What a fun week! I think we had the most fun this week watching Ivory, who is walking. She decided that she liked it so much that once she figured it out on Sunday, she spent every waking minute walking around.
We accepted a used portable cd player/radio this week. We didn’t have one and the timing was perfect; Winter used it outside and my husband used it in the garage.
The weather was wonderful, so we spent lots of time outside. Winter had a French-themed party with some friends. I made macarons and French bread, they listened to some Francis Cabral, they cut out Eiffel Towers, and we watched Betty in Paris. She made her friends Eiffel Tower necklaces and melted crayons into heart shapes. She pushed an Eiffel Tower charm into each one to leave an impression on them.
Afterwards she had a party with her sisters.
Then everyone decided to jump on the trampoline.
We harvested lettuce from the garden this week. I am so glad I put in those extra rows of drip irrigation. I have a lot more rows of lettuce because of it.
 I picked a few outer leaves from different lettuces for a salad for the family every other day this week. (As you can see, I still have jars out on some of my newer lettuce seedlings. The tomatoes didn’t like the jars once the days got the to the 70’s, so I removed those several weeks ago, but the lettuce still likes the jars, and it means more lettuce sooner.)
I also harvested 3 French breakfast radishes, a few springs of asparagus (enough for an omelette for myself a few times), and a few sugar snap peas.
I transplanted lettuce thinnings again to another row in the garden.
My boys had a Cub Scout pack meeting this week, and my husband is the Cubmaster for the pack. A few boys were earning their Arrow of Light award, so my husband was busy finishing some Native American costumes for the presenters to wear. He made an authentic breastplate, a choker, and a war bonnet (he dyed the leather, punched the holes, fastened on horsehair, trimmed the feathers, cut the leather strips, sewed the feathers, and so much more). He spent a lot of hours working on it. The boys loved it. The presenters also had their faces painted, and they painted the faces of the boys who earned their Arrow of Light award.
My husband worked from home a couple of days this week.
We had some fun science experiments this week.
My husband was given two pairs of hand-me-down shoes.The man who owned the shoes passed away a couple of weeks ago.
My husband took the boys to a nearby shooting and archery range to learn to shoot a bow. The range is for for children under 18. While he was there with the boys, he spoke with a man who works there, who also teaches children for competitions. He gave the boys some good instruction, and also gave my husband some useful information as well about the bow the students use here (he said they use Genesis bows, which will work for both adults and youth, and also happens to be a less-expensive bow). We have decided that this would be a good sport for our family to enjoy, and we love that the children can practice without an admittance fee (they can also practice at home). I would love to hear from those of you who do this sport in your family and enter competitions; do you find it to be a frugal sport, after the initial cost of equipment?
My daughter attended two birthday parties this week. She made a necklace for each of her friends, and I helped her to make a pair of earrings for one of her friends, using beads and findings that I had on hand (total cost for the earrings: 20 cents).
I cut branches, daffodils, and flowering branches from the garden this week and brought them inside to enjoy.
I made homemade popsicles with leftover whey from making Greek yogurt, frozen blackberries from my garden, and frozen whipped cream from my freezer.
I mended a dress.
What did you do to save money this week? Did you have some frugal fun?

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  1. Momma-lana I definitely agree with you about good test scores=full scholarships. I have worked for the past 9 years as an ACT tutor. I received an academic scholarship based mainly on ACT score in college that was essentially a full ride to a private school which costs 20,000 a year. Unfortunately ACT or SAT scores are what sets students apart from each other. Tons of students applying to college have great high school GPAs but colleges won’t give you a scholarship based on that fact alone. It is unfair but test scores mean so much! If your child is applying to colleges I would ask the admissions office what scholarship amounts they give for different test scores. Sometimes scoring just one point higher on the ACT can mean the difference between a half tuition scholarhip and a full scholarship. Students who score low on these tests also have to take remedial classes in college which do not count towards a degree and still have to be paid for. It might be well worth the investment of hiring a tutor to help boost your students scores if it would mean the difference between thousands and thousands of dollars in scholarship money or not having to take remedial classes in college. Just wanted to share!

  2. I just discovered your blog and am really enjoying it! I am envious of your warm weather and long growing season!My almost 8 year old daughter is planning a “Parisian Party” this week. We are having lots of fun planning for it.You might want to check to see if the Nevada Cooperative Extension offers ” 4 H Shooting Sports” as an activity. Even if you are not in a local 4 H Club, there are often training activities, competitions and demonstrations to participate in. One nice thing about 4 H is both boys and girls are able to participate together. Plus, the tie in with your State’s Land Grant University system is an added plus as your children grow up and think about college and career choices.

  3. It was not a very frugal week for me. I had a terrible head and chest cold and then it turned into strep throat. I was so sick on Wednesday that I did not do anything but sleep for 8 hours. By Thursday morning I was “awake” enough to call the doctor and make an appointment. She put me on an antibiotic and prednisone. It cost $130.00 after it was all said and done.Here is what I did manage to get accomplished:- Checked out a couple of cookbooks from the library- Bought 4 gallons of milk at Kroger for $1.79 each on their 4 day sale- Bought a whole boneless ham for $1.39 lb. Hubby & I sliced it thin in our meat slicer for lunchmeat. We vacuumed sealed it into bags and froze most of it for later- Took advantage of a sale and used coupons to stock up on real butter. I bought 6 lbs and paid $1.50 lb- Hubby & I went to Sam’s club and used some of our tax money and what was left on the gift card that was given to us when we joined to stock up on some food. I did find and purchase a huge can of tomato sauce. I will portion it out into freezer containers- I stayed home all week from not feeling well so no gas was used until Saturday- Hubby & I used a free appetizer coupon and a $25.00 gift card to Applebee’s for dinner Saturday night. The only cost was the $5.00 tip- I printed out a coupon for Staples for their 5 ream case. On sale for $24.99 and I used the $4.98 off each box and will get back $20.00 for each case in Staples rewards. They will be .01¢ each plus tax- I only managed to make 2 homemade meals before I got sick. After that we ate at Little Caesers once and then ate ham sandwiches and cheese quesadillas. It was nice to make a meal again tonight with homemade brownies.

  4. The past couple of weeks we:- found the exact brand/style toddler snowsuit on last markdown at the thrift store for next year for $6- were given an older iPod Shuffle, a bunch of early reader books and a spider plant baby- used a $10/$10 coupon at the Carter’s Outlet to get two outfits and a sleeper for our youngest- used Swagbucks to buy canning jars on Amazon- ate some odd combinations to minimize food waste- borrowed a bunch of things from the library and put our name on the wait list to borrow a telescope- made basic white bread three times in our new bread machine

  5. mine used to love being outside in a play pen…even when older…with some new toys..but yes…my destructo toddler makes it interesting for me to get stuff done…lol…but the seasons pass so quickly with the babies..Also i’m guessing if i got rid of cable..i’d be much more productive. I love the joy and simplicity that is reflected in your posts..

  6. I cleaned out the drawers in the kids bathroom several months ago and found 2 double handfuls of dental floss samples from cleanings visits. I used them for months in my bathroom. All those samples really add up.

  7. I am looking for a great item to give a almost 3 year old boy (my Grandson) for Christmas. Something homemade might be best. The child has everything so it is very hard to give anything. Ideas?

  8. Frugal accomplishments this week.Made a pot of ChilliAccepted two dinners free to us.Wash out baggies and reusedUsed homemade laundry soapPut together a swap box for our Easter get together.Got free soup and crackers with coupons.Used homemade Vinegar cleaner with orange peels.Ate Scraps for all lunches , Had three meatless meals this week.Looking forward to Easter with Family! Making a cake to take.

  9. My 10yo started started with archery through 4H this year. It’s been very frugal for us so far. Shooting sports through the local 4H is $5 for the season, and they have bows and arrows available to borrow, which we plan to do until we’re sure she likes it. We found out we can practice other times in the shooting sports building at our local fair ground for free, so I think the whole family will be getting more involved.

  10. So true about the samples and “gifts” from the dentist. I too recently decided to stop saving all the nice samples etc and start using them. I havne’t had to buy conditioner in about 4 months because of that! Nice to not have to buy something and to test out new stuff. We usually give the free toothbrushes and floss to a local shelter because of our own personal preferences but the samples of toothpast get used at home. A win-win I think!

  11. Frugal Accomplishments:*Made my own taco seasoning from a recipe I found on another blog on a link-up page. I think I’m going to make a large jar’s worth since we eat Mexican foods a good bit. I’m also going to try the chocolate syrup and the vanilla extract. Thanks, Brown Thumb Mama! There’s a picture of the pretty seasoning on my blog.*Brother started planting our root crops, and weeded and tended the rows of peas. (My contribution to this frugal endeavor was free child labor, and I’ll be the one cooking and canning the veggies when they come in, plus feeding the hungry workers!)*Fed biscuit and produce scraps to the chickens. Since they are free range now, I’m simply dropping the scraps off the edge of the front porch to encourage the chickens to come to that area of the yard. We have horrible fleas and ticks in the summer, and fire ants galore, so we’re trying to persuade the chickens (and guineas) to come be free, green pest control for us. So far, so good!*Instead of paying the outrageous $17.50 per person for lunch at Hubs’ graduation, we went with his Mom, brother, and sister in law to a pizza buffet. We had good food and a great time together, and nobody’s budget was busted.*Didn’t go to town at all this week, except for graduation, saving us gas. The weather cancelled t-ball practice one day, so we only had 2 days of trips to the rec department 10 mins away.*Found the white dress shirt Doodle B agreed to wear as a compromise for getting the suit he wanted in his closet. Both the kids and I are set for Easter, and Hubs is working, so he doesn’t need anything.*Made smoothies one day with very ripe bananas, a cup of greek yogurt nobody had touched, and the odds and ends of bags of frozen fruits. Added a random packet of strawberry Carnation Instant Breakfast that has been in the cabinet for . . . ever.*Ongoing frugal activities that I always forget about because I’ve done them for so long: used both sides of paper for printing, reused blank envelopes that come with our bills (we pay everything online to save stamps and time), used scrap paper for lists (both sides), saved all glass jars like spaghetti jars, salsa jars, and the flavoring we use in our coffee, saved certain size plastic containers.That’s all I can think of right now. It seems like a short list, but I’m working on it a few days early since we’re getting away for a few days. I’ll probably remember more to add to next week’s list!

  12. Brandy your pictures and your children are just gorgeous. My oldest daughter loved your french-themed party and wishes we had thought of it when she was younger. Your husbands work on the war bonnet is beautiful, hopefully it will get used and seen often!This week I was on leave so managed to do a couple extra frugal things. First off I saved gas not driving to work and then I managed to not only make enough bread for the week coming but tried out a new recipe for buns (last nights dinner) and sticky buns (treats for a sleep-over). All were well received and I traded some sticky buns to my neighbour for her work in my yard (I have the BEST neighbours!). I also made some apple sauce with apples I got on sale. It was VERY popular after the girls got over the colour. LOL Adding cinnamon while it was cooking made it a bit dark. Baked 2 loaves of banana bread, one with choc chips and one without so the girls had some good snacks for Spring Break and the bananas didn’t go to waste.I tried a new recipe from budgetbytes.blogspot.com for a vegetable pot pie made with biscuits instead of pie dough. I added left over shredded chicken and used chicken broth that I had on hand. It turned out very nice and will be added to the regular rotation. My eldest really liked the biscuit topping so I will make those on their own another time. That’s about it for new frugal things this week!

  13. This week we rejoined our CSA. We can pay 350 for a half share and get vegetables from late March til mid November. Once you join you can bring your children to play at the farm whenever you like. Which is fantastic for us since we live in a very urban area on a street with extremely heavy traffic. We went twice to the farm and will likely go again tomorrow. It is heaven to be able to let my children run without worrying they will get hit by a car. I have made notes of the produce prices at the store and we are getting our moneys worth for sure, though it is pretty labor intensive to pick and clean all that produce. We figure we will have better luck this year since we know how to process it and plan for it. We fingerpainted and colored and baked cookies and had a lovely visit this Sunday with family after church. My sons are getting baptized this Sunday and we are having a small amount of people over afterward. We live over an hour away from all our family, so I am trying to walk the line between Fortifying Snack and Wrecking Easter Dinner. I am making deviled eggs, a rhubarb jello salad, pinwheel sandwiches-my stepmom had the adorable suggestion to dye the bread so I am going to make pink and yellow bread for tuna and pbnj and chicken salad pin wheels. Or I might do two pinwheels and a ribbon sandwich. I am also baking a coffee cake. Mass starts at 9 30 and won’t get out til at least 11, so I figure everyone will be ready for lunch but I didn’t want to stuff anyone. What do you think? It’s a smaller crowd this time, only 12. And then I can reserve any leftover jello and deviled eggs with our Easter dinner. It’s just the four of us this year since we did not want to try and serve a big Easter dinner to family when we already had the baptism going on and we also knew the children would be all crazy and wound up and not really *fun* to travel with. Your children really are lovely.

  14. I just wanted to mention that we got all our archery equipment at pawn shops. I’m short, so my compound bow is actually an older child sized one – it was $12. Husband’s was a little more – maybe $20-22? (It’s been a while) Anyway, if you’re able to figure out what you need size-wise you might save a lot by looking at pawn shops or on craigslist.

  15. How about making wooden blocks out of scrap wood? You could pair them with some little toy figures like army men, knights, cowboys, etc.

  16. It is truly beautiful how your little girls all wear dresses. It is refreshing to see modesty which sadly is lacking even in girls as young as your daughters.

  17. We don’t live close enough to give the gift of time. In fact money has been so tight we have not had one visit yet.This child has so many “Grandparents” due to divorces and remarries and many are doctors so we can not compete on expensive toys. I do like the wood block idea. I am trying for something he may not have yet which leaves almost nothing. I might go with Dominos another version of the blocks. I have plenty of time to think on it and even try to barter for something.

  18. Does your grandson live close-by? You could do a coupon book with special “dates” with you in it – a playdate at the park, movie & popcorn night, etc. 🙂 My kids love spending time like this with their grandparents!

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