Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Meyer Lemons and Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

I picked more lemons from the garden.

I gave the baby a haircut. 

I used Recyclebank points to get a free two-year magazine subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.

Our bank decided to start charging $5 per paper statement. We changed to get online statements, for which they do not charge.

I have been trying on a few different items of clothing each day to see what will fit and what will not. Most everything no longer fits, and so I have been putting it aside to donate. I am keeping some things that are too large to either try taking in or to just keep wearing until I can find something to replace them. Some things still fit, but fit better. Those will stay.

I studied French using free online sources.

I made a decision to not purchase two things that appeared to be needs. I realized I could make do with what I have and save myself a few dollars.

From the garden, I harvested lettuce, arugula, and radishes, which we used in a couple of salads.

My Swiss chard plants are huge and starting to bolt. I offered Swiss chard to several people. I was able to give huge amounts away to a couple of friends, who told me they like to saute it with garlic and also use it in homemade ravioli. I plan on trying cooking some both ways!

I harvested Swiss chard for us and used it in two frittatas, steamed it as a side dish, and in a stir fry. 

I cooked a large batch of black beans in the crockpot and made taco soup one day and bean burritos another day. 

Snow Peas The Prudent Homemaker

I made museum pasta salad using green onions and snow peas from the garden. 

I mended a hole in a sweater. I mended a dress.

Eagle Scout Project The Prudent Homemaker

My son was able to get almost all of the supplies (save for $4 worth) donated for his Eagle Scout project, which happened this past week.

My mom went to a few garage sales and came back with 4 large boxes of books for $15! They are for grades K through 2 from a retired teacher. My girls have been enjoying having several new books to read.

My mom bought a skirt for me at a garage sale for $0.50. The skirt isn’t quite my style, but it has shell buttons. These buttons would cost more than that, so I will keep the buttons and use them on a blouse.

My parents were given a large lot of men’s shirts, several of which were my husband’s size. He chose the ones he liked and we will donate the rest. They are long-sleeved shirts, and I will turn most of them into short-sleeved shirts, as that is what he needs for most of the year in our climate.

After 17 years of not having a cell phone (I had a work one paid for by work company 17 years ago) I switched our home phone for a cell phone. Our home phone had gone up and I wanted to change it before the next month’s billing. I went with Metro PCS, which is who my husband uses for his work cell. Their lowest plan is $30 a month for unlimited everything (that includes taxes) and there is no contract (you pay each month and can leave at any time). Since we combined our plans together, they have a discount of $5 per line, so my husband’s bill went down $5 to $25 and I now have a cell phone for $25–just under what my home phone had gone up to–plus I have the ability to call long distance (which was becoming needful as many people I need to call for church have moved in and kept their out-of-state cell numbers). They had a phone deal where you can get a free phone (though you still have to pay sales tax on the price of the phone).  

I downloaded several free apps, and I’m on Instagram now; you can find me under “theprudenthomemaker”.

 

What did you do to save money this past week?

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87 Comments

  1. Those sound like good ideas for the swiss chard, especially the ravioli! Those snow peas look wonderful, too. I have some chard that I overwintered, but have not been able to plant anything new, since it’s been so wet. However, my husband tilled a test strip in the garden yesterday after a few dry days, and says it won’t be long if it stays dry. I am not used to using chard, and purposely chose a green, mild kind, since the other time I tried it if was too strong for the family. Since the new leaves have been growing, I have used it twice, carefully picking only a large handful each time. I have put it into spaghetti sauce both times, and have had no complaints. I can see that I will soon have a large quantity. With the sunshine of the past few days, it’s growing like crazy.

    We were given a few food items, which we ate. We got away for a few days to the coast, in our camper, using our free park pass. We ate out a couple of times, but mostly ate from the camper. We save up our change in a can, and over time, have enough money to use for eating out when we get away. We used that up, and will start filling the can again.

    The way we saved the most money was to pack “car picnics” at least 4 times that I can remember. At bare minimum, we saved $100 and up to $200, depending on the fast food or restaurant choice we would have made.

    https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/saving-money-march-26-2017/

  2. The peas look so good. I hope we’ll be getting a harvest from ours a few weeks down the road. I’ve never made ravioli, but your mention of swiss chard filling makes we want to try. The voles are really hurting our crop this year, chewing all the roots on them. They’ve killed a dozen or more chard plants already. Gardening is always an adventure! Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/04/early-spring-on-homestead-frugal.html

  3. This was good. I have also been going through clothing. My baby is 4.5. I lost the baby weight when he was 2. Recently found some clothing I had set aside. Tried it all on a few times. Sadly let go of the shirts that are too small (shoulders and ribcage are broader now), but happy that the pants fit.

    Donated to the local charity, turned in two pairs of black dress pants… One too big and one too small. Just happened to find a pair there that fit perfectly ( very hard!) Bought them.

    Today I am avoiding an online shopping party. Last week we were on spring break and took a short trip.

    We saved money on it by
    1. Choosing a cabin 20 min north of the big more popular destination. Savings: $800, $200 per night
    2. Cooking all our meals in the cabin. Savings: who knows.
    3. Taking some of our own groceries. Definite savings because there is tax at the grocery store there. And higher prices
    4. Choosing sledding (free) over skiing ($600 per day!!)
    5. Having lunch at Costco on the way there ($10 instead of $30)
    6. Stopping to take pics of poppies on the side of the road (free) instead of going to the preserve ($10)
    7. When we got back, still three days of spring break. Hubby and I split the work days (work at home for half, at work for half). Savings: $130 per day of camp fees, times two. The third day (today) no camp anyway.

    Also I’ve been playing the Vons Monopoly game. I’ve gotten coupons for free tissues, buns corn, sour cream, and bagels so far.

    Saturday I baked your rosemary olive oil bread. It’s a favorite.

  4. I had the week off for Spring Break so I was super productive. It was a little expensive, but worth the investment in our home.

    Found beautiful glass tile on clearance (originally $25 a sheet, I got it for $4 a sheet) and tiled the bar top (has been just a piece of plywood for years). Since I only needed 7 sheets, this was a bargain for such a beautiful addition. Borrowed the tools I needed to install it.

    Picked up a paint brush and rollers at Habitat for Humanity (brand new) also several partial rolls of painting tape and the mastic for the tile for a total of $15.

    ACE hardware had paint buy 2 gallons, get 1 free. Bought 6 gallons.

    Bought the parts to repair the dripping kitchen faucet. I have been collecting the leak water for my plants and the cat for a couple of weeks.

    Picked up cat dewormer at the Feed Store instead of the vet. Much cheaper this way.

    Scrubbed the walls, ceilings and baseboards in the living room, dining room, hallway, bathroom and guest room, fixed holes and dents, and then repainted them.

    Painted the risers on the stairwell. I will keep watching Habitat for some paint to repaint the stair treads as I will need less than 1 quart.

    Took down and ran the AC vents, ceiling light globes, light switch covers, and ceiling fan blades through the dishwasher.

    Washed curtains and mini blinds. 2 mini blinds really need to be replaced, but am thinking I may invest in professional blinds now that the puppy is no longer eating them.

    Checked and recycled my water storage.

    Scrubbed, sealed and polished the granite counter tops.
    Deep cleaned the oven, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. This maintenance should help them last longer and be more efficient.
    Deep cleaned the beds.
    Inventoried my food storage. I still need to do the freezer, but it’s progress.
    Moved the refrigerator, freezer and stove and cleaned beneath them.
    Decluttered the living room, dining room and hall cabinets.

    Melted the retrieved candle wax from the winter and recast new emergency candles.

    A friend treated me to a wine tasting a few weeks ago and I returned the favor this week.

    Semi-frugal
    Bought a pair of leggings (at full price) but their addition will make 4 different tops wearable this spring/summer.

    Treated myself to a microderm and deep cleaning facial at a local beauty school. They were running a special, so it was only $30 for the service and I got a set of face creams valued at over $40 as a free gift. While I was there decided to get my brows done, but they used me as a demo for the class so my service was free!

  5. I love the picture of your lemons — they look so luscious! I honestly thought they might be plums at first! And I’m curious what your son did for his Eagle Scout project!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – Made a batch of pea soup, using up some dried peas that I’d had for a while, the last of a bunch of parsley, some discounted bacon (a treat for the DH, as I’m veg), some dehydrated celery, and some storage potatoes. (http://approachingfood.com/pea-soup-ham/)
    – Treated myself to a Starbucks drink when I was waiting for an appointment – but no money out of pocket because I used a gift certificate from Swagbucks!
    – Tried a new hair dresser, for half the price of my usual one. Not as good a haircut, so I won’t switch permanently, but may use this one occasionally to cut costs.
    – Was given some oregano to take home after a dinner party, dried it, and added it to my spice jar of oregano.
    – Dehydrated some more clementine peels, and added them to my tub scrub jar (baking soda and clementine powder). I now have enough tub scrub for at least two months, and it cost me only the price of the baking soda (which I bought on sale). Plus, the scent of the clementines is keeping my bathroom spelling fresh!
    – Found some slightly past expiry boxed juice (guanabana, a tropical fruit) in my pantry and mixed it with homemade soda water to make a healthy fruit soda.
    – Made iced tea from loose leaf tea gifted to me.
    – Did the usual of taking homemade plain soda water with me to work each day. I much prefer it over plain water, which means I drink more, and stay hydrated.
    – Made a batch of my granola, and added in some psyllium powder for extra fibre-y goodness (it’s the only way I’ve found that I can eat psyllium powder without choking on it). Plus, it makes the granola clumpier, without using egg whites!
    – I needed a new kitchen whisk, as my old one from the dollar store had been coming apart for over a year (and I had been fixing it each time it broke), so I priced them out in different places. I found that Canadian Tire had the cheapest KitchenAid one, cheaper even than Walmart (by 50%), and definitely cheaper than Amazon (by 75%).
    – I ordered some items from Amazon using gift cards that I had earned by doing surveys online. I ordered two chocolate bunny molds (small and large bunnies) and a mint julep cup for flower arranging (Can you tell I’ve been influenced by Brandy? What can I say, she has great taste!) and I ordered a nice resin flowerpot that looks like marble, and can be used indoors or outdoors (it has a removable plug in the bottom). I ended up paying $1.03 out of pocket, and got free shipping!
    – I earned $75 cat-sitting for someone in my neighbourhood. Cash and cat cuddles are the best combo! 
    – Washed and dried eggshells, and ground them to add to dirt in my balcony garden.
    – I made blueberry lemon scones for breakfast one day. I used blueberries that I had dehydrated last summer, lemon zest from my freezer, shortening that was gifted to me from a friend, and flour that I only ever buy on sale. Very frugal scones – not to mention, tasty! I froze most of them for future snacks.
    – Brought a gift box home from my work that was going to be thrown out. Perfect size for mugs or cupcakes!
    – As for inexpensive fun this week, I auditioned for The Great Canadian Baking Show which is the Canadian version of The Great British Bake-Off! (http://approachingfood.com/what-i-learned-auditioning-for-the-great-canadian-baking-show/) I didn’t think it was going to be frugal as I baked some ganache-topped chocolate-cherry brownies to bring, although I did buy the cherries from a bulk store and used chocolate both gifted to me and bought in giant bags at Costco, as well as using leftover wine (to soak the cherries in), but I ended up coming home with a big bag of blueberry lemon scones, so I think I probably broke even. It was a really fun experience!
    – Another lovely thing that happened this week, was that my husband told me that he didn’t worry what would happen if our income suddenly dropped, because he knew I would be able to manage on whatever income we had. I was very touched by his faith in me!
    – I planted the start of my balcony garden! I planted lettuce (in the sunniest spot on my balcony, to try to avoid ‘leggy lettuce’), radishes, nasturtiums, and peppers. We still had freezing temperatures last week, but this coming week is above zero, so I’m hoping it isn’t too early to plant. Some weeds had already sprouted in the pots on the balcony, so I think it must be growing weather!
    – Went through my condo and set aside some items to sell on Craigslist or Bunz.
    – Redeemed Pinecone Researches rewards for $5 to my Paypal account

    And that was my week! Looking forward to learning what everyone else did!

  6. Our apartment complex sent out a notice Friday that this year they will have a community garden with 20 by 10 plots for $35 each. We signed up for 2 plots. We’ll be able to grow a sauce and salsa garden to meet most of our needs for the year. Since our utilities are included in the rent the canning process won’t cost us any additional money over our initial investment in the plot and seeds.

  7. Welcome to the cellular world Brandy! We should probably get rid of our landline and just use our cell phones, but we have a very low rate and I always worry if there is a babysitter here (even though they all have cell phones) having a landline is best. Of course, we haven’t had a babysitter here in over 8 months….but this is the mind of a mother I guess….

    This month I did some things to save money – but I had some purchases that needed to be made, so I tried to focus on making the most efficient and wise use of my money as possible (like buying things that were 50% off, using Ebates, etc.). We are preparing for Easter and Mother’s Day, and the good news is I now feel like I am ready and I can relax and enjoy the month of April. I also re examined what grocery items we are buying at certain stores and where the best value currently is.
    You can read what I did to save money this month here:
    http://www.lifefreedomfamily.com/2017/04/the-great-grocery-project-march-recap.html

  8. Congratulations to your son on completing his Eagle Project. This is such an accomplishment and an achievement which will have lifelong benefits! The Boy Scouts have truly been a blessing to my boys as they have learned some fabulous skills, established great friendships, and avenues to help others. We are blessed to have two Eagles in our family.

  9. Drove back from a visit with our daughter in Washington. I brought back a cheese knife for the cheese plate that I hand carried back when I flew last visit, along with a scarf that she was gifted & does not use, that will go with several of my outfits. The drive is long, but follows the Columbia River for part of it, & the scenery is beautiful. Driving costs less than half of what the plane ticket costs, but the plane takes ¼ of the time.

    Cut several vases of daffodils from the beds before the snow came again midweek.

    Continued to dig out at least one tree pot full of weeds or grass roots from the growing beds each day. Planted some spinach.

    Our dandelions are up in the “dandelion salad bed” which protects them from being accidentally sprayed. We have had several salads, & I have added them to a couple of stews as well. Here along the Wasatch Front, the dandelions are up & growing long before the cloched lettuce is ready, & still growing long after it bolts in the heat. We use them in salads until they flower, then as a spinach substitute, so the cooking removes the bitterness.

    Pulled the grass mulch covering back from a section about a yard wide of the back perimeter bed. Dug a shallow trench & filled it with cut pieces of the fir branches I trimmed from one of the curbside rescue trees that morning. Pulled the dirt over top, then dug a 2nd trench in the bed behind the first & filled it the same way. Spread the grass covering back over the top. Later in the week, I cut the remaining branches from one of the curbside rescue fir trees & dropped them over the fence to the back yard. Tossed the trunk over the fence, then moved it to the woodpile area to dry. Placed a large handful of the cut branches over the area I trenched earlier on the back perimeter, to be handy to cut into pieces when I trenched the next section in the bed.

    Bought some garlic knots from the bargain basket to try. They were very inexpensive, & were very good, too. I intend to duplicate the recipe. Bought 2 whole chickens on sale. I baked one for dinner that night, & put the other one in the freezer.

    Bought a set of wooden eggs on sale. I put them in a footed silver fruit compote bought years ago at the thrift, with a little brown shredded paper saved from a Hickory Farms Christmas box. I also use the brown shredded paper around a small ceramic lamb that I set on a green footed cake plate. I keep the paper in a zip bag in the same box as the Easter decorations, & use it every year.

    Bought 3 half pint jars & 2 tall jelly jars at Deseret Industries, along with 3 little shirts for my granddaughter. I had filled a box to donate as I decluttered, but I forgot to take it with me, so I will take it next time. I always look for little tops at the thrift, because I refuse to buy “licensed” clothing, with Disney, Pooh, etc on them. My grandchildren are not walking advertisements, & they can look very nice without being taught to listen to the marketing voices.

    I disposed of the remaining brown rice that had gone rancid, & washed the bucket out well. DH does not like brown rice, & with just the 2 or us, we cannot use it fast enough, so I will not be buying more. The case lot sales are on now, so I purchased white long grain rice to fill that bucket. It is taller than most of mine, & I was pleasantly surprised to find that it held two 20 pound sacks, easily.

  10. Brandy those lemons look gorgeous!

    As a scout parent, I was wondering what the Eagle Scout project is? We had a cub scout sleep over Friday night (my guys are Tigers) and we were able to provide homemade macaroni and cheese (made in the instant pot) for 30 boys and Dads. I also made homemade granola (your recipe), homemade yogurt and kolaches this week. If you aren’t familiar with the Texas kolache, they are easy to bake. http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2017/04/kolache-try-a-taste-of-texas/. I collaborated with an amazing baker with her own blog on these and the result is recipes for both savory and sweet kolaches.

    In other news, my husband cleaned out the garage (a marked improvement) and I got all our lettuce and early spring seeds in with the children this week. My goal is to donate a large amount of clothes that have been outgrown to the church thrift shop this week.

  11. What an amazing list of accomplishments, Brandy! Those fresh picked lemons look amazing, too. Looks like your son is having a great time working on the project with his friends. What were they making?

    I spent a bit more this week than usual. I had expressed to my husband that I was feeling like the pantry/freezers were getting empty, even though I know that we have plenty. I was feeling the need to replenish some things. Thankfully, I was able to get some great deals and stock up my pantry/freezer a bit. I’m now buying frozen veggies regularly, as our frozen stock from last summer is nearly gone. With the knowledge that it wasn’t enough, this year I hope to blanch and freeze more. Last summer was extremely hot and dry, so many fruit and vegetables did not produce well. I just hope we have a better summer this year for gardens. This week, my frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included chicken low mein stir fry, ham & cheese crescent rolls with green beans and corn mix, chicken souvlaki with rice and corn, taco bake with salad, pasta with optional sliced sausage and choice of sauce, and chicken ranch tacos with salad. I didn’t plan it, but I guess it was international food week for us!
    *I have finally convinced DD and DH to use the smaller plates my mom and I use for dinner. Hoping this will help with portion control and possibly decrease the amount of food I need to make. Also convinced DD she does not need to eat potato chips for snack every night. She will now only have potato chips as a snack on the weekend. Since she is on the autism spectrum and doesn’t like to change her routine, this is a huge win! Good for our everyone’s health and will save some money!;)
    *I picked up some great deals this week with groceries. I bought 6 loaves of high quality bread for $1/loaf (marked 50% off a sale price), 4 bags of English muffins @ $1/6 pack, 6 containers of margarine for $1/container (daughter’s favourite brand), a mini watermelon for $2, 2 bags of fresh spinach for $1/bag, 4 jars of peanut butter for $4.79/2kg jar, 2 dozen eggs @ $1.77/dozen (cheapest price around here) and 2 jars of salsa @ $2/jar. Also stocked up on some regularly used items that were depleted or low in my pantry.
    *Stopped by a local store that was having a good sale on meat. Picked up 15 packs of bacon for $1/375g (amazing price!!!), 20 packs of Schneider’s Mac & Cheese loaf @ $1.49/6 slice pack (DD and I love this meat – reg price over $4/pack), 6 cans of Heinz pasta for $0.79/can (I like to keep some in pantry for emergency use), 4 “sub packs” (3 kinds of meat for sub sandwiches) for $2.29/pack and a large pack of pepperoni luncheon meat for $2.99/pack (DH favourite). Most of the meat went into freezer to pull as needed (pepperoni luncheon meat was divided in 3 – packaged 2 with food saver for freezer). The cold meat is so handy for lunch options or in the summer when it’s too hot to cook anything!
    *Made applesauce bran muffins (recipe link: http://homegrownandhealthy.com/applesauce-bran-muffins/), using the free bran I was gifted from my work. I also added 3 small, peeled and chopped apples, to use them up. These will be used for my daughter’s school lunches this coming week as well as for a breakfast or snack option.
    *Went to a thrift store 50% off sale. Bought 2 pairs of capris and a night shirt for DD, a knit sweater for myself and 4 beautiful curtain panels to use for future sewing projects. Total price for everything was $26!
    *Took my daughter to the last free lazer tag event I signed her up for through Autism Ontario. Good exercise and gets her out of the house to do some much needed socializing!
    [b]Life’s joyful moments this week:[/b]
    *My husband took me out for dinner and a movie on Friday! We don’t have many date nights, so they are extra special when we do. We saw the movie “Life” (sci-fi movie). It was pretty good, but some very graphic scenes were involved, so not for everyone. We wanted to see the movie “The Zookeeper’s Wife” but it wasn’t showing at our theater yet. :p We plan to go on another date when it does come out.
    *Went for a walk and enjoyed the beautiful, spring like weather we are having. Spring is finally starting to arrive. It felt so good to get outside in the warm sun and fresh air after a long dreary winter!

    Hope everyone had a great week!

  12. My husband came down with the flu last week so doctor’s visits and medicines were definitely not frugal – especially since his new flexible spending plan at his job doesn’t kick until until April 1. So far, no one else has caught it and it’s been several days since his fever broke. Thankfully, I believe we are out of the woods for the kids getting it!

    My FitBit Charge died on Monday and it wasn’t covered under the warranty any longer. I had a 7 mile race on Saturday so I definitely wanted one before I had to run. I was able to resurrect my old Flex and get it to charge before the race. Even though I like the Charge much better, using my old Flex will save me $150!

  13. I would also love to know the project. My son built a raised bed teaching garden for a local preschool with a bench for the parents.

  14. My kid was released from the hospital after ten days. I have good insurance, but lousy leave time so I spent most days working, then racing to the hospital one and a half hours away one way. I am still tired. I had to work to keep the good insurance. Fortunately, this hospital stay was covered under my insurance. Unfortunately, he is aging out this month from my insurance and my good insurance COBRA cost will be $1000 a month, rather than the $350. Still, I am grateful for modern medicine, and he is still alive, which is a miracle I attribute to God. My car gas bill was definitely not frugal, and I certainly grabbed a lot of food to go. I did, once he got out, dye my hair for $3.00, and cut my rather ragged looking hair my own self. I also, when I got home, gathered dandelion greens, sauteed them in garlic powder, chili powder, sea salt, olive oil, cooked an egg, and topped it with the dandelion greens, onions, tomato, parm. cheese, and a dab of sour cream. It was nice. There is joy in the simple things. We all just do the best we can to be frugal, under whatever circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment. I hope everyone has a lovely week.

  15. I’ve never heard of using Swiss chard in ravioli, but that sounds really good. Do you like having a cell phone again after going without it for so long? Must be a big change. I feel like having a phone on me 24/7 means never getting a break from calls/texts/work!

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons/rebates whenever possible. I recently found free gum, $0.71 tea boxes and $0.79 milk at Target. At Shaw’s (New England grocery chain), I found lots of $0.99 items like ketchup, mustard, hot dogs, and rolls. Everything was available by using the store’s digital coupon app. All of my transactions with pics here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-040117/

  16. Hi Margaret, that must have been quite an experience auditioning for the baking show!
    I, again, tried to read your blog today but for me it doesn’t work. Along the whole left side is a banner going down with 6 or 7 icons like the bird and the letter and the G and the F etc. They cover up the beginning of every line of your post (approx 1-2 words in). Maybe it works out fine on other people’s computers but not on mine. Also I cannot get rid of the banner. Several others have a set up like this and I also cannot read theirs. Is there some reason that banner cannot be at the end of the post i.e. the bottom of the page? Thanks.

  17. We’ve had a lot of breezy sunshine and low (for Florida) humidity — about 45% — so I washed and dried my one real little wool oriental rug . I wash it with a hose and mild soap, elevated on slats or something else that lets air flow, rinse well with the hose, and let dry. It feels so good on bare feet when it’s done, and I save a lot of money by not dry cleaning it.
    We grocery shop after church since we attend church in a larger town than we live in, but this puts us shopping through lunch. We ate a huge, yummy but cheap slice of pizza and a cup of delicious and also cheap soup from the deli. We keep drinks in a cooler in the car, so we don’t have to buy any.
    I used fresh spinach in a salad then used the rest of it in tacos, on homemade tortillas, so none of it went bad.
    I used limp celery in cooked dishes where the limpness wasn’t noticeable, and I used stale crackers in salmon croquettes. The canned salmon was bought on sale.
    I refused to go anywhere over the weekend unless I had several errands to run.
    I made good, thick, homemade ranch dressing using a dry mix I make and fresh buttermilk. mayo and sour cream. I’ll use the rest of the buttermilk in cooking, or I’ll freeze it. The homemade dry mix is cheaper than the store-bought mix, especially if I get the spices in bulk.
    We are trying to keep our spending low, although we’ve made some long-needed purchases. We are keeping it to what we NEED, not what we WANT, though.

  18. Hi Athanasia! Thanks for letting me know about the blog issue. It sounds like my image/posting sharing tools from sumo are the issue. I’ll contact them tonight after work and try to figure out how to resolve the issue. I’m thinking the problem might be only on some computers or operating systems. Thanks for letting me know so that I can fix it! And by the way, I always love hearing about all your accomplishments and life on your family farm!

  19. Our frugal accomplishments for the week:

    *Cooked a whole chicken in slow cooker, made chicken and dumpling soup with the bones and reserved the meat for the soup, some pizza, and an enchilada casserole.

    * Opened the windows to let the house air out in the warm weather instead of using air fresheners.

    * Picked up onions for 52c for 2 lbs after a Checkout 51 rebate, ketchup for 66c a bottle, and grapes for 99c per lb

    * Invited a friend over to hang out instead of going out to eat. We made homemade pizza instead! She also brought me clothes from a sample sale at her work, too, so that was greatly appreciated.

    * Packed lunches to bring to work, and cooked potatoes for breakfasts for this week.

    * Used some packet mixes from the pantry to make a quick dinner instead of eating out.

    * Made lots of popcorn for snacking instead of buying chips.

    This week has been super busy for me, so I haven’t had time to do much other than work and sleep 🙁 I can see the end of the tunnel though, and I can’t wait for May!

  20. We live in Estonia, this is in Northern Europe. Probably the same sort of weather as in Alaska (or just a little bit warmer).
    On several days this week the weather was warm enough to heat just a part of the house. We heat with wood, but there are three big and two smaller heaters in our home. We saved a lot of firewood because of the warmer weather.
    Two pairs of our three boys’ nice winter boots needed repairing. My husband glued one pair back together again, and I did the sewing at the other. Hopefully they won’t need any boots in a couple of weeks (wearing shoes), but it seems really wasteful to buy new ones just for two weeks!
    We cooked most of our food from the pantry. I only want to buy milk, eggs and rye bread for the next week or so, too.
    My husband went shopping for some groceries and used up all his bonus points, lowering the bill by 40%.
    I bought and replanted a basil plant. Me and all children love basil, but it is hard to keep a store-bought plant alive. Maybe this time …
    Since the weather was quite mild, I was able to start working in the garden. I took a lot of compost to the greenhouse and planted there some radish seeds. Radishes are the first vegetables that will grow in the spring, it will take a couple of weeks before I can plant something else.
    I had planted some tomato seeds in the pots indoors and they started to grow.
    Also, I have on the windowsill three onions that had sprouted. We all love onion shoots on rye bread, it is a classical childhood springtime food in Estonia.

    Sorry about my poor English – it is not my first (or second) language.

  21. Made all meals at home. Shopping for the most part out of my freezer and pantry. Trying to not purchase anything I can get along without. Lots of egg breakfasts…salads for lunch and dinner. Hens are laying well so we can share. Surely spring isn’t far away. I certainly am ready

  22. reet, your English is incredible for not being a first or second language. It is much better than my French, which is my second language.

  23. Your posts and comments are inspiring. I have a large financial goal that will only be accomplished by lowering spending, so I will be reading. 🙂
    This week:
    I washed and groomed the dog, cut the boys hair, made all meals at home. I requested a book from the library for a book club. I shopped at the end of season clearance sale at the thrift store and added the things I bought to my clothing inventory note in my phone. I made many soups, breads and casseroles so far and bought most of the food on manager special. I need to be more intentional with groceries and meal planning.

  24. I love your photo of the bicolor lilac. I have been looking at that in the plant catalogs for a couple years. I really want a dark purple one but I might settle for the bicolor one as I have not found the dark purple anywhere.

    It was cool enough to make soup again this week–I made a large pot of sausage and lentil soup. It makes about three meals for us–one went into the freezer and the other extra meal was eaten a couple days later. We really enjoyed it. It is a copycat recipe from a soup that Carrabba’s makes. I keep getting it closer to the original–still needs a bit more crushed red pepper, but I am almost done tweaking it.

    I was also careful to use chicken at appropriate intervals. Made a chicken and pasta casserole, and another night chicken cutlets. Was seriously overstocked on boneless chicken breasts.

    I have also decided to cut down entirely on the food stores I have been keeping in the freezer. With only two of us, I really don’t need to stock quite so far ahead, and I don’t want the occasional freezer burn either. I have been cutting it off and it doesn’t waste very much, but faster turnaround on the freezer supplies would be even less wasteful. I had requested and received mini bread tins at Christmas time and have managed only one recipe of banana bread so far–and there is only one mini loaf left. I need to get busy with baking a couple more kinds so there is more variety. The mini loaves are perfect for two people, and you get at least 3 meals from each loaf. Sometimes a full sized loaf does not get used entirely before it’s no longer edible. I am trying to avoid any waste.

    We had faster internet installed yesterday (Yes, I was surprised also to have installation on Sunday) and today I cancelled the former way-too-slow internet. We are slowly changing over but will now experiment with what TV shows we can pull in with Fire Stick before deciding if we can cancel satellite TV service. At 74, you can manage to watch a lot more TV than we used to. The faster internet is wonderful so far, and we’ve barely started to experiment with our options.

  25. What did we do to save money?!?! Sold our house that has been on the market for almost a year!!! Now to pay off some debt with some of the proceeds.

  26. I am starting to find my groove again in saving money, especially in the grocery department. We used up 90% of what we had before purchasing anything. I have also learned to only allow my self to shop up to twice a week: one at Hy-Vee to get 10% off Health Market items (my girls and I are dairy free due to allergies, and I have many more food allergies/sensitivities) on Wednesdays, and then to Aldis on Saturday or Sunday. I’ve also have been forcing myself to make a menu each week to use up what we do have on hand and add the rest through Aldis (love that store:). Last night we had Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and getting ready for this week, so I put a whole chicken in the crockpot for supper. After supper, I added left over veggies to make chicken bone broth.

    In addition to saving money on groceries, we have borrowed books from our library, I have been taking surveys daily on Inbox, made most of my coffee at home and when I have a coffee card available (due to my birthday last month), I will use that. Every little bit helps.

    Our next step is to save some money so we can replace our siding on the north and south side of our house. It needs it badly. After pricing materials, etc. I think we are going to go with masonite siding (not vinyl siding) so it matches with the front and back. We will do the labor ourselves (with some help from family and friends right now). The exciting part is choosing which color we want 🙂

  27. It is exciting to see Brandy getting mail from Estonia!! your English is super reet, write more and often!! its interesting to learn of people in other countries and hear how they live. thanks for sharing with us. Here off the west coast of Canada we are preparing seeds, beginning to plant, so much we share is similar. Ann Lee on Vancouver Island BC Canada

  28. We are part of a Christian health share ministry called Samaritan. It is nonprofit and we pay $495 per month for a family of 5. After $300 worth of expenses for an illness the rest of the bills are “shared” and paid 100%. There are a few different health share ministries available and I encourage you to check them out. (Christian Healthcare). We are so glad that we don’t have to worry about huge medical bills or insurance companies telling us where to go or when we can have a treatment. We see any doc of our choice and treatment is decided with your doc period. Best wishes for your son’s health.

  29. Rainbow Swiss Chard is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s nice to read about here. Here is Minnesota spring has arrived but it isn’t quite warm enough to grow any yet. In season, I like to sauté it with garlic, olive oil and a splash of balsamic. I added some to a newer (to me) recipe, spoon bread. (King Arthur has a good basic recipe.) I was delighted to have a nice frugal meal that is low effort. Sauté whatever ingredients you want to add and set aside. Stir 1/3 cup cornmeal and 1 cup of milk with pinch salt over medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens to a pudding like consistency. Set aside. While that cools, wish two eggs and add the other ingredients. Combine all together and back for 30 minutes. A little cheese/butter can only help, as they usually with food.
    Thanks for the food and home inspiration!

  30. I ate or made most of my meals at home. I am working on cleaning out my pantry and freezer. I’ve decided that I can only change one area in my life at a time. So for now, I’ve decided to purchase “convenience” items such as pre-cut vegetables and bagged lettuce and some meats already seasoned. And not exclusively shop sales. I always have such good intentions and fail at them and waste so much food…I am hoping that if I have these easier things ready to go I will eat better. I’ve got a meal plan so there will be little waste, just mostly foods that are already portioned and mostly prepared. I’m on a low sodium diet and trying to do it all at once just isn’t working. I’m going to try and ease into it slowly trying one new recipe a week. I’m single so I can afford to do this, and in the long run it may be cheaper.

    I think that I have kicked my two or three cans of coke a day habit. I am trying to drink more water. I only have a Coke when I eat pizza and I’ve told myself that I will only eat pizza if I’m with someone. So it will be a treat and I will socialize which I need to do.

    I’ve found a very short cruise affordable cruise for Christian women next winter and I’ve talked my Mom into going with me. It leaves from Tampa for three days and one of those days is in Mexico. She has a friend who winters in Tampa so we might have a place to spend a night if we want to sight see. Mom will be 75 and has arthritis, but is game to go and I think if we don’t we’ll regret it.

    I took another car load of stuff the local thrift store.

    I am walking my dog three times a day and increasing what I do. Soon I’ll add bike riding to this also.

    I gave my dog a haircut. Good thing it grows back and that he doesn’t care. But it is better then the last time. :p

    I used the library to borrow books.

    I got my sewing machine out and set up!

    I am going through my things again to continue to lighten the load. At the same time I’m trying to find multi purpose uses for things I already have. I finding that fewer better made things are best.

    I am making a bug out bag, an every day carry bag and a winter car bag. Brandi your preparedness post was helpful, well except for the winter kit that involved snow…I had to look for guidance elsewhere.

    I am also working on some self care which I haven’t done in a long time.

    Hope everyone has a good week!

    I am saving

  31. Here’s my frugal tasks for the week-

    * Made lots of olive oil soaps. The recipe will be posted next week.

    * Picked lettuce, lots of tomatoes, raspberries, strawberry guavas and a few strawberries.

    * Went to Kaisercraft at The Glen shopping centre for their 30% off store wide closing down sale. I stocked up on lots of craft paper, a few stamps and ink pads, die cuts and an embossing folder. Some of these items have been put away for Darren to give me for Mother’s Day and my birthday later in the year.

    * Made all meals from scratch using what we have on hand.

    * Took lunch and water bottles when I was out at my niece’s music concert over lunchtime. I also carried muesli bars when shopping. These came in handy as I ended up spending more time than planned at the shops ” just looking “. The muesli bar prevented me from buying morning tea ( a saving of about $7 ).

    * Took up a pair of Darren’s jeans ( saving of $15 – $20 )

    * Our ducted heating isn’t working at the moment and the weather has turned a little cool. I dug out two electric fan heaters from the shed to use. Thankfully they work really well so I don’t need them on for long. One can heat up a room in 10 minutes. I’ve closed doors so the heat stays in the area I’m in.

    * Silverside ( corned beef ) was on sale at the supermarket on Thursday for $5.99 kg. We haven’t had silverside on the menu for almost a year because it’s been too dear. At this sale price you can imagine I stocked up. Thankfully the meat fund is healthy at the moment due to the freezer melt down reimbursement.

    * Saved lots of shower water and poured it into the washing machine.

    * Bought a laundry pack from our church for $5. The money raised from these packs goes to a charity called Zoe International. In the pack was a box of laundry powder, a box of dishwasher tablets, two microfiber cloths and a packet of pegs. One lady at church did a swap with me. She didn’t want the laundry powder and I didn’t need the dishwasher tablets. A win win for both of us.

    * Made 7 jars of strawberry jam using fruit from our garden I’d been picking and freezing. I also made 8 jars of plum jam.

    * Cooked another bulk lot of tomatoes into pasta sauce. Once again I weighed the cooked tomatoes into 410 gram tin portions and froze. I think that makes a total of 26 tins worth this year. I still have more tomatoes to cook so I might make tomato relish next.

    * With the girls out and about a fair bit at night Darren and I were able to improve on the two light rule. Some nights we had one light on and other nights we had no lights while watching the tv.

    * Knitted a dish cloth.

    * Fed the compost bins with kitchen scraps.

    I have a few photos of these tasks on my blog http://myabundantlife07.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/this-weeks-frugal-tasks-saturday-st.html

  32. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Our frugal accomplishments for last week were –

    Financial –
    – Banked $1789.02 into our saving for our buying our home with cash fund or 43.86% of our after tax combined incomes.
    – Banked another $395.49 into our buying our home with cash fund this week.

    Groceries –
    – Took advantage of a $10 free grocery coupon to top up on 7 tins of champignons for the pantry.
    – Used $40 earned from selling a set of 4 curtain tiebacks and 40 saved pumpkin seeds from our gardens to purchase rat bait, surface spray, weed killer, medication and to pay the postage for both sales.

    Garden –
    – Used saved vegetable washing and steaming water to water some of the new seedlings planted in the gardens.
    – Harvested 3kg of silver beet,1kg of spinach,60g of strawberries, 641g of cherry tomatoes, 2.533kg of capsicums and 2.415kg of carrots from the gardens.

    Kitchen and household –
    – Blanched and froze spinach, silver beet and capsicums from our gardens for advanced freezer stocks.
    – Made all bread and meals from scratch.

    Water Preservation –
    – Saved 1290lts of town water by missing 3 scheduled garden watering sessions due to rain.

  33. when my sister’s son was at the age of being removed from her ins the doctor and her wrote letters to keep him covered because he is disabled… My cousin had her son fill out online for Obamacare and found coverage that equaled what she had on him but less then Cobra… Check your options before paying the cobra. If you pay it , I don’t think you can claim it on your taxes if he isn’t a dependent…make sure you have that part covered also…don’t waste a deduction as I used to say when I worked taxes..

  34. Brandy, I am glad things are going well for you and I understand that there is a need but making due. But you made a statement that made me realize I am more frugal than I thought.

    I do online bank statements for free compared to the $5 I would be charged. Have for years.

    Hubby doesn’t pay a fee for his bank acct. I still do since I have retired and don’t have a pay check going in it but my son covers that fee because he has internet banking without checking so I write what ever checks he needs…he pays for the checks also. It made it easier for him to get money to us when he was out of state and for me to get money to him when he was deployed or out of state. My goal this year is to get this acct to the point it doesn’t pay a fee.

    We pay automatic to save $5 for home phone /internet.
    We paid automatic to save $5 for cable when we had it…now we save more with the antennia that is here.
    We pay automatic to save $10 for cell phones
    We pay automatic to save 10% of our renters/car/bike/umbrella ins (umbrella came in handy a couple times so worth having for us)
    We save 10% on the garbage service by paying automatically.
    We don’t have water or sewage as we are in the country.
    We pay cash for certain doctors that will give a 10% discount for it. Our hospital I frequent gives 10% off when we pay before the due date.
    I have one grocery store that pays 5¢ a bag if I bring my own.
    I have found if I ask before I use a debit card if I can have a discount for cash, about half the time I will get it.
    http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/04/april-goalsfrugal-plans.html

  35. I was blessed with lots of free produce: apples, clementines, oranges, bell peppers (green and multicolored mini), purple grapes.

    Made clementine jam, chopped and froze bell peppers, attempted to make grape jelly (THREE TIMES!) but despite following the recipe exactly it didn’t gel. I still have some of the grape juice I made left but not sure if I want to try it again. I will be making applesauce today. I also juiced the oranges.

    As we run out of items we write it on a dry erase board on our fridge. I was able to erase half my list after finding perfectly good substitutes I already hand or finding the items I needed in my pantry (still working on reorganizing it). I remembered to take my list when I went to the store and only purchased the items on my list, which was a small list but all stuff I needed.

    I purged some more from my storage room.

    I applied for some jobs online, saving postage, envelopes, and time going to the post office.

    I took my daughter to the library to participate in the spring break “challenge’ they had going on. She built with legos an had her picture taken for their facebook page and stacked 100 pennies ( not easy lol). She got a small prize for her completed “challenges”.

    Exchanged library books and movies while there.

    I cooked our meals using food we already had except for one meal my husband bought us. I took my meals to work and drank water and free coffee. I also make my morning coffee at home instead of buying it somewhere.

    My husband repaired a tire on our car that had somehow gotten two small holes in it. He keeps a tire plug kit in his tool box 🙂 He also cleaned both vehicles.

    I also did the usual stuff: kept the heat down on warmer days, washed and saved glass jars and baggies, used homemade cleaners.

    Have a great week everyone!

  36. Our mailed statements have always been free; they decided to start charging unless we changed to online statements. We have changed banks many times over the years as each “free” checking account became no longer free when the bank started charging for the account.

    I pay our utilities through automatic withdrawal but there is no discount here for doing so. That would be nice if there was!

  37. I’ve cancelled Netflix, at least until the fall. Now that daylight is so much longer, there isn’t the need for so much indoor entertainment. I also cancelled another paid subscription, this one permanently.

    Went to a meeting where lunch was provided.

    Bought most of the food and supplies I need for April. Good sales on toilet paper, frozen vegetables and frozen fruit. It is still two to three months before we have these fresh locally. Also got a raincheck on a great price on large cans of salmon. Large cans were much less than the small cans are, even on sale. Good for fish cakes and salads. (I am allergic to tuna.)

    Because I don’t have any work in July and August, my income is much lower in August and September. I am setting aside $50 a month from April through July to give me a food budget in those leaner months. That, plus my CSA share, will mean I can enjoy two of the months where we have fresh food and do some freezing and storage for winter.

    Made homemade tortillas for the first time. Loved how easy the dough is to work with. No fighting sticky gluten like with bread dough. Not sure how frugal they are, but I’m really happy with the results. Good thing, because I had bought a couple of bags of masa harinha.

  38. I fell of my frugal train second week of March, managed to get aboard again a few days ago. Reading all of your many ways to save and reduce costs inspires me.

  39. It’s lovely to see you mention your son’s frugal accomplishment as well! I don’t see your older sons mentioned as often as your daughters (since the posts mostly have to do with remaking dresses) so it’s a delight to know that they are also finding creative ways to be frugal.

  40. I, also, have cut off shell buttons from clothing that can’t be used.
    We invested in an Instant Pot and have been using it almost constantly for soup, yogurt and beans. This week I soaked and cooked garbanzo beans to make my own hummas. Also made granola, soup from leftover bits and naan bread.
    Our insurance company raised it’s rates. So we shopped around and will now save $500 per year by switching! My husband just got on Medicare so that will save $800 a month in health insurance.

  41. Mandy, you probably already do this with jelly that doesn’t jell, but in case you don’t: When I had a fail on rhubarb jelly, I froze the jars that did not seal. We often have pancakes for a Sunday breakfast, so now I pull out a jar of frozen rhubarb non-jelly and let it thaw in the fridge. The morning of pancakes, I put it in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. It reduces considerably but turns into a perfect pancake syrup. Any leftovers are used to flavor tea, instead of sugar.

  42. I may be too late with this suggestion, but thought I would put it out there. Since you are making applesauce, you can use the leftover cores and peelings to make apple jelly. Apples have a lot of natural pectin. You could try mixing some of the apple “juice” made from the cores and peelings with the grape juice to create an apple grape jelly! With more pectin present, you might have better luck with the set. Just a note too, I had to boil the apples juices longer than the recipe suggested to get it to jell. I had some jelly fail when I didn’t add enough sugar (thanks to other commenters that helped me come to that conclusion!). I used my failed jelly for pancakes syrup as Mable suggested and it tastes great! Hope this helps, Mandy.

  43. Happy first full week of April everyone! I am struggling with all the cloudy and rainy days we have been having. I think the sun has been shining a total of only 4 hours in the last 10 days.
    My best frugal accomplishment of the week was for my daughter and son in law. They went on vacation and I transported them to the airport and back home and watched their two dogs while they were gone. They gave me $30 in gift cards and some of the perishables from the refrigerator.
    We ate all meals at home this week and I used leftovers in other meals. I took all the leftover veggies for the week and made a veggie fried rice in Friday. I chopped up the carrots, broccoli, cauliflower asparagus and green beans and added onions, peas and corn. It was very tasty . I added chopped up leftover lemon pepper chicken to alfredo sauce and spaghetti with broccoli on the side.
    I made more beef broth and cooked down the last of the frozen tomatoes (3 gallon bags) to made homemade spaghetti sauce I grated the last two carrots and threw in 2 cups of shredded zucchini along with onions and Italian spices.
    I turned the heat down during the day when I was the only one home. I did all my errands when I did school drop off.
    My pantry challenge is continuing and I am seeing alot of empty spaces in my pantry and freezers. The chest freezer and fridge freezer are both half empty. The upright freezer has an empty drawer at the bottom, one empty shelf and two empty door shelves. My grocery total for the first quarter is $411 versus the normal amount budgeted of $1350. We have used the saved money for a couple of needed car repairs and put the rest in savings.
    Have a great week everyone!

  44. We have sold our house last week! We have been using what we have and putting more money toward our new house. We are renting our sold home for a few months for less $ then our previous mortgage payments.
    Our garden was not doing well so we will wait until we move and plan a fall garden.
    We are in the process of deciding what furniture willl be sold as we are receiving nicer furniture when we move.

  45. Lorna I am always astounded at the money you bank for your buying a house with cash project. How do you do it?

    I am trying to save enough for a down payment and it is taking forever. Can you share some of your tips with me somehow?

  46. Wow Jennifer, with that cleaning schedule you could be getting ready to host an Amish wedding or taking your turn at holding church! No kidding.

  47. My youngest girl was able to get a nice ACA plan as soon as she started college. She earned a 100 % paid scholarship so we do not put her down as a dependent. They only looked at her income and savings. The local hospital had a woman who did just this type of service and she helped her sign up right there and told her what documents to provide.

    We have many self employed families at church and some use the medical share type plan that Karen mentioned.

  48. Hello Reet, your English is very good, much better than my German. Besides English and Estonian, what other languages do you speak?

    Rye bread is my favorite.

  49. Hi Jlynn and thank you for your kind words 🙂 .

    The first figure in the post above was for the month of March savings which I forgot to put in there 😮 .

    I will say it takes sacrifices to save that much money and we do it by –
    – Living in very cheap rental accommodation while we are saving.
    – Buying all of our groceries, clothing and everything else as cheaply as possible and on special and yes we haggle down prices when buying anything new too.
    – Working out what are needs and only purchasing those.
    – Rewarding ourselves with small treats when we reach certain savings milestones.
    – Growing all our own vegetables, herbs and berries without buying any.
    – Cooking from scratch and rarely eating out.
    – Making our own cleaning products from pantry and cleaning items in the home.
    – Combining errands to save on fuel costs.
    – Using solar lanterns instead of using mains powered lights at night and turning off power points to items we are not using to save on power costs.
    – Washing in cold water rather than hot.
    – Cutting our own firewood to warm us by fires in winter rather than using heaters etc.
    – Most importantly is to be happy with what you have 😀 .

    We live by the old depression era saying Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

    I hope this helps 🙂 .

  50. Jennifer, that sounds so easy. I know my daughter grows chard all winter in a cold frame so I will ask her for some.

  51. Mitzie, the cruise sounds fun! I trust you and your Mom will have a great time. My Mother went on a cruise in her 70’s and the staff were very attentive to her.

    My youngest girl and I gave up soda about 3 years ago now. We used to keep track of the money we were saving and it was nice to use it for something else instead. We always keep a little in the house though, because as you say pizza and soda go so goood together.

  52. Oh I love those fan heaters. I have one at work that I use when I just need to spot heat where I am sitting so I don’t have to turn up the thermostat for the entire (quite large) room.

  53. Thank you! We are blessed how everything is coming together. Also, learning more ways to save from others on this site is very helpful.

  54. Reet, your English is great! I’m jealous of your multiple languages:) Like another poster, I love reading about life and savings in other countries. I think Brandy has had people post from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and now Estonia, and there may be others I’ve forgotten. The internet is a wonderful thing!

  55. I have been having such a trouble getting a post written lately but I want to get this news in before any longer. My son and his wife had their first baby and named her Anna Joy. Anna is a big family name amongst my side and my husband’s side…so many. Joy is my daughter in laws name in that her Chinese name means “joy”. They are going to use both names as one. Now we just have to wait til June til my husband’s youngest sister and her husband have their first and that boy or girl will be the aunt or uncle to these 2 latest grandchildren. Funny.

    Brandy, I am glad the cell phone will work for you. I do like the calendar and the timer/alarm/stopwatch icon on the phone and use those daily.

    Thank you someone as re’ the Aldi sale on cream cheese. We are going to go there…I won’t go there myself as too difficult in the checkout area. I also don’t like that they don’t refrigerate the fruits and vegetables and the milk and dairy products are not local. I have also heard of problems with the meat. But I will chance the cream cheese. They also sell German candy and cookies so my husband wants to look that area over. I heard they had marzipan eggs for Easter.

    I heard this on the radio the other morning and it seems every one here is very comfortable using social media. I pushed the scan button on the radio by mistake instead of the preset and ended up hearing a conversation on a rock pop type radio station with the 3 disc jockeys discussing the topic. They all had young children, 2 were men and one a woman. One man said he hoped by the time his girl was old enough to be on line that the whole worldwideweb would have disappeared by then. The two men said that the Facebook is bad and that it is a common place for men to trawl/troll for women and girls. They all said snapchat is the worst as there is no parental controls but that is the one teens like best. I thought this was interesting as these were all apparently worldly radio station not a Christian one and they had great concerns over what could happen.

    Hope everyone has a nice weekend. We are up to 50 and sunny so looks like tomorrow will be a yard work day.

  56. Isn’t it funny how some things simply aren’t a savings in other places. Like Brandy we do not see a savings for paying online. In fact, most places CHARGE an extra $5 for that convenience. So we put a 49c stamp on the envelope and mail them in.

    And like Brandy’s bank, ours started charging a fee for a print statement a few years ago, so we switched to online ones. I’d prefer not to bank online even for just statement purposes but the fee was well over $7 a month back then if we chose to go print.

  57. Even if it’s not under warranty, if you complain, they’ll give you a discount on a new one. At least, they did for me when my old flex stopped taking a charge.

  58. Do you ever freeze your chard? I have had great success with this, of course it must first be blanched. It does well in quiche, stir fry, or soups after having been frozen.

    I had a bad bout of flu that really kept me down for almost 2 weeks! In spite of that, we managed to eat all meals at home (thank goodness for a freezer with some prepared meals). I received a free pastry on the Panera card for my birthday, used a $10 off $10 purchase coupon from Staples (this is the 2nd in 3 months and I’m not sure why but I like it!)—with that coupon I purchased 2L of dish soup plus a can of Comet. We lost several well-established decorative bushes this summer due to drought. I’ve replaced 3 of those with blueberry bushes! I also planted lettuce and kale in another bed that has been cleared. I received nice shirts for my birthday that my husband purchased on sale—like thrift store price–from a department store. These are name brand shirts. We had a few big expenses with replacing our car transmission and purchasing new tires. However, these save money in the long term and enable us to drive our very old van for at least another couple of years. I love your towel idea! I’ve never checked out towels at Sam’s either—I’ll look at them.

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