This last week was the coolest first week of May that I have ever experienced here in Las Vegas. A snowstorm blew over us to the Rocky Mountains, bringing to us a week of clouds and cooler temperatures. Friday was the coolest day at 63ºF, more then 30º below what it was just recently.

Consequently, I spent lots of time in the garden, putting in more than 30 hours on garden work, including most of Friday and all day Saturday.

Flowers in basket The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden for indoor arrangements.

I picked lettuce, Swiss chard, strawberries, thyme , and cut artichokes from the garden. I also cut and dried parsley.

Desert Gold Peaches The Prudent Homemaker

We picked Katy apricots and Desert Gold peaches from the garden. We had 6 baskets of peaches, and there are more still on the tree.

Cutting Chamomile The Prudent Homemaker 

The children cut chamomile buds from the garden.

 Chamomile in bowl The Prudent Homemaker

I repaired several severed drip lines (accidentally cut while pruning and digging out the apple tree), and several of us worked to repair a broken valve under the drinking fountain.

I saved water from rinsing produce and from in the shower to water the pots in the garden.

One of my tomato plants was close to death, having endured quite a bit of stress on the stem because of our recent high winds. I noticed, but then stepped on it later that afternoon and finished it off! When I went to the nursery to buy a replacement valve for the drinking fountain, I bought a tomato plant on clearance. It was actually three plants in one, so I separated them and planted each of the three in the garden, to replace that one and give us a couple more plants. It is very late to be getting plants in here, but hopefully our much cooler temperatures that are supposed to be coming this month (cooler even than last month!) will be a blessing for these and allow then to both grow and flower before the heat sets in.

I adjusted the water system to account for the cooler weather, changing it to water less often and for shorter periods of time. 

I planted several seeds in the garden.

We only had to run the air conditioner for a few hours on one day this week. This is very unusual for May, and it was so nice! I opened the windows to cool the house. We usually start to see much high electric costs in May, but according to the weekly update the power company emails to me, I will have a much lower bill for May than in years past.

Elsa had a birthday party to attend. We gave gifts from my gift box and walked to pick her up from the party.

What did you do to save money last week?

Did any readers in Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, or surrounding states get snow on Friday and Saturday?


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  1. I am Rapid City, SD and we have 13.5 inches today. It is really wet heavy snow but fortunately it is not bitter cold out and it seems to be the type that will melt easily once there is sun

  2. The librarian at church puts out a bookshelf after the service each with with free, discarded books and magazines. For three weeks now I’ve gotten a couple of books and magazines for free. I love not having a return date.

  3. Happy Mother’s Day, Brandy. Hope you are having a blessed day.

    It’s been cooler than usual, here, in So. Cal., too. Highs of mid-60s, instead of the low 90s we’ve been having. Some areas had rain, but not where I live.

    I’ve been battling a sinus infection these past few weeks. Finally went to see the doctor and was prescribed antibiotics, which knocked me out! Took two days off from work and slept most of the days! Feeling much better now, but I might have a ear infection, now.

    I’ve had some expenses this week (dr’s visit, parking, medications, etc., and mulch & fertilizer), but I received several free plants for my garden, from a friend. Mostly cuttings, but some rooted plants, as well. All of them succulents, as I am in the process of redoing the front garden to be more drought tolerant. I picked roses and lemons from the garden and didn’t go grocery shopping.

  4. Those peaches look wonderful.

    My nasal surgery went well, thankfully. My husband took a day off to care for me. I spent several days not feeling well from the anesthesia, but otherwise the recovery is going fine. I go back to the doctor on Monday for the post-op check.

    I cooked some things ahead for easy meals after my surgery, which worked out well.

    My frugal accomplishments:
    – I ended up with a free pineapple two weeks ago, which took a while to ripen. We ate half of it, then I made fermented chutney from the rest. Quite tasty.
    – I made iced tea from fresh lemon balm I have growing at home, peppermint from the community garden, and dried hibiscus leaves and licorice root purchased in bulk. Made two batches, and both were very good.
    – Someone left a pile of nice dishes by our condo garbage area (they were not my style, but in good condition). I get so annoyed when people just dump their usable items – there is a charity donation van located less than two blocks away, seven days a week. I bagged up the dishes and donated them. I have done this for several items that people have thrown away.
    – I went to the farmer’s market and bought fresh bulb onions (with long green stems like green onions). The person before me didn’t want the greens, so the vendor was throwing them away. I asked for them, and got them for free. I use them to flavor broth, and will freeze what I can’t use right now.
    – After the surgery, I didn’t feel like doing much, so I read books from the library and listened to the radio. It was nice weather so I took some short walks and took naps in a lounge chair on the patio.
    – I picked two roses from our rosebush to put inside (it was planted by the previous owner of the condo). So beautiful.
    – Using art supplies I already had on hand, I did some drawings and sketches.

    Looking forward to hearing about everyone else’s week. 

  5. We live in Casper, WY, and got about 8 -10 inches of snow. It has mostly melted this afternoon, but flurries are still showing up periodically.

  6. I gave my neighbor some more of my resurrection lily bulbs that I didn’t want (they just take up too much space in a bed that I want to use for vegetables) and so in return he is giving me some of his peony bulbs that he’s digging out of one of his beds.

    I harvested a nice bag of arugula lettuce this week, and thanks to a lot of rain in our area (eastern Kansas) everything is springing to life. I ordered a few David Austin rose bushes this year as a Mother’s Day gift to myself (for several years out! :)), but they haven’t bloomed yet. Do they bloom the first year?

    I also got a few outfits for my baby girl from the thrift shop. I am trying to sew some things for her, but it is not always easy to find time.

  7. I am east of Colorado Springs. We have gotten hail (twice this weekend) and snow last night, and the temperature was down to 24 last night, so we expect that we have lost our entire crop of apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, sour cherries and sweet cherries. I am very sad about that, but there was nothing we could do. This is the second year in a row that we have had snow Mother’s Day weekend…and the second year that we have likely lost all our fruit from our trees for the year.

    I did cover the herbs and flowers around my garden as well as my asparagus. The asparagus and marigolds froze anyway, but everything else looks alright. I have tomato plants in wall-o-water tipis, and those are just fine. I’m very happy about that – I raised them from seed.

    I have a small covered bed of ‘early greens’, including kale, lettuces, spinach, chard and radishes…those made it through the bad weather, thankfully.

    Regarding the tomato plant that you lost, it is possible to take cuttings and root them in water or soil, if there are parts that did not sustain damage. Some years I take cuttings off my big cherry tomato plants at then end of the season, and bring them in to root and pot for winter. 🙂

    My frugal accomplishments are posted here:

  8. I picked strawberries and blueberries from the garden.

    I combined errands and picked up my birthday freebies and other sales/coupon deals: Dunkin Donuts for a large iced coffee (free); Krispy Kreme for a donut (free); CVS for deodorant, a bag of 200 CVS cough drops, and a reusable shopping bag (free – I paid using $5 bucks I earned from my prescriptions so no out of pocket and I got $1 Buck for next time); Victoria Secret panty (54 cents); Godiva for a bag of 20 truffles ($2.14), Walgreens for 2 deodorants ($2.56 OOP but I earned $1 in rewards); Sephora for 2 lip stick crayons (free); JCP for a dress, a shirt with a belt and 2 pairs of tights all for work ($11.28). Then I went to Red Robin and got my free garden burger and a drink ($7 for the drink and tip).

    I continue to take the leftovers home from our catered lunches at work. With what I bring home, grow in the garden and my every other week CSA basket, I need very little to no groceries each week. I did go to Aldi to get sugar and napkins.

    My daughter came home for Mother’s Day weekend and she brought blackberries she had picked so we made jam. We did not use pectin, just berries, sugar and lemon juice.

    Plus all the usual – using cooking and canning water to water the plants and the rainbarrels, picked berries from the garden, washed out and reused baggies, took leftovers home from catered lunches, tried to conserve water and electricity, wore clothes more than once when I can (still working on this habit).

    Have a great frugal week!

  9. I harvested our first Swiss Chard today and we had it for dinner.. I plan on using leftovers in your quiche recipe.

    I also harvested lots of radishes. I found a recipe online for pickled radishes and I will try it this week.

    I started working on the $7 changing table I found at a yard sale. I cleaned it and my husband made some minor repairs. I will be painting it with chalk paint this week. I plan on using it to store quilts but after seeing so many cute ways to repurpose changin tables, I may look for another to use as a potting station or as a beverage serving cart.

  10. This past weekend we too had a birthday party to attend. We went to the store and the gifts ranged from 20 to 40 dollars….I bought a children’s make up set for 25, but upon getting home my common sense came back to me and I decided to look in our closets and pantry for things I’ve bought on clearance, or that we’ve yet to open to re-gift. I had a cake pop maker still in the box and original wrapping etc never used. I gifted this with a box of cake mix, cake pop sticks, and two containers of sprinkles (I’m a huge fan of buying seasonal clearance sprinkles). The gift bag and tissue paper we already had on hand. The little girl loved the present, her mother texted me saying the birthday girl and her sister were both very excited to use it. Thank goodness!!! That’s 25 dollars I can now spend on groceries.

    My contractor came over for the last time in a long time (knock on wood) and finished fixing a jalousie door to my laundry room. The parts are hard to come by so I bought an old door with a similar window style off craigslist for 10 dollars, we were able to use the parts from the other door to fix my door, and then order glass to size for the missing pieces. We put the door I bought for parts curbside, and as of ten minutes ago someone had stopped to get more glass pieces from the door. Jalousie type doors are very popular in Florida and Hawaii but dont stand up well to the elements and often let air in and out, as they’ve gone out of style it’s hard to find replacement parts. I’m glad I was able to have my door fixed and that other people can use parts from the extra door as well. The savings of having the door fixed as opposed to replaced was about 200 dollars.

    I’ve been retaining our bath and shower water for flushing toilets. We also opted for the splash pad at the local park instead of filling up our blow up pool this past week. It was nice to get out and a cheap day at the park where parking was the only cost, 2 dollars. The weather in Florida has been getting progressively warmer, to offset the cost of air conditioning I’ve been hang drying our clothes on a drying rack in the laundry room. I’m not sure that it helps tremendously, but it’s a conscientious effort toward saving.

    My next step in working on the house is in finishing the kitchen. We have floor matts now that I bought on clearance, curtains that I was able to get for free!!!! and I’ve been working on repainting a sign that I found to have a different saying, I’ve repainted it gray and my son and I put a hand print on each far side, in the middle I’m working on writing in paint ‘I love you the most’ it’s been trying to write in cursive in paint….but it’s almost done =)

  11. We’re not in any of the states you mentioned but we’ve had to deal with tropical storm Ana who is currently dumping lots of rain on us not to mention the wind. We worked so hard last week to finish getting the garden planted before the rain arrived and succeeded. I harvested nettles this week and they are air drying. I also planted chickweed. I’m really trying to expand the medicinal part of my herb garden this year.

  12. I cleaned out closets and did the seasonal clothing rotation for my three year old. Luckily I don’t have to buy any clothes this spring or summer as he has enough handmedowns. The too small clothing is getting passed on to a friend as I’m not having anymore babies and his aunts are finished as well.

    I attended a swap and found myself a blouse and a scarf. I got a couple Legos for my son and a matchbox car.

    We shopped at the farmers market and found they had spring peas. I can only buy them in the spring so I’ll freeze some. I also bought in season fruits and veggies.

    I found cauliflower, bell peppers, & spinach on clearance so I used them quickly.

    I traded some homemade bread for a couple packages of beans. Beans are very hard to find here but homemade bread is so sought after since most people don’t have ovens.

    For children’s day my sons preschool had a party and asked everyone to bring a snack or cookies. I popped some popcorn I had on hand and sent it.

  13. Last weeks frugals:

    I can’t remember if I posted here or not but after all this talk about gardening I went a little nuts when I found a good price at Meijers Dept. Store. 4 plants in a plat for $1.29. I just started picking different tomatoes: Rutgers, Early Girl, Big Boy can’t remember the others and a lot of habanero’s as dh loves them. I ended up spending 30 dollars for 22 plats. I planted them this year in large containers as our puppy is still in destroy mode besides now being a escape artist. I still have more to plant as I ran out of containers, may try to do more tomorrow in between rain storms supposed to be coming.

    I’m thinking ahead to Christmas and birthdays: Krogers had 4X fuel points if you bought gift cards. I bought one $25 gc for dh to for his birthday in July. The older we get the harder it is for me to buy gifts for him, he loved his cards at Christmas so this works for us. And I got those fuel points. I also waited to do my grocery shopping at Krogers till Saturday.. they had 2X fuel points if you bought Friday, Sat. or Sun. I now have close to 90 cents to take off my gas bill next time we fill up.

    With dh’s recent cancer diagnosis and meeting our yearly deductible, all his meds are now free so the money I would have spent on his meds. on Saturday is what I used to buy the gc. Will continue to use that money for more cards and hopefully tag it at the same time they are doing the fuel points. We usually spend over $100 a month on his meds so this helps us out a lot and thanking God for this blessing in such a bag situation. We also got unexpected money from a lawsuit with our insurance company. They bought all their clients out in 2001 when they went from private to public. Apparently they didn’t give enough money and got sued. The settlement was 90 million dollars, dh and I both got $18 so that helped pay for the garden. We have had most meals from home this week. On the insurance at the time I worked for the same company as dh and we had Ind. insurance instead of Family since it was cheaper which is why we both got checks. I have been line drying clothes outside each day this week, it’s been in the high 80’s here in central Ohio. So saving where I can and thanking Brandy and everyone here for sharing your frugals to keep me inspired.

    Oh I also found a recipe for White Lightning Biscuits that I want to try this week in a old food processor cookbook. It calls for Baking Powder. I had a unopened can but didn’t know if it was any good since it expired in Aug. 2014. I ask on one of my groups if there was a way to check. One of the ladies gave me a website that showed how to check. Glass of warm water, drop some of the powder in the water, if it bubbles its still good.. So Yay! I didn’t have to throw away a whole container of it. I also made 10 jars of Apple Berry Jelly on Monday and on Tuesday made 10 jars of Strawberry Jam. The Apple Berry I saved juices from some of my fruits earlier this season.. blackberry, cherry and used bottled apple juice for the rest of the recipes ingredients of juice. And came up with Apple Berry. I gave one jar to a co worker and one jar to my boss for Mothers Day. They were both excited, neither had ever had homemade jelly or jam before. And it cost me very little. I was out of butter on both those days. I borrowed a Tbs. of margarine from a neighbor instead of wasting gas and time to run to the store.. gifted the neighbor with a small plastic container of the jelly as a thank you.

  14. Brandy, I always love your posts. They are such an inspiration to me. I have a peach tree my children bought me several years ago for Mother’s Day. I have never had any peaches last on the tree. Yet, I can not get rid of the tree because it was a present. My peaches have a clear gel forming on the peaches and I do not know what it is. Your peaches are so beautiful. Do you have any idea what this might be?

  15. Happy Mother’s Day!

    I had an exciting week – I was accepted into a Master degree program! It’s all done through the cloud, so I can do it from home; and I’m eligible for deferred tuition, so there’s no out of pocket cost in the short to medium term. This works out well because my husband is considering transitioning to full-time work in a different but related field; so me being able to study from home (and fit it in around school runs, etc.) means he can have the flexibility he needs with his work, too.

    The budget comes out tomorrow – public health workers are losing their very generous meals and entertainment benefits. It’s not surprising; the only surprise is that they’ve kept them in this long. But that makes the transition from work to study that much easier for me, because that was the one thing I was really going to miss about my job. We hurried up and put a couple of hotels through while we still could.

    I got in some gardening during the week. Our golden wattle is maybe 2 weeks away from fully blossoming – ours tends to blossom earlier than most in the neighbourhood. I hate winter but I love it when the golden wattle is in bloom. I didn’t spend much at the shops; but I managed to find a couple of things on clearance, including a large canvas for my daughter’s room that I know she’s been wanting. I also spent a bit of time this week organising the shed – not exactly frugal; but in another way it is, because I made the time while I was out there to inventory the gift closet, so now I know what we’ve got on-hand for birthday parties.

    I was nicely spoiled for Mother’s Day. Not really frugal; but it felt good. I hope all of you are nicely spoiled too!

  16. What crazy weather we’re is having. We have been quite warm this week here in Southern Ontario. Rather unusual to be opposite to the weather your having, Brandy. Friday, Saturday and today were very hot and humid, the type of weather we see more in July and August. The down side is that the heat has brought out the black flies and mosquitoes in hoards! Rather treacherous to garden right now. The cooler weather is supposed to move in this week. No snow predicted yet, though. Hope my garden plants will be OK.

    We were quite busy this past weekend as we attended my daughter’s bowling banquet on Saturday morning, then went out for dinner for Mother’s day on Saturday evening before my daughter, mother and I attended a local performance of “Cats” (the musical). My mother bought the tickets as a gift for my Daughter’s birthday (her birthday isn’t until May 16th but the tickets were for the last performance). My daughter loved the show! Anyways, here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *My husband was able to purchase two large boxes of breaded chicken fingers from the restaurant he works at for $28 each! The last time he bought some for us they were $40/box. We enjoy these as a quick meal when we’re is too tired to cook or when we’re busy.

    *Homemade meals this week included cheese tortellini mixed with ham and jarred alfredo sauce then baked with cheese on top, tacos, BBQ chicken breasts with potatoes and salad, and breaded chicken burgers with herbed potato wedges and veggies. I took the left over tortellini nearly every day this week for my work lunch and put 2 individually portioned containers in the freezer for a quick lunch or dinner grab later.

    *We bought a roast chicken meal deal from the grocery store on Friday for our dinner as I had to get groceries after work and didn’t have time to cook. It came with a bouquet of tulips for mother’s day! We have left over chicken and we kept the chicken carcass to make chicken stock when I get the chance.

    *We were paid $100 for supplying the dessert trays for the bowling banquet event, which I shared with my mother. She did much of the baking while I did some baking and bought supplies. We brought home the extras which I plan to share this week with my co-workers. I have put aside some of the left over treats for my daughter’s lunches (those that do not contain nor had contact with any nut or nut products).

    *Graciously accepted leftovers from the bowling banquet, which included a ¾ full large jar of Renee’s Caesar Salad Dressing, a large half full bag of croutons, a half full bag of bacon bits (Costco brand, so huge bag size), and one entire 3-meat pizza from Little Caesars. Could have taken more pizza (there were several full pizza’s left) and a massive bag of romaine lettuce, but I didn’t think we would be able to eat it all before it went bad, so I passed.

    *We enjoyed a lovely Mother’s day meal out on Saturday evening with my mother, MIL, daughter and husband (we didn’t want to fight the massive crowds on Sunday). My MIL and I both had a chicken souvlaki dinner, but it was too big for us to finish. Brought home both our left over’s (my MIL didn’t want to take hers home) as well as my daughter’s unfinished fettuccini alfredo and garlic bread.

    *My brother surprised my mom with a visit on Mother’s day (Sunday). We went to Dairy Queen for lunch. Our local DQ offers free ice cream Sundays to all moms for Mother’s day! We try to go every year for our free treat. (Note: they also do this on Father’s day for dads. I’m not sure if this is offered everywhere. Check with your local DQ to see it they do this in your area).

    *I sent my brother home with half the pizza from the banquet (sharing the wealth!) along with a couple jars of homemade jam, a couple boxes of crackers and some of the left over treats. He’s struggling financially too, and lives by himself, so he appreciated the gift of food and a meal he doesn’t have to cook.

    *Put out all the left overs from this weekend for dinner tonight, so no cooking on Mother’s day. We still have some leftovers which will be used this week in lunches!

    *Not so frugal: Started pulling out my summer clothes and I’m realizing that I need to get more shorts. Many of the ones from last year are just too big for me now. I have the same problem with dress pants and jeans for winter. I intend to start searching to the local thrift store over the next little while to see if I can add to my wardrobe without breaking the bank! Thankfully I have enough that does fit to get me started.

    I’m sure there is more, but this is getting long so I’ll end it here. Hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s day!

  17. A lot of my peaches have this gel coming out in several spots on any one peach. I do have big bLack ants climbing up my tree. I bought some tanglefoot this past week but have to find some flagging tape to put around the tree so I can “paint” the tanglefoot on. I have not seen any other insect. I even had my son cut an infected peach open to see if there was an insect inside.

  18. The plant was completely wilted within a couple of hours so it is gone. The wind had nearly broken it at the ground so it may not have made it anyway. Unfortunately many of my other tomatoes have this same problem, but they are all caged now, so at least I cannot step on them! I usually cage them right away but this year I am so far behind and just hadn’t done it yet. They were still small plants–they hadn’t grown much, even though they went in 3 months ago.

    I am so sorry about your fruit trees. That is very sad.

  19. We seem to be in this weird, “One step forward and one step back” season of life right now when it comes to saving money. I really do think it’s God’s way of telling my husband that he needs to find another job and leave his father’s business. The kids and I are sort of along for the ride in the meantime, unfortunately. Until a job offer of some type comes through, I just pray that God at least sees us through financially.

    My weekly accomplishments can be found here…

  20. My sister was given some plants and she doesn’t have her garden tilled yet, so she passed several of them on to our family. Today, I helped the youngest plant 3 tomatoes (1 we grew, 2 from sis), 1 dianthus, 1 verbena, 3 purple alyssum, some bean seeds and some lettuce. I gave her one end of a raised bed in the garden. My husband got the big part of the garden tilled. It is usually not dry enough until end of May, or beginning of June. So, I planted carrots, lettuce, and other early items. I planted zucchini as kind of a “gamblers” crop because it’s very early to be planting that here.

    I cooked meatloaf, chicken, tacos, and a pork roast. We ate green beans several times. Today, we did not go out. We ate the meatloaf, which only needed warming up.

    My 14 year old wanted to walk in a walk-a-thon for the Pregnancy Care Center in our area. (They help women when they find they are unexpectedly pregnant) It’s a very good cause, but she only got the packet last Sunday, so only had 1 week to raise $ through sponsors. So, we had no great expectations, but I wanted to support her. She was able to raise over $200 and actually won the top teen prize. (many people participated, and they raised over $8,000.) It was some earbuds that I was shocked to find were retailed at $99. She already has some earbuds, so wants to return them. The coordinators were kind enough to include a gift receipt and we will help her return them in a few days. She said she may want some clothes with the $, but we will see. (she will receive a gift card, not cash–I’m not planning on micro-managing her choices.

    I’m amazed that you got so much done in the garden. I worked in mine for a long time yesterday and today. I still have so much to do, it’s overwhelming. I got early vegetables planted and have quite a few odds and ends to do .

  21. Frugal wins:

    * Stayed home Monday-Wednesday, saving money on gas and anything else that might have cost money while out in town.

    * Took a tire that kept going flat for no apparent reason to the tire store where they were finally able to locate a pin-sized hole that would leak once every 10 seconds or so. They were able to repair it for free, so that is awesome.

    * Cooked at home and had leftovers for several dinners and one lunch, which I sent to work with the fiance.

    * Bought 2 dining room chairs at the Habitat store for $5 each. Will recover the seats, tighten up some screws and they’ll be good as new.

    * Used one of the original windows from our 1904 farmhouse that has been out in the old shed for who knows how long to create a sign for near the road that has our house numbers on the pane. Printed out our house numbers in a large font I liked, cut it out with my xacto knife, spray painted the numbers on the glass, built a wooden window box for beneath the window and put the whole thing on some 3″x3″ posts we had here. We will put it in the ground by the road this week and I’ll pick up some cheap flowers to plant in the box. Cheap curbside beautification that is also practical as there was no sign/numbers near the road.

    * Used up the very last drops of some store bought laundry detergent when I ran out of the homemade stuff that I prefer. I need to make another batch but I’m glad to have emptied the bottles of store bought stuff so I can recycle those tomorrow.

    * This is a frugal save though it is disappointing to me. Back at the end of February, I signed up for the Financial Peace University and the fiance and I have been very diligent about driving the 40 miles to class every Friday. The coordinators were a bit condescending, and it got increasingly worse as the weeks went on. We were the only ‘outsiders’ as the rest of the people attending the class were all church members that knew these coordinators. Anyhow, the last class we attended on the 24th of April, the wife half of the coordinator group kept pressuring people to answer whether or not they’d finished baby step 1, the saving $1000 cash emergency fund, and only 2 people in the class said they’d done that. She was just very rude and, well, condescending, and said ‘well, if you can’t finish this step this week, then why are you even here. We might as well just go back to lesson 1 and start all over. Get with it people. You need to apply yourselves. blah blah blah’. It just really rubbed me the wrong way. I figured we had the cds with the exact same lessons on them as what is shown in class, and I didn’t pay $100+ to drive 40 miles each way weekly, spending nearly 4 hours of my night once you include class time and then the drive, to be spoken to that way. We didn’t go back for the last 2 classes. We can complete them on our own and not have to deal with that rudeness. Anyway, LONG story short, we saved a lot of gas by not going to the last 2 classes. I received a voicemail from this woman on Saturday which I’ve yet to listen to because thinking about her makes my blood boil, and then she had the audacity to send me a friend request on Facebook, which I did NOT accept!!!

    Frugal fails:

    * First house guests of the season came into town the weekend of the 1-3, so there was entirely too much money spent on meals out. These were old friend’s of my fiance that he hadn’t seen in a decade. They stopped in on their way to Charleston, SC. We did manage to cook one meal at home while they were here. Fiance and I are going to have to sit down and talk about meals, etc, when guests come because we want to host guests but we cannot afford to eat out with them for every meal.

    My mom came into town on Saturday and will be spending the week here with me. I will do the cooking, she and I will spend time thrifting and she’ll do sewing, we’ll do landscaping here and we’ll do some sightseeing. She hasn’t been able to visit since October so we’re both looking forward to a week of being together. I’m so excited she’s here!! I hope you guys all have a great week.

  22. We didn’t get snow but we had terrible flash flooding and storms. We also spent part of Mother’s Day morning in the hallway of the church because of tornado sirens. Fortunately, we only had a funnel cloud go over. It never touched down. So thankful!

    This past week I made bread several times, made muffins, and ginger snaps. I made all of our meals at home.

    Dh picked some strawberries from our garden. They were so nice! We have beautiful flowers on our blackberry bushes and I’m hoping to get blackberries in a couple of weeks. Our garden is doing nicely and I should have greens and lettuce in a couple of weeks. Yay!

    I’m going to spend the week canning potatoes that I got on sale a couple of months ago. They are sprouting and I don’t want to lose them.

    Hope you had a great Mother’s Day!

  23. The weather has been crazy here too. This week alone, we had days where you needed a winter coat, but on another day it was in the upper 80s. We were worried that we may be going into a drought, but then got so much rain the sump pump had to work overtime. Hope this is just May and the entire sprung and summer won’t be like this!

    Our frugal accomplishments for the week are:
    My husband bargained for a very good deal on a used truck. (our old truck is 16 years old and has over 250,000 miles)
    Bought canning lids in bulk.
    Harvested and ate asparagus and rhubarb.
    Planted potatoes that we saved from last year’s harvest.
    Painted an ugly wooden knifebox with some craft paint I already had to make it look country-ish.
    Cut out an apron from some yardage I bought at an estate sale for $1.50. (maybe this week I’ll get around to sewing it)
    Bought some children’s books that look brand new from a yard sale for Christmas presents.
    Washed all our quilts and hung them on the line to dry.
    Bought some pretty pale yellow columbines for half price at Meijer’s garden center.
    Made rhubarb-strawberry wine for our Christmas hampers.
    Walked, rather than drove to pick up the mail this week.

  24. I am glad you are enjoying lower temperatures! I hope your tomato plants produce. Last week:
    -We got our property tax bill. We have a double lot and therefore receive two bills. One is over $700 and the other was $78. The city we live in gives us 3 weeks to pay the first installment and the other is due in September. LUCKILY this year I figured out how it works and have been saving money up. We will still be having a “No spend month” however so I can pay the taxes and all other bills.
    -took all my meals to work, reused glass containers and baggies, only washed full loads, used my dish pan to wash dishes.
    -I cut some lilac branches and brought them into the house to enjoy.
    -I purchased my mother a small miniature rose bush for Mother’s Day. I wanted to give her something she could enjoy forever. I did not purchase a card or wrap the plant as I feel this is wasteful. My husband drew Mother’s Day artwork on our daughter’s chalk board easel and gave me a solar light that is an owl ( I like owl stuff). No card, no wrapping paper. It was perfect!
    -My husband, the packrat with hoarding tendencies, purged several things from “his room” (a room off of the garage. I call it his man cave. All the “stuff” he wants to keep goes in this room). I also got rid of several things. I took a huge load to Goodwill. My hubby also said that he plans on having a rummage sale to get rid of the large things he has in there, like daughter’s huge play kitchen, vanity, etc. This is HUGE, as he has not gotten rid of ANYTHING in 3 years. I despise holding rummage sales myself (long story) but will help him when I can.
    -I started more seeds in our little green house. It tipped over during our last big storm. I picked it up, cleaned up the mess, then moved it to a stable location where it won’t tip over again. I have had our last two rounds of seedlings die. I told hubs this is the LAST try. After this I purchase plants. He destroyed the first try, the above mentioned storm killed the second.
    That’s all I can remember. Have a frugal week everyone!

  25. Hello all! We had absolutely gorgeous weather for Mother’s Day weekend in South Mississippi. I’m sad for those of you that the weather has affected your gardening efforts. Frugal accomplishments for the week:

    1. It was teacher appreciation week so I only had to take lunch one day and was provided lunch the rest of the week. I also received four gift cards to local restaurants. My husband and I took the grandchildren to one of them Friday night and paid 7.00 out of pocket for all of us to eat pizza. I was also given snack type gifts all week as well as a beautiful clock and a decorated board with my name on it to go outside my door for next year. We are very spoiled at my school during teacher appreciation week.

    2. Cooked a turkey for Mother’s Day and got enough meat off of it for several more meals and then boiled the bones down for broth to use later this week.

    3. I only bought sale items this week. I only spent 33.00 on groceries. I usually spend at least a hundred but as I was looking through the pantry and freezer, I realized that buy stocking up and buying bulk, I didn’t really have to purchase anything so I bought a few fresh produce items and some toiletries. This is the first time in years I have not had to make a weekly big shopping run.

    4. Now, for the biggest frugal accomplishment. My washing machine, as I have mentioned before, went out AGAIN! We called the company we bought it from and ask what could be done. They offered to let me upgrade to a new appliance for the price difference of about 150.00. I really did not want to do that as I would have been stuck with the same brand and after having so many problems with this machine, I am hesitant to get another one from them. My sister was out and about Friday afternoon poking around in a little second hand shop she frequents quite often and she called me. Someone had dropped off a LG front loading HE steam washer and the owner of the shop had…..drum roll please…. 50 DOLLARS on it. My sister immediately pulled the sticker off, made sure it worked, and then called to see if I wanted it. I immediately said yes and called my son to go get it. I am now the proud owner of it and quite pleased with my frugal deal. It was probably one of the best Mother’s Day gifts ever from my husband simply because of the deal we got on it.

    One frugal fail: I did my grandson’s invitations for his birthday online and when my daughter in law went to pick them up, there was no order so I went back to check the confirmation email and realized I had read the pick up date wrong, they won’t be ready until the day after his party. I don’t normally use this particular store to print pictures because I find the order form confusing but they had the invitation she liked so I went with it. I used a photo and made invitations at Walgreen’s and she picked them up yesterday. She was happy with them and I lost 13.00 on the others but the blessing from the washing machine made up for it. I’ll just have to be more careful when ordering.

  26. We only ran the air-conditioning at night this week. I am still spending time going room to room to gather stuff to sell at our garage sale. I am not sure if we will make much money, however my house is looking less cluttered! I made baked potatoes and broccoli in the slow cooker. Not only is it easy, but it didn’t heat up the whole kitchen. Plus, my family loves having baked potato bar for dinner.

  27. The girls look so sweet and I love how careful Ivory is being with the snipping, lol. I had a long busy week and worked hard yesterday too. I’ve been up since 5am this morning working. I hope by the time I serve and clear up lunch to call it done. My husband has vacation for this month and while I can hardly take off a full month I do hope to take ‘off’ this week pretty much and relax. Hence, all the extra hard push to get things done. Here’s what I noted doing last week:

  28. Tina in the NW, is there a freecycle group in your area? If there is, the items being left by the garbage area may have been placed there for someone else to come pick up, for free. It is a common transfer strategy within the free cycle community, so if this has happened several times, you may want to leave the items there for 24 hours before you pack them off to an alternate destination.

  29. Tina,

    I’m so glad that your recovery is going well.

    It’s taking me a while to snap to the idea that I should be growing my own plants to make herbal teas. I grow lots of herbs, just not for teas! I think I’m going to make my way this week to my favorite nursery and ask about the plants that will grow here in Central Texas. I’ve grown peppermint when we lived in a previous home, but not in this one. Thanks for the reminder.

    Also, Brandy, I wonder how you keep your lettuce from bolting this time of year. We’re up in the high 80’s/low 90’s now, and it’s everything I can do to keep my arugula, parsley, and cilantro from all bolting at once.

  30. We had the really hot weather (88 degrees) hit us in central Ohio this past week with humidity that made it super sticky outside. Today, the weather has come back down to our normal Spring temps and we are grateful.

    With the hot weather, we planted and did other outside yard work in the earlier morning hours! Got the rest of our veggies planted- tomatoes, peppers for now. The leaf compost mulch we bought from our Boy Scouts and had them put around our plants and fruit trees (a Scout Camp fundraiser that we always support) really helped protect our veggie plants and kept them moist!

    We also had some sporadic rain showers that helped water everything and also started filling our rain barrels! Harvested 3 more Napa Cabbages and replanted tomatoes in their place! Put some crushed eggshells in each planting hole.

    Baked a 2 loaf batch of 9 grain/flaxseed bread and sliced them both up with our electronic slicer. Hubby and son baked Boggle cookies again this week for lunches.

    The 3 of us all worked together at our election polling place on Tuesday which will add an extra $336. to our budget and $168 to son’s savings account! It’s a long day but worth it! We will work there again for the Nov election.

    Used more of our home canned foods in our meals this week, which makes me happy because although that depletes our storage, it means that: 1. We like to eat the things we canned , 2. Our storage is being rotated and 3. I will have more jars available for whatever meat, veggie or fruit comes along in season and at an incredible price!

    Our cherry tree was covered with blossoms which have now dropped and left us with a tree totally covered with cherries! Can hardly wait to start picking these in a few weeks!! Will be canning cherry pie filling!

    Made two more scrap quilts this week just using my existing stash of fabric at home!

    Getting ready to sell some Kitchenetics Gourmet Champ pieces on eBay. Going to put our Camry on Craig’s list. After our success on eBay last week selling something small that we had never used that we had forgotten about and through that, adding $60 to our savings account as a result, we are looking at “stuff” around the house with new ideas!!!

    Gave 4 dining room chairs to a family in need.

    All in all, been a very blessed week!

  31. Brandy, I love the picture of your girls cutting the chamomile! It’s such a sweet, simple and innocent image. I have to ask about the chamomile though-I grew some in my garden last year (Roman Chamomile, I think) and it did great. I harvested and dried the flowers but the tea/tisane I made from it was bitter tasting. Not at all the pleasant taste like the store purchased chamomile tea. Any thoughts?

    Are frugal accomplishments this week:

    -discovered a local Asian market that had fresh tofu for .50 cents a “brick” and prepackaged Mori Nu tofu for $1 a package! This is so much cheaper than the local supermarket price of $2.50-$4.00/package! For various reasons we have been trying to reduce our intake of animal products so this was a great find!

    -harvested radishes, lettuce and chives from the garden.

    -Marinated the fresh tofu in a soy sauce/red wine vinegar marinade with garlic and oregano and broiled it. Served it with basmati rice and a salad harvested from the garden. It was so good! I figured the meal cost us a total of about .80 cents for two people!

    -My DH’s favorite store bought bread is Ezekiel Bread but it is so expensive in the store. I found out our local Adventist Book Center (which is also a health food store) is also an outlet for the Ezekiel Bread. They sell a case of 6 loaves for $5! That’s about .83cents a loaf! It usually runs $4-5 dollar/loaf in the local store. I bought 2 cases for the freezer!

    -Thinned my peach tree and pulled weeds.

    -used a coupon for a free sub at Subway. It was BOGO so DH and I each got a foot long and had half for lunch and half for dinner.

    -used a cake mix and frosting we had on hand in the pantry to make cupcakes to take to my MIL for Mother’s Day. She was to happy!

    -planned meals for the rest of the week. My DH will be off of work from mid June to the end of August and will not get paid during that time so meal planning and eating from the pantry will be really important!

  32. This week was a somewhat expensive week in the spend money to save money sense. The mothers club spring/summer sale was this weekend and they have the best prices on kid stuff around. As a member I had access to the presale (over 800 people attended the public sale) and spent $60 on shoes in the next four sizes for both girls and a few pieces of clothing. The shoes were about $4 per pair and my next cheapest source is nearly twice that and they never have what I need when I need it so I buy ahead. I started buying ahead when I was dying and it is just good practice and has saved us a ton of money and stress. My poor husband had to get the girls ready to start the school year while I was in the hospital for six weeks, they both grew and the weather changed and he was able to just pull out the bins and get out clothes, shoes, jackets and backpacks. The dress is a birthday gift for the oldest and I set that aside. I stopped at the scout yard sale on the way home and spent $7 on a grill basket for Father’s day, a science kit for the youngest’s birthday, art kit for the oldest’s birthday, two books which will be holiday gifts and a grow your own lavender kit complete with lovely vase which will be a housewarming present for my sister and her husband. All these items are brand new and I am thrilled with what people people rid of. I am going to be gathering up round 2 of things to take to the consignment store this week and I am hoping to unload everything by the end of the week and our room will look much nicer with the things out of our space. We had good news from the doctor this week, they are happy with how I am doing and my med list is about as short as it will get which is good for me and our pocketbook. We have had childcare for two years because I was so sick and could not take care of the kids and we gave her her notice a month ago (her idea- we were prepared to keep her until the end of the school year per our agreement) and her last day was Friday because I am doing so well and we don’t need help anymore. The number of doctor appointments are dropping off and I am able to do the majority of them during preschool. She was expensive but worth every penny and that is several hundred dollars a week back in our pocket.

  33. ~My son is cat and fish sitting while our neighbors are away for 2 weeks and we are keeping an eye on their home. She told me to pick spinach from her garden while they are away. With our high temperatures in the 80s much of it is starting to bolt so I picked a big bag which I will use in salad and a delicious spring pasta dish.
    ~I had to go to a presentation/class for work on Wednesday that was about 25 miles from home. It was put on by one of our carriers and included breakfast. After the presentation they had 4 drawings and I won a $25 AmEx gift card! We all got a really nice insulated tumbler with straw that I will use at work. I also got 3 CE credits for my license, which renews in November, from the class at no cost to me.
    ~Went to the grocery store and found lots of meat with markdown stickers or B1G1. Even found chicken quarters that were B1G1 with $3 off each. Paid $3.90 for both packages which was almost 10 lbs. of chicken. Half are in crockpot to shred for burritos and half are marinating in EVOO & lemon pepper to grill.
    ~Went to the charity shop after grocery store to check out the clothing clearance racks which get marked to 50¢ every other Saturday. Got DS1 a hoodie and pair of madras shorts, got 2 nice t-shirts for me, a London Fog raincoat, a Jos. Banks jacket, Talbot’s skirt and 2 American Eagle t-shirts. The last 4 items I will resell. I also found a almost complete set of Oneida stainless flatware which was 75% off so I paid $5. Will go into DSs move out box. Also got a new Silpat for $2. I used a $10 card earned from shopping there so very little out of pocket!

  34. Linda,

    Once it gets that hot there is nothing you can do to stop them from bolting. You can cut the tops to try to slow, but they will still bolt.

    After cutting so much bolted parsley last week, my advice is to cu the parsley NOW, before it gets taller, or you will have less to harvest. Cut it and dry it to use later.

    The lettuce I harvest as much as I can, even while it is bolting, and then I let it finish bolting and go to seed. I collect the seeds to plant again when it is cooler in the fall. After it’s done I can plant something else in its place. I don’t grow lettuce from May to September because it is too hot, nor do I grow cilantro then, either. I can replant parsley seeds to grow in summer, however. Now that they are bolting you can direct seed new seeds in the garden to take their place (or collect seeds to plant next time).

  35. I’m so sorry to hear about the bad experience with the FPU leaders! But glad that it has not dissuade you from continuing the program! It sounds like they probably should not be leading the classes. We, too, went to FPU at a church which we were not members and had a great experience. She would probably be really upset with DH and me. Three years later we are still working on baby step #2. But the important thing is to keep going forward.

  36. I needed a hotel room at the last minute and was able to use the state rate as a teacher to get the room half-price!

    Ordered books as gifts for my students and ordered a few groceries as well to get the free shipping on Amazon.

    One of the churches in town gifted the teachers with Starbucks gift cards, so I’ll have $10 to spend at Starbucks next time I want to go out with a friend or something. I don’t go there often.

    Bought cake mix for my son’s birthday party instead of ordering a cake. I won’t lie, I only did this because the bakery was closed on Sunday, but it still saved me some money.

    I gave my daughter’s teacher some of the snacks I had bought for my classroom and knew I wouldn’t use up before summer. She was completely out. So they got used and I didn’t have to buy more snacks for her classroom.

    I’m still trying to eat up what’s in the pantry, so my grocery shopping this week was just buying what I needed to fill in around things. For example, I need to use up some velveeta, rotel, and beans, so I bought chips specifically to be able to have a meal using those things.

  37. Well, it’s hot here in North Florida! We are looking at 88 degrees this afternoon. So yes, the air is on. Our bills will go up this summer. I had windows open in the spring.

    Last week was not very frugal, our daughter graduated from RN school! We took 14 people out for a celebration dinner at a local restaurant. I would have made a buffet dinner for everyone, but she asked specifically to go to this restaurant for a steak that she loves. They are moving to St. Augustine, so she won’t get to go to this restaurant very often. We are also buying her a stethoscope as her graduation gift. I still have to order that.

    Otherwise, we are getting over sinusitis and bronchitis at our house. I had not grocery shopped in two weeks, so I stocked up on a few things. Bought a ham for $1.49 lb. I am cooking that today. Got fuel points, .20 off per gallon. I still have to stock up on meat at another store. I am saving my paychecks for a trip to Texas to see our son and his family. I put them in a separate savings account. I only work two afternoons a week at a medical office, and do some billing at home. Not large checks, but helps for extras like travel and goodies for grands! Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day!

  38. Stephanie,

    I don’t know what you’re dealing with, but it must be wonderful to resume a semi-normal life again. How tough the last two years must have been.


  39. That’s crazy that your temp. was in the ’60’s when it was almost 90 degrees here in some parts of New England! Wild weather everywhere lately.

    I’m amazed you did 30 hours of garden work. That’s a big project and you should feel very accomplished.

    Last week, I shopped the sales and used coupons whenever I could for the biggest savings. One grocery store had a deal for free cheese if you bought 2 tortillas. Because the tortillas had coupons, it made for a great deal. I also found wild salmon for $5.99/Lb, whole chickens for $2.29 each, free Huggies wipes at Target, and more. All of my transactions with pics can be found here:

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

  40. I bought a pair of jeans and a pair of nice khaki pants at the local thrift store. The pants look new, fit great and were only $8. Our neighbor gave us some iris bulbs they didn’t want, we added them to our irises. My dad bought us dinner for an early Mother’s day celebration on Friday. We had pizza at my in-laws on Mother’s day and brought home leftovers. I was sent a free sample of trail mix. I got my haircut using a coupon and was given 3 small samples of conditioner. We ate most meals at home and used a coupon for our one meal out. My mother’s day flowers were broken into 3 groups so I could give my grandmother a small bouquet and also my mother-in-law a small bouquet using vases I already had. I got a free 8X10 at Walgreens for my mother. My one frugal fail was taking my daughter to Old Navy but she really needs some new summer clothes and she usually shops at the thrift stores with me so it was nice to let her have a treat. She also wants some makeup but made sure to tell me she would buy that herself. She’s a good kid.

  41. Awesome job on all the things you got done this week! I am always amazed!

    I got the rest of my garden planted and am already seeing some growth! Woohoo!!

    And tomorrow will be cooler so I will plan to bake tomorrow and get my bread and crackers done then!

  42. Lori, I would encourage you to report your experience to the FPU website and to the pastor at the church. Certainly, this is not the way to run any program, much less one that is faith based. You would be doing a great service for future participants. I don’t know if FPU or the church would refund your money, but I believe they should or do something else to compensate for the experience. I worked in Customer Service for years and know that one bad experience gets more publicity than 10 good experiences. I’m sure FPU would want to make you happy with them.

  43. How wonderful that you were able to take advantage of the cooler weather, and spend time in your garden. There never seems to be enough time to actually catch up here. I planted a chamomile over the weekend, & hope it will be happy. Your peaches are bountiful! Most of ours got bitten by a late frost, and we received word today that the apricot trees we ordered several weeks ago were out of stock, and our order was canceled. Oh well, there’s always next year. I have been thinning fruit on the apple and pear trees, per your advice, so I have high hopes there. Joining in here:

  44. Good point, Marivene. I regularly use Freecycle and offer porch pickup for various items, as our condo complex is off the main road. The dishes had been there for over a day, so I’m sure no one wanted them. The dumping at our condo complex has been a long-term problem, with people dumping old appliances, toilets, couches, and other household items (and we all end up paying the garbage service extra to dispose of them). But it’s a good thing to keep in mind though, thanks.

  45. Please excuse me if this simply will not work for your family – all families are different and all will come to their own conclusions about hat works best for them. But instead of waiting for your husband to realise he needs to find a different job, would it be possible for you to search for a job for yourself? I imagine if he’s working for his father there are quite a few conflicting emotions around leaving – he doesn’t want to abandon his father; he’s worried his father needs him; etc. It might take a long time for him to work up the courage to leave. But if, in the meantime, you were bringing in some income, it might make it easier for him to leave, knowing that if it takes a while for him to find something else, at least there will be food on the table.

  46. Thanks, Linda.

    This year, now that I have a dehydrator, I am going to try drying all of these fresh herbs so I can make herbal tea during the winter too.

  47. I live in upstate NY. It has been a very warm spring reaching around 90 the past few days. I have hurried up to get my garden in this past week. Our last frost date is May 15, but the temps look to be well above that so I went ahead and planted everything. I picked up $38 in plants (36 tomato plants, 12 red bell peppers, 12 jalapenos, white onions, red onions, and a oat and pea cover crop). I have plants my entire garden 750 feet, two raised beds, and additional planters on the deck.

    I am hoping this will help us to save a lot of money! We have weight our produce in the past and calculated how much it would of cost us to buy fresh and generally just one crop alone pays for the whole garden!

    A tree company was cutting trees in our area. My husband went to talk to them to see if we could get the mulch and they were more than happy to give us the mulch. Six truck loads later we have lots of FREE mulch!

  48. Brandy, your daughters are beautiful. Such pretty dresses. Hope your Mother’s Day was very nice.

    My ‘Mother’s Day’ will be next Sunday. Both of my sons had to work last week. I look forward to seeing them.

    My frugal adventures this week include the normal. Cooking at home, hanging laundry, etc. I went to the big sale at the Salvation Army store Saturday. Everything in the whole store was marked 25% off the normal price and some items had 50% off. I got some clothes for a grand child. Two little dresses, with the tags still attached, brand spanking new, for just 75 cents. They are a little big, but she will grow into them very soon.

    We have been lucky enough to have some rain this past week. Our rain barrels are full. We are blessed. Some people had flooding, but we were lucky not to get that here. We got some marked down plants on sale too. I got a lemon tree for just 88 cents. I am going to put it into a large pot so that I can move it into the green house when it freezes. That makes 3 lemon trees I have now. I am looking for an orange tree.
    The neighbor gave us a lot of figs. I plan to make some jam with it. I found my grandmother’s recipe.
    I did a lot of mending. I cleaned a closet out and made a donation to the Salvation Army store. It is my goal to go through every closet in this house and make a donation each time.
    We got a free sample of tooth paste at Sam’s club. I was pleased to see the size of the sample tube. I can make it last a couple of months with no problem at all.
    Got the cast off my arm. Sure feels good. My wrist is still very sore. I know it will take time to get better.
    David went to the doctor today, his foot is not healing with the skin grafts. I wonder what the next treatment is going to be. He can not get the hip replacement he needs till the sore on his foot is healed enough. He had a bad infection in his foot that caused a blood infection.
    I am going to cook a large roast in the crock pot tomorrow. I will make 3 meals at least with this roast.

  49. Stunning photos Brandy. Your children are so gorgeous. We have had good rain. I am seeing that I can plant more herbs and small things out the front especially between my roses. I have bare ground there and I have decided to use it!
    My daughter is having a baby this week. I have cooked loads of meals for the freezer and stocked up. I am making Impossible Pies and Quiches as they use up all kinds of things and lots of soups. The pie recipes are on my blog My daughter made a beautiful pie for Mothers Day. It was so good. It was Spinach and chicken and was yum. She gave me the recipe and it contained half a cup of mayonnaise. Sounds odd but it was so good! Also she covered it with heart shaped pastry. I posted pics and the recipe.
    I added to my pantry and supplies. Little by little I am building them up as I can.
    Have a wonderful

  50. I can’t wait for fresh peaches. Those look so yummy.

    * struggling with job uncertainty. I’ve been trying to maintain a positive attitude but it’s getting harder. I have done what is in my power and that is all I can do.

    * we got 2 apple trees planted.

    * we have our garden ready for some topsoil and then planting

    * got a free yogurt

    * my son had track meet so we took lunch and drinks.

    * got my daughter signed up for fall classes at the college. She will be a jr in high school but our state has a program where she can take classes at the college (tuition free) and earn her high school diploma and AA degree at the same time.

    * my daughter has been cooking 1 dinner per week. Last week she made the most delicious enchiladas. They were so good!

    * we celebrated mothers day at home with a nice dinner cooked by my hubby and kids 🙂

  51. Piggiekr,
    I was wondering where you were that people didn’t have ovens. That’s not something i’ve heard before.

  52. I love seeing the kids helping!

    freezer cooking: bean burritos (I used to add rice or meat but don’t anymore!), healthy oatmeal choc chip cookies, ground sausage, cut up & froze fruit for smoothies.

    Cut SO hair and my sister came over for me to cut her hair.

    I made a special dessert for my mom for mothers day (she is food restricted right now, it was hard to find something she could eat!) she enjoyed it and played with the kids for a bit.

    Went to a playdate, I brought fruit bought on sale.

    Paid extra on debt. But a bit in savings also.

    Turned off heat and air when we could! (temps are all over the place!)

  53. We continued to conserve in the usual ways, with an additional bit of tightening. I now wash my face before getting into the shower, for example, because I use a different soap on my face. The purchase of the toaster oven a couple of weeks ago and the use of the sun oven in the few non-windy days we’ve had may be contributing to our dramatically lower electricity bill (38% or $52 less than the previous month’s and 43% or $63 less than the year-ago level). I have to also give credit to our good luck in the weather department and a $9.36 rebate from the electric co-op. We still haven’t turned on our air conditioner full time now, a deviation from previous years, although we need it some nights. We’ve relied on open windows as much as possible, although the time for that is ending here in Central Texas. However, I may be paying for the reduction in electricity usage with increased problems with sinusitis, fluid buildup in ears, and a resultant flaring of nerve problems in the face. A medication I’m on suppresses my immune system, so any allergy problems are magnified and this is a known problem. I can’t wear my hearing aids because they’re painful, so some choices are going to have to be made. We have heat-blocking drapes and are using those as the sun progresses during the day. We bought a ream of printer paper for what will be $0.41 after the rebate from Staples. These take a long time to arrive, but we’ve had good luck so far. I’ve added four small gifts to the Christmas stash for the grandchildren and adults. These small items, including the Misto Sprayer (Thanks for the heads-up on Facebook, Brandy!) will be combined with gift cards for the older grandchildren and adults on our list. Now I’m on the hunt for discounted gift cards! I missed a $20 for $25 value one for a granddaughter while I was double-checking with my daughter, her mother, that she liked that store’s clothing.

  54. Momsav – I don’t know where Piggiekr lives, but I spent over a decade in Holland, and most apartment dwellers in the larger cities don’t have ovens. The kitchens were just too small. I eventually bought a toaster oven, but normal baking was not really an option.

  55. We had a series of thunderstorms – some of them significant. One washed out our ditches and culverts and took out most of one of the of the driveway entrances. We had put in grass seed in what used to be a (never worked) flower garden – that all washed away. Luckily we hadn’t planted our garden yet. We have re-tilled the garden area and hope to get our plants and seeds this coming weekend. One of the storms included a tornado watch so we went up the little farm house (1/4 mile away and had a basement) to wait it out. A tornado did come down briefly about 15 miles north of us. Golf ball size hail 8 miles from us but missed us.

    On Saturday we heard a lot of sirens and ambulances and fire trucks went by. It was sad news for my SO. The 100 year old home of family friends was on fire. The elderly couple there (friends of the family – SO went to school with their children) were rescued but the woman passed away the next day. I was able to make a quiche, pan of brownies, tossed salad and some buttered bread to take to the family. Everything came out of my pantry and supplies with the exception of disposable pans. I ran to the local Family Dollar and was able to find some inexpensive pans. No one around here sends their own pans with their names on them as we used to do.

    Found potatoes on sale at Albertson’s for 99C for 10 pounds. Twenty pounds will last us for a couple of months. Found Plugra butter for half off. I bought five 8oz blocks. I prefer to have this for holiday butter so I put it in the freezer.

    Need to work outside this coming week – the weather is supposed to be better!

  56. You may be aware of this, but my grandniece ran into this problem. If she completed her AA while in high school, she would have to enter a large university as a junior. Her parents felt that the jump from high school to the “intense” curriculum of a junior would possibly be too overwhelming for her. Just something to keep in mind.

  57. Transplanted grape hyacinth bulbs to share with my daughter. Continued to dead head the purple iris in bloom.

    Picked up more bags of free coffee grounds at Starbucks & used them to fertilize in the garden & the perimeter plantings.

    Bought 3 bags of western bark on sale at Home Depot, & asked why an open bag was sitting by the register. The cashier offered to discount it 50%, since it was open, & it clearly contained over 2/3 of the original content, so I told her I’d take it! Paid for all of it with the gift card my son sent several months ago for my birthday. This bark will be used on the north side beds that will be enlarged later in the summer, but the bark was on sale now, which made the gift card go further. It is stacked against the fence in one of the beds there, awaiting use. Stopped in again when I was in town & picked up another 3 bags while the bark was still on sale, still using the gift card, since I can only fit 3 full bags in the trunk.

    Gathered water from the downspouts after each of the intermittent rain showers this week, & reclaimed the gallon of cold water in the pipes while waiting for the warm water in the kitchen, to use in the garden. All my garden jugs are full.

    Dug out & potted up 2 good-sized red raspberry starts, that were growing outside the border of the bed, to take to my oldest daughter to enlarge her raspberry bed.

    Filled the car with gas at the Chevron station using the card on Wednesday for the discount & the free car wash coupon.

    Planted onion starts & onion seed in different locations in the garden.

    Dehydrated another batch of dandelion greens.

  58. Tina, by the time your daughter has taken 2 years worth of college level course, she should be able to handle a junior level class without problems. It is common where we live, & most of the students do just fine. Cutting out those 2 years saves a tremendous amount of money in living expenses. As long as your daughter knows what field she wants to enter, it is a great way to trim expenses for her & you.

  59. This week I was able to cut chives, small amount of sage and a decent amount of spinach from my garden to use for salads and baked potatoes.
    I was able to share with a friend seeds and started tomato plants – her spouse lost his job last week. Thank you Brandy for sharing that idea.
    A customer at my office gifted us with food products they make (we are in the packaging business). One of the items is called FROG Jam
    (Figs, Raspberries, Oranges, Ginger). It is quite delightful. I looked it up and it isn’t a hard jam to make.
    I finally strung some bracelets from a large beaded purse that is coming apart and elastic cord that held my summer sandals together.
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  60. Laura, that is terrible about all your fruit trees:( We were predicted frost the last 2 nights but didn’t quite get cold enough, only 34-35. Fortunately no snow. We can protect our plants but it is a little hard to protect the trees.

  61. I got a replacement for my fitbit. Work great then one day its stop email the company back and forth and there sending replacement.
    been eating out of the freezer and pantry and declean the pantry
    ate at home all week.
    walk to paid bills.

  62. Brandy, I’m just wondering with the success of your solar oven if you’ve looked into a solar dehydrator? I have NO more counter space (or outlets!) but would love to use a dehydrator so the idea of a solar one has been in the forefront for a while now.
    I recently borrowed a copy of The Solar Food Dryer from the library and can’t wait for a quiet time to read it.

  63. We checked out movies from the library instead of renting, and also found some really great drawing tutorials online for art.

  64. Cathi, I have looked into them, but right now I am using the Excalibur. It’s HUGE (but that is nice, too, because it does a lot at once) but I h keep it in the garage on a shelf, and use it out there. I’ve read lots of reviews on the solar ones from Amazon, and they look nice.

  65. I worked out of town three days last week. Had to leave on Sunday and came home Wednesday. It was about 300 miles from home. I drove my own car but was paid mileage by my employer. the employer also reimbursed all meals and hotel. Where I was working is about 1/2 hour from one of my sons. He came up one night and we went to dinner. Mine was reimbursed by the Company, and I treated him, since he drove to me. I am not overly fond of driving in Seattle.

    I put pinto beans on to soak on Friday morning before work. Cooked them overnight in my crockpot on Friday, and put black beans on to soak Friday night. Cooked those in the crockpot on Saturday. On Sunday I made a batch of potato corn chowder in the crockpot to have for DH and I to have for lunches during the week.

    Got a $50 gift card to JC Penney for $30 at Safeway with the Just for U discount and their Mothers’ day special. Will save for when Penney’s has a $10 off $25 sale. Will be able to get $75 of items for $30 that way.

    Made homemade pizza Friday night. Used a single batch of crust to make 2 pizzas. We like the thinner crust.

    With the cooked pinto beans I made 7 packages of refried beans. Froze 6 of them and then we had bean and cheese burritos for lunch on Saturday.

    Froze 13 cups of cooked black beans.

    Both pots of beans really cost me almost nothing to make, as I grow beans in my garden. The black beans were from seeds I grew myself. The only cost for the “refried” beans was for the cumin and salt I added, as the onion and garlic as well as the beans were from the garden. I don’t fry the beans either, just mash them with a little of the cooking liquid.

    Planted 5 tomato plants. It is really too early yet, but we have some old metal and plastic garbage cans we plant tomatoes in. We put them in early and can cover them with buckets if it is going to frost. Transplanted an oregano plant in an old drum between the “garbage can tomatoes” as my DH calls them. This is to attract the bees.

    Fred Meyer has a sale that started Sunday for a 2 lb. loaf of Tillamook medium cheese for $3.99. I got one there, and then price matched at Wal-Mart for another one. Also had butter 3 lbs. for $5.00.

    That is about it, but not bad for being gone most of 4 days.

    One question on the girls’ dresses. Is that the same pattern that you used for both? They are just lovely.

  66. Nancy,

    I only made the polka dot dress. However, the other dress is the exact same style and could be made using that pattern. You’d just need to add a sash and put some tucks in the bottom hem. The sleeve style is the same and it also buttons up the back, so the Pascale pattern would work for it. I love the versatility of a basic bodice dress.

  67. Tina, thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I didn’t know that about Holland. I’m sure this is very common in many European countries where modern housing is retrofitted into buildings built many centuries ago (much older than any of our buildings here in Canada and the US). I love how much I learn from reading Brandy’s blog!

  68. Happy Birthday 🙂 Wish we had places in my town that offered freebies for our birthdays. There are a couple the next town over. I’m not quite sure it is worth driving 15 miles for a free doughnut and ice cream though.

  69. I had to look up ‘jalousie’. When I saw the picture it brought back a ton of childhood memories. I didn’t know that was the name of them, but my grandparents had one on their front door when I was growing up.

  70. Anna, I hope hubby is feeling well. I did not purchase any gcs this past weekend because I did not have the extra cash. MY husband wears his work boots almost every day so he needs a new pair about every 4-6 months. When they did the 4x points a few weeks ago, I had him buy cards for Bass Pro so we got the points since that is where he buys his boots and work pants. I did want to tell you to check the digital coupons for some that say ‘save $5 when you buy 2 $25 cards. With 4x points (did you get 4x and 2x doing it on the weekend? I wondered how that would work) and getting 2 gifts for Christmas, it seemed like a good deal to me. Especially if they are for a clothing store. You could buy them and then use them to purchase clearance clothing and save a ton. Just a thought.

  71. Would love to have your not so frugal clothing problem 🙂 congrats on the weight loss.

  72. Mandy, we make most of our cards, and I send out quite a number of cards all year long. When the children were younger we would have card making sessions and I still have some of the cards they made for various holidays. Sometimes we would stamp them, sometimes just paper cutouts. There was a while when they went kind of crazy with pop-ups. I love to get cards, save them and read them over again.

    Is that miniature rose bush meant to be an inside plant? I received one of those for Valentine’s day and it had no instructions with it, other than it would not survive the winter if planted outside. It is in the window and seems to be getting bigger and has new growth, though no new buds. Not sure what to really do with it or expect of it.

  73. Stephanie, so thankful that you are doing so much better and life is moving closer to normal for you all.

  74. Rachel, congratulations on your daughter’s graduation and RN degree. Is St Augustine her new job? Mine
    graduates this weekend.

  75. Denise, I wouldn’t consider it a fail when you need to spend the money and Old Navy always has lots of sales.

  76. Roxie, I pray your husband’s health problems will improve and resolve so that he can get on with the hip replacement. I am glad you have healed. Did they give you any exercises to do for your wrist? I have to do them for mine as my wrist froze up a bit while it was healing. They are mostly stretching motions.

  77. Ugh! So sorry to hear about the bad experience with the FPU coordinator. Dave would NOT approve! My husband and I just finished FPU this past week! It really is such a great course! Good luck as you work on the Baby Steps…it really is worth it! Have a great week!

  78. My husband asked for something simple to take with him to cook at the Father/Son camp out this weekend. One of our son’s scout requirements is to cook part of a meal on a camp out. My husband said something simple like hot dogs would fit the bill. I can’t remember the last time I bought hot dogs and I had no idea they were so expensive. I didn’t see a single pack (8-10 hot dogs) under $5. I went to a different part of the meat department and there was the answer. The store had bratwurst and italian sausages on sale. Normally a 24oz pack with 6 sausages inside cost $7.99. Today they were marked down to $1.99 AND they had 50% off stickers so each package was 99 cents! I brought out my emergency $5 and bought 5 packages. I brought them home and simmered one package on the stove in a little water until they were cooked through. I put 3 in a zipper bag for the camp out and the other three were sliced and served with broccoli from my freezer and a jar of pasta sauce from last Summer over 1lb of pasta I bought on sale for 62 cents. Other camp out treats will be homemade cookies, carrot sticks, popcorn, granola for the hike on Saturday and peanut butter on homemade bread.

    At the produce stop I found bags of bananas marked 99 cents. The bags were 2-3 lbs. I weighed them all and bought the two heaviest bags. I froze most of the bananas in chunks for smoothies and baking later. This is a great savings because bananas are generally 99 cents per lb on sale!

    I packaged up two boxes of unused workbooks & other curriculum to donate to homeschoolers who are in need.

    My daughter takes ballet and would love to see a professional performance, but with tickets usually costing $15-$25 it just isn’t in the cards. A special performance of Cinderella was being advertised for homeschoolers, when I called to ask the price of the tickets the person told me that patrons were allowed to watch the full dress rehearsal the night before opening for the cost of a canned food donation. I found in my pantry several cans of chili that were given to us after a church dinner that were a brand my kids don’t like so there is our donation. The performance is being held at a local university theater where my middle daughter attends institute across the street so we can park there saving the $7 parking fee.

    My daughter went to a prom this weekend. We found her formal, shoes & purse at the thrift store. She did her own hair, make-up and nails. They shared a ride with a group of three other couples. The group went to a very expensive restaurant, but she & her date agreed ahead of time to split the entree and skip the appetizers. They both had water to drink. She said the other girls were wishing they had thought to share because the entrees were so huge that no one could finish, particularly while wearing tight formal clothes. All the uneaten food went to waste because they couldn’t take leftovers to the prom. The girls were sharing in the bathroom about the cost of their dresses and none of them spent under $100. My daughter wore a beautiful lavender princess dress, with sparkly shoes and a lovely clutch purse for under $25. We glued some fancy rhinestones from a broken bracelet to some bobby pins to scatter in her hair.

    10 years ago for Mother’s Day my husband gave me a beautiful wood & iron bench. The wooden parts finally gave up the ghost. This year for Mother’s Day he & the kids replaced, repaired and re-assembled my beautiful bench. My husband even managed the curve along the top. It looks even better than new. Some of the wood was saved from other projects. The stain was marked way down because a different can had leaked all over the outside. While looking at the discount table at the home improvement store my husband & youngest daughter found a gallon of premium paint that was marked down 75% because it was “mis-mixed” It is a deep purple. Youngest daughter has been begging to paint her room lavender when middle daughter goes to college in the Fall. Husband can mix the purple into the gallons of white we already have to make her custom color.

    The kids attended a class about electricity at the local technology museum. We packed our lunch and ate at the park across the street. Through the big windows at the theater, we watched the technicians load up an IMAX movie onto the projector. The kids were amazed. One of the technicians saw the kids’ interest and brought out samples of the giant film for the kids to take home. They said the theater often does very reduced price movies over the Summer, so we signed up for the newsletter.

    The other frugal things were the usual; watering plants with shower warm up water, eating all meals at home, making sure to use up all the leftovers, saving all the paper with blank sides for notes, lists & drawings, checked out books & movies at the library, letting every child do their daily 10 free math problems in IXL for review, we watched several tv shows for free streaming on Hulu or Simply June. Simply June has several BBC series like Call the Midwife, The Musketeers, The Paradise, and others. She also has one show that was aired on a premium cable channel so she gives a warning about adult content.

  79. Roxi, my mother I law had an issue with her foot that just would not heal. Months passed before they finally did some tests for circulation in her foot and leg. Turns out she had a blockage in her leg. Once they cleared the blockage, her foot healed just fine. Do you know if they have considered that? My husband just had both his hips replaced about 10 weeks ago. He is doing well.

  80. I want to offer my sincere apology for giving unsolicited advice. You certainly know what your daughter is capable of doing and my situation in no way applies to her. I hope I have not offended you. I wish her good luck in this opportunity. Again I apologize for not minding my own business.

  81. Thanks! I’m pretty excited about it. Hopefully my brain isn’t too mushy to keep up with the classwork!

  82. I love how they remade your bench for you. So thoughtful and one that you will cherish for always I’m sure.
    Great deal on the ballet!

  83. My accomplishments to conserve include picking chives, some spinach leaves, garlic chives, celery leaves and butter crunch lettuce for our salad. Also planted some green onions from grocery store that we just keep harvesting the tops for greens the entire season. Working on cutting back medication gradually. Husband is giving away my old computer to his Sister who can use it for her stay at home job. Cut back on cleaning help to once as month and my neighbor is taking the other cleaning slot so my house keepers work load stays the same. My neighbor gave me some coral bell plants to replant. Started freezing the leftover water from steaming my vegetable for soup stock.

  84. I didn’t know the name until I bought my house a few years ago. But they are definitely a warm memory of days gone by in Florida and Hawaii. =)

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