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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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I cut cucumbers from the garden. I saved seeds from my cucumber to plant in next years' garden.

We picked pears from the garden. I picked a few tomatoes from the garden.

I cut oregano from the garden.


Autumn Piano detail The Prudent Homemaker

I cut lavender branches from the garden to enjoy in the house.

Reading in the Window The Prudent Homemaker

I used Ebates when shopping clearance online from Old Navy for my teenaged son to get cash back from my purchase. I also used a 40% off code to save another $18 on my order. Old Navy has a ton of exclusions about what their coupon codes don't apply to, but it still applied to part of my order. We've been checking the thrift store and garage sales; there are not many things out there in the style he wants in a men's small and 28-inch waist. Once he hits a medium I'll be able to find more at garage sales and the thrift stores (I have not found much at either of those places this year). I bought some things he can use now (shorts and short-sleeved shirts) as well as some clothes that will be gifts for Christmas. Prices were about double what I pay at the thrift store.  I also qualified for free shipping on my order.

Cyrus Scout The Prudent Homemaker

Cyrus just joined the Order of the Arrow. He also passed off his last required merit badge that he needed to finish before working on his Eagle Scout project.

Octavius Cowboy The Prudent Homemaker

I bought a pair of needed shoes for myself from Zulily. I thought I would look to see what else they had while I was on their site (and paying shipping), and I found the exact tie that my son had asked for for Christmas for $12 less than I had seen it previously (he loves ties and enjoys having lots of options to wear to church each Sunday). 

We did some organizing, which always makes the house feel nicer. Seven drawers in the kitchen were reorganized, and I added a few items that I'm not using to the donation pile. My husband spent some time organizing in the garage, and I'll be giving away an item we no longer need tomorrow to someone who can use it.

Pretzel Owlettes The Prudent Homemaker

I spent more time organizing the pantry, and I cooked several items from the pantry to use them up. 

Elsa and Abe The Prudent Homemaker

We enjoyed a Civil War reenactment on Saturday.

 Children with Abraham Lincoln The Prudent Homemaker

Southern Troops The Prudent Homemaker


Civil War Camp The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money last week?


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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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October paperwhites The Prudent Homemaker

The paperwhites (above) have started to bloom a month early in the white garden.


We ate grape leaves, Swiss chard, beet greens, pears, rosemary, basil, and chives from the garden.

I used my solar oven to cook a few meals, including chicken with rice and grapes leaves, which I made twice last week. 

I said yes when I was offered some frozen trout from someone who went trout fishing this summer. 

I saved seeds from a homegrown butternut squash to plant next year. I primarily grow open-pollinated seeds so that I can collect seeds from my plants to grow the following year. I also saved the stem so that I can use it later to top a homemade velvet pumpkin.

I had an at-home date night with my husband. We played three rounds of Battleship. I haven't played that game in years and it was nice to play with the one that I picked up the week before last at the garage sale for $1.50.

We also had a date night out. We split a meal and had water to drink; our meal was $8.50. As our budget can now allow for a date night out (and we have children old enough to babysit), we have added one date night out a week to our schedule. This is a huge change for us and I am enjoying the chance to have a date out with my husband. We started having a date night out once a month last year, using only gift cards that we had received. Once a week is a lovely change, and we're making choices on where we go to keep it frugal.

We watched a couple of episodes of Poldark online for free (U.S. readers can watch here on

The weather has been around 90ºF (32ºC).  I've been able to open the windows for several hours each morning, only needing to run the air conditioner for a few hours each day. 

I collected warm-up water from the shower to water potted plants.

I spent many hours cleaning and organizing the pantry. I'm not done yet, but I have a good idea now of what I will and won't need to purchase in the upcoming months. 

I did some shopping: I went to Dollar Tree and bought 4 bottles of The Works toilet bowl cleaner (cleaning items come from my grocery budget). I also bought a package of 4 toothbrushes (with plastic covers) and a package of combs, which will go in our Operation Christmas Child boxes this year, and a package of bobby pins, which I will put in Winter's stocking.

I went to Winco and bought yellow onions for $0.39 a pound (14 and a half pounds), russet potatoes at 10 pounds for $2.68 (30 pounds), Gala apples for $0.88 a pound (12 and half pounds), Roma tomatoes for $0.98 a pound (5 pounds), broccoli crowns for $0.98 a pound (6 and a half pounds),  milk for $2.47 a gallon (3 gallons), shampoo for $0.98 a bottle (3 bottles), and orange mini pumpkins (they didn't have white) for $0.78 each (12). Their bulk candy is not yet on sale, so I'll return the last week of the month for some candy, milk, and more potatoes. 

I am hosting a baby shower in December. I made plans this week for decorations and food. I have almost all of the food items on hand already in the pantry and in the freezer. I will plant extra lettuce in the garden this week for the party, with the backup plan to buy lettuce if necessary. I'll also watch for a sale on melting chocolates. Any food I do need to buy (including the chocolate) will come from the regular grocery budget.

I made plans for Christmas gifts that I will be sewing for the children using material that I have on hand. These will be featured in my Gift a Day series in November. The children have given me some rather specific requests, and I'm also adding in a few surprises that I know they will like.


What did you do last week to save money?





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I cut garlic chives, onion chives, basil, oregano and cucumbers from the garden. I also picked pears from the garden.

Succulent Urn The Prudent Homemaker

I purchased some succulents (in addition to the ones I had purchased the previous week). Succulents tend to be pricey, so I looked for ones that had "babies" in the pots and divided them. I found two pots with two plants in each and one with four. I divided these and the ones I had bought the week before last for a succulent urn that I started, added some to a pot that I started that is by my front door, and put some into a pot that I am starting as a Christmas present for my parents. I'll most likely need to pick up a few more for my parents' present, so I'll look for ones that have babies in the pots again to get the most for my money.

I blended banana peels, squash peels from a roasted squash, coffee grounds from my mom, and some garden scraps with water to use as a fertilizer in the garden. Someone shared a video of something similar to this on a local Facebook gardening page that I belong to; in the video, they used coffee grounds (nitrogen, plus they acidify the garden), banana peels (potassium), and eggshells (calcium, plus they alkalize the garden). Our soil and water and very alkaline here (8.2) so I didn't use eggshells. I have trench composted before (dig a hole and put in the garden scraps, then cover it back up with dirt). This meant I didn't have to dig quite as deep and since it is blended I hope it will break down faster. I used it to fertilize roses and fruit trees in the front yard. 

I started planting my fall garden with seeds for green onions, lettuce, and parsley in the white garden. The green onion seeds were ones I had collected from my plants earlier this year.

My husband cut his hair and both of the older boys' hair.

I went to the community garage sales on Saturday with my mom. I had my list, she had an item she needed, and she was also looking for Christmas gifts for my children.

At the very last house, the woman asked my mom if she was looking for anything in particular. My mom told her she was looking for plant stands. The woman said she had some, but they weren't out for sale. She got them out and sold them to my mom, and my mom was able to check that item off her list.

My mom found a huge box of Legos for sale for $25. We knew what a deal that was! My mom will divide these up as Christmas presents for my children, who love Legos.

Garage Sale Finds The Prudent Homemaker

I found a few things on my list (as well as a few things that should have been on my list!) including a hand-held chopper (mine had broken), $1; a girl's bicycle (I'll need to recover the seat with some vinyl that I have), $12.50; a pair of shoes for Winter that looks new, $5; several books, including 2 that I will give as Christmas gifts to a child and had been thinking about buying new, $0.50 each; a jacket that I'll be giving as a Christmas gift to a child, $2; a board book that I'll use as a Christmas gift for the baby, $1; a blue and white lidded jar, $1; a silver-plated Reed and Barton pitcher, $1; a silver-plated small pedestal bowl, $0.25; a stainless steel bathroom set with a soap dish, toothbrush holder, and 2 cups, $1; a century plant, $5; a picture frame, $1; a framed picture, $5; a Battleship game, $1.50; a small stapler, $0.50, two washcloths, $0.20; a brand-new Victorinox pocket knife and matching Cross pen, $1; a jumper for Elsa, $3; a sweater for myself, $, and a t-shirt for myself, $1.

What did you do to save money last week?


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October's Shopping Plans

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October Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

I took a trip to Sam's Club yesterday with the plan to buy toilet paper, and maybe something else.

I came out with 2 large boxes of toilet paper (on sale for $1.50 off per box, taken off at the register), a 5-pound bag of chocolate chips (I'll make cookies this month, and in the months to come), a lasagna (a splurge, definitely, but we love it and I am fitting it in the budget for the month), and six, yes, SIX, large jars of marinated artichoke hearts. They were priced at $5.01 each (normal price is around $8 or $9 a jar). I've heard that the "$0.01" ending means it's a closeout item at Sam's, and since my family loves them but I almost never, ever buy them as they're expensive, I decided to purchase a few for the pantry. I used some plus the marinade that they're in for a pasta salad today.

I bought some lettuce as well for salads, as I don't have lettuce yet in the garden to harvest. I planted some seeds today as our soil temperatures finally hit 75º, the top of where they should be for lettuce seed germination.

I also bought a 2-pound block of sharp cheddar cheese, a 7 pound 2 ounce container of ketchup ($3.83), and some cajun seasoning.

$127.10 later I walked out of the store, loaded everything in the car, and realized I should have bought milk to go with those cookies I'm planning to make.

So . . .

I'll buy milk at Winco, along with potatoes, apples, possibly squash, and pumpkins this month. I'd like to have some tiny pumpkins in the house if I can find some white ones at a price I'm willing to pay. If I'm lukcy enough to find a green one I may get it as well. I'll also pick up some candy from their bulk section for Halloween; it goes on sale the week before Halloween.

As the weather is starting to cool a bit, the Armenian cucumbers are starting to set fruit. I like the Mrs. Wages Dill pickle quick pickle mix. I'll pick some up to make pickles with my giant cucumbers; I have 5 on the vines right now and that is enough for around 10 points as the cucumbers get so long ; I don't have to brine the cucumbers with this mix and we've been really happy with the taste. I'll add a grape leaf from the garden into each jar; a reader mentioned this trick in a comment  years ago (thanks Marivene!) for making crisper pickles; it really does make a difference! 

1000 Bulbs The Prudent Homemaker

And . . . that's it! I really don't need anything else right now. We're working on eating down the pantry this month, and it's a busy time in the garden, weeding, planting, and tidying the garden. I ordered some flower bulbs in June that should arrive Friday (about the amount pictured above), so I'll be busy digging and planting bulbs for several days. It's supposed to be around 90º this weekend and into next week, so some of my bulbs will go in the refrigerator for prechilling for a few weeks (something needed when your winters don't get cold enough) and some will go into the ground, depending on variety. Update: It looks like I will be prechilling all of my bulbs as the ground should be around 55º, so I won't be planting this month.

Cucumber Pear Salads The Prudent Homemaker

It's also prime planting time for a fall garden here. I'm planting lots of seeds this month in the garden. I'm working on growing a larger number of green onions. They grow really well here and we've eaten quite a few from the garden, leaving me with almost none going into the winter. I'm looking forward to lettuce from the garden again; I have lots of lettuce seeds to plant as soon as I can get the beds weeded and tidied for planting. I'm also planting seeds for radishes (a quick turn around), turnips, Swiss chard, beets, leeks, and snow peas.

I'll harvest and dry oregano and basil from the garden this month, so I'll add both of those plus some pickles to the pantry. We also still have pears ripening in the garden, as well as Swiss chard and beet greens. I'll make some salad as pictured above, with lettuce, cucumbers, pears, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. I'll top it with some homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
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Jefferson Barracks The Prudent Homemaker

I had a good visit to St. Louis. The baby was so very, very good the entire time. I was able to visit with family that I haven't seen for years, as well as visit the graves of several of my ancestors. Both memorial services went well. I learned, among other things, that my grandmother taught many people to sew (she also taught me).

The photo I took above sums up the trip so well for me. My father is holding his grandson while looking at the grave of his grandfather.

I was not in charge of the plans, but my mother found an inexpensive hotel that served a full breakfast each morning. We were close to the people and cemeteries that we were visiting.

We went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens one day. We used my mom's AAA discount for a $1 off each admission ticket.

Water Lilies The Prudent Homemaker

I wanted to purchase a little memento from the garden, but most items were very expensive. I decided to choose a board book for the baby, which was both pretty, practical, and not overpriced; it was priced as marked at the back of the book for $7.99.

I made a pair of earrings from findings and beads that I had as a birthday gift for my aunt.

I purchased acorn squash for $0.58 a pound, which is much lower than the normal in-season price of $0.99 a pound. I used it to decorate the house for fall. We'll eat it over the next few months.

I used a 40% off coupon to buy a yard of fabric from Hobby Lobby. I used it to make a nursing cover (I already had boning for the project) and will use the leftover fabric to make 3 small items.

I bought 4 adjustable hose nozzles on clearance for $1.09 each at Target. In the past, I have paid around $8-$10 each for this type of nozzle and they always wear out after a couple of years. I have two hoses (one in front and one in back) and am now set for several years at a fraction of the price.

I used a $10 off coupon to our local nursery to some plants (including several on sale) for the garden.

I sewed some more on two dresses for myself.

I used my solar oven to cook both pots of beans and several meals.

I harvested Swiss chard, beet greens, pears, Armenian cucumbers, green onions, and garlic chives from the garden.

Trio plus baby


What did you do to save money the second half of September?



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Leaving On a Jet Plane

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Octavius and I are taking a trip to St. Louis to attend two graveside memorial services. 

I'll be seeing relatives that I haven't seen for 17 years. 

Octavius Airplane The Prudent Homemaker


Octavius Airplane 3 The Prudent Homemaker


Octavius Airplane 2 The Prudent Homemaker 

I'm not taking my computer, and I don't have a cell phone, so I won't have internet access until I return late next week. I'm looking forward to seeing your comments on all of the posts I've shared this week when I return!

Tagged in: Baby
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