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Frugal Accomplishments For the Second Week of March

Open Door in Spring The Prudent Homemaker

It was so incredibly beautiful this week.

I cut daffodils from the garden for the table.

We celebrated a simple birthday celebration for a child at home.

Snow Peas and Radishes The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested radishes, cilantro, snow peas, green onions, and Swiss chard from the garden.

We went through clothing, packing up cold weather clothes and taking out summer clothes, including doing what I call "The Big Swap" where we hand down clothing to younger sibling as well as pack up outgrown clothing to be passed down at some point. I also went through several items in my closet, and found that several of my blouses are now too large, but that several other items I own still fit just fine--only better! We put aside several large bags of outgrown clothing to donate.

Naptime The Prudent Homemaker

My husband cut two sons' hair.

I turned some old broken jewelry that I've had for many years into some new jewelry for myself.

I mended a few leaks in the drip irrigation.

We said yes to offers of a hand-me-down bicycle and a scooter from two different people.

The children hopped around on a couple of pogo sticks that my mom picked up at a garage sale for $3 each.


What did you do to save money last week?

Octavius walking The Prudent Homemaker

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  • Lisa March 13, 2017

    Wow, what beautiful pictures of your garden!

    Your daughter is lovely and how nice that takes such good care of the baby.

    I was busy with work and doing some more wedding planning.

    Check it out:

  • Walking already! Time does fly by, doesn't it? We had a good, busy week. Our frugal accomplishments are listed here:

  • Those snow peas look delicious! So nice that you getting the spring crops in. The baby is growing and walking! So cute!
    We went with the kids to a science museum that had a free day. We were able to save $35 on the cost of admission and we took a lunch. Here are the rest of my frugal accomplishments for this past week here:

  • Heather March 13, 2017

    My daughters helped me can 7 pints of relish, 7 quarts of salsa, 10 pints of salsa, 13 quarts and 13 pints of stewed tomatoes all using free food that we got. I did buy onions and some jalapeño peppers.

  • Lorna March 13, 2017

    Heather and what a blessing to be able to preserve so many wonderful things from free produce :) and your daughters sound like such a big help.

  • Lisa March 14, 2017

    Nice work with canning! And what a blessing to be gifted the free food.

    I so want to do some canning this year, but I think my plans of having raised beds have changed. We had really come to the conclusion that we will downsize in a couple of years. Our current house is going to be too big in the coming years. The previous owners put a lot into professional landscaping. I think I will try growing some things in existing beds just among the other plans.

    We went to a specialty shop that sells all kinds of different types of canned jams, salsas, butters and pickles. They had samples out and one was "candied jalapenos". My son loved them and bought a jar. Not very frugal, but they were good. I told him that pickles are easy to make and we could look for a recipe to duplicate. Jalapenos are easy to grow and if I can't grow enough, I often see them super cheap in big bulk packages at Aldi.

  • Heather in L.A. March 14, 2017

    For candied jalapeños, I simply purchase a large jar of sliced picked ones, drain the juice, dump out the jalapeños and layer them back in with sugar. They make their own juice and in a week or two are ready. We also do the same with sliced hamburger dills, adding hot sauce in layers with the pickles and sugar. They are great on sandwiches and with fried fish, diced up in potato salad....we also make something in the south called koolaid pickles...same concept just sub the hot sauce for a koolaid flavor of your choice...strange yes but good.

  • Athanasia March 15, 2017

    Haha, these all sound very odd to me so I will take your word that they are good. Especially the koolade ones :o

  • Piggykr March 13, 2017

    Love the photos!!!
    I went to a first birthday party and gave baby lotion, passed on some books, and some too small training pants. I've come to dislike consumerism especially for toys.
    I attended a swap. I picked up 0-6 month baby clothes for some friends who are expecting their first babies. I found a buzz lightyear costume. My son had recently watched the toy Story movies and really likes them. I also scored a top for myself and a vest for my son. I also picked up some pet products All for free!
    We went to lunch and a theme coffee shop but instead of driving we took the subway saving on gas and parking . We also played Pokémon go while walking.
    I took my lunch to work.
    I hung up some laundry instead of using the dryer. It helps with the humidity.
    I'm hosting a traveler and I've taken advantage of the nice conversation and company. Also having an extra pair of hands willing to do dishes is nice.

  • Athanasia March 15, 2017

    pkr, what is a "theme coffee shop"? Sounds like you live in a much bigger city than we do. Maybe this is a thing?

  • Lorna March 13, 2017

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) . How beautiful is that photo of Winter holding Octavius and how happy he looks finding his new found feet and freedom to explore the outside world faster.

    Our frugal accomplishments this week were -

    Financial -

    - So far this month we have banked another $596.38 into our saving with our home with cash fund.

    Groceries -
    - We noticed a lot of things we needed to stock up our pantries on that were on 20 - 50% off sales this week so we took advantage of them and topped up our pantries with some winter foods and others and the meat freezer.
    - We purchased on 50% off sale 8 tins of sweet corn kernels saving $7.04, 4 tins of blueberry and 6 tins of strawberry pie filling on 50% off sale saving $25, 6 family sized whole chickens saving 20 % off usual sale prices, and 24aa batteries. All up we saved $41.59 on the usual prices.

    Garden -
    - Picked 2.049kg of red and green capsicums and 250g of cherry tomatoes from the gardens.
    - Planted a 9mt row of Australian white garlic bulbs in the gardens saved from our last crop here.

    Kitchen -
    - Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Blanched and froze capsicums picked from the gardens.
    - Cooked 2 roasts on the BBQ rather than using the oven saving on electricity costs.

    Water preservation -
    - Hand watered the lawns all week with saved grey water from our washing machine and showers.
    - Missed 1.5 scheduled garden watering sessions due to rain saving 3360 lts of town water use.

    Electricity savings -
    - Used our solar lanterns each night rather than using mains powered lights.
    - Washed our clothing in cheaper electricity times in our washing machine.

  • momsav March 13, 2017

    Lorna, I was wondering about the solar lights you mention. Are those inside or outside? If they're inside, how do you like them? Are they bright enough to work from? I'd like to get some for inside but I'm not sure how my husband would go for it. But also, they'd have to be as strong as an electric light or I'd already have the answer without discussing it. Ha! Being as you're in the land of sun, and I'm in the land of snow, I'd probably only get any real use out of them in the Summer. ( Which for us is about two weeks long!;))

  • Lorna March 13, 2017

    momsav the solar lights are inside but we put them outside to charge them, but you can also charge them with a usb to mini usb from your laptop too in winter. For sufficient light to work by and yes we cook, read and run our whole house at night by the light of them, you need at least 150 lumens plus to get a bright enough light. We use solar tent lanterns that have a small solar panel to charge them with outside.

    You can get hand cranked solar lanterns too where you can charge them by winding up the handle where 5 mins of winding will give you an hour of strong light. These will probably be the ones you would want being that your summer is so very short. They also have a solar panel on the top as well for charging during summer. These are the ones we will be investing in shortly as initially we went with very cheap ones as an experiment. Also you would want ones with a hook on them as then you can attach them by hooking to the front of your shirt or hang them in the area you are working in at night.

    As far as longevity we get 5 hours of light from one charge from each one of these. If it is cloudy we put them on charge on our laptop battery for 2.5 hours.

    I hope this helps :) .

  • Robert March 14, 2017

    Does it really save money? Not using the electric lights.

  • Andrea Q March 14, 2017

    How much money you save would depend on how much the solar lights cost and their lifespan compared to how much electricity your light bulbs/fixtures use and your electric rate. We bought LED bulbs from a veterans fundraiser for about $3 each. They cost pennies per year to operate. Buying solar lights wouldn't be financially advantageous for us. However, they are nice to have in when the power goes out (we keep a couple in our camping gear).

  • Lorna March 15, 2017

    Andrea Q you are exactly right on the cost versus benefit analysis and you tariff rate in your particular area or country. Led bulbs are a good saving too.

    For us we have paid back the price of our solar lanterns already and are in credit as we only purchased cheap ones.

  • Lorna March 15, 2017

    Hi Robert yes you can save anywhere from 8 - 15% of your power bill as according to research that is what an average household uses. For us we saved $41 in a quarter on our electricity bill.

  • momsav March 16, 2017

    Thanks, Lorna and everyone else. I'm going to check these out.

  • Lorna March 16, 2017

    Hi momsav and most welcome for the information.

    Also for everyone's information the lithium ion batteries last between 300 - 500 charges before you need to replace them, I researched the longevity of the batteries before purchase too.

  • Cindi March 13, 2017

    I love the pictures of the children. Really started my day with a smile.

    Spring is still a long way away here, but I am getting ready. Daffodills were on sale at the store for $1.99 a bunch, so I bought two bunches. Then I forgot about them and remembered them two days later. They had accidentally been put in the crisper with the celery I also bought. I took them out and put them in water and they were fine! I was a little amazed by this.

    This week I repotted three houseplants in free pots. I finished piecing a wall hanging and a table runner. I still have to quilt them, but at least I’m making progress. All the materials were from my stash. I started cooking and freezing meals for our upcoming big camping trip. This time we will be away five weeks, visiting family and friends in Arkansas and Texas, as well as camping in the Ozarks and at several state parks. I finished a pair of pants I was sewing. I washed, waterproofed, and put away all our ski gear. My husband’s jacket had a tear in the lining, so I repaired this. We picked up a free load of firewood from a local business that had cut down a tree. My husband thinks it’s over half a cord of free wood. This gives us a head start on the wood we need for next year. We hiked a trail that was new to us – a lovely afternoon together with our dogs – nothing like gorgeous scenery, exercise and free recreation.

    I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts.

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