Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments (and some Chocolate Cake!)

 

This has been a busy week of organizing and rearranging.

We organized both girls’ rooms, the pantry, four closets, the bathroom cabinets and drawer where I store our toiletries, another bathroom drawer, and the cabinets under two bathroom sinks. Organizing the toiletries gave me a much better idea of our needs; some things I thought we needed, we don’t. I also pulled out several sample items that we had and we started using them up.

We changed around both girls’ bedrooms, as we got bunk beds this week in both rooms. 

I took all the pictures down from the walls in their rooms, and then looked at what frames we had, including some that I had in a box and was currently not using. I came up with a plan to change around frames and hang pictures in different places. Some pictures I reused (but hung in other places); for others, I reused the frames and will be putting something else in them. 

I moved two orchid plants that had started to rebloom into prominent areas in the house in order to better enjoy them.

Easter Printable The Prudent Homemaker

I printed a free Easter printable from here and put out a small porcelain rabbit that belonged to my great-grandma to make a small Easter arrangment.

Elsa in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I used fabric that I had been given to make a skirt and cover a headband for Elsa for her birthday. This is the same fabric I used to make her doll a dress at Christmas.

Eiffel Tower Cupcakes The Prudent Homemaker

I made cupcakes for Elsa’s birthday (she wanted another Paris party like two years ago, so I made them like before with homemade chocolate Eiffel towers on top) using this eggless chocolate cake recipe.

I mended a towel. I cut the buttons off a shirt that I was tossing and added them to my button jar.

I planted seeds for chives, larkspur, and hollyhocks in the garden.

I dug up and divided my lilac bush into three bushes, and transplanted them into a spot where they’ll get more spring sun, but still have summer shade (without it, the leaves burn in the sun here).

I took cuttings from my lilac bush, from a star jasmine vine, from a hibiscus, and from a rosemary plant to hopefully start new plants.

Olive Tree The Prudent Homemaker 

I divided a potted peppermint plant into several plants and planted them in the garden. I then used the pot to plant a small olive tree.

I picked lettuce, and cut green onions, Swiss chard, and dill from the garden. I juiced lemons from the garden and froze the juice, as well as used some fresh in several meals, including lemon dill chicken.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

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89 Comments

  1. I made broth with the leftover bones from a rotisserie chicken for the first time in my life. We had chicken for multiple dinners and now I will be able to make soup to extend it. It sounds like nothing, I’m sure, but I never would have considered it before subscribing to your journal. I’m grateful for the time, effort, and wisdom you give here and hope you know that your work is appreciated.

  2. I know they like humidity, so I just keep them in my bathroom when they are not blooming (and usually one that is blooming). I water them once in while and that’s it. They do get good, filtered light in the bathroom. Two of my three that I had previously are now reblooming. I am still waiting on the last one.

    I love the fabric that you chose for your apron!

  3. Yes!! Thank you!! This will be good for a few shirts I’m turning into girl dresses. You don’t use the sleeves for the dresses. Yay! I love upcycling with as little waste as possible.

  4. Hello Brandy and all from Australia. Chocolate cake yum, in fact anything that is chocolate is yum in our family :p. Shall check the new eggless recipe out later tonight as we are in the middle of planting some more corn this afternoon as we have heard we are going to have another month of really hot weather instead of it cooling down, so should be able to sneak in another crop of corn before it cools down yeah !!.

    Here is my husband & my frugal accomplishments for the week –

    In the house –
    – Used cut up flannel from old sheets we had to clean the bathroom & toilet saving the cost of paper towel
    – Made all meals from scratch using items in the pantry, cupboards, & veges from the gardens.
    – Made all bread from scratch using our bread machine.

    Sales from online craft hobby business –
    – Sold 1 eye mask, a set of 2 curtain tiebacks & 3 x A5 journal covers on Etsy making $43.42 profit.

    Purchases from craft money earned online from Ebay –
    – 6 baby bibs for $2.98 to top up our gifts cupboards
    – set of 4 atomiser bottles or $2.82 the set.
    – 2 shave brushes for my husband @ $1.92 ea.
    – 8 x travel mini sewing kits for $1.84 ea to top up our prepping supplies & for 72 hr kits.
    – 4 x travel toothbrush holders for our 72 hr kits and for travelling for holidays on the odd occasion.
    – 1 x 8 pce stainless steel measuring cup and spoon set for the kitchen, we found 1 set was not enough with all the cooking we do 🙂 .
    – 4 packets of 10 sewing machine needles @ $1.10 ea, they are usually around $6 for 5 here in Australia, saving $39.20 total.
    – 4 packets of 30 hand sewing needles @ $1 ea to top up sewing supplies, usually $2.89 here in shops, saving $7.56.
    – 1 x donut corn stripper so we can strip the corn kernals off our corn to freeze it for winter @ $3.63, saving $6.37 on Aus prices.
    – 1 x corn shredder with catching container $3.18, saving $6.82 on prices we pay in shops here.

    Purchases from garden money earned –
    – 2 tap connectors to join up our 2 water tanks to save bucketing water between for $1.08 for both.
    – Another plastic watering can, so that we can fertilise the vegetable patch quicker with 2 for $6.50.
    – 4 packets of seeds – 2 snow peas, 1 cauliflower & 1 pkt of broccoli @ $1.59 ea.
    – Used $18.25 left to partially pay for filling 2 jerry cans of fuel on low price cycle, saving .07 c lt , total saving of $3.54.

    In the garden –
    – Pulled all spent greenfeast pea plants & saved the seeds.
    – Pulled all spent snow pea plants & saved the seeds.
    – Pulled the rest of the fruit fly ruined tomato plants and put in the bin :-(.
    – Planted a row of burpless cucumbers where the tomatoes were & topped up soil with compost we made.
    – Planted a row of lettuce seeds.
    – Planted a 4 x 2 mt row of broadbeans.
    – Harvested rosemary, sage & thyme, washed & hung in bunches to dry on the veranda in paper bags to top up house herbs & to list excess for sale on the internet.
    – Made more layers of compost using vegetable peelings from our teas.
    – Turned the compost pile again, we do this once a week, and watered it due to the heat here, put the heavy plastic back over.
    – Whipper snipped between garden beds to tidy up the garden patch.
    – Cut excess parsley in the garden & chopped and put as mulch between the vegetables, it naturally deters beetles.
    – Did the same with excess sweet basil as likewise it deters pests in the vegetable beds.

    Water preservation –
    – Used all water from washing machine & showers to water the lawns around the house.
    – We have also managed to get our washing loads down from 4 per week to 3, hopefully saving electricity & water usage.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week one and all.

  5. I’m amazed at how much you got done this week! Do you ever sleep? 😉

    We’re in Tucson, and I’d love a lilac bush. I’m surprised you can grow them in Las Vegas. Do you think they could grow here? We have one spot that gets mostly shade from our garage except in the evenings in the summer scorching heat.

  6. I found various cheeses on sale for 50% off.
    I stayed home and cooked all our meals.
    I took advantage of a work lunch that was optional.
    I snagged a couple bottles of water that were provided at work meetings.
    We cooked pizza instead of having one delivered.
    I’ve been trying to cook more tofu.
    We visited a local memorial site with my son. It’s free.
    I hosted a traveler and made $140.
    I hung up all the laundry to dry as usual.
    I made pesto from some basil that was going to go bad and used pecans my mom had sent me. For the cheese and other ingredients I used what was on hand.
    I have been using online free resources to tutor my 4 year old.
    A friend of mine is a doctor and I made an appointment with him to refill a prescription and get a beauty treatment. He waives my co-pay. I used the subway instead of driving.
    Shopped at the farmer’s market and had a considerable savings over going to the supermarket.

  7. We had a couple of days this week that were spring-like and I am itching to get out into the yard and start some gardening! We still have the month of March to get through yet and in the Midwest United States the weather can do anything. We have snow in the forecast this week :p
    Our biggest frugal accomplishment this week is that my husband cut up into parts our last turkey in the freezer. We slow-roasted the dark meat and wings until the meat came off the bones easily which also gave us some really good broth. The meat will then be used for lots of other meals. I roasted the breast separately which we had for our Sunday dinner. The bones were then put into the slow cooker for 12 hours for some turkey broth.
    I made laundry soap.
    We cooked all our meals at home with the exception of one. We went to our oldest daughter and son-in-law’s home on Friday for dinner. She made pasta with a pumpkin sauce and a kale salad. Delicious!

  8. Hello everyone! Last week:
    -I took snacks and water in my mason jar to the hospital when my daughter had tubes put in her ears on Friday. We were also given 2 vouchers for a free beverage that we used. We ate when we got home, which was by 10am.

    -My husband is having some health issues. I got him a membership to Planet Fitness for $20 per month, no contract ( in case I need to cancel someday due to lack of funds), to help him with these issues. I used his guest pass for free to exercise on the equipment, which I can do as often as I want. Not frugal right now but hoping this will help reduce future medical bills.

    -My husband got us a deck for free from a Facebook free site. The man giving it away even delivered it to our house because it’s huge and wouldn’t fit into the truck we had. We moved all the wood for the deck behind the house where the deck will be set up. Free deck and free exercise.

    -I took all meals and snacks to work with me. We cooked all meals at home and ate at home. I made chocolate zucchini muffins, minestrone soup, loaded baked potato soup, white bread, kale/strawberry/banana smoothies twice.

    -I have not been replacing some stuff or making it again as it used up in favor of something more simple. I did not make more laundry soap and am using my soap nuts instead. I will not be making more lotion and will just use plain coconut oil. I used my reusable menstrual products last week and did not buy disposables.

    -I am on day 10 of a terrible cold. I did not succumb and buy Kleenex, I have been using home sewn handkerchiefs and family cloth instead. So much softer than tissues anyways. I have also been drinking lots of hot tea with lemon and honey and using my essential oils for some relief.

    -I ordered most of my garden seeds from Baker Creek 🙂 I have some more to get but can get those locally. I have also been saving my egg cartons all winter for seed trays.

    -It warmed up slightly so I was able to turn the heat down a couple degrees. I have also been turning off the space heater in our room when I wake up in the middle of the night. We have to have one in the bedrooms because the heat doesn’t go into the bedrooms for some unknown reason.

    -My husband changed the oil himself on our Prius and used a couple combined with a sale to get the special synthetic oil and air filter. He also repaired a tire on the second car.

    -We did the usual things, tried not to use much water, turned off lights and appliances, etc. I got a notice from the water company they are attempting to raise our rates by $10 a month starting January of next year. Oh goodie.
    Have a great week everyone!

  9. I hope your olive tree thrives. Do you know the type of olive? We’ve planted several olives here, all different varieties. I was happy to learn a few years ago that olives were even a possibility here. We’re definitely a borderline area, and most of ours look cold hurt right now, but we’re hoping to find one or more varieties that can handle it here. We first planted a couple of Arbequinas, a variety we’d read could handle our temperatures. In fact, there’s supposedly an old one growing in Michigan.

    After finishing my shampoo, I used up a couple of shampoos given when traveling before purchasing more. I had my first experience using a backpack sprayer, to apply horticultural oil and other amendments to our fruit and nut trees. I have lots of admiration for the others who have shared they’re doing that here. Boy, is that a workout! Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/02/signs-of-spring-and-frugal.html

  10. When I first saw the picture of Elsa, I immediately thought how pretty her skirt was. Then I read that it was her Birthday present you made for her. What a beautiful handmade gift you gave her!

    My frugal accomplishments this week are:
    *Meals made at home this week included chocolate chip pancakes with breakfast sausages (ran out of pancakes in the freezer again – made extra and froze the leftovers), bacon sandwiches with salad, chicken “shepherd’s pie” (prepped a day ahead in anticipation of a busy day then everything cancelled due to a snowstorm), taco casserole, breaded chicken burgers with salad, pasta with choice of meat sauce, red sauce or white sauce, and a leftovers or sandwich night. I made apple pie one night for dessert from one of the homemade pies we froze last fall.

    *Filled the dehydrator for another round, which included peach/applesauce fruit leather (using peaches I canned last summer and applesauce from the freezer), banana slices (bought a big bag of bananas for $1 the previous week), and apple slices (bought apples marked 50% off a few weeks ago).

    *Started some seeds indoors this week: cayenne peppers, yellow peppers and beefsteak tomatoes. I still need to buy some green pepper seeds, but will do that very soon.

    *Topped up my half empty gas tank at $0.74/litre, just before the price was preparing to go up again. Gas last summer was anywhere from $1.05 – $1.30/litre. What a savings!!!

    *My MIL gave us tickets to another charity bingo event (tickets cost $15 each). So, my husband and I had another cheap “date night”. It cost us around $4 as my husband bought some treats to take with us, plus we took some from home. We didn’t win again…good thing we didn’t pay for the tickets!

    *My daughter had 2 back-to-back snow days due to a mixed bag snow storm that blew in. Both days my daughter was supposed to have pre-ordered lunches at school (pizza and a pita). She was also supposed to go on a cross-country ski trip on one of those days. The teacher called to ask verbal permission to reschedule the trip for Friday, and I used the opportunity to ask about the pre-ordered lunches. I was informed that the pizza would be rescheduled for Friday and the pitas for Monday. Since my daughter was not in the school for most of the day on Friday, their class was given the pizza slices when they returned and my daughter brought hers home. She had it as part of her dinner that night.

    *My daughter participated in a bowling tournament on Sunday. She had one really good game, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough to win any awards. We’re proud of how well she handled everything and how social she was during the event. She was happy for her friends and congratulated them without prompting when they won (that’s huge for a child on the Autism spectrum for those who have neurotypical children).

    I’m off to a Restaurant trade show today, so I will probably come home with some awesome free stuff. Can’t wait to see what we get! Have a great week everyone!!!

  11. Our local nursery sells several different lilacs for this area; they usually have them in the store just in April. My sister-in-law has big bushes and they are on the north side of a fence; they bloom profusely. They do need sun in order to bloom; too much shade and they won’t bloom. The summer sun just burns the leaves up, though, so I am trying a new spot for them. I think northern light or eastern is the best; they really need protection from the hot afternoon sun. This one bloomed rather well for me the first time I moved it (the previous owners had planted it north of the house but it burned with sun from around the corner at noon). I moved it where it gets only morning sun and afternoon shade on the north side of the house, and it bloomed well there and didn’t burn. Then I changed that to the white garden and moved the bush into a shady corner in the back. It barely bloomed last year, and in other areas they are full sun (which always makes finding the right location tricky for a plant in our heat). So, where I moved it now, it will have shade in summer, but some sun in spring, and it will be morning sun. It’s on the north side of a wall, and the trees near it will shade it in summer when they leaf out.

    You’ll definitely want a lilac for hot southern climates, so check locally, and research varities for hot areas.

  12. Such great ideas! I need to dig up a few herbs this year that need to be divided and will give some to my neighbor.

    This past week, I made homemade yogurt, bread, gluten-free sandwich bread, and we stayed under our food budget for the month. I am using the remaining part of our food budget to stock up on things (this weekend they had natural peanut butter on sale for $.99/jar so I bought 25 jars, and I also got apples for 50 cents a pound).

    I also sewed this week, finishing two tops from the Izzy top pattern that is available for free on Climbing the Willow’s blog. They were both made from fabric I already had on hand, one from a curtain that I had made a long time ago from a sheet.

    I signed our kids up for swimming lessons this summer with a 50% scholarship discount for low-income families, and also purchased an annual subscription for 55% off to Hoffman Academy, an online piano lesson program. They are doing a Kickstarter campaign right now offering this discount if others are interested.

  13. We determined yesterday that we would like to pay off our mortgage early. I realized then that a big problem right now with my frugality is my lack of organization. (I have 11 children. I used to be more organized.) Recently, I bought my son some new dress pants for church. I think it was 3 pairs. They were all inexpensive, $1-$2 and I was so proud of myself until we got home and got his bucket out and found that he had several pairs at this size. Before garage sale season starts I must spend some time on organization. I really appreciate your organization and your frugality.

  14. Sewed the flannel strip down the center on 4 burp cloths, & hemmed 4 flannel emergency wipes.

    Watched “Cheese Slices” on UEN, “This Old House” on PBS & the GOP debate online at CNN.

    Purchased some little holiday dresses on clearance for the newest little granddaughter. I found some at ShopKo marked down to 90% off the original prices & a couple of others at Kmart that were on sale, so I used my reward points to lower the price further. This little one is growing like a weed & is her parents’ first child. At barely 5 months, she no longer fits in 6 month clothes (too tall), fits in 9 month, so I bought some 12 month & 18 month dresses. She has plenty of hand-me-down clothes, but hardly any dresses to wear to church. If you only have one dress in a size, Murphy’s Law ensures that the baby will either throw up or have a blow-out diaper, thus necessitating a trip home.

    Opened a couple of windows & aired out the house on the days when it was sunny & mild outside.

    Dehydrated the grapes & cranberries strained from the juice in the jars when I mixed 1 quart of cranberry juice with 2 quarts of juice from our Red Reliance grapes. In the past, I have simply used them in baked goods like muffins, but wanted to try drying them. They are crunchier than regular home-dried raisins, & far less sweet, but still good as a snack. I mixed them together & think they are a good source of fiber as well, especially for a snack.

    Thinly sliced the peels from 2 clementines & set them to dry on a plate. I attended a local town hall meeting with representatives from the state legislature, where breakfast is served. They bag up the leftovers to send home with the attendees, so I brought home 3 oranges for free. I forgot to add this 2 weeks ago – the meetings are twice a month while the legislature is in session.

    Gathered some of the snowmelt from the black Rubbermaid tub into gallon jugs. Set 3 on the back patio for later use, with enough room at the top to expand in freezing temperatures, & used 2 gallons on the emerging daffodils in the front yard, along with the blueberry bushes. Emptied the little that remained on the emerging daffodils & iris in the back perimeter bed, behind the apricot tree. Later in the week I used another gallon of the snowmelt water on the emerging daffodils & the blueberry bushes.

    Raked the leaves & dead grass from part of the front lawn. We had an early snowfall, with winds that blew the leaves off some of neighbor’s trees just before & as the snow fell. I was sick this week, so I was not able to do it all at once, but worked at it over several days. Placed the debris of dried leaves & dead grass on top of a portion of the middle garden tier as mulch, to help hold in moisture. When I look out of the guest bedroom upstairs, I can definitely see the difference raking has made in the lawn.

    A few months ago, I ordered 2 more columnar trees; one Maypole crabapple & the other a Crimson Rocket peach. I received notification mid-week that they have shipped & will arrive by the weekend. Late February is still 6 weeks out from our last frost here, around mid-May, so I plan to place the trees in pots until the ground where they will be planted thaws sufficiently to plant them. A bonus will be the ability to “try out” exact locations using the pots, until I have the trees exactly where I want them. The peach will go in the widened back perimeter bed, but the crabapple will go somewhere in the front yard, I think, where the maroon blossoms will be pretty, & where the other Maypole tree is planted. None of the neighborhood children have bothers the crabapple tree, altho they have picked apples from the other trees in front.

    Completed a pine cone survey & redeemed the cash option the next day. It will be used to buy 2 more Lodgestones for the back perimeter wall, so I can widen the bed & get the Crimson Rocket peach planted sooner.

  15. HI Mandy. It is much more economical to keep someone well than to let something go and him get worse. Kudos for finding the money in your budget to take care of him. I think that it money well spent.

  16. Elsa looks darling- what a cute skirt! We cooked all meals at home- I cooked a whole chicken and made homemade broth to use later- the chicken made a couple of dinners including chicken enchiladas. I did have to adjust my meal plans a bit- my poor husband lost a cap on a front tooth so of course he went to the dentist to have it glued back on temporarily- he will be going back to the dentist for more work on that tooth. As a result, he can’t eat some things I had planned so instead of French dip sandwiches on Friday night, I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes and froze the French rolls to use later when his tooth is fixed. I also froze some bagels that I had purchased for him since he can’t have those right now either. One of the “big hit” dinners last week was broiled chicken thighs with homemade teriyaki sauce and steamed rice- I used the leftover rice to make pork fried rice a couple of days later. The teriyaki sauce was a big hit with my picky daughter so that will be added to my regular rotation. Another win- my daughter is not complaining about homemade pizza now- I think I have finally developed a recipe that works-yay! Takeout pizza is one of our biggest budget busters and it has taken work to break that habit for sure.
    I have been saving eggshells to use in the garden- this weekend I dried them in the oven and ran them through the food processor- it will take awhile to accumulate very many eggshells so I plan to do that year round from now on.
    We have been working on decluttering and little by little we are making progress. A couple of things I read this week that are continuing to inspire me- living in a cluttered environment encourages overeating and it drains your mental energy and makes you more tired. Both of these points hit home with me so I am continuing to work at it.
    That is all I can think of for now- I hope everyone has a great week!

  17. Brandy, you always inspire me. I look forward every Monday to reading your frugal accomplishments post. And now you have inspired me to share my own frugal accomplishments for last week (since I also really enjoy reading everyone’s comments and accomplishments as well.)
    *I live in Colorado, so it’s still too cold for much gardening, but I do have tomatoes and peppers started from seeds I saved last year. This week I also planted broccoli and brussels sprouts seeds. They are all under grow lights in my spare bedroom. I will move them to the greenhouse in early April.
    *We have a new puppy and she chewed up the net we use to scoop leaves and debris from the hot tub, so I sewed a new one to the handle. I used mesh fabric from a pair of men’s athletic shorts I bought at the thrift store for a quarter many years ago. The mesh is the perfect size. I had previously used some of the fabric to make a thistle sock for feeding birds, and I still have plenty left.
    *I made the puppy a new toy out of an empty water bottle and a sock. She loves it.
    *My MIL admired a bracelet I was wearing (which I had made). I was able to pull enough beads out of my stash to make her a very similar one, which I will give to her for Mother’s Day.
    *We have been wanting an inflatable kayak to take on camping trips. I saved up enough Amazon gift certificates from surveys and Swagbucks to get the one we wanted for only a few dollars.
    * My husband built a new compost bin out of old pallets. Previously, we simply piled everything in a back corner by the garden, but the new puppy discovered it and we had to do something to keep her out. I think this looks nicer, too.
    * I made a cake, but didn’t have enough powdered sugar for the frosting. I made my own with granulated sugar and cornstarch, using the bullet blender I got for Christmas. It worked perfectly. Now I know I don’t need to buy powdered sugar.

  18. I sympathize with the water woes, Mandy. We have very expensive water here, too. And our company is trying to raise our rates as well.

  19. I remembered when you posted about Elsa’s Paris Birthday party a couple of years ago. It is so nice when you can do the exact same thing and she is still so thrilled about it. 🙂 I love how you and your husband teach your children that there is so much beauty in simple living. One really does NOT need to rent out the entire circus to make a 5 or 6 or 7 year old’s birthday a special day.
    My weekly update on frugal accomplishments is here:

    http://www.simpleisgoodforyou.com/frugal-accomplishments-ways-saved-money-4/

    Off to a great week now!

  20. This past week we had a really great week, frugally speaking. Probably the biggest boost was the few free meals we had, thanks to a gift card and some pot lucks. It also really helped that our “Costco fairy” came to help restock our pantry and freezer, as well as to visit for a few days.

    Check out our frugal week here:http://liveandsave.blogspot.com/2016/02/frugal-accomplishments_27.html?_sm_au_=iHVr6DvJRrVMJRRP

    Thanks for all those who visited last week! It’s so nice to see some notes in the comments!

  21. Here in Georgia, I put my orchids on the porch where they get morning sun but shade too. I bring them in when temperatures start to fall to around 55-60 at night and put them in our kitchen sitting which has north and east facing windows. Again morning sun but filtered light all through the day. I sometimes water sparingly with the water I’ve boiled eggs in and a Chinese restaurant owner who had dozens of orchids in the restaurant used to pile eggshells around hers as well, so I’ve done that, too. Mine just rebloomed and had three stems of blooms. It’s lasted for nearly 2 months.

  22. It’s such a blessing reading this post every week, as reading all the comments. This week was a really nice one, frugally speaking. My husband was able to sell an old laptop and took some of the money to buy me a present: a much wanted book about making bread. It is a Brazilian author and it is much easier for me following his instructions as sometimes details are missing in translations. I was able to make all the bread we needed for the week, as well as some for freezing.
    We only went to eat out one evening, with some cousins of mine, and I was able to “copy” a dish that we both like from a restaurant nearby. It was very easy to make and cost less than 1/4!
    I found some deals on wheat flour, both white and brown, so I take advantage of the deals to prepare to make more bread at home.
    Other cousins came over on Saturday night for a pizza and left us with some left overs that we eat on Sunday night, so nothing went to waste. This is such a good feeling 🙂
    Thank you Brandy and all commenters for your inspiration

  23. Brandy, I have been on the lookout for good, quality bunk beds (on a budget) and haven’t had any luck. Would you mind sharing where you found yours? 🙂

  24. – sold a doll on eBay for $20
    – Redeemed a couple Ibotta rebates
    – Two weeks ago I tried on everything in my closet and filled up four big bags of clothes to take to a clothing swap party that my friend is hosting. I was able to declutter my closet, will be able to share some clothes with friends and possibly go home with some new ones for free!
    – Went to Aldi to pick up a couple items. I always check the 50% off bin and I found pasta sauce for .90, fiber chocolate pretzel bars for .94, egg noodles for .62 and a big box of Russell stover chocolates for .99.
    – A couple weeks ago I bought two gorgeous brand name wool coats from goodwill for $3.50 each. I decided that they really did need to be dry cleaned even after I put them in the dryer with the woolite dry clean at home sheets. I called around to five different cleaners to get their prices. The one that was the least expensive by $4 a coat also had a 25% off offer for new customers! I’ll be dropping them off there on the way to my doctors appointment today.
    – Used class number two of the six class groupon I bought at a fitness studio
    – Talked myself out of stopping and picking up dinner for the family on the way home from my doctors appointment. We just picked at what we had in the house instead.
    – Got a code for a free Instagram photo book with 60 photos, no shipping or tax either.
    – My husband worked at a conference and brought home a nice coffee mug for free
    – Reused my tea bag for two cups of tea this morning (in the free coffee mug!)
    – Made lists of items on sale at Meijer, Walgreens and fresh thyme (a new healthy grocery store that just opened and is offering amazing grand opening prices) to pick up this week. Each store is by a place I have to be this week anyway so I won’t be driving out of my way.
    – My daughter suggested that since she and her brother were old enough to stay home by themselves, my husband and I should go grab a bite to eat. We went to a nearby restaurant and I ordered tostadas for $6. They came with two. I ate one and saved one for lunch today making the cost per meal $3. We each had an inexpensive meal and a drink and didn’t have to pay for a babysitter. I’m liking the kids getting older!
    – Last year my mom got a new kindle and gave me her old one with lots of books loaded on it. I just received an email to update it and I did that. Synced it and there’s lots more books that downloaded. I can read books for years based on what’s on this kindle. Thanks, mom!
    – My husband did our taxes today and we will be getting a refund which will all be out into our kids’ 529 college accounts.

  25. What a cute idea for a Paris birthday party!

    I organized our bathroom cabinet a few weeks ago and was astonished at the number of sample sized toothpastes I found in there. Each child has brought home their own containers from the dentist and from school, so that added up quickly!

    I was really happy to be able to get back to saving money last week after a rough February. Here are my ways we saved: http://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-week-23/

  26. Lorna, fresh sweet corn sounds very good about now, but another 3 months before we can plant.

    I agree with ordering the extra measuring items. I have at least 5 assorted sets of measuring spoons, 4 sets of dry ingredient measuring cups, 2 one cup liquid measure, 1
    four cup liquid, 2 one cup and 2 extra large 2 quart ones. I have collected all over the years, some are hand me downs, some are thrift. But they are certainly handy with large batch cooking and multiple recipe cooking and canning season. They don’t really take up a lot of extra room and many nest. One of the 2 qt ones just stays in the canner with the other canning supplies.

  27. Personally,I think having eleven children is a good enough excuse for MOST things, but especially a lack of organization. Mine are grown and we are just two people and I’m still not as organized as I’d like to be!

  28. I save the sample size toothpastes from dental visits and include them with food donations when I donate to the local pantry. They are flavors and brands we do not especially like, and I know it’s difficult to buy toothpaste and such things on a food stamp budget. (I worked at our social services office for 20 years.) Any toiletries are appreciated so much by clients who need them.

  29. Have you tried Facebook garage sales and Craig’s list? I saw some listed today on the local Facebook garage sale page.

    My mom’s business has an account with a furniture place that sells inexpensive furniture. She was able to order just what I needed. The company is called Acme furniture, but you’ll need to find a dealer in your local area, or a seller who sells their furniture online, since they’re the manufacturer and not the retailer. They have a lot of bunk bed choices. They have a website for the trade (no prices, since they sell wholesale) but the bunk bed section isn’t working right on their site lately; you may have to try their page by page catalog option to see what they sell. Then you can search for that particular named piece online and see if you can find an online retailer who sells it, or see if a local store does.

  30. The frugal success was on the weekend. I had two girlfriends in town last weekend to visit me. With preparation, I cooked lunch and dinner Friday for them, rather than going out to eat. For lunch Saturday, we all went dutch treat and I ordered a bowl of soup and water, costing 1/3 the price of a regular lunch. Since the whole point was to visit with friends, what I ate really mattered a lot less 🙂 In the old days, we would go out to eat for most meals, and the choices for what we did were always expensive. We would usually go to a fancy spa for a massage, this time, I found a local Chinese foot rub place for a huge amount less, and it was really fun. Rather than go shopping at a mall, we went to a resale clothing store. This time, I planned it out and we had a fantastic time for 20% of the cost. Thanks everyone for all the great ideas and teachings.

  31. I love the beautiful way you do things for birthdays Brandi…and great minds. I’ve been rearranging pictures from one room to another, sorting frames and reframing some, etc. It’s a fresh look and makes the artwork I have seem like it’s all brand new since it’s now in an unfamiliar place. Great money saver using what I have in other places. I posted my savings for last week here:
    http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2016/02/assigning-value-to-what-i-do.html

  32. I was responsible for an awards brunch at work for volunteers. I planned a color scheme that required fabric napkins which the catering department wanted to rent. I found that I could buy 100 napkins for $200 less than renting similar linens and we ended up with 100 new napkins to use for other events.

    I bought $42 worth of loose flowers – sunflowers, daisies and others – to make 13 floral arrangements – using the vases that catering had. After the event, I distributed the floral arrangements throughout the work place – in both public areas and on peoples’ desks. The arrangements have lasted more than a week and we’ve had a chance to enjoy them longer. (Of course, everyone has to return the vases to catering.)

    I put together an Easter gift for my 8 year old grandson – a doubler shirt, a beanie, a pair of shorts and 3 pairs of brightly colored matching athletic socks. The items were purchased at end of season sales over the last 2 to 3 years for a total of $4 and they all match. Since I buy clothes for him 2 to 5 years out, there is nothing he really “needs”, so I wait for the very lowest prices or I don’t buy. The $13 shorts cost 50 cents. I wrapped them in brightly colored metallic paper (reused but in good condition) purchased at 75% off after Christmas. Interestingly, the wrap was non-traditional Christmas colors – purple, blue, chartreuse, white – and abstract.
    I also included a $10 amazon gift card, which I received for free for completing a survey.

    I receive rewards for completing surveys on line. Many of the rewards are magazine subscriptions and I do love my free subscription to the Wall Street Journal. But I have struggled a bit with the electronic Starbucks cards I can redeem my points for. I live in a small town and our only Starbucks (inside an Albertsons) is not a company store, so they won’t redeem e-gift certificates. I just learned that I can transfer the value of the e-certificate to a plastic Starbucks card and the local Starbucks will accept these. Yeah!!

  33. Hi Athanasia and wish I could cyber pass you some sweet corn through the computer screen but alas that technology will probably be next week :p with the rate technology is advancing. We are enjoying the sweet corn immensely, it has been hit a lot with heat, with a recent burst of around 34 – 37 oC of late, so will probably have to pick most of the other ripe ones today and put them in the fridge. All we have to do is stop eating them all straight away to get some stored in the freezer for winter :), but anyway we prefer to eat them fresh usually anyway. We also have a store of tinned corn in the pantry for winter as well.

    Yes you do need heaps of sets of measuring spoons and cups as we usually cook in bulk here to fill up the oven each time to save us on power. Here in Australia sets of stainless steel measuring cups and spoons are $37.98 a set new, yes you can pick yourself up off the floor now as I did when I saw the price. We managed to get the 8 pce set from China on Ebay for $11.28 delivered, a massive saving indeed. My husband said yesterday, order another set as we will need them, and he liked the price as I did too. We are an unusual family as my husband & I both love to cook, we can usually be found side by side in the kitchen preparing & cooking away merrily.

    Our thrift stores from the ones I have found so far are very dear for all of their items, but have seen a few more in the area I will stop in at when we are shopping nearby to see what they have to offer as well.

  34. Yes, I’m excited about the swap. This is my first one. We are also including accessories so jewelry, purses, wallets, and shoes are all fair game! A home decor one sounds really fun too!!

  35. I haven’t posted for a long time but look forward to this post each week. I continue to shop the loss leaders at the grocery store and our stores’ 10% day each month. We have two stores that offer this. I also price-matched W*Lmart’s loss leaders at my local grocery store.
    I made all meals at home except my Wednesday night Senior’s group. I only go to the restaurants that have a set price for the all-inclusive dinner (either $10 or $12). Last month I only went twice. It costs more then cooking at home but I really love the people and time out.
    I continue to keep a journal of my spending and have columns for cash, credit and checking account. This way I can easily see what I’m spending regardless of how I am making payment. Doing this has helped me be more mindful of my spending and rein in my credit card usage. No more surprises when the credit card statement arrives.

  36. My frugal accomplishments:

    Received 6 cents in some junk mail.

    Spent $33 at Kmart getting things we needed. Paid for it with our rewards credit, so no OOP.

    Went to CVS and got the free Reeses Easter Egg which I put away for my sons Easter basket.

    Had ebay auctions close for $54.97 and started a couple more. Spent $38 at Aldi.

    Went on a date with SO and saw “Brooklyn”. We used a gift card we received at Christmas and brought candy from home so no OOP and we have a few dollars left on the gift card.

    Returned some dog treats for a store credit at Target that my dog can’t eat since he had to have some teeth pulled.

    We are putting up a fence along the side of our house. Doing the work ourselves as time permits. SO used his bonus money to pay for it. We got the posts in the ground. Will look at schedules and figure out when we can get the fence panels.

    Returned a defective tube/can of construction adhesive to Home Depot that would not squeeze out when I KNOW our caulk gun was working. It seemed to be dried up in the tube.

    Thank you Becky and Brandy for your comments last week about getting a house ready to sell. We have been working hard to clean and spruce up my father’s house to get it ready. Last week an older woman stopped by while I was working in the yard and told me I was putting too much effort into it…”just put it up for sale and see what happens” She got me thinking about it (mostly because I’m just exhausted by the whole thing now)….but I know doing what we can so it sells quickly and for as much as we can get is what we need to do…and your comments reinforced that.

  37. This has been a good week in the grocery and garden. I found clearance produce for 25 cents a pound, I got 20 pounds for $5.00. They also made a mistake at the checkout and refunded me totally for the price of the 6 juices. I bought 2 chickens that were free range for $1.00 a pound. I used one to show my new DIL how to make a roasted chicken, and gave one to a friend whose husband is out of work . I had a boxful of free bread and some of our produce I gave to her as well. We have been the recipient of some many meals and bags of groceries over the years, it feels wonderful to bless others in hard places.

    A friend of ours has a tree business and gave us a load of mulch. He has to pay to dump it so we are glad to use it and save him the cost. We got manure from our neighbor for free as well again. I am giving some to my daughter for her new house and yard.

    I always look forward to reading Brandi’s posts and then everyone’s comments, I learn something new each time.

  38. Yes, I remember in a previous post that you said it could be cheaper to order on line from elsewhere than buy at your local thrift stores. That is sad for many reasons. One of my stainless sets says made in China, the other does not state, but those are the oldest of all, probably 30 years. I just realized as I looked that I have 5 sets of plastic cups…a tupperware set, a rubbermaid set and a farberware set. I forgot about the last as I won those in a gift basket less than a year ago. There is a good cook set and an unlabeled too. Not all are complete sets…I know that there are a couple in dog food bags, some are just plain lost. Or we never had the whole set. A few years ago for Christmas I was given a long handled set of measuring spoon…those are nice for the bigger spice jars.

  39. There are nice white lilacs; if you found one of those and still had the room you could put it into the white garden. Lilacs smell so good.

  40. In the southern United States we make skillet corn in an iron skillet. We cut the kernels off then take a dinner knife and rub the blade along the cob. Little bits of pulp and “milk” come out of the cob. You end up with a soupy corn mixture. Freeze in bags. To cook we add a little bacon grease to an iron skillet and add the defrosted corn mix. Add salt, pepper, and let it heat and cook the corn about 10 to 15 minutes. The “milk” from the cob adds a lot of flavor and it is so good!

  41. Melissa,

    I live in Phoenix and yes they do grow in AZ. Ironically I just saw a small lilac tree at a shopping center over the weekend and I am on the prowl to find one for my yard. 😀

    Amy

  42. Hello Everyone,
    I found pints of Dole blueberries at our local discount grocerer for $7.99 a case of 12. They were very tasty. I washed and froze the majority of them. I also purchased boneless, skinless chicken breast at Aldi for $1.49/lb. . I seasoned and packaged them in 1lb packages for the freezer. Aslo found frozen veggies for .80 per 1lb bag. I rearranged the freezer and took stock. I’m in good shape for now.
    We hit 60 degrees here in Minnesota on Saturday breaking a 100 year old record. It sure felt wonderful but now we are back to normal late winter temps.

  43. Hi Holly and thanks for the recipe we shall try that and freeze them if we get any excess, cooking in bacon fat sounds yummy too.

    I know you do get a lot of milk out of the corn cobs from when we eat them whole, but never thought about running a knife along the cob to get more milk out, what a great idea.

  44. Oh Holly — I haven’t had skillet corn (we always called it fried corn at our house) in years. You have made me want some. When our corn comes in this summer I will have to remember to make some.

  45. Mine bloom once a year, indirect sunlight and water once a week , sit pot in warm/room temp water for 5 min, NOT pour water on top of it. Then I let it sit so it drains and doesn’t hold water.

  46. I live in the high desert of So Cal and lilacs do very well here. Growing up my Mom had them growing along the driveway at our home. She had about 8 very large bushes (she let them get very tall). They were in full sun most of the day, however they were so large that they provided their own shade for the roots. This was before everyone had sprinklers or drip irrigation. They got watered with the hose about once a week. This has made me reminisce. I loved the smell of them when they would burst into bloom. I don’t know why I’ve never planted one. I think Mothers Day might be a great time to plant one in her memory.

  47. Hi Brandy, One thing I have to say is that I can never believe how lush your yard looks. I’ve never been to your area but always had a preconceived notion of it being very dry and arid.
    I haven’t posted in awhile, as we have been so busy. At the beginning of the year our lease on our apartment was up and the monthly rental would have gone up about $200. So we looked around town and a found a much cuter, bigger condo to lease – and we figure we will save $500 per month! This is really great for us as our health insurance has gone up $250 per month and we are still a year and a half away from getting medicare. Also, our new condo has a patio so I will be able to have a herb garden and, maybe, some tomato plants.
    My former neighbor came over for our third cooperative French dinner. We kept it pretty simple: homemade quiche, steamed asparagus, green salad, and a fruit/cheese platter. We are having such a great time doing this that we will probably keep it up.
    I have been reading free books on my kindle, going for long walks with my husband, and watching free movies on Amazon Prime. We have been cooking the vast majority of our meals at home. I’ve been carefully shopping at Trader Joes and Costco for food. At QFC, on a bargain shelf, I did find whole grain pasta for 49 cents per box and bought six. They also had a high end brand of pasta sauce for 70 cents which I snatched up.
    I only take one type of medication but it is very expensive. I am saving $1000 per year by ordering this medication from a pharmacy in Canada. I did a great deal of research first, checking out the credentials of this pharmacy and the elder laws in our country/state to make sure I could do this. It is a really gray, murky area but I came away with the conclusion that it is okay to do. And get this: the medication I get from Canada is made in a lab in California (says it right on the box)! So it is 6 times more to get a US drug here, than to get the same one from Canada. Go figure!
    I am teaching myself to crochet from some online tutorials. This week I made two potholders and a dishcloth. And it was an amazing coincidence that I walked into a thrift store this week and found a large bag of metal crochet hooks for only $2.00. I think I will give the items I made to my sister for her birthday this month.

  48. Your notions about this area are correct. I don’t have rock landscaping, which is common here. When we redid the front yard, I put in concrete rather than rock (no weeding that way).

    My planters are all watered by drip irrigation; the bushes are common ones here, but rather than growing two or three in the yard I grow them as hedges.

    The grass is already greening up because I manured it recently. That really makes it look lush, even without a lot of water. We have a fescue formulated for the desert that uses less water than other grasses, and I watch the watering carefully to make sure I only use the water neccessary to keep it green (and follow time of day and day of week regulations here to use less water; I also watch the weather–sometimes we need even less for a week and I’ll adjust my time accordingly when it is cooler). Less than a 1/3 of our backyard is grass ; 1/3 is patio and then I have planters with drip all around.

    All of which is to say, it can be green here. Some people love agaves and ocotillos, but they’re not my thing.

  49. Now all I can think about is chocolate cake!

    Our frugal accomplishments last week include:

    My husband participated in a beard and moustache competition (!), and came in third place. It was free to join, and he got a lot of free goodies and grooming products (I may have mentioned this last week, but more came in the mail!)

    I volunteered for my sports league, and got free dinner for myself and DH one night.

    We picked up a raised-bed garden that our friends had built but decided they didn’t want, and will use it to expand our own garden this spring.

    I made eggs benedict at home on our wedding anniversary… we were too busy with school and work to gout and celebrate, so I made my husband’s favorite breakfast at home.

    Husband got me a free gift for our anniversary, by recycling several empty product containers to get a free one. It was incredibly thoughtful, and very romantic to me! He also bought me a potted mini calla lily plant (the flowers that made up my wedding bouquet)… I love that I can plant it, and see the flowers every year!

  50. I might have to try that eggless cake recipe!

    I found parking for a downtown show for $1.50 instead of $5. I also made my own taco seasoning and made a ton of chocolate and oat smoothies to use up brown and squishy bananas.

  51. I will just say that it is amazing what one can do to their yard with a little creative thought and planning. And your approach is so environmental, too!

  52. Rhonda, it is nice to hear your daughter is enjoying these friends/get-togethers. Hopefully it will be a bit easier for her each time around.

  53. Leticia, how sweet your husband bought you that bread book…I hope you get much enjoyment and satisfaction from the recipes.

  54. I live in interior Alaska and lilacs do very well here, too, surviving the winter temperatures with no special care. Some years that is not much colder than 30 below but other years it is 45 to 55 below zero, so they are pretty hardy!

  55. I love you little Easter Bunny arrangement. Everything looks so perfect on that table.

    Elsa is so cute and her skirt is beautiful. It reminded me of when I used to make skirts for my niece so many years ago.
    Also thanks for the chocolate recipe. I am always looking for new ones to make cupcakes.

    We had a frugal week too. Here is a post that I wrote today about it:

    http://frugalityfimc.blogspot.com/2016/03/frugal-things-that-we-have-been-doing.html

  56. Go, Brandy! Keep cleaning! There’s nothing like the big mess I’m cleaning up to make me want to encourage everyone else to keep organizing and cleaning. In actuality, there were some places that weren’t too bad, but some were, and the fact that I have to get it all clean and spotless at once has been daunting. My children do not handle changes well, so some are putting up some major resistance to my cleaning–especially the part when we get rid of any of their stuff……or when I ask them to clean up immediately after using something…..or that part when I’m asking them to do more than their usual chores…..or, with one, whenever the word “moving” is mentioned. She has informed me that she cannot “emotionally handle” moving, so we shouldn’t move. She is serious, but I explained that sometimes we have to do things we don’t feel like we can do, but as a family, we will stick together and get through it.

    The most frugal thing I’ve done this week was to accept any and all help offered to me by friends and relatives. This has included: A place to store a lot of our things for free. A meal from a friend(which we stretched into 2 nights). Help cleaning, sorting, hauling and carrying by at least 7-8 people this past week alone. The use of other vehicles and trailers to haul things. It’s been different–I am always the one taking other people meals, not accepting them, but I have determined that I’m not turning anything down during this crazy time.

  57. Hi Elisa from Australia and a fantastic saving on renting a larger condo for less money and thinking outside the square for getting your medications at a far cheaper price by buying them cross border.

    I would at the savings you are getting on your medications if your budget permits and you are able in the U.S stock up on your medications at that price for a few months to a year in advance. This is just in case legislation changes and you are unable to get them at that far cheaper price cross border in the future. Not sure on the laws regarding this in the U.S but here in Australia you can sometimes get your doctor to write you a bulk script for a years supply and then purchase it. We also have a friend who is a doctor which helps us immensely in keeping our medical supplies up to date and stocked ahead in case of emergencies.

  58. My Happy Frugal: Tea Centre Under $10. I’ve been wanting a coffee/tea/hot chocolate “center” for my upstairs (main bedroom, guest bedroom, 3rd bedroom/office/sewing) to save running up and down with dishes, etc in the evening. Today I stopped at the thrift shop and found:
    2 cup automatic tea/coffee maker, almost new $3.00 (larger ones were $5.) glass tray $1.10, placemat for tray .25, two daffodil yellow mugs $2.00, two pretty spoons .20, four small glass airproof containers for the tea, sugar, etc $1.00, total was $8.42 Canadian ($10 Canadian equals $7.50 U.S.) wicker table for the “center” and wicker chair were in place, n/c. I’m Happy!! Ann Lee
    ps: granted this was a “want” rather than a “need”, but a small splurge can brighten your day !! By using tea bags and instant coffee there will not be any exchange of flavors in the coffee maker.

  59. Thank you Lorna, it is so fun to hear from people all over the globe. My son frequently goes to Australia on business and loves it. And, I have been doing exactly what you suggested – stocking up on the meds. In case anything changes. My very kind doctor was the first person who suggested getting them from Canada, she writes out the prescription for more than one month.

  60. Hi Elisa and fantastic that you have a doctor that writes you prescriptions for more than one month and even better the doctor suggested a way for you to save money as well, it does help to have an advanced supply on all medications.

    Wonderful that you are stocking more than what you need in a month too, even if you add an extra month at a time it all helps, and saving $1000 a year is huge !.

    My husband was in a military accident but cannot use any strong pain relief as it effects his kidneys and he also now has really bad reactions to pain relief medications as he was on so many after he had his accident. We have moved now to more natural solutions for the pain and spasms and now with the help of our lovely doctor friend, we have moved my husband on to high strength magnesium tablets and calcium tablets as well as paracetamol sometimes. It seems to be working far better for him thank goodness.

    So like you when we see our pain relief, vitamins & or minerals on special we buy up as many as our budget will allow to stock up.

    Glad your son loves Australia as we do :).

  61. Becky, I pray that your daughters would just feel at peace with this move, even if they are still unhappy about it. Maybe you will have less resistance and more willingness from them then.

  62. Here are my ‘frugals’ for the last 2 weeks:
    *found some things at Target for Valentine’s Day next year at 90% off
    *stuck (mostly:) to our Feb. budget and was under in the Grocery category! This is huge, HUGE for our family and I am so happy we accomplished this. As my children are growing, so are their appetites. My husband and I decided to start to buy more in bulk and I am already seeing this will make a difference.
    *free family day of ice-skating with pizza and soda provided through our college Alumni Assoc.
    *free pizza at church 2 weeks ago before the Annual Pine Car Derby Event took place
    *shopped at Crazy 8 for my kids…all clearance was an extra 30% off plus I was able to use an extra 20% off coupon. Bought some new clothes for next to nothing!
    *had our taxes done (which wasn’t necessarily frugal, but we will get a small return. Had free childcare during our tax appt.
    *worked 3 days and had free childcare each day
    *had free tickets to the Broadway Show ’42 Street’, so my husband and I had a free date night
    *our whole family was sick off and on last week. 1 neighbor brought us soup and another neighbor brought our family a meal. We have been blessed with the absolute best neighborhood in the United States 😉
    *continued with all our everyday things: using the library for books and movies, recycling, composting, turning off lights, keeping our heat lower.
    Have a fabulous week, everyone!

  63. Another week gone by, another week closer to Spring. I meant to go look and see if the crocus were coming up yet, but I forgot. They come up through the snow. Gas prices though are coming up…they have gone up 20 cents/gal over the last 2 weeks.

    Did the usual things of composting, recycling, re-using. Found good tasting and reasonably priced oranges last week so made the marmalade, 14 of the 12oz jars and 7 of the half pint and 3 pints. Have almost 2 dozen left over for eating. Zested some and it is drying in a cheesecloth covered pan next to the wood stove. I should get about a cup so far. Mixed home- dried chives into a large (5 lb) container of cottage cheese then put it back into fridge upside down. It will be for Sunday church meal this coming week and the chives will be nice and reconstituted by then.

    While at Sam’s club also bought the 2 jug box of white vinegar, the large 10lb+ size of baking soda (I refilled my pint size container for baking, the rest is for cleaning), the 6 lb can of Crisco, 1 1/2 lb bag of sugar snap peas–totally impulse but I made hummus. This time of year I always long for summer foods. We also bought 2 lb cojack, 5 lb extra sharp cheddar and 2 1/2lb pepper jack. Went along with a cousin as we don’t have a membership.

  64. Thanks, Athanasia,
    Today, we had to re-visit the idea that there was going to be no more animals for a while, at least. This means getting rid of the dog, chickens, and cats. The pigs are butchered tomorrow, and the kids couldn’t care less about meat animals, anyway, but the dog and cats are a source of sadness. So, yes, if they could get peace, we would all feel better, but they are just not there, yet. It’s really triggering their feelings of great loss that they have experienced before, and are feeling again. So, thanks for the prayers. We need them.

  65. Hi Ann and yes I do have to agree that we have a little splurge every now and again and have adopted a system whereby when our savings reach a certain level we buy ourselves a little treat to celebrate. That may be as simple as a block of chocolate, or a cheap ice cream, or a $5 take away pizza.

    From reading a lot of the advice from financial advisor gurus and their internet sites, they do say to do this as it keeps you on track with your finances and yes I have to say it does cheer us up too after living so frugally all the time. We find ourselves saying quite excitedly only x amount to save before our next block of chocolate, or pizza or whatever we have decided as our treat and we really look forward to reaching our targets faster to get the treat quicker. When we get to the grocery store or takeout pizza or ice cream store, there is great excitement about just what flavour we will choose.

    Silly and all as that sounds it does work for my husband & I and yes we do stick to our budget by doing that.

  66. I was wondering how you serve the chive cottage cheese? I love chives and have some in my food storage.

  67. Debbie, how was BROOKLYN? It looked like a period movie; was it good? It sounded interesting to me. Was it clean, free of swearing etc? I thought I saw it was PG, I may be wrong.

  68. Debbie, chive cottage cheese goes nice with any savory dish. We also prefer it instead of sour cream on things like baked potatoes. We would have it for example with onion fried potatoes, or meatloaf/ham loaf/lentil loaf and mashed potatoes, or with pork chops/kraut/apples for example. I even served it once with curry when I didn’t have enough yogurt to make the raita. We are having our annual cabbage roll lunch at church Sunday so they go excellent with those. I am making a batch of vegetarian ones as my two veg girls will be there. Folks sign up to bring in their version of cabbage rolls so there will be lots of variety, then there will be plenty of side dishes too, like applesauce, squash, relishes, rolls. Church always smells so good on church meal Sunday…lots of stomachs growling during church and Sunday school:)

  69. Athanasia, i was able to watch the movie on our Android box recently. The movie is about a young Irish girl who immigrates to Brooklyn, NY in the 1920’s, I believe. There were a lot of Irish immigrating to New York city at the time, so the movie gives you some perspective on what it was like for them at the time. For the most part, the movie is PG, though there is one love scene but it is not overly explicit. I really enjoyed watching the movie, though. After all, it is based on historic events, which I really enjoy learning about!

  70. If you can find a copy of the complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn (pronouned decision), she walks you through the system she used for storing her children’s clothing. She also has a chart with exactly what items of clothing and how many you need for each child. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her before? She had 6 children and is quite thrifty. The books are out of print but perhaps you can find a copy at your library or on Amazon or e-bay. Have you heard of her?

  71. Sorry Athanasia, I just saw your question. I totally agree with Rhonda. It was a good movie and was pretty clean with the exception of the one love scene. Personally I thought they could have left that scene out. Otherwise good movie!

  72. Thank you Athanasia for all the ideas. I will definitely be making it soon. As a vegetarian, this will be a great way to add some protein to a meal, especially if I can use it as a substitute for sour cream!

  73. Just today, someone agreed to take the dog for a while. What a blessing. So, that’s the most important one, I think. The cats are barn cats and not overly friendly, but we are still trying to find them a home.

  74. Rhonda and Debbie, thanks for your answers. I wonder if I may be able to watch it on Amazon as it is being advertised on the Kindle home page.

  75. Love reading all the posts and was especially nice to see another Aussie. Anyway I just wanted to share a tip on watering cans, my neighbour across the road saves her 3 litre milk bottles and I use these by making small hole in the lid. Remove lid to refill as needed and doesn’t cost me anything. Good luck and wishing everyone well on their journey.

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