I planted seeds in my garden several days this week. Some of them have sprouted already. I put empty glass canning jars (the small jelly jars) over the seedlings that sprouted. I have found that by doing this (the last two years) that I have prevented my seedlings from being eaten by bugs and birds. The jars also act as mini greenhouses. In my experiments the last few years, the difference between covered seedlings next to uncovered seedlings has been tremendous. The covered seedlings have tripled in size compared to the uncovered seedlings, due to a warmer climate. In addition, the jars keep the seedlings warm, should cold weather return. When the seedlings are large enough to reach the top of the jar, I take the jar off permanently, wash it, and return it to the pantry.

I turned off the heat on Monday afternoon. It was warm enough to open the windows.

I watched a few shows on Hulu for free.

I watched two episodes of Downton Abbey on pbs.org.

I used lemons from the garden to make 2 lemon tarts.

I harvested arugula, sage, and Swiss chard from the garden.

I dug up some larkspur from the garden that was growing right next to the edge of the circle in my garden and transplanted it to another place in the garden.

I reorganized the pantry.

I made some new bookmarks for my son for his birthday. My daughter made several large paper origami cranes and a birthday banner for him using items we had on hand.

What did you do last week to save money?

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  1. You must deposit a quarter to use a cart so that it is returned. Aldi operates with very few personnel and that is why their prices are so low. Even though our store has been here for many years I still see people trying to carry everything in their arms in the store because they do not understand that you get the quarter back. The customers at my store commonly hand off carts to others in the parking lot along with a quarter so that the person finished with the cart does not have to walk it back to the store. I really like that sense of community and caring for others.

  2. I want to clarify that we put the insulators behind EVERY outlet and switch plate even in our garage because our bonus room is over the garage. The bonus room is much warmer now. We did the outside walls about 2 years ago and saw little difference. One huge thing too is that we eliminated the musty crawlspace odor that our house had every time we went away for a few days. We had struggled to solve that problem for all the 19 years we have lived in this house.

  3. For the glass jars over your seedlings do you keep them on both day and night? Similar to indoor growing for seed starting? Sorry it’s somewhat of a dumb question. I’m thinking the answer is yes. I’d like to do the same thing as well. And it’s a brilliant idea! Thank you for that a lot!

  4. I don’t feel like last week was a “super” frugal week. I did the typical things, shut off lights, kept the heat down, etc. My husband bought the deluxe Turbotax, we have previously always used H and R Block. He saved us over $500 in “filing fees” by doing it himself. He also negotiated $5 off the price at the store because they were charging five dollars more than the website. We also sat down to decide what we were doing with the money, and we are finishing the remodeling on the bathroom and kitchen (doing it ourselves) and buying a new freezer because our old one is an old energy guzzler. I don’t understand how our power and light bill can be HIGHER, even though we have kept the heat down at least 2 degrees daily, keep lights off, turn off things when done, etc. I’ll keep looking for ways to lower the bill. Maybe it’s just estimated? Very frustrating.My medical insurance company forced me to have tests done, and now are trying to not pay for them. I spent 2 hours on the phone monday dealing with that, but the bill was $2200.00! That will be going down :)Not much else to say, thank you to everyone here!

  5. Sillygeesedesigns…the quarter ensures people bring the cart back to the store or cart corral. It is amazing how getting their quarter back motivates people to return their carts rather than leaving it in the middle of a parking lot.

  6. I successfully lowered my quarterly water bill $40. I realize that this is only about $13 a month, but water is so expensive in my town that I am proud of this accomplishment. I’ve been saving the water from warming it up for dishes and adding it to the washer. I’ve also been taking shorter showers.I got a free razor and refill in the mail from using BzzAgent. It also came with a bunch of high value coupons.I called AT&T and changed mine and my fiance’s phone plan. We weren’t using nearly as much data as we were allowed, so I lowered it a lot and now our bill is $30 less every month.I sold a few things on ebay and earned $7 from my ibotta app on my iPhone.Last week was my “womanly time” and I used my cotton reusable pads. I know some people are put off by this (and I’m as squeamish as anyone!), but I haven’t had to buy any supplies for months, saving me a LOT of money.I accepted some apples, cereal, and fruit snacks from my mother. She always has extra food around and also buys things at the store for my son. It’s always nice to get a little extra, since I know she can afford it!Used a free fruit for kids card at the grocery store twice this week and got a free apple and banana for my son. This card expires in February, so I’m trying to use it every time I go to the store.Hope everyone has a great week!

  7. Marivene, I have those Tupperware popsicle makers. They were the ones my mother used when we were growing up so have to be 45 years old, if that is possible. I usually just make popsicles of grape juice, that is the favorite. Thanks.

  8. These would make great gifts bc it isn’t something you can pick up at Walmart. You could get a countertop paper towel holder and spray paint it a matching color. You could even make some matching tea towels.

  9. Jenna, have you tried calling sewing machine repair places in your area to see if they have any refurbished to sell? I took my machine to a recommended man about a year ago, he did a great job. His living room was full of machines…he used to be the repair man for a clothing factory here and took care of all the industrial machines. He had a few for sale and they looked very reasonable. A couple he said people dropped them off to be fixed but then never bothered to come back to get them. Good luck.

  10. Thanks Elsa — I am hosting all the friends tomorrow morning for a breakfast at my house. Breakfast casserole, cinnamon swirl bread and mini muffins and fresh fruit (coffee and juice) — all stuff from my pantry! And the ladies seem happy to be coming over! And I love staying home more — I get so much done and with starting a new home typist job — I am going to need to be home and working when my daughter is in school. More money in the budget means more a more stocked pantry.

  11. This week I made homemade pasta and homemade mozzarella cheese, and the usual loaf or two of bread.We have been trying to eat up the remainder of our garden produce from last year. Whats left is mostly jam, jelly and pickled green beans (Yum!).My MIL is sending up a truckload of furniture to us, and its supposed to get here today. I am beyond excited!!! I can’t wait to see whats in there. She said if there is anything in there we cant use we can sell it, which is such a blessing because we ended up owing taxes this year, and i might have to get new tires on my car 🙁 Double whammy. My tulips are starting to pop up. I am so anxious for gardening season, I just can’t stand it! Eeeeeee! Haha. Have a great week, ladies.

  12. Keep fighting your medical insurance company. We have a lot of trouble with our insurance paying what they are suppose to. This year alone I have literally saved my family 2,000 just by making sure that the insurance company is paying what they are supposed to. I no longer make phone calls when I have a problem with an EOB or a bill. I simply write a letter on my computer. This way I have a record of it and I don’t waste hours waiting on the phone to speak with the right person. A stamp is well worth it in terms of my sanity also!

  13. just an idea or the sewing machine, i have mine and inherited moms, neither are fancy, but i do not know how to sew…i would gladly barter the machine or a basic lesson or two…i’d put the word out there..

  14. I think it’s great that you were able to reduce your price for $500 for all parties. Know that this is a supportive group and the suggestions given are all just meant, I think, to help you ease the cost burden. Family dynamics and circumstances are all different—and you’ve done well to reduce your cost. I bet you’ll see other ways to cut it even more next year, if you choose.

  15. I just found out that my husband’s job has a deal with AT&T that employees get an 8% discount on their personal cell phones, so we are now getting that on his cell (I don’t have a cell). Maybe there are others out there who are missing freebies from work? Worth checking to be sure you are using all benefits.

  16. It is traditional at our church to have graduation parties…high school and college…with open invitation to the whole church. Lot of work, fun, with planning not too much expense. Everyone has decor in the 5 school colors that are passed around (Univ/3 high schools/ tech school), the church allows tables, chairs, Nesco roasters, serving dishes like platters, punch bowls, cooolers, drink cooler, etc to be checked out. Friends will usually offer to bring side dishes…most everyone does sandwiches or sloppy joes. It is fun…some weekends there may be 3-4 parties.

  17. I just looked at the link. My daughter loves to make things like that, I will tell her about it. I probably have enough cotton flannel (worn out sheets) and old t shirts squares in my rag drawer that she could choose from there. Not as cute naturally as all new for a present as the sample one was. But just as usable. I even have velcro bits.

  18. Debbie, where do you find the recipe for the masa cakes? I always add lots of vegetables to my chili too…corn, diced carrots and grated zucchini,onion, celery, peppers… all that had been frozen from the harvest.

  19. Thank you for the advice/support 🙂 I’ve never had trouble with an insurance company before. I guess it is so bad that my company is switching insurance providers. It’s not right we pay tons of money to them and they treat people this way. @ Jenny, it could. I will keep trying to get the bill lower, it’s just frustrating lol

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