I had at at-home date with my husband on Saturday night. We watched a movie and popped popcorn after the children were in bed.

I needed to replace a lemon tree in the white garden that was mostly killed by our long frost in December. There was a sale this week on lemon trees at the nursery, so I was able to pick one up on sale and I used a $10 off coupon to the nursery on top of that. The previous lemon is still alive, but barely; it lost all of its branches to frost and is just now making a handful of leaves (it is only about 6 inches tall now). I am going to pot it and see if I can keep it alive somewhere else.

While I was there, I picked up a few pansies on clearance for .25 each. Pansies are primarily grown October through April in our climate, so these will only live another couple of months, but for $1, I’ve filled in some bare spots in my urn in the white garden.

A friend gave me a small strawberry plant that she had left over after planting the rest in the package in a pot. I planted it in the garden.

The weather has continued to be beautiful here. The children have spent a lot of time playing outside in the garden. I enjoyed time in the garden as well. I planted some seeds in the garden and thinned and transplanted some seedlings. I also figured out several more places for herbs in the garden and planted seeds in those spaces.

I made a dress and some other presents for Wren for her birthday using materials that I had on hand.

I cut daffodils and stock from the garden for the table on her birthday.

We decorated with paper lanterns that we already had, pink bunting that I made several years ago, and some cardstock birds that Ezrom and Winter made, in addition to the flowers on the table.

I cut a few spears of asparagus from the garden. I also picked a small amount of lettuce and parsley from the garden.

I made bean burritos, balsamic orange vinaigrette, tomato basil soup, spaghetti, and waffles. All meals were made at home. I made lemon meringue pie for Wren’s birthday.

I signed up for a free cake making video class on Craftsy.

I received a free copy of Better Homes and Gardens in the mail.

What did you do to save money  and enjoy life frugally last week?

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  1. It’s the same one that was in the other photos; it’s probably just that particular shot. I believe it’s the large one from One King’s Lane. I can fit a pint-sized mason jar inside, which is what I do every time. They sell a vase size but I don’t know how big that one is. This one is around 6 inches tall. My daffodils are all miniature ones, in case that threw off the size for you.

  2. My husband suffered from cystic acne as a teenager and he did not get proper treatment until his mid-20’s when he paid to do two courses of Accutane. It’s very expensive but will CURE the acne for most people or at least dramatically improve it. However, because he was older when he started he still has acne scarring and also really regrets that his parents didn’t make it priority to properly treat it early when he thinks of what a negative impact it had in those years. It’s an investment but it’s a quality of life issue.I personally suffer from chronic migraines that are largely hormonal tied. For me, only drugs help me maintain at least a somewhat normal life (thankfully I have full medical coverage). There are lots of things that help many people however. I’m a patient of one of the best neurologists and researchers in Canada, if you’re interested, you can email me and I can share some of the non-medicinal, lifestyle options that she recommends. I know how horrible migraines are 🙁 mbourdonbastian@gmail.com

  3. While I did post about all the things I did to save money this week on my blog, my biggest accomplishment this week was increasing my earnings.I got a new job! It’s with the same organization I already work for but its a better and more challenging position that is, essentially, my ideal job. It came with a small raise and I negotiated successfully for a higher one. I have never before negotiated my salary, as with many people I think, it’s something that falls outside of my comfort zone. The payoff however was definitely worth the squeamishness I felt in doing it and I’m so glad that I tried it. This salary increase will definitely help us out! I’m learning that being more assertive often pays off, whether it’s asking for a raise or asking for a fair discount or anything else.You can see everything else here: http://livingwithinreason.blogspot.ca/2014/03/accomplishments-mar-8-to-mar-14.html

  4. I had to cut letter short as my mother called yesterday and asked if I remembered I was picking her up…I did, but didn’t realize it was so late. Oops, my mother does not like to be kept waiting. I get to her Senior apartment and she is outside leaning against the wall looking at her watch.We had lots of leftovers to use up from the turkey dinner as everyone that brought a dish left the remains behind, so had a couple jello salads and 1/4 of a German chocolate cake and a couple vegetable dishes. So that was nice. I saved $5 per child, 5 + 2 spouses, by preregistering them for upcoming race, tomorrow. It is in the town where 3 went to college, last 2 are still there (#1, #3 and #4). They will all go over soon, taking my mother with them. My children have always boarded with an older couple who are retired teacher friends of my mother. The couple has no children and mine did all the yard work, house work, some of the cooking, transported them to appointments etc all in exchange for free room and board. They also have the use of a car. This has saved us quite a bit of money and has enabled the couple to remain in their quite large older home. It is also in the university area which while convenient for the children can be quite rowdy at times. They feel safer with the younger folks around. If any of you are looking into children away at college look into a similar situation, if possible. It has certainly benefited all sides in our case. Markus has graduated but came back after his mission work and is now working in conflict resolution. They want him to stay as long as he can. Johanna is done with nursing soon but she may stay in the area too.Grocery shopped the St Patrick sales and bought corned beefs at 2.59/lb, potatoes 1.99 for 10 pounds (bought 10 bags), carrots .79 for 2 lb, so bought 10 bags. Saving star had a 20% coupon for tomatoes so I bought 3 pack of the grape tomates for 1.69 ea. White mushrooms were on sale for 1.35/pound so bought 3 pounds. Cabbage was disappointingly not on sale yet, but when I bought the combo of the meat, carrots and potatoes I got a free head of cabbage. Hopefully will go on sale somewhere as I need to restock the cellar, as with the carrots and potatoes. We still have plenty of onions, though I bought 1 very large sweet onion for using raw. Our own grown onions I prefer cooked. Milk that was 2 gal for 5.00 has been 2/ 6.00 the last 2 weeks. Dairy has gone up because the farmers are finally getting more for the milk right now. Bought a bag of red delicious apples .88 per pound and gas station bananas .33/pound. Will send most of the fruit along with the children this weekend. Husband came home with 15 pounds or so of Ruby Red grapefruit from Sam that we divided up between us, the close by kids and my mother. I forgot to ask the price.Bought a container of baking powder (I buy Rumford Al free at the natural food store) , powder sugar 2 bags at 1.69 per 2 lb bag, mini marshmallows 1.29 large bag, and 2 bars of dark chocolate for 1.00 each to replace some of my baking supplies. Bought from bulk section celery seed, black mustard seed and whole cloves. Bought 3 doz farm eggs at 1.25/dozen.I cleaned up all the mushrooms and sliced and froze them on baking sheet. Then transferred to freezer bags. I don’t buy canned mushrooms. Well I hope I remembered right for the past 2 weeks and now this one is almost over. Started re-watching an old PBS show that we have the DVDs of, KEEPING UP APPEARANCES. It is very funny. Sorted through my stack of cards to see what I have in the way of Eater cards for sending out. Signed up to deliver another meal to our recovering secretary in rehab now for the broken shoulder (gluten free/dairy free/vegetarian). Brandy, I know your garden will be just beautiful for your tour this weekend and I hope you will share many pictures with us.

  5. I live I. South Florida and work in real estate law and agree 100% with Brandi … the market appears to be over inflated and the banks are not pushing f/c judgements. We are running into judges who will not grant a motion to dismiss sale date because the case has been in the system for so long. … just lost a short sale approval because of this. I am NOT spending my bonus money as I know it’s short lived

  6. You could also try something called a Zip it or Whip it? It is an inexpensive long piece of plastic that you stick down your drain and twist. Then you pull it back up and it brings up all sorts of gunk, hair etc. They cost only a few dollars and last for years (even though it says to throw it away each time). We have had great success with these.

  7. We drove 5 hours to Nashville to meet up with my husband’s family who live in Arkansa to celebrate birthdays. (We only get together about twice a year so this was a real treat.) I skipped going to the grocery last week (which was huge for me) in order to use the money for gas. (They paid for gas on the way home.) I also sewed a Reusable grocery bag for my sister-in-law and a microwavable potato bag for my mother-in-law. Pictures and more frugal accomplishments on my blog here: http://www.lifeasmrsemerson.blogspot.com/2014/03/frugal-things-i-did-last-week_14.html I also spent 4.5 hours hemming curtains and sewing a new valence for a friend of a friend. How much should I charge? I was thinking maybe 8/hr?

  8. I plan meals TWICE a week usually. The first is the menu that is my idea of what we might have during the week. About Thursday I scratch that menu and check the fridge for leftovers and items that look like they need to be used and plan meals from those. When I do it this way consistently I have a lot less waste.

  9. I suffered with horrible migraines for many years. Mostly I learned to cope with them because I am medication sensitive and because my mom was an R.N. so we treated things at home. I learned over the years that what worked for me to ease symptoms were an OTC menstrual relief tablet or Excedrin migraine (can only take so much of that as the dosage of caffiene and aspirin led to painful stomach aches). I avoided chocolate and cheese (two favorites, alas) during that time of month. I found for me hot compresses were the most soothing and to sprinkle lavendar oil on a dry cloth or my pillow and breathing in deeply helped tremendously.

  10. Heating water on stove to wash dishes…My granny always heated water on the stove to do her dishes. She cut off her hot water heater unless baths or showers were going to be taken. I just realized that my hot water heater is electric but my stove is gas…I’ll probably be heating water to hand wash and rinse dishes from now on as it would help save a bit on electric.

  11. Most of this week was birthday celebration for my big boy (8). I made it a special week by:1. taking a few hours off work to volunteer at his school2. We had our neighbors over for dinner for his birthday. My husband made lasagna (well, I steamed the kale/ chard for the cheese filling and chopped a lot of the veggies – team effort). I made green beans to go with them.3. His birthday party is today and it’s a sleepover for his 5 closest friends. Feeding 5 boys dinner and breakfast is way cheaper than having a daytime party where everyone brings sisters, brothers, and parents – fewer mouths to feed. My husband made cupcakes for the dinner and is making the cake for today.I stocked up on corned beef and cabbage because of the St Patty Day’s sales. Even though my husband will be out of town this week.I have been trying to lose weight and have been eating a lot of salad because we get at least 2 heads of lettuce a week from our CSA. As much as I’d love to chuck a head and buy asparagus, I haven’t done it. Instead, I’ve started looking for ways to make the salad tastier and different each time. Today I opted for canned tuna instead of eggs.Upcoming: we are canceling our land line to save $30/ month.

  12. I did the following this week;- went through old greeting cards and cut out gift tags from the pictures and punched a hole in them for ribbon- took things that my kids have been given and never used and put them in a birthday storage box for my neices birthdays- made banana bread with over ripe bananas- made granola from the recipe on this site- found out my daughter got into the state university YAY!!! – because of that I retrieved a gold bow I had designated as too ratty to use again from the garbage (it was very clean dry garbage and the bow was right on top). I cut it into strips and curled them to decorate the table where the acceptance letter is being displayed- I found a red envelope that I was about to throw out and used my three hole punch to make confetti for the same table- I ironed a white linen table cloth to strew the red and gold decorations- I downloaded the fight song to play when she and her father get home- I got out some of her great grandmother’s china in red and gold to decorate the tableThanks for your inspiration!!!

  13. I have been using baking soda and four tiny drops of dishwashing liquid soap in my dishwasher for a month and it is working really well. I stopped buying cubes and powder at all.

  14. KKJ, on Homestead Survival blog one of the skills they s list is blacksmithing. Does your husband do it as an art form or is he a farrier? How does a bowling ball fit into it all?

  15. Thanks for the encouragement Brandy, I already send homemade cookies with the children so I think I will send extra and have the kids offer them. I know that they are not supposed to share but they do anyway and they can see if this little girl would try one or two. I really like the idea of gift wrapping it too! Makes it a little harder to refuse! Today for lunch I sent homemade bean and lentil burritos, homemade cookies, carrot sticks and fruit. The children may still tease but my kids keep asking me for the homemade food. On the other hand I wouldn’t send them prepackaged anyway even if they did ask!

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