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Frugal Accomplishments

Earth Angel Roses The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden.

I cut rosemary and Swiss chard from the garden.

We picked blackberries, apricots, lemons, and figs from the garden.

I had my son spray for bugs. Spraying the outside of the house rather than having a bug service saves us hundreds of dollars every year.

We watched children's shows on PBS.org and YouTube.

We had friends visit from out of town that we had not seen for many years. Before they came, I checked to see if their children had any food allergies. One of her children is allergic to beans, and I was planning to make bean burritos. I planned a different meal instead (Baked potato bar and salad), using ingredients that I had on hand.

I returned 1-gallon and 5-gallon plastic pots to the nursery, where they will be reused. I received a credit of $1.08, which I used towards my purchase of some flowers for the garden. Several of the plants I purchased were on sale.

I sowed seeds in the garden for two kinds of basil.

June Floral Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I gave a daughter and a son each a haircut.

My husband has been needing some new clothes for several years. We found him a wallet (for $7) at Walmart that he liked. The next morning, when I was entering the receipt into Quicken, I noticed that I had been double charged for the wallet. I went back to the store, hoping to get the money back, but having no proof of being double charged, I wasn't sure if they would give me the money back or not. Customer service used the information on the receipt to look up the transaction on the register on their security camera footage to see that I was, indeed, telling the truth, and I got my $7 plus tax put back on my card (I found out this is their standard policy for being double charged; I don't know how many days of footage they have on hand, so I was glad I went the next day, just in case). We found him some dress pants at Sam's Club. The manufacturer's price on the pants was $75 a pair; we paid just under $20 a pair for them (Sam's Club's price).

I took advantage of the Father's Day sales to purchase two shirts for my eldest son at Target, on sale for $5 each (a polo shirt and a t-shirt) which will be some of his birthday gifts for his birthday next month.

We had lots of fun taking short rides in my dad's "pre-owned," new-to-him, 1925 Model T!  I plan to take some proper photos in the future, but the first ride is documented over on my Instagram account.

Ezrom Eagle Scout The Prudent Homemaker

We celebrated my son's Eagle Scout ceremony rather simply, decorating with flags of two sizes that I already had (some of which had been purchased for my oldest son's Eagle Scout ceremony last year) and some large flags that were borrowed. We also used the patriotic ribbon medallions that I made years ago with ribbon that I received from my mother-in-law. Our dessert was simply ice cream, which we purchased on sale.

I've had several readers ask about his project. I hope to share his project as well as my eldest son's project in an upcoming post or two.

June Moon The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?




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  • Darcy June 18, 2018

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I gave my husband a haircut.

    I made some napkins from a tablecloth that I already had. I have enough left of the fabric to either make more napkins or a table runner.

    I organized my sewing supplies and fabric, getting rid of what I know I won’t use and keeping what I know I will.

    We have had very hot and humid weather so we kept curtains closed to avoid the sun heating up the house. We are also used ceiling fans to keep the cool air circulating.

    For Father’s Day I took my husband out for lunch at a newly opened place he was wanting to try. We shared a sandwich with fries and a drink. In former days we would have each gotten our own sandwich. We are finding that the older we get the less we need to eat. We ate all other meals at home.

    I washed baggies to reuse.

    I washed our clothes in cold water using homemade laundry soap and vinegar for softener.

  • Marybeth June 18, 2018

    Your son looks very proud. Good for him. The flowers look beautiful. My week is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/06/my-frugal-list-week-of-june-11-2018.html

  • Tabitha June 18, 2018

    I made a batch of what I am going to call Cajun chili. I used a mix of lentils, black and navy beans, diced tomatoes, onions, celery and bell pepper and spices I had on hand. It turned out to be delicious.

    Using up overripe bananas and sale yogurt for breakfast smoothies.

    Purchased a new pair of sneakers for $22.00! They were on clearance for 44, with an additional 20% off, I had a $10 off coupon also. When I went to register to pay, the clerk offered for me to use her additional 15% off coupon! I was so excited.

    I started a new prescription for my migraines. It's a daily preventative. The clerk said my cost was free due to a coupon covering my copay of $30. After looking over the paperwork that came with my prescription I discovered the coupon will cover my copay for the next year. That will save me $360 over the year!!

    I feel as though this has been one of my better weeks in a long time.

  • Bethany June 18, 2018

    This past week was not frugal at all, since we were on a cruise! We saved up and paid cash for the trip. As all food is included in the cruise price, my husband and son ate several Guys burgers for lunch, steak every night for dinner, along with several pizza and ice cream snacks, while I enjoyed various seafood entrees and salmon, as fast food, steak, salmon and seafood are rarely on the menu at home! They also had several show productions, PG comedy shows, movies, and musical entertainment we enjoyed the ship,that were included in the price. We did one shore excursion (snorkeling with the stingrays), and the only "souveniers" we purchased were fridge magnets ( inexpensive, useful and don't need dusting!) and a maraca for each of the grandchildren for $1.00 each. We stayed out of the casino, the overpriced shops on ship, and the bars. We spent an extra night in New Orleans, as the difference in flights more than paid for the hotel, and I was able to spend the afternoon with my cousin whom I hadn't seen in several years.

  • Ellie June 20, 2018

    We cruise, in the same manner. When you don't drink alcohol, buy the unlimited soda plan, gamble, or take the expensive excursions it is a GREAT way to get from port to port.
    We buy a travel guide (usually from the library sale) and check out their suggestions, hop in a taxi and go to the beach on our own. It helps that we visit Caribbean ports where Spanish and English are spoken. Most of the places have taxi rates set by their governments.
    How else can one vacation for about $120 a day per person all food and lodging included?

  • SJ in Vancouver BC June 20, 2018

    Or just stay on board the ship when it's in port. I loved doing that on the Caribbean sailings. The ship empties out and it was just a few of us around the pool all day long.

  • Marivene June 18, 2018

    Cashed a pine cone research check.

    Continued to fill 1-2 tree tubs with thistles & weeds each day to get the perimeter beds back in order. I am also stripping the now dry fir needles from the branches I laid over the beds last December. The needles will help acidify the alkaline soil we have.

    Completed knitting the little white baby blanket I made from the white yarn left over from our youngest grandson’s blessing blanket. It will be used for the next grandchild born.

    Our local grocery store gave out “S’mores kits” to anyone who spent more than $70 on Saturday. Each kit had a box of graham crackers, a bag of large marshmallows, and a bunch of Hershey bars, with a collapsible metal toasting rod for the marshmallows. Our next door neighbors have 2 children & camp often, so we accepted the freebie & gave it to the neighbors. I also used the accumulated points to reduce our grocery bill by $15.

    I made another batch of turkey vegetable soup from our pantry stores: dehydrated cabbage ( bought on salin March at St. Pats then dehydrated), dehydrated onions (from the garden) dehydrated parsley, bottled carrots, bottled green beans, bottled mixed summer squash, & bottled tomato sauce (all from our garden), along with turkey broth & turkey chunks bottled in November after Thanksgiving. We always buy multiple turkeys with the coupons & sales, then roast each turkey, serve one meal, & bottle the rest of the meat, making broth from the turkey skin & carcass. We hold back one turkey in the freezer for later use. The soup is a “dump & heat”, with 6 pint jars, so it makes 12 cups of a gluten free meal, & stores well in the fridge for reheating.

    Ordered a free 8x8” photo book from Shutterfly, that will be a present. I only have to pay the shipping, which makes it affordable for me. Shutterfly has a free code right now for 4 free 8x10” photos, too.

  • Amy June 23, 2018

    Marivene you inspire me! I’m starting to save the pine branches I trim from our pine trees so I can strip them for my soil. I live in Utah as well. I’m so impressed with your use of the turkey. Thanks for all the great ideas

  • piggykr June 18, 2018

    We went to a pool party last weekend. It was fun and the host was kind enough to provide everything.
    My friend gifted me several bags of beans, rice, pasta, and chips that her family wouldn't use.
    I was gifted several skeins of yarn by the same friend.
    I went shopping at the wholesale market instead of the supermarket. With the warmer weather prices are cheaper. I got an entire box of celery and a box of chicory for $7.
    Another friend's guinea pig died so she passed on the leftover bedding and food. There were several bags each which was a blessing as it can be quite expensive to buy.
    A colleague is moving on to bigger and better opportunities and purged his professional library. I was able to find several books to pass on to a friend who is just getting started in the business.
    I had some potatoes that were going to go to waste so I cooked them and used the leftovers in potato bread.
    I set up a local swap and I'm trying to establish a local Buy Nothing group.
    We spent time in the park or the playground each day.
    I've hung all the laundry on the indoor rack this week. I didn't use the dryer even once.
    My son got two books from the library.
    We still don't use satellite, cable, or streaming services.
    I'm working to become more efficient in housekeeping by using an app.

  • Jennifer June 19, 2018

    What app are you using for the housekeeping? I'm terribly inefficient.

  • Juls Owings June 20, 2018

    Jennifer June 19,2018 you can google house cleaning apps for IO or Android and they have several suggestions. My daughter uses Wunderlist as she delegates work to her 3 kids to do while she is at work and they are on summer break.

  • Jennifer O. June 21, 2018

    I use Fly Lady. its free and online/ text messages

  • Hilogene in Az June 18, 2018

    I really loved the photo of your son, great smile! And congratulations again to him for a great achievement.

    After spending more this year on food than budgeted, I have made steady progress eating down the freezer and pantry, with minimal grocery spending. It feels great to see the freezer half full and know that I am saving money. Sometimes I get so excited buying food on sale, the freezer gets to the top...

    Even my husband has gotten into the sprit of saving money. A few months ago, the scratch and dent store here in Phoenix had boneless skinless chicken breasts for $0.70 per pound, but you had to buy a box of 40 lbs. so I did. Then found out that it was two 20 lb bags of frozen chicken, all frozen into one giant cube. So I thawed it out in an ice chest over a day or so, chiseled the chicken breasts apart and repackaged them. My husband at the time was rolling his eyes. But I persevered! This week, we had chicken for dinner and he asked if this was part of my chicken stash :). And he tells our friends about the great price. Since there are only two of us, the chicken will last a year :)

    On the long term frugal front, we have both been paying a physical trainer at the gym to work with us. Since we are 62 and 70 years old, with quite a few years of inactivity recently, we were in terrible shape. Husband has lots of health issues, including rods and pins in his back, so he needed someone to teach him how to get back in shape. Our belief is that by getting back in shape now, getting muscles again and restoring some level of balance and flexibility, we will set ourselves on a much better path the next 20 years (lower medical expense and greater ability to live on our own). So this epic task is more of a long term frugal accomplishment we hope!

  • Juls Owings June 20, 2018

    Hilogene in Az June 18, 2018 My Dad did this when he turned 60...he is 91 and in the nursing home now and therapy constantly tells us he is in good shape because he kept working out even when he struggled to walk. Rode a exercise bike every morning while he watched 1 1/2 hrs of news. Walked his kitchen counters backwards etc.. SO keep at it ... Proud you are starting now.

  • Anne June 20, 2018

    Could we get a tad more information on your dad walking his kitchen counters backwards?:)

  • SJ in Vancouver BC June 20, 2018

    Hilogene -- Have you found Produce on Wheels Without Waste (P.O.W.W.OW)? It's a nonprofit in the Phoenix area that offers 70 pounds of produce for a $12 donation. Anyone can participate, there are no restrictions. They set-up in multiple locations in the area or you can go to their warehouse.

  • mable June 18, 2018

    We had frost this week in interior Alaska, so I lost some items in my garden. However, a generous friend who has some zucchini seedlings she had not put in the garden yet due to lack of room gave me 13 zucchini plants. We use and freeze a lot of zucchini and even if this is more than normal, it saved me from spending money on nursery starts (and I may not have been able to find any, since a lot of people did not cover their plants on June 12 and found themselves running to the nursery the next day for replacements).

    I did a string of mystery shops and earned over $160 for the week, plus free gas and pop.

    Was cleaning a back cupboard and found two waffle irons and two crock pots. I have no idea how I ended up with duplicates, but sold one of each on a local FB group.

    Babysat a friend's dog for a week. She paid me with a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card that had been given to her but she would never use. I took my husband there for a fancy coffee and a sweet treat as a surprise after church. He likes fancy coffees but seldom indulges himself. We sat there and played a Scrabble game we'd brought with us. It was a nice date.

    Husband cut my hair. Not the most talented stylist, but it will grow out and it is cooler. I get it professionally cut once a year, and then he tries to keep the shape going after that.

    My sister got an Instant Pot and hates it so is giving it to me. Last year she gave me a very fancy toaster that she didn't care for. The year before that it was something else expensive. I think she purposely buys things and passes them on to me under the guise of not liking them, as a way not to hurt my feelings by making me feel less well off than she is. I am quite a bit older than she is and raised her during her teen years. We are not poor by any means but her husband is a surgeon and they have no children so have a large disposable income. These "I don't like it after all" gifts started after a year when she gave me a large monetary gift for my birthday and I explained that I was very thankful but could not reciprocate so it made me uncomfortable to get such an extravagant gift. It was my husband who told me, after a smaller but still expensive present the next year, that I needed to show some grace and let her try in her way to thank me for escaping an abusive home and then coming back in my early 20s to rescue her by telling my parents they could either give her to me to finish raising or I would turn them into the police and child protective services. So now I express my sincere thanks and keep my mouth shut about the value of these gifts.

    Other than that, just did the usual things to save money---reused and repurposed and did without.

  • Chris M June 19, 2018

    Mabel, Your sister sounds like a very generous person who loves and appreciates you deeply. How wonderful you were able to intervene in her life when it mattered and make such a difference.

  • mable June 19, 2018

    The irony is that I think it was my sister who saved me. I was not headed in a very good direction until she called weeping and begged me to bring her to live with me. I was not headed in a very good direction but once I had her to be responsible for, it became easy for me to stop too much drinking and too many boyfriends. I think that it is why I fell in love with my husband, who was the first guy who welcomed her to come along on dates and bought her birthday gifts.

  • Sheila June 19, 2018

    What a beautiful story about both of you.

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