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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Apricots in White Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested the first apricots from our garden.

 Artichokes and turnips The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested turnips and artichokes from the garden.

Fig Tarts 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I made fig tarts using figs we froze from the garden last year.

I watched a couple of episodes of Call the Midwife on

My husband had some work done on our vehicle. He had everything written out and he paid half down and had the work done the next day. When they had finished, they told him that they replaced the brake pads (something he had not agreed to have done). He refused to pay for it, as he already had agreed upon the work that was being done. They told him the brake pads were under warranty, so he could skip paying for those, but that he would have to pay $200 for the labor. He reminded them that he already had a signed contract with them and had paid half down, and he was not going to pay for more work than he agreed to have done.  He came home with new brake pads, free of charge.

May Flowers The Prudent Homemaker

Yellow Graham Thomas roses, pink Earth Angel Roses, purple rocket larkspur, and Dusty Miller

I cut flowers from the garden for our table.

We were blessed with several new things this week:

My mom brought over several clothing items for my girls that she had found at garage sales for $0.50 each, including jeans and a brand-new coat! She also brought us some books that she found for $0.25 each.

We were given some hand-me-down clothes from my sister-in-law that will fit one of my daughters.

A friend brought by 18 eggs from her chickens.

Grand Canyon The Prudent Homemaker

We took atrip to the Grand Canyon. It's a 5 hour drive from my house. To save money, we chose to make the trip in one day. We brought food with us, including homemade French bread, chocolate chip cookies, almond blackberry muffins (I substituted frozen blackberries from our garden and some almonds I bought in bulk for the blueberries in this recipe), and balsamic vinaigrette. I did not make enough salad dressing for both lunch and dinner, so I stopped at a grocery store to buy a bottle of salad dressing. The kind I wanted was on sale, and a coupon fairy had left a $1 off coupon for me, which I gratefully used!

Route 66

My husband cut my hair (the day after this photo was taken!)

I gave the baby a haircut.

We celebrated the baby's first birthday with a simple party at home. We had ice cream and homemade brownies.

What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Maria In CA May 08, 2017

    Sounds like a lovely trip!

    How many artichoke plants do you have? I just put my first ones in last year only one survived our drought and heat wave, but I'm not thrilled with the yield.

  • Gorgeous produce pics as always, and I'm so glad that you were able to take a trip to the Grand Canyon!

    My frugal accomplishments were as follows:
    - I bought 20 lbs of carrots at 50 cents/lb, which is the cheapest I usually find here unless it’s the fall.
    - Borrowed my parents’ high end juicer so that I can make fresh carrot, apple, & ginger juice.
    - Carpooled with my parents to do some shopping
    - Made 5 dozen raspberry-almond thumbprint cookies, using up the last of some raspberry jam I received. I sent 40 of those cookies into work with the DH, brought 15 into my workplace…and ate the rest. :)
    - Made a loaf of cheddar bread, using up the last of the cheddar cheese that I bought on sale a few weeks ago. I used homemade yoghurt instead of buttermilk since I didn’t have buttermilk in the house, and the bread turned out so delicious! Yum!
    - Came up with a new smoothie recipe, Peanut Butter & Jam (, that is high in protein and fibre, using things that I had in my house. So, so yummy, and I didn’t need to buy any special ingredients for it!
    - Used a Starbucks gift card from Swagbucks to treat myself to a ½ price Frappuccino on my lunch hour today. Great weather, yummy drink, and lunch hour equals happy!
    - Regrew some green onions in water
    - Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks card
    - Saved a pretty jam jar for home canning
    - Was gifted tickets to see a movie at the Hot Docs film festival in Toronto. The couple the DH and I went with, also paid for our drinks after the movie. Plus, we got to talk with the filmmaker! Was a very fun evening!
    - Made cream of mushroom soup, using mushrooms on sale, and leftover table cream, and froze half for future meals.
    - Made brownies as a hostess gift, using walnuts gifted to me, dried cranberries instead of dried cherries, and chocolate chips purchased in bulk instead of more expensive chocolate. And also using up leftover whipped ganache as the topping.
    - Also brought a bottle of wine which I put into a home-sewn burlap wine sleeve, and tied with a reused brown silk cord. Looked very chic, and it only cost me the cost of the wine (which actually, came from the DH’s wine collection, aka mostly wine gifted to us).
    - Used my Amazon gift cards (from Swagbucks) to buy myself a canning tool set and a round cookie rack to set inside my water bath canner (that I bought for $2 at a bazaar!), as well as a 50-pack of Canadian flag cupcake liners, and a package of Wilton food markers. I wouldn’t buy these items without gift cards because I don’t need them – but what a treat to be able to get them! It kind of felt like Christmas. :)

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  • Christina Black May 08, 2017

    Those fig tarts look so tasty! I might have to try those someday. I'll check to see if the recipe is on your site. I appreciate the inspiration. :)

    Happy Birthday to the little one! My accomplishments include making lavender goats milk soap, opening my Etsy shop, and reading free ebooks from the library. Lots of things are going on right now so I need to make a point to come here again weekly so I can stay on track and save money.

    Here are my other frugal efforts:

    Happy Monday night!

  • Christina, I haven't yet measured the ingredients, but I plan to once I have some fresh figs in the garden next month! Then I'll get the recipe up on my site.

  • Alice May 08, 2017

    We called a tree trimming company and asked to be put on their list for wood chips if they are in our area. Last week we got a HUGE truck load of wood chips, which we have been using on some landscaping projects. It would have cost so much if we had bought wood chips.

  • piggykr May 08, 2017

    The Grand Canyon trip looks fun!
    The last few weeks have been very busy for us because spring is full of holidays here.
    I had a day off from work giving me a three-day weekend so we decided to take a weekend trip. We had considered taking it later but it would have been high season and very crowded. We took the train and rented a car. The car rental was only $40 for the weekend. We rented a condo cheaper as it was the last weekend of off season. Instead of eating out we stopped by a supermarket and the fish market and grilled seafood and zucchini.

    Last weekend was Buddha's Birthday and we watched the Lotus Lantern parade. It was amazing watching several thousand people walk down the street with lighted lanterns. Instead of dragging my 5 year old home late at night by subway we decided to stay at an inexpensive hotel. We'd taken some snacks and refillable water bottles with us to avoid buying when the munchies hit. The next day we went to the festival and made our own lantern, picked up several coloring sheets, pens, postcards, popcorn, and drinks for free. My son also participated in a hackisack contest and won a few small things. We took the subway home.

    For Children's Day we watched a movie using a discount coupon and spent some time at home as a family. The next day I met up with an old friend at the mall only to find out they were sponsoring a Children's Day event sponsored by Hot Wheels. My son got a brand new Hot Wheels car and got to play with their race tracks. We were also given a ticket for a bouncy castle by a woman with a child too big for it.

    We played Pokemon Go for entertainment instead of spending money.

    I baked bread.
    Ate almost all of our meals at home.
    I traded some clothes my son has grown out of for a big box of craft items, some shower gel, and fabric softener.
    I sorted through hand me downs and now my son has a "new" wardrobe and I realized I don't have to buy anything for summer except shoes.
    I'm cooking as many meatless meals as possible to save money.

  • Becky May 08, 2017

    We drove past, and stopped, at the Grand Canyon on our way back from a conference my husband had, years and years ago. (It was a case where the family could go along if we paid our own way, so we stopped at every attraction/park/sight there was, but only for a few hours, since we had a schedule to keep--his way was paid, and we had to make it to the conference on time, obviously). Your pictures bring back memories of how amazing and awesome it was. I'm glad you got to go. I've never regretted my whirlwind tour of that and the other sights I saw on that trip. We only could stay a couple of hours, but it was so breathtaking. It was worth going, even for the short time.

    Taking food on trips really helps. That's what we did for part of our trip this past weekend.

    We took a little trip to a medieval village in Washington, near Seattle. It was a living history experience and they were having a May Day festival. It was a great learning experience for the kids, and the adults enjoyed themselves as well. We did a good balance of eating food from home and eating out. I felt good about the savings we were able to accomplish.

    I did some cooking, and a few other money-saving things this week. I put them on my blog:

  • http://Erika @ The Make Do Home Maker May 08, 2017

    Wow! Octavius is one already? Geez time flies!

    It's been busy around here lately with my husband starting a new job and coming to grips with my son's behaviors getting worse and more violent (he's autistic). I am seriously considering trying to find money to get him into a naturopathic doctor to see about the natural helping autism route. I've tried everything else and am constantly trying to find something to help the poor guy.

    Anyway, my list for the week can be found here...

  • Mandy May 09, 2017

    We have stray cats, birds, rabbits, and occasionally deer that run through our yard and get into the garden. We have had fencing up around our big beds and our raised beds but last year something got in anyways. GGRR! I totally understand the garden frustration/worry!
    I hope your son's medication works soon! You all must be very stressed out (to say the least).

  • C May 08, 2017

    Love the picture of you two and your youngest! Your husband did a great job with your hair. Is he self taught or did he learn from a book/formal education?

    Octavius is has grown up so much and is such a handsome little boy!

  • Lisa May 08, 2017

    My frugal accomplishment occured on Sunday evening. I purchased four bras online from the JCPenney website during their Buy 1, Get 1 for a Penny sale. At the time of my purchase, there was a coupon code for 33% off. I also had a $15 credit for making a previous in-store purchase. I ended up paying $10.29 for each bra that was originally $40!

  • Jeannie May 09, 2017

    I too have been finding great deals at JCPenney for my oldest who is 6' 4" and weighs 300lbs. He needs nice office work attire. They seem to offer great sales plus I got one of their credit card which adds (sometimes) an extra discount. We ALWAYS pay our cards off immediately. In addition, the clothes seem to be good quality. So far I have also been pleased with the service.

  • ms13 May 09, 2017

    JCP has been having a ton of deals lately -- every 4-6 weeks they've been offering $10 off/$10 item coupons and I've gotten tons of things for free/close to free. If you have the patience to dig through the clearance section you can make those coupons stretch. At the last sale, I got 2 workout tops and a pair of knickers for about $12 ($2 after the coupon). Its great to keep an eye out.

  • Becky @ Becky's Place May 11, 2017

    JCPenney in our area is closing. I wonder if all these great deals are leading up to further closings. I should plan to stop in at our store to see what kind of clearing out they have going on. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Marcia May 15, 2017

    I honestly can't be bothered to hit the mall anymore. SO many stores moving out and none coming in to replace them. I use mail order a lot. Today I needed a gift and the toy department was interesting--tons more boy's toys than girl's, and I only had girls. I finally chose a "safe" Lego set (I hope) and then found it was marked $19.99 but only was charged $13.39. No signs anywhere to tell me that! Sunscreen, which I NEED, since they tell me it should be replaced every year, was on sale if you bought TWO. I have my ten year old one that's only half empty but I thought I should probably replace it! One is enough--there are no "small" bottles. Thought I would pick up a box of crackers for our car ride---didn't see any I liked. Guess we'll be taking the half bag of Tostidos we already have open. Not very impressed with Target today. Use to like shopping there.

  • What a beautiful trip! I love all the homemade goodies you took with you to save money.
    I have been to a lot of garage sales too and bought some very nice clothes for the grandchildren. They grow so fast it's great to get their clothes that way.

    Here are the rest of my frugal accomplishments:

  • Laurie in central NC May 09, 2017

    What a great photo of the three of you! You look like you were having fun. The Grand Canyon is on my bucket list. I didn't realize you have honeysuckle in Las Vegas too. They're blooming profusely in these parts right now. Last weekend, I was married! Though it was simple, and there were ways we saved, our wedding wasn't quite frugal

  • Congratulations!!!

  • Laurie in central NC May 09, 2017

    Thank you!

  • Athanasia May 10, 2017

    Laurie, best wishes for a long and happy life together.

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