April Flowers The Prudent Homemaker

Iceberg roses, snapdragons, dusty miller, lavender, larkspur, and parsley flowers in the crystal pestal vase I bought the week before last at the garage sales for $2


I picked lettuce from the garden almost every day this week. We had many salads. I gave lettuce to a friend of mine, who trades eggs with me for lettuce. She brought me 5 dozen eggs.

I picked strawberries from the garden.

I cut flowers from the garden for the entry table (shown above).

We celebrated Ivory’s birthday this week. I cut flowers from the garden for the table.

I made her a dress from a piece of fabric that I bought a couple of years ago for this purpose; it was the last bit left on the bolt and I loved it. 

I made her two headbands (one to match the dress, and one white one that she can wear with that dress or another dress) and a bracelet to match. I’ll have pictures of her gifts in an upcoming post.

Blue and White Bracelet The Prudent Homemaker

I made myself a similar bracelet with some of the same beads. I bought these beads sometime last year with the intention of making these two bracelets. I never had made mine, and it took me two minutes to string the beads on some stretch elastic.

I spent several days doing some spring cleaning. 

I mended two pairs of pants. I knew my husband had a big hole in the front of his pants, and I thought we was going to discard this pair. I found it in the hamper, however, so I decided to mend it before I washed it, so that the hole wouldn’t get any bigger. I mended the hole and put it through the wash. When it was done washing, I checked the hole to see if it needed any more mending. It needed a bit more on one edge, so I fixed that part. I was so thrilled to have saved these jeans that I thought were destined for the trash. I then folded the pants–and as I did, I noticed an even bigger hole in the back! Neither my husband nor I had seen this new hole. I mended this one too, and hopefuly he will get some more use out of this pair of jeans.

My mom went to a local rummage sale on Saturday morning. I found a few more items on my garage sale list, including a Rook game (for $0.50!) , a mandolin (also $0.50!), an aluminum water bottle with a carabiner attached ($0.25). We stopped at two small garage sales on the way home and I found a blouse for myself ($1), a long-sleeved t-shirt for Winter ($1), and an Edith Nesbit book for the children ($1).

I used several coupons at Target and I’ll send in a rebate on the items that I bought for another $15 back.

I used a couple of $10 off coupons at the nursery. I decided to make some additional changes to the garden this year, including a few more flowers (I bought a 6-pack of begonias for $2.98 for the full-shade spot near the front door, where the primroses are done blooming). This is different that my original plans for the garden this year, but plans can change! I bought two hibiscus plants so that I can make hibiscus tea. This is my first time growing hibiscus. I found that they will need to come indoors when it gets close to 34ºF, so I will be looking for some pots for these. I also bought two gold raspberry plants. Raspberries have never done well for me in the past, but I want to try again, as they are one of my two favorite fruits (the other being clementines). These could be a frugla addition to the garden, or a fail–I’ll just have to see!

What did you do to save money last week?


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  1. I love those beautiful blue & white bracelets. All of your craft projects really inspire me, but I’m a total novice.

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the best deals and using coupons if possible. Last week, I got free salad dressing, $0.75 mayo, $0.30 candy, and free sandwich baggies. I also found an unadvertised manger’s special on turkey breast, only $0.99/LB! I bought 3 and bulk cooked all of them to save time. Another great find was a hair trimmer for only $1.24. These are usually $14.99 each, so a huge savings. All of my deals with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-41815/

    Thanks again to everyone for inspiring me with your own tips. I look forward to this post every single week.

  2. -I received credit for some SavingStar offers. This was my first time using SavingsStar and so far so good. I will continue to use it if there are coupons for things I need to purchase.
    – I hosted a bridal shower this week. About 30 minutes before it started, I realized I didn’t have a centerpiece for the table. Now I know it’s not a big deal, but I wanted the table to look nice. I scrounged around my house, but couldn’t really find anything that worked. So I dug out my wedding bouquet (I had a bouquet of fake flowers), took it apart, and put the flowers in a vase. The flowers were the perfect colour, and looked great on the table. I am hosting a baby shower next week, and can use the same centerpiece. A part of me is sad that my bouquet is no longer intact, but it’s been sitting in a box for 7 years doing nothing but taking up space. Now I have a beautiful centerpiece that I can keep on the table all spring and I can use the flowers for other things as well. I also have more ribbon to add to my ribbon stash.
    – I worked 3 hours extra during the week. Since I get paid by the hour, this will be extra income.
    – We have been opening our windows in the morning and evening to keep the house as cool as possible. We turned on the A/C for the bridal shower, but other than that, we have kept it off. It is not that hot here yet.

  3. We’ve had quite the blessing this week. We were able to go to a relative’s birthday party. My parents treated us for the hotel room and the meals were provided. So the trip only cost us the gas. Another family gave us their old Keurig Coffe maker (less than 2 years old!) as they bought a new one. Their new one didn’t fit the pods they had left over from the old one, so they sent us home with over 7 dozen pods in various favors! We had been wanting a keurig for quite a while but could not justify the expense.

  4. Some hibiscus are hardy to zone 4. My father-in-law gave me cuttings last year (he’s zone 6) and I am waiting to see if they made it through our zone 5 winter.

  5. We were invited to go to dinner with our in-laws, but instead we had them over to dinner. They’re not in a financial position to treat anyone to a fancy restaurant meal, so my husband would have insisted on paying. Huge savings and a much more relaxed evening.

    I sold an old coffee table for $100.

    We cooked all meals at home and packed school and work lunches.

    We sold some MLS soccer tickets instead of forcing ourselves to attend on a busy day.

    I bought an underpriced purse, which I now have listed on Craigslist.

    My 16 y.o. Son worked two shifts at an art supply store.

    I shopped almost entirely at Grocery Outlet.

    My husband cut his own hair.

    I returned unused art supplies from my son’s winter term art class and had enough credit to buy the supplies for the current term.

    We did our own taxes using a review code I got for hosting a turbotax giveaway.

    I was able to use the clothesline for a few loads of laundry.

    I’ve been listening to library audiobooks while cooking, cleaning and running errands.

  6. I thought about you and these posts yesterday…I hung out two loads of laundry as the snow had melted under my lines and the temperature was up to 55 degrees 🙂

    I also did a lot of spring cleaning and organizing

    I found some items to donate and some books that I will bring to a used book store for credit

    I downloaded a lot of music to my amazon prime music station for free

    My husband and I went with another couple to the movies today for a total of $6. It was a nice date.

    I moved somethings in my deep freeze and found some venison stew meat I did not know we staill had and will make stroganoff this week.

  7. The flowers and bracelets are both beautiful!

    I was under grocery budget this week! Money moved to savings – paint for the new house.

    A friend cut and highlighted my hair. This kids got a play date out of it too 🙂

    Trying to use up pantry items.. I do not want to have to a lot of food when we move. (home inspection is this week-eek!) Creative menu planning for the next month!!

    Spring cleaning.. Sad and happy to see all the OTC medicine that were expired. Bad for the wallet, but good to know that our health is better over the last two years.

    Listed things on Fb group, and no luck 🙁

    Called around for new homeowners insurance. And car insurance! Little bits add up!

    Bought a couple kids clothes on sale & clearance. Will be listing some of their clothes on FB garage sale site.

  8. frugal doings:

    * went to make a pasta salad and found some tomatoes I planned on using were past the point of using so I subbed in some carrots
    * got cantalope for .39/#
    * went to an auction for this kids school and was able to get some gift cards to places we would shop anyway ~ a sporting goods store and a bicycle shop
    * my daughter (15) has started cooking dinner one night per week. I view this as teaching her cooking plus budgeting and planning 🙂
    * along that same lines our 11 year old is now going to be washing his own clothes. I love to see them learning real life skills
    * had a potluck at work. brought some of the .39/# cantaloupe from above for a frugal contribution
    * was award some points at work that I was able to exchange for $100 Lowe’s gift card
    * was on a local garage sale site at the right time to get a cast iron outdoor table + chairs for $40. A bit of rust but hubby will take care of that with some spray paint
    * and most exciting ~ my garden area is marked out and set to be rototilled tomorrow (yeah!!!)

  9. How nice! The employee at the nursery (we have talked about gardening for years) told me to plan on taking it in then, and the sign on the hibiscus said it can sustain frost damage at 34º, so I am planning on putting them in pots. How big are your plants?

  10. My frugal accomplishments:
    SO stopped in at Winn Dixie while he was doing other errands and stocked up on peanut butter for $1 a jar.

    The sink in the master bath was draining slowly and I didn’t have time to deal with it right away, and it quickly escalated to being clogged. Then also the hall sink wouldn’t drain (we didn’t realize the drains were connected in the wall someplace). I cleared as much hair as I could using one of those plastic zip line drain cleaners that another reader suggested last time we had a clog in the shower last year (it worked great!). Then we still had to plunge like crazy. After the clog was cleared, we cleaned out the scum in the line with baking soda and vinegar then boiling water. I was determined NOT to call a plumber!

    I ordered a wreath for the front door from Joanns. I ordered one that was 60% off in the spring sale, used a $5 coupon that was in Real Simple magazine, and went through ebates. Final price shipped with tax was $19.03 for a wreath that was normally $39.99. I paid for it with the bonus money I got for opening up a Discover checking account.

    I had a mystery shopping assignment at a grocery store after work one day. I picked up a few things we needed (condiments for my daughter’s graduation luncheon and tissues) and in a moment of weakness also bought some cupcake mix kits which I didn’t “need.” I ended up spending $6 over what I will get reimbursed which was the only grocery shopping I did for the week.

    I have been trying harder to meet my Swagbucks goal, which has been difficult since I have been working outside the house now.

    Every day I brought home the plastic serving platters and bowls with lids from catered lunches at work to use for my daughters graduation luncheon. I also was able to get a couple of tongs and big spoons.

    There was a penny in some junk mail I added to my change jar.

    I put some thought into what I can make to use up as much as I can in the freezer. My son is moving for the summer to take an internship and I need room in my freezer to take what he can’t use before he moves (he also has a very small chest freezer he will need to empty).

    I went to the mall to get my free panty at Victoria’s Secret and spend my $10 off $10 coupon at JcPenny. I didn’t realize it but they were having a doorbuster sale at JCP and were giving out coupons when I walked in. I won another $10 off $10. I shopped the clearance racks and got a Liz Claiborne blouse for work for $4.99 (regularly $34) and a Liz Claiborne black fitted cardigan also for work for $7.99 (regularly $48). Not that I would have paid full price for them, but I paid pretty much the same price as at our thrift stores here, so I got new dress clothes for work for the same price I would have paid at Goodwill.

    I combined trips and also stopped at CVS and got the free toothpaste and BOGO CVS vitamins.

    I worked in the garden. I picked strawberries and blueberries as they ripened trying to get them before the birds! I transplanted the tomatoes my son started for me. I moved 2 vincas that had self-seeded where I didn’t want them and planted a pomegranate where the vincas were (I bought the pomegranate months ago with no idea where I was going to plant it). I transplanted some more volunteers that had come up from the compost. I have been transplanting all my volunteers into one bed. I’m curious to see how they do compared to plants I started from purchased seeds. I have a lot of mystery plants – squash? Or cucumber?

    I am late getting them started, but I planted my Florida cranberry/true roselle seeds that I collected last fall. I use the calyx for hibiscus tea and the leaves are also edible.

    I used leftover short pieces of 4 x 4’s from when we put in a fence to edge around my nicer rain barrel in the front yard and then filled the bed with buckets of red lava rocks that I had picked up from other beds and around the yard last year that previous owners had put down and I wanted them gone. I can’t plant anything around the barrel or use mulch because when it overflows or comes off the roof during a really heavy rain, it kills what I plant and washes the mulch away. It looks great now and TOTALLY FREE! And it still looked great after a heavy rain!

    Plus all the usual washing out baggies (even though I do not want to sometimes LOL), eating lunch provided at work and taking lots of the leftovers home with me, composting veggie scraps, making foaming soap to refill the dispensers, using water from the rain barrels, reading frugal blogs to keep motivated.

    Have a great week ladies – and thank you Brandy for hosting this and inspiring us all!

  11. My biggest ‘win’ this week was buying several kilos of apples for 99 cents/kilo. I think we’ll have enough for school lunches for the term now. I also bought a small pumpkin at 69 cents/kilo – it’s almost impossible to find canned pumpkin filling here, so I tend to buy one a year, puree it down, and freeze the pumpkin puree for pies and pumpkin bread.

    I’ve been working on a gallery wall in the house; I wanted to add a few things to it and found everything I needed on-hand. Likewise I updated a display on a table by using items I already had on-hand.

    I took advantage of an Artscow 10 items for US $20 to get some little presents for family members. I also took advantage of a half-off sale to get my husband’s Christmas presents – Actually the prices were half-off and then she threw in an item of similar value for free, so it was sort of like 1/4 of the price. I suspect her prices were a bit inflated to begin with; but when I compared the items on eBay and similar sites I definitely came out ahead.

    I digital scrap booked pictures of our recent holiday. Digital scrapping saves me money as I use free files for the backgrounds and embellishments, a free digital scrap booking software program, and then print them off at work for cost. Whereas, the old-fashioned way, I’d have to print out the pictures, buy papers and embellishments, etc. I can also edit the photos and play with the size more easily when it’s on a computer. I e-mailed the finished pages through to my parents.

    Can’t wait to see your birthday posts – they’re always my favourite!

  12. Can’t wait to see pictures of Ivory’s dress! Happy Birthday to her!

    A friend took my husband and son fishing Sunday. My husband opted out of fishing so we didn’t have to buy a license (our son could fish without a license because of his age). They didn’t catch anything, but hubby said he really enjoyed “guy time”! We provided the snacks and they provided the gas & bait. 🙂 I am so glad to hear they’re already planning more trips!

    Got two copies of the Narnia book set for $14 (70% off retail) each brand new from Amazon. One will be for my son for Christmas as his “something to read” and the other for a friend’s son who we exchange Christmas gifts with!

    Picked up plastic Easter eggs for next year’s hunt on a deep clearance. 100 for $2.26. (I was going to wait until they went even cheaper but it would have cost more in gas to make a special trip down).

    My husband and I have been sharing a meal when we eat out now, as we’re trying to cut back on how much we eat (and it helps the wallet)! I’ve also started taking a class two days a week using my gym membership (it’s only $20 a month and I can take unlimited classes for free as well as take my kids to their pool)! Didn’t realize the classes were included in that rate, so I am very excited about this! I’m planning on taking 5-6 classes a week, but have to work my body up to that! 😉

    We needed to add some height to the fence around the dog kennel as our lab can jump it in multiple areas. The previous home owners had left a roll of chicken wire, lots of pavers, planks of wood, and who knows what else in the kennel when they moved… We were able to build taller walls with items we had on hand due to this and didn’t have to buy anything. (It’s not the prettiest but since my intention is to eventually take it all down, it gets the job done for free)!

    Good luck next week!!!

  13. My cuttings are only 12″ or so, but they will grow to be small trees 7 to 12 feet tall. The variety I have is commonly called Rose of Sharon.

  14. When our local LDS Bishop’s Storehouse stopped dry pack canning by patrons, I bought 100 #10 cans and lids and oxi packs because my house has one of our Ward’s dry pack canners. It came in handy this week since a friend was moving and she gave me about 20 buckets filled with different items. I left the wheat in buckets because that will be used quickly. My adult children who are local all took some of the wheat home for their families. One of the buckets had non-instant milk in it which was still great color and taste when I broke open the lid so I packed that into my #10 cans and sealed them up since I use the milk only in cooking and baking rather than drinking so the smaller size being opened won’t get hard before it is used up! I also canned potato flakes and dried hash brown potatoes and barley! What a blessing!

    I bought 6 bags of green beans for $1/bag and pressured canned them into 14 tightly packed quart jars!

    Cooked up 6 pounds of marked down lean ground beef with some of my dried onions and packaged it into quart size ziploc bags for me to grab out of the freezer to make fast and easy dinners.

    Finished a large scrappy lap quilt using only scraps from my shoebox storage rather than any of my fabric storage that I have in yardage.

    LpPut an extra $175. into our savings account from money we saved this past two week pay period.

  15. The floral arrangement is just stunning! I love the way the whites and greens really set off the blue! The bracelet is lovely as well. I’m eager for the birthday post – I love seeing the wonderful ways you celebrate in your family.

    We have had a good week. Here is a link to my own ‘frugal accomplishments’ post: http://quietcountrylife.blogspot.com/2015/04/blessings-frugal-accomplishments-and.html

    I’m a little bummed at the moment – my family agreed that they wanted to eat more meatless meals, more vegetables, but I’m seeing that when I make those meals, they eat them…and then eat and eat and eat afterwards – my husband in particular. He doesn’t want more of the food he requested, but things like peanuts and crackers. I don’t know how to get through this adjustment period, so suggestions are welcome. 🙂

  16. Brandy all those eggs must be so useful to you! How good to be able to do trades like this. And wonderful garage sale finds!
    I cant wait to see the birthday pictures.
    Last week was pretty good. My husband picked up some more work and in fact worked all week then all weekend. Which is a bit much and hard but was needed. I made special dinners to try and make the weekend seem better.
    My week consisted of lots of cooking, putting things away in the freezer, building up my pantry, gardening and crochet.
    My full list is posted on Feather your Nest Fridays http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com.au/
    Today the sun is shining so the washing is going out. But we had rain and it has been great for the garden.
    Have a wonderful week! xxx

  17. We also went garage saleing. Ahha, the most frugal “sailing” there is. Today I made banana muffins, and double chocolate chip cookies. We ate leftovers. We decided to buy new summer shoes online because we’d save seventeen dollars a pair. Yesterday we went to garage sales while checking out a town we are looking to move to. We bought a picture for our daughters room for five dollars, and I found some very nice ribbon for Christmas gifts for .75. I packed us lunch and snacks so we did not stop anywhere to eat. We stopped at BJs since it was on the way home. I asked for an extra coupon booklet and they gave it to me. I hung clothes to dry in the house. We did not need the heat for most of the week. My husband fixed our vacuum cleaner. I did not buy any books( it is very difficult for me to get to the library and the kindle is an eternal temptation). We made over 1200.00 dollars on ebay. I was diligent about remembering to turn off unnecessary lights. We found a way to save money on our sons tuition.

    Looking at the neighborhoods we are considering spurred me to some online searches and there is a loan program under the USDA for people looking to move to an agricultural area that the governement wants to have growth in. Which we actually seem to qualifiy for. If we get that loan, we will only have a 2% interest rate on our mortgage. We are inquiring for more details. If it all works out, my research could save us two hundred dollars a month in interest. We got more LED bulbs.

    I am really pleased to say that I am absolutely meeting my monthly goal of lowering our grocery bill by 10% and I think I might be able to get to 20%. My goal for next month is to bring it to 25% lower each week and maintain that. I think I could have some weeks where it is 30% lower but I don’t know if that is sustainable.

  18. Bought a 4.5 pound package of ground beef from the bargain basket for $2.49/lb. Repackaged & froze it as 16 beef patties. I also bought 2 packages of four ground turkey patties for $1 per package from the bargain basket. These are for our youngest daughter,
    who likes them. Picked up some russet potatoes in 5-pound bags for 67 cents a bag, & some 2-pound bricks of medium cheddar cheese on sale for $3.98 each at different grocery store.

    Continued to dig grass & roots out of the strawberry bed. By Monday evening, I had completely filled the garbage can with grass & roots from the bed, & pulled the can to the curb for the Tuesday morning pickup. I continued to dig out more grass, filling an empty tree tub, since they would not fit in the garbage can.

    Hauled 14 more tree tubs of well-aged horse manure from the stable for the garden & raised beds. This was particularly pleasant work, since the stable is surrounded by cherry orchards, which were in full bloom.

    Hung washing to dry instead of using the dryer. I do this often, & usually forget to mention it.

    I dehydrated some leftover mashed butternut squash, using the fruit leather trays in the dehydrator. It turned out well, & looks sort of like bright, light orange potato flakes. We still have some butternut squash left over from the garden harvest last fall, so I baked 2, since it was cold today with the snow storm, & put what we didn’t eat for dinner in the dehydrator.

    Filled the car with gas on Wednesday at the Chevron station using the card for the discount & the free car wash. On my way back, I stopped at Starbucks for free grounds for gardeners.

    Gathered 7-8 gallons of rainwater from the downspouts after a rain/snow storm moved through. This was enough to refill all the jugs I use to water the garden, plus the rainstorm portion lasted long enough to water everything well, so I won’t need to water at all for several days.

    Transplanted a lettuce seedling that was in the wrong place. I thought I had carrot seeds, but apparently I do not, so I purchased some heirloom Scarlet Nantes seed.

    Recycled the metal that the grandchildren had collected while they helped their mother clean the yard & a shed. We only received 75 cents, but the two youngest are not old enough to earn money any other way, & even a small amount of income they have earned lets them learn how to pay tithing & save.

    Watched “Call the Midwife” on PBS and “Cheese Slices” on UEN.

    I cut a few grape hyacinths from the patch in the back yard t0 fill the small hobnailed milk vase, & a small handful of tulips for the green bud vase in the library. I do love being able to cut our own flowers for free.

  19. Ahh! I’ve seen Rose of Sharon in gardening catalogs (not locally, though). I didn’t know it was type of hibiscus! Garden.org lists them as two different plants; hibiscus is listed as a tropical plant, which is what I’ve got. Tropical hibiscus cannot handle the cold.

  20. Thanks Brandy for the updates and the photos. I look forward to reading your blog every Sunday! I also really enjoy reading all the other comments!

    It was a good week income wise, someone hit my car a few weeks ago-minor scrape, and the insurance company sent me a check to repair it. DH can do repairs well enough, so the money went into savings. Also sold some old gold jewelry and broken gold chains, unmatched earrings, stashed away in an old box, and added that to savings. Made all but two meals at home, and did the usual washing, cleaning and fixing ;). Overall, have been trying for one major sales accomplishment a month (selling something not used any more), finishing selling the unused jewelry finished up my April item! Now on to figure out what I can sell in May 😉

  21. My frugal finds today:

    Krogers had chicken breast with thigh 88 cents a lb. I bought 2 pkgs. each had 4 in it, cost was around $4 a pkg. I brought them home, immediately put them in the oven and baked it all. They were basted with a BBQ rub. So we now have 4 meals for 2 at a cost of around $2 a meal. And they are cooked I will freeze them tomorrow and they will be meals for the nights when I work so dh can heat and serve.. I don’t get off work till 9pm home around 9:30pm and dh comes home hungry from work. So it saves some on the temptation to eat fast food.

    Frugal I guess is we have paid in our yearly deductibles on our insurance for dh.. he is being treated for prostrate cancer. So because we have met our deductible his meds for the rest of the year are free as are his continued treatments. I saved about $60 today by not having to pay for his meds.

  22. I hung out two loads of laundry yesterday . . . and then half an hour later it started bucketing down rain. Oh well, another rinse cycle never hurts, and the longer it’s on the line, the longer I can procrastinate putting it away! 😉

  23. First of all – thank you so much for mentioning Zenni Optical. I was able to get my PD along with my Rx from the eye doctor. I bought glasses from her a year ago and they were over $400 (progressive bifocals) even with insurance. This time I found two pairs and 3 pairs of clip on sunglasses for one pair and one pair of clip on’s for the other – for $125.00!!! The pair with three clip-ons is for working outside and traveling and the others – well just plain funky. They were to celebrate that I received my first Social Security check. I wanted something that felt fun – they are very colorful.

    Stopped at the small grocery store that is between our farm and town. I don’t normally shop there as they don’t have a wide selection and their produce is expensive. I found ground pork for $1.49 a pound and pork roasts for $1.79 a pound. I bought four of the pork roasts – two for us and two for a friend who is going to cook them for her son’s 9th birthday party next weekend. I bought 10 pounds of the ground pork – made a huge batch of green chile (one of the staples in this part of the world) and cooked and froze that portion for posole in a few weeks. Seal-a-mealed the rest. Also found their butcher made hot Italian sausage for $1.79 a pound – froze that in small portions to use for pizza and spaghetti sauce.

    Helped a friend move and was able to provide her with staples out of my stockpile. She and her 14 year old grandson had to move due to family conflict and there won’t be much money for them for awhile. A dear friend had done this in the past for me in a similar situation and I know how much it meant to me to have someone by my side during that tough time.

    I am volunteering at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for a half day every two weeks. I do a lot of stocking and sorting. While sorting through some refrigerator drawers I found an old metal style ice cube tray that has a lever. I bought it for a dollar! I want to make flavored ice cubes for summer and the plastic ones don’t last. I also found a lot of little things to use for projects for 50cents. Yes – I did work while there! It isn’t a big store and what they need most is someone on Saturdays to help people find things and do stocking.

    Went to Sam’s club for a every two month restock. One of the employees walked through the store telling customers that there were 2.5 pound bags of Hershey Easter chocolate assortment for $2.51! I bought four – one for us, one to take when I volunteered, one for my friend and one for the party next weekend. The one for my friend I stashed in a cupboard for her to find after I left – everyone needs a little chocolate when things are tough!

    Found two pairs of knee length Docker’s shorts at my favorite thrift store for $1.50. One is black and one is a muted plaid. I like to have nice shorts to wear in the summer and on vacation but it is hard to find modest and flattering styles.

    All the rest of course – made food at home, put clothes on the line to dry, books from the library and watched movies on Netflix.

  24. To me it sounds like he might need to stay out of the kitchen for a few weeks so his stomach can shrink (if adequate servings of the meatless dinner aren’t filling him up). 🙁 Maybe try having him drink a glass of water 20-30 minutes prior to eatting (as well as more water with dinner). Our stomach doesn’t seem to “notify” our brains they’re full until approx 30 minutes after you’ve eaten.

    Good luck, it’s a hard thing to train yourself on in my opinion. Let alone having to regulate other people (my kids just aren’t allowed to snack after meals period).

  25. Butternut squash makes very yummy pumpkin pies. That’s what I use (here it’s called butternut pumpkin so I can get away with it). It’s very easy to puree and freezes well.

  26. My husband is and has been an avid Lego collector. For some years now he has both bought, sold, and collected. He decided that he wants to move more than he wants his collection. So, he has been selling it on eBay. We’ve made an extra three thousand so far. Lego are one of the few very reliable collectibles if you know what you are doing. One that he bought for three hundred at the beginning of our marriage ( I remember agreeing to the purchase) is now worth nearly two thousand dollars. In addition to looking for sets in clearance and sitting on them for a few years, he watches Craigslist and eBay to buy low and sell high. We estimate he has about ten grand in Lego that he has slowly accumulated and is now letting go. We are using the proceeds to pay the car off so our debt to income ratio is lower and we get a more favorable mortgage as well as having more cash available for the better school district we are buying our way into. As with any collecting there is an element of risk, but our worst case scenario is that our kids get to play with them. He generally doubles or quadruples his money, with some going very high and a few not. Usually the Lego City depreciates and Lego Star Wars appreciates, it does require a lot of room in our basement, as well as a lot of time but the payoff can be significant.

  27. I look forward to Ivory’s Birthday post!
    -I made granola, wheat bread, soaked chickpeas to cook today and make hummus for a potluck at work. I will also make a veggie tray and take some homemade cupcakes in the freezer. I also made homemade toothpaste and whipped body butter that turned out AMAZING! The recipe/video is on trashisfortossers.com. LOOVE IT and will also be using this as a gift idea! I didn’t need to make any food for work this week because of the volume of leftovers in the fridge.
    -took all food to work with me. Did not eat out with everyone else.
    -My mom gave me two pairs of jeans, they are a little big but fit better than my one pair of jeans I still have. I will donate my old pair ( way to big now).
    -We had several pairs of sandals on hand for our daughter in our storage tubs. No need to buy more!
    – I continue to use free online yoga videos and my treadmill to exercise for free.
    -Treated my son and daughter in law to breakfast on Saturday morning. We had a nice breakfast with me and my daughter, son and daughter in law, my mom and her husband at a local family restaurant.
    -planted potatoes, rhubarb, yellow onions, peas, rainbow carrots, black strawberry seeds, chard, kale, zucchini and yellow squash. I also drew a diagram so I remember where I planted what. I started more seeds in our little green house out back. My husband “forgot” I had transplanted our tomato seedlings, my broccoli and cauliflower and trampled them and killed them all. I have ONE cauliflower plant left. I will try the broccoli and cauliflower in fall again, however I have never had luck planting them at that time.
    I continue to put used coffee grounds in the spot the tomatoes will go.
    I also planted several flower seeds. I have more flowers to plant, I just ran out of time.
    I paid the bills that were due online (except one that must be mailed in). My husband gets paid today and the money he gives me will pay our auto insurance AFTER I call and find out why the bill is a different amount every month. Our bill went up $50 for no reason and no explanation.
    -I had money left over after I paid bills so I went grocery shopping at Aldi. They now carry “green”, earth friend and plant derived dish soap for 1.79 ( I purchased 5 for my pantry), laundry soap ( I make my own and use soap nuts so did not buy), bathroom tissue from 100% post consumer recycled paper (purchased 2) and paper towels (I don’t purchase these anymore). They also had really good prices on produce and carry some organic items that are very pricey at our local grocery store. AND they have Fair Trade coffee (not organic though but it’s a start). I stocked up on some items in my pantry that I was out of. I am working on rebuilding my “whole foods/organic” pantry. It’s slow going.
    -The “new” pipes under the sick fell off (big shock there) so my husband had to fix that. Of course that was while I was washing the dinner dishes so nasty, smelly water ran into the cupboard under the sink. EW. I had also gone grocery shopping that day and returned home to have our car over heat (steam, bubbling, LOUD), at least it happened when I was pulling into the driveway, so he replaced the thermostat himself and now the car APPEARS to be fine.
    -We decided we are taking our daughter out of gymnastics. She goes to learn and be around other kids, she will never compete. I have never seen such stuck up, snotty parents or their little girls, EVER. The place she goes to is VERY focused on their competing students. They also began classes in “Runway Walking” (SERIOUSLY!) and something to do with little girls in pageants. These are NOT our values so we are taking her out. We will be putting her into swimming lessons instead because she needs to learn to swim. Runway walking…..!!!!!! No matter where we take her for lessons we will save money.
    -We have had the heat completely off for a week. We continue to turn lights off, use the solar lamp in the bathroom, hanging the laundry to dry when I’m home, turning things off when not in use and unplugging everything possible. I continue to wash and reuse plastic zip type bags and glass jars. I use my homemade cleaners.
    Have a great week everyone!

  28. I love the flower arrangement. You are quite talented with the arranging! I always look forward to your birthday posts. You have inspired me to think ahead. I am already thinking about what I have on hand to do a tea party this fall for my daughter’s upcoming 5th birthday. THis was our week, one thing I forgot to add is that we love yard sales, and my son found himself several items of clothing for .25 each, and I got a key holder that I may repaint for 3.00. We are always losing our shed keys.


  29. My hubby is a HUGE fan of Legos as well. We also have an area in our basement alotted to Lego storage. Do you suggest we keep the original boxes? I’m afraid it a little late for some as we have some I’m small plastic totes.

  30. Yes, it is worth it to keep the boxes, as well as instruction manuals. Condition is everything as with all collectibles. We just bought a manual for a Millenium Falclon that cost 400.00 but will increase the value of the set by 900.00 when we sell it in a few months. My husband never uses household money for this, only *found* money like overtime or money he makes selling sets on ebay that he bought at garage sales or on craigslist. So while 400 is a large outlay, it was from money earmarked for this that will double itself in a few months. Sometimes we can predict what will increase, sometimes not. There is a Batman set we thought was worthless that made a hundred dollars, etc. Sometimes Lego releases a newer set and the one we bought loses value because it’s not as cool or whatever. But just like Brandy has a price point for meat or sugar, he has one for Legos and since he stays at that price point the risk is lessened. Since we have three children, any lego set that is not as valuable can be played with and enjoyed by our children. Sometimes I help too, I knew that the Lego Girls Scientist set would be valuable and it passed right under his radar, but I insisted he buy them and we doubled our money. I don’t know nearly as much as him but I have picked some up just from being around it.

  31. Hello all! Beautiful arrangement and I too look forward to the post on Ivory’s birthday. Here are my frugal accomplishments:

    1. Purchased almost 10 pounds of chicken thighs and legs for .88 a pound. This will make several meals.
    2. Stayed home to save gas. 20.00 lasted from Sunday to Sunday! Yay! I put 20.00 in my car yesterday when I did my weekly grocery run so we will see if I can do it again this week. Hubby has not been getting many hours at work due to the weather and we have had to watch our budget closely. He has had a job offer with benefits and better pay. We are praying about it.
    3. Went to our cellular phone company to see about my husband’s cell phone and while we were there, the man helping us let us know that we were eligible for discounts on the basic phones on our plan. We were able to save $40.00 on our plan! I was very excited. I wish we were able to get rid of the phones completely but that is not an option. My husband’s current employer does pay part of his bill, so that helps.

    Question: Does anyone know of a homemade laundry detergent that does NOT use borax as an ingredient? My son is sensitive to borax and it makes his eczema flare up terribly and I hate buying commercial laundry detergent. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    Have a blessed week.

  32. It also makes great pumpkin bread, cookies, & rolls. I have a lot of butternut squash puree in the freezer, but I prefer to use the freezer space for other things, so I was looking for another way to store the excess. I have canned the squash in cubes before, but we did not care for it that way, & since we still have fresh squash from the garden last year, it wasn’t getting used. Butternut squash grows well for us here, & it takes no more water to grown 42 squash than 24, so I wanted a way to preserve the excess without tying up space in the freezer.

  33. Your flower arrangement is lovely. We did the usual this week in terms of frugality.

    We have had a bit of what I consider a financial “stall” so I am looking at ways to spend less until we recover. During the winter my husband was unable to earn our usual extra income due to weather. We were fine (still are) but now that missing income is catching up to us a bit. All this to say we are having to watch our pennies carefully. I suspect the ship will right itself so to speak in the next month or two. In the meantime we are keeping a chin up!

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  34. DH and I sat down and made out a new budget reflecting our change in income due to his new job and the income from our tenant! It’s really nice to have the income again but we needed to make plans for when he is off for 8 weeks in the Summer. My plan is be stocked up enough and have enough coming in from the garden that I won’t have to shop for groceries while he is off.

    I went to CVS to pick up some meds for DH and they had their Easter candy for 90%off! I grabbed a bag of Ghiradelli Chocolate for .53 cents to take to MIL. She also needed some bras, so I went to the outlet in PA (no tax on clothing in PA!) and they were 25% off. I got 2 Playtex 18 Hour Bras for her for $49.00. We use her money for her things. She’s only allowed to keep $76/month out of her income for personal needs. The rest goes to the Memory Care facility. It was nice to be able to save some money for her.

    Part of the rental agreement we have with our tenant is that we will provide space for her to have a garden. We were going to rent a rototiller yesterday to till it for her but everyone was all rented out. They we decided we would buy one as we have the cash for it, but the one we wanted was sold out and not available until May. DH was thinking about buying a different one but just didn’t feel right about it. So, DH decided to hand dig the bed! It took him 6-8 hours to do a 200 sq ft bed, but we saved $500 or more dollars and he got great exercise. Ate lunch at home but were so tired out from the day of physical labor that I went to Wendy’s drive thru for dinner. DH and I shared a full size BBQ chicken salad and a drink for $8. Well worth it to me!

    Our tenant gave me a pack of Swiss chard seeds that she cannot use. I sure can-I like it a lot and the chickens LOVE it!

    I also did my usual frugal things like hanging all laundry to dry, making most meals at home and car pooling to work with DH.

  35. mj.. I found years ago a magnet hook that I keep on my refrigerator (side of fridge) that I hang my shed keys on. Perhaps you can find one in a hardware store like that or permanantly attach one of those ones that have the adhesive strips on the back. If it wears out, just spray the sticky area with WD40 and it’ll come right off.

  36. Brandy.. on your husbands jeans that you mended, when they break down again.. recycle them into cut off jean shorts. Also save the legs, make a template and start sewing together a jean throw. I did one of those years ago when I was making blue jean purses and had tons of “legs” left. If not enough jean material, you could always make a pillow case for a sofa cushion.

  37. I totally agree how a garden can change from year to year, and plans for it too. Your posts have reminded me of the red & white alpine strawberries, and the gold raspberries I have had here, that are no longer. Thankfully, we do have red raspberries, and regular sized strawberries. And I can’t wait until there are some to pick! Though I’ve slowed down on my participation, I did cash in Swagbucks for an Amazon card last week. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s accomplishments! Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2015/04/frugal-and-repurposed.html

  38. More frugals:

    I am making a meatloaf shortly out of ground chicken (we don’t eat beef). It will make us 3 complete meals, again a heat and serve meal for the nights I am working. I filled out a online survey from Donato’s where we bought pizza last Friday night and will get a free single serve pizza with the coupon code they gave for filling out the survey. Filled out a Kroger Feedback survey again this week, each time I fill one out I get 50 free fuel points not a lot but doing it 4X a month we get 200 points which equals 20 cents per gallon of gas. I also sign up for their sweepstakes I think you win something like $1000 if you win.. it’s free and I could sure use a extra $1000. Working on putting away winter clothes today and pulling out summer clothes, getting rid of clothes I don’t think we’ll use again. Rediscovering some of my work shirts I need for spring/summer time that I thought I might have accidentally threw away so no need to buy new (thrift store) ones which even in our thrift stores these type of shirts cost me $3.99 each. I have two towels so far that are threadbare and tear everytime we use them a little more.. cutting them down to use as cleaning rags and will crochet a new border on them and sew it on so that I can not only reuse but not worry about them fraying every time I wash them.

  39. This was more of a spend week than a frugal week.

    My car was making a strange sound so I took it to my mechanic. I was hoping it was something as simple as a belt, but it turned out to be an axle issue and a bent wheel. The wheel was non-fixable, but my mechanic was able to locate a used wheel that he had to order. He fixed the axle and will replace the wheel when it comes in. The total cost was around $500.

    I bought a few herb and flower starts for my garden with a 10% off coupon. Slugs had eaten the parsley and flowers I planted a couple weeks ago. About half of my peas came up, so I planted some more. I repotted a few of my home grown starts, and am hardening them off gradually. My squash starts are quite tall, but it’s too early to plant them outside. The nights are still too cold here.

    I made water kefir and kombucha. I have been buying yogurt, but I found a good deal and had a coupon.

    I continued to clean out closets, drawers, etc. and donated various things to the thrift store. I have a couple larger things I am going to sell on Craigslist.

    My birthday was last week, so my husband took me out to breakfast. We then took the bus to Seattle and went to an exhibit on Pompeii at the Science Center. A friend of ours works there, so she shared her employee discount with us (we paid $9 per ticket instead of $29). It was a beautiful, clear day, so with the money we saved, we went up in the Space Needle. The view was amazing, you can see the mountains and the water and the entire city and outlying areas. It was a nice birthday.

    My sister had me over for lunch for my birthday the day before, and gave me some flowers from her garden.

    It was my mom’s 75th birthday two days after mine, and my sister and I took her out to lunch to celebrate. She picked the restaurant, which was a reasonably priced Korean place. The meal was very good, and she really enjoyed it.

    Hopefully the next few weeks will be frugal ones. Now I am going to read about everyone else’s week.

  40. If he’s craving peanuts and if the crackers he’s eating are even part whole grain, it sounds like he needs more protein at the meal, and/or is craving salt/fat. Men seem to always need (or at least crave) more protein than we do. As someone who had to stop eating meat (ever) for medical reasons, I found being full requires I have both protein and fat at a meal. Meals like vegetarian chili with shredded cheese and fresh lettuce/tomatoes work well, hummus with veggies and pita bread, Brandy’s black bean burger with a bun or side of pasta salad (which would have fat in it), may work better for him than straight vegetable meals. Even meals based on eggs rather than meat would be cheaper but have plenty of protein.

  41. I have those same beads! I’m currently stringing them on a navy doily to make a beaded jar cover. 🙂

  42. Oh my goodness! Someone else that plays Rook! I’m always looking for someone to play with,we’re usually a player short. Too bad we don’t live closer! Can’t wait to see what you made for Ivory’s birthday. It always spurs me on to become more creative.

    Not much but the usual this week for our frugal accomplishments. We did start our garden and got our cold weather crops planted. We turned off our heat for the summer. We won’t start up the furnace again until October, it’s always nice to get $17 natural gas bills! I made an apron out of a recycled jeans skirt. And repaired our lawn mower ourselves. We’ve been unplugging and turning off anything electrical. Haven’t gotten an electricity bill yet to see how much it is saving us, but I looked at the electrical meter and it wasn’t even moving, so that has got to be good. I knitted the cutest pair of baby booties from some thrifted yarn (29 cents). Next week I hope to post the pattern for them for free on my blog.

  43. You know, I saw this video on Youtube that said that when they moved their raspberry plants to the side of the house where they got part shade, they did much better, getting better yields and avoiding sunburn. I don’t know how you have tried to do it in the past, but I am planting ours there this summer (and it gets got here too, though not as hot as Las Vegas!). I hope they work out well for you!

    Here is the video – it’s only about 6 minutes long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCR3J7BI8z8

  44. I’d be interested to know what kinds of meatless meals you’re preparing. One of my kids is vegetarian, and I’m always looking for ways to fill him up (w/o just making everything super cheesy). That said, I do find that things like veg chili, veg lasagna or other pasta, burritos w/ veg/beans/rice, can be really filling. I’m sure having pasta or rice in the mix helps. I’d think for people who really like to eat meat, it would be helpful if what they’re eating has enough other ingredients it’s hard to tell the meat is missing.

  45. Anna, I hope he is tolerating the treatments well and pray they are successful. We have been through testicular cancer here, and while we knew it was generally treatable, just as prostrate cancer is, it’s still the big C that you never want to hear. Between that and double hip replacement about 7 weeks ago, we have hit max out of pocket twice in four years. My husband is now three years out from treatment and is doing well.

  46. My husband is the same way. I plate our dinners, so I started adding (a little) more to his plate than usual. Sometimes, I add a piece of buttered bread or with our water add lemon to it. – this really helped. I agree with Megan, with the stomach notifying the brain.
    If it is a protein thing, maybe add beans to the dishes (if they aren’t already).

  47. I was thinking of you this weekend – I finally had to dig out grass and hauls of dirt from our dry creek (so it flows more efficiently). I was getting tired half way through and I thought “That Marivene lady does this all the time – buck up!” and I did.:)

  48. I saw your post about Quiche. We also love quiche at my house and we eat it about twice a month. Instead of making a dough crust I make a cup and a half (dry) rice. when the rice cooker is done I spoon it out and pat it down into the pie plate. I pat sides to the crust also. It is much, much lower in fat than the dough and I find it more cost effective. ( I find I need to spray the pan with oil so the rice doesn’t stick) Also, we use a variety of greens that we have foraged like dandelion, wild spinach/lamb quarter, and dock/sorrel. I will gather them all summer and then saute them and freeze them in baggies for the winter. Usually I make this meal when my grocery budget runs low!

  49. Your arrangements are always so beautiful!
    Cleaned up the back yard (leaves that were missed in the fall) -5 wheel barrows worth to compost.
    Saved warm up water and used on the seedlings.
    My 20 year Jeep finally retired. I bought a new to me smaller Jeep that gets 8 more miles to the gallon than my previous. With the advice from here to be pre –approved before purchase I was able to negotiate better so I could keep my budget. The credit union loan beat the dealerships by 4%.
    I found a bread making book for a quarter. There are recipes for vegetable bread such as beet, tomato and a few others. You make/use a vegetable puree. I am hoping the beet bread to be a hit with the Mister. If not, it is just one more way to get a vegetable in our diets. Their French bread recipe was very similar to yours but with a 3rd rise time – I’ll stick with yours!
    I have been looking for a leather bucket purse and found one at the Goodwill Bargain room for 50 cents.
    Using a single size bed sheet, I made this skirt (mine is a solid color). I recommend this site for anyone wanting to learn or practice their sewing. http://www.sew4home.com/projects/fabric-art-accents/gypsy-romance-three-tiered-skirt
    Leftover soup frozen for future lunches makes 2 lunches for me. This past week I made it make 3 lunches and added a piece of homemade bread to fill it out.

    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  50. We must have been at the same sale Myra.. mine were 88 cents a lb. too though they were rubbed with some kind of BBQ powder. I’ve had it before it’s good and for the money, a good buy. I don’t know how many lbs. ours was I’d say at least 4 lbs. per pkg. and I bought 2. Very frugal meal planning. I’m still doing frugal things as we speak. Made the meatloaf I posted earlier, got to thinking about the ingredients as I was prepping and got out 2 cans of salmon and made a salmon loaf at the same time. So I now have even more meals prepped and in the freezer for ease of cooking. I’ll need to look around the pantry to see if I have any Mac and Cheese to add to the Salmon Loaf along with Green beans. The meatloaf for tonight has green beans, corn and leftover mashed potatoes as side dishes. Thank you all for your inspiration.. I look on here everyday as I know some don’t always post the first day it comes out and I love all the tips.

  51. We can put them out for the summer and then bring them in for the winter. I used to work in a place that had an amazing hibiscus that they grew indoors .It was 7+ feet tall and multiple stalks in a large pot ( maybe half the size of a garbage can).Hibiscus likes to be pot bound to bloom well. This one did bloom as did my mother’s. It was just lovely. Brandy , what we do up here when we have the possibility of frost is cover our plants with old sheets at night and take off in the morning or just move pots into our garages over night. Is that a possibility for you?

  52. When I was a child the very elderly lady who lived next door to me would wash her hair in rain water and comb it all out in the sun. It was long and she held it in a bun. She said your hair would be the softest after using this water. She was right, it is:)

  53. I borrowed every book I read from the library or downloaded them from Amazon’s free kindle books. Too many overripe bananas were turned into banana applesauce walnut muffins which were a hit. We decided to go out to lunch to celebrate our 34th anniversary and tried a new restaurant which was relatively inexpensive. Afterwards we used our art museum membership to see a special exhibit of work by a Cuban artist, Wilfredo Lam, which was very interesting. A great and frugal afternoon together.

    The best thing that happened last week was frugal in that it will result in tax refunds from the past 4 years state tax returns. I had to hire an accountant to do our taxes this year due to things related to my Mom’s estate and she noticed we hadn’t taken advantage of significant deductions available in our state to anyone 62+. We should be ahead about $2000 even after paying her.

  54. Used some points from our credit card to get an Amazon gift card. Made some clothes for a doll that I am giving away. (I made 2 party dresses) Finally got my white Lady Banks. Got it planted on the other side of garden shed. Hung laundry to dry when every possible. We had some rain that we needed so much. Had to use the dryer more than normal.

    Used a coupon for a free car wash with an oil change. My husband’s truck needed the oil change. My car gets free oil changes and tire rotations for as long as we own it.

    Watched 2 old movies while sewing. I have an old TV with a CD player in my sewing room. So I got some movie time while I was mending and sewing doll dresses. The fabric was scraps I have from quilts. So no money spent there .

    I got 20 pieces of clothes for my grandchildren at the Salvation Army thrift store this past Saturday. They are fixed up on shorts and t-shirts for the summer. They had a huge sale going on and when you walked in they gave you a bag. What ever you could fit (clothes wise) into the bag was only $5.00. I saw several really nice prom type dresses there. I almost got one for my grand daughter, but as she is my only grand daughter I want to MAKE her dresses for her special. She is going to get a pattern and we will buy fabric together.

  55. Check out the Creative Savv ( that’s two v’s)blog. She did a posting this morning on making her own laundry soap. She has eczema and does not use borax in the detergent she uses for herself.

  56. Ahead of a two-and-a-half day stay with one set of grandchildren, I planned our foods. I baked lentil loaf with barbecue sauce and two loaves of bread. I baked two loaves, one in my sun oven and one in the regular oven. I wasn’t sure how the rustic no-added-oil bread would turn out in the sun oven. I figured I would have a loaf to eat and one for croutons, no matter what. Following instructions on a You Tube video, I put the loaf in the loaf pan in the sun oven before the loaf had quite finished its second rise and then baked it longer because the sun oven’s temperature wasn’t near 450-degrees. The loaf turned out fine. In the future, the bread will be baked in the sun oven when the winds cooperate. We have plenty of sun but also strong winds. The wings of the sun oven make it unsuitable for days when the wind is strongest. The next day, I made herbed croutons. I also roasted garbanzo beans with rosemary from my garden, lemon and soy sauce, and baked a vegan Mexican chocolate cake. I planned the foods so that the oven’s heat wouldn’t go to waste once the oven was hot and the Mexican chocolate cake didn’t taste like rosemary and garlic! We had taken advantage of this week’s HEB deal to buy salad greens and get free tomatoes, so I planned a salad with roasted garbanzo beans and croutons for some meals or to accompany the lentil loaf. I made up a few days’ worth of steel-cut oats and homemade cocoa and portioned the oatmeal out for each day. My grandchildren are not vegan, but my daughter had prepared meals for them.

    While we were sitting our grandchildren, our young teen granddaughter with coloring similar to mine gave me a makeup lesson. Makeup styles do change! This lesson was free and personal and came with memories I’ll cherish. While tidying up the playroom one day while my grandchildren worked on other chores, I found a discarded C&C cashmere sweater with a $118 price tag still attached. It turns out that my daughter bought it for herself on a good sale but didn’t like it. She had given it to my teen granddaughter, who also wasn’t interested, so it had just sat folded on the playroom floor waiting for someone to claim it. When it was offered to me since we’re all the same size, I took it! I don’t care whether it looks good on me or not: next winter, cashmere will keep me warm around the house if it doesn’t fit well enough to wear elsewhere.

    We utilized the economies others employ on this site. For example, we’re trying to hang on as long as possible without using the air conditioner every day. That’s difficult in this part of Texas this time of year. We did turn it on a couple of nights after I’d had my infusion for a chronic illness and was having trouble sleeping.

  57. I believe Okra is also a form of hibiscus plants. Here in Georgia there are tropical varieties that many people plant in sheltered areas near the house and they winter over. I’ve only ever had them in a pot myself, as our winters are so unpredictable. We might have very very mild ones or ones with lots of below freezing temperatures.

  58. All our foods are plant-based, so we don’t eat cheese or eggs. That means that even when we eat a huge plate of food, we probably haven’t gotten many calories. We add more healthy starches to our meals and eat more frequently, making sure that the snacks we eat are healthy ones. I love to eat, so I consider that a plus! (My husband just came in and handed me some apple slices while I was typing because he was sharing his snack.) Let’s be honest, however: there is an adjustment period when you still crave the salty, high-fat or high-sugar items. You might go to the Engine 2 site for ideas. Engine 2 was started by a tall, muscular firefighter whose physician father is one of the proponents of a plant-based diet. For some men, reading about and seeing other men who are eating this way helps dispel the myth that plant-based diets don’t provide enough protein or turn men into meek and weak creatures. Even if he’s not willing to read it, you can.

  59. Swimming is great, but if she’s still interested in gymnastics, perhaps try another gym? My daughter competed, but we always knew she was never going to get anywhere near elite level. We were okay with that, and her coaches were, too. Being in gymnastics helped her build strength and think of her body as something that worked for her, a great counterpart to the message she was getting outside of gymnastics from advertisements, etc. Muscles were good: they made you stronger. The moms and girls were all excited when someone got a new skill. It sounds as if your daughter’s gym has a totally different mindset. I know what you experienced, however: that happened when my daughter tried out and made her high school cheerleading squad. I was shocked at the attitudes of the parents.

  60. I have rented the drain snake from the hardware store twice. It has about 50 feet of length and is electric. It’s absolutely disgusting but I highly recommend it.

  61. I harvested snow peas, green onions, carrots and spinach from the garden.

    I’ve been making more iced tea to drink at home instead of sodas. I buy tea 100 bags/ $1. I drink it unsweetened.

    It rained a lot so I only watered the garden once.

    I borrowed my parents’ electric hedge trimmer and weed-eater and in return I bought them a loaf of rye bread when I went to the day-old-breadstore.

    I’ve been calculating the price of our meals. This helps give me “sticker-shock” when I feel tempted to eat out.

    I purchased two boxes of organic produce at a discount from the produce market. This is $54 for 54 pounds of organic produce. This box included a lot of cucumbers, avocados, mangoes, oranges and pink lady apples. This is enough produce to last us a month.

    I purchased popcorn, flour and rice in bulk.

    We needed a new mattress. I researched this and decided on the one from Costco because of their return policy. After 3 days it was clear it was too soft for us. We returned it. I remembered a girl my age I met at jury duty told me she was the manager of a mattress store. We had developed a friendship and text each other occasionally. I decided to ask her about the mattress. She was able to help my husband and I get a brand new mattress at a low cost. This saved me $200 over the Costco mattress for a much more comfortable mattress. In return we will help her move a couch out of her 3rd floor apartment.

    I filed my taxes using free Turbo Tax online for free.

    Brandy, we grew hibiscus tea (jamaica tea) in Houston. It was very hardy and reseeded itself if you didn’t harvest all of the calyxes. I haven’t planted any since moving because we were not very excited about the taste. I think it is a very pretty/unique looking plant.

  62. You’ll have best luck with meals that combine the right carbs to form whole proteins, such as beans and rice. There are other combinations such as corn, zucchini, and other vegetables. If you google vegetarian protein options you should get a listing of the foods that do provide sufficient protein per serving when combined into one dish. I also suggest that you make sure your food is well seasoned. Spices and seasonings tend to make for more satisfactory meals than bland foods. I’d also plan snacks that have some form of protein such as the peanuts he’s craving. Portion them out into serving sizes.

  63. It’s called Scrapbook Flair. I’m not sure if it’s even still available. It’s got its drawbacks; but it works okay most of the time.

  64. Here’s the website – http://www.scrapbookflair.com/ You should be able to download it from here, and you can also download a lot of kits to get you started. You can use other digital kits too – there are thousands of them available for free on-line. I just do normal letter size pages, print them out, and put them in a 3 ring binder.

  65. We had this at my brother’s wedding and I thought it was wonderful! I did not think about it going to seed; thank you for letting me know. I had a flower yesterday and I noticed that it only lasted one day, so I picked it today to dry. When I looked it up as Jamaican tea, I saw it mentioned that there is a white hibiscus. I looked but the nursery didn’t have white ones, so they’ll be in the backyard.

  66. Jennifer, “that Marivene lady” does not do it all in one day, tho! I have been working for more than a week to get the strawberry bed overhauled. I aim for 1-2 tree tubs full of grass & roots per day – a tree tub is about the equivalent of the 5 gallon bucket. I dig out extras on Monday & Tuesday if the garbage can is not full, so that by the time they come to pick it up, it is!

  67. Squash also makes wonderful “pumpkin” pancakes & “pumpkin waffles”. Since we eat gluten-free, that is probably our most common “non side dish” use for the squash.

  68. For years I just grated bar soap and used a stain remover. I used the slivers of soap that would have been thrown out otherwise. Laundry soap is just soap after all. I hope that helps.

  69. I have a scrumptious recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. My FIL hates pumpkin and refuses to eat it but when I make these cookies he can gobble up the entire batch in one setting. Unfortunately he’s diabetic so I can’t make them for him. But they are sooooo yummy.

  70. Try starting your meal with a serving of vegetable soup before the main course. I often make a huge pot that lasts as a first course or as a “I’m still hungry snack” for most of the week. Stir in a bit of brown rice and it becomes very filling. If you start with sautéed onion, garlic, and celery, then add broth, diced tomatoes, canned beans, corn, green beans, cabbage, carrots, spinach, and any other leftover vegetable bits that your family will eat it is really good and very easy- we like ours with a dash of Cajun seasoning

  71. All of our water comes from rainwater. I do notice my hair seems healthier when I’m home as opposed to on holidays; but I’m not sure how much of that has to do with rainwater at home, and how much of that has to do with lots of time spent in chlorinated pools on holidays.

  72. Huh. My kids aren’t at all interested in Lego and my husband and I hate Star Wars. But if there’s money involved we might have to start pushing both on the kids! :p Well done to him. I’m always impressed when people have a knack for finding collectibles that are actually worth something.

  73. My husband’s a CPA. We used to be very much of the mindset of “why would anyone ever pay someone to do their taxes” until he started his CPA course, and then we saw just how valuable it can be. It depends on individual circumstances of course; but it can be worth every penny to pay someone else to do your taxes. Well done with the tax refunds.

  74. Here in Florida we have Florida cranberry/true roselle (green leaves with white flowers) and cranberry hibiscus with red leaves and pink flowers. I grow the true roselle and make tea and jelly with the calyx. The leaves are also edible and have a peppery flavor. Mine get 8 feet tall! They don’t bloom until the days get shorter, but i freeze the calyx to use all year.


    Brandy – If you bought a different one but want to try true roselle, I can send you some seeds in the fall.

  75. This past week I had 2 days where I stayed at home for the most part. That is very rare for me. I used the extra time to do lot of cooking and some cleaning.

    I cooked several meals for the week ahead. Today when I got home from work, I just warmed up the chili I had made, hot dogs, and we had chili dogs. I have tomorrow night’s dinner done, and made spaghetti sauce to make lasagna for next week (I will freeze). My husband barbequed meat for a couple of nights. I also cooked several meals for another family. It is so nice to have a stockpile. I have been purposeful in using home-canned items, bulk items like brown rice and beans, and frozen items that I want to use before they go bad. We are committed to helping our friends for an extended period of time as the father has suffered an injury that leaves him unable to work, and with some health challenges that are undetermined yet as to how bad they will end up being. They have had a life-changing event that is going to take some time to adjust to. So, every weeked I cook double and send a bunch over there. I’m trying to make the meals healthy and affordable for both us and them. Another friend suffered a broken collarbone, so I sent another meal over there as well. It seems to come in bunches!!! I’m so happy to be the giver and not the receiver this time–I’ve had many occasions where people helped me out and it’s awesome to give back to someone else. Needless to say, I’ve been spending a little extra on groceries, but it’s worth it to me. I’ve also been able to use up a lot of items so they don’t get wasted, which makes me feel good, too, such as potatoes that are starting to sprout, cooked chicken that was frozen in little baggies and got forgotten, brown/wild rice mixture I’ve had for some time, etc.

    My biggest organization project was to clean my shelves in the garage where I store my pantry stockpile. Everything was removed, the shelves wiped, the cans wiped if needed, and organized with the old in front and new stuff in back. I did not have to throw away much–a couple of bulging cans and some items that had wheat (I’ve been gluten-free for a few years so they were OLD), and a few strange items left over from when we did Gleaners a few years back. So, that felt good, too.

    I made a mega-list of what I thought we needed for the summer. I made out a large Azure order and bought those items. Rob got 25 more pounds of pinto beans from Cash and Carry ($17). I have other items I’m gathering from elsewhere as well, such as toilet paper and ziplocks from Costco and gf flours from Bob’s Red Mill. I will have to get cheese, too, and some other stuff in May when I get paid again. A few years back, I did that and it worked well. I don’t anticipate working as much this summer as last. That was a rare occasion to work so much, so I’m preparing for this summer to get by with spending less. When we did it before, we used what we had bought, what was in the freezer and canned goods in the basement, and our garden. We found we had to buy a few things I had forgotten or ran out of, but mostly I did not shop that summer. I will be interested in seeing if it works this time. I will set aside a small amount each month for milk, forgotten items, etc. and still continue saving each month for the beef we purchase each fall.

    I bought 25 lbs of green split peas, 25 lbs popcorn, 10 lbs gf noodles, a case of tomato sauce, a case of tomato paste, lasagna and shell pasta, several kinds of rice, several bags of various spices and seasonings, a case of ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, and a lot of other things. I organized my storage and have many other kinds of beans, noodles, rice, canned beans, lots of beef, chicken, turkey, and a little pork left. (Husband will start another pig in July probably, as well as get another batch of baby turkeys and chickens in the summer as well). We have baby laying hens growing, but are buying eggs right now as the coyotes have been very busy eating our hens lately. I still have lots of veggies and fruit canned and frozen. We have been eating lots of those things lately.

    I planted some seeds in the garden for the 3rd time (lettuce, spinich, green onions, carrots and beets). I put a lot of slug bait around this time and am hoping for the best. I harvested a handful of asparagus. I planted 10 new strawberries my mother gave me.

    We watched our friends’ 6 children Saturday morning. I have 8 children, but many are grown and I’m admittedly out of practice, especially about how much to cook. They are very sweet children and we had a ball. First, we had them help us stack some wood for about 1 hour. Then they wanted a snack (there were 8 here, counting our 2 that were home), and we used about 3 lbs apples and most of a small jar of peanut butter. Then they went out to play and I made a large 2-platter nacho and cut 2 canteloupes I got for 39 cents a pound. My hubs built a fire and we roasted hot dogs (most of a 24 pack), ate the nacho and then I brought out some popcorn and a little oil. Eveyone experimented with how to pop popcorn over the fire and everyone was busy for around an hour with just popcorn, tin foil, sticks, roasting sticks, little tin pans my husband found somewhere, an old-fashioned popper my daugher rounded up from the shop, and a lot of ingenuity. We all had a really good time and it was very frugal fun. Just a few small burns, and we actually had a little popcorn that popped along with a LOT of popcorn that fell into the fire. There were some amazing popcorn poppers built from tin foil or pans–some worked some didn’t. We had talked about taking them to the zoo, but it would have been over $100 to get us all in. This was fun in a different way, and much more in our budget. We will check into getting some kind of membership to the zoo or OMSI for another time, if we find a good deal, because we are going to be doing this from time to time. We also may plan a fishing trip.

  76. Not sure the Rose of Sharon is a hibiscus? I have a few Rose of Sharon and the Hibisicus actual plants I have planted died?

  77. Linda – She’s only 4 and more interested in playing with the other kids. If she wants to do it again someday we will find a different school for her to go to.

  78. Gotcha! Well we save all instruction manuals.
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    You two really have a great system. 🙂

  79. Brandy, your new footed crystal bowl is beautiful, especially with the lovely flower arrangement from your garden. I’m looking forward to reading about Ivory’s birthday!

    I’m late posting my comments this week as I am trying to tie up some loose ends before starting back to work. My first day back is April 23. Here are my frugal accomplishments this week:
    *I volunteered at the museum I work at this past week (I often volunteer when I’m not being paid to work) and enjoyed a lovely potluck lunch in honour of volunteer appreciation week. A news crew for our local TV channel showed up unexpectedly. I was asked to do an interview about volunteering, of which a portion edited was edited and later featured on the evening news.

    *My SIL didn’t communicate well what she needed me to do with the bras for her mother. I thought she wanted me to replace the hooks with velcro. But she wanted me to convert the bras into front closure with velcro as her mother cannot reach around to do up the back (they couldn’t find any front closure bras for some reason). The task was a little more difficult, but I stepped up to the challenge and was pleased with my results. I cut a piece of a flannel diaper to create a tab onto which I sewed the velcro, and sewed the back closure closed. I haven’t heard yet if they worked well, but hoping it does the trick.

    *I received my order of heirloom seed from the school fundraiser. While the weather was good, I dug up some of the gardens and planted some peas and spinach. We’re supposed to get below freezing temps this week, so I hope everything grows OK. Also finished replanted some pepper seedlings into small pots. It’s too early to plant them in the garden. I’m hoping that planting them in pots will encourage the seedling to grow stronger root systems before replanting them.

    *Finished up and took off the weaving projects I wove during my beginner’s weaving course and the rag rug piece I did afterwards to use up the warp thread. I sewed the one project into a wall hanging sampler (from the weaving course) and the rag rug piece was sewn into a really cute purse that I will give to my daughter for her birthday. Since I used an old scrub top for the rag strips, lining and strap, the purse essentially cost nothing but my time to make.

    *My husband was offered a supervisor position at his work, which included a $1.50 pay increase! His hours are also going to change, with some days being 12hr shifts. In return for the long shifts, he will have 3 days off, instead of 2.

    *Ate most meals at home, including homemade cream of cauliflower soup, homemade pizza, spaghetti dinner, roast beef dinner, and perogies.

    I’m sure there are more things I could share, but I’m rushed for time this week. I hope everyone has a lovely frugal week!

  80. I will not covet Brandy’s mandolin 🙂
    And I love the bracelet.


  81. I have also used cheap tablecloths to protect plants and or pots. The ones with the vinyl on one side and flannel on the other side are great in the damp / rain. I put the flannel side in towards the plants. They are stiff enough to make a bit of a tent shape over the plant.

  82. Tina in the NW – there used to be a tower in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill that you would give you almost the same view but for free. You do have to be able to climb a lot of stairs. I don’t know if the tower is still open to the public but it might be something for you to check out next time you’re in Seattle.

  83. I worked a ton, these last couple of weeks, but now that tax season is over, can get going again.

    1. I found 1 gallon Easter buckets at WalMart on their 90% off sale. they were white with pictures of Easter eggs on them. I picked up 20 of them for 9¢ each. I use them for picking things in my garden, in my kitchen to put kitchen scraps in to take to the compost pile, to put seeds in for planting. I don’t care if they are Easter themed, work just as well.
    2. Made a batch of taco filling with half ground beef and half black beans. Also added cilantro and lime juice. DH said to always make them that way now.
    3. Made a big batch of fried rice with eggs given to me by my neighbor, brown rice, celery, carrots, green onions and cabbage. We will have this for lunch all week at work.
    4. Planted two raised beds of snow peas and one apple box with green onions.
    5. Found 9 small lettuce plants growing in the garden (we are still a good 3-4 weeks away from planting the main garden). Transplanted them to another bed that I cleaned out and put in two more rows of lettuce.
    6. Brought lunch and drinks to work each day.
    7. Did not leave the house all weekend, other than church on Sunday. I got a ton done.

    I know there was more, but that is all I can remember for now. Hope everyone has a good week.

  84. Had a more frugal week than usual as my husband was away on a business trip for four nights. 😀 Missed him though!!
    I’m excited because I’m going to start my first garden! We’ve lived in our home for 14 years and I’ve never had the courage before. But you ladies have inspired me! We bought a 4′ x 4′ easy to assemble raised garden bed from Home Depot. I know that it would’ve been cheaper to make one from scratch, but this one seemed to have good reviews and I did get it on sale. Plus got a few cents back by ordering it thru ebates and picking it up in store. I plan to use shower warm up water to irrigate it, and am hoping that the squirrels don’t eat everything. We are the only family without outdoor pets within about a 6 house radius, plus we have a pecan tree, so the squirrels seem to look at our yard as sort of a sanctuary! Any tips for limiting their damage would be helpful.
    This week:
    -Read four library books (I can get so much reading accomplished when I’m by myself, haha.)
    -Enjoyed some candies my husband brought home as a thank you for volunteering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Starburst, yay!
    -Got my free sourdough bread from Boudin. This is the best sourdough, something I actually crave, and I’m not much of a food craver.
    -Free in the mail: 2 Gevalia coffee samples, 4 packets of Pure Via sweetener, and a coupon for a free Buen Sabor frozen product. Looks like this brand is only carried at Whole Foods in my area, so I need to find time to shop there. (I am one of those people who thinks that there is nothing affordable at Whole Foods, hopefully I’m wrong! A bit excited to try to scope out maybe some bargains, but I don’t intend to make shopping there a habit!)
    -Got 25c back from Checkout 51 from buying onion, 25c for buying soda and 25c for buying milk from Ibotta. Entered receipts into Receipt Hog. Hubby has our only smartphone (for work) and I didn’t know what offers were available for this week because he was gone! Happy that some of the things I bought were eligible for rebates.
    Have a wonderful week, everyone, and again, Happy Birthday, Brandy!!!

  85. Greetings!
    *Finished up my homemade soap. It’s curing on top of the TV cupboard. This should last awhile.
    *Transplanted tomato seedlings into larger pots. We’ve had snow the past few days, no planting out for our area.
    *All meals at home this week, including broccoli cheese soup. This worked for two dinners and several lunches. Love broccoli cheese soup!
    *Skyped with our son and grand sons!
    I had a huge frugal fail. Yesterday i bought tags for two cars. Apparently, i walked into the house and tossed them into the trash with a load of paperwork. Today was trash day, so there’s no finding them. Tomorrow i go back to the DMV to replace them. Thankfully, it shouldn’t cost too much to replace them. But, still… I’m so mad at myself! Nothing like throwing money away!
    Wishing you all a wonderful week!

  86. I’m finally getting around to listing our frugal accomplishments! I love the pictures as usual and I am so motivated to get our garden together after looking at your pictures. Hopefully this next weekend we will have some time for that.
    Our biggest frugal accomplishment has to have been painting the house. My husband did it all by himself! Our neighbor had a power washer that we borrowed and my husband borrowed a sprayer from some friends at work that used to flip houses. Our expenses were limited to the paint, patch/stucco, and basic supplies to get the job done. It turned out great! The house is 17 years old and definitely needed painting. He updated the colors, too and it looks like a different house. About a month or two ago he removed our Mesquite tree from the front yard because he was worried about how much it was leaning into the street. We have a lot of fragrant firewood and money in our pocket because of his handiwork! I feel very blessed.
    I will be closing out our grocery budget for April in a couple of days. It was closer to $400 than my goal of $300, but it’s mostly due to buying sports drinks for our son. He has been suffering from migraines and the doctors seem to think it’s related to his allergies, but they also agree that he is not drinking enough water. He has also been playing baseball so they recommended that he drink Gatorade to replenish the salt, not just the fluids. This was definitely an expense that is not part of our regular budget, but we’re hopeful that it will help with the migraines. I don’t really like giving my kids sugary drinks, but Gatorade seems to have the least amount of sugar of all the ones on the market. Unfortunately it seems to be the most expensive as well. I’ll just have to keep my eyes peeled for sales!
    Another frugal accomplishment was cooking two crock pots of chili, one for the week and one for the freezer. I used some of Robin Miller’s recipes to “morph” the chili into dinner for four nights! I love her techniques and all the recipes were a hit. I’m glad I have back-up chili in the freezer because it made my week of cooking much easier!
    On a personal note, I attended a homeschool conference this past weekend. I guess it was frugal in that I didn’t buy anything and I was volunteering at the conference so I didn’t have to pay for my admission! And they fed me! 🙂 However, I had a revelation at the conference…we will be bringing our son home next year, too. With all these migraines he’s been having, it makes sense to have him home and he really wants to be home. We just need to finalize plans for our littlest one. She is doing great at their little school (it’s our church school), but it seems strange to keep her there if the other two will be home.
    I guess that’s about it…keeping with the usual things and staying motivated by everyone’s posts!
    God Bless,

  87. Andrea – have you tried the Gatorade powder? You combine the powder with water in your own container. When I had my son at home, I found using the powder and doing the mixing myself was cheaper. I also eliminated the extra bottles that the pre-made Gatorade came in. One reason I did this was that all bottles have a deposit here. My son rarely brought home the bottles to get the refund. So mixing my own Gatorade was a double savings – first with the mix itself and second by eliminating the bottle deposit. In my Safeway, the mix is near the bottles of Gatorade but on a lower shelf.

  88. My frugal accomplishments this week:
    *I made yogurt, granola and granola bars
    *I sewed burp cloths for a friend’s baby shower using fabric I bought on sale and with a 50% off coupon.
    *I sold an item on Facebook for $5. This money will go into our clothing budget.
    *At a local thrift store I found 2 pairs of shorts for my son for $.99 each, a brand new sweater for my husband for $4.99, and 2 glass bud vases (although I was looking for 3 of the same kind, I think 2 will work) for $.25 each.
    *My son and I sewed a Lightning McQueen pillow made out of an old t-shirt for an earth day project at his preschool. We used filling that someone gave me years ago to stuff the pillow.
    *We checked out books from the Library as well as downloaded several free books onto my Kindle.
    *It was beautiful out this weekend so we spent a lot of family time outside practicing baseball, swinging, and doing yard work.
    *I bought grapes for $.99/lb. That’s a pretty good deal around here.
    *I used two store coupons sent to me by mail to get free peanut butter and eggs. I also used $1 off $4 of produce coupon to get the grapes (that were on sale) and bananas (because we love them!)
    *I have been struggling to find a tall lamp to match how we are redecorating the living room. Either I didn’t like the styles or they were not in my budget. I finally found a lamp shade I loved for $10. Then, it dawned on me that I could paint the base to be the color I wanted (Silver/Pewter). I picked up the spray paint and my husband went to work for me 😉 …and I love it!! It looks like a brand new lamp. One lamp redo for less than $15- and I saved a lot of money doing it this way. Slowly but surely the living room is coming around 🙂
    *We came in under budget for the last 2 weeks on gas.
    *My son needed new baseball pants. There were some on sale at Dunham’s this week for $7.99 (just the inexpensive little boy kind). I received 20% off after signing up for emails. Total cost with tax was $6.77. Not bad considering he will most likely be able to wear them next year as well. This was a very inexpensive year of baseball for us because he will not need a new glove until next year and we were given a pair of cleats in his size. Awesome!

  89. I grow hibiscus in my garden but they are called “hardy hibiscus” I believe—they are huge– 8 or 9 inches in diameter and are perennials—I’ve had mine for at least a decade, and bought them at a flower show out of state. They sprout very late in spring and blossom in July or August–can’t remember exactly when. I’m zone 5–although lately they have started calling it zone 6 for some reason.

  90. My husband, who just turned 73, has always dug my gardens up by hand. He does it for the exercise, as he is not into gardening, although he does help with anything I can’t manage myself. He also shovels snow by hand unless it’s too deep and too heavy. He is in good physical shape and has only gained about one inch in waistline in the 53 years we have been married. In fact, the last time he saw the doctor, he suggested he could put ON a few pounds and still be within normal limits. He does eat, just that he has always kept careful track of his weight and cuts down if he finds himself gaining.

  91. That’s a great tip! I’ll look for that and give it a try. The ones I saw on sale would be approximately 2.5 cents per ounce. I have a feeling the powder will be much more economical! Thanks so much! 🙂

  92. If you have a Sams they sell large Gatorade powder much cheaper. Our daughter also had severe headaches and the doctor recommended sports drinks for the salt.

  93. I’m a bit late to posting this week, but here it goes!
    – My most exciting accomplishment was sewing myself a cash wallet. We’ve been following Dave Ramsey and he advocates a cash envelope system for everyday purchases. I wasn’t keen on the idea of carrying around a bunch of envelopes, so I made myself a fabric cash wallet with zippered pouches for each category. I’d do some things different next time but overall I’m pleased with how it turned out! All the fabric I had on hand, and I ordered the zippers online from Etsy. With shipping costs the zippers still ended up being more than ½ off what the fabric store charges. And they arrived at our house the very next day. I’ve already started using it and it is AMAZING how much less I’m spending when paying cash! He’s right that it really hurts to turn over your dollars to someone else!
    – Free seeds of change coupon in the mail
    – made funnel cakes – they were easy and cheap but oh so delicious!!
    – I made Zuppa Toscana soup to use up some potatoes that were getting old and spinach in the fridge. All I had to buy for it was sausage. I also added beans to the soup to make it stretch further
    – Made 2 loaves of English Muffin bread. This bread is the only reason I’m continuing to make bread – it is no-knead and is ready in about 1hr15 from start to finish!
    – I made ravioli at home. I found some ricotta at the grocery store that was ‘best buy’ yesterday and the manager gave it to me for half off ($2.99/3lbs). It was still perfectly fresh and tasty. Froze the ravioli for quick meals on busy nights
    – I also found whipping cream in the mark down bin and made pumpkin trifle using up some pumpkin butter and pumpkin puree that were in the freezer.
    – My husband had surgery and there was a movie he wanted to watch. We got a few from redbox but this one he wanted to own. I looked online before going to the store and saw Target was cheaper than Walmart, but when I got there, I saw that the DVD was $2 more than it was advertised to be online. I went to the service desk and told them and they price-matched their online price for me. This is the 2nd time I’ve had this happen at Target – their online price is cheaper than the store price. Their policy is that if you bring it to the service desk, they’ll price-match for you. Something to keep in mind if you shop at Target
    – A thrift store in my area had a 50% off entire store sale. For $11 I got 2 Pyrex bread pans, 7 mason jars (quarts and pints), Battleship game in perfect condition, a cookbook, a glass ring holder, a weightlifting belt in my size, and some vintage Pyrex pieces: 2 mugs, a sugar and creamer, and a square casserole dish. I have been looking for glass bread pans for a long time and always struck out at thrift stores. I almost broke down and bought some the other day new at the store, but I’m so glad I held out as these were only $1 each! I also always look for glass ring holders but haven’t had much luck finding them (this is only the 3rd one I’ve ever found). We have one in each bathroom and I wanted one for the kitchen. I also want to find one for my sister to give to her once she gets engaged.

  94. Hi Tina! I am pretty new to this website but love all the great information that can be gleaned from it. I can tell from your postings that we live fairly close. We are doing many of the same things such as visiting the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley. I’m even pretty sure I know which Korean restaurant you are talking about (in Redmond?).

    How did you like the Pompeii exhibit? I was supposed to take my grandson there a couple weeks ago but because of an ill elderly parent I had to cancel out. I am still thinking about going. I went to Pompeii once as a child and found it to be a wonderful experience.

    My husband and I, also, sometimes take the bus into Seattle. Small world isn’t it?

  95. I love the way you arrange flowers, Brandy. Was there a specific book or program you used to learn how to arrange flowers that you could recommend or is it just trusting your instincts?

  96. That’s fantastic Marcia! My DH just turned 50 and has every intention of continuing to be as active as possible for as long as possible!:) He likes to shovel the snow by hand too. And we have a long sidewalk and good size driveway so he gets the exercise for sure doing that for sure! There’s plenty to do around our house that also provides good exercise at no cost. No need for a gym membership! My DH is also not as into gardening as I am but he, too, helps me with the heavy stuff as well as the canning. And he entirely enjoys having the fresh food in season.

  97. Check your local community college. Ours frequently offers continuing education classes in Floral Arts. And sometimes tuition is discounted for seniors so if that would apply you might ask. I have a friend who took one and now makes extra money doing arrangements from her home.

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