries for $2/lb. I eat a lot of (homemade) strawberry jam with my (homemade) yoghurt, so I’ll freeze most of the berries until I need more jam.
    – Bought 3 lbs of broccoli for $1/lb.
    – I used up the last of a heel of cheese to make some cheese sauce to top some steamed broccoli. I ate the broccoli for dinner, and packed the leftovers for my lunch tomorrow (along with some soup).
    – Made a batch of yoghurt
    – Made a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (all pantry ingredients) and wrapped up a bunch in a cellophane bag left over from Christmas baking, as well as some ribbon (saved from a birthday) to give as a hostess gift when visiting a friend.
    – The DH and I went out for dinner and saved 50% using a gift card and a voucher. An affordable date night!
    – My mom received two tickets to the National Homeshow/Canada Blooms Garden Show and passed them on to me, so the DH and I are able to attend free! Plus, they even have a free coat check. Looking forward to checking out all the gardening displays!
    – I made a batch of granola using pantry ingredients, and added in some psyllium powder I had lying around as well as the last of a package of goji powder. I bought the psyllium powder on the advice of my doctor, but couldn’t stomach it by itself, and while it would change the consistency of baked goods, in granola, it only makes it a little bit clumpier so I was pleased to find a way to use it!
    – I read up on growing sweet potatoes, and bought an organic sweet potato so that I can grow my own slips. If they work out, I’ll plant some and give some to my mom or sister to grow.
    – Dehydrated the broccoli that I bought on sale, as well as some clementine peels.
    – Use the stems of the broccoli to make broccoli chowder. I also used potatoes from storage, carrots that I prepped and froze myself in the fall, dehydrated celery, and onions that I bought on sale, chopped, and froze. Some herbs, milk, flour, and veggie stock later…chowder!
    -Printed some nice labels for the ‘Cookie Dough’ Tea that I received last week, placed the tea in mason jars, and cut out some nice cloth from my stash to cover the tops with. Voila, gifts! I’ve set one aside to give to my sister for her birthday.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

  5. That was so nice of the butcher to let you know about the discounted chicken. I wish we could get eggs for that cheap. As for my daughter’s Easter basket, I won’t be putting any chocolate bunnies in her basket. I’ve bought other chocolate items on sale, many of which were clearance items from other holidays. I will assemble it in cute but cheap Easter themed baggies to tuck in a basket we already have with Easter basket “grass” that we reuse every year. I might buy some spring coloured jelly beans and maybe some Easter items if on for a good price, but that’s about it.

    This week, our frugal accomplishments included:
    *Baked a batch of Maple Oatmeal muffins from pantry ingredients I already had (recipe link: https://bunnyswarmoven.net/2015/08/maple-oatmeal-muffins). Since my daughter is on March break, I was able to make them with the walnuts…what a treat!
    *Meals made at home this week included chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, flavoured rice and green beans, breaded chicken strips with fried rice and spring rolls, homemade pizza (bread machine crust), stuffed chicken breast with noodles & sauce side dish and corn, homemade potato soup, roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy, carrot and homemade apple pie (from the freezer), and cheesy broccoli shell pasta.
    *In honour of my Irish prodestant heritage, I made homemade potato soup for St. Patrick’s day. I used up some potatoes that were a little on the soft side with sprouts sticking out and some carrots that really needed to be used too. They tasted just fine in the soup. There’s no way our ancesters would have let that food go to waste!
    *Most of my lunches this week consisted of leftovers. Lasagna, fried rice and spring rolls, pizza…they were seriously good too!
    *Our bandage supply we keep in the bathroom was running low. So I went to the basement and grabbed more from our stash. I bought a huge box filled with various bandage & medical supplies for only $1 at an auction last summer/fall. It’s definitely coming in handy!
    *I took my daughter to another free round of lazer tag courtesy of Autism Ontario. Since she was on March break, it was a welcome outing!
    [b]Joyful life moments this week:[/b]
    *I volunteered at our local mall with my work 1 day this week. It was a special outreach program the mall hosts during March break for the children, though we happily talked to adults as well. It also allows us to promote our upcoming season. Always a pleasure to talk about history with willing listeners. And I had the privilage of handing out free childrens passes for our museum, too! I loved that I was able to gift families the opportunity to have an inexpensive summer outing.
    *Volunteered with the Handweavers & Spinners guild helping at our Fibre Arts Festival and Sale show (set up the night before and 4 hours during the event). The show was absolutely amazing with some stunning crafts on sale. Maybe works of art would be a better description for some of the items there. Gleaned some great inspiration and frugal ideas for craft and sewing projects, too. To share one idea, someone had aprons for sale that had a big pocket similar to a hoodie style pocket, which would be perfect for gardening equipment, cleaning tools, etc.
    *My brother came for a visit this weekend. My daughter was quite excited to see him. She decided to sleep downstairs in her “play room”, since her uncle was also sleeping downstairs in the family room. A simple, fun activity to finish up her March break.

  6. Your beautiful blog is a constant inspiration to me here in the very centre of London, England, where the idea of 80 degree heat is as unthinkable right now as the thought of the baking plains outside where you live. We make and love your white bean dip and dream of gardens as plentiful as yours!
    May I ask about the lovely pale lemon nasturtiums. We only ever get a much more brassy and lurid yellow over here, bordering on bright orange. Are your nasturtiums a special variety?
    With thanks for everything you write and photograph, and for all your ideas.

  7. I made milk (from powder), bread, alphabet soup (Brandy’s recipe), herbed whole chicken in the crockpot, hubby made a beef roast with veggies, pink lemonade cupcakes (boxed mix we’ve had for awhile in the pantry), peach pie popsicles(Brandy’s recipe), overnight oats most mornings, chili with hotdogs and can’t remember the rest. I typically take leftovers or a sandwich to work for my lunches. All our lunches were homemade and taken to school/work. Breakfasts and suppers were eaten at home from ingredients we have on hand.

    I am almost out of eggs and hubby’s bread ( he will only eat store bought white bread) so I will purchase those, otherwise I am not buying anything and we will eat strictly from the pantry and freezers. We need to save money for property taxes that are due in a few months. We had our truck (2nd vehicle and the one I drive to work) repaired and the price was double the quote so all our tax money is gone which is what we normally use to pay the first installment of property taxes. I am not saddened or frustrated by this, though, I view it as a challenge 🙂

    I drank lots of water during the day  and free coffee in the morning at work. I also typically enjoy a cup of tea at home that I make using tea bags I’ve had in my cupboard for a long time.

    We exchanged books and movies at the library. Twice my daughter (6 yrs old) said “I want to watch that movie!”, so I went onto the library website and reserved a copy for free.

    I saved a jar after the coconut oil was gone.

    I kept the heat down on the warmer days ( by warmer I mean 30 to 40 degrees F.

    My daughter and I continue to use family cloth for *most* needs in the bathroom. I used shampoo when my daughter wanted a bubble bath.

    I made more deodorant. I filled the dish soap bottle with half dish soap and filled the rest of the way with water. I made a laundry soap booster which is simply salt and essential oils. The salt was just table salt that I’ve had in the pantry forever and lemon essential oil I’ve had for awhile. It works pretty well, our clothes look cleaner and brighter.

    I hung laundry to dry after putting in dryer on air fluff for 10 minutes to remove pet hair.

    We had a local, mobile groomer come to our house to give our golden retriever a hair cut (she desperately needed this!), bath and nail cut. I saved $15 by staying out in the mobile unit and helping her. Our doggie does NOT like hair cuts and does not cooperate very well lol.

    I put two ends of romaine lettuce into water to regrow it. Hopefully I will get some free lettuce.

    My husband changed the oil in our car himself, saving at least $30.

    I made sure to turn off the surge protector or unplug things when not being used (dryer, microwave and washer (both on the same surge protector/power bar), electronics when done charging, etc.

    I took 4 big boxes of food from our pantry to one of the local food pantries because it’s food we won’t eat and I don’t want it to go to waste. A lot of it was food items I got for free or close to it while I was couponing.  I also took a load of stuff (clothing, household items, etc) to Goodwill that we  will no longer use but is still perfectly good.

    My daughter needed to wear green for St Patrick’s Day at her school. She didn’t have any green. When I dropped off the donations I went in just to see if I could find something and happened to find a really cute green dress half off, so I paid $1.57! I happened to have $2 in my wallet ( I stopped carrying money and my debit card if I wasn’t planning a specific purchase). The dress has short sleeves so I had her put on a long sleeved shirt under it and leggings and she can wear it in the spring and summer. She might even be able to wear it next year 🙂

    Have a great week everyone! As always, Brandy, I enjoyed your pictures 🙂

  8. This week has been blessed with the generosity of friends: 1. a co-worker moving gave me 91 (yup, 91!) packets of mashed potatoes. I don’t care for mashed potatoes but the husband loves them, and I can use them to thicken soups. 2. Another friend gave me 35 packets of seeds–a seed company had sent her a duplicate order. When she tried to return it, the company told her to keep them because once something leaves their warehouse they can no longer guarantee the integrity of the product (meaning someone could poison or ruin the seeds). She knows I garden and we’ve had a tough financial year due to health issues, so she gave me the entire duplicate package. 3. A friend realized she made too many jars of salsa last summer, so she gifted us 3 quarts of salsa. I am not a big fan of salsa and chips but I made a large quantity of spaghetti sauce and adding a jar made it nice and spicy. 4. I frequented this yarn shop that is now going out of business. I stopped by there to wish the retiring owner well and tell her how much I will miss her store and as I was leaving she gave me a huge box of yarn that was not selling in the going-out-of-business sale. This was at least $200 worth of yarn!

    I saved money by cooking from the freezer and cupboard all week. The only thing we bought this week was milk; my husband asks for very few special items but he drinks a lot of milk so I always keep two gallons in the fridge so we never run out. If the milk gets close to the expiration date I make clam chowder or bake something.

    My husband had a business trip so while he was gone for two days I made and froze different cookies so I am now ready to fill his Easter basket. His Easter basket to me is always a solid chocolate bunny and four hours of labor–he fixes things that annoy me but are low on his priority list. He now does a work gift as part of every holiday (birthday, Christmas and so on) because the first time he did it I was so appreciative that he was blown away. I look forward to various holidays just so I can get him to do things like put a new lock on the back door, build some shelves in the garage for a place to store my seed starting supplies. I now keep a running list of what he calls tiny chores.

    Cut my own hair but I think I will need to have a professional fix it. Apparently the fact that I can cut my husband’s hair doesn’t make me a hair stylist. But I’ll wait until the hair dressing school does their quarterly sale where you can get a haircut if you are willing to have a student do it.

  9. Wow, Cindi, five weeks!!! Lucky you! Can you give me some ideas of the meals that you’ve made ahead to bring with you? I’m always looking for easy things to just heat up while camping! I wish my husband would take me on a long trip. We have a travel trailer but my husband keeps saying we need a bigger truck to pull it to go long distances. So, I wait…one day!!!

  10. I went walking at the free park by the river. I took a nap. I cleaned my house. I listened to music on public radio. I am currently cooking .49 cents. lb chicken in oven with carrots. I am cooking rice on stove with green peas. I bought canned vegetables, three cans for a dollar at Family Dollar.

  11. My son requested spaghetti for dinner and I was amazed to discover we had no ground beef or turkey in the freezer. I picked up two 1 pound packages of organic ground beef for 3.50. That was cheaper than the cheapest regular ground beef. The meat was fantastic. I wish I had bought all they had. I will know now to keep an eye out for future mark downs. I will need to stock back up on ground turkey from Aldi,s. I ordered a free 30 day trial of Hulu and Showtime. I recently canceled a trial of Audible and they turned around and offered me another one. I have 6 free books now and bought several 99 cent classics I wanted. I accepted a GROUPON for a two month free trial of Amazon Unlimited so I can read for a long time. I love my Kindle. I am having a huge frugal fail. My mother moved in with us unannounced. She has my heat kicked up to 72. We have had a mild winter and rarely turn the heat on. My bill will be double to triple next month and out of my budget. I am frustrated but since this is my mother I see no solution. I seemingly qualify for some financial aid for myself so I will be returning to school. The local college has free registration on Tuesday so my son will be taking advantage of that offer. Life is good . My college daughter recently sent me home with 12 bags of clothes from her Sorority house. I have found several nice t shirt s for my son ( fraternity brothers ? ) and three pairs of nice Nikes for myself. I was amazed to find 1 Coach purse and two Michael Kors. I am thinking of sending the clothing to Thread Up and getting a credit. Each night I spend time reading past posts and have enjoyed finding this blog so much.

  12. I enjoyed seeing your beautiful garden bounty. I know it will be spring tomorrow, but it hasn’t felt too much like it recently here. Organic potatoes were on sale for .99/lb, and I bought about 5 lbs each of red and gold potatoes to do us until our potato harvest comes in. I’ve been working on a chicken apron or saddle. Though it’s been tweaked a few times, it’s still not quite right. I’m hoping to report I’ve got it right next week. Happy to be joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-trials-of-chicken-apron-frugal.html

  13. Let’s see, Holly, some of the things I made were lasagna, macaroni and cheese with ham, taco meat, spaghetti sauce with meat, chicken cordon bleu casserole (I got the recipe online), chicken legs in barbecue sauce (which we’ll grill) and chicken breasts in a lemon garlic marinade (also to grill). I also have sausages to grill and hamburgers to grill. We will be attending a family reunion, staying a couple of days with my older half brother, spending two weeks with my husband’s parents and attending a wedding while we are away, but will also camp in between all this.

  14. I’m a bit jealous of your warm weather! We’re still suffering through 6 days of rain in Oregon and on the occasional clear day (like today), we try to cram in all of our outside work! I’m so looking forward to planting our garden boxes soon! Our frugal accomplishments were mostly about getting good deals on groceries, kids’ clothes and a few other things this week. The little bit of sunshine we have seen has definitely gotten me into the spring cleaning mood so we’re working on that too. I posted my frugal accomplishments on my blog here: http://www.basicallybells.com/last-weeks-frugal-accomplishments-2/

  15. It’s so nice to read about the generosity of others. It gives me home our society is not lost 🙂 Blessings to you and your husband!

  16. We have had home cooked meals all week. It has been Spring Break here and the kids have been home all week. So that means extra lunch here at home. We made a turkey and ham from the freezer to have for a meal and then I made some ‘sandwich meat’ of the left overs.
    I got some free samples of dishwasher detergent. They came in the mail this week and my neighbor does not use her dishwasher so she gave me her sample too.
    I line dried most of the laundry. We have had beautiful weather.
    I made a man’s shirt into an apron and a new blouse for me.
    I got some Target dollar spot things for the kid’s Easter Basket. (I give each day care child a basket of things) This year the basket is actually a sand bucket from Dollar Tree. I found some flash cards, and bubbles to go into the buckets. Spent a total of $3.00 on each basket. I am a small home owned home ran daycare. I do these things as a kind of advertising to others. “Word” of mouth is my best way of getting new clients. So when I send a child home with a gift (like Grandma would do) they remember and pretty soon when a friend is looking for daycare I get a call for a new client. The name of my daycare is ‘Grandma’s House’ and I try to treat each and every child like a grand child.
    I looked on line for some new daycare snack ideas. I found a couple and will use them next week.
    Have not seen egg prices near as low as others have told of. So far the least expensive I have found is 99 cents. I got 2 dozen after church today. I hope to find more soon for a lesser price.

  17. Your husband’s cake looks delicious! I’ve been storing apple peels and cores in my freezer to eventually make some apple jelly as I know several people have talked about making it with these leftover bits.

  18. I was really happy with how my son’s birthday party turned out. In the past, I have gone a little over-the-top with themed decorations, take-out food, store-bought birthday cake, and large treat bags for each of his friends who attended. This year, I made homemade pizza, popcorn, lemonade, and cupcakes with ingredients I had on hand. I made very simple treat bags that were mainly filled with items I got very inexpensively through sales and iBotta. I didn’t stress about planning a lot of games and crafts, but instead let the boys choose the activities they wanted to do. Overall, it was a very low-stress, successful party, and my son and his friends were all happy at the end of the day!

    Another big frugal accomplishment of the day was that I REALLY didn’t want to cook dinner, and asked my husband if we could just go to a local restaurant for dinner. He said he was happy just staying home, so I ended up cooking a delicious dinner from things we had on hand. I am so glad we didn’t spend the extra money go to out, especially when we had the ingredients for a wonderful meal on hand.

    I tried to get ahead of lunch prep this week, so I took out 4 storage containers and placed them on the counter. Then, I put the non-perishable items each of my 2 children would take for lunches Monday-Thursday in the bins (Friday is “pizza day”, and this is their treat for the week). Now, all I have to do is make a sandwich, a wrap, or warm food for the thermos, and all lunches are done. If this works out, I’ll probably continue to do it in the future to make lunch prep really easy.

    Finally, I have decided I will do a pantry challenge this week. I will only buy milk and almond milk later in the week. I mapped out a meal plan, and I think I have everything I need to make all of our meals at home. It will be interesting to see if anyone notices it is a pantry challenge week!

  19. My store had 18 ct eggs for 99 cents this week–large size. I have sufficient on hand right now. I bought a small corned beef and even with buying the smallest I could find, it fed us for two days. I also made Italian wedding soup this week and it also fed us for two days with a bit left over. I think I have no idea how to cook for two people at this point in my life! We also were surprised with a couple feet of snow this week with two snow days for the school kids, followed by two days of chilly weather but lovely sunshine. The sunshine gives me a lift even if I don’t get out in it, just seeing it from the window makes me move a little faster and more cheerfully. My granddaughter stopped in for a short visit last night–she had been to her friend’s baby’s first birthday party just down the road so had to say hello. We don’t get many surprise visits from her so that was nice. She lives about 50 minutes away from us, so visits are usually planned. We are always glad to see her because she is usually much busier than we are. Looking forward to knowing it’s Spring tomorrow–the daylight is lasting longer after dinner now since we’ve changed to Daylight Savings Time.

  20. What an amazing list of gifts you received this week, Mable! That must have felt so good receiving all those free items, especially when you’ve had a rough financial year. A very blessed week for you, indeed!

  21. • Washed 9 ziplock bags to reuse them
    • Used Walgreens points to pay for vitamins that were BOGO50%
    • Brought snow shovel and ice melt inside so they didn’t get buried during the blizzard, my heat is normally set at 58 for the night, however, when I went to bed I turned it up to 64 so the house would warm in case the power went out with the storm – so not frugal to be heating the house, but very frugal if it help prevent potential frozen pipes.
    • Hand shoveled snow but since the snow was so wet I applied cooking oil to the shovel and the snow just slid right off!
    • Made pizza from scratch – spinach, garlic, and ricotta white pizza.
    • Baked oatmeal, chocolate chip, dried cranberry, pecan cookies – recipe makes 100 cookies so froze individual balls of dough on the baking sheet from my toaster oven before putting them in a plastic bag.
    • Ate all homemade meals including packing my lunch
    • Ordered cat food from Chewy.com and made the free shipping hurdle
    • Stretched haircut from 4 weeks to 6 weeks. Am not talented enough to cut my super straight hair. Made Swagbucks goal x1

  22. Here is last week’s list;

    -Baked bread
    -Used electricity off peak hours as possible, just heard from the electric company that our levelized billing for the next three months will be $40 lower per month, due to our reduced usage.
    -Cooked from the freezer and pantry to keep costs low, and ate or froze leftovers
    -Cooked corned beef ($1.25/lb at Safeway) and cabbage, also cooked a turkey and put the carcass in the freezer for soup next week when I have more time.
    -Ate out only once last week.
    -Reached our $200 spending limit for groceries this month (for two of us). Another thank you to Brandy for this website, it is incredibly inspiring. Brandy, what I like most is the positive tone of your blog and website. There are probably 500 things you do that make a frugal life, and rather than me getting depressed I am only doing 10 of them, I find it inspiring and try to learn new things (my big successes have been baking bread, learning to cook more interesting meals and making laundry detergent). Five years ago we were spending $600 a month on food at home plus more money eating out, now we spend much less and the food is better ;). Thank you and the community here for all the ideas and positivity.

  23. Could you get your mother a space heater? Or come to a compromise about sweaters and extra blankets (unless there’s a medical reason, of course)? We’d have to have a frank discussion about our budget if one of our parents moved in and expected something like that.

  24. as a mother who does turn up her kids heat when at their house staying I would suggest that you sit down with mom with your budget and let her know if she wants the heat on that she will have to pay the difference from your budget. IF she can’t pay the difference then you can either get her warmer clothes or a small heater that would sit next to her wherever she sits. I pay the difference for my kids even with me being the one on the budget. As I have gotten older I get cold easy and slide into hypothermia very easy. She’s your mom, she might see some areas you can cut the budget and save more…makes us feel important.

  25. I put similar things into my camper freezer. My husband loves to grill so we take meat for that, sometimes I put marinade into a freezer bag, drop the meat in, and freeze that way and sometimes I just take plain meat and I marinade or season at the time. I often make meatballs and freeze them. Then, sauce from a jar can be added at the time and it doesn’t take up as much freezer space. We often catch fish, crab, or crabs, but sometimes we get skunked–you just never know. We eat some at the time, and fill the tiny freezer with the excess so it stays fresh until we get home. At that point, any bread items I’ve put in the freezer to keep fresh come out and the fish goes in.

    I usually put a few days worth of food in the fridge, so it’s thawed out for the first part of the trip, then pull from the freezer later on. If we are camping during a time when we have a lot of garden produce, we often bring an extra cooler as well, stuffed with veggies and fruit. I will shop when camping, IF I’m really needing something to re-stock what I’ve used up from my camper stockpile, IF there even is a store to buy from, and IF I forgot something crucial. Otherwise, I far prefer to buy on sale, use my own home-canned/frozen items, and pantry supply from home. It’s a way we can camp more often on our budget because stores are often way more expensive in remote areas. Of course, we don’t need as much food as we used to when we had more kids at home, but believe it or not, we have had up to 10 people drop in on us while we are camping, even 2 hours from home, (friends who were in the area or family who wanted to join the fun for a day), so I always take a lot of food. I love cooking for a crowd, and it’s fun to be able to be more relaxed and visit out in the forest or beach, so I love it when that happens.

    We usually make foil dinners while camping and fill them with some kind of meat (often hamburger) or chicken, and veggies, then cook in the fire or on the grill. My husband has an old rack he uses over the fire as a grill and makes everything from bb-qued chicken to the trout we hopefully catch on it. He often bakes potatoes in the coals of the fire. We carry roasting sticks with us and let people roast hot dogs, sausages, marshmallows, and more. I’ve experimented with roasting apples, dough (like biscuit dough wrapped around a stick), and whatever else can be poked with a stick. We love to occasionally fry things like Indian fry bread or home-made french fries because the mess can be kept outside. We have a curly fry maker that we purchased on a camping trip years ago that the kids love to use when camping. Some of those things have become a tradition for the kids and some of their friends. A couple of years ago, one young lady who had been camping with us when she was younger, had us bring the curly fry maker all the way to her house, 8 hours away, for a walk down memory lane, since she remembered the experience so fondly. So, we had a french fry party for her:) Not bad for a $3 garage-sale, “as seen on TV” item–lots of memories! So I always take an extra container of canola oil. If the weather cooperates, we cook as much as possible outside. If it doesn’t, it’s nice to have the option of an indoor kitchen.

  26. Wow! Just Wow! We are doing well if our eggs go down to 88c/dozen. And, that is a whopping deal around here.

    Still, that is a lot of good food for a little amount of money. But 28c. Wow. Enjoy the eggs! There are so many things to do with them.

  27. I am going to get my hair fixed this week, too. Apparently, grabbing scissors and just chopping off whatever part of my bangs I can’t see out from under isn’t working too well for me anymore:) I have not had mine cut professionally since sometime last summer, and it’s getting a bit scary. My husband is the hair-cutter in our family, but doesn’t feel comfortable trying to style mine. He did the boys’ when they were young, though, and the girls’ sometimes over the years.

    What a great gift–all those seeds! You will be able to grow so much from 35 packs! The other things were great, too, and they will all help you out so much.

  28. One of my favorite things I did this week was preparing a place for the strawberries I ordered. When you order them, they tell you they will send them when the time is right. I guess the time was right, because they came this week. It has been so wet–inches and inches of rain and even snow–that I have not been able to clean out the area where I want to plant them. The previous owner had strawberries along the side of the shop. There were a few surviving plants, and a whole lot of grass and weeds. Yesterday, I only had 1-1/2 hours, but we got a sunny day, so I used it and got the grass dug out. It was really still too wet to work in there, but I did it anyway. I grouped the surviving plants on the end. I sprinkled coffee grounds I got from McDonald’s along the area. I sprinkled some organic fertilizer we had on hand on the dirt. Now, I want to get some bone meal and some dirt, put that on there, and then plant the 25 plants. In the meanwhile, I’ve tucked them into a pot with some potting soil. Sadly, there is more rain coming, all week, but I’m well on my way. There is a 25% off sale at the farm store Tuesday, so I can get my supplies then, and hopefully be able to get out there again, soon. If I get a couple of bags of some kind of dirt, hopefully it will be dry enough right after I put it down to go ahead and plant the plants!

    The other things I did this week are on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/03/19/saving-money-march-19-2017/

  29. -My parents gave us money to go out to eat for our Anniversary(24years). The kids were at school and we were both off so we went out for lunch. We both picked out lunch specials. Came home with lots of leftovers and have enough money still to do 2 more lunches.
    -My sister treated us out to dinner to celebrate my son’s 18 birthday. 3 of us drank water, we all shared 2 appetizer’s and 2 desserts. We came home with leftovers that will be lunch for my husband and me today.
    -My daughter, sister and I went to see Beauty and the Beast for free(I work at a movie theatre part time and get 8 free passes a month).It was wonderful. We also shared my free popcorn and drink.
    -Had the family all over on Saturday for my son’s 18 birthday. Cooked my last clearance ham from before Christmas. Made maple carrots(49cents a lb) and mashed potatoes (20cents a lb). Made cupcakes and cookies and my Mom brought fruit. 2 of my sisters brought snacks. We always bring something to help each other out. Sent my parents home with leftovers so they didn’t have to cook the next day.
    -Did the big swap with my family when they came for my son’s party. We always keep our eyes open for deals for each other. We swapped magazines, books, coupons, returned jars and containers. My parents travel a lot and gave my a huge bag of hotel soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. Gave my sister a small BBQ we no longer use for her apartment and some nail stuff. Less stuff in the land fill and we all benefit.
    -Baked Hubby a carrot cake for our anniversary(his request). Baked Brandy’s Lemon poppy muffins for the first time. They were a hit. Cooked all meals and snacks at home except 2 mentioned above.
    – Kids had a snow day that ended up being almost nothing so I was still able to go to work. I only get paid if I go in.
    – All birthday and anniversary cards were home made. We decorated with stuff we already had.
    -Got some good sales on shopping this week. BOGO vitamins, free 4 pack of yogurt, free canned soup, marked down meats. Saved $43 on stuff we use.

  30. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    I am glad Brandy you were able to pick up such good specials for your home and could remake your blouse to fit.

    Our frugal accomplishments were –
    – Picked cherry tomatoes, carrots, strawberries and capsicums from the gardens.
    – Planted 2 x 2 mt rows each of dwarf butter beans and green bush bean strike seeds, a 3 mt row of carrot seeds and some money maker tomato seeds.
    – Cooked a quadruple batch of lovely granola substituting sultanas instead of cranberries.
    – Made all our bread and meals from scratch.
    – Cooked a half batch of oatmeal cooking using sultanas.
    – Took our new juicer back that broke and exchanged it with a stainless steel titanium one and bargained the price down $40.95 so no more out of pocket expenses 😀 .
    – Found and purchased another kitchen jug for making powdered milk in for 0.83c cheaper than another store.
    – Bought ourselves a treat today by buying a large block of chocolate on special saving $3.15.
    – Managed to line dry all of our washing between rain showers saving on dryer use.
    – Used our solar lanterns all week instead of turning on mains powered lights in the home.
    – Watered the lawns and new manure on the lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine.
    – Saved 896lts of town water use by not having to turn the drip irrigation systems on in the garden all week 🙂 .

  31. Went to the “new” dentist for the first time. I am done driving 3 ½ hours each way to continue to go to our “old” dentist. He was an excellent dentist, but it took the entire day, & wasted a lot of gas.

    We bought a new dryer, because ours finally died. It is almost 40 years old. We paid $479, the sale price, for the Maytag model we bought. Free delivery because we saw the ad for it online before we went. $25 to haul away the old one. $2.98 off from my SYWR card points from Kmart (didn’t realize I could use those at Sears!), but the taxes & the required new vent kit brought the total up to $587.82 – – over $100 more altogether. Thank heavens we have the funds. We put it on Discover, to get the cashback bonus points, which we always apply to the bill, so that will pay a little more of it. We were blessed so many ways on this. It held out until I only had one more quilt to dry. I had started early, so the sun was still out with a light breeze. The young man next door who smokes was at work, so he did not get second hand smoke all over it. The dryer was on sale, & we got free delivery ($70).

    Pruned more of the yellow rose back. Continued to dig out one tree tub full of grass, roots & weeds from the growing beds every day.

    Stouffer’s had family sized lasagna on sale, along with their other frozen meals, so I picked up a few. DH likes the lasagna, & by the time I buy the cheese, it is just as cheap to buy the meal when it is on sale. I also picked up a couple of chicken & rice casseroles & a cheese manicotti. When I am in Washington state helping our daughter, they are easy meals for DH, & they are better for him than fast food. While they are on sale was a good time to stock the freezer for him.

    Planted 4 Seasons lettuce among the seedlings already in the garden. Put up the pea fence & planted peas. I used two short veggie ladders, & the metal supports I saved from 2 political signs, which I turned sideways & secured to the veggie ladders with twist-ties. I also planted some heirloom pimento seeds. They are old seeds, but if they will sprout, they are very nice, thick-walled pimentos that dehydrate beautifully. If they sprout, I will cover them with a cloche until mid-May.

  32. I’ve been working on getting my garden started this week. Planted kale, spinach, and radishes outside. Started tomatoes and peppers indoors. Pruned my fruit trees just in time, now they’re budding.

    I gave my husband and 2 boys haircuts. My husband told my 8 year old that to go get a haircut costs about $15-20, and my son did the math in his head to figure we save $45-60 by cutting hair at home.

    I walked to the elementary school instead of driving to parent teacher conference. A neighbor noticed and was shocked! It’s only 1.5 miles, but the first part is up a steep hill, and I was pushing two kids in a stroller, with a third in on my chest in a baby carrier.

  33. Great finds with those sales. 🙂 This week:

    1. I baked lots of great things over the weekend. I finally made a successful batch of macarons. I did two fillings for them: vanilla bean and tangelo whipped cream. They were to-die-for and cost a quarter of what they would have run at our local bakery.

    2. We built the last of our raised beds in the garden, bought bulk dirt (who knew there was such a thing?), and planted seeds and saplings. Our radishes are already coming up in droves, as well as our lettuce. We also bought fruit trees from our local nursery, but we probably won’t plant those for another month or two. We need to pick up bulk mulch first.

    3. I got my annual haircut for $20, used aloe vera for a kitchen burn, and pre-cooked a few meals.

  34. I love how every year, you get your flowerbeds and garden beds done little by little. It’s so daunting to look at it all at once, and your posts remind me to just do one little bit each time. It sounds like you have a nice garden coming along already. I hope it continues to grow well for you.

  35. Brandy-You inspired me to get up and go outside to plant my nasturtium seeds! Thanks for the inspiration!

  36. You inspired me to plant flowers this year. I bought five different kinds of flower seeds at the Dollar Store (really $1.25 store here). They were $0.31 per packet.

  37. Hello Everyone:

    We survived our snowfall of 13.9 inches last week even though it closed school for three days. Today is the first day of spring and I saw some crocuses poking up through the snow. I’ll take it even though I will never doubt Punxsutawney Phil again. We’ve had a fairly frugal week having cooked all meals at home, made a large batch of Instant pot yogurt using Trulife Milk (on sale) which had a lovely consistency. I’ve been sorting clothes. My local twin’s club has our biannual sale next weekend so I’ll be able to hopefully sell a bunch of things.

    I’ve been working on some flannel pjs with ruffles for my daughters.

    I finally wrote a blog post about a supplement that has made a significant difference in reducing my migraines (I’ve had them for 30 years). It is not a medication and is very cost effective and helpful: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2017/03/new-help-for-migraines/. If any readers suffer from migraines, it might be helpful.

    Have a good week!

  38. I planted some onions that were given to us. We normally plant in November, so I doubt they’ll grow much, but if they give us even half-sized bulbs, it would be nice. It will probably be too hot for them, but no harm in trying.
    We just had a frost, but I think that should be it for frosts. I can put my herbs out now.
    I mended some clothing again. I started to mend some pajamas, but closer inspection shows that the material is going holey at the waistline, so now I don’t know if I want to spend the time to replace the stretched out elastic in the waist or not.
    I cut up and froze four fresh chickens from a local farmer. I’m making stock with the leavings.
    I watered my wildflower bed, refilled the hummingbird feeder with homemade hummer food, watered the cabbages, and ordered new shoelaces to fit my husband’s dress shoes. No one around here carries anything but round laces that are short enough for his dress shoes, and round ones just won’t stay tied. I finally located a pair on Amazon and they were eligible for free shipping.

  39. Thanks, Lynn! I made the apply jelly several months ago, and it worked perfectly to replace a gelatin glaze. I actually first learnt about apple scrap jelly from this blog myself! Super easy. You’ll love the purity of it!

  40. Lynne, my kids also do pizza lunch Friday but for the last several months instead of having them buy the (gross) lunch line pizza I have been making pizza the night before and sending that. Not only is the pizza better but it’s also cheaper! Food for thought at least once in awhile to save a few dollars.

  41. Brandy– You’ve mentioned losing weight several times. I’d appreciate any frugal weight loss tips you’d care to share. Thanks!

  42. Thanks Cindi and Becky!!!! Lots of great ideas!!!! We always make foil packs too! I love the curly fry story!

    Hope you have a wonderful trip, Cindi! And, Becky, I hope you get to go camping soon!

  43. I found whole Springer Mountain chickens on sale for .69 a lb. I bought three. Will get about Three meals out of each. This brand is antibiotic free and usually very expensive. I am saving veggie scraps in the freezer for a soup.
    I have been trying hard to use what I have on hand rather than going to the store for something. I’ve wrapped some birthday gifts in boxes with wrapping paper I have, making a card, using ribbon I already have.
    Reading library books, watching tv channels we pick up on our antenna. I am working on a cross stitch project that I have too much money invested in. If it turns out good I may try to sell it.
    Love your yard Brandi! The flowers are so beautiful! Oh yes, I save all my change in a jar for vacation. Also, insurance paid my knee replacement surgery bill in full. Get ready, the hospital charged $134,000!! My mom’s pulmonologist told us it is one of the ten most expensive hospitals in the country. But it is the only hospital my surgeon now goes to.
    Hope everyone is enjoying spring!

  44. Wow! Our best price for corned beef was 2.99 lb. I didn’t buy any. We made a two hour (one way) trip to Aldi’s. They had eggs for 39 cents a doz. I bought two. My husband said “They’re almost free.” I probably should’ve gotten more. The different prices in different parts of the same country always amaze me.

  45. Hi, Gabrielle, I had migraines for decades, too. I tried everything over the years. Nothing worked. You have to remember, i’m old enough that Tylenol was just coming on the market when i was out of high school and aleeve was a Dr. prescription. Thankfully, getting older did the trick for me. Menopause has been a life saver. I hope those nasty hormones get their act together for you, too, some day! I’m going to check out your blog, though. All three of my children get migraines, unfortunately, in varying degrees. Any help for them is a blessing!

  46. Holy, moly on the hospital bill! Good for you, having such great coverage! That’s a rarity these days!

  47. Happy first day of spring everyone!
    Brandy your gardens are lovely! Thanks for sharing with all of us who have to wait awhile yet.
    We ate all meals at home this week. All meats and veggies came from the freezers. I made a crockpot full of beef broth, chicken broth and spaghetti sauce this week. I also made another loaf of bread and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
    I bought cheese on sale for $1.28 for 8 oz. I got Monterey jack for white chili, parmesan, mozzarella and Italian blend. I bought 10 packages to get that price and they should last awhile. While buying the cheese I found smoked turkey and honey ham lunch meat in the discount case for $.98 a pound so I bought 4 packs for a treat.
    I combined my errands with running the foster boys to school or work.
    We have been able to have the furnace off for the last couple of days.
    Have a great week!

  48. I feel your pain. I’m in Washington and white is not snow, the constant gray skies and inability to get outside is wearing on us too!

  49. Mixed week.

    Borrowed books from the library, but due to my Swiss cheese brain, they were late so I had to pay the fine. I will do better next time.

    Continued my vegetarian meals 3 days a week for Lent. Only Friday is required, but I wanted to do it this year. So far only St. Patrick’s day was a bust, but I did have fish for dinner that night.

    Left the heat off despite the cold snap. Used a blanket and wore my robe and socks instead.

    Colleague had LO pizza from a meeting so we had pizza for lunch adn I ate my lunch for dinner instead.

    Hired colleague’s son to animal sit for my while I went away for the weekend. He is saving for a missions trip to Haiti this summer.

    Dyed my own hair and trimmed my bangs.

    Major repair needed to my husband’s new Jeep. it’s covered under warranty, but they were trying to make us pay for the 10+ days of the rental car while they putzed around. A threat of commenting on Facebook and on Yelp and a rather animated conversation with Jeep corporate and suddenly the rental car was free.

    Husband used the rental car to drive home (he’s 6 hours away on military orders). He had 2 military meetings scheduled so we get the mileage and we got to see each other and the wear and tear went on the rental car.
    So for the “fail”… I went to Orlando for the weekend to visit with a friend and celebrate St. Patrick’s day. I stayed at their home for free. Gifted my hosts a St. Patrick’s day table runner I quilted (I make a collection to use as impromptu gifts). We did not go to the parks, but walked about Disney Springs and the resorts instead listening to free music and watching random entertainment. That was frugal. The unfrugal part were the fancy pastries, cocktails and meals we ate as we went along. My friend is a Disney employee so we did get some discounts on our meals and drinks. We went to see Beauty and The Beast in 3D – my friend had free tickets. it was my first 3D movie.

    I did some shopping (un frugal) but some lovely treats and some bargains. Picked up a lovely $150 Vera Bradley purse (mine needs replacing) was marked down at the Disney employee shop to $45 plus another 10% off. Picked up a cute Disney Halloween t shirt for $4 (was originally $39!!). I bought a fancy hand lotion and big bar of soap from L’Occitaine. Pricey, but they should last a very long time and they feel divine.

    Picked up some (desperately needed) shoes for work – they’re even cute. They were on sale and 50% off the 2nd pair – plus they gave me a military discount. By the time I was done, 2 pair cost me less than 1 pair would have even on sale.

    Went out to dinner last night, but brought home the potato and creamed spinach in their entirety, so a few grilled shrimp or a piece of chicken and I’ll have another meal. used my military discount.

    Skipped the grocery store again. This makes 3 weeks.

  50. One year my daughter had no green so I took a blue jean dress she had and put green buttons and ribbons on it. I didn’t know she had no green until like 11:30 PM the night before March 17th so I was glad I had green ribbon silk in my Christmas stuff and for whatever reason I had six large green buttons that matched likely off a ugly Christmas sweater from my MIL so she had green and I took her socks and crocheted with green embroidery thread on them as well. It all looked so cute.

  51. Perhaps you could let your Mom know that your budget only allows for $$ in electric bill and that is why you keep the heat down, HOWEVER, if she would like to take over that bill she could keep the heat as high as she would like.

  52. My Grandmother always saved apple peels and cores in her freezer to get enough to make apple jelly! It worked just fine for her and her jelly was always delicious. Penny S.

  53. Hello! Not to diss ThreadUP, but as a former buyer/sender to them – if you have more time, you might have better results on Ebay or a consignment shop. I usually average 40% more from Ebay and consignment shops than ThreadUP.

  54. I just admire your zip & pep each week.
    Reading your weekly comment is a like a shot of caffeine. 🙂

  55. Aren’t nasturtium blossoms cheery?

    We had a busy week getting the guys ready for a Scout campout, so it feels like we weren’t as on top of things in terms of frugality. We mostly did the “normal” things we do week in, week out. (And a frugal fail of eating out twice–I think.)

    Frugal Efforts

    * Continued to try to eat from the pantry, freezers, and garden as much as possible. We must be making progress, because we were either totally out or nearly out of some staples (including AP flour and bread flour) so we did have to restock some of those items.

    * Sam’s had a “sale” on Tide, so I went ahead and bought another box even though we’d recently bought one. Now we have enough laundry detergent to get us through the summer. (Hubs teaches at a local university, so our income drops some during the summer. We “stock up for summer” rather than the traditional “stocking up for winter.” At least it’s not as bad as when we were both jr. high teachers and didn’t get paid at all during the summer. :p)

    * Hubs washed both vehicles (using a bucket and turning off the hose when not actually rinsing).

    * Made bread and trail mix.

    * Harvested kale, snap peas, green onions, Swiss chard, lettuce, nasturtium blossoms, and a lemon. We’ve been enjoying lovely salads. Collected eggs (we’re getting 3-4 eggs a day at the moment–plenty for the three of us).

    * Hubs rode his bike to work one day.

    Simple Joys

    * Watching our son play tug-o-war with our dog.

    * Smelling a Mr. Lincoln rose that’s blooming in our backyard.

    * Eating apple pie on Pi Day.

    * Taking long walks with my husband.

    * Listening to Hubs teach our son to play the violin.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  56. I breathed a sigh of relief for you…lol. I would not want to pay any of that $134,000.00! Good for you!

  57. I can’t do anything wild, but I can trim my own bangs. I find that using a straightening iron first helps me. I’ve got curl/wave to my hair. Laying it flat helps me to cut it straight across.

  58. Also…is she actively moving or mostly sitting down. Besides a space heater a small electric blanket or heating pad might be an option too.

  59. I’ve seen battery operated socks in hunting section of stores. Use rechargeable batteries. Might be going on sale soon w weather shift or be a good birthday/holiday gift.

  60. Oh your macarons sound delicious! Reading of them reminds me of my trip to Paris a couple of years ago!:)

  61. Oh.my.goodness on your hospital bill. That is crazy, but thankfully for you it was paid. My husband’s hospital bill for his knee replacement a year ago cost only $5000. I might have passed out on the floor if I had opened your invoice.

    I’m able to get Springer Mountain chickens at a local grocery where I live. They always have a coupon in the sales flyer for $1.50 off any pack of Springer chicken. A time or two I’ve found them marked down. Then the sale, along with the coupon, made for delicious chicken at a bargain price.

  62. How can there be such a huge difference in what hospitals charge? My first knee replacement was at the other hospital in our town and was $64,000. I thought that was expensive, till I saw this bill. However, they have to take what your insurance will pay.

  63. Hi Brandy,

    I wanted to thank you for sharing all of your tips and recipes – you have helped me so much with setting up a food storage pantry, not being afraid to try to do things myself, and learning how to garden! We just put in our very first raised bed for vegetables, and I am so excited to help them grow. Thank you! 🙂

    Last week:
    * Built a 4 x 8 raised bed for our first veggie garden
    * Took out some old shrubs that were doing poorly, planted new evergreens, pruned and mulched everything that needed pruning and mulching, and cut up and disposed of all the trimmings and so forth ourselves.
    * Planted a fig tree, blueberry bushes, and raspberry canes.
    * Made challah bread and chicken broth from scratch.
    * Did some large-batch cooking to get ahead on work lunches and weeknight meals for a busy week.
    * Purchased a large amount of soil for the garden (our dirt is very clay-y and not good for plants unless it has some help). We saved [i]several hundred dollars[/i] simply by going to the farm supply store and purchasing it there instead.
    * Purchased some on-sale canned tomatoes, granulated garlic, and sugar for our pantry.
    * I worked on a piece of cross-stitching that will eventually hang in our bedroom, and finished the embroidery on an ornament that will be a gift.
    * Borrowed some books and National Geographic dvds from the library.

  64. Marivene,
    Please keep us (me) in the loop about your new dryer? Our old one died the end of February and we’re still researching new dryer and also washer. Did you pay for an extended warranty at all? Thanks in advance for any feedback. I’m dealing with hanging laundry to dry (actually getting pretty good at it, ha ha.) Never done it before…I can cope but it’s not my most favorite thing in the world.

  65. Krissy, we bought the new dryer at Sears. It is a Maytag. In fact, this is the first time in our married life that both our washer & dryer are the same brand & we did not even notice until after it was delivered. The Kenmore washer from Sears was about $50 less, but Sears/Kmart are closing so may stores, that we wanted an “outside” brand, so it would be easier to service & get parts, etc down the road. So far ti works great. The end of cycle buzzer is loud & obnoxious, but we are not used to having one, & it can be turned off, so I did. We do not ever buy extended warranties. I do hang quite a bit of laundry to dry, anyway. I figure it saves wear & tear on the appliance.

  66. Becky, as I have gotten older, it is simply not possible for me to do everything in a single weekend. If I try, I not only do not get it done, I am sore for weeks. Getting outside for half an hour to an hour every morning works great, while it is still cool outside, & thus is comfortable to wear a long sleeved shirt & appropriate mosquito barrier clothes.

    Growing food is a skill that is easy to lose if one does not renew the skills yearly. I try something new every year. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but I always learn from what I try.

  67. Rachel, I. Don’t. Know. And that is such a big difference in your same town. ??? Where are you located?

  68. Migraines were a big deal in our family too. I had a stressful job and I would often get headaches during a particularly busy week. Retirement was very helpful for mine. I still have one occasionally but I can take one pain pill that I have in the house, have a nap, and it is better. I cannot take migraine medicines because of other medical issues so I could only treat the headaches by showing up at the doctor’s office or the ER, where I would get a shot of some painkiller drug but then have to be driven home by whoever I found to come with me. My doctor was very good about that–most helpful when you can just drop in and get what you need. (IF the office was open at the time.)

  69. Hens are laying well enabling me to share 5 doz farm fresh eggs in the past two weeks. Trying to play pantry challenge. It goes well until I run across a deal too good to pass up like yesterday I got packages of frozen burritos in 6 count packages for 98 cents. I loaded several into the freezer. Even so the grocery bill for march is 106.00 so far. I’m trying to keep it under 200. Made bread cinnamon rolls and pizza dough. Made pizza last night and had lots for leftovers. Today I made chicken ginger noodle soup. Since its cold and blustery today again I presume that spring is still awhile away

  70. Wow, such great deals on eggs! The lowest i’ve seen here is .99/dozen

    * Did some prep for the week last sunday ~ hardboiled eggs, cut fruit & veg, made “grab and go” salads, batch of cinnamon rolls, and 2 pans tater tot casserole. I have 3 teens ~ didn’t last long….LOL
    * my safeway card had some freebies on it that my daughter picked up for me ~ sparkling water, 2 yogurts, and some teddy graham item. Also had her pick up a few sale items
    * also was able to get 5# potatoes for .99
    * took my son and myself for eye exams (covered by insurance). I thought my son might need new glasses (he’s had these for nearly 3 years) but his prescription is still good 🙂
    * my daughter was on spring break this past week so it was nice to spend some extra time with her 🙂

  71. Thanks so much, Marivene. Trying to find something that is cost effective, good load capacity, and at a fair price has been daunting for sure. I am also 5′ 3″ so my short arms have a bit of trouble reaching the bottom of the newer washer basket, and stacking W/D stack too high. Husband is 6′ 4″ so he does the tall guy stuff, but laundry is usually done while he’s at work. I appreciate your feedback on this (and am always happy when you post here! I aspire to be as awesome as you and Brandy and TerriC and Becky and Athanasia, and so many other regular posters.
    So many wonderful contributors here, I am consistently humbled and amazed.)

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