Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Snow Peas The Prudent Homemaker 

I picked snow peas from the garden.

I cut parsley, green onions, lettuce, and Swiss chard from the garden.

A local reader offered me some hand-me-downs for my children. Winter now has 2 new pairs of jeans and a blouse, and Cyrus has a new pair of jeans as well.

I bought several pairs of pants in a girl’s size 12 for $3 total from a Facebook garage sale page. 

I went to a couple of garage sales that were close by (a nearby neighborhood was having a neighborhood garage sale) and I bought a t-shirt for myself, a suit for Cyrus in the next size up, a pair of shorts for Cyrus, and a dress for myself.

I printed several school worksheets from free online sources.

I watched a couple of shows for free on Hulu.

Snow Peas in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

The weather was beautiful last week–and also very warm (in the upper 80ºs). When the sprinklers came on, the girls ran outside to play in them.

The children pulled out the dress up clothes and played princess, dragon, knight, and the king outside.

Ezrom cut the grass with the push mower, which saved gas.

March flowers

I cut flowers from the garden.

I gave both boys a haircut.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

This Post Has 124 Comments

  1. Mari in MD

    I picked snow peas too – mine just came from a bin at Wegman’s! We’ll have flowers in the garden someday, I’m sure of it!

    Our weather has been “changeable”, as in gorgeous on Thursday and snow flurries on Saturday, with lots of freezing temp nights this week. I’ve covered up daffodils that freeze every year and am hoping the buds that are up will actually bloom this year. I really need to transplant them to another section of the garden where the flowers don’t come up as early. The weather people are promising us much better weather this week. I hope so because I would love to get out and start working in garden beds -that aren’t too cold and/or soaking wet. I was still able to dry a couple loads of laundry outside today.

    My friends gave me a china cabinet that had been sitting in their basement for years. The husband and son delivered it and brought it inside. My only cost was the $20 I gave the college student son. It’s one thing for adults to do favors for each other (and I’ve done things for them) but the son was more or less roped into doing this and I know he appreciated the money (what college student doesn’t?). It will take a lot work to clean, get rid of scratches, etc., but I’m looking forward to it. I might end up painting it, too. A neighbor refinishes furniture and sells it on Craig’s List and at yard sales, so I’m going to ask her for advice on what I plan to do.

    I updated my budget for the remainder of the year, although there are some unknowns, such as how much tuition will be next year (I’ll find out in May) and how much my daughter will be able to contribute to her education (I’ll have a better idea after she gets a job and she knows how many hours she’ll be working and at what rate).

    I did my major monthly grocery shopping for April, including taking advantage of the Easter sale items. My main goal is to stock up on meat at this time because I know in the summer and fall I’ll want to spend more money on fruits and vegetables both for eating fresh and preserving. Fortunately, I have all the fruit and veggies from last year, although I do buy some fresh items as well. I made 2 pounds of sloppy joes and pre-cooked another pound of ground beef for use in recipes, froze chicken single serving bags, and made Italian bread dough in the bread machine. I made sub rolls for hot veggie subs (cook mushrooms, sweet pickles – yes, pickles – peppers, and onions; once they are cooked through, top with tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and sub roll and steam them in the pan for a minute or two to melt the cheese and soften the bun. Yum!

    I signed up for two free gardening classes at the local library. The local master gardeners are teaching “Vegetables: Beyond the Basics” and a class on getting started on composting. I want to hear what they say about composting egg shells, vegetable peelings, tea bags, etc., which is illegal in our county to prevent rodent problems. I expect they will recommend the indoor worm beds, but we’ll see.

    Have a great week and a blessed Easter and happy Passover for those who celebrate these holy days.

  2. ruthie

    I harvested kale and made chips with part and salad with the other. I also made buns for burgers and whole wheat bread. I made pizza last night thinking that it would only be my husband and myself. Five more bodies ended up at home during dinner so thankfully pizza is an elastic meal – it can stretch! We also had salad. When kids are adults – you never know who shows up! I also froze strawberries I purchased for 1.25/lb.

    I mended 9 pairs of jeans and shorts for my son and husband. I made more laundry soap and dishwasher soap.

    Every night that I watch a show or two I am knitting. My goal is to have sweaters, etc for my grandkids for Christmas presents. I have completed two so far, plus a blanket for grandbaby #7.

  3. I haven’t been on for a few weeks so this is a compilation:

    – Free Friday from Kroger- this is usually stuff I don’t buy but it is free and often a good treat. I save up 3 weeks’ worth so I am not making a trip every week

    – started my “Freezer Soup” container- I save bits and pieces of food that would otherwise be thrown out or eaten “just because” and works in a soup in a container in the freezer and when it is full I make soup (usually taco soup). I add things like a 1/2 eaten hamburger, few spoonfuls of veggies, even spaghetti!

    – started making bread again. I make 4 loaves of whole-wheat bread at once and freeze the loaves until needed. I stopped when I was pregnant with DD2 and just started again (she is 17 months!).

    – I modified my waffle recipe. I halved the butter and add a bit more milk to make 4 waffles instead of 3. With 4 waffles I am able to freeze 1, so I can have ready-made waffles for busy mornings

    – I’ve sold some things on Craigslist and made $120

    – I have found some excellent deals on groceries at Aldi and Sprouts and I have stocked up! 1.89/lb butter (bought 16 lbs), 1.69/lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (30lbs), .88/lb strawberries (16 lbs), .49/lb organic apples (26 lbs), $5 off packages of ground beef making it $2/lb (20 lbs), $1 tilapia filets (2 filets), .20/lb potatoes and more. I made freezer meals out of some packages so I have a ready dinner when I am tempted to not cook dinner. I have 12 hamburger patties, 4 meatloaves, 2 pans of tater tot casserole, 2 pans of beef enchiladas, 2 huge pots of beef veggie soup, 2 sweet and sour chicken, 4 pans of chicken tetrazini, 2 cilantro-lime chicken fajitas, and 3 bags of browned ground beef for spaghetti. I am going to freeze some potatoes, strawberries and apples. I was going to try my hand at canning strawberry jam but it looks too expensive to buy the equipment and honestly I am a bit scared to try 🙂

    – I harvested some parsley, green onions, and lettuce for both sandwiches and a salad from my garden My snow peas are flowering so those should be ready soon! The salad from my garden was added to leftovers that was not quite enough for a meal, and so I was able to stretch the leftovers into another meal. My cilantro, onions and garlic are growing big, my broccoli may make it after all, and my carrots are coming along!

    – I planted some more broccoli, strawberries (I never get berries but I keep trying), potatoes, swiss chard. I have bought a few more fruit trees. We’re preparing the bed for blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry bushes. I need to plant my tomatoes, okra, grapes, jalapenos. I am waiting to plant squashes for a few weeks and hope the squash bugs move from my garden.

    – I found some self-seeded onions in my yard! I had already planted 100 onions but I found some empty spots to transplant some of the self-seeded onions.

    – DH has done a few car repairs on my car, saving a lot of money!

    – DH replaced my clothesline that broke.

    – Our fence needs repaired, so my dad is coming out in 2 weeks to give DH a hand in repairing it. It’s not the cheapest thing but doing it ourselves will save some money.

    – Did not eat out this week or last

    -My neighbor gave us a huge bag of cilantro from her garden. I am growing cilantro, but it is still a nice blessing! I’ll make a huge batch of cilantro-lime pesto and freeze to make cilantro-lime rice when we have rice and beans for dinner.

    – Did my usual frugal habits.

  4. Bless

    I stayed out of the grocery stores for the most part! I spent all my March grocery budget by the 3rd week and had to borrow $2.50 from the April budget to pay for the gallon of milk I bought on Saturday.

    I tried out a new bread recipe (no-knead bread), which turned out quite well considering it was only the 2nd time I’ve baked bread from scratch.

    I sewed myself a new pajama set with fabric I had bought on sale for $1.99/yd. I cut out a new nightdress, too, with more fabric bought on sale (also at $1.99/yd).

    Transplanted existing plants instead of buying new plants for the front garden.

    Air dried laundry.

    On the non-frugal side, went out to eat a couple of times with daughter and a friend (budgeted for separately). There were some other expenses, too, since daughter was home on spring break.

  5. Siiri

    Hi to everyone! I did not accomplish much. I did drink quite some litres of organic maple juice which my BILs son had collected in farm – its early spring here. Even to me it is exotic. Have had birch juice before, but not maple.
    Added heat to house with wood. Read about winter seeding. Plan to start collect containers to try it next winter. Started 30 days spring cleaning project. Love it.

    I take my 4 yrs old son to kindergarten with bike – I drive mine and he drives his running bike. It is 1mile long way. I come back home, leave his bike there, and pick him up in the evening and we head home. I like this time with him. Bike keeps him moving, will not get distracted, I talk about traffic, weather etc and think my thoughts, too. My older and younger daughter can be at home together these times.

    Sent my mother postcard for birthday. These days, as simple thing as mailed card really stands out!

    In our in unrenovated summer house we have bucket under sink for used water. It comes in normally but from sink goes to bucket. You’d be surprised how little water you use when you have to take it out by hand!

    Baked cinnamon rolls and pizza in farm at weekend, used only yeast, not dry yeast, flour and sugar and water to get dough.
    Put some more onions on the small baby food glass jars filled with water to get green onions.
    Cooked some food from freezer. There have been warnings about eating food packed in plastic boxes or plastic bags. Using freezer for storing food portions – what are your solutions concerning that? Thanks!

  6. Sandra

    It’s still too wet to get my garden in so I am going to do that as soon as it dries out. I was going to buy flowers to plant but decided to start my own with seeds instead. I found oranges 6/$1 so I bought 40. I found apples for 59 cents a pound so I bought ten. I found pork loin roasts for $1.49 a pound and bought four roasts. I made two gallons of homemade yogurt made with powdered milk and yogurt I had made previously. I made homemade granola to go with the yogurt. I made all of our bread last week. My kids were on spring break last week so we made several trips to the library for books. It was a good week!

  7. Debbie in Florida

    My frugal accomplishments…
    We combined trips. We stopped at Walgreens for the free toothpaste and CVS for the free deodorant and cheap body wash. I split orders and used bucks from last week to minimize my out of pocket.

    I ate the lunch provided at my employers 3 days and brought home leftovers all 3 days. One day when there was no lunch, but we were treated to Starbucks (I had only had Starbucks once before when my SO was given a gift card – so this is something new – I had to text my daughter and ask her what I should get the first time we were treated at work!). The leftovers I brought home were enough for several meals, including a picnic on Sunday.

    We went to the water park where we have passes and had a picnic. It was a bit too cool for me to swim, but they had a special members event so we went anyway because they were giving a free gift to members (a waterproof bag – like one of those reusable shopping bags). We enjoyed the weather, the steel drum band/stilt dancers, and the animals they brought out on display.

    I defrosted the chest freezer, and while I was at it, I tossed some things that we will never eat and was taking up precious space (old bread ends, ham and chicken leftover from the Christmas). I organized both the chest freezer and upright fridge/freezer. Although I feel bad wasting food, I would rather have space in the freezer to bring home the leftovers from restaurant catered lunches at work than freezer burnt bread and meat (SO and I don’t even eat meat!). I also cleaned out and organized the fridge/freezer. I pulled things to the front and made a list of what I want to use up ASAP.

    I started prepping Passover dinner and froze it. SO can finish up the cooking while I am at work.

    I did a mystery shopping assignment at a restaurant on Saturday while SO was at work. I’ll get my lunch reimbursed plus a small shoppers fee. I also signed up for a couple more assignments in April.

    I have a few frugal living blogs I like to read each day to keep motivated. I keep adjusting my budget to try to pay down debt faster.

    I filled out a survey for CVS pharmacy and got $5 in bucks which I used to buy protein bars and individual packets of protein powder for the guys Easter baskets.

    I got my birthday present from SO a month early – a dwarf orange tree!

    Have a great week ladies and Happy Holidays!

  8. Roxie

    Was not feeling real good this past weekend. Allergies are HARD on a person. I did the house work, some sewing of gifts for a friend’s birthday on Tuesday. Made her some napkins and hanging towels in her favorite colors. Got the new rose bushes planted and moved a bird bath that could not be seen because of an over grown bush (I like the bush to cover the corner of the house because it hides a rain barrel. Made up 5 Easter baskets for kids. Total out of pocket was less than $4.00 to buy chocolate to make bunnies and a cross.
    Printed a doll clothes patter to make a new out fit for my niece who has a birthday this next week too. She has an American Girl doll and just loves it. Made my grocery list, will shop tonight. Two nights this week we will not be eating at home so a nice week for me. Yeah.
    Had coupon in the mail for another free bottle of the new laundry soap Persil, sold only at Walmart. Got that when we went to church. (the store is close by, I ran in got the soap and my husband stayed in the car) That is about all of my frugal activities. I did hang laundry to dry in the sun. I used water from shower on plants. I planted some flower seeds in a garden in the back, hope the dog does not destroy them. Our puppy likes to dig in the dirt.

  9. Gardenpat

    Bought 4 boneless pork loins ($1.69/lb) and 2 boneless whole hams on sale. Meat department sliced them for free of course! Got 4 big roasts and 8 packages of pork chops this way. Ham was deli sliced for sandwiches and one I slow-roasted for our Easter dinner yesterday! When I paid for the order, I split the meat into two separate orders so I got an additional $10 off with their store coupon! Bought, sliced and dehydrated one more flat of strawberries (99 cents/lb) and bought 8 dozen eggs for 99 cents/dozen.

    All lunches for us were from dinner leftovers or food we already had! No one ate lunch out! Recycled other leftovers into new meals so we eliminated food waste!

    Made cookies, bread (froze one of the two loaves to use when I need one in a hurry!) baked a pie that had been in the freezer to continue the rotation in the freezers!

    Am just finishing quilting another lap quilt for a friend having dialysis. Before I cut batting from my roll, I checked my batting scraps and was able to piece some together large enough for the quilt! Used a beautiful cotton thrift store sheet for backing. The backing leftovers I turned into pattern pieces for a chair I’m recovering for a friend!

    Made another batch of strawberry almond granola.

    All in all, a very good week!

  10. Alexa McAllister

    Love the looking forwards to spring hopes of those who have had cold hard winters. It is something we in temperate climes cannot fully appreciate.
    Like me as a little girl migrating with my family from snowy Germany to sunny Australia being sad and not understanding why I had to leave snow boots behind.
    My little saving was making more Foamies….a quarter of hand wash soap mixed with three parts water in special bottles which I recycled and reused.
    Finding bargain chicken drumsticks 2x 2kg bags for $2.20 a bag and 2kg spicy Jamie Oliver Cajun seasoned Chicken pieces for $4 instead of $14
    Love your snow peas….mmm

    Alexa-asimplelife visiting from Sydney , Australia where we are hitting the mixed weather of Autumn 🙂

  11. Annabel Smith

    That is so nice about that cabinet. And so lovely you gave the young man $20.ann

  12. Ashlan

    Our local Wal Mart had a ton of laundry detergent for 50/75% off. I was able to get three years worth of Laundry detergent for around $60. I was so excited.

    I went to a local kids consignment swap and was able to get my children clothes for the summer for less then $100. I still have to get a few nicer things for church.

    My husband and I sold my car cutting out a car payment, gas and the insurance went down over 50%.

    We paid off a credit card and cut it up.

    I sold over $70 worth of stuff on a FB yard sale group.

    I still have a long ways to go to become frugal like you! We decided I needed to be a stay at home mom. We also have a lot of debt to get out of. Just taking it one day at the time.

  13. Annabel Smith

    Last week we were away five nights on a small holiday. Brandy I have read how you pack food for trips, we do the same. There are lots of ways to have a sweet little holiday fairly cheaply.
    I have been planting my parsley seeds and moving some that have self sewn in funny places.
    I’ve been cooking lots and building up my freezer meals and also working to build up my pantry. I was given some honey from a friend.
    It is autumn and we need rain. Meanwhile I am using the bath and laundry water on the garden.
    Wishing everyone a wonderful Easter. You can see my holiday pics here http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com.au/ lots of ladies shared their sweet childhood holidays. My thought is that the holidays our Grandparents took were affordable and wonderful!

  14. mj

    sounds to me like you are making some great steps…..Enjoy your stay at home mom journey!

  15. Strawberry jam is canned in a water-bath canner. I don’t even own one–I just use a very large pot. Use something under the jars to lift them up from the bottom (like a round cooling rack placed in the pan) and make sure the water will still cover the jars by an inch, and you’ll be fine.

    You could also make a batch of jam and not can it-just put it into clean jars in the fridge. Run the jars through the dishwasher first to sterilize them, and then fill them with your hot jam.

    It is SO easy to make strawberry jam, and it is SO good. Don’t be scared!

  16. Rhonda A.

    Brandy, it was so nice of the reader to give you some children’s clothes! I was also pleased to read that you found some “new” clothing items as well. It’s always nice to have a few new things to wear. By the way, the flower arrangement is beautiful! Does that vase have an insert in it or do you have to wash the entire container when you change out the flowers? It’s very pretty and elegant.

    This week didn’t have a lot of frugal accomplishments. I would say there were more frugal fails than accomplishments. But I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes. Here’s my week:

    *Went to the dentist to have my root canal finished up (frugal fail – cost almost $800). The procedure took over two hours. Thankfully they have Netflix for patients to watch while having the procedure done. I have never watched Downton Abby before, though I know several co-workers who are obsessed with the show. I watched the first two episodes of season one while they worked on my tooth. Now I’m hooked. I started watching it at home and have both my husband and mother hooked as well. I spent a lot of time at first explaining what was going on, so now I have to watch it when everyone is there.

    *Bought some groceries this week, which is not my normal week to buy (frugal fail). We needed some things that were on sale, so I guess this has some frugality to it. Bought my husband and mother’s favourite spaghetti sauce and some whole wheat pasta on sale for $0.97 each, Pillsbury crescent rolls for $0.97 (use these to make piggies in a blanket – if anyone has a good homemade crescent roll recipe, I’d be interested!), Ice cream on a stick 12 pack for $1.97 (not a necessity unless you ask the rest of my family), and some Easter treat on sale for $0.50 each (normally $1 each) and a couple other items I can’t recall right now.

    *Cut up the six cooked hams, that we bought last week for $5.97 each, with the meat slicer. We were able to get 5 ham steaks from each ham and shaved the small ends for sandwich meat. I noticed that there were ham steaks on sale this week, 1 ham steak slice per package for $3. Using my foodsaver, I package 5 ham steaks together equaling 6 meals total for our family, plus 4 packages of shaved lunch meat, in amounts we can use up reasonably quick once opened. My husband was about to throw out the hard end pieces when I stopped him. I was able to scrape out bits and pieces of ham from these hard ends, which I can use in a pot of soup or in a casserole. There was very little waste in the end. Everything is in the freezer now.:D

    *Went to Toronto for recheck appointment. We stopped at Ikea (huge treat) and I bought a 100 pack of tealight candles for $5. They will fit perfectly in the pair of elegant glass candlesticks with chimney shades I bought at auction for $1. They will be perfect to use if the hydro goes out.

    *Received 2 coupon inserts from my MIL and 1 from my husband who brings them home from his work. There is coupons for Frenches mustard in them, which will be going on sale soon for spring BBQ season. I will use the coupons to stock up when a good sale comes up.

    *Invited my MIL over for dinner on Saturday. She had eaten frozen pizza all week last week. We enjoyed a nice homemade meal of hot chicken sandwiches, baked herb potato chunks, and coleslaw. For desert I tried making strawberry rhubarb cobbler for the first time, using the strawberries and rhubarb that I froze last summer. It tasted so good!

    *Washed out Ziplock freezer baggies and the plastic liner from a cracker box for reuse. I noticed my mother actually washed out a baggie this week without me asking. That’s progress!

    *My seedling I started are still doing well. The pepper seeds are all finally sprouting, but taking their time. I have several tomato seedling that are doing well so far. Hopefully they will continue to do well for the season.

    *Ordered $21 in heirloom seeds from my daughter’s school fundraiser. We ordered bush green beans, wax beans, peas, spinach, cayenne peppers, holly hocks and lavender. I specifically picked plants that should be easy to collect the seeds from. Hoping these turn into good investments. Can’t wait to try them!

    *Signed my daughter up for summer camp this year – $2,864.50 for one week! :p This is a camp specifically for children on the autism spectrum, so they have a 2:1 camper/counselor ratio, which is why the price is so high. We were able to get special funding, so most of the cost will be covered. Such a blessing! I hope she does well and enjoys it!

    That’s it for this week. It snowed last night, so March came in like a lamb and out like a lion this year. Hoping this is it and spring will finally be here to stay. Have a great week everyone!

  17. Mari in MD

    Adding to what Brandy said, you can also make freezer jam. All you need to buy is pectin; Kraft has a recipe online with explicit, easy to follow instructions. Home-made jam is so good; don’t be afraid! 😀

  18. Jane

    We were all sick this week, so we saved money by just not going anyplace! But the savings were wiped out because my husband had to go to the doctors, he just wasn’t getting better, but on the bright side we got a discount for paying cash.

    While we were sitting around, we shelled the nuts we foraged this past Fall, total of 4 1/2 lbs.

    I finished the woolen quilt I wrote about and have posted the instructions on my blog for those that were asking.

    Bought 4 lbs. of brown rice for 50 cents/lb. found on the reduced-for-quick-sale rack at Wal-Mart.

    Bought two pairs of jeans (new with the tags still on) from the thrift store for my husband for $4 each.

    Re-upped our Magic Jack subscription ($20/year ) for phone service.

    Our credit union refunds some of the charges on our credit card at the end of each year. With the credit, I bought 10 lbs. non-GMO corn meal and a bag of hemp hearts.

    Not much this week, but that’s the way it goes sometimes!

  19. Jess

    On Sunday (March 22), my son was baptized. We had my parents and my hubby’s mom and stepdad come to our house after for a light lunch. We made (among other things) a whole wheat applesauce loaf cake. We used applesauce we had canned ourselves from apples a friend had given us that she gleaned. It was SO good. Nana, my hubby’s mom, has chickens and she keeps us well stocked in eggs. She brought us 2 dozen that day.

    My friend who is a talented photographer took our son’s newborn pictures. She takes pictures for free, and we love to give her family our homemade jam and bread. We did not this particular week because we all ended up with a cold, so there wasn’t a whole lot of homemaking going on!

    My husband, who is the stay-at-home parent (though we are both home now as I am on maternity leave), made a ton of new recipes, homemade bread for us, desserts, etc. We may have been sick, but we ate well.

    We stocked up on groceries from Aldi. We don’t go often because the closest one is a good 20 miles away (40-mile round trip). We made a special trip and stocked up on a ton of groceries for $85 and change. We still have a couple of things to pick up at Walmart that Aldi did not have, but I anticipate future weeks will be lower due to how much we bought of certain things at Aldi (like tater tots, butter, etc.).

    We made our annual shopping trip to Home Depot for soil, starters and fertilizer for our container garden. We live in an apartment and have a balcony. Every year, we plant veggies and flowers in containers and grow some food that way. Last year, we did not get very much at all, but in years past, we have been able to can several quarts of tomatoes and eat tomatoes all summer long. Last year, we did get several bell peppers and we canned 4 quarts of tomatoes (a small bit, but we were still grateful for it!). We also got 1 strawberry 🙂 It was a very tasty strawberry!

    Because we were sick, we stayed home most of the week. That was semi-boring and I think we were all ready for a change of scenery at the end of the week. We’re all feeling better this week, and the weather may be getting better (it has snowed twice in the last week here in Michigan), so maybe we can finally get out!

  20. Rhonda A.

    I agree with Brandy’s suggestions. It seems scary until you try it. If you know someone who does canning, you could ask them if they would mind showing you how. That way, you could borrow their equipment for the test run. If you like it, you can slowly start to buy the things you feel you need (watch at thrift stores, garage sales, etc, for used equipment). All jams are done basically the same way. So once you learn, you can try any type of berry or fruit you want. FYI, canning fruit is even easier than making jam and uses the same equipment! Sometimes I remind myself that our ancestor had to do this to survive and they did it in less convenient kitchens than we have. If they can do it, so can I!;)

  21. Terri

    How I wish I’d taken time to plant peas this year…Just as well since we had freezing temps Saturday night. There was frost glittering on the lawn yesterday morning. Here’s what I did this week. http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2015/03/this-week-in-my-home-fresh-savings.html
    I’m also working on a post for my first quarter of Retirement Remedies that I’ll post a bit later in the week. I’m being accountable for ideas I’d posted on how to save better towards our retirement years. Eye opening to me to see what I did and didn’t do.

  22. Jenifer

    Siiri, I use glass jars from store bought sauce or my canning jars. I leave an inch (2.54 cm) head room minimum to allow for expansion. In 10 years of doing this, only one jar cracked and it was because I didn’t leave that inch.

  23. Elisabeth from Austria

    I started using cloth (bags) or paper bags for bread and glass jars for fruit or sauce, it works fine for me!

  24. Marivene

    Cut grape hyacinths twice to fill a small hobnailed milk glass vase for the end table in the library. I also cut another bud vase full of fresh daffodils for the library, twice, & dead headed those that needed it in the garden, so the strength will go into the bulb for next year, instead of into seeds.

    On Monday we had a nice gentle rain for multiple hours, & were blessed to gather enough water from the downspouts to refill all my jugs for the garden. On Friday, I used the gathered water on the garden, trees & blueberries, & refilled the jugs from my bathwater.

    Used two of the short green veggie ladders with wooden crosspieces to make a trellis, then planted heirloom Early Frosty peas. Watered them in well with reclaimed water from the downspouts. I really like the “V”-shaped veggie & tomato ladders. I have some in red & some in green, & have used them for tomatoes, pole green beans, cucumbers & peas. They work well for everything, do not blow over in the wind (we get strong wind gusts here) & seem quite durable. I also use the short green ones in the lawn in December to secure the short angels for the Christmas yard display.

    Bought onion sets & heirloom spinach, beet & carrot seed.

    Continued to dig out at least one tree pot full of grass & roots from the middle or top tiers of the garden every day. I completed the middle tier, but am still working on the top tier. This is not lawn grass, but the orchard-type grass with the roots that go thru almost anything. It is difficult to dig out, so I am counting digging as a free daily workout! Dug two more clumps of lawn-type grass out of the currant bed, & moved them to a bare spot in the front lawn, where I sprayed to kill some persistent fern-type weeds last year. I had already transplanted 2 other clumps & all 4 are doing well. Dug out a tree pot full of grass & roots that were surrounding the chive plant, which is up & growing.

    Cashed a pine cone survey check & took another survey.

    Cut down 2 apple & 2 orange boxes.

    Hung the yellow jacket traps out to hopefully trap the queens before they start laying eggs. I had several of the yellow plastic Rescue “reusable” traps, but after time in the sun, the plastic gets brittle & the bottom breaks when you try to remove it. They have a new type out this year, only available at Home Depot here, called the OrnamenTrap, which looks quite pretty, as in “ornamental”, but it also looks like it will be easier to re-use than the other one. Unfortunately, to re-use it I will have to buy a new insert, which is $6. It cost me $13.99 as opposed to $9.99. I bought one of each, since I have one that can still be re-used, & I need 3. I paid for the 2 I bought with a gift card from my birthday, so no out of pocket cost. The yellow traps can be baited with the attractant for the yellow jackets, or with a small piece of summer sausage – which attracts both yellow jackets & wasps. Since the yellow traps cost less, catch more than one kind of stinging insect & can be reused for at least a 2nd season, when they go on sale later, I will pick up another yellow trap. If I don’t control the yellow jackets in the spring, I pay for it when the grapes ripen.

  25. Mandy

    Hello everyone! Last week:
    I exercised using my treadmill and free yoga videos on youtube at home.
    We cooked all meals at home, making extra effort to use or freeze leftovers and veggies and fruits about to go mushy.
    I made stir fry, almond milk, cupcakes and frosting completely from scratch, granola, pasta with marinara sauce, wild rice and veggie medley, to name a few things. I tried making homemade granola bars, however it was a HUGE failure.
    My husband worked on one of our vehicles with his father. There is more work to do on both vehicles this week.
    I received our power and light bill in my email. It is $150 LESS than last month!! WOOHOO!
    My mom gave me some Quinoa she didn’t want anymore and a magazine. The magazine will be donated to a program where I work when I am finished with it.
    OUR HOUSE IS PAID OFF TODAY!!! 😀 YYAAAYY!!!
    Some more tomato and squash seeds sprouted in the house. It’s still to cold to transplant outside. Two of my tulips have come up 🙂 My brussells sprouts plant survived winter! I can’t wait to eat fresh, homegrown brussells sprouts!
    Failure: I spent WAY to much on groceries last week. On the plus side, they should last awhile, except for fresh produce and eggs.
    I will go to the dollar store this week to purchase small items to put inside plastic eggs for our Easter egg hunt this Sunday. I have been purchasing organic candy and organic, all natural bubble bath for our daughter for her basket over the last couple of months.
    My mom gave me an essential oil recipe in a roller bottle to help prevent illness. Two weeks ago her and I both got sick with horrible colds at the same time. She used this recipe in her diffuser and on her feet and felt almost all better 3 days later. It took me a week and a half before I felt better. It’s worth a try.
    That’s all I can remember right now. Have a great week everyone!

  26. Michelle S

    Congrats on paying off a credit card! I remember the day I paid off mine. I wanted to run around the neighbourhood and tell everyone what I had just done!

  27. It was Spring Break here, so our schedule was a little different (but not much different, since we school at home via a virtual school). We preparing for the garden, sprucing up some things here and there and just doing our best to spend less, save more and make do. We had some unexpected expenses, including a trip to the vet, but I did my best to keep the costs as low as possible. I have all the details and some photos posted here:

    http://quietcountrylife.blogspot.com/2015/03/blessings-and-frugal-accomplishments.html

    and our menu for this coming week is here:

    http://quietcountrylife.blogspot.com/2015/03/our-menu-as-march-turns-into-april-plus.html

  28. Michelle S

    – Used a code to get a free shutterfly book. I just had to pay shipping. This is going to be a bridal shower gift for a friend. I used her engagement pictures. I hope she likes it.
    – Bought 12 pounds of marked down ground beef for $1.84 a pound. I am really excited about this because ground beef is usually on sale here for $3.29 a pound. I have been buying ground beef only once in awhile because it has been so expensive. The 12 pounds should last us a long time.
    – Filled out the gas points survey on the bottom of my grocery receipt. I will be able to save 10 cents a gallon on my next fill-up.
    – A friend gave us a lemon chess pie. It was soooo good!
    – It’s been below freezing here the past couple of nights so we have had a fire in our wood stove. This allows us to leave the furnace off, saving electricity.
    – I feel like I am pretty stocked up on groceries and will try to go as long as possible without buying most groceries. My goal is to go the next 2 weeks without buying anything but bread, milk, and produce.

  29. Kim

    Mari, I am also in Maryland in Anne Arundel County. I live in Arnold which borders Annapolis. I’ve composted egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds and veggies ever since I started my bin 25 years ago and never had a rodent problem. In the summer I have a lizard issue because they love the heat of the compost pile and scare me half to death when I add something or turn the pile!

    I was wondering what county you live in. In fact our county gives out free compost bins and teaches classes that say include all those items. Too funny!

  30. Meredith

    This week’s frugal accomplishments at our house:
    *watered the house plants with the unfinished glasses/water bottles at the end of the day
    *started to read a book titled [u]Suddenly Frugal[/u] by Leah Ingram — lots of things I knew, but a few new things to think about too!
    *as part of Spring Cleaning started to thin the pile of catalogs and magazines (free subscriptions; I’m not signing up for these anymore. I just don’t have the time to read through them like I used to – suppose it’s a season of life thing!) and set aside a few pages with recipes, crafts, etc. I’d like to make in my ‘free time’ (hahaha) as well as a few photos of catalog items I think I could make myself for pennies on the dollar (love to do this!)
    *saved paper egg cartons to start veggie garden seedlings in
    *used a $3/$20 purchase coupon at Safeway. There were several markdown and sale items that I picked up to get almost to $20, then I picked up a pound of ground beef to make sure I was right at $20 – I like to “put” the $3 towards the meat, making it so much less expensive. I’m just not sure where else our ground beef would be coming from right now with how high prices are without these coupons that Safeway loads to my card maybe a couple times a month. It has been rare to find markdown ground beef at any of the grocers on the days I’ve gone. Considering looking into a large purchase from a local rancher going forward.
    *used the $10 gift card back with $50 grocery purchase at our Super Target. I bought some marked down cuts of beef, bacon, hot dogs, ranch dressing & granola bars (two things I just can’t seem to homemake and get The Right Taste), canned diced tomatoes & pasta sauce (we didn’t get many in our garden last year and I use these a LOT in meals), bottled marinated artichoke hearts (use these a few times a year), orange juice and fresh fruit for less than I would have been able to buy them anywhere else not just this week, but even considering regular store prices
    *submitted for cell phone app rebates (groceries) with Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Shrink (thank you to the reader who shared the name of this app!)
    *filled empty eggs we (as a neighborhood) reuse each year for the Egg Hunt for the children. I was able to do them all using small things my boys weren’t “into” that they received throughout the year at birthday parties, fairs, Valentine’s Day at school, etc. (I make sure it’s all general themed and not holiday specific 😉 I have a little tub I set things in and then it makes it super easy to fill eggs up. I think it’s win win because I know my kids are almost always excited about the few things that are *not* candy that they get at egg hunts/Halloween, it’s one less piece of chocolate to start to melt in the eggs in the park (hate that!) 😀 and I’m not spending anything out of pocket to bring fun things for the kiddos
    *bought a wooden teacher’s desk from a facebook garage sale page for $15 – it’s not perfect, but can be fixed up and we’ll still have spent less on it than it is ‘worth.’ I love the look and sturdiness of it!! SO thankful my husband was willing and able to take his lunch hour to help me pick it up
    Have a great week everyone!

  31. Anna

    Dear Miss Brandy and readers,

    The photos are just beautiful! I wish I had the same photography skills.

    I have been just plain busy! With that said, did not have time to spend much money. Also, I ran out of funds around the 21st or so.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    Continue resting as much as possible to heal
    Made all meals at home
    Did not drive except to and from work.
    Electric bill still 50% less than last year.
    Paid off 2 small medical bills.
    Did not grocery shop last week.

    Story about frugality and faith
    There were no more funds left in my budget due to illnesses and medical care. My daughter had to go to urgent care. Co-pay was $60. I paid cash but that was the last of my funds. Someone paid me $100 for an old loan. I don’t even remember the person borrowing from me. The funds lasted until the end of the month. I did not spend but a few dollars. Yesterday I went and bought groceries, prescriptions and household goods–spent less than $50. I was also able to get items for Easter dinner and Easter basket items. I got several good deals. Tomorrow is pay day. Moral of story, have faith, God will provide.

    Everyone have a wonderful Easter!

    Anna

  32. Mari, Would you consider sharing the recipe for Italian bread? I’ve been looking for one.

  33. Laurie

    I would have loved to have been a fly on the garden wall when the children were playing princess, dragon, knight and king. I expect they have grand imaginations. It was so cold and wet here, we did not get any peas planted this year. Your photos make me miss them all the more. I cut hyacinths and daffodils and brought them indoors the day before a hard freeze (down to 24). Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2015/03/blooms-bones-and-frugal-accomplishments.html

  34. Erika

    Here’s a post on mine.

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2015/03/frugal-friday-money-saving-weekly-recap_27.html

    A couple of add on items. One, Brandy I noticed you can. Have you heard of Tattler Reusable canning lids? They have a site you can go to and you can request some samples to try out (they’ll check out your site, but trust me with your traffic you’ll do great). They send a decent amount of samples and they have these new lids that I’m just dying to try (EZ seal) which are a lot less work and more like traditional canning lids. Pretty cool stuff. Just figured if you can get canning lids for free, who would pass that up, right? *Laugh*. The nicest part about letting them know your blog exists is that then you get on their mailing list and will be up for special promotions they are doing. Like I got four DOZEN free canning lids in pink (I ran another blog until recently on allergies and such) to help promote cancer awareness for them.

    The weather here is actually spring-like, for Alaska. We’ve all been watching the pussy willows on the side of the road with rapt attention waiting for them to bloom. At that point we know break up (when all the ground frost breaks up) is here and Spring isn’t far behind. We had a really mild winter, so we’re really hopeful that we might actually have Spring in early April (I would LOVE that as I’m so anxious to start my garden).

  35. Erika

    The fact that you cut up a credit card is impressive in this day and age! Congrats on that!

  36. Erika

    Sorry to see that you’ve been battling health issues. UTI’s are terrible. I battle a kidney that loves to try to get infected, so I relate to your struggle there. Hope you feel better soon (oh and as for the pics of your house…don’t worry you’ve never seen mine. I have an autistic six year old that likes to spit food *laugh*).

  37. Melissa in MD

    I hear you about the weather around here! I should already have my potatoes, onions, carrots, beets and lettuce in the ground. It’s been too wet to do anything! Hopefully I can catch up this week. Also, I had no idea that some areas don’t allow composting of such items! I’m going to have to look into that for Frederick County. I always throw those into my compost bin or directly into the garden depending on the time of year!

  38. Amy W.

    Just a few things to report this week:
    -We got a free new-to-us 20″ bike for my son via a local mother’s group. It’s a Schwinn and just needs to have the kickstand tightened up.
    -We sold outgrown summer children’s clothing and made $25.
    -I made my son 4 pairs of summer pajamas using a free online pattern for elastic waist shorts. I used a merchandise credit and got the material for free. We had a coupon for a pack of boy’s undershirts, so I embellished those using leftover material from the shorts.
    – I found out that one can stack Kohls coupons online and got myself a new pair of work trousers and sweater. I had some Pinecone dollars, so my out of pocket for both items was $15.
    -I also found a free pattern for a wrap dress on Craftsy and will make myself a dress with fabric from my stash.
    -we redid our weekly grocery budget. It’s been creeping up, and we wanted to see why. We are going back to our cash-in-envelope system for now.

    One ongoing item:
    – we are debating whether or not to trade in my husband’s car. I commute a little over 40 miles each way to work, and gas is adding up. We have 3 years left on his loan, but we found a used Chevy Volt with low mileage. We could do a 3 year loan on that and our monthly payment would be less, but we need to see if the gas savings would offset the electricity charge increase.

  39. Sheila

    Managed to find a day warm enough with a breeze to hang out laundry. Pockets on jeans didn’t dry, but that is what the kitchen chairs are for after dinner. 🙂 Hung all but towels in the basement as usual. Trying to use up old freezer food and save more at grocery store. Have a big road trip to Montana to pay for. House rental is paid and gas and rental will be split with other family members going with us. We should break even. Unfortunately we will be packed 6 people in a van with little room for food on the road for a 2 week vacation. Will do most of our meals in once we get there and raid my son’s pantry for what we can. Crock pot a whole chicken which for us equals a pot of soup, chicken enchiladas with left over sauce I had frozen, and Chicken sandwiches. (for four) Still snow here so only dreaming of fresh snow peas. Walking too and from work as I have been all winter as long as the temp stays above -20F. Yes, I have the clothes for it and if I pick up my pace can be there in 12 minutes. I hate exercise and this forces me to do it. Kids on spring break this week and a trip to Sault Canada to visit relatives so it could get ugly. Hopefully some overtime when I get back.

  40. Melissa in MD

    Anna, I loved reading about God’s provision for you this week! It’s also a great reminder that yes, God will provide! PTL!

  41. Teresa in the North

    I also found canning jars /regular jars would work. From another group it was suggested that jars that break in the freezer have a shoulder ( rounded out area) this can cause stress and sometimes cracking . It was suggested to use straight canning jars. Hope this description made sense:)
    When I freeze meals in the freezer I use glass. I purchase extra sizes of baking dishes on sale or at thrift shops.
    I also will wrap extra portions in wax paper then aluminum foil into the freezer.

  42. Canais

    I repurposed some furniture and decorations around the home. Using owned items in new ways keeps me from buying more. In the past five years I’ve lived in 1 bedroom apartments, a 2 bedroom apartment, a 2 bedroom home, and 3 bedroom homes. I have not changed the amount of furniture that I have, but I’ve used it in new ways with each of my moves. It keeps life fresh.

    My husband splurged and bought a grill this week. He’s wanted one for many years. I am going to make a chimney starter from a large tomato paste can. I buy tomato paste for under $4 in 7lb cans, then I reconstitute it to make a high volume of sauce. With the right seasonings it makes a more economical option than using canned tomatoes or canned tomato sauce. I use this method for many tomato-based sauces and condiments. I use canned diced tomatoes, also, when fresh are not available. The juice from the canned tomatoes is made into broth for tomato soup or tomato-based soups. We bought 8 cans of paste and 2 cans of diced tomatoes this week.

    In addition:
    [list]
    I air dried laundry.
    I used baking soda to polish my stainless steel pans.
    I gathered branches from my backyard to fill vases.
    I opened the windows and listened to the birds’ sweet songs.
    I made a batch of spiced peanuts to take as a snack while running our weekend errands
    My husband and I joined the local library and learned about their 5 free music downloads, share programs, and free access to langauge courses. We plan to take advantage of all of these opportunities to enjoy culture and learning.
    [/list]

  43. Jane

    Congratulations on getting your house paid off!!! It’s such a wonderful and satisfying feeling. Now that is a frugal accomplishment!

  44. Linda P.

    Congratulations, Mandy! Paying off your house feels good, doesn’t it?

  45. I’ve had a great frugal week!

    [list]
    I sold my 16 y.o. son’s unused saxophone for $350, which will go into his college fund.

    That son hosted a sleepover, and we were able to feed and entertain everyone on the cheap. I made pizzas from scratch using ingredients I had on hand, I made a breakfast of homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, orange juice and bacon using loss leader and Grocery Outlet ingredients, and when the boys arrived I gave each of them a refillable water bottle which was their beverage while they were at the house. (I hate soda.) For dessert I made a chocolate cake. They played video games we already own, and each kid brought their own laptop, which seemed to be on the whole time. They had a great time.

    I cleaned one of my mother’s guest cottages between tenants yesterday and brought home leftover milks, butter and eggs. I also brought home their returnable bottles and cans.

    I earned enough Swag bucks to get a $25 Paypal gift card.

    I made a huge pot of chicken noodle soup using the leftover bones from another recipe. It was enough to feed us dinner for two nights. (I deliberately left a fair amount of chicken on the bones so that the broth would be nice and meaty.)

    Last week was spring break and we mostly stayed at home since my older son had a class from noon – 9 P.M. on Monday through Thursday. Last year we flew to D.C. and NYC, so this year was definitely cheaper! (Mu husband was getting an award, so the adult tickets were free, as was the accommodation. We took the Bolt Bus to NYC, where we then stayed for free with my sister’s family.)

    I am having troubles with my blog, which is now frustratingly down. Instead of using a service to troubleshoot the issue, I’m trying to deal with it myself. (I had to upgrade to a higher level, which then messed everything up.)

    [/list]

  46. Melissa in MD

    I’m still waiting for the garden to dry out enough to start planting. I am so behind due to the late snow storm and rain that I might not get all my Spring planting completed. Hopefully the weather will be looking better this week.

    To save money last week I/we:

    -cut my own hair. Some time ago I saw a video on Youtube about giving yourself a simple layered cut. I tried it and my DH like it better than any of the salon cuts I’ve had! I find that so funny!

    -hung my laundry outside on the line to dry. Even though it’s been chilly, it has also been breezy and sunny. It might take all day to dry but at least it’s free.:)

    -Worked some extra hours this week. A co-worker was on her honeymoon and I covered for her.

    -not something that we did to save money but rather something that was done for us-we had some electrical work done at the house so our new stove, refrigerator and microwave could be hooked up. While he was there, the electrician also repaired a light in the basement, that has not worked for years, free of charge!

    -We had to have a delivery of oil this week which will be the last until the Fall since we turn our furnace off for the warm months. If it had been just the 2 of us we probably would have just gone ahead and turned off the furnace now but since we have a tenant we had to get the tank filled. Anyway, DH figured up the cost of heating this past year and it looks like we spent $1200 less be using just our wood stove!

    -Found some left over yarn in coordinating colors and am using it to knit a rug for my “new” kitchen.

  47. Becky Pratt

    Call your office. They can give you all sorts of information and help.
    I think the female version of Extension Agent is now called Family Consumer Science…maybe.
    Their help is free.
    I worked in our office for 3 years and I gave parenting classes, nutrition classes and how to buy and store your food safely.
    They have zillions of handouts.
    If you home school they have a lot of educational handouts (well…we did). I had a mother that home schooled and she brought her kids into my office once a week for 6 weeks and taught them from my office.
    We don’t use our Extension Office like we should.

  48. Holly B.

    I went grocery shopping at Aldi. I picked up a ham at $0.99 a pound for Easter. I was happy to see that butter prices have dropped to $1.89 a pound (was $2.99), milk is down to $1.87 a gallon and eggs were down to $1.55 a dozen. I am happy I only bought one dozen. I will be stopping by Target to pick up a couple dozen.

    I made 21 burritos (there was an extra in the package!) half re-fried beans and the other half rice ham and pasta sauce for the freezer. I made a batch of waffles for the freezer. I realized that I forgot to put the 2 eggs in it called for. It turned out quite good though. I think I will just skip them unless we have lots of extra eggs. I made a batch of chipotle chili for dinner on Sunday and froze three lunches worth.

    The deer seemed to have army crawled under our deer fence, to get to some shrubs. They now look horrible; they were just planted last summer 🙁 WE then checked all of our trees and added more protection to our apple trees. We are thinking about adding a deer fence to our perimeter, but it will cost about $2000. We are still discussing the idea.

    Even though there is still a foot of snow in my yard, our two raised beds are snow free. The soil was workable so we prepped the beds for planting. It if the weather is looking good next week, we will plant some spinach, but as I write this it is snowing again…..

  49. Mandy

    It feels fantastic! I am so thankful that we will now have this extra money to begin putting more into savings and getting large projects on the house done.

  50. I sewed a button back on my husbands pants. I took some of my son’s clothes to a thrift shop to sell. I also frozen a couple of different meals so I don’t have to cook as much next week for spring break.

  51. Jerri

    Wide mouth jars? Or jelly jars? I think those both have the straight sides you’re mentioning!

  52. Jenifer

    That is awesome what you can do with rearranging/re purposing. I haven’t been very good at it, but keep trying!
    Also, thank you for reminding me to use my ground flax seed in lieu of eggs a few weeks back.

  53. Jenifer

    It’s still a bit chilly here in PA, but I planted my onions, spinach, carrots and sugar peas. I just couldn’t wait anymore. Also, prices on produce (here at least) are horrible. I am on a mission to grow enough to eat fresh and freeze.
    A loaded baked potato casserole called for bacon crumbles, I subbed the olive oil (to toss the potatoes in before baking) with bacon fat and the flavor was really good.
    “Made” our friends host a documentary night (and during and after they were saying we should do this more often – they mean it!) – where we went over with some homemade goodies, socialized and then watched a really good documentary. I am trying to get more friends on board with this, but they often feel like meeting at a pub is more relaxing (eh).
    Frugal fail, went out with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while – we opted to go see a one night showing of the Breakfast Club. The movie ticket was $16 – FOR A MOVIE I HAVE AT HOME! I feel silly that I just assumed it would be regular movie pricing – which isn’t cheap, but I was willing to go with the friends instance that we should get out of our houses once in a while (Nope, going with the above).
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  54. Myra

    Hello all from sunny South Mississippi! The weather here was absolutely beautiful over the weekend. Here is my list of frugal accomplishments.

    1. Someone in our church has a friend that purchased a large warehouse shipment of white dress shirts from a national company that was going to burn these shirts, most of which were still in the wrappers. This person brought several large boxes to church and allowed the men in our church to go through them and take what they needed. My son got 4 brand new shirts, price tags of 40.00 and upward still hanging from them, for free. I pray that person is blessed for their generosity!
    2. Attended a free air show at the Air Force base about an hour and half from our house. Cost to us was gas and lunch, since you weren’t allowed to bring food into the air show. Lunch was a little pricey, but it was a good outing.
    3. Brought lunch to work everyday. Drank coffee from home. Ate breakfast before leaving each day, so I wouldn’t be tempted to go through the drive thru on the way to work.
    4. Bought 20 pounds of potatoes for .25 a pound. I wanted to buy 40 pounds but didn’t have enough money.

    Now, for the frugal fail: My cousin told me about these new “Hawaiian sliders” using swiss cheese, shaved deli ham, and the Hawaiian sweet rolls and a sauce made of butter, dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. I made these Saturday night. They were really good, BUT 48 sliders, which fed 11 people, cost me $50.00!!!!!! I was sick at the thought of these little sandwiches costing me half of my weekly grocery budget! They were good and my husband wants me to make them again, but I will have to figure out how to make these cheaper before I do it. Some of the ingredients won’t have to be purchased again for a while as it only takes a small amount of those ingredients, but the rolls are quite expensive. Husband may have to wait until the ingredients are bought on sale and then we will make them. LOL.

  55. Myra,

    Try making a ham (bought on sale for Easter–you can freeze them, and also cook them, slice them, and then freeze them). That will save you a huge bit on the deli meat. Likewise, buy a chunk of Swiss cheese and cut it yourself.

    Do a search online for a recipe for Hawaiian sweet rolls. I have seen several before and making them yourself will greatly cut the cost.

  56. Thanks ladies! I’m going to try! I thought I needed a special canner but I am going to try the big pot.

  57. Meredith

    Marivene – thanks for the reminder about getting our wasp traps out!

  58. tina

    So happy spring is here! We have been getting some beautiful weather but back to rain this week (pacific nw)

    * found peppers on clearance rack 3/$1.00, sliced and put in freezer
    * made breakfast cookies, blueberry muffins, pesto pasta salad, dehydrated pineapple slices
    * did my grocery shopping while waiting for my son at track practice (combining errands)
    * stopped by the library on our way home one day and my 11 year old got a new stack of books and I did too!
    * used coupons for 2 free candy bars (will be Easter basket items)
    * continuing to earn swag bucks
    * made my meal plan to include a couple crock pot meals for nights we have track practice

  59. Jessica

    Happy Monday!

    Last week was Spring Break for us, and my parents live on the coast so they took our seven year old son for the entire week. He had a blast and we didn’t have to pay for daycare! Double bonus! 😉 I took advantage of him being gone and worked three OT shifts. I would’ve worked more, but it was also the first full week of my husbands new job and he was sore in places he didn’t know existed so I went home and took care of him 🙂

    We didn’t eat out, and made all of our lunches last week, and I pre made all of our lunches for this week as well.

    My birthday is on Easter this year (yay!). I wanted to do a big fancy dinner and go wine tasting butttt I decided to make my favorite foods with the ingredients I already had at home, and buy a bottle of wine instead 🙂 Paying off debt and buying a house is more important right now *sigh*. My husband did purchase me a ticket to go see Garth Brooks on April 13th, so I feel very spoiled. I also gave up any form of sweets for lent, and I am really looking forward to some homemade peanut butter pie on Easter haha.

    Hope you all have a great week, love reading everyone’s adventures and advice 🙂

  60. Teresa in the North

    They mentioned any canning jar that was straight and did not have a “shoulder”. So both wide mouth and jelly jars would work.

  61. Lisa

    Congrats on paying off your house!!!! That is financial freedom!

  62. Kelly

    Well, I got my hair cut by my Mom for free…colored too, only expense for me was buying the $10 box of L’Oreal Feria at the store. My Mom’s a licensed hairdresser. I’ve had other beauticians cut my hair and they always cut it uneven…

    Now that I’m leaving my husband–I’ll have to tighten my belt a WHOLE LOT! Good thing I’m stocked up on makeup for awhile…lol

    I found a house to rent here in the same town where I currently live. It’s in a nice neighborhood. Have to go look for a bed, stove and washer/dryer. I need a NEW bed..as I personally think buying a used one is gross, but that’s just me.
    Gotta pack up 15 years worth of stuff too.

  63. Myra

    Did the online search for the sweet rolls already and found one that sounds reasonable. Going to price the ingredients this week to see if it will be cheaper. Hopefully I can score on a ham this week as well. Thanks for the advice!

  64. mj

    Thanks Erika, this is my second infection issue in three months…not normal for me….if you are having chronic issues…bless your heart..you have a full cup as well! We can mop together…lol…i did clean my bathroom today….not the eating area yet….oh well.

  65. Amy Dunham

    Maybe check with your library as well. One of our local libraries has a check out program for canning equipment and speciality cake pans. Very handy! We also have a separate library, called The Tool Library. They let you check out power tools, yard tools, gardening tools, etc. Very helpful!

  66. Wendy Gower

    It sounds like you had a very productive week Brandy. Here’s what I got up to last week –

    * Gratefully received some sandwiches, mini quiches, salad rolls, milk and bread,

    * Dried all washing on the line and clothes horses.

    * Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread. It’s been about a month since I last baked as we’ve been eating bread that was given to us.

    * Made chocolate truffles with homemade sweetened condensed milk I had in the freezer.

    * Continued to pick raspberries each day. I think they are starting to slow down in production. Darren and I are thinking about a second location in our backyard so we can grow even more next year. I’ll be very happy if I never have to buy them again. In one season we’ve got our money back on the cost of the two plants.

    * Gratefully received two bags of glass jars with lids from a cleaning client. There were 15 jars in total and all were just the right size. I can see a bumper stockpile of homemade jam and relish next Summer.

    * Filled up my car with petrol bought at 108.9 cents per litre. Everywhere else had gone up to 133.9 cents a litre.

    * Continued to only do five loads of washing a week. I seem to have formed a new washing routine after 19 years of washing three loads every Mon, Wed and Fri.

    * Picked up some reduced fruit and veg on the bargain table at my local fruit and veg shop. $1 a bag of carrots ( over 1.5 kilos ), $1 a bag of apples ( 2 kilos ) and a huge piece of watermelon for 50 cents.

    * Made chunky beef and veg soup using 1 1/2 slices of leftover roast beef and the stock it cooked in.

    * Darren and I went to the Melbourne International Flower Show on Thursday. Yes I do spend money from time to time ( hehehe ). To save some money we took afternoon tea, snacks and water bottles with us. We also collected any free samples that were being handed out. We’ll be right for Powerfeed and Seasol for a while.

    * Refilled and diluted the dish washing liquid and shampoo / conditioner.

    * Saved and reused lots of bread bags for bin liners and to store food in the freezer.

    * Washed and reused some zip lock bags.

    I posted some lovely photos from the flower show on my blog http://myabundantlife07.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/this-weeks-frugal-tasks-28th-march-2015.html. Over the next four weeks I’ll post more photos from the flower show. They really are a feast for the eyes.

    Have a wonderfully frugal and blessed week everyone.

  67. Faith from Indiana

    Way to go in paying off your house!

  68. Celia

    I think my answer got eaten. I’m trying again.

    We came to a huge financial decision after years of debate. In 18 months we are putting our house on the market. Unfortunately our local housing market has never improved, we are praying that we will at least break even on what is still owed. We are selling everything, which will clear the house so we have less to pack and it will show better. We have a huge ebay sale up right now, and will be clearing out as much as we can, as fast as we can. Hopefully we can empty the basement while filling our wallet. Our mini goal is to lower our debt to income ratio for a better mortgage rate. We just paid 1700 extra on our car note( we used rebates from our HVAC replacement and the money we have now from our paid off credit card, and ebay money etc),and are hoping to do a double payment each month, having it under 3500 by December. We feel this is doable.

    I have been diligent about turning off lights and turning the heat down.
    We filled out a scholarship application for our son. I realized the more expensive school had better financial aid, lowering our total cost by nearly two grand. So we’ll see about that. I’m not too delighted about the longer drive, but even factoring in gas, the savings is worth it.

    We ate leftovers. I shopped at a closer store to save gas and to take advantage of some sales, I got a good deal on butter and stocked up on cleaning supplies. I’m trying to figure out the gas points thing that store does.

    I hung some wash to dry. I used coupons. I’m researching if we should join a warehouse club like BJs or Costco. Probably Costco because they are good to their employees. Does anyone belong?

    Well, that was our big thing, deciding to move and hustle to pay off our car. Our school system is atrocious and we can’t stay here. But we realized that if we move to a better district, our youngest child would be “free”.

  69. dawnelle

    I made an account at Every Dollar (Dave Ramsey) and downloaded the free app also, and set our budget for April. This is only my 2nd time posting here. The first time I did keep track of little things, but have realized I need to have a better big picture and then I’ll be more motivated to save in areas. So, I’m looking forward to seeing if I can lower the utilities, keep my grocery budget that has been set, etc.

    I also figured out how to use my reward points for gas, and saved 1.00/gallon today. Huge savings for us, as we have seven kids so I drive a Suburban. I hope to do that at least every 2 months which I think is when I would make that spending cut-off to earn the maximum discount.

    I planned all our meals, used a few coupons and bought fruit in season or on clearance, am watching the prices per pound now. Thank you Brandy!

  70. S CO Mary

    Kelly – I am thinking of you during this period of transition. I know how difficult this will be and I know how much goodness can come of such a major change. I am with you on the bed situation – you might ask around and see if any friends have one that they could loan you until you find one you like. Beds are so expensive and should last for years and if you aren’t happy with your mattress it makes for years of misery. One thing I found out is that you can buy mattress and box spring separately – even though the ‘professional’ mattress people will tell you differently. They don’t have to ‘match’ and they are covered anyway!

  71. Debbie in Florida

    I have been reading your blog since you’ve been posting the links here. It’s just lovely! Very uplifting and thoughtful

  72. Marcia

    Congratulations on paying off your house!

  73. Debbie in Florida

    I’m looking forward to your post about Retirement Remedies. We’re in a similar position of needing to save more for retirement which isn’t too far off for us!

  74. S CO Ma

    We’re busy with farm/garden season right now. Lots of clean-up and organizing. Went through seeds and realized we didn’t have many flower seeds so stopped at Dollar Tree to pick up some to add to the perennial beds for color and fill in.

    Biggest frugal win was an unexpected shopping trip on Sunday. I LOVE the New York Times and about once every couple of months reward myself with going into town to buy a copy to read over the week. I went in to my usual grocery store and it wasn’t in yet. I found a few great deals – red peppers to roast in clearance at 3/$1.00, iced tea family size bags on sale, milk/chocolate milk/oj all $1.99 per gallon. The paper still wasn’t in so went to Target for the 99 cents/dozen eggs (my ‘justification’ for this trip) – bought 5 dozen and nothing else (really proud at shopping at Target is one of my big loves in my ‘past life’). Then dropped off donations at Goodwill (they share a parking lot). So I went to Albertsons hoping for the paper. And there it was! AND bone in chicken breasts for 79 cents per pound – I bought $15 lbs for a little over $12.00! I also found their deli tortilla chips 1 pound for $1.99 – which is a great deal for chips. Finally – found shaping panties in my size for $1.99 instead of $6.00. I like to wear them in the summer under skirts so I don’t have to wear pantyhose.

    I came home and poached half of the chicken breasts, made chicken burritos and have six cups of chicken to freezer – and a huge amount of broth. Have decided to commit to learning how to pressure can broth. I am terrified of my pressure canner as I was in my grandmother’s kitchen (around 6 yrs old) when it ‘blew up’. But I can do this!

    Finally – we have some big expenses coming up so I am committing to a ‘no spend’ April. We have everything we need for Easter dinner. The one thing I may need to buy will be fresh fruit and veg. We filled up the big truck with fuel points and bought 35 gallons for $1.79 a gallon! We need to take it in a couple of weeks to Denver for a couple of appts. and to pick up some very cheap lumber for our fall maze business (need to take a trailer).

  75. Gina

    Make sure the water completely covers your jars for the water bath. And I just use a thick hand towel folded in the bottom of my pot submerged in the water so the jars don’t sit directly on the pot bottom. Just follow the directions in the pectin box exactly! It had to be done in tne right order to work properly. Good luck! Jelly was the first canning I did and it’s so yummy!

  76. Wendy

    try making the rolls using pineapple juice instead of water 🙂

  77. Hilogene in Az

    I had started a list of frugal accomplishments but used the back of the paper to write grocery lists and then tossed it by mistake…oh well.
    -baked two loaves of home made bread, rye and pumpernickel. We are really loving our home made bread, cheap and great tasting! A new skill at age 58 🙂
    -cleaned out the garage and had a huge batch of items we gave to Goodwill
    -had turned in clothes last month at a consignment shop, I found out I had $177 in credit!!!
    -cooked all but three meals at home.
    -have done really well not using Electricity. Was perplexed why I didn’t see any saving on the electric bill-then noticed the bill said they didn’t read the meter and usage was estimated. I trust next month will be a happier story.
    -Overall March was an expensive month due to doctor and dentist bills, along with a small vacation, I expect April will be better. My short term goal is to go grocery shopping only once this is upcoming week. That will be an enormous challenge for me.

  78. Emma

    Hi Brandy,
    I am not sure if you know, but right now if you join Schoola (website that sells new and gently used kids’ clothes and donates 40% to schools) through this link http://www.schoola.com/stitch?ref=cp-3X1ge9J5R you get FREE $15 credit, you can also use code “SPRINGSPREE” at checkout to get $10 off $10 purchase and shipping is FREE – no minimum. That’s $25 of FREE clothes shipped to your door! Prices may not be as low as you can find on yard sales, but most items are priced under $5. I got two hoodies, one button-down shirt, one blouse and three t-shirts for my kids for $1.25 out of pocket.

  79. Becky

    God must have known that you needed a little “boost” for your faith. I’m happy that you recognized it for what it was. After being very low on cash many times in our lives, especially our early years of marriage, my husband used to get really nervous when I cooked a lot of food to send to people who needed it, worrying that we might run short. He shared with someone the other day, that one day he decided to leave it to the Lord, and not be so anxious about it. Since then, we cannot find room in our freezers. Literally. For years. We just give meals as the Lord lays it on our hearts and He takes care of filling things back up. I’ll bet you have lots of “faith boosters” in your life, as well. How nice that you have another one to remind you of His care for you.

    I’m glad you are starting to feel better, and hopefully your daughter will remain stable now and not need to go back to urgent care.

    It sounds like your Easter is shaping up. I need to get busy and get mine organized:) I remember that in years past you crocheted some cute bunnies. I’m sure whatever you do this year will be cute–hopefully you still have some to put out!

  80. Jacky

    Hi. I am British and have been making jam for 40 years. We never use a water bath. we heat the jars in the oven and pour in the jam and that’s that. We keep the jars perfectly well in the pantry for a year or more.

  81. Becky

    We had a little mini-vacation that we returned from on Tuesday. We took a set amount of $, and when we had spent it, we told the kids we were done, we had spent it. We were going to eat/stay at the cabin, etc. That is not how we usually do it, but they didn’t even bat an eye. They seemed to “get it” that they had had ice cream at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, lunch at Subway, classes at Mark Hatfield, and it was enough. We watched movies in the (free) cabin we were using. I took my sewing machine and sewed for several hours. Fun!

    When we got home, we hit the ground running. We had appointments for therapies, case workers, etc. In the middle of that, a friend was needing extra help because her husband has been injured badly in a fall from a roof. It was such a blessing to actually have both my husband and I on vacation and available to help a few times. She has many, many friends and is getting much support, but is going to need help for a long time from all of us. On Saturday, we enjoyed her 3 youngest (out of 6) for several hours. Just when I get to missing young ones, they are provided for me to play with:) They played games with my 2 (that were home), helped me “cook” celery and peanut butter, we made a bonfire and roasted hot dogs–it was a fun, frugal day.

    I cooked many, many meals for us, and our friends, and cooked ahead for this week, since we are both back to work. My husband barbequed, as he often does to add to the collection. It is so nice to have such a nice stock to work from. One item I made was an entire crock-pot full of re-fried pinto beans with onions and peppers. We are still using onions from our garden last summer. The kids love the beans this way– so much, I have made several pots full this winter. I’m going to have to round up 25 lbs more of pintos–we got one bag already in the fall!!! We’ve never used so many, so fast. Our new little girl loves her beans!!! I also sent a taco meal to my friend, including lots of beans. I made a huge pot of split pea soup, chicken, tacos, turkey wings in the crock pot (from what we had butchered in November), stuffed shell pasta (using up ricotta we bought a HUGE container of last month, garden tomato products in sauce and about 1 cup ground meat in the whole pot of sauce), gf rolls (new recipe), cooked corn from freezer/garden, etc.

    I shopped a couple of times as I needed quite a few extra items, especially produce. I also used many more items from my freezers, cupboards, and home-canned items.

    A couple of years ago, I made a mega list in the spring of what I thought I needed for the summer. I ordered from Azure, collected from Costco, etc. until I had all that. Then we used it all summer, adding garden produce, things we had, and bought VERY little. I’m considering doing that again, since we got an extremely nice tax refund back this past week. It really encouraged me to use my garden produce wisely and to not go into the stores, except rarely. I forgot a few things, but not many.

    We started filling out paperwork working towards adoption. This will be done through the state, and will not cost us any cash. They will cover the legal fees, lawyer, etc. The forms, however, are tedious–re-stating much of the same information we already filled out, and acting like we are total strangers just starting this process even though she has been with us a year-and-a-1/2. Well, minor frustration, mostly it’s good to get the process going because it takes a while.

  82. Rhonda A.

    What an awesome library system you have in your area, Amy!

  83. Jeanna Golden

    Would you mind sharing the blogs you read?

  84. Mari

    Kim,

    I’m in Catonsville, inside the Beltway, so relatively close to Baltimore City. I just looked up the rules and we are prohibited from putting food scraps into piles or bins, which is understandable for where I am given the more urban nature of our area. If I were up in the Hereford zone, I would probably ignore that law. The county website does say that vermicomposting (worms) and burying food scraps are fine. The latter isn’t going to do me much good in the winter so I’m thinking that the worms are the way to go. It will be interesting to hear what the class instructor recommends.

    Thanks for the insight into your area which really is not that far away.

  85. Mari

    Angie, I use the Italian Bread II recipe from http://allrecipes.com/ because it is written for a bread machine. Let me know if you can’t find it on the site and I’ll give you the direct link, which is really long!

  86. Mari

    But the weeds are starting to sprout, have you noticed? Some perennials are also sticking their first shoots and leaves out, too.

    I replied to Kim (above) about our composting rules in Baltimore County and why they exist. I also checked yours and you are fine for table scraps in your bins. Frederick County even has an area where you can go see various types of bins and teaches composting classes. Good for you all!

  87. Robert

    If you are sewing dish scrubbies try saving bags from Lemons , Limes, Onions and sometimes potatoes. Those plastic mesh bags work well.

  88. AnnaInOhio

    I agree with Brandy I have the equipment but when I started out I didn’t. I just used a round metal rack to sit down in the larger cooking pot I had at the time. I looked in thrift stores for jars back then it wasn’t as in vogue as it is now to can and I found a lot. I also got some from Freecycle and co workers. I make jams/preserves all the time now in fact next week will be making strawberry jam from frozen berries I bought at GFS this week with coupons. Frozen works better for me when I don’t have time my new job we are in full swing for easter candy sales so in the freezer til I have the time to do them. Get a Ball canning book from the library or of course most packs of Powdered Pectin have the recipes inside. Good luck.

  89. Heather in L.A.

    We make those sliders all the time, we call them “fat Alberts’s”, don’t limit yourself to just that recipe of Hawaiian rolls, we make them with different meats and cheeses and rolls, it really is just the concept of a baked yummy sandwich that appeals to us I guess…my kids love an Italian version with dollar tree pepperoni, I’ve even made a Philly cheesesteak version, a buffalo chicken, a BLT(with the lettuce on the side as a salad), and a vegetarian one. I use different seasonings mixed with butter to brush on the top as well.They are great as a side to soup also. Have fun experimenting.

  90. Mandy

    Thank you everyone!!

  91. Athanasia

    Crunchy, I agree with Gina about reading the directions thoroughly and read them over and over before you start. Not all pectin instructions are the same and can vary between brand. Order is very important…timing also.

    Use the kettle as others have said, with something on the bottom…I do recommend a jar lifter…if you want to buy the least amount of equipment a jar lifter is the best way to move the hot jar in and out of boiling water. They are found in the canning aisle. A canning funnel is handy too for less mess but you could probably work around that one. Each of those items are just a few dollars each and they last forever.

    3 important points I want to mention to prevent jar seal failure…always make sure the rim is spotless before putting on the lid…have proper headspace…and tighten the rings finger tight, don’t over tighten. and then remove the rings after the jars have cooled. Never retighten the rings as that may break the seal. I have never had a seal fail in all my years of canning. If you go to the trouble of canning you want to make sure you will be able to eat it.

    Should you have a seal fail right out of the canner, put it in the fridge and use it first. It will be safe. If you find a failed seal on a preciously canned product, you do not even test it, that should be discarded.

    I hope you will try canning as it is very satisfying and the jars of filled food are lovely to look at.

  92. SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

    Kelly – I just wanted to cheer you on. A few years ago, I ended a 12 year marriage. It was not an easy decision and meant a huge transition for me. In my experience, there were good days and bad ones. Just be kind to yourself during this transition. I had an amazing group of friends who helped me pack and sort things out. It was a lot of work but worth it in the end. Keep coming back here – it’s a great community and there are lots of ideas how to live well on less money.

  93. Athanasia

    Congratulations Mandy!

  94. Athanasia

    Previously is what I meant, though with the work involved, precious would be true, too.

  95. Debbie in Florida

    Hello Jeanna! I have a bunch of favorite blogs. When readers post links to their blogs here I read those – usually bookmarking to read through the week.

    The Non-Consumer Advocate is one of my regular favorites and the “Five Frugal Things” emails really keep me motivated.

    I like Money Saving Mom for freebies and sample links she posts. I also like some of the guest posts. Much of what Crystal herself writes does not pertain to me, but there is plenty to pick and choose from on the site.

    Six Figures Under (the blog) and her facebook group is REALLY GOOD with readers participating.

    I also keep motivated with a local facebook gardening group I’m in which focuses on repurposing items, sharing/splitting purchases, trading/giving away extra produce, trading seeds and plants, etc. I try to stay away from blogs and magazines that make me feel less contentment.

    That’s a few of my regular ones. I have others that I check in with if I get time.

  96. AnnaInOhio

    Your old lids that either didn’t seal or after you have used the jar of product.. I always wash and dry and with a permanant marker make a big X and use them in jars to store dry food goods like my dogs dry dog food, pasta, anything dry that I don’t want to chance bugs or rodents to get into my food supply. I never throw my old lids away just repurpose them for my canning jars that aren’t in use.

  97. Krissy in Sacramento

    Those snow peas are GORGEOUS!! Back when we used to order takeaway Chinese food a few times a month, I used to get a stir fry snow peas and water chestnuts. It was so yummy! I’d forgotten about it until now…should try to recreate the dish at home! Thanks for inadvertently jogging my memory!
    Frugal accomplishments this week:
    -Read two library books
    -Redeemed Pinecone points for $5 to PayPal
    -Got $25 in my PayPal from Swagbucks
    -Got 78 cents from Walmart Savings Catcher. The first time I’ve ever gotten anything back. I’m always disappointed, but proud that I know my prices well enough to be buying everything at their lowest price. I only go to Walmart a few times a year to stock up on a few things I can’t get elsewhere, though.
    -My husband finished up the (store bought) pickles and instead of dumping the brine down the drain like I always do, I added some baby carrots. Tasted them today and they’re only slightly pickle-y. Not sure if it’s because they’re so dense or because they haven’t been in the brine long enough. Smaller pieces would probably be better, but it’s an interesting experiment.
    -Got 25c back from Checkout 51 for buying bell pepper, and scanned receipts to Receipt Hog. Not a great week for rebate apps for me.
    -We don’t have children, but I enter the free codes that Pampers and Huggies put out every so often. I redeemed points to Huggies Rewards a couple weeks ago and received the board book with tiny stuffed bear this week. I have a new nephew due in June and may give it to him. It’s super cute.
    Have a wonderful week, everyone.

  98. AnnaInOhio

    Can anyone sign up for them or do you have to have a blog? I have a blog but not much on followers yet as I have been too busy with work and life (new job, dh recently diagnosed with prostrate cancer and all the doctor and hospital visits in the past cpl. weeks) to do anything with it lately. I have wanted to try those but did not want to pay for something I haven’t tried yet.

  99. AnnaInOhio

    Sorry to hear of the end of your marriage and I agree a used bed is a Yuck even one borrowed. Used beds generally do not have good support. I would suggest until you can afford it, either sleeping on a couch if you have one or buying a blow up mattress. Queen sized you should be able to get for around $40 to $50.

  100. Sabrina

    What are breakfast cookies? Would love recipe. Thanks

  101. Anna,

    I have some Tattler lids. I have bought more. I like them for jars I will keep for myself, but if I am going to give something away as a gift, then I still want regular lids. I have a combination of both for canning. I also prefer the regular lids for keeping an open jar of something in the fridge (like pickles). I keep my used lids for that.

  102. Melissa in MD

    Yep, those weeds always seem to find a way to stay around! My daffodils have started to come up but are not quite yet ready to open. I’m looking forward to that-daffodils and tulips are my favorite flowers.

    I can understand why they would not want folks to add food scraps to their compost in your area. I grew up in Montgomery County but have lived in northern Frederick County for 20 years. We love so many things about this area-the commitment to continuing the agricultural heritage of the area is one of them. They do provide so many opportunities and a great deal of help for home gardens and small farms through local organizations and the extension office.

  103. Rhonda A.

    Anna, so sorry to here about your husbands cancer diagnoses. Sending you best wishes and prayers that his treatments are successful.

  104. Rhonda A.

    Amy, did you know that you can make shorts from old t-shirts? There are several tutorials on-line. I’ve tried it and it is very easy to do. I used a pants pattern to help cut the shape of the crotch. Plus the shorts are very comfortable and perfect to wear as play shorts because they are stretchy!

  105. cathy

    I have a canner, but when I went to use it last Fall I discovered I’m not supposed to use that type on my smooth top stove. I found a lot of info online about using a large pot, which I did. I also couldn’t find a rack to fit in my pot, so I improvised (thanks Internet!) with several canning rings set side by side in the bottom of the pot. I will say that the coated tongs were still really helpful. The pot I used was wide, but not quite deep enough for my wide-mouth pint jars, so when it came time to do applesauce, I did freezer applesauce (make sure your jars say they are freezer safe). It’s super easy, and you could do freezer jam the same way. Also, if you don’t want to use pectin, just do an internet search for pectin-free jam. There are quite a few. Sometimes they involve adding a bit of apple or making sure there is lemon juice. Usually ingredients you have on hand.

  106. Peggy

    We were on vacation out of state last week. So while not frugal or inexpensive, we tried to save money where we could. We took the bus from the airport to the hotel for $5.00 instead of a $40 cab ride. Our hotel offered free breakfast & hawaiian entertainment each morning, as well as free newspapers, dvd rentals & video games. We were able to utilize the free breakfast offerings for snacks later in the day. They also provided beach chairs & towels.

  107. Rhonda A.

    Peggy, your comment about taking the bus to the hotel brought back a fond memory. Several years ago my husband and I went to Rome. We decided to take the train to our hotel instead of a cab, despite not being able to read a stitch of Italian. We bought out ticket and held onto it, thinking someone would come by asking for it. We were able to figure out which stop to get off and arrived safely to our hotel. We mentioned that we took the train to the gentleman at the front desk and showed him our ticket. He then informed us that we were suppose to punch the ticket in a machine before we got on the train. Since our ticket was never punched, it was still valid. Unknowingly, we had just rode the train for free! We used the still valid tickets to take the train back to the airport when we left.

  108. Jenifer

    Celia, we belong to both. Personally, I like Costco better. Their produce seems to be in better shape and their meat prices are the better deal. Although, BJs has better deals on their outdoor furniture/garden. I know that in the Sunday paper coupon section BJs often has free one day passes. My parents use those and shop about 2x a year so it isn’t worth the membership price to them.

  109. Katie

    Kim, I live in Anne Arundel County as well. I read this blog every week, but I never post.

  110. Adriana Bean

    hello ladies..and gent, (I think we have a Robert):)
    this wk
    -we accepted 3 dozen eggs from my hubbys coworker.
    -I paid 29 cents per gal of gas…. filling the max of 35 gal
    -used a coupon for my hubbys truck oil change for $20 and since we bought
    the tires there, they do a free rotation.
    -I bought more chicken, 6 pkgs of drum sticks for 50cents per pkg. I also bought 3 pkgs of pork chops for 2.50 each.
    -I helped load plastic eggs w candy at our church and received lunch and brought home a few pieces of candy that was leftover.
    -we are continuing our work on our basement. it has been sllllooooowwww. but we do all the work ourselves. I was able to prime the walls and can finally see an end in sight.
    -my oldest daughter went to spain during her spring break and since we have iphones, she called and text via free wifi. some at museums!
    -I found that I could split my dishtabs using a knife so by doing so doubling my washes. we rinse our dishes anyway.we continue to run it on light cycle and no heat.
    -I stocked up on butter for 1.99. I bought 6.
    -went out to lunch w a gc from Christmas. we drank water and it was eat one, take one that Olive Garden is promoting. I paid tip out of pocket but still have $20 leftover.
    -my youngest daughter will be going to UConn, like her sister, and while we have my hubbys GI bill to share amongst them(2 yrs of college each paid for) there are still colleges fees that we will be dealing with this month so I have been on the look out to stock up on garbage bags and laundry detergent.

  111. Adriana Bean

    katy…
    really enjoying ur blog!!:D

  112. Susan in MS

    Would you be willing to share what your menu is for your Passover meal? I would like to have one this year for the first time.

  113. Debbie in Florida

    Hello Susan! For Passover, we have gefilte fish, matzo and horseradish as an appetizer. Dinner is a tiny brisket for SO and I’ll have salmon (I never eat meat and SO will have brisket at the Jewish holidays as pretty much the only time he eats meat). I use his mother’s recipe where the brisket is cooked in a kind of gravy with horseradish on the side. We also have roasted root veggies and potato kugel. Dessert is Passover Mandelbread. I use a recipe from allrecipes ( Passover Chocolate Mandelbrot) but there was a very similar one in the April Family Circle. I cut back on the desserts this year, but in the past I used a recipe from Money Saving Mom to make chocolate covered matzo for dessert. I think it was called “Easiest Christmas Candy” or something – I just used matzo instead of the saltines. Homemade macaroons are really easy to make and much cheaper than buying them.

    Happy Passover!

  114. Sheila

    Sam’s has the rolls cheaper than other places, if you buy them. I believe they are $3.48 for 24 rolls there. Still not cheap, but I buy them sometimes.

  115. Vickie

    Thanks Robert that’s a great idea! 🙂

  116. Nicole

    Today is our first night back from our week in Florida so the flight and rental car was expensive obviously. But we stayed at my mom’s condo with a kitchen so I was able to grocery shop and make all of our meals, not from scratch but still pretty cheap. My mom had also been there the week before us so she left us a lot of food. We only ate a restaurant once to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. I also packed our own food for the airport and plane. We didn’t spend very much during the week either we mostly just went to the beach and pool which was free, except for one trip to an aquarium. We enjoyed sunsets, playgrounds, watching the boats dock at night and looked for lizards/bugs outside. When my toddler seemed bored I found a thrift store and bought him some puzzles for $1. I think the customs agents had a hard time believing we only had $5 worth of stuff to declare.

  117. Nicole

    Hi Peggy
    we were vacationing too – the trip itself was a little expensive but I was determined to stay on budget while we were gone. Luckily the warmth and sunshine were free cause that was all that was needed to make this family of Canadians happy!

  118. Kim

    Katie,
    I just saw your post. If you don’t mind me asking where in the county are you?
    Kim

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