Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Garage Sale Finds and Frugal Accomplishments

Nasturiums The Prudent Homemaker

I cut nasturiums from the garden and brought them in to arrange in a vase. All of these nasturiums grew from self-seeding.

I bought strawberries for $0.97 a pound, made strawberry shortcake, and canned strawberry jam.

I bought 90 pounds of potatoes at $0.10 a pound.

Herb Roasted Chicken The Prudent Homemaker

I made herb roasted chicken. By cooking the chicken breast-side down, the bird makes its own broth right in the pan.

Lemon Parmesan Penne The Prudent Homemaker 

I made lemon parmesan penne.

I picked lettuce from the garden and we had several salads last week for lunch with homemade dressings.

I cut garlic chives, parsley, thyme, green onions, and Swiss chard from the garden.

Red and White Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker

I picked red strawberries and white alpine strawberries from the garden.

Ivory and Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker

I sold several more items via Facebook garage sales, which gave me more money to spend at the community garage sale.

I love the community garage sale. There is a close by community where there are thousands of homes in suburban tracts, and they are allowed (per HOA rules) to have a garage sale only two specific weekends a year. This means I don’t have to drive far to find a lot of sales. Usually as we drive through the neighborhoods, we can park the car and walk to several sales at once. My mom and I go together to these sales.

I found several things on my list at the community garage sales. My dad said to me that it’s amazing that I make a list and then actually find things on that list, but I do! From my list, I found a new in the package sink strainer for the kitchen sink ($1; ours had broken last month); 4 shirts for Winter ($1 each); a silk wrap around skirt for Winter ($3); 2 pairs of jeans each for Wren, Elsa, and Ivory ($1 a pair); a sheet set for Winter’s bed ($5); a stainless steel pie server ($0.50); a silver-plated pie server ($5); a crystal pitcher ($3)–I was looking for a glass one but crystal was wonderful; a plastic pitcher ($2); 4 taper candles ($0.50);  sewing needles ($0.25); a small stainless steel box ($0.25); this one came with a candle in it and had a dragonfly on the top);  two enamel tubs ($1 each; like small wash tubs), and 3 games ($1 each).

Roses in Glass Bowl The Prudent Homemaker

To my surprise, I found something that I had taken off my list, since I hadn’t found one in several years. I found a crystal footed bowl for $2! A few hours later, I found a smaller, pressed glass footed bowl for $4. I cut flowers from the garden to fill both of these. The glass one is pictured above.

I also found 4 vintage metal embroidery hoops. I prefer the metal ones for hand-embroidery, and they have not been made for many, many years. I paid more for these than I have ever paid before, but they were just the smaller sizes that I wanted. I paid $5 each for them (when I have found them before, I have paid $1 or $2 for them). These are always on my list. 

Some of these items, like the pie servers, have been on my list for over a year. I usually find things, eventually.

Having a list of wanted and needed items helps to keep me focused on my priorities. I also bought a few great deals not on the list, too.

Items I bought that were not on the list included a Shabby Chic twin-size comforter ($6), a clock ($1), 1 3/8 yards dark blue stretch velvet ($5); 3 yards of a sheer blue print fabric that Winter can use to make a scarf for herself, plus more to make some for gifts for friends ($2); a small whisk ($0.25), a lingerie bag ($0.10); two sheer white curtain panels ($0.50 for both); a cashmere-looking scarf ($2); a vintage rug beater ($2); a glass and metal jar with a lid ($2), and a large metal vase ($2). I found a ring that I’ll give to Liberty for her birthday ($0.75); earrings I’ll give to Winter for her birthday ($0.75); and  two books for $1 each. I also found a brand-new Camelbak (these hold water for hiking) for $10 that I will give to Cyrus on his birthday. 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

 

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112 Comments

  1. I picked up 10 containers of strawberries when they were on sale…. we ate a lot of strawberry shortcake for dessert (and breakfast) last week. My youngest daughter would live off of strawberries if I let her. I also purchased two 10lb. bags of russet potatoes for $.99 each…. we had scalloped potatoes with our Easter dinner; skillet potatoes for breakfast several days and I will be making loaded baked potato soup with the left over ham for dinner this week (froze the ham leftovers). I used my Target cartwheel app and coupons when I shopped the other night…. only four things on my list didn’t have a coupon or Cartwheel discount… combined with my RedCard, I saved almost $50!

  2. Beautiful pictures, as always. I love nasturtiums. Do you ever put them in salad? I like to eat them right out of the garden.

    This week, there was one day that it was sunny, so I decided to visit a local botanical garden that I had not been to since I was a child. I took the bus and then walked about a mile to get there. I packed a lunch and enjoyed it sitting in the garden. Then I wandered around admiring the beautiful cherry trees that were in full bloom, and all the other plants. I sat for a long while and read a book too. It was a really nice day.

    I did some planning work on the garden project I am working on for our condo complex. Now I just need to wait for other people’s feedback.

    I continued cleaning out drawers and closets. I donated two bags of clothes and household items to the thrift store, and received a 15% off coupon in return. I found some good deals at the thrift store: a skirt, two t-shirts, a pan to replace one of mine (which has a cracked handle), and a jar. With coupon, the total was only $13.

    I recently started writing to a friend of the family who is in prison. I have known this person for most of my life, and went to school with him and his siblings. He has been in and out of prison since young adulthood. He will not be leaving prison anytime soon, so I thought I would write and see how he is doing. It has proved to be an interesting correspondence so far. I enjoy writing letters (does anyone do this anymore?) and he is happy to have a pen pal.

    I got my twice-monthly vegetable box, and ended up with more zucchini and asparagus than I could use (my husband won’t eat asparagus). So I made a big jar of fermented vegetables. I’ve never had fermented asparagus before, so I am looking forward to tasting it.

    Looking forward to reading about everyone else’s week.

  3. We live in a semi-rural setting, so I don’t garage sale very much – it can use a lot of fuel and I come up with nothing. However, the local facebook page has been wonderful for me – I can see the item and price, ‘claim’ it, and not waste gas so much. Your flowers are beautiful in your footed bowl! The nasturtiums are lovely too – I am going to plant mine soon.

    My frugal accomplishements and blessings are here:
    http://quietcountrylife.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-weeks-blessings-and-frugal.html

  4. I cut my husband’s hair and trimmed my own (with some assistance from my daughter). I gave my dog a bath and trimmed her nails. I made granola twice and bought some inexpensive seed packs from Aldi. Also while shopping at Aldi, I checked my receipt before bagging up my purchases (something you have to do at Aldi, but I don’t mind), I noticed that the discount of one dollar was not taken off my ground beef package. After bagging up my groceries, I checked with the cashier about it. I was expecting to receive the dollar that wasn’t deducted from my item, but apparently the store’s policy is to give you the item for free (up to 20 dollars, I believe) if they over-ring an item. So the ground beef was free. I paid several bills online to save postage charges. I bought myself three trade paperbacks for 50 cents each at a local thrift store. Oh, and my Panera reward is to receive a free cup of coffee daily. I’m not really a coffee drinker, but my husband has been enjoying getting large cup on his way to work. Most days, he hasn’t gotten anything else while there. He has picked up a bagel once or twice, which are pretty small ticket items.

  5. My frugal accomplishments:
    Free in the mail – a sample of Gevalia coffee, a coupon for a free Seeds of Change organic product, and a JCPenny catalog with a $10 off $10 coupon.

    I had a mystery shopping assignment at a restaurant for dinner on a night SO was working. I’ll get the cost of my meal reimbursed.

    I started thinking about and planning my daughter’s grad school graduation. Making my own sandwich platter, fruit salad, side salads for a light lunch for just the immediate family. Afternoon graduation. Then dinner out also for the immediate family. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to get a flower arrangement in her school colors that won’t break the bank. I have already put aside her graduation gift money plus some extra from my tax refund to cover the dinner out.

    I got caught up reading Money Saving Mom and entered codes in Kellogg’s Family Rewards.

    I completed a Pinecone survey.

    On my day off when SO was working I did a mystery shopping assignment at a grocery store (purchasing things I will need for my daughter’s graduation lunch – and I stayed close to what I will get reimbursed) and at a restaurant (I will get reimbursed for my meal and a few extra dollars).

    I picked strawberries and black raspberries from the garden. I watered everything using the rain barrel and fertilized using free fertilizer I got last year. I transplanted some volunteers that had come up in mounds I made for the watermelons and cantaloupe using my compost. They are probably peppers and/or tomatoes. I cleaned extra water hyacinth out of the pond and added that to the compost pile.

    A while ago I made lime-ade popsicles that were way too tart. When I was working in the garden, I put one of the popsicles in my giant Tervis (plastic stick and all), filled the rest of the glass with ice cubes, added a bit of sugar and then filled the rest of the glass with water. It flavored the water perfectly and was nice and refreshing while I worked in the garden.

    I cut the dryer sheets in half, and after I had used them in the dryer, I used them for dusting furniture and polishing up my shoes.

    Have a great week Ladies!

  6. Lovely photography! You continue to be an inspiration to me. Everytime I “need to shop” I think twice about going to the store and “shop” my home instead.
    -interesting about cooking chicken breast side down-I do the same but with turkey. I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but it does seem juicier. I also “brine” my turkey for at least an hour prior to roasting, by liberally sprinkling kosher salt on the skin.
    -My neighbor gave me some oranges from her tree and I made Giada de Laurentiishttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/spinach-salad-with-orange-vinaigrette-recipe.html’ citrus vinaigrette
    I took some spinach and the vinaigrette along with some turkey soup to a sick friend (the turkeys were found just after the holidays for 50 cents/lb.)
    -I went to an estate sale and found two summer tops ( $2 each, one still had tags). They are a size larger than I need, but with a little trimming and a straight stitch they should do nicely for our hot Texas summers. I did a slight alteration on a shawl like covering I bought at the Goodwill. It will be perfect for wearing when sitting in chilly rooms.
    -I bought eggs for 99cents. I plan to mix quiche mixture and freeze. I also plan to serve omelletes, bacon & egg sandwiches and deviled eggs.
    -I plan to make some handkerchiefs for my husband and as a gift for a friend. I’ll add some embroidery to the gift. I’m thinking I may have seem a tutorial that you did at one time on diy handkerchiefs so I will search for those.
    -I cut a pretty pink rose for my table
    -I noticed that I have many bulbine and zinnia plant volunteer seedlings which will help to fill my butterfly and hummingbird garden. I was inspired by your white garden and did a variation on the theme-orange and red.
    Thank you for your beautiful post.
    Mary

  7. Love the picture of that sweet child eating fresh strawberries. I don’t do garage sales but your finds really make me want to start except for the whole I don’t get up early on Saturday thing. As far as frugal goes, I’m headed to Oxford MS, home of my university for a few days. Author that I like is speaking at public library in middle of day on Tues so I decided to make a little vacay of it. My friend has a condo that is mainly used during football season and on weekends so she is allowing me to stay there M-T and I’m taking a few groceries with me. They have two movie theaters (we have none for 40+miles) and I still have money on gift cards so will be catching up on movies and Netflix at night (I live too far in country for Netflix streaming to work). Big meal out each day will be lunch with local friends and I usually have enough left-overs for light supper. Tons of great thrift shopping, try to go that way each year right when school lets out. College kids throw away and donate tons of great stuff when they are moving out for summer. Some people even make the rounds of the apartment dumpsters that week knowing there will be great finds. I just try to hit the thrift stores that week in May. I have fallen in love with tv show LONGMIRE but only after it went off tv, so I got all 3 seasons DVD’s for free from library and binged on them. Now anxiously awaiting season 4 to broadcast.

  8. If you have a Kroger affiliated store near you, try their floral dept. When my nephew was in high school and going to a bunch of proms and cotillions I always got his corsages for the young lady at Kroger. They were always as cute as those from the florist, the current fashion and about 1/3 price of florist. A friend who arranges flowers turned me on to them and I decided to give it a try, so successful that I used them for 4+ years. Periodically I would ask for store manager and praise the floral dept manager and she always remembered that next time I placed an order.

  9. If I will wait I can usually find it too. The sink strainer is the neatest thing you found though. It’s so fun to go to all those sales!
    Our garage sales will probably be out in full force this next weekend because the weather is getting better. I found a few things at a estate sale (inside) though.
    You can read more about it here:

    http://vickieskitchenandgarden.blogspot.com/2015/04/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-41215.html

  10. Love the crystal bowl! it’s beautiful! Last week:
    My husband replaced the brake pads on our vehicle himself, saving over $100
    The Vet bill for my cat ended up being $748.00, so my savings is now empty. However I am grateful that I was able to pay to save his life. I have to rebuild my savings.
    I was able to shut off the heat several days this past week. I also washed LOTS of laundry (my cat leaked urine everywhere, yuck, but that’s normal after a catheter. But that created lots of laundry. I hung as much outside as possible, which was several loads.
    I was able to save our mattress from the above mentioned leakage due to purchasing an enzyme eater product specially for cat urine off of amazon for $23.00.
    I found a website that I can purchase the special cat food he now required for less than I can purchase it around here. I think the site is chewy.com. I will be purchasing better food for our dog as well just to be safe. I had been feeding them Purina One.
    I saved some scrap paper for lists, doodles, etc.
    I saved $13 using coupons at the grocery store. I received two free Tofurky products and a large bag of mixed produce for .99 cents. I will give the radishes that were in that bag to my mom, her household loves radishes. I spent half of my budgeted amount.
    My daughter played some free games on nickjr.com
    We prepared and ate all meals at home. I did not eat out at work and took all my meals to work. I drank free coffee and water at work. I did have some food waste due to my husband not eating the leftovers (foods I won’t eat), but for the most part I was diligent about using up leftovers.
    I made whole wheat bread, cinnamon raisin bread, power balls, veggie stir fry, cooked a large pot of black beans and a large pot of rice to be the base of several meals, a new batch of citrus vinegar, lentils for tacos ( I’m a vegetarian), and coconut flour muffins.
    We transplanted our surviving seedlings to the garden: squash, tomatoes, and possibly lavender ( he forgot what he planted LOL) . I planted the squash in a different location to hopefully help with a higher yield and powdery mildew. My lettuce and arugula seeds have sprouted and my one surviving Brussels sprouts plant is doing well. We will be fertilizing the garden this week and then next weekend planting more seeds. I also planted flower seeds in different locations and tore out some plants that did not survive winter. We planted our three new blueberry bushes (we had two that should’ve fruited this year, but something ate them down to stubs.) We will be creating a cage for all the bushes this year to avoid that problem again. One bush has pink blueberries!
    Several green onion plants over wintered and are growing well now.
    That’s all I can remember right now. I look forward to reading everyone else’ s accomplishments!

  11. I second the grocery store florist. We ordered all of our wedding flowers from the grocery store. Check around; some stores are lower priced than others, and it’s not always the place you think; I find that the more expensive grocery stores often have lower-priced flowers. Sam’s Club also has a floral department. You can check Sam’s prices for many things online.

  12. Congrats on the awesome yard sale finds!!! Can’t wait for ours to start up here! (We’ll do one in June and I’m still setting things aside and pricing them as I box them now to save me time)! I did get lucky and got a set of 4 vintage Pyrex bowls on Facebook for $10 (whether I keep them or resell for a profit it was a good buy)!

    My husband has run multiple small errands for me this week. While it is a small inconvience for him, it is saving gas/money from it I had to go downtown.

    I recently signed back up for Amazon Prime and realized there is a new “saver” shipping option as well. So if I don’t need the items immediately I can select the slower shipping option and receive a $1 credit for downloading or renting movies/books. I had a few different things I needed to order but instead of grouping them together I ordered each item individually with the slow shipping and earned a $1 credit per order, so I have a $4 credit instead of just $1.

    I also signed up for a free 30 day trial of Kindle Unlimited. I’ve already cancelled it so I won’t get charged (I use my local library for free so this isn’t a service I’m interested in paying for monthly). But I get to use it for the free month which is great because there are certain books (that I’ve been wanted to read) that are only available for purchase normally (my library doesn’t have them) but that I can read for free through Unlimited this month!

    $25 sale on Facebook.

    I’m planning on doing a Gingerbread House decorating party this winter. I purchased some deep clearance Easter candy (jelly beans, sweet tart discs, etc) and stuck it in the cupboard for this since it doesn’t expire for two years! We’re also going to do an Easter Egg hunt next year where kids can win prizes, so I’m getting some on deep clearance now and will be watching over the next year for great deals to stick away for the game!

    I’m also getting started on Christmas shopping, if I do a little here and there it works so much easier for me! The kids’ stockings are half done and my daughter’s Santa present is already here. We’re going to do the “something to wear, something to read and something you need” this year with one extra something you want thrown in. Definitely keeping it small (for us)! Baby steps. 😉

  13. Every week, I am jealous of your grocery store prices! We never see prices like yours. There are only 3 grocery stores here, so there isn’t much in the way of competition.
    Here are my accomplishments from the week:

    – Bought Easter candy after Easter for 50%.
    – Used a code to get a free Redbox movie
    – Combined sales with coupons to get a 75oz box of Finish dishwasher detergent for $1.44
    – Signed up for SavingsStar. Time will tell if it is worth it.
    – I had to buy shoes for a wedding I am in in May. I went to a few store but didn’t find anything I liked so I looked online. I was able to find some shoes I liked. I got free shipping and I used a code to save 15% off. The code was good for online orders only. If I had bought in the store, I wouldn’t have received the 15% discount. I shopped through swagbucks so I will get some points for my purchase.
    – Made zucchini muffins from zucchini I froze last summer (trying to use up last year’s produce to make room for this year’s).
    – The weather has been amazing this week. We haven’t had to use the heat or the air conditioner all week. This will definitely help with our electric bill.
    -Husband had weekend drill for the Army reserves. He has to go 4 hours away for it. I sent him with food and snacks so he won’t have to eat out as much. And since it’s just me at home, I’ve been eating a lot of cereal, thereby saving us even more on groceries!

  14. I took advantage of a big meat sale that a local store had. I got ground beef for 2.49 a pound which is not a great deal but is a lot better than what it goes for at normal price. I got chicken leg quarters for 59 cents a pound and pork roast for 1.19 a pound. I bought around 85 pounds of meat which will last us probably six months or so if we eat it twice a week.

  15. That pasta salad look good!

    * frugal fail ~ my daughter tried to dye a t-shirt with kool-aid following a tip we found online but it didn’t work… all the color washed out. Bummer! At least it was only .10 lost.
    * got a box of corn bread mix + spinach dip free after coupon
    * stocked up on some mozzarella for pizza nights
    * lots of yard work done and prepping for our garden
    * sold an item on eBay
    * my son is doing track which is 3 practices a week, since we live a ways from town I stay and wait for him. Try to remember to bring a book or run errands in town.

  16. Not a lot this week. Here is what I did….

    1. Found whole turkeys for .49 a pound. I bought two. Each weighed about 13 pounds. Lots of good meals to come!
    2. Went to an early dinner for my wedding anniversary. If you arrive before six, they have specials you can get, so that is what we did.
    3. Stayed home as much as possible to save gas.

  17. Just finished two weeks of jury duty and so I will get a check for $200. While not a huge amount, I will use it to pay down the last student loan, which has a balance of $800 ( so that takes it down by 25%!!!)

    Our 2-1/2 year old freezer died and after we were told it would cost about $400 for parts and labor and take a week for them to get back to fix it, hubby looked online and ordered the part for $80 on our Amazon Prime and had it on our doorstep 2 days later! He went online and found a video tutorial on how to replace that motor and with 15 minutes of his time, he had it completely fixed! That’s $320 we didn’t have to spend! We did lose some of the food we had in the freezer, but in deciding what we needed to prioritize for saving, I chose meats to save and fruits lose figuring that we are just starting in to fruit season!

    With that in mind, I was able to buy and freeze 3 flats of strawberries for 99 cents a box (8 boxes to a flat). At the same time, I had loaded digital M-Perks on to my store account at Meijer’s and bought a total of $130 for $31!!!

    We are both working at our local Primary election on May 5th which will bring in another $336 ($168 each) that we will divide between savings and paying down student loan. I am getting ready to sell two sewing machines and two (3 bar) quilt frames and will use part of the money again to build up savings and part to pay down debt!

    Our Spring garden is doing well with the rains we had after I planted last week – everything not only survived but thrived!!!

    Made some more strawberry almond granola and cornbread blueberry muffins for breakfast! Used up lots more leftovers in fridge- repurposed into other dinners and also provided lunches for us all week! Made peanut butter Cheerio bars for treats, using up two partially empty boxes of Cheerios and Kix!
    Grateful for all of our blessings this week!

  18. This weekend I went garaging too. We found several things on our list.
    New pair of Nike running shoes-$4.00
    2 pair of long shorts, 2 sweat shirts with our team on it, new tops and two beautiful original art pictures. The couple selling the art said that they had the one commissioned by the artist in California. It was $300.00 without the frame! We bought them together as they are the same media and theme for $35.00 each. They are professionally framed too. I love artwork.
    We had an impromptu party in the front yard with our neighbors. They all came out to play basketball with our kids. I came home with my sister to find about 20 people in our front yard. I got the grill out and grilled hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks for all! It wasn’t that expensive to treat everyone. It must be the basketball goal!

  19. Enjoy your updates so! You’ve inspired me to pick embroidery back up soon! I found two stashes of patterned material, at one of our local Goodwill’s, $3.00 each bunch! One is of lovely wildflowers, thistle, etc! Another is an almost complete flower garden, which can be made into a throw pillow! For $6, bought the two bags,each with multiple patterns, threads, fabric, etc~vintage sets! I will have to get back to this! Shall be my summertime occupation!
    Love your photos and the flower ones in the pressed glass piece~lovely! The strawberries look scrumptious! Thinking of starting my own blog to encourage, and how do you suggest one begins? Thanks again!

  20. I saw my first violet in my yard today, my lilac bush has a number of buds on it (many more than in previous years), and my forsythia, hyacinths, and some daffodils are in bloom – spring has arrived in central Maryland! I cut forsythia for the house and am taking a hyacinth to work tomorrow. What a difference three weeks makes!

    Frugal items included:

    • Buying vacuum-sealed organic stewing beef for $3.59/pound because they had reached their sell by date. Both packages went straight into the freezer. I’m gradually building up my meat stock so I can concentrate on fresh produce this summer.
    • My daughter got a job at Ben and Jerry’s in Myrtle Beach for the summer, so she won’t be coming home, except for a visit in mid-July to attend a concert and see some friends (and me). This is near her university and the air-conditioned store is in a good spot for a lot of foot traffic, especially in the evening. In addition to earning minimum wage, she will be splitting the tip jar with her co-workers. We have also worked out the amount of money she is expected to give me to contribute to her college costs. She’s excited to spend the summer near the beach and who can blame her? It also gives me a free place to stay when I visit her this summer.
    • Borrowing one of the “dump cooking” cookbooks from the library and am trying out some recipes to see if it’s worth buying for my daughter and sending to her as a housewarming gift when she moves into an apartment in May. So far, so good since the recipes I’ve tried are both tasty and easy. She was never interested in cooking but has become more frugal now that she is on her own and seems receptive to the frugal tips I’m sharing with her.
    • Buying Easter candy at Walgreen’s for 70% off on Saturday. I spent $20, including tax, and I will send most of it to my daughter for her “good luck on finals” package, along with some of her favorite recipes and the aforementioned cookbook. I’m also taking a bunch of candy into the office.
    • Continuing to work on my yard and gardens (this will go on for months!). I made a list of the tasks so I can choose which one to do based on the time available, whether it’s 15 minutes or an entire day, as well as the “urgency” of the task.
    • Buying a Consumer Reports recommended vacuum from Wal-Mart. It was bundled with a stick vacuum for wooden floors and free shipping. I vacuumed the family room carpet and it’s amazing how easy it is to clean when you have the correct tool! I’ve looked for a used one for several years and never found one I liked, so this was an expense I deemed worth it and for which I saved the money bit by bit.

    I hope you all have a great week and save some money!

  21. I’ve been looking for an enamel wash tub forever. I hope you’re happy, you are now making me break the 10th Commandment.

    My big find for this week was an op shop that had a ‘fill a bag for $10’ sale – and the bags were BIG. I manged to cram 47 items in there. If I’d been counting I would’ve made sure to cram another 3 in there, just to make it a round 50. Amongst the finds: two brand new sweaters and one brand new dress (no tags, but the little plastic baggies with extra buttons were still attached), several gently-used sweaters and a high-end brand-name work shirt for me, and several t-shirts, pants, skirts, etc. for the kids. It worked out to be 21.5 cents per item.

  22. Gingerbread houses are a great way to use up old candy. There are always excuses not to eat gingerbread houses; but even if a kid does end up eating some, and the candy tastes weird, you can always blame it on the frosting. (Most candy doesn’t go ‘off’, it just goes stale sometimes.)

  23. I can’t say that I did anything wonderfully frugal this week. I have been recovering from our camping/fishing trip and catching up on laundry. In a way, catching up on laundry was frugal because I only did enough while camping to get us through the trip instead of paying to do laundry.
    The only thing I can think of out of the ordinary frugal was my husband was given a dozen assorted doughnuts and a gallon of orange juice.
    Maybe things will get settled down and back to normal this week. I have my menu and to-do list planned. I will be trying to use up some things from my pantry and garden the next few weeks. My plans can be seen at yourfrugalisshowing.blogspot.com
    Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

  24. Your post makes me miss living in the city a little bit. I used to enjoy going to yard sales, but it would be extremely inefficient these days, living in such a rural spot. There are many thrift shops, antique and consignment shops a half hour away, so I can get my fix for previously loved treasures there. The price you found potatoes for seems amazing! I kept hoping the Swiss chard from last year would sprout forth in our garden, but I decided today that the bitter winter was just too much for them, so I’ll pick up a few plants this week. I’m joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2015/04/national-museum-of-art-last-week-j-i.html

  25. The footed glass bowl filled with roses in the picture is a Wexford fruit bowl. I have 2, & find them to be exceptionally sturdy for a glass bowl. I also have 2 Wexford trifle bowls, which are somewhat taller & 1 salad bowl, which is quite a bit larger, in the same pattern. All work exceptionally well as ripening bowls for pears, green tomatoes, etc, & they are beautiful while they perform that function. Wexford also made a pitcher in that pattern. I bought it at a yard sale for $1 & it has been quite the lovely little workhorse. We use it to serve a quart of home bottled grape juice mixed with a quart of home bottled cranberry juice.

    Bought 2 large packages of ground beef from the bargain basket for $1.99/lb, nine pounds total. I froze 12 beef patties, cooked 6 with sliced cabbage & tomato sauce in the crock pot, & fried the remaining ground beef, then froze it in 2 quart zip bags for chili, etc. I also bought 9 bags of pastel M&Ms on clearance, & filled a 2 quart jar & 2 quart jars with them when I came home. I find the chocolate keeps best in glass jars, in the dark & cool of the cubby.

    Stocked up on large eggs that were on sale for 50 cents a dozen at our Fresh Market.

    Reclaimed 19 gallons of bathwater for the yard & shrubs. Gathered 6 gallons of rainwater from the downspouts during short, intermittent rain showers on Wednesday. With the drought, our soil is so dry that it needs every drop it can get.

    We have eaten leftovers from Easter dinner all week, which has greatly reduced my cooking time. The “saved” time has gone into working in the garden, since there are so many things that need done this time of year.

    Extended the blackberry bed, & backfilled the new space with 5 year old horse manure mixed with coffee grounds from Starbucks, both of which were free. I haul the manure in large tree pots lined with garbage sacks (tied shut), so the car does not get messy, since I do not have a truck. I then empty the tubs into a large Rubbermaid trash can, which has lasted 9 years for us so far. It is in the barked area, not far from the garden tiers, so when I am planting, it is handy. I haul 5 tree pots full at a time, which is enough to fill the can, with almost a tree pot left over. I filled multiple small nursery planting pots with the mixture, since I need to dig out & pot up multiple things this week.

    Dug out the mint bed that had been over-sprayed accidentally last fall. Replanted it with peppermint starts that had strayed outside the bed.

    Picked up more free grounds for gardeners at Starbucks & fertilized the blueberry bushes & all the flowering bulbs.

    Began to dig out the grass & weeds from the strawberry bed. As I dig out the strawberry plants, they are put in a bucket with a couple of inches of water to soak (since it has been wickedly dry here). As each “spot” is cleared, I backfill the bed with the aged horse manure, then replant the strawberry plants that have been soaking. The bed is quite large, & this will definitely be a multi-week endeavor, but at least it is started. On Friday, I dug out 5 tree pots of grass & weeds & backfilled with 3 large tree pots of aged manure.

    Bought 3 new shirts my husband needed for work & church. We saved $22.50 buying during the sale.

    Deadheaded the grape hyacinths to send the strength into the bulbs for next year instead of into forming seeds.

    Our youngest daughter brought home a pair of shoes for me to take to our oldest daughter.

  26. Thank you for the suggestions for flowers. I’ll stop in at Publix and ask. They have beautiful flowers and a small floral department near the produce but I didn’t know if I could special order something – I will check it out!

  27. I was inspired by some of your beautiful pictures and cut some of my roses for my living room and my bedroom. Yellow roses are what I picked and placed in Mason jars as my home is very ‘county’ in feel. I use gallon Mason jars, 1/2 gallon Mason jars, and quart Mason jars for most of our storage. I have done away with more than 90% of the plastic in our home.

    This week has not been very frugal because of medical problems. I fell on Wed. and broke my right arm. Ouch. My sweet husband is going to require skin grafts for the sores on his feet. (he has diabetes) Right now we are dealing with our insurance company to see if they will pay for the grafts of if it will be out of our pocket.

    I went thrift store shopping Saturday with husband. Found some very nice new born clothes for 50 cents. Every year our church sends a big bunch of toys to Africa. Our church has an orphan home there. On the list of things the kids want is dolls with clothes. I am able to buy dolls at garage sales and I have a source for new dolls at a good price (I am a home child care provider) so I make it my goal every year to send 12 dolls. I like to send diapers, bottles, and clothes with the dolls for the children too. I make the diapers. I buy the bottles at Dollar Tree. I make some of the doll clothes but sometimes I can buy something for less than the cost of making it. I have seen pictures of the children playing with the dolls I send and it is “priceless” to me. I brings me so much joy to give a toy to a child who other wise would have nothing. I allow myself $150.00 for this each year. I hope that the children love the dolls as much as I love giving them.

    We ate at home for meals. My husband got the rest of our garden in. We are supposed to get some rain tonight so my fingers are crossed that we will to help the garden along.

    I cleaned out the husband’s closet and found several shirts to add to my collection of plaids for a quilt I am making. He will not miss the shirts as he does not like flannel.

    At the same thrift store I found a nice Rachel Ray 2 quart oval pot for $2.00. I don’t need it, but it is in like new condition and orange a color my daughter in law loves. I think it will go into her Christmas box.

    I am taking pain pills for this arm, so I am sure I am leaving some things out. We have spent less this month so far than we did last April at this time. (I keep a journal of what we spend month by month and year by year)

  28. HELP!!!! This has been a frugal failure of a week for me. I have PANTRY MOTHS! I have never even heard of these before and now I’m fighting them. I’ve read many things on the internet about how to deal with them, but KNOW that all of you that post on here will know more! Please help with any advice! I removed EVERYTHING from my pantry, threw a lot of it away, wiped everything down with a cleaner that has bleach in it and vacuumed. We have only put back things in glass or hard plastic containers. I even took all the labels off of my canned goods because I heard they can get in between the paper and the can. We started this on Friday and today we saw two moths!!!!! I’m so discouraged. Can you ever really get rid of these things?

    I HAD a good stockpile of food and now it’s near empty. I’m almost positive that they came into my pantry in a box of dog treats.

  29. Yard Sales haven’t started in our area yet, but I did get several things done. We’ve been on a working vacation for the past 2 weeks and I chronicled what I added to my pantry via thrift stores, family and the use of coupons while traveling … here … http://aworkingpantry.blogspot.com/2015/04/pantry-challenge-15-2015.html

    I love your blog and read each post as I learn so much from you. Thank you for all you do that inspires us in our frugal walks.

  30. My youngest son spent several days in the hospital this month but he is ok now. His liver was not functioning properly and he was very yellow. While it was not frugal gas wise, money wise,, nor time wise eating in hospital cafeteria, it sure beats a transplant and I am grateful. I am the one ill now, with mono…lol. So, My frugality consists of going to work and crashing on the couch after work so I will not be spending any money.. I did, before all the illness issues, wash the entire outside of my house with dishsoap and water with an extension brush. I also pick a handful of dandelion greens out of my front yard after work, use olive oil, sea salt, and garlic powder and bake them in oven till crisp. I do this about four times a week in the spring, or I have this year.

  31. I had the same thought as Brandy. I remember my sister having mono, and she was one sick cookie for a few weeks. I know she missed several weeks of school, but perhaps that was more about being contagious than anything else? I do know she was awfully tired for a while. That you are continuing to work is quite remarkable. I hope you and your son both feel better with each passing day.

  32. Beautiful picture of the strawberries. Here is how we saved this week….
    -Started 5 milk jug containers of flowers from seed, placed on south side of our house, did this last year and had great success.
    -Made a big pot of spagetti sauce and had our family over for dinner.
    -Husband is grinding out the rust on our van, he ordered the paint on line, hoping to make this vehicle last.
    -Washed all the windows in the house, used old dish towels, that I marked with a straight colored stitch done the center of the towels so I know they stay in the rag box for windows etc.
    -Stitch up some holes in a net we used to get leaves out of our fish pond…works so well, hoping to make it last another year.
    -Scrubbed the brick sidewalk and go green slim off…yes!
    -Took care of taxes.
    -Saved some houseplants with a trim and new soil.
    -Raked the yard and put some grass seed down.
    -Saved $35.00 on the previous month utility bill, lights off, less heating etc.

  33. Hmm.. so far all I can think of is I went to the thrift store the other day and found a new to us comforter (no stains or tears) for $5.99. Made strawberry jam the other day saved what strawberries that were left, need 2 more cups to make another batch.. strawberries are on sale at Krogers this week for 99 cents a lb. so will pick them up and make another batch later in the week. I also walked all 3 of my dogs today, free exercise for all of us instead of me paying for a gym membership. Paid all my bills on time or ahead of time and online.. no penalty fee’s and no postage cost. Still working part time at the candy store, 4 days a week so bringing in money to help pay our bills and save a little up for emergencies. Also this is the time of year when our dogs will need flea and tick preventive meds. and heartworm meds. all are pretty expensive so my job helps to pay for those extra’s too. Using the library for all my book reading needs, my sister has boxes of books for me that she has read but we haven’t found time to get together yet.

    Brandy.. your photographs are always so beautiful.

    Thanks to all you ladies who share and keep me inspired and focused.

  34. Cindy–
    Please take care of yourself. Mono can turn serious if you don’t give your body the rest it needs.
    I am so sorry for your son. You both will be in my prayers tonight.

    Lisa

  35. Thanks for the cat food website. My cat had a bladder stone surgery and is now on Hills Rx C/D diet. So expensive times two, since both cats now eat it. They don’t get it about whose bowl is whose!

  36. One tip that I have heard is to put your flour, cornmeal, etc. in the freezer for 24 hours when you bring it home. This is supposed to kill the eggs that might be in there. I have had both pantry moths and weevils so I know what a pain they can be. Good luck!

  37. Those strawberries are beautiful! Ours have not even blossomed yet. I just remembered I forgot to buy beer for our slug traps. I’m trying to make a dent in the population before they can make a dent in our garden.

    Anyhow, this week was eventful. We made about three hundred on ebay to pay allllmost an extra month on our car principal. Not as exciting as last week, but still progress. We were delighted to see our electric bill was 55 dollars lower than last March. And this March was much colder than last year. We had many days this week we did not need to have the heat on. We were successful in limiting our weekly errands to just one for my husband that he incorporated into his drive home. We found a very nice sale on some transplants for our garden. We spent yesterday planting most of it, including our seeds, excluding the melons which we are leaving off a week or two. I made hot dog rolls. I made blondies and a coffee cake. We replaced some bulbs with LEDs which will be very cheap to run. We visited family and incorporated stopping for cheaper gas and milk etc along the way. Dishwasher soap was on sale so I bought extra. We stayed home, remaining faithful to our committment not to go out to eat. I am looking for a good indoor drying rack for laundry if anyone can suggest a good one. I am leery of wood warping and of enameled ones flaking and rusting. I have narrowed it down to two, but have not bought them yet, I wanted to see if anyone here had an opinion.

    I am doing pretty good on my grocery challenge and will have brought our monthly bill down by at least 10%. I am aiming for 20%, but I have to see. My oldest has had a lot of allergic reactions and til we can pin down the problem I have had a lot of other costs like switching hand soap and having to change our menus to eliminate all nuts. You would think that would make it easier since nuts are expensive but I had already bought and opened a lot of the stuff I can’t use for the next two months. At least if everything is ok I will have a lot of stuff for later. We ordered a more efficient shower head that is supposed to save us 40 dollars a year on our water bill, and it was on sale. My husband did some honeydo stuff for my sister and she bought us all dinner. Which was nice but not necessary. But stilll nice, since we will not be going out for the forseeable future. I am looking forward to reading what everyone else has done.

  38. I was a pastry chef and one of the most beautiful things you can decorate with is colored royal icing. I would make small batches and trim around the eaves of the house in small dots, red, greed, yellow, etc so that it looked like house lights. It can take a while but is very pretty. Also, if you have a glue gun and are NOT planning on eating the house, it is very helpful to glue the house together and then cover it with royal icing. HAHAH we “cheat”.

  39. Consider approaching the store that sold you the offending treats and ask for reimbursement. I had Petsmart nail me TWICE and refused to ever shop there again. I know it’s the worst, I’m so sorry.

  40. Brandy, you found some amazing bargains at the garage sales. God has blessed you.
    Here’s what I got up to this week –

    * Mended a bath towel. The side seam was coming apart with lots of loose threads. So I got the sewing machine out and sewed a new hem before it got too bad.

    * Made lots of pumpkin soup with the pumpkins Cath gave me. Some soup was put in the freezer.

    * Cut up lots of pumpkin to put in the freezer. My friend Cath told me you could freeze it if you are going to use it for roasts. This is a great idea as sometimes I have a small bit of pumpkin left after a few meals. Now I’ll just cut it and freeze it before it goes off.

    * Bought lots of Lindt chocolate bunnies on sale in Kmart on Easter Sunday for $2.25. I bought enough to put away for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Anniversary, Birthdays and Christmas. Yes, we bought heaps but all will be used.

    * Gratefully received some glass jars from my sister in law.

    * Made a few birthday cards with bits and pieces I had on hand

    * Cut out lots of flowers from brochures I picked up at the flower show. These will be used for card making.

    * Dried the washing on the line and clothes horses.

    * Refilled my kitchen foaming hand wash dispenser with homemade solution.

    * Gratefully received a whole cooked chicken. There was enough meat for two meals of pizzas. This has been frozen for future use. All the bones were put in the slow cooker overnight and made into stock.

    * Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

    * Gratefully received some stationery from a shop that was closing down. We were given two staplers and staples, two calculators, twine, removable hooks and spare tabs, sticky tape, double sided tape and a stack of plastic stationery drawers that Darren will use to store his bulbs for the garden.

    * Picked about 10 raspberries most days.

    * Recycled all the wrapping paper and a gift bag from some flowers and chocs that were delivered.

    * Stewed some apples that were getting a little old. The cooked apples were divided into containers and frozen. This will be used for apple crumble.

    * Saved lots of water from the washing machine for each next load. Also saved the warm up water from the shower.

  41. I am a florist. Usually the least expensive route is also the easiest. Use greenery from your yard and only use one type of flower in a single color in mass. And don’t be afraid to check with a flower shop, we aren’t out to gouge you(well not all of us are)…lol but they can order your desired flowers and you can get them loose, just bring them home and place them in a clean container with water after cutting off the end a bit. If the shop doesn’t give you an additive, just use a bit of Sprite. So if the school colors are maroon and gold, use dark burgundy carnations or snapdragons and accent with a golden yellow from your yard or solidago, it looks like goldenrod. What are the school colors? And don’t forget potted plants. Those placed in interesting containers along a table with framed school photos would be great also, and you can plant them in your yard. I hope this helps

  42. I know for a fact that kool-aid will dye 100% sheep wool. If you knit/crochet and want to dye a skein of wool some fun colours, kool-aid will work. It would be a fun activity for children to do in the summer. Once they dye the wool, they could use it to learn how to knit/crochet or even try weaving with it. Could be used to make a fun Christmas present as well!

  43. After freezing flour,oatmeal,cornmeal, etc.,put bay leaves on your pantry shelves and in your containers of dry goods( it doesn’t effect the flavor!)-I haven’t had a problem with pantry moths since I started doing this.Good luck! 🙂

  44. We’ve been getting our dog food from Chewy.com for about a year now and are very happy with the company. He eats “Taste of the Wild” and it’s about $5-10 dollars cheaper per bag than buying it locally. Shipping is free since we are on a 6 week automatic shipping and get 2 bags at a time. However, our cat is also an a special food for urinary crystals, Purina U/R. It is very expensive and we can get it cheaper from the vet’s office than we can on Chewy.com. I always keep a look out though, because if the vet’s price increases we will be having that shipped as well.

  45. I was going to say that too, Rhonda.:) I am a spinner and knitter and I have successfully dyed wool with kool-aid. But, I think that cotton requires special dye for plant fibers. But, you never know until you try and I would not consider it a fail but rather a learning experience!:)

  46. Brandy what wonderful finds! The blue velvet, the bowls, the embroidery hoops…all things I would love to find. The Shabby Chic comforter… that is a dream to me! I am so pleased you found so many things on your list.
    I really like the idea of all the garage sales being at once. Very nice and great fun too as a customer to walk from one to another.
    I had a very good week. Some things have not gone well. My husband has not had quite enough work and a few extra expenses including medical. But still I did lots of things that made a big difference. I cleaned all the windows inside and out. It made everything look lovely. I had several big baking session, did some gardening, knitted a scarf, sorted my wardrobe over for the change of seasons. My daughter gave me a handbag and I changed over to that. I had some good finds at the supermarket, some good prices and specials. I posted my whole list on Friday at http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com.au/ This week I hope to get as much done. I am having a little review. If I am out of the home too many days things go wrong and down hill! Every now and then I need to look at my diary and I see that too many outside things have snuck in. Have a wonderful week. xx

  47. Brandy, I can just imagine this yard sale event is a huge highlight for you each year. The finds you shared were so amazing! Such a blessing for you and your family.

    It seems odd to see white strawberries that are actually ripe. Usually the white strawberries are unripened red ones. I’m sure they taste amazing though! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us.

    Here are my frugal accomplishments this week:
    *Decided to do a grocery shopping trip this week, as there was an offer for 10,000 extra PC points if you spent $100. There were several items that we use quite frequently with PC point offers as well. I have also been asked to make some treat platters for my daughter’s upcoming bowling banquet the first week in May. I will be paid $25 per tray. I used this shopping trip to buy some more baking supplies for the sweets. At checkout, I used some of my accumulates PC points to knock off $30 from my total and still earning quite a few more that I will accumulate and use later.

    *Ate most meals at home, including perogies with salad, chicken burgers, chicken stir-fry, and ham with scalloped potatoes. Hoping to do some BBQ this week if warm weather holds out. First of the season BBQ is always tastes the best!

    *Scored a free slice of pizza for volunteering with the pizza lunch at my daughter’s school. This was my last time for helping as I will be returning to work very soon (seasonal job).

    *Was paid $10 to sew some Velcro closures on two bras for my SIL’s mother. Her mother was in a serious car accident last September where all four of her limbs were broken. They are hoping the Velcro will make it easier for her to be more independent with dressing. It was cheaper to pay me to sew them than buying special garments. It was very easy to do, but my SIL does not sew which is why she ask me to do it.

    *The weather has finally warmed up. I used it to my benefit to get out and transplant some of my seedling into larger pots. I used some muffin liners to line the bottom of the pots so the soil won’t come out the drain holes. We have an excess of these as some were given to us and I don’t regularly use them. The weather is still too unpredictable to plant into the garden (around mid-May is usually the safe zone for planting here). I am hoping that planting them into pots will encourage stronger root growth so they will produce more quickly once we transplant into the garden. I still have a few more to put in pots as they were not quite big enough yet and I need to get a few more pots at the dollar store (10 small or 8 slightly larger pots for $1.25 that I can reuse each year).

    *Somewhat of a frugal fail – Bought my daughter an early Birthday gift (her Birthday is in May). We adopted a Guinea Pig from the humane society and had to buy the cage and supplies. I was forward thinking and went to the TSC store and bought a huge bail of wood shavings for only $6.50. The small packages sold for small animals is double this price for way less! In total, I spent about $150 for initial supplies and the adoption. My daughter is totally in love! It will be her responsibility to clean, feed and care for her new little friend (life skills practice). Good part is that Guinea Pigs are vegetarians and we can feed her cheaply from produce we have in the fridge already. I just have to source out a cheap way of getting the hay she needs without buying too much which might go bad before she eats it all.

    Thank you everyone for sharing your frugal accomplishments. Like other have already stated, they keep me motivated and inspired to do more! Have a great week everyone.

  48. Hello! We had these and Weevils – right after I bought a bunch of bulk pantry staples too. What you did is right. You might want to re-wipe everything (shelving, walls) with white vinegar. We froze all that didn’t look infested for a week (just to be safe) this will kill the larvae. Also, lay out bay leaves, we used dry ones and that will repel any that still might be alive (I placed 4 leaves on each shelf). Glass/plastic storage (I’d avoid plastic bags for a little while) will help prevent a re-infestation.
    I am sorry you lost food, it is very frustrating.

  49. My car let me sit,(pretty sure she gave me her last ride -waiting for the garage to tell me). Thankfully I was gifted AAA for the holidays, so the 30 mile tow to “my” garage was covered. Having this car for over 11 years, she is wearing out (per a previous visit from the mechanic). I remember a commenter here saying to be pre -approved before purchasing a new (to me) car (thank you for that advice!). So far banks around my neck of the woods do not want to offer loans for cars 5 years or older or the interest rates with great credit are not that good. My husband found a credit union that is more than happy to offer a small loan (I have half the car purchase saved) at an incredible low rate.
    Upgrading my phone for free will sell my older to Gazelle – have done this before and it was so easy.
    I tried Facebook garage sale page in my area, not one buyer showed up. I’ll stick with Ebay.
    Planted more seeds.
    We were gifted a pot of tulips from my parents, they will be planted outside for next year after they are done blooming.
    Cleaned up our Willow tree thin branch droppings. One branch had a bunch of thin branches with green buds on them, I cut/arranged those in a vase for a small pop of color in our foyer.
    We are off to Vegas for our first family free vacation & anniversary celebration. We do not gamble so we scoured to get discounted tickets to shows that will never be on the east coast, the hotel offers free breakfast and snacks all day. My husband thought we could take your garden tour too, but I had to tell him we were a month late.:) He really wanted to shake your hand!

  50. What fun! You really found some treasure Brandy, You never know what will show up at a garage sale, like your sink strainer. Can’t wait for ours to begin.

    This week our thrifty accomplishments were:

    Reupholstering our living room chair from a $14 dropcloth.
    Harvesting our Glass Gem corn for spring planting.
    Making a cabinet for our guest/storage cottage from scrap lumber.
    Heating our house with wood.
    Making cheese from milk that was starting to sour.
    Drying our clothes on indoor racks.

  51. Lovely photos! I like your flower arrangements – so pretty. You got a good deal on the strawberries; I’m waiting until they go on sale for $.99 here; they were $1.25 this week at one store I went to; $1.99 at another.

    Frugal things this week: My neighbor brought over dinner for me on Tuesday, sufficient for several meals, actually. Free lunch on Wednesday when I attended a work-related training session; I had the leftovers for dinner. Air dried laundry. I did go out to eat on Friday for lunch and spent $6.50; but I had the leftovers for dinner.

    I went grocery shopping this weekend and spent $33.02; bought quite a bit of food. Details here: http://www.bless2cents.blogspot.com/2015/04/april-grocery-shopping-and-meal.html

  52. I have never seen white strawberries before! Those look amazing. Do they taste like regular red ones? Garage sale season hasn’t started here in New England yet but I’m looking forward to it.

    I continue to shop the sales, use coupons, and rebates. By doing that every week, I’m able to keep my stockpile full for very little. Last week I got 6 boxes of free Mac ‘n Cheese, $1.00 pickles, free bananas, $0.50 bleach, and $0.09 pasta! Full break down of my trips with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/category/coupons/super-savings-saturday/

  53. Good morning Brandy and Fellow Frugalistas!
    I have been away from the blog for a while…once the website was updated I wasn’t receiving the weekly e-mails. I didn’t receive one today either, but had a few moments while installing a new printer to take a gander.
    I haven’t been taking very good note of my frugal accomplishments of late, but hope to get back into a groove soon. My son has been battling with daily migraines so we’ve been in and out of doctor’s offices trying to identify the problem. Most agree that it is allergies, but his allergies have never presented this way before and it’s disconcerting. Ruled out head trauma/tumors, etc. Even on the allergy medication he was prescribed, he still broke out in his rashes (which is his typical reaction, not migraines). The kids have been on Easter break all week and interestingly he only had a couple of mild headaches. Now starting to wonder if it’s not stress-related/school and discerning homeschooling him, too (next year I will be homeschooling my oldest as she begins high school). Lots to ponder…and praying that God will help me to be simple. I was eating a grapefruit and loving the simplicity of going outside, picking such a nutritious food off our tree, peeling it and eating it, getting so much pleasure and nourishment from it. As I was praying, he gave me the verse, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Our frugal accomplishments are not just about saving money, but about enjoying God’s abundance in it’s simplicity; being glad in it.
    I love reading all the ways everyone is able to find blessings in day-to-day living.
    Thank you for blessing me with this post today and everyday I am able to sit for a few moments to read it.

  54. I always enjoy reading these posts!

    We cooked & ate almost all meals at home. For lunches and snacks at work, we brought from home. I also line-dried several loads of laundry, and found a really nice metal drying rack at a yard sale for $10 that will help with the indoor drying on wet days.

    We sold quite a lot online, so I used my Paypal funds (typically more “mad money”) to buy us a new dishwasher from Home Depot. We have been without a working dishwasher for over a year. The handwashing of dishes hasn’t been too bad, but it will be nice to have a dishwasher again! We will do the install & removal of the old one ourselves, which will save about $115.

    I saw several other comments about storage & pantry moths. The best way to avoid that is to store everything in glass jars with secure lids. I use the kind with a rubber gasket or screw-on lid type – I find them mostly at yard sales or cheap at Walmart/Target. Extra bags of sugar, I will store inside a sealed large gallon freezer ziplock bag in the pantry. Extra flour I store in our deep freezer. Anything that isn’t completely sealed up (like even boxes of rice mixes) should either go into a sealed plastic bag (ziplock type) or a jar. I totally agree with contacting the companies you purchased from. I did this when we had a problem with pantry moths, and I got coupons for replacement products from them. One company even mailed me a huge box filled with a sampling of all of their (full size) products! I was floored. It was a nice compensation for a frustrating problem.

    We also converted one of our hallway closets to a second pantry, which helped immensely. We were storing extra food in several assorted places and this helped us get organized into one spot, to see what we have and keep better track of using up older items first, etc. We keep all of our canned goods, bottled juices, coffee, tea bags, sodas, bags of rice/beans, in there. The kitchen pantry we primarily use for seasonings & spices, or boxed items like cake mixes, rice mixes.

  55. Last spring my daughter graduated from high school. For her centerpieces, I found square vases of varying sizes at thrift shops. Went to Costco for flowers. A florist told me that Michael’s sells flower spray paint. So I was able to make the flowers her high school colors. Lots of complements and the flowers seemed to last forever (a couple of weeks actually). Don’t know if the paint made them last longer or not. A hint to really make the party nice….we rented table linens for the tables instead of using the plastic ones that rip, don’t absorb spills :), and really made everything seem even more special. Also we used her high school colors for the guest tables and used one of her college colors to display things like her acceptance letter….it was nice to “bridge” the two together.

  56. Great photos, as always! And your nasturtiums look beautiful! As someone else already mentioned, I toss a few into salad as well. They are a bit too peppery tasting for me so I only use a couple to make it look pretty.

    This week:
    -I experimented with making lentil sausage patties for breakfast. They turned out pretty good but I’m still going to try and tweak the recipe a bit.

    -we received a call on Friday night from a friend who has recently gotten a greenhouse. She wanted to gift us her cold frame! So we got a nice size cold frame for the cost of picking it up! And she only lives 17 miles from us so that didn’t even cost that much.

    -our Veterinarian’s Office had an open house this weekend. They gave tours of the facilities including the surgical and boarding suites that we don’t normally see. They also had all kinds of complimentary items for pets. I got 4 bottles of dog shampoo, 2 tooth brushes for the dog, treats for the dog and both cats, a pet food measuring cup and a cute little picture frame. They also had free hot dogs, drinks and bags of snacks. They are also the only office in the county certified to care for wildlife and had several types of Raptors with their handlers. It was a beautiful day and a nice free activity.

    -picked up 2 bags of Easter candy at 50% off to take to my MIL at her memory care facility (although the poor lady thinks it’s Christmas). I think she enjoyed them too much-not sure but I think she ate all of it before dinner.:)

  57. They are much sweeter than the regular ones! Alpine strawberries can be red, yellow, or white. They are basically a wild strawberry type; they grow by seeds and not runners. I think they are wonderful! In your area they will produce all summer long.

  58. Well so far hitting yard sales have yielded a 5.00 tool box for my husband and that’s it, but it is fun searching anyway.

    My biggest accomplishment this week was finally getting a nice functional laundry room for free as we used things we already had to do it.

    The details can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2015/04/frugal-friday-money-saving-weekly-recap.html

    Even though it stretched my budget thin, I also took 300.00 and put it into savings. There comes a point that if you don’t put something back you are going to go a little nuts and I was there *laugh*. So, hopefully that will be a continuing trend and we can start to recover somewhat from the financial pitfalls we’ve been experiencing. Here’s hoping :).

  59. We buy dog food (Fromms) at the feed store and it is cheaper than the pet store and anywhere else. I checked the chewy site mentioned and it was a bit more than what we pay. Maybe you have a feed store or a farm store in your area.

  60. Michelle, SavingStar should work just fine. It doesn’t cost you anything to sign up so anything you save, you are ahead. I use it but actually find very few coupons to put onto my card, most are for processed foods or household products we don’t use. But every Friday you get a free item.

  61. Hi Mary – this is Mary (in SCo). How do you make a quiche mixture to freeze? That would be a great way to use up some of my 99cent/doz eggs.

  62. What wonderful garage sale finds! We don’t see garage sales in my area, but during the summer I will make a point to spend a day or two with my mom visiting garage sales in nearby towns. I always find lots of things for the kids this way.

    Last weeks frugal accomplishments:
    -Enjoyed Easter with my family at my mother’s house. She sent us home with leftover treats and ham, as well as a spiral ham for the freezer. We had celebrated the day before with my husbands family. I fed everyone with a crockpot of soup I pulled from the freezer. For the kids I had recycled last years baskets and grass, and purchased all basket items on sale. We don’t get them too much.
    -Went to story time at the library and then to the grocery store for a Kids Club treat – a free string cheese.
    -Sorted the boys clothes by size and season and put the large sizes back into storage.
    -got a free sample of coffee, lotion, and body wash in the mail. I put the body wash aside to use as a stocking stuffer.
    -My mom gifted me a box of pint mason jars.
    -Used a free Redbox code to get a movie on Friday. Unfortunately I fell asleep and didn’t get to watch it. I should remind myself not to use the codes until Saturday if possible as I am usually exhausted on Friday nights!
    -On Saturday we went to Home Depot to take advantage of the spring “Black Friday” sale they were having. This saved us a lot of money on a lawn mower, mulch, and garden beds.

    Have a great week everyone!
    -I purchased some extra plastic eggs and dye for %50 off the day after Easter to use next year.

  63. What a great idea about working during election days! I am going to investigate that in our area. And kudos to your husband for fixing your freezer. I am getting more and more brave about looking on line for solutions and buying parts to fix things. We live 14 miles outside of town and for some reason a lot of service repair places want to charge an additional fee to ‘come this far’ :).

  64. We have a gingerbread house competition every year with our kids. As they have gotten older friends have joined in. It’s always a fun Saturday at our house during December. I look for candy on deep discount all year. We use graham crackers to make small out buildings and chimneys. We also have piñatas at a lot of celebrations so I stock up on candy all year.

  65. Roxie, I am sorry to hear of your broken arm. I pray it heals without complications and for your husbands foot grafts, that they take without problems. My wrist that I broke 8 weeks ago is finally pronounced fit, so I can commiserate with your situation.

  66. Thanks Brandy and all the commenters, I also really enjoy seeing everyone’s activities and savings ideas.

    This week we only ate out once, all other meals at home. Continue making home made bread. My husband has really gotten enthusiastic about all the frugal habits. He just laughs about how many meals we get out of one cooked Costco chicken 🙂 Had stopped working full time in January but got a call this week with an offer to go back to work there part time, working from home! While the money per hour is much less, the freedom of having my own schedule and working 10-20 hours a week, rather than 50-60 is fantastic. It will be wonderful to have some mad money again!

    Thanks all for the warning about pantry moths; I had never heard of them before but then again, I have never had a pantry before starting to read Brandy’s posts 🙂

  67. Roxie, I am so sorry to hear about your broken arm and your husband’s upcoming surgery. I hope you both heal smoothly and as quickly as possible.

  68. On Easter Sunday, my parents treated all the kids and grandkids to a huge chicken dinner in Frankenmuth (Michigan). We brought home several boxes of leftovers and ate from those all week for lunch.

    You inspired me to really start decluttering our house even more (people who visit us always remark on the minimalism of our home) and I’ve been doing a 7 things challenge where I sell, donate or purge 7 items/day. I’ve made $26 so far from selling items and I decided to also put my money in our garage sale envelope. Garage sale season starts here in May, and I recently gave birth to our first boy. I’ll be shopping for up to 24 months clothes for him and I have several other items on our list that I’ll be looking for. I put money aside each month for the garage sale season, but I’m happy to put more in! And we have more room in our home now 🙂

    At our mama group this month, we made cookie mixes to sell. We used our group funds to buy the ingredients and at the end of the night, I was sent home with the leftover ingredients: flour, sugar, several bags of chocolate chips, oats, etc. I was very grateful!

    We were invited to a birthday party at the movie theater. My tot has never been to the movies and we had been contemplating when would be a good time to take her. Movies are so expensive, though. The birthday party included the movie for free for all four of us, plus my tot got a concession box with a drink, popcorn and a large candy bar. The party started at noon, so we bought a large popcorn for me and hubby to share and a lemonade. We all ate cake pops and cupcakes for dessert. We bought the birthday boys Subway gift cards. Between the gift cards and concessions, total spent was $20 for four of us to attend a movie and enjoy movie food. I was really pleased with how inexpensive that was compared to how much it would’ve been for us to attend just on our own, PLUS we got to bless two boys with gift cards.

    I cashed in enough gift cards to order a free-to-me cross stitch quiet book kit. I’ll be making this for my boy for Christmas. Each kid gets a stocking stuffed plus three presents under the tree. Most of their gifts are handmade (and money for the ones we buy are pulled from our Christmas envelope, which we put money in each month). Generally, we spend, all told, about $50 on each kid for Christmas, but this year, I anticipate this will be even less because I’ve been earning as much as I can online, plus we plan to make even more gifts this year.

    I started planning tot school for our oldest. I was able to plan out the entire curriculum from Pinterest and my own imagination. I’m hoping to purchase the supplies I need by using gift cards earned online. The supplies needed will be minimal and will be items we can use over and over again for other tot school themes I’ll be planning: numbers, shapes, animals, letters, etc.

  69. – I made a present for my sister that I gave to my parents to bring to her. She lives in Europe and they left this week to visit her, saving me the cost of mailing it to her
    – While my parents are gone we are petsitting their dog. She’s an 11-year old toy poodle so she doesn’t shed and is as sweet as can be. We’re enjoying dog snuggles. Because my parents are going out of town for 2 weeks, they gave us 10 kiwis, an almost full ½ gallon of milk, and 3 eggs.
    – After-Easter sales: mini Easter eggs and little treat bags in fun colors (they don’t look Easter at all)
    – Looked for recipes to use up the food we have frozen or canned. Made a potato salad that used up dilly beans, apple butter muffins, and apple muffins. The apple muffins called for fresh apples but I didn’t have any. I substituted dehydrated apples and some applesauce instead and it worked out great! My husband loved these (so did I!)
    – Anyone know how else I can use up dilly beans? We have so many jars downstairs, and apart from eating out of the jar or in the potato salad I made, I’m at a loss for how to use them up (we don’t make bloody marys)
    – My MIL didn’t want the ham bone, so I brought it home and made split pea soup. She doesn’t like the soup but my FIL does, so we gave him some.
    – I made chive buttermilk biscuits to use up some chives and froze them unbaked for future use. These also used buttermilk I had previously bought and frozen. I made Scallion Cheddar Scones to use up the end of some cheese and sliced green onions that were also hanging out in the fridge. I froze these unbaked as well.
    – Made English Muffin bread 2x this week, Barbacoa Beef with meat from our freezer (and used the sauce instead of water to make rice!), and Beer Bread. We had everything we needed on hand, and the beef fed us for most of the week (we alternated between this and eggs with toast). We made s’mores in the microwave to use up the rest of the marshmallows I made at Easter. I didn’t dip them all in chocolate, so we used the plain ones.
    – I bought two mason jars for $.50 each at Goodwill along with a mini muffin tin for 12 muffins and a giant muffin tin. While there, I noticed they had a lot of mason jars with blue stickers. The current color of the week (50% off) was green. Our Goodwill sells mason jars for $1 each and I will only pay $.50 or less for the jars. When I went home, I checked online to see what next week’s color would be – it was blue! (Started on Sunday). So, Sunday, while I was out running errands anyway, I made Goodwill my first stop. Then I noticed some of the jars had tags on them that said “6 canning jars $2.99”. By buying only the color of the week and showing these tags to the cashier, I got 24 mason jars for $0.25 each! One of them is a very pretty Ball pint jar with a picture of a Black Eyed Susan on the back. I’ve never seen these before.
    – I returned a set of drinkware to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We received these for our wedding almost 3 years ago, and although we liked them at the time, we were gifted a nearly identical (used) set from our dear friends when they moved. I got $10.99 back, better late than never!

  70. Rummage sales have started to pop up in town and along with the robins coming back and the C. geese, spring is starting up. Though we did have snow Thursday night. Gone now. We have lots of geese stopping over in the fields and at the pond, especially. The dogs keep them moving on though every morning so they don’t decide to stay at the pond. Our tulips are about 2 inches up.

    I haven’t listed accomplishments for about 5 weeks I think, and I’ll never remember them now. We had a small Easter as son and his family and daughter and her husband were all travelling. Nephew went home. The two college away stayed there and had an Easter potluck with students that weren’t able to go home for the holiday (they only have the weekend off school). Brother in law has moved onto another sibling’s house. Since it was just the 3 of us plus my mother we ate Easter breakfast at church and had a late lunch at home and then went to relatives for dessert. I took a lemon meringue pie and a cherry pie.

    I ended up cooking two hams as son in law was given a ham by a client and daughter wanted me to use it. I ended up with a spiral cut ham from the grocer as that was the deal with earned points. I think I prefer the slice your own. Cooked up the hams and packaged up all extra meat in to freezer wrap for them and for us. Made 8 qts of pea and ham soup with the bones, putting some in the freezer.

    Daughter took care of a cat while a family out of town and they gave us 2 bottles of sparkling grape juice that we used for EAster. I lent a friend a gallon jar as she wanted to make kombucha (sp?) and she gave me a number of Martha Stewart Living magazines. I have never seen them before and I have enjoyed reading them.
    Husband received a $100 gift card to Amazon from a client as a bonus on work he did for them. Husband finished helping his family with maple sugaring so now we have a gallon of maple syrup for the year.

    A few weeks ago we went to a town where another branch of our family is and they had finished up restoring a house for the local historical society and we took a tour and it was interesting seeing our relatives and ancestors mentioned on the placards at the exhibits. We stopped at the cheese factory and bought 5 pound block each of brick cheese and of colby. We ate dinner with relatives at a fish fry.

    We had a family stay with us for 3 days and 2 nights as they were the guest speakers at church for a short conference. They brought one daughter who is friends with my youngest so it was nice having them back in town. They live in Indiana and brought asparagus from their garden. Ours is just starting to show. The conference had two potlucks and they had a breakfast session on Saturday so we did not have to do much extra cooking.

    Did all the usual things of recycling, re-using, composting, combo of line drying and dryer. With milder weather in the 30’s and 40’s not using heat as much. We are to be in the 50’s and even 60’s this week so everything should really start up now. I have not seen buds yet. Oldest girl has many things started in the greenhouse for the vegetable garden and has moved some things to the hoop houses. I have moved my potted herbs out into the sun a couple hours a day to get them acclimated. Husband and nephew have been fishing on their lunch break and have caught enough for some nice meals. Cooked mostly from scratch, or used freezer meals.

  71. Only by the grace of God am I able to work. He knows I have to work and cannot take off. His timing is perfect. We had General Conference last weekend and of course I was able to rest at home. The General Authorities are awesome and I read their remarks on my phone. while in bed because I do not have a computer or tv at my house. I am blessed because I have no jury trials this month, which is unusual. I am just doing regular court and not having to work overtime until May. I literally crash at night, but I totally attribute getting through the day to God and His grace. Y’all are so sweet and I appreciate your kind and uplifting remarks and it is wonderful to be a part of the sisterhood of frugal women! Thanks for this awesome and encouraging site Brandy!

  72. My dog is also on a special diet due to food allergies. I ordered from a new vet clinic recently and was charged $15 less for the same sized bag I had always ordered. So, like with other things, it pays to shop around. And this new vet clinic did not make me bring the dog in for an appointment first, I could just order the food I needed.

  73. Greetings!
    *Skyped with my son and grand sons; Love, love , love!
    *Ordered free maps to several states we’ve discussed moving to. It’s fun to think about the possibilities and what we want this go-round. We won’t move til 2017 at the earliest.
    *Put extra into savings.
    *Hung clothes out (today) for the first time this year. They didn’t completely dry, but ten minutes in the dryer was all that was needed.
    *Started raking. Our town uses sand instead of salt to control ice. Everyone here ends up with buckets of sand in their yards. The first year i cried; now, i’m used to it. Suck it up and rake is the motto around here!
    *Started several batches of soap. I have three pans sitting on the stove waiting for me to add lye. I do this in stages so my days aren’t taken over with this project. I thought i was nearing the end of my coconut oil, but apparently i bought enough to last for several more batches. I’m also using up some calendula oil i made up last year from flowers i grew from seed. (So, so easy and self seeding!)
    *Cleaned the bathroom with homemade cleaner.
    *Clipped the wax paper from the cereal boxes.
    *Cleaned out the rain barrel in anticipation of garden goodness.
    *Started tomatoes and basil from seed. They’ve already sprouted and i need to think about transplanting the tomatoes already. We don’t usually plant out vegetables until the first week of June.
    *Suffering a chest cold; i’ve been taking goldenseal and drinking gallons of tea with homemade thyme-honey added. I was hoping it was allergies…I’m a restless patient!
    *Plus all the little stuff that’s second nature; saving a bucket of shower water, washing baggies, etc….
    Have a great week!

  74. I love dilly beans! I put them whole in a sandwich to add some crunch and flavor or chop and add to egg salad or tuna salad. When I used to eat meat, I would stick one or two in the hot dog bun instead of relish. I never put them in potato salad though – so I will steal that idea from you! YUM

  75. Cindy,
    I am so sorry to hear that your son has been sick.. SO proud ,he is home and improving.
    Please be careful with the mono, It can be dangerous. I had it years ago in my younger days…[before
    they knew a lot about it.ha] I stayed in the hospital for 6 wks..It took me forever, to get over it. I think
    I was about 8 yrs old. Two of my grandchildren have had it.. But , they are better now./ Will be praying for
    both you and your son.. God is good, and by His grace we can do anything..

  76. I wish we had community garage sales. Our garage sales are spread out with lots of driving. We are hoping to sell some old things in our own garage sale the next nice weekend we have.

    We spent a good deal of money on fruit trees this week. We bought 1 disease resistant apple tree (liberty), 2 peach trees, 1 plum tree, 2 pear tree. I am still on the nursery to get in the rest of their trees 1 more disease resistant apple (freedom), 2 cherry trees, 1 shiro plum. This will total 12 fruit trees. I am sure the money will be recouped over the future years. I am beyond excited to finally see my dreams of an orchard come true!

    We also plant peas tonight. I hope to plant lettuce, spinach, and radishes over the next few days.

  77. You can purchase pantry moth traps off the internet. They are sticky and catch the moths. I used to buy them at Wal-Mart l

  78. I’m really glad you have fully recovered from your arm injury. It sound like you have been cooking up a storm–yum!

  79. This past week, my husband and I got to go to a Chris Tomlin concert! We were given the tickets for Christmas and went out to dinner (also a gift from the same couple) and then to the concert with them. A few others were there as well. We had so much fun. Nights out are few and far between for us, especially without the kids. In fact, this was the first night our newest spent away from us, other than camp or with her former foster parents. We had everything properly approved through DHS for the kids to stay at my sister’s house. It was nice for her to do that. Respite care for foster kids is expensive if you have to pay for it and I know she was much more comfortable with family than with strangers, no matter how wonderful they would have been.

    I cooked a lot of items for our family, and another family we are involved with helping right now.

    I bought a new, inexpensive sewing machine after I found it would take $100 for the cleaner/repairman to fix my old, very inexpensive one. I spent more than $100, but it’s new, and under warranty. I will use that one for travelling and for 4H.

    We gave the repair store an old machine that was donated to 4H as the timing was broken, the man said, and it would have been also been over $100 to clean and repair. People are well-meaning to give me machines, but I don’t think I would ever get that machine fixed when they wouldn’t even look at it for under the $100 and fixing it would be more. So, I gave it to them for parts.

  80. Rhonda, I just had one of those “duh, why didn’t I think of that” moments. Fifteen years ago I was hit by a drunk driver and broke both legs and my left arm. I was non-weight bearing and could not use my arm for several weeks. Why oh why didn’t we think of Velcro for my bras. What a wonderful idea.

  81. Yes, it is possible to get rid of them for good. It takes a lot of effort. I had a bad infestation a few years back, requiring more than one complete scrub-down of the cupboards. I googled pantry moths, and found a spray product that worked absolutely wonderfully—but I have old wooden cupboards, and it has to be sprayed into every single crack and crevice. That’s after a thorough scrubbing. It’s name, which I can’t exactly remember, was something simple like “pantry moth spray” or something like that. It was not terribly expensive, either and it worked like a charm. Good luck.

  82. How funny is that. Our post are just after each others. Annabel and I are christian blogging friends in Australia.

  83. When I read Frankenmuth I got really excited. I lived in Michigan my whole life until about 3 months ago. The chicken dinners there are amazing. What a treat!?!

  84. We have purchased the dog food at Tractor Supply in the past but they raised the price. We also have a Southern States and locally owned feed store in town but neither of them carry “Taste of the Wild”. He has had stomach issues with other brands so we don’t really want to switch. I have not thought of checking there for the cat food though. Good idea! Thanks!

  85. That’s great that you could order the food without an appointment! It’s hard to find a vet around here that will do that!

  86. Great job saving money this week! I purchased some pineapples for $.79 and dehydrated them for snacks. I also made some red pepper jelly so we have some on hand for pitch-ins this summer. We have our neighborhood yard sale coming up in a few weeks and I am trying to go through closets to find items to sell. I can’t wait until strawberries reach $.99 here.

  87. Ellie, Ball had a whole series of wild flower pint jars a few years back. I have several of them. When you bought a box of jars, there were either 3 or 4 or them that had wildflower on them. I like to use those ones for ham or jelly.

  88. Thanks, Becky. Just it’s normal stiffness, which is typical. A benefit that came of this is that my youngest, who never was that much into cooking really became more proficient and developed more of an interest in meal planning and preparation. She was always great with cleaning up and fetching and helping but now she is looking for recipes on her own and wanting to add this or that to the meal.

  89. If that’s Ivory with the strawberries, she’s growing up so fast! She has the prettiest eyelashes.
    This week:
    -Read one library book.
    -Free in the mail-Gevalia coffee sample, coupon for free Seeds of Change organic food product. Looks like Seeds of Change isn’t sold anywhere I customarily shop, so I’m going to need to research where I need to go to get this product.
    -Swapped coupons with my mom when we went to my parents’ house to do our taxes. She also gave me 3 pounds of pasta, yay!
    -We’re actually getting some money back this year from income taxes. We had to pay much more than we could afford last year. I’m earmarking our refund to pay towards our travel for my brother in law’s destination wedding this fall. They are getting married on Catalina Island, which looks to be very beautiful (I’ve not been there before) but also quite expensive!
    -Bought red grapes for 99c/lb at Smart and Final. I haven’t really bought any fresh fruit since oranges and tangerines in late winter, fruit prices are so high here in Northern California. The grapes are super tasty, too, just the right balance of sweet and sour. I only bought a little over two pounds, and wish I would’ve picked up more at that price. Hopefully fruit prices here will come down more in the near future…fingers crossed!
    -Got 25c from Checkout 51 for buying carrots, 25c from Ibotta for buying milk, and 25c from Snap for buying orange juice. Entered receipts into Receipt Hog.
    -Kept doing the things I normally do, like using coupons and Target Cartwheel, and not buying anything over my “buy price.” Eating leftovers for lunches, and putting aside meals for my 81 year old mother in law. I freeze portions from our dinners and she doesn’t have to cook. She lives 40 miles away, so we only see her once or twice a month, so I have lots of meals for her when we do see her. I take home the empty containers and reuse them for the next batch. I really, really want a chest freezer so that I have more room to freeze more! We need to move things around in our detached garage to make room for the freezer (and get rid of some more things!) Hopefully we can do this in the near future.

  90. Melissa we stick with one food too. If it’s working for their digestion, I don’t want to ask for trouble. But I remember growing up how our dogs then got bowls full of kitchen scraps and they seemed so happy. Now we limit our dogs to a shred of cheese or a carrot slice as a treat.

  91. Thank you for the stories everyone! I don’t feel “alone” now 🙂 I can only purchase the cat food at a Vet’s office. I’ll keep a look out for cheaper prices. If I find a good website or store I will post here for everyone.

  92. They’re so pretty! Part of the reason I love to find jars at thrift stores, apart from the economy aspect, is finding all the different styles that have been created over the years. It is amazing to me how much the jar shapes and logos have changed over the years.

  93. Thank you Brandy for all of the encouragement you give to us. I made strawberry jam with 6lbs of the .99lb berries I purchased from Farm Fresh. I also checked out books from the library and started lots of seeds for my vegetable garden. I worked on the raised beds from seconds wood that was given to me from a local company.

  94. Hello Brandy and all the frugal bloggers. Have not been able to comment lately, unfortunately have not been as frugal as I would like but am trying to get back on track. Purchased some cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants 3.45 for a six pack but each section had at least 2 plants growing, sometimes 3 so I just separated these out when planting them so I stretched a few $$$. Getting back to hanging out laundry now that the weather is improving here. My granddaughter will be leaving for college soon so hoping water/electric bill will start to decrease… teens…what can I say, they are not exactly frugal. Have only been shopping sales with coupons since pantry is pretty well stocked. I did purchase a new pressure canner/cooker to help with my garden canning this year. Also got a .65 cent pay adjustment at work and reviews will be coming soon with another pay raise (hopefully) so that should help. We had to pay taxes this year so I increased my withholding to help compensate. Right now aside from paying bills off I’m trying to save for a vacation this fall with family, may be our last big family trip together so we want to do a few things we have been wanting to do for awhile now together. Will cost some $$$ but worth it.. just have to prioritize other things and save $$$ where I can. Had a large 1400.00 repair bill this month, was able to pay cash for it though but funds are depleted now so must replenish. Has not been the best month but I know things will improve.

    Brandy, I love your garage sale posts. I need to make a list to carry too… rather than just use my memory. I try to wait for things I need and like you I really do seem to find them eventually either at a garage sale or the thrift shop or Goodwill and I love the hunt. LOL.

  95. Mandy

    Trust me you are not alone. My Rottweiler is allergic to corn. We have been buying Pedigree’s Sensitive brand $12.99 a bag that all 3 of our dogs could eat. They just stopped making it and I have now had to switch to a brand that I buy at Petco $40 a bag 30 lb. bag 2 bags of Pedigree’s was $$26.00. The other two will go on a regular Pedigree brand and the Rott will be the only one on the expensive food. It is Made In The USA which is important to us as is Pedigree’s. I looked at Chewy.com’s site and couldn’t find anything corn free that was any cheaper than Petco’s for right now but will keep looking too. Our Vet is very very expensive on their dog foods.

  96. My only big frugal I guess is the company I work for as I’ve mentioned in previous post is a candy manufacturer (locally owned since 1943) had all their
    Easter candy 75% off. I bought 2 1 lb. solid choc. rabbits for less than $7.00. I will freeze some for later use.

    Stocked up yesterday on pectin to make more preserves soon.

    Reading library books.

    Paid a little in advance on my water bill.. that bill comes in every 3 months and it’s always a struggle to add it to the monthly bills, getting ahead of it will help lessen the dent in our money supply.

    I’m sure there is more but I hurt my back this week and I’m not feeling good this morning but wanted to share the few little things I’ve done.

    Anna

  97. Thank you so much for the seed starting idea! I also love the idea of adding colored thread to the towels that have become rags. That would be a big help to DH, who can never keep them straight.

  98. I have had Amish made maple drying racks for years with no warping. The ones with the thick dowels are about $50-$60 each. The ones with the 1/4″ dowels are a lot cheaper, but they don’t last. I also have a metal drying rack from Bed Bath & Beyond. I bought it nearly 20 years ago for $20.

  99. $29 a week Meal Challenge:

    Brandy.. I recently saw a celebrity on FB who accepted the challenge to feed just herself on $29 for one week. It was to highlight how hard it would be for someone on food stamps in NY to live on $29 eating healthy foods for a week. I’d like to see if you could create a page to see what our members here could come up with for a week of food for one person. Thanks. Anyone up to the challenge?

  100. I saw that Anna.

    My grocery budget is $300 a month. That includes, as you’ve seen, toiletries. $300 times 12 months is $3600. Divide that by 52 weeks and you have $69.23. Divide that by the 9 people I feed, and that’s $7.69 a week per person–including toiletries.

    I have 4 1/2 months of menus on my site. Look under the “Cook” heading above.

    I believe food stamps come as a monthly allotment, so you could still buy bulk ingredients to last you the month (like oats, beans, and rice).

  101. I made my own beef jerky from London broil, sliced up strawberries and Fuji apples that were bruising and starting to go bad and dehydrated them for snacks ( no added sugar!!) used my juicer to juice homemade grapefruit juice, apple juice and orange juice yum!!
    I also prepared home cooked freezer meals for when I get my back surgery soon so we are not spending money on take out

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