We ate salad from the garden every day. Some meals it was the main course with homemade bread of crackers, and sometimes it was the first course in another meal.

I  also picked Swiss chard several days, so  we had lots of greens in our meals this week, spinach, green onions, parsley, chives, a couple of stems of asparagus, and a few strawberries. The children picked peppermint. I accidentally broke a branch on my grape vines, so I brought the grapes leaves in and I threw them in my soup.

I made French bread, Balsamic orange vinaigrette, ranch dressing, chocolate chip cookies, Greek yogurt, quiche, Swiss chard soup, wheat crackers, waffles, and chicken rice.

I stocked up on olives and canned pineapple at .68 a can. I was able to use internet coupons for $2 off the olives, making 4 of the cans just .18 each. I also stocked up on navel oranges at .32 a pound and Fugi apples at .50 a pound. I bought 20 pounds of carrots for .38 a pound.

A couple of weeks ago, someone gave my husband some clothes that he no longer needed (the man stopped eating out and lost 60 pounds! I thought that was amazing.) My husband tried on the clothes and we are able to keep a couple of pairs of shorts and two pairs of dress pants for him (I will need to hem the pants).

I had an at-home date with my husband.

Saturday morning I went to a semi-annual neighborhood garage sale. I found several great buys.

I found a sheet set in the color and feel of fabric that I had been wanting to make some pajama pants for Ivory. I cut out two pairs from it so far and I will be able to make several more things from it.

I found a set of 4-like new touch and feel board books for .50. I gave them to Ivory for a birthday gift (along with the other board book that I bought for her at the thrift store for .50).

I found a tie for my husband for $1. He has only had one other new tie in over 14 years.

I found a few sleeveless dresses (that we will use as jumpers) for Elsa. My favorite one cost .50.

I found some clothes for Cyrus, including a brand-new pair of shorts with an attached belt for him for $2 (original price on the tag was $32). I bought him two new pairs of shorts in the next size up as well as a shirt for him. I also found several books for him. The books and the shirt will be birthday gifts for him.

I found a few different books to use for Christmas and birthday gifts for other children. I also bought a scarf and some clothes for Winter (in the next size and up) that I can give to her for her birthday.

What did you do to save money last week?

P.S. I made some updates to my spring menu.
I do not follow my seasonal menus exactly; I use them as a guide for meals in those seasons. I watch what is fresh in the garden and that is the first thing that dictates our meal plans for each week. We will be eating salads and Swiss chard all month long this month.

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  1. I have been enjoying Spring here…all the trees are busting out. I cut a few azalea blooms and set them on my kitchen table. It was nice to have a few blooms indoors and they lasted several days. While weeding my yard, I trimmed out some boxwood greens that were growing where they should not and put in a jelly jar, ala Brandi…quite nice and they are lasting a long time. Ordered a 50# (!) bag of oatmeal for a great price. Picked up a free food-safe pail at Ingles (got that tip from you all). They will have more in the coming week…going to get several for other items too. Accepted some free eggs from a friend.

  2. One of my favorite things to do is to go to garage sales! I think it’s the thrill of the hunt LOL. They should be starting here with in the next few weeks. Our weather has been crazy!! One day it’s in the 70’s and gorgeous and than the next it can be chilly, rainy and in the 40’s. We have only turned the furnace on when it got into the 30’s one night. We can tolerate the 40 degree weather and we just put on a sweatshirt or cover with a blanket. I asked the bakery at Meijer if they had any frosting buckets and they gave me 2! I was thrilled!! Now I can go back to Sam’s Club and purchase bread flour and sugar. I did some rearranging of our stock pile and made sure I had an accurate count of all of our food and laundry products. I received a coupon for a free box of L`Oreal hair color from their giveawayI earned $12.56 from Saving Star, Ibotta & Endorse. I will transfer the money to my Paypal account. I was able to buy 6 boxes of Kleenex at CVS for .33¢ each. They were on sale for .99¢ and I used two $2.00/3 coupons I printed from their website. We made extra hamburgers, hot dogs and bratwurst when we grilled last Saturday night. We were able to get 4 meals from it. We also had leftover grilled ribeye steak. I cut it into strips and added a free taco seasoning packet to the meat. I also added onions, green pepper & red pepper from the freezer and made fajitas one night. I had enough papas points for 2 free pizzas from Papa Johns. We ordered that on Wednesday night and had the leftovers for dinner on Sunday. Hubby & I purchased seeds for our garden and planted them in containers for now. I won’t be able to plant my garden for another month. It will be nice to have a garden again! I wasn’t able to have one last year and we really missed having all the fresh vegetables.My daughter and I got rid of my husbands old fish tank and we moved the bookcase/library to where it was. It looks so nice there and I can’t get over how it looks and I didn’t have to buy anything new lol. Our non-frugal part of the week was going to a hospital 40 miles away for my husbands cat scan. Workman’s comp wouldn’t pay for the one that was scheduled a mile from our house and decided that we needed to drive over 40 miles to Warsaw instead. Crazy!! We had to go back to the orthopedic surgeon the next day for the results and it looks like he might have to have surgery on his collar bone. I hope and pray that this does not happen. He has another appointment on May 1st for the final decision of either it is healing fine or schedule for surgery.

  3. I did not use a recipe, I looked at the back of the package. I used a vanilla bean pod I had already scraped the seeds out of, cocoa powder and sugar. 1 tbsp sugar to 2 tblsp cocoa. Then I heated it, I made it a bit stronger than for cocoa, since cold food has a more muted flavor. Then I stored it in a canning jar in the fridge. It worked very well. The vanilla syrup was one empty bean, and then regular simple syrup, equal parts sugar and water.

  4. Our son and DIL are in Lexington MA. We were very concerned about them yesterday until we finally got ahold of them and found out they were okay. They had considered going to the marathon and we are so thankful that they did not. Glad to hear you and yours are safe too.

  5. Don’t forget to pick and eat that chickweed and lambs’ quarters, too! Very nutritious and not as strong tasting as dandelions, even when older.

  6. My insurance agent said it is better not to declare these smaller losses (like the food) because it will end up costing you more in the long run when they raise your rates due to claims…something you might want to consider.

  7. made banana and pear muffins from discarded by somebody else fruit. Now in the freezer for unexpected guests. Made my daughters birthday cake from the store cupboard. Got a packet of egg substitute for £1,49. Each packet is equivalent to 66 eggs. Walked everywhere locally despite my wonky leg, dicky ticker etc. I wont be beaten! Lucky enough in England to have free bus passes so made good use of it to take my Grandson who is still under fare paying age t o the local town park. Has a smashing play area. You should see me on he trampoline. I am the coolest Gran going. The weather has perked up considerably so we are all walking around with big smiles. My very clever and artistic neighbour has made her self a door curtain for summer from plastic bottle tops. You should see it, using different coloured tops it is a scene of a sailing yacht. Cost herf nothing except her time. And I have found a piece of heavy weight navy cotton in my heap that will make me two pairs of jeans and possibly a skirt. have been living on the pantry and freezer since Christmas and it looks like there is enough for at least another two months.Anona

  8. All this talk of harvesting from the gardens is making me anxious to be able to even plant mine! It still isn’t “time” yet :)This week we:Cooked all meals from scratch.Hubby made a ham that we have had in the freezer for awhile. We saved all the leftover meat in the freezer after keeping some out for sandwiches, casseroles,etc. I boiled the ham bone and used the resulting broth/meat to make ham and bean soup. It was YUMMY! I will be canning the leftover soup when I have time this week. We gave the bigger bones to our dog. I keep them in a baggie in the freezer and give them to her now and then. I signed up with sparkpeople.com to help me lose weight. It’s an amazing site that is free. I have access to nutrition and fitness trackers, hundreds of videos. It’s wonderful. I made a casserole with leftover chicken and pasta to bring for my lunches this week to work. I hung most of our laundry on our indoor lines/rack.I cleaned out my dresser and closet and donated the stuff to goodwill. I do this every few months. I would’ve donated alot more, but the hubby is not at my “level” of minimalist yet lolI made more of my conditioner rinse and more orange vinegar to clean with.My homemade vanilla is almost doneMade more homemade granola, Brandy’s recipe. Very yummy.Have a good week all!

  9. Penelope as a former teacher and a parent, I homeschooled mine for all but high school. The one advice I give every parent about homeschooling is to make a list of all the pro’s and con’s and to evaluate each year and each child. Do not go into homeschooling thinking I have to homeschool every child each year until the end of highschool. Evaluate in this way can I homeschool this child for this grade. If the answer is yes then go for it. You can re-evaluate later. I did this every year and I ended up homeschooling all years but highschool and frankly I did not do highschool because I personaly loved the highschool district we had moved into and I wanted my kids to have the experience of going to that school and they loved it. They also loved being home when they were younger and to this day they are approaching mid 30’s and they are close to each other because of the time they spent together when they were young and they still get raises at work because they have skills they learned at home that other’s their same ages do not have from school or work or life experience. I only taught k-4 when I taught so I did not have major skills to handle 8th grade but I did manage to give them better than they would have got at school they all were two grades ahead when they entered highschool in math and science and managed to graduate with enough college credits to test out of two years of college. So don’t look at the entire big picture just look at each year. I had friends who evaluated every 6months. Most of these friends,ended up doing every child every year all the way through highschool.

  10. They weren’t pushy at all! I think we just got a nice person though! I did feel like I was at a new car dealership (which is NOT a good feeling)!We did have a wonderful time! I couldn’t stop thanking God 24/7! It was awesome!

  11. I am working at making more of our food from scratch in an effort to be more healthy. Last week the kids adapted well to the homemade whole-wheat bread. My husband loved it! We ate 2 loaves in a week when we were only eating one loaf of store bought bread. I’m pleased to give my family healthy foods. Too bad this week’s bread flopped and is terribly dense. The kids didn’t even like it as French toast. The baby likes it, so he, my husband and I will finish it off. I think I know what went wrong and I am optimistic for this week’s batch. At the grocery store I found a 10+ pound pork shoulder roast marked down to .95/lb. We had roast with sides on Friday and BBQ sandwiches on homemade buns Saturday and Sunday (the buns turned out just fine!). Monday I diced some of the meat and made a big batch of fried rice in the crock pot. I used the bone and some veggie scraps to make a broth. I have never made pork broth before. I used some to cook the brown rice for the fried rice. We have been eating leftover BBQ and fried rice for lunches and have enough for another dinner tomorrow. I diced up enough meat for the freezer to make another batch of fried rice later. At the store some of my electronic coupons didn’t work. I went to customer service and they refunded the amount.Last week my husband and older kids did quite a bit of gardening. They tilled up more grass and dug up two small trees to make the garden bigger. They planted our early veggies- spinach, kale, lettuce, swiss chard, and peas. We bought more fencing and my husband was able to fence the whole area to keep deer and rabbits out. The fencing went on sale this week, and since I was in town I took the receipt to the store and received and $8 refund for the price adjustment. Very nice!We continue to heat with wood, hang clothes to dry, cloth diaper, breastfeed, and compost all we can.

  12. I appreciate your response. I find it very valuable. I have been weighing the pros and cons each day. I could potentially teach 8 children in grades K-11. One of my biggest concerns is the ability to provide them with the depth of instruction I want for them at a price (time/money/relationships) I can afford. Another concern is the nitty gritty parts, like record keeping and preparing them for a university and scholarships. The advice to evaluate periodically is very helpful.Thank you again for sharing this.

  13. Thank you Brandy. If I appear to be focusing on the negative, it would be that I see an obstacle and want to find a viable solution to make this whole thing work, as I think I feel led to do it. The attraction of more family time is huge. My husband received a request yesterday for an interview for the MBA program for which he applied. (I’m screaming for excitement still) So any way I can increase our family time is critical. Also, since 10 of the 11 are girls, life skills as mothers rate very high along with university preparation, though of course 2 are already at a university.I just need to get through this week (deliver a child to college, piano recital, MBA interview, car accident issues.. the list goes on) and then I may be able to get my husband’s attention as well as my own on it.Record keeping for scholarship and university admission is one hurdle I need practical guidance on.Shannon, thank you for the suggestion to find a local group. I have struck out on that front so far, but am willing to keep trying. One I find closest is headed by a seasoned homeschooling grandmother and requires commitment to “contribute” which sounds rather ominous when added to getting started. 🙂

  14. Oh wow. I must have been out of my MIND when I typed that. It’s 1 tablespoon cocoa and then 2-4 tablespoons sugar, to taste. I like a more bitter mix but my son prefers it sweeter. I woke up in the night and thought “did I do THAT??” and yes, I see I did. I use water in this recipe, I wanted something stable for the fridge. Cocoa is much better after it has been heated. One cup water to 1 tbsp coca and then your sugar. yikes.

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