Roses in Enamel Buckets The Prudent Homemaker

It’s been a very busy week here, and on top of everything we’ve had our foreign exchange student here. I wasn’t sure ahead of time how much English he spoke, and so while we help him to learn new words in English, we’ve also needed to converse quite a bit in French. I’ve had a lot of French study this week! I especially used Word Reference to look up words for both of us, and I’ve pinned a good number of French language pins on my Pinterest board. My French comprehension skills have really increased this week; there were only a couple of times I didn’t understand, and that was usually because something was said too fast or too quietly.

I enjoyed a couple of video chats with friends in France. It continues to amaze me every time that video calling exists, and I love that it is free!

I cut peonies and roses from the garden.

I harvested lettuce, spinach, snow peas and Swiss chard from the garden.

Several of my children (and our houseguest) enjoyed climbing and rappeling on my nephew’s climbing wall. It’s pretty amazing that he has a climbing wall in his backyard, and it was great fun for everyone.

I downloaded a free Photoshop app to my phone to use to edit pictures on my phone.

My husband cut his own hair and a son’s hair this week.

I turned a pair of torn jeans into jean shorts by cutting them off and hemming them.

I had a number of teens over for dinner. I made a large pot of minestrone soup and some French bread for a frugal meal.


What did you do to save money last week?


Note: I misplaced my camera battery charger recently, which is why there was no post last week and no additional posts this past week. Now that I can use my camera again and we’ve worked out a “new normal” with an additional teen in the house, I should (hopefully!) be able to get back to projects and more posting this week! If you want to see more photos, check out my Instagram account, where I have been sharing photos from my phone during the week.



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  1. I bet it’s a lot of fun to work on your French with a guest! I don’t think I’ve ever done a video call, but I love that you can use that to improve your language skills.

    My son was just talking about having a climbing wall in our back yard. They climb trees constantly, but I think a climbing wall would be a blast. Something we’ll have to think about when our #yearofno is over.

    Here are the ways I saved last week:

  2. As always, sounds like a fun and product week! There’s nothing like immersion to learn a language quickly. And, I loooove that flower photo!

    My frugal accomplishments are for the past two weeks, so forgive the long post:
    – A magazine at work had a sample of face cream, so I took it. Waste not, want not!
    – Got the last bit out of syrup out of a jar of homemade chocolate syrup by adding in some milk and shaking it. Chocolate milk for the win!
    – Repurposed a spritzer that I had used for citrus vinegar cleaning into a water mister for my balcony garden. And my radishes are starting to sprout!
    – Made taco soup using Brandy’s recipe as a starting point, but using what I had in my pantry instead. I tossed in some rice and beans I had made and frozen a while ago. Delicious, and now I’m set for lunches for a while!
    – Made lemonade (using storebought juice; Canada’s climate is just not conducive to growing lemons, as much as I would it to. But apparently we can grow figs here, if we bury the trees in the winter!)
    – Made Arnold Palmers using some iced tea that I had made from loose leaf tea gifted to me, combined with my freshly made lemonade.
    – Packaged up some loose leaf tea gifted to me to give to my sister for her birthday later this month. I’ll be giving her cookie dough tea, banana chocolate chip tea, and amaretto almond biscotti tea, all in mason jars with cute printed labels and fabric covers from my fabric stash. I knew there was a reason I was holding on to those scraps of fabric!
    – Made sweet potato brownies and used some spelt flour that I had in my pantry. Apparently I can also substitute in pumpkin puree, which I’m happy about as I have a can of pumpkin puree in my pantry that has been sitting around for 1-2 years and that I want to use up. Brownies are a perfect way to use it up!
    – Packed the brownies (high in protein & fibre) and some Arnold Palmers for walk with my sister and the DH. Tasty way to refuel!
    – Packed more brownies and went on a bike ride with an old friend. Biking + brownies = calories nullified!
    – Bought 10 lbs of potatoes at 20 cents/lb
    – Made chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing ( and filled the cupcakes with a sort of ganache/mousse. It’s frugal because a) it was all made from scratch from pantry ingredients, and b) I used up leftover ganache from my baking submission for The Great Canadian Baking Show. I had two bits of leftover whipped ganache that I mixed together with a failed attempt at whipped ganache (more chocolate whipped cream than whipped chocolate ganache), and when I mixed all the bits together, it basically turned into a very thick chocolate mousse. I really dislike wasting food, so this was a perfect way to use up the leftover ganache! I topped the cupcakes with homemade chocolate bunnies that I had made a week or two ago and baked it all inside fancy wrappers that I had purchased at the dollar store. A dozen of the cupcakes served as my hostess gift/contribution to an Easter dinner that a friend of mine hosted. Pantry ingredients + leftovers = super-frugal hostess gift!
    – My parents sent us home with salad and ham leftovers from Easter dinner. I ate the salad for lunch, and the DH ate the ham for dinner!
    – Took some forsythia prunings home with me from my parents place, and arranged it in a vase for a centrepiece for the week.
    – Took some purple wildflowers home with me from my parents place and arranged them in a bud vase for my bedside table. It looks so pretty, and it makes me smile!
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift certificate
    – Received a free package of carrot seeds in the mail
    – Made a potato and broccoli gratin, using some storage potatoes and part of a giant broccoli crown (bought on sale), and using up the last of a container of panko crumbs that my mother had given me months ago. I blanched the remaining broccoli florets (about half the head) and froze them.
    – A client at my workplace gifted my colleagues a box of croissants and a couple of jam jars. After eating our treat, one jar of jam wasn’t even opened, so I took it home and will turn it into linzer torte squares for my workplace. Since I was gifted the jam, I estimate that a lasagna tray full of the squares will cost less than $1.50 to make, with $1 of that being the cost of butter.
    – Made a batch of yoghurt
    – Made a batch of chocolate nut copycat larabars. I used regular dates that I had bought in bulk and had for a while in my pantry, as opposed to specialty medjool dates, and used a mixture of nuts (almonds and walnuts) that I had in my pantry, as well as some dried coconut (a pantry staple for me, that I buy in bulk) and psyllium powder to increase the fibre content. Delicious energy bites that feel decadent but are actually entirely healthy! And significantly cheaper than larabars. SIGNIFICANTLY. 
    – Made a pitcher of iced tea with some loose-leaf tea gifted me to me.
    – Was gifted some loose leaf tea from a client at work (Lime Gelato and Peach Ice Cream flavours). As a thank you, I bought her a product from my workplace, using my employee discount. I plan to repackage and re-gift the loose-leaf tea as part of a basket of teas for my sister’s birthday.
    – Canned some pears to use them before they went bad
    – Use the leftover pear syrup to sweeten a batch of iced tea
    – Had friends over dinner, and made Brandy’s Tomato Basil Soup (I ran out of carrots, so I subbed a potato in, and simmered parmesan rinds in the soup to add flavour to the soup), which I served with homemade olive and pesto focaccia (using up the last of some pesto I had made and part of a can of olives I had opened for another dish earlier in the week). I also made spinach and ricotta lasagna (, using up the last of some lasagne noodles I had in my pantry, and a package of frozen spinach that I had sitting in my freezer for a while. The most expensive part of that dish was the ricotta cheese (the other cheese – aged white cheddar – I had bought on sale a few weeks ago). And then I served linzer torte squares for dessert. A relatively frugal meal, using sale items and pantry staples, served on my wedding china, made for a rather nice company meal!
    – Made a lovely table setting with no cost outlay — I folded cloth napkins into poinsettia flowers and placed them in the soup bowls, and placed a white truffle in the centre of the flower. The truffles had been gifted to me months ago, and I don’t really like white chocolate, so I had saved them. Made a perfect flower centre!
    – Pulled some daffodil bulbs that had never flowered, and planted zucchini seeds in their place. My lettuce hasn’t sprouted yet, but my radish seeds are sprouting happily in all of their pots, which makes me happy! And, my first nasturtium seed has sprouted!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as usual!

  3. I’ve sorted out my summer clothes and discarded those that were worn out or damaged beyond repair. Then made a list of what needed to be replaced. I’ve been watching online sales, and ordered a few things: a pair of pants at 50% off and a bathing suit and two tops at a 10% sale plus a 30% new customer discount. I’ve also joined ebates after reading about it here.

    Later in the month, I have an errand to do in the city, so I’ll check out the thrift stores and discount stores and see what else from my list I can find. The 24th of May (actually, the closest weekend before is a holiday weekend) is considered the traditional start of summer here, so I’ve a little time yet.

    A highlight in the last couple of weeks was seeing two moose standing on the bank of a creek, enjoying the beautiful spring sunshine. Usually, you see moose feeding or walking, but that day they were just standing there soaking up the rays. A few days later we had 10 inches of snow, and we have had quite a few inches this last couple of days as well. Like the moose, we’ll just have to enjoy the spring as we find it.

  4. I love your blog, Brandy. You are such an inspiration. I volunteer at my church’s thrift store each week, so on top of the already amazingly low prices, I get first pick of the donations I sort through, and a 20% volunteer discount. Last week, for just under $10, I got a hardback book (“The Wind Boy”), an etched glass salt and pepper set, a Lenox china vase, a coffee mug, a scarf, and a large wooden puzzle, all lovely and all like new. I rarely buy durable goods new anymore, since almost everything my daughters and I want eventually comes through that shop!

  5. Brandy, glad to see you post again! I went over to instagram and looked at the photos, they were great. Is that Octavius? If so, he looks so grown up.

    Frugal activities last week:
    -Baked bread and ate most of our meals home.
    -Made fabulous turkey noodle soup from a turkey carcass I had stored in the freezer…froze two large portions for other meals.
    -Finally bought an immersion stick blender (I had lived years without one using my blender and food processor so I put it on a wish list…and a year later I still wanted it so I got it). Will use it next week!
    -Made a huge batch of meatballs and a large batch of mashed potatoes, divided into meal size portions and froze for future meals.
    -Continued to add to a list I started in January where I note any item which is costing me less this year…as a way to track this year’s savings. Latest additions were a monthly reduction is our electricity bill (we pay a level amount each month based on usage, so it meant our usage has dropped over last year) as well as a change in prescription cost for a recurring medicine. It is inspiring to see good news since it is easy only to remember bills and not savings.
    -I’m amazed at how I learn more about frugality. I re-read one of brandy’s blogs about learning how to make meals less expensively. The first time I read it I thought it was interesting. This time, the light bulb came on. I have lowered our monthly grocery bills to about $300 a month but seem stuck there! Brandy, thank you, your article was exactly the light I needed. If i want meals to cost less, the nature of our meals needs to change. I haven’t thought in terms of cost per meal before, but see that is my next step to identify the big cost items.S

  6. May I ask what kind of peonies you are growing? I am in Houston and thought we could never have peonies in the South because it doesn’t get cold enough. Is that not true? Do you have a blog post on how you grow peonies? Do you think I could grow them in a pot? Thanks, Brandy! Love your blog.

  7. Brandy, I have a question for you: Do you make your own hamburger buns? I’d love a recipe if you do! Also, I remember when my German exchange student visited my house- it was so fun to see the cultural differences!

    Our frugal accomplishments for the past 2 weeks:

    * Had two beautiful Easter celebrations (one with each side of the family), which left us with plenty of leftovers. I brought deviled eggs, peanut butter cookies, and mac and cheese, which altogether cost under $10 to make, and were greatly appreciated. Good food doesn’t need to be expensive, it just needs to be delicious!

    * I made enchilada pasta, using some leftover cooked pasta and enchilada sauce I had in the fridge, a single chicken breast, and some black beans and onions. I topped the whole thing with a bit of cheese. It was great in lunches, plus it used up leftovers that needed to be used!

    * We purchased a large easter cake for 50% off (only $4.50) to have as a treat. I sliced it into small slices and froze most of it, so we can have it in the future.

    * I made a large batch of spaghetti and sauce, plus I put together some homemade garlic and herb dinner rolls to eat with it.

    * I loaded a coupon onto a card for a local grocery store to get a free pound of bacon. I had my SO pick it up, as I wouldn’t be in that part of town at all before it expired.

    * I made red beans and rice using pinto beans, a sausage I bought on sale and froze, some celery that was on sale, and some onions. It made a huge batch of food and was delicious.

    * I used the ham bone from Easter to make ham stock for split pea soup. I pulled the remaining meat from the bone to add to the soup as well. I served it with peasant bread (from Alexandra’s Kitchen). (The recipe is here: for those interested).

    * I made Brandy’s black bean burgers for lunches for the week. My SO tried them and liked them so much, that he requested that I make a triple batch next time! I did edit the recipe slightly because I forgot that I was out of breadcrumbs until I had already had the beans in the food processor. I used only one egg to keep the mixture from being too wet. They crumbled a bit but they were still delicious!

    We’re continuing to eat down our pantry. I’m currently working out meals to freeze for a friend of mine who’s pregnant, so that she and her husband won’t have to cook for a while when the baby comes. It will help us clear out our pantry for the move and provide them with much needed assistance.

  8. This week has been better than last week. Well, anything would be better than last week. There has been a tiny bit of improvement in my health, just enough to make my spirits soar, so I have returned to some of my usual nonsense. I shared a new word I learned “Petrichor”, it is something we all know but don’t name.

    Because I was feeling better, we got out and I met some new friends, working friends and shared details of their profession. Yes, they are goats and sheep but I live in the country. I don’t get the chance to meet new friends often.

    On the frugal front, I have continued to use up food that is about to expire in the pantry. In years past I worked at stocking it full, then the boys moved out in January and everything changed. I have been forced to completely rethink everything I do. One change that has helped has been to move everything about to expire to the kitchen cabinet I use the most and placing it at eye level.

    We tried to work in the garden this week, hubby began plowing but then it started to rain. It has not stopped. Four inches as of the weather report this morning…and still counting.

    Life will get better. I now believe it will.


  9. Hello everyone! Last week:
    -I made tomato bisque substituting for ingredients I had on hand, milk several times (from powder), yogurt, oatmeal for breakfast (several times), meatballs, stir fry (using quinoa instead of rice), coconut milk, fake “ice cream” using frozen bananas and strawberries, strawberry applesauce with fruit my mom gave us, pumpkin pancakes, banana bread, ham/cheese/rice casserole, chicken with homemade tomato sauce on top with homemade twice baked potatoes and homemade garlic bread, used the Easter ham bone to make bean soup, white bread, au gratin potatoes, corn bread, peach pie popsicles, chocolate pudding. I started a batch of apple scrap vinegar using apple peels and cores I had saved in a bag in the freezer. I also made more cleaning solution (vinegar, essential oils, and water) for my homemade cleaning wipes and more all purpose cleaner.
    -I made a meal plan and have stuck to it. I included my daughter’s school lunches on it as well.
    -I hung all our laundry except 2 loads either on the outdoor lines or the racks inside the house.
    -I turned the heat off last week!
    -My temp. job was done a week and a half ago. I have been applying for other jobs and am waiting to hear from Unemployment.
    -I was able to go to the grocery store two weeks ago with $30. I stocked up on peanut butter and canned mushrooms and purchased a couple of items for the refrigerator. I do not know when I will be able to go shopping again. We have been living off our pantry the last couple of weeks. I am so grateful to have our food storage/pantry!
    -My mom gave us some “go-gurt” yogurt, strawberries, and potatoes she couldn’t use.
    -I used free youtube videos or videos included in my amazon prime membership to exercise at home.
    -I had 3 errands that were all not to far from my home so I walked instead of drove. I timed it so that I would end up at my daughter’s school to pick her up at the end of the school day. I have been walking to pick her up at the end of the school day when the weather permits.
    – exchanged books and movies at the library twice.
    -my husband brought home 4 gallon sized bags of nacho cheese from work. They replaced their stock even though the best by date isn’t until the end of May. I put two bags into mason jars and put the other two into the pantry.
    -strained my completed batch of citrus vinegar and poured it into a repurposed glass jug for storage.
    -my husband rented a rototiller to till the large garden bed. My broccoli and cauliflower seeds are starting to sprout. He planted morning glory seeds along our front fence. I planted several types of flower bulbs in the front of the house (we had gotten these last winter on clearance and saved them until now). Our last frost date isn’t until the middle of May so we need to fertilize the garden beds and fruit trees, grape vines, etc. soon.
    -I have been completing swagbucks every day.
    -I was given a couple bottles of organic honey because the caps were broken. I repurposed the cap from my last bottle, which fit perfectly.
    -learned of the Amazon program that allows you to share your membership with a family member. My mom and I are going to do this and each pay half for the membership, making my part less. I pay per month so we each would pay $6.
    -I caught rain water in buckets outside during a storm and use the rain water to water my seeds and houseplants. I planted my seeds using soil I already had and saved egg cartons.
    -I’ve stayed home.
    -washed and saved zip top bags and glass jars to reuse.
    -Use the small, battery operated light in the bathroom, continue to use the “family cloth” (only after we urinate), to blow noses, etc. I also have reusable menstrual products (cloth pads, sponges) to avoid waste and spending money.
    – I use the dish pan half full to rinse the dishes when I wash them and only fill the soapy water up half way. I have been taking quick, short showers. I will be able to take “navy showers” soon when it warms up a little more.
    -I drink coffee at home in the morning and then water and hot tea the rest of the day.
    -I use the leftover water in cups at the end of the day to water house plants as well.
    Have a great week everyone!

  10. When the rain lets up, I plan to harvest swiss chard, and lettuce if it’s not all too far gone. If it is, the chickens will enjoy it this week. I need to check on the peas, and see if any of the pods are picking size. I think I will cut some peonies, roses and orlaya for the house too. I’m delighted to see a post from you, and am happy to know you’re planning more.

  11. We had a pretty frugal week. We did a lot of work in our yard, and finally got around to doing some more planting. We cleared out a side bed by our house that used to hold flowers and used that as well as some pots out of our shed. Put in some Swiss chard, spinach, and several herbs. We should have done it about a month ago, but late is better than never so we’ll see what comes up! We ate all meals at home this week, and I took my lunches to work. We had a ham last Sunday for Easter. We hadn’t planned to buy one, but HEB had an incredible deal where you got over $20 of other products free if you purchased a ham, so we went for it. There are only 2 of us, so we had ham all week! I will freeze the ham bone for beans, too. We had some nice cooler weather this weekend, so we were able to turn our central air conditioning off & leave the windows open which was very nice. Probably have to turn it back on tomorrow though, we should be back up in the 90s. And lastly, it’s bulk trash week in our neighborhood (when the city will pick up larger items that don’t fit into your bins), so I stopped this morning to pick up a nice Sterilite 3-drawer rolling cart someone had set out at the curb. It’s a good time to get furniture and other things!

  12. Have you heard/experienced any mishaps with the climbing wall? We have considered doing indoor rock climbing as a family, but I’m really worried about injuries since we’re all so clumsy!

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales and using rebates/coupons whenever possible. Another thing that really helps me is sticking to a list and avoiding impulse buys. Recently I have been blessed with fantastic savings! For less than $10.00, I came home with 2 toothpastes, 2 boxes of medicine, 3 bottles of hair care, and laundry detergent. That alone would be a great price, but $6.49 will be coming back in a refund, making it even better. All of my transactions with detailed breakdown can be found here:

  13. Wow, pear syrup in iced tea? Never would’ve thought of that, but it is so clever and makes good use of resources. Awesome!

  14. This post covers 2 weeks, since I spent a week at my daughter’s helping out.

    Continued to dig out at least one tree tub full of weeds & grass roots from the planting beds each day.

    Had the other half of our windows replaced. We did the first half last spring & it made a huge difference in our utility bills over the summer & in the winter. The new windows have the e-coating that keeps out the UV light, so the AC bill dropped like a rock! One of the windows, in the master bedroom, is a triple-pane window, to help reduce the noise.

    Since I had to remove all the curtains & blinds for the window install, I used that opportunity to wash all the curtains, since they had to be off the rods anyway. Then after the install, I put up clean curtains.

    I saved the screens from the old windows again. The installers would just dispose of them, & our oldest daughter can use them to recut to make new screens for her windows for free.

    Our youngest daughter came home for a visit on Sunday afternoon & I helped her declutter the closet in her bedroom. I have a Rubbermaid tub full of clothes from when our youngest daughter was in high school, to take out to her oldest sister, for her high school age daughters – things like conservative suits that she wore for debate, Sunday dresses, skirts & tops, etc. One of the black 3-piece suits fit me (!), which was a pleasant surprise, since both the jacket & the dress pants will mix & match nicely with my wardrobe. I purchased this suit for our middle daughter to wear for her interview at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Middle daughter outgrew it & gave it to youngest daughter, & now it is mine – almost like a rebate!. We also filled a large box with items to donate to the local Deseret Industries. There is much more room in that closet now.

    I bought 3 new tops from Kmart, on sale for $7.88 each, using SYWR points to further lower the price. These are tops in a style that I already have & wear frequently, just in 3 pastel spring colors: yellow, light aqua & lilac. These will work with other clothes that I already have, & replaced tops that were worn out.

    Later in the week, I bought a slip at Kmart, using SYWR points, which made it free.

    Cut 5 metal concho buttons from a long skirt that was worn out.

    Cashed a pine cone check.

    Made the paska rolls on Thursday & froze them for Easter. I will frost them after they are thawed. I also made the gelatin. We have gelatin (Jello) for every holiday, as a tradition we started when we were poor starving students, because our young daughter could eat it, & it made the table look more “bountiful”. I use the low footed cut glass sherbets that belonged to my mother for one color (lime this Easter), and the smaller cut glass sherbets that were my grandmother’s for the second color (lemon this Easter). The children & the grandchildren all look forward to choosing the color they want, & for a few cents, it has been an inexpensive & fun tradition. This year the lime gelatin is plain ( & sugar free, for my son-in-law), but I added mandarin oranges to the lemon, because our granddaughter loves mandarin oranges- as have all her cousins before her.

    Cut egg shapes out of pastel paint chip samples, then used a paper punch to add 2 holes & threaded a purple ribbon thru to tie one on each of the Easter baskets we have had for decades, to label them with names, since extended family was here for Easter morning. We had a small egg hunt in the back yard for the 19 month old. We are not fans of the big city egg hunts – too much pushing & shoving for the little ones, & with some allergies int he family, it works better for us to do our own little, low-key egg hunt.

    Bought a mortar & pestle at a moving sale, to use to grind dried spices, like rosemary.

  15. I love the flowers on the bench. Yellow roses are my favorite, and I love yellow and blue together in any way.

    I am glad it’s working out so well with the exchange student. I know it’s super fun to fill the house with teenagers, so I’m happy for you that you had a great dinner. I have also noticed that they never care if the food is fancy, they just want a lot of it! I’ll bet your home-made food was a real treat for some of them.

    My week was full of ordinary things–homeschool, cleaning, work, cooking……lots of daily things that save us money day in and day out. We did slip away for a field trip to some tulip fields. I put some pictures on my blog—they were breathtaking to me.

  16. When you didn’t post, I was a bit concerned. I’m glad it was not due to a family emergency, Brandy! Sounds like everyone is enjoying time with your visiting exchange student.

    Our frugal accomplishment over the past 2 weeks included:
    *Our weather is definitely warming up now. I was able to get out for about 7 walks for some fresh air and free exercise.
    *Meals made at home included chicken souvlaki with white rice and broccoli/cauliflower mix, pasta with choice of sauce, breakfast bowls, homemade cream of chicken and veggie soup (made with leftover rotisserie chicken) with dinner rolls, roast turkey with all the trimmings (Easter dinner, most of it we already had), chicken fingers with tater tots and leftover veggies or coleslaw, homemade lasagna (from the freezer) with homemade garic bread, BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs with leftover coleslaw and potato chips (x2), chicken ranch tacos, grilled cheese sandwiched with noodles & sauce side dish, and roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and coleslaw.
    *Purposely made extra white rice with one of our meals. DD snacked on some which she topped with grated cheese, then warmed in the microwave. Then I made fried rice for lunch with the rest. It made enough fried rice for a few lunch meals.
    *Packaged up the leftover turkey into family sized portions and froze for future use.
    *My brother came to stay for a week, starting Easter weekend. Easter Monday was his birthday. I baked a double pan of Ghirardelli chocolate brownies for his birthday cake which doubled as our Easter dessert (mix bought on sale at Costco). I gave him a really nice, almost new, short sleeved shirt I bought at a thrift store during a 50% off sale before Christmas. Reused a saved gift bag to wrap it.
    *My mom & I have been asked to make treat trays for DD’s end of season bowling banquet, again. We will be paid for these. I’ve made 3 different batches of treats so far, including a new recipe…Peanut butter cornflake cookies (recipe link: ). Didn’t make them fast enough before husband came home. He immediately volunteered (aka begged) to be a taste tester…seriously worse than a kid!!!
    *Baked a double batch of healthy applesauce carrot muffins ( to use for DD’s lunches this coming week. Leftovers will be used for breakfast or snack options for the rest of the family.
    *Grocery budget has been tight lately, so I used my PC points to purchase $20 of free groceries, which helped tremendously (thank goodness for loyalty programs!). Trying to be very mindful of what I purchase as well.
    *Prepared a nice Easter basket filled with lots of treats from my candy stash for DD. Almost everything in the basket was bought on discount as I find good sales after various holiday. Only bought 1 item at regular price which was $1. I used a basket we already had and filled it with Easter grass we reuse every year.
    *Attended a free magic show hosted by my daughter’s school in honour of anti-bullying day. I ended up in the show for one of the acts, which delighted my daughter. She recorded it on her cell phone and showed Grandma when we got home.
    *Attended the monthly Handweavers & Spinners guild meeting. The presentation was about the Fibreshed movement, which focuses on developing a network of sustainable, locally produced fibres to locally made products in a 100-250 mile area (think 100 mile diet but for fabric). It was quite an interesting concept with some amazing research tied to it as well. This idea was originally developed in California (American spelling is Fibershed), but has expanded to many other areas, including Canada. Of course, each area will vary in the types of fibres available. We can’t grow cotton in Canada, but historically we did grow flax for linen. We also have sheep and alpaca wool. Anybody who would like more info can do a google search.
    *My husband and I enjoyed another date night. We had dinner out then watched “the Promise” at the movie theatre for free using a gift card we received for Christmas. Very interesting movie!

    Looking forward to catching up on what everyone has been up to! Have a wonderful week everyone!!!

  17. I have felt very blessed by a new friend. She and her husband run a landscaping company, and I have been sharing food from the grocery store distribution that I am a part of, that they give then to their employees. This week, she was thinning her flower beds and let me come dig up irises, day lilies,daisies, and verbena. I even had enough to share with my daughter. There were several places to plant my new flowers and I hope down the road to thin my beds and share those with others. I love planting with gifted flowers, it makes me so happy.

    I have tons of cherry tomato volunteers that I moved yesterday, in the rain. It was perfect timing, rain for several days and cooler temperatures. Hopefully, this will ease the transplant shock. I also have lots of lamb quarter volunteers, this is often considered a weed, but it is far superior to spinach and will leave it and not plant any kale or spinach for the summer. Hopefully, my seeds will sprout soon for my lettuce and cucumbers.

    My SIL works for a huge greenhouse company, and gifted me with two blueberry bushes. Hope to get them in the ground this week, as it is late for them to be planted here. He is so thoughtful, and knows I love blueberries!

    My husband of 60 got braces. He had problems with his bite that was affecting everything and we bit the bullet, so to speak. A friend who is an orthodontist, and who has supported our ministry for years, offered to do the work for half off. This will save us several thousands dollars. It is a huge blessing to us, and we are so grateful. Due to the way they are trying to move the teeth, my hubby can not eat anything hard, so he has been a soft food diet for weeks. He has lost weight and I am trying hard to get the calories in. He has been eating tons of soup and smoothies, and hopefully he can shift to harder foods soon.

    We will be housing a daughter and her family for a couple of months, before they move to South America for a couple of years. We are storing some of their furniture, which means moving furniture around to make room. One change was to get rid of our unused wood stove and mount the tv on the hearth. We painted the brick white to brighten that corner of the basement, and it is much improved. A cheap cosmetic change. We will sell the cabinet that the tv had previously been on. Then, this weekend we put down a new porch floor due to the rotting of the old boards. It ended up being more expensive because the previous boards are no longer in stock, thus we had to replace the whole porch floor. But, having my husband and son do the job saved a lot of money and they did a great job.

    I found four pairs of shorts for my youngest son, st Goodwill. He works for a landscaping company and needs shorts for the summer months ahead. I had looked for months for his size, without success, so I was thrilled to find the pairs in one day.

    I love your photos of the flowers in vases, so, so pretty. Thanks for updating us Brandi, in the midst of your busy life, it is always so wonderful to see your updates!

  18. Baby #3 arrived 2 Tuesdays​ ago! He was a whopping 9lb5oz and had already gained more weight. My parents, who live nearby, till my other two children from Wednesday to Easter Sunday and my husband is taking two of his paid paternity leave weeks. It’s been nice to ease slowly back into things.
    My mom made Easter dinner for us and sent us home with leftovers which we used for a couple of meals.
    The ladies at church have been bringing meals for the last week. Most of the meals have been so large that we eat them for 2 or more meals and I’ve frozen a couple to use later.
    A woman at church have me a handmade blanket, matching burp cloth and outfit.
    I planted oregano, sage, parsley, and thyme along with marigolds and pansies. It what will be the herb garden. I also planted basil and mint in pots. I also planted bee balm.
    I transplanted 3 tomato plants, marigolds, and keeps that I had grown from seed into the raised vegetable beds.
    I’m excited to see that the seeds I’ve planted are starting to sprout: peas, spinach, lettuce, carrots, green onions, leeks, radish, kale, and broccoli.

  19. Hi Brandy! How fun to have an exchange student! It must be great for your teens.

    We had a rough week this past week. My daughter was bitten by our dog in the face that resulted in emergency surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I wrote about it here: and am just starting to recover. The good news is she will be okay.

    We’ve not gotten a lot accomplished but are looking forward to some project completion this week to include exterior painting. I feel accomplished because I finally figured out my coverstitch machine and was able to make some girls’ sundresses with beautiful hems.Thank you or the beautiful photos. They are uplifting.

  20. We gave up drinking anything but water, saving $30 in the budget a month.

    I sold textbooks on Amazon for $60.

    I made a diaper sprayer shield with items from the $1 store, costing $2 instead of $25 from Amazon.

    When my husband hurt his back and couldn’t mow the yard (I am 8 months pregnant), I bartered with the neighbors to mow in exchange for homemade cinnamon rolls.

  21. Re the lemons, I live in Australia and although we have loads of lemons, we have no cranberries and very few blackberries, raspberries and cherries.

    Even the commercial pie fillings have a mixture of berry and apple.

  22. I think your husband will be very pleased about the braces. I got mine at about 45. My bite was only off a little, but my teeth bothered me. After about 2 yrs., they came off. They are so much easier to floss, they look great, but there was a side benefit I never expected. I stopped getting neck aches. I thought it was just one-of-those-things, but I have a feeling that the off-bite was causing teeth clenching or something that was aggravating my neck muscles! My ortho said they weren’t allowed to make claims like that, but I wasn’t the first patient to tell him the same thing.

  23. My proud moment was taking an uncomfortable (too hot for KS humidity) denim dress and turning it into a denim skirt for summer. It was way easier than I thought. I didn’t have any instructions, just sorta worked my way thru’ it, & am tickled with the results!

    My peonies are just budding, but I have loads of beautiful purple Iris that my friend gave me years ago when she thinned hers. My butterfly bushes are just starting to bud, too. With all the rain we’ve had, the yard looks absolutely beautiful and fresh. 🙂

    Are your kids soaking up some of the French? Two of my nieces in Los Angeles both hired Spanish speaking nannies for their kids just so they would learn Spanish. At only 7ish, the kids are fluent in Spanish, Japanese, and English. I thought that was brilliant. They learned Japanese from their father and g’parents.

  24. I was back at work this past week after missing a week of work for my husband’s surgery out of town. That means back to planning meals and working with leftovers for food. So far, so good — no eating out and no throwing away food.
    I am keeping my fingers crossed that the tiny lemons on my lemon tree finally make it this year. We’ve not had a lemon in five years since we planted it, but this year they seem to be hanging on. I tried to fertilize (with organic fertilizer) more carefully this year, following the tree’s schedule, not the bag’s schedule.
    We planted sweet onion divisions that grew from someone’s leftover onions and were given to us. It’s totally not the right time of year, but some of them are actually making bulbs. We doubt they’ll get large, due to the coming summer, but even if they stay small, they are free.
    It’s getting hot in the daytime, sometimes up to the low 90’s, but the humidity has been low for Florida so the nights cool off into the low 60’s. We’ve been opening windows and keeping the A/C off to hold down costs. It gets pretty warm inside in the late afternoon, but it gets better as dusk comes on, and the nights and mornings are quite comfortable.
    I put my name in a contest for a basket full of green cleaning supplies at our food co-op. It doesn’t hurt to try.

  25. Beautiful flower picture! Envious as the ground here is still frozen and there are piles of snow scattered over the yard.

    The last two weeks…well week before last was just depressing and my husband and I finally realized it’s time to leave Alaska in favor of Iowa and better resources for my son. My good friend and Alvah’s current speech therapist is dying of cancer, so it’s been hard emotionally on top of being able to find no speech therapists without a huge waiting list in the area. Combine that with a drug rehab clinic going in literally in my back yard and a state that is quickly running itself into the ground…well March was a terrible month around here. We are hoping to move in a year (we need to save money to move, sell things, etc). Wish us luck and send up a prayer to send us in the right direction if you could. I feel anxious and unmoored at the moment.

    Anyway, last week was more “normal” and just busy, so yay for that anyway!

    My list for the week can be found here…

  26. We have been traveling for the past month, and because of weather and travel schedule, have ended up staying in campgrounds much more often than usual. We did manage 2 free nights in a free Forest Service campground, and one night in a free Corp of Engineers Park, and 10 days ‘camping’ at relatives’ houses, but the rest have been state parks – very enjoyable, I might add. We used the Gas Buddy Ap on our phones to save money on gas – one time we saved over $13 on one tank by buying gas 6 miles further down the road. We visited my half brother and he and his wife sent us off with 2 dozen fresh eggs, 2 pounds of shelled pecans from their trees, two boxes of Girl Scout cookies, and a dozen Danish shortbread cookies – yum! At my in-laws, we searched their attic and found a camera tripod – we have been on the hunt for one for our spotting scope, which we use for watching wildlife. My MIL also sent us off with three jigsaw puzzles she has already completed. We like to do jigsaw puzzles while we listen to baseball games in the evenings. This morning I picked a quart of little green plums to pickle as mock olives. I have never tried this before, but I read about it in a book and we saw the trees while we were hiking and I figured it would be fun to try. This is our last week on the road. I am looking forward to getting home – where it will be time to plant the garden!

  27. Congratulations on the new baby . I have always believed that children are the greatest gift in life. I am so happy that you have been blessed with family and friends to help you. Enjoy the little ones . They grow quickly and leave home way to early.

  28. I don’t know where else to turn, as Google has not been very helpful.
    1. I baked the fatty ham remains (except for the bone, which I saved for soup) so that I could salvage any meat and use them for treats for our dogs. I now have a large can of the fat that was left behind. Can I use this like lard, for pie crusts and such?
    2. I was given four wonderfully sturdy cookie sheets but they are really a mess in terms of baked on stains. I don’t want to use oven cleaner, as one site suggested. And my self-cleaning oven, which another article suggested, won’t work because it will not function if it senses anything is left in the oven, even the racks.

    Any help from more knowledgeable members of this group would be most appreciated. I hope it is okay to post this since it is only sort of related to saving money.

  29. This blog has become my most favorite thing to read each week. Having a French speaking house guest is exciting. My former French speaking skills are now downgraded to reading only. My mother always said to use it or lose it . This has inspired me to look into several topics that I am interested in. It is amazing that you can learn almost anything you want by traveling around online. The internet is an incredible source of skills. I am looking into gardening. I am thinking square gardening may be in our future. Sadly, the price of dirt is out of my immediate budget. My yard is He red clay with tons of pine trees. As a child I crocheted . I saw a beautiful crocheted Afghan that looks like peppermint candy. I think it is doable and know my daughter would love it. My children are 18, 21, and 29 but still love blankies! I have always wanted some of the Great Sources books I have seen advertised on magazines. I recently tried a free one on Audible. Now I have discovered a free 30 day trial of streaming programs from them. I am loving it . So many things to learn. I stick my pantry each week with loss leaders and all meals are planned from my pantry. This week I purchased 20 cans of Campbell’s Say Yes soups for a quarter . Soup and grilled cheese on some nights and others will be used in cooking . We are fortunate to have several salvage stores in my area. These stores usually have banana boxes ( boxes that bananas come shipped in to the grocery store ) stuffed full of random grocery, health and beauty items. Some are scratched, dented, close to expiring, damaged and opened.( Think a pack of diapers, with one missing ) Recently one of the stores has changed sources. They now are bringing in these huge boxes from Wal-Mart that have everything that customers have returned to the store. These boxes are 4 ft square and 3 feet high. It is incredible what you find in them. They have a pricing system but it doesn’t seem to be working well. It appears that the day before a new shipment is due in that he lets you have everything for a quarter or 2 for a dollar. Oh my gosh this is incredible. I bought 20 packages of 18.00 razor blades. I bought 2 Brita water purification systems for the sink and two pitures. I got a curved metal shower curtain bar and will be looking for the hooks to match it. There are multiple busted packs of copy paper laying around. The owner told me if I gathered them up, we could have them. I must have 10 teams so far. I am looking forward to my next 25 cent day.

  30. You remind me of my mil who worked for a teaching hospital in a research department. She would often host doctors from other countries and sometimes they did not know each others language. Imagine playing Monopoly with someone who can’t speak English? From what I understand fun was had on all sides.

  31. Mable, for the cookie sheets you can put them in a large black trash bag ( outside) and fill them with ammonia. Leave them outside on a warm day. I tried this for some things and it made scrubbing them easier. It’s a bit tricky to do but it loosens a lot of the stuff on it. It’s not perfect; oven cleaner will work much more quickly and easily if you change your mind, but it works better than anything else I’ve tried (including baking soda and vinegar).

  32. Margaret, you did not post any pictures of your table setting with the napkins folded into poinsettia flowers with a truffle in the center. Maybe you did but I could not find it on your website. I am not complaining or criticizing, just being nosey.

  33. I don’t think that you can use the ham fat for pie crusts. You should be able to use it to season savory dishes, but I would imagine that it is pretty salty.

  34. Laura, I am growing Festiva Maxima.

    In a hot climate, you need to choose early blooming peonies. These are not the earliest ones but they are an early one; there are earlier ones and I am interested in getting some that open a bit earlier, when the weather is cooler. The very earliest ones are only single petaled, not the big ruffled petals that are the stuff we all dream of with peonies.

    I have also learned in a hotter climate that they should be planted even shallower–rather than 1-2 inches deep, they can be planted as shallow as 1/2″ deep. This will keep them more exposed to cold in the winter. You can also put ice cubes on them in winter to increase your chilling hours. They still need full sun. Our much more mild spring that unsual has made for blooms that opened instead of burning, but one of my buds on another plant in the backyard is burning and not opening at all 🙁

    What I don’t know yet is how to keep them from wilting once cut. I cut some for the table early on Sunday morning, as flowers should be cut. By noon they were completely wilted, before I even had a moment to take pictures. I was very bummed! Roses don’t seem to have this problem, so I am glad that I have been adding more roses to the garden the last two years; that should help me to have lots more blooms on my table (once the bushes get bigger and they start flowering!)

  35. I thank you also–I had ordered a new shrub by mail and received 6 free ranunculous along with them. Now I have a better idea of what they look like, although I won’t know what colors I have until they bloom, which will be late this summer.

  36. We were able to use salvaged wood- big wooden beams, leftover 2 foot long landscape columns, 4×4 posts to landscape some more of our yard! I learned how to use our paint sprayer and sealed and stained about 105 foot of our 5 foot high fence. I also stained and seal coated our pergola, giving it a much more finished look! I found (16) 20 oz canisters of SunMaid raisins for $1 each! We were starting to get low on raisins so the timing was terrific!

    I put a boneless pork roast in the crock pot, then shredded it in the Kitchenaid mixer and added homemade BBQ sauce to it and we used leftover dinner rolls from Easter to make pulled pork sandwiches for dinner as well as several lunches. I made up potato salad with about 5 pounds of potatoes in our basement storage to serve the 31 of us at Easter dinner. I also made 3 dozen deviled eggs using home canned pickle relish in both!
    I bought 6 giant pineapples for 99 cents each and canned those into 18 pints of pineapple chunks!
    I made 18 ham, egg and cheese croissants for breakfasts. We got our first two starter hens and will get 3 more in a few weeks! They are such fun to watch! We made their watering system as well as their nesting boxes and feeder, using materials we had here at home! The only cost was $5.99 for the two watering cups that makes the water available only as they nudge it! A system with those 2 watering cups that looks just like what we built was $29.99 in the store!!
    A friend called to tell us that she saw a chicken tractor on the side of the road with a “free, take me”! Sign on it! Since it was Sunday, we waited until this morning, very early, to see if it was still there and it was!! We loaded it into our minivan, after disassembling it and brought it home! There are a few pieces that need replacing, but we will use those as templates for the new ones! We have replacement wood already on hand for this project too!
    We got orders for two more of our pallet planter boxes!
    I am helping a friend by teaching her Activity girls (12 of them, all 8 and 9 year olds) to sew microwave bowl holders in three sizes to give their moms for Mother’s Day. Each set of three uses 2/3 yard so I am donating about 8 yards of fabric as well as using my batting scraps so there will be no cost to make these! I do love having a fabric stash! Completed 2 more baby quilts and gifted 1 of them already!
    Made dinners at home using my pantries and combined trips out in car so our gas tanks don’t have to be refilled more than every two weeks! Spring garden looks good, fruit trees and bushes are all leafing out and the weather is glorious-high 70’s!!!

  37. How wonderful that your family can experience an exchange student.
    I was pleased to score a free organic macaroni with a loadable grocery store coupon. I received free seeds for snap peas and zinnias. I planted herb seeds inside.
    I watched “The Ultimate Guide to Penny Pinching” on Netflix.

  38. Now that we are getting some beautiful weather my husband and I have been spending some time in the yard. We no longer have the huge locust tree in our yard and now have brilliant sunshine throughout the day so we will be able to plant more food to feed us. We have a small yard but it has lots of potential. This year we are growing only tomatoes and herbs and possibly green beans but next year we will grow more. We found 4 tomato plants for half price ($1.67 each) at Home Depot. I am very excited about this! We are also working on filling in the bare spots in our yard with grass seed. I planted some lettuce and spinach seeds.

    We ate all our breakfasts and dinners at home and took all our lunches except one to work. On that day both my and my husband’s workplace provided lunch for us.

    I cut my husband’s hair.

    I made laundry soap.

    I made Greek yogurt in my crock pot.

    I made granola and banana bread for breakfasts and snacks.

    I made kitchen curtains from fabric I found at the thrift store for $2.00.

    I made vegetable soup using up little bits from the fridge and freezer.

  39. Mabel, I would suggest a product called Barkeepers Friend to clean the cookie sheets. I buy it at Walmart and it costs about $1.25 for a large cannister. It cleans and shines all kinds of things, including copper bottom pans.

  40. You can make dripping pastry with the fat left behind. It was a really popular WWII alternative to traditional pastry in WWII because fat was rationed so much that women had to get creative to feed their families.

    I found this recipe. Sorry, it’s in metric, but you can look up metric to standard conversions if you need to. It’ll at least give you an idea of how it works…

    With the cookie sheets, I second Bar Keeper’s Friend as it’s a pretty good cleaner. It might take a few applications and some scrubbing, but it does get the job done.

    Good luck!

  41. I can concur about the headaches and neck pain being relieved by braces – had jaw surgery at 39 and my braces on at 41 and don’t regret the time or the money spent. I had severe TMJ with my individual teeth being straight but my bite being off centre – getting braces as an adult was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. And my ortho had no qualms about telling me how much of a difference they would make to my headaches & neck pain – photos and x-rays were done on my head, neck and spine prior to all the work and afterwards and the difference was very easy to see. Hope your husband has as good a result.

  42. Brandy, I can think of a plus for growing peonies in a desert. It never fails that as soon as our peonies are in bloom we get a huge rainstorm and they get beat down. Growing in cages helps some. Peonies are a wonderful flower. It’ll be another 1 1/2 -2 months till ours bloom.

  43. K, the Budget Bytes blood today mentions Alexandra and a baking book. I think that must be the same.

  44. Hello everyone. I enjoyed your post and everyone’s comments. Thanks for the inspiration!!!
    -Made syrup
    -premade food for trip
    -Free cabin for spring break
    -Free activities boat, pool and various ball games
    -Use free salad dressing to make a second lunch from what we had on the way home.
    -Used items from clearance for Easter baskets
    -reused baskets, grass, and eggs.
    -Wore clothes we already had for Easter and took photo of the children
    -Cured a raw ham roast from freezer with ginger ale and orange peels (yummy) and used pantry food for Easter meal= $5! We had two other dinners from it.
    -walked to two meetings
    – worked from home to save gas
    -turn off all lights for the day
    -made broth out of veggie peels and scraps.
    -saved $6 on gas with fuel saver
    -bought 52 pounds of ground beef at the lowest price I’ve ever seen!
    -bought 30# pork loin
    -started a price book in my phone
    -bought cereal for .67c -$1 a box
    -used a bike we found for free, for parts. Each of us needed a tire, saved $28. We have an extra rim now too. Will dispose of the rest of the bike for free at city clean up next month.
    -reseeded our own lawn before the rainy week ahead
    -made outdoor furniture cover out of an old rain fly from a ruined tent
    -sent extra to mortgage pay off account!

  45. Your flower are gorgeous! And how wonderful to be able to host an exchange student–it sounds like everyone is having fun and learning a lot.

    I haven’t posted in a while–just been to busy to spend much time on the computer–so this basically covers April to date. I’m sure there are things I never wrote down. Ah well.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Ate home-prepped meals for the most part.

    * Hubs continued to shred old paperwork to use as nesting material in the chicken coops.

    * We bought and planted a new peach tree (and it already has peaches forming).

    * Purchased a fleece pullover and two pairs of shorts at a thrift store.

    * Harvested peas, Swiss chard, lettuce, green onions, chives, lemons, and broccoli.

    * Hubs has the “summer garden” in the ground now.

    * We took in our recycling and added $28 to our son’s Eagle project fund.

    * Hubs bathed the dog.

    * Used old socks as cleaning rags.

    * Salvaged the button and zipper from a pair of worn out shorts.

    * Froze 6 quarts of pumpkin soup. (We still had a few pumpkins from last year’s garden and needed to get them off the patio before the weather got too warm. Hubs made the soup while I did some proofreading for him.)

    * Accepted a free router.

    * Reduced our first quarter average grocery spending by nearly $200/mo.

    * Made my first loaf of rye bread and was very pleased with the results. (A bread machine is a blessing.)

    Joyful Activities:

    * Celebrating Easter.

    * Watching a fun lip-sync battle at our son’s school.

    * Celebrating another good report from my oncologist.

    * Having my brother and sister-in-law stop by for an unexpected visit (they live in another state).

    * Spending time with family and friends.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone.

  46. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . I adore your lovely flowers you picked Brandy.

    Being Australian it would be remiss of me not to mention it is Anzac day here. As a mark of respect to those who have fought and died for us, lest we forget. A special thought goes from our family to all those around the world who are currently serving in the defence forces and those whose service aftermath has left them with injuries both physical and emotional and their families. My husband is an ex military man with injuries.

    Our frugal accomplishments are as follows for the last few weeks –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Purchased tins of chicken and deodorant on special saving $11.18.
    – Purchased fuel on the low price cycle saving 10c or $4.45.
    – Saved so far this month 51.29% of our income for our saving for our home with cash bank account.
    – Watered the lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine.
    – Watered newly sprouted seedlings in the gardens with vegetable steaming, washing and blanching water.
    – Blanched and froze sweet corn from the gardens.
    – Picked capsicum, cherry tomatoes, strawberries and corn from the gardens.
    – Made 2 jars of strawberry jam from strawberries picked from our gardens.
    – Organised multiple quotes from builders to build our home to compare prices and save, and more quotes yet to come in.
    – Been looking online at multiple options for blocks of land to purchase at reasonable prices.
    – Also got multiple quotes for building a garage to compare prices.

    My brain is fuzzy with information about carpets, tiles and everything else that goes into a home 😮 .

  47. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    I forgot something I actually put on weight, for me that is a miracle in itself as I have always been underweight all my life, so I am happy about that, but not so happy I had to get new jeans. The good news is I managed to get 6 pairs of jeans on 40% off sale along with a lovely print skirt. Two pairs of the jeans had loose threads and they gave me a further 10% off the price of those. All up my savings were $90 compared to normal retail prices.

    Even better when I got home I found the 2 pairs of jeans I got on special didn’t need any additional sewing anyway as they were simply threads they hadn’t cut off but were around 2 metres long ?, hmm not really good finishing off I would say .

  48. We have found that cut peonies don’t like a warm room. It helps to keep them in the refrigerator at night too. I don’t usually have enough room for them in our fridge, so I just enjoy them while I can.

  49. We ate Easter leftovers and from the pantry last week which kept our grocery spending down about 50%. I’m hoping that we can do the same this week as well. I’m putting more emphasis on keeping our grocery budget down this year as I am still trying to find a job.

    We took advantage of $10 Kohls cash and a 15% coupon to buy hubby a new work shirt for less than $3!

    We tried a new lawn service for three months hoping to get our grass to grow but all we have is weeds. We cancelled the service and over seeded ourselves. It may take us all year to get our lawn looking good but we’re using that $30 a month for water INSTEAD of the lawn service. Meanwhile, I’m transplanting Liriope from one side of the yard to the other to create a border for our sidewalk.

    Hubby and I also rebuilt a small fence in the last few weeks. We borrowed a nail gun instead of buying one and reused hardware to save money. We have another fence to tackle over the summer. Painting/staining it is taking longer than usual due to the on again, off again rains. Doing the work ourselves is probably saving us $800-1500 by the time we’re done.

    On the job front, I’m not having much luck. I’ve even applied for a couple of part time positions at the grocery store and the credit union. Keeping a positive attitude is a challenge some days.

  50. I went to see a very close relative who has terminal cancer to attempt to help make end of life decisions so that the family will not make stupid financial decisions in the midst of sorrow. It did not quite go as expected, ok, he is not ready to deal with it, so I will attempt again later. If not, I will try to help family when the time comes, to not go in debt over a death. I walked in the neighborhood so no gym fee. I made a big pot of dried pinto bean soup, and put blackstrap molasses, garlic, tomatoes, leftover pumpkin, onion, hot peppers cayenne pepper, asian chili paste, and various other spices in it. I served it with dandelion greens roasted in cayenne pepper, sea salt and garlic, on top of homemade cuban bread. Simple food, but delicious. This pot should last me a week for supper. It has been a terrible month, financial and emotional wise, because of chronic illness of son and hospital bills, medical bills, insurance bills, time off from work, work related issues, having to eat out while at the hospital on watch, etc. The illness of my son will last the rest of his life and I just have to deal with it, like many of you have to deal with your children’s illness. I am just grateful he is still alive. Life is full of peaks and valleys, and we just have to do the best we can.

  51. Mostly a quiet week/weekend at home.
    Groceries were $60 but that included $20 in wine and the groceries will last me at least 2 weeks.
    Used my chick fil a calendar card to get dinner for $3.
    Baked cookies to offer to my bible study group, my colleges at work, and for the painting class.
    Dinner and drinks out 1 night at the VFW (under $10).
    Not frugal – Attended a painting class for $35. Fun outing with friends.
    also not frugal – forgot my lunch in the fridge this morning, so I”ll eat in the cafeteria.
    Played with my baby chicks to help get them used to being handled.

    I have decided that I really don’t like kale. I keep trying, but no…I love spinach, but kale… no. The kale pesto I made is ok but not good enough that I think I will do it again. Anyone have a surefire you will love this even if you hate kale recipe?

  52. Roberta, that’s a really impressive change to your grocery spending. What is making the biggest difference, do you think?

  53. I am always glad when I take the time to read here. I learn so much and I always come away inspired.
    This week was a pretty calm week at our house.
    This week I:
    [*] planted free plants in my garden. Some of these I started from kitchen scraps. One was a leftover Easter Lily that I hope takes.
    [*] made muffins using stuff saved in my freezer
    [*] covered a cardboard box with fabric to make a pretty and practical storage container for my sewing room
    [*] fixed an old clock and The Man fixed his computer. Fixing stuff not only saves you money but it also keeps things out of the landfill.

    Have a great week everyone.

  54. We’ve only seen moose out west while traveling. They are amazing looking animals. We’re too far south to be moose habitat though occasionally they have wandered down from the Upper Peninsula.

  55. We don’t usually cut peonies to arrange in a vase, we just clip the head off and float in shallow bowls of water.

  56. Hi Lorna,
    I can’t remember if you have told us all this, sorry to get you to repeat it then….are you going to buy land and build? Or buy an existing home? I know you are saving like crazy…do you know when it might happen?

  57. I hope this posts in the correct spot — my computer is showing this reply section rather oddly, so I wonder if it will appear as a respond to Jennifer’s request for a kale recipe.

    Jennifer, here’s a kale recipe! I usually just drink it in a cup, and quite frankly, you can leave out the seeds, berry powder, and dehydrated greens powder. The smoothie will be green, but you won;t be able to taste the kale! (Just don’t use the stems, as they’re too fibrous).

  58. Hi Hilogene we are going to be buying a block of land of around an acre and building our home to specifications to suit DH’s disabilities and future deterioration in his condition. He will most likely be in a wheelchair later so we are setting the home up to cater for wheelchair access being wider doors, shower with no lip and wider hallways.

    We have looked at already existing homes and around here they are very old a dilapidated and would not without spending a fortune cater for wheelchair access. Shockingly the already built homes would work out more expensive than us building one 😮 .

    Tentative plans are to get the housing loan around August – October and buy the block of land around then and have the house foundations laid around December. We are still getting multiple quotes from builders on the price of the home, price of the garage and awnings so we will know more accurately the timeframe we are looking at after that happens.

  59. I tried not to shop much this week. I want to go to more garage sales too. I just can’t believe how much prices went up again. I did find a 4 lb. bag of pinto beans for $2.00, organic coconut oil for $5.00. Some other things for 50-75% off. I am going to the chiropractor tomorrow. I hate going to a MD now. So expensive and I don’t like the theory behind what the believe anyhow. I am using essential oils and natural cures. So far, I like it. I am using my pantry items and food from the freezer. I am going to make soups and casseroles. I have mending to do too. I have been putting my clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes and then hanging them. My husband has clothes poles to put in for me. I am going to get started on my garden soon. That should help. My dill, cilantro and some onions came back . Take care.

  60. Brandy your flowers are beautiful as usual. I saw your Instagram picture of Octavius and he looks so grown up! Were any of your other children blonde as babies?
    I really enjoy reading your posts. You and the commenters give me lots of ideas to make the most out of what I have already.
    I am still participating in a Pantry Challenge. I had so much meat and frozen veggies in my freezers that I have only purchased 10lbs of ground beef and 20lbs of chicken breasts since January and we have been eating very well. I’ve only been buying perishables and fruit and have been averaging $150 a month. I must add that we have 3 foster boys in our home and they qualify for free breakfasts and lunches at school so I don’t have to worry about those meals during the week. They are also typical troubled youth who prefer junk food and protein and don’t eat many fruits or vegetables even tho they are available. They are 17 and 18 years old so I know they won’t starve.

  61. I’m sorry it has been such a difficult month. Sometimes, all we can do is tough our way through a time like that.

    Your soup and dandelion greens on toast sound wonderful. I may just borrow this as a meal plan. As soon as our last bit of snow goes, because I know there are dandelions lurking underneath all that moisture!

  62. That’s so neat with the French practice! The best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself with native speakers. I’ve always been rotten at speaking German, but a week spent with my German-speaking friends had me speaking in broken sentences (an improvement!).

    This week:

    1. I’m cooking extra of all our meals so we can have a bigger variety of freezer meals.

    2. We harvested salad greens and radishes from the garden. Mr. Picky Pincher pickled the radishes. We gave a pint to his sister and still have quite a few!

    3. I took on some extra freelance work yesterday and made an easy $140. Not bad!

    4. I plan to do a solo trip to the zoo next week and I’ll use my zoo pass, which makes the trip free!

    5. I cooked chicken stock, beans, pita bread, and tarts from scratch.

  63. Hi, Elizabeth.

    Thanks for your question. I think that the change is due mostly to the fact that I’m intentionally “shopping” the freezer, pantry, and garden before going to the store.

    In January I participated in a pantry challenge and spent just under $145 that month. That, in itself, really pulled the first quarter average down. Then, because I still had way too much food in the freezers and pantry, I continued the challenge–with the flexibility to restock anything that I was actually out of. I set an arbitrary grocery budget of $300 per month, just to see if it was possible for our family. So far this year, I’ve not gone over $325 in any given month, and our average for the year is still under $300 thus far thanks to the PC in January.

    I’m continuing the “challenge,” because our freezers are still packed, and as I write this I still have 6 jars of pasta sauce, multiple jars of apple butter, scads of pasta and dried beans, etc., in the pantry. Clearly, I stockpiled way too much food for our family of three (even if one of those three is a 12-year-old male swimmer). 😉

    I’m sure there’s still room for improvement (Brandy is the real pro at this), but I’m learning.

  64. Lorna, I have an illness that comes and goes in terms of my mobility. I have had months of being wheelchair bound and we have gone through the expense of remodeling our house to compensate for my less ambulatory times. In addition to the wider door frames and no-lip showers, we made sure our bedroom was re-designed so that there was a place for a grab bar right next to my side of the bed, to help me get out of bed. We replaced towel racks with sturdy grab bars; they still function as towel holders but are now sturdy enough that I can keep myself upright by hanging on to them. We also had grab bars put in the shower, which is 5 feet by 5 feet and thus we don’t need a door because it is so large that even when the shower head is on there is no water escaping into the rest of the bathroom. We also had a tall bench built into the wall of the shower because it was far more stable and easier to get up out of than those plastic shower chairs. I am quite tall, so we had pedestals built so that when we put our couch on them the seat was nice and high so easy for me to get out of. We also got leg extensions for our beds and for our recliners, so they are quite tall, too. On days when my strength is totally gone, I can still manage to get up out of those chairs and the couch. Finally, we redid my garden and put in three foot tall raised beds—some wood and some scavenged horse watering troughs. The beds are far enough apart that I can get around them in my wheelchair. If he get a wheelchair and you have insurance, hold out for a motorized chair with wide wheels—I was able to go to the fair and to other unpaved places (like my garden) with no trouble. I could not do that with a chair that I had to propel with my own arms. It took six months of fighting with insurance but they finally came through. We were lucky that our house was one level, so that at least didn’t have to be redone. I hope some of what I’ve said helps you avoid some of the errors we made when we first started out on the wheelchair journey.

  65. You might want to consider raised beds instead of dealing with your clay soil. Watch Craig’s list or freecycle for the dirt, boards for raised beds or even old tires for the beds. It’s amazing what people will give away. Also, stables for free used bedding and manure. The Tightwad Gazette recommended getting soil from cemeteries.

  66. Thank you for your suggestions. I think we are going to do a few containers this year. It is looking like the square method is what we will do. The mass amount of info is amazing. Honestly I am surprised the cemetery here doesn’t hurt everyone here on raised platforms. I drove by a farm the other day and saw orange mules/donkeys. It took this city girl a moment to figure it out. They were white/cream colored and had been rolling around on the ground I am quessing. Only in Georgia do we have orange dyed animals. Oh and we are going to start composting.

  67. Hi Mable and thank you so much for all of your valuable information re disability aids and fixtures you are a real sweetie for taking the time to tell me about them 😀 .

    I want to plan ahead for his injuries so he has ease of movement and the most freedom that he can down the track.

    Currently DH is mobile but occasionally uses a wheelchair when his mobility is in a not so good. Your tips and experience are absolutely wonderful.

  68. It will be a good way to find out how much you really want to stockpile for your family in the future.

    I arrived at Brandy’s blog with the opposite problem — I didn’t keep enough food in the house. I have a much better supply now. Though I am still learning which items I could keep more of and get a better price.

  69. Don’t know it this helps you deciding on family Rick climbing or not. My son wall climbs and is in a wheelchair. He is in a program where they have trained staff and all the equipment. He loves it. As long as the place you goes is certified and have qualified staff and equipment then I would be comfortable.

  70. Hello everyone.
    This week is my daughter’s play week. Which means lots of craziness. I’ll be glad when Monday is here and i can rest!
    Being on meals committee, dinner is now covered for my kids and I this week. Leftovers are good for school lunch.
    Have been heavily documenting all my volunteer related errands for next year’s taxes.
    Carpooling at nights with neighbor.
    Mailed a balance transfer offer so hopefully i can reduce debt load.
    Started seeds in garden.
    Making prayer shawl for hospital with leftover yarn.

  71. I saw eggs on sale at Target for .75 cents a box for a dozen large eggs. Since there is only the two of us newlyweds, I restrained myself and only bought two. While my husband loves eggs, I am not particularly fond of them. I think it is better to buy less and actually eat that amount than buy too much just because it is on sale and have the food go to waste!

    My mother also took some asian pears that were starting to get soft and turned them into pear sauce. She shared two jars with me!

  72. When I was a kid and the peonies were blooming, a bad storm nearly always occurred to knock down the flowers Ours were usually covered by ants so we never used them as cut flowers. I almost bought some inexpensive ones to plant this year because they’d bloom after some of our flowering shrubs and before the lilies and hybiscus, I believe. I am happy to read the latest blog post this week and how everybody saves money.

  73. Some cotton is, or was, grown on the grounds of Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan so I think that cotton just might grow in Southwestern Ontario. I saw blooming cotton plants in Dearborn a half-century ago. Around the same time, I was surprised to see some cacti growing around Leamington or Kingston because I thought we were way too far north for cacti. Obviously, the Canadians in the far south of their country did not agree.

    I like the idea of local fibers. I was reading up on World War 2 clothing rationing this week and have thought about challenging myself to source my clothing and household textiles from the United States while keeping myself within the 66 ration points allowed in Great Britain and the three pairs of shoes allowed by the United States during the 1940’s. I have a headstart with several tubs full of fabric, a suitcase full of yarn, a shoebag full of shoes, and an overstuffed linen closet, all of which I can use without spending any precious points. But a sturdy pair of American-made leather walking shoes run upwards of $150 and low-heeled dress shoes, $60 on sale. So this challenge might get pricy, fast, even though secondhand things don’t require any ration points. I could buy wool bats and yarn from within 50 miles. But I think that’s the only fiber. I could probably buy animal skins from local trappers but I think I am too squimish to turn them into outerwear and footwear myself.

    If you decide to restrict yourself to locally sourced fibers, please keep us posted on how it goes.

  74. We had clay soil (as in a brickyard used to be about one mile west and another giant one less than three miles to the northeast), lovely blue clay under the topsoil. It would crack when it dried out in the summer. My dad started a compost pile with leaves and grass clippings and started working the year-old compost into the garden. It made a huge difference in garden soil quality in just a few years. You might be able to collect leaves and lawn clippings from friends and start a compost pile of your own to reduce the cost of your garden soil in the future.

  75. Hello everyone! This is my first time posting on this blog and in need of a little help.
    I’m a stay at home mom of two boys and we’re on our debt free journey. We only have my student loan left which is about 14k. I’m looking for something that I can do from home. I’ve been reading this blog for about two years and everyone always have great frugal ideas and ways of making extra money. I’m really ready to be done!
    I’ve also been thinking about starting a small garden, but I don’t have any idea on what to do. We live in Ohio. I would prefer not to plant in the ground because we’re renting at the moment and have plans to purchase a house in the near future.

  76. Some of the nicest tomato plants I’ve ever seen were grown on a second floor balcony in ice chests. You might be able to obtain free chests if any of your friends order meat or insulin. If your new house is near to where you live now, you could bring your “garden” to your new home. You could start very small with a few herb plants or a tray of microgreens. These are expensive to buy in the store and take up very little space.

  77. This week I went to the “buy one, get one free sale”. Before I went, I checked the flyer to make sure the price for one had not been bumped up. (only 1 item was like that). So I got two bags of flour, ($2.20 each), 8 yogourts ($1.40 each), 12 bags of shredded cheese (at $2.50 each) (for the freezer), 12 little seedling geraniums that I will grow on instead of buying 2 or 3 bigger geraniums at $5 each (they can tolerate some cold so should be ok outside from now on), 2 cucumbers ($1.00 each), 4 bags of frozen fruit for $10 (my friend went to her store and got me 3 more blueberries since my store didn’t have any more blueberries), bought a very heavy melon for $4 (so heavy that at normal prices it would cost $8 on a per pound price). Looked at tiles (my friend picked up the samples for me) at $3/sq ft not $11. Decided not to buy them (saved money!!!). These are Canadian prices so they are even less in U.S. dollars and everything in Canada is more expensive than in the U.S. anyway. Bought a Calvin Klein raincoat for about $50 U.S. (usually $150)–– rainproof, windproof, detachable hood, and best of all machine washable. Had my drycleaner shorten the cuffs. I would have done it myself but because of the decorative stitching I didn’t dare. Dry cleaner/seamstress did a fabulous job. Had my dental onlays completed while I still have a good dental plan. Just have finished all of them ($10,000 work of which I paid $3,000). I learned that silver amalgam fillings could be fine but with time the teeth crack. Haven’t had a filling since 1976 but teeth cracked. Did onlays to prevent the need for root canals. Negotiated with my telephone/internet/tv provider to offer me the internet special discount again. I am going to start making my own yogourt. I made one trip to the grocery store that should last me a month.
    Saving on cab fare or gas to get there and back and saving on time, too. Am going to make my own bread due to allergies and cost of store bought bread. Am contemplating what to do with my mother’s beautiful rose coloured raincoat that is too small for me.
    give it to a thrift store so someone can treasure finding this like new coat?

  78. Hi Mommy of boys! Welcome!

    Earning money will depend on where you are located, I think, but selling sewing on etsy etc, seems to be a portable side project.

    As for growing a garden, what about planting in pots? You can use ice cream buckets and such to avoid purchasing pots, and the dollar store often has seeds for super-cheap. Or, try to regrow from items that you have already purchased: green onions are the simplest thing, and little kids love to see them grow. Celery and lettuce heads can also be regrown. As Brandy says, grow open-pollinated heirloom seeds so that you can collect the seeds for the next year. And, save your kitchen scraps to make compost or compost tea to enrich your garden pots. If you are creative in reusing plastic tubs for containers, at least to start the plants in, all you would be out would be the cost of seeds and dirt. Depending on where you are living, dirt can sometimes be scrounged from the neighbourhood, or even purchased cheaply with coupons from a local nursery. As for what seeds to buy, I would look at what would do well in your area (zone), and what would save you the most in terms of grocery bills. For me, that would be lettuce, as I eat it every day, but tomatoes or herbs or zucchini might be best for you. And don’t get discouraged if the first trial doesn’t work — green thumb are made, not born!

    Best of luck on your debt-free journey!

  79. I wasn’t planning on restricting myself to locally sourced fibres, but I did enjoy learning about it, from a historic perspective! Holly, I would encourage you to google search Fibershed to see if there is a “chapter” in your area or close to you. They would be a very valuable resource. The Upper Canada Fribreshed has a website were you can purchase various locally produced products, both raw materials and finished products. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of them have this. If there isn’t one in your area, you could at least read about how this all got started, which is very similar to what your idea is.

    A thought on the shoes…is there a Native American community near you? They may have leather hide for sale (no processing involved). Also, there are still some cobblers out there that make shoe by hand to fit their customer’s foot. A google search may help you find one. It would be expensive, but the shoe would be very well made and last a long time. Possibly worth the investment if you can swing the cost!

  80. Thanks Holly and Margaret! Those are great ideas for planting containers. I just don’t no where I could put them in the yard. Our yard is on a slope so when it rains it collects water near the house and we have lots of stray cats that roam through the yard. So I’m worried they would knock the plants down and eat them.

  81. Jeannie, looked up your word and one thing I would add is it said the “pleasant smell”. I wonder if there is another word for when it has rained a lot and it smells like earthworms. That’s not a bad smell, but I never though of it as pleasant.

  82. There is just something about washing curtains that is such a spring-like activity. Means to me we’ll be opening those windows soon with nice fresh curtains to move in the breeze.

  83. Rhonda, I tried to click on the muffin recipe but my computer would not connect. Said it was not secure. Can you put the recipe in the message? All I’d need are the ingredients/amounts and the baking temperature. Instructions not necessary. Thanks.

  84. Melissa, congratulations on the new baby. You appear to be blessed with a circle of good people around you. I am glad they are there to help.

  85. I’d agree with the oven cleaner method. You can buy fume free kind if that is the problem. I use this method for the oven racks and for the racks and pans off the the gas stove. The ovens are electric but I have never used the self cleaning setting.

  86. I just throw out the fat from cooking up the ham. I would think it would add a smoky salty taste to the pastry. Not what I would want for my pies.

    I use the metal scrubbing pads to keep my cookie sheets, kettles etc. shiny and clean. They are all un-coated pans naturally. I think they are made by Scotch. If you have non stick I have no idea.

  87. Orange donkeys! Haha.

    Raised beds could work as long as the clay soil that would be the base percs enough to allow drainage. Otherwise the clay could just seal it off. They use clay to line man made ponds around here. It can be pretty water resistant.

  88. What a nice price you got on the raisins!

    Our store had a .99 pineapple before Easter but it was limit 1 per store card. It is always cheaper to buy canned here, but fresh is just so much tastier.

  89. Starting with page 5 something about the configuration of the blog went off. All the side info and links disappeared and the reply link doesn’t connect to the comments. Does any one else have the problem? I was going to post my week but will wait til next week I guess as not sure what will happen.

  90. What works best when cutting peonies for arrangements is to cut them when the buds have just opened. They will open beautifully in your vase and you will get a chance to enjoy them a little bit longer. Ones that are already open don’t do well in vases. That’s been my experience.

  91. I believe that Clark Howard has a list of legitimate companies in his website that has work at home positions. I saw this week that is hiring at home customer agents. Might be worth looking into. I just started buying used text books and reselling them. Made 200.00 this week .

  92. When I moved into my apartment, I bought 5-gallon food grade buckets at Home Depot. I also have gleaned pots when other residents threw them away. I grow herbs, rhubarb, strawberries, berry bushes and green onions. I’d grow salad greens but I am also have garden space in a community garden. I second the suggestion of getting seeds at the dollar store.

  93. Look up how to make crustless quishe for the freezer. You would have ready meals at a cheap price. I do it with all my eggs my chickens lay.

  94. Lillianna, I’m planning on creating a raised garden this summer, too. You are right, the cost of buying dirt to fill one would be very expensive. However, I’ve decided to take my time creating this. I am going to fill the bottom of the raised garden with compostable material (food scraps, shavings from our guinea pig cage, leaves, etc.), this summer and fall. We also plant in containers each summer, so the dirt from them at the end of the year will be dumped in too. Next year I will see how full it is and top with cheap soil if it is almost full. So it might take me a year or two to create. But the soil should be really good for growing if everything works out well and it won’t cost me much to create it!

  95. Thank you for the reply! I’m interested in what you actually do to resell the text books. It sounds like a can do something like that. I have to be careful working for a company because if they offer insurance I would have to take it and I wouldn’t be on my husbands insurance any longer which we have excellent coverage. Thank God! So if you could take me through the process, I would love to hear.

  96. Thanks for the info! I’ll definitely keep in mind the dollar store for seeds. Do you know if the dollar store has any quality planting pots?

  97. Hi Athanasia. Here are the ingredients list and bake instructions:
    1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
    1/2 cup honey
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup unsweetened applesauce
    3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Distribute between 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

    Very frugal to make, especially if you can your own applesauce!

  98. Just a thought to add to this…if you were making pastries for meat pies, that smokey salty taste to the pastry might be quite tasty! Maybe cut the amount of added salt, to offset the saltiness of the ham drippings.

  99. Mine’s messy, too, Athanasia. I figured it would correct itself but this happened days ago. I am gald it’s not just me!

  100. My suggestion would be to camp in Maine after Labor Day. We had a whole (smallish) campground to ourselves one year and a nice healthy bull moose came though the place, just walking around the entire grounds to see what he could see! That doesn’t happen every time, but we have probably seen as many moose in Maine as we did during our visit to Alaska–and you don’t have to travel as far. Sadly, camping is out and motels are in for us these days as we have entered our middle 70’s—soft beds and hot showers appeal to us.

  101. yes Athanasia it happened to me as well, here in BC Canada ….. ann lee s

    to Ellies friend from Canada: how did you negotiate the price of your tv/internet withthem? I’ve tried to talk about this with Shaw but nothing so far has worked. I am paying about $140 for lowest cost tv/internet/phone, seems outrageous to me. ann

  102. Maybe offer to babysit kids of your neighbors? I knew one guy who made most of his money doing a “summer camp” where he would pick up kids and take them on outings to the park, the beach, etc. Anything to get the kids out of the house. If there is a park nearby or just in your home, you can make a little side money from that.

  103. I learned through my master gardening program that ants will benefit the peonies when they are opening. It is best to leave them and let nature take it’s course:)

  104. Happy to help. I use I downloaded the app to my phone. I scan the IBN number on the book and it tells me who will pay the most. The buyer pays the shipping so all I have to do is print the mailing label and ship it. I pay an average of 1.50 for each book at the thrift store. I make 5.00 to 50.00 average per book . I have time but not much money so this helps. I like the stores closest to the colleges. This is really easy. Some pay by check and it paypal.

  105. Athanasia, the Science centre you visited in Sudbury is call Science North. The one that Margie is referring to is the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. Both are very large and well worth visiting. However, the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto has a working Jacquard loom similar to the ones we have at our museum. The reason it is in a science centre is because the Jacquard loom uses a punch card system to operate and eventually became the inspiration for the binary code system used to run computers today. Anyone old enough to remember computers running on punch card programs? You can thank a Frenchman and master weaver Joseph Marie Jacquard for that!

  106. Margie, our Jacquard team has met with many of the weaving team from the Ontario Science Centre on several occasions. It is very possible I have met your friend at some point! The museum I work at is called Lang Pioneer Village Museum in Keene, Ontario, not Black Creek Pioneer Village, in Toronto, where your friend most likely worked. Small world, though!

  107. April was a struggle for me. I really hope this coming month is more frugal and better over all.
    Still it had some blessings and lovely days with flowers AND we went around with a credit report company and showed them proof we had paid a bill and it was closed.THEY confronted the company that claimed it wasn’t even after we showed the manager we had the canceled check. She was the one that said for us to contact the credit report companies and to give the info to our attorney general ..saw her the next day at Krogers and she said she quit, wasn’t going to work for that type of company, Kroger’s manager heard her and asked for her to put her application in…she got the job that day and started within 2 days with better pay and benefits than what she was getting.I was happy she was blessed.

  108. Athanasia, I have never stuck an earthworm under my nose to see how it smelled. I will be glad to agree with anything you say to keep from touching them.

  109. Well, I didn’t have tv so when I negotiated for tv, I tied it into a 3 year term but did not tie in my internet. I deal with Telus, not Shaw. They gave me a loyalty discount (since I’ve been with them for a very long time). Ann Lee, does your price include a cell phone as well as a landline? If so it might not be too bad (even though it’s high) but if not I think it’s high unless you’re getting a lot of tv channels and movies. Also, I cut some of my tv channels. I get the major Canadian channels, some of the U.S. channels, PBS (for sure!), and RAI (Italian ––as an indulgent treat so I can practice learning Italian). I think somehow you should be able to bring it down to $100 -115 Cdn. not including a cellphone. I may give up my cellphone but I had such a great deal with the data that if I were to get it today I would pay that for the data and as much again for the cellphone other services. It’s hard to give it up. That’s with Rogers and I would never get it back again plus if I were to switch then Rogers would charge me a $65 unlocking fee. I haven’t quite figured out what to do with the cellphone. In one sense I don’t really need it and could give it up altogether but on the other hand a cheaper, lower data plan (even a pay as you go) would cost not not that much less. The problem with a pay as you go is that even if you have lots of minutes and data leftover at the end of the month, it doesn’t carry over. I like having a cell when I am out as an emergency backup. Being in B.C. you could phone Telus and see how much they would charge you for service comparable to that you’re getting from Shaw. Just make sure that if you’r offered specials to switch that once the specials are off that you are not paying an exorbitant rate again. A lot of it depends on what agent you get on the phone. I told the first agent I was prepared to give up my internet and I meant it and he transferred me to the loyalty department where I explained the situation. The Telus fellow gave good advice about Rogers and the cellphone as well as I was ready to switch it to Telus. How long have you been with Shaw? Have you ever been referred to the loyalty department?

  110. We love video chatting with our “French son” and his family. When he was here last summer, he was able to watch the Euro Cup along with his father in real time!

  111. Lilllanna Pickles can you tell me what area of the country you are in. These deals sound outstanding. Also, If it is not too forward I’m 60 and considering nursing school just wondering if you think i’m too old. I would love your opinion.

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