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Frugal Accomplishments for the First Week of 2018

Lemon Branches and Lemons The Prudent Homemaker

I worked pruning, weeding, and tidying the garden. 

I cut branches from the garden to enjoy inside.

I picked more Meyer lemons from our trees.

I dug and transplanted several new "bushes" from one place in the garden to another where I am starting a hedge. These only have one rooted stem, but it is well rooted and they should do well in their new place. After they have been growing in their new spot for a while, I will cut the single branch on each to force them to send forth new branches. It will take about 5 years for them to grow into a hedge.

I sowed seeds for larkspur, poppies, bells of Ireland, and lettuce in the garden.

I resisted the temptation to buy more flower seeds online. I put everything in my cart, looked at the total, decided it wasn't in the budget, and closed the browser. I have plenty of seeds to plant already.

I downloaded and read five e-books from the library.

I purchased the vitamins I had on my list at Target on sale, plus used an additional 5% off Cartwheel discount to get the price lower. I brought my own bags for $0.05 off my total per bag.

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 Sam's Club gift card. I'll use this towards my grocery purchases this month.

My husband and I used the last two movie passes we received for Christmas of 2016 to go on a date.

A neighbor threw out a men's bicycle in great condition. It was missing only a few bolts (it was in pieces). We rescued it from the trash. We will either use it (after getting new bolts) or use the pieces on our existing bicycles. (The sun disintegrates seats here, so a new seat is always welcome!)

My husband repaired our side gate.

My son replaced a broken valve connector in the garden.

I collected warm-up water from the shower and used it to water our potted plants.

We enjoyed tomatoes from the garden. The green ones I picked in December have been ripening, and they are wonderful! 


What did you do to save money this past week?


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  • Kim in Florida January 09, 2018

    Lmao.....not in Florida and not at CVS. The clerks at cvs told me to take it up with my insurance company. My insurance company told me 3 different times that Florida Blue is not accepted at cvs. (but they emailed me a list of pharmacies that I could go to which had the cvs's in my area)...finally got it straightened out why the copay for a hormone replacement therapy patch for my 14 year old was $199 a month. Paid for for the first month but at $49 a patch for 4 patches that didnt stick, we got it switched to a generic birth control pill with no copay.

  • Jess January 08, 2018

    We borrowed books and DVDs from the library.
    My husband worked almost every single day; he is a stay-at-home dad and homeschool parent to our two children, however, he does a lot of side gigs either with the kids in tow or when I'm home from work. He completed 2 mystery shops - going places we already needed to go (gas station and a grocery store). He is the nursery attendant at our church and worked 3 days there. He also donated plasma and received $90 total for two times. He also received a bonus from the church for his work in the nursery.
    I earned Swagbucks and completed activities on Crowdtap. I did enough activities on Crowdtap that I received a $5 amazon gift card. I also earned and redeemed Recyclebank points for two free magazine subscriptions and a coupon for a free gallon of milk.
    I'm a licensed Zumba instructor so I teach classes, but I also attend classes. The normal class I attend had their punch cards on sale, so I saved $10 by getting it on sale.
    We had many items on our grocery list Saturday as we eat a Whole30 meal plan most days of the year. Some items we needed to get were on sale, which was a nice surprise. We made a trip (40 minutes each way) to hit up the stores that sell the items we need and it was a fun shopping day. We bought dinner for the kids at McDonald's (it was budgeted), and we packed food for ourselves. We all had good fun.

  • Madeline Kasian January 08, 2018

    I attended a training to become a facilitator in a youth program at our church and was able to drive to the location vs. having to go to another city. I also saved on hotel as a church member offered "hospitality" to me and another attendee,we stayedin a beautiful home in Tucson and had free fresh coffee each morning. And lively conversation! The Church provided ALL our meals (healthy vegetarian!!) for 3 days!! I enjoyed baked potatoes with vegetarian chili over them,spinach salads, curried chickpeas. I got my certification and made new friends.I did not spend money on anything but gas. I made friends in Tucson who I will be able to stay with in the future if we travel down that way, and I offered my guest room to friends i met there as well.

  • Jamie | Medium Sized Family January 08, 2018

    I've started throwing away the seed catalogs, because they are too much temptation. I tend to think I'll do more planting than I actually do. I'm better off grabbing packets from a local store.

    Here are the ways we saved last week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-week-105/

  • Jo January 08, 2018

    I signed up for the free Every Dollar app and so far I'm really liking it. It's so easy to just enter my purchases on my phone as soon as they are made, instead of trying to keep all my receipts together until I have time to enter it on a spreadsheet. One glance, and I can see how my budget is going.
    I avoided several purchases, talking myself out of impulse buying. It was close, but I managed it.
    I have purchased half a hog for the freezer, which we'll be getting soon. The price per pound is so much lower this way, and the pigs are always pastured, fed organically, and humanely raised and slaughtered by a small farmer and his hard-working wife, adorable toddler, and amusing dogs. I just couldn't afford this much pastured pork from a place like Whole Foods.
    We've had several hard freezes and an ice storm here in Florida, so I put frost cloth over our cabbages and they are fine. I put my worm bucket in the insulated well pump house, which is warmer by about 10-20 degrees than the outside, and the worms are fine, too. I used worm castings to improve the soil in our raised bed for this spring.
    I needed a notebook to carry with me to note symptoms for a condition I am tracking -- I found a pocket sized notebook at the house with only a couple of pages used, so that is my "new" notebook.

  • Marybeth January 08, 2018

    I love Every Dollar. All of my kids use it for their budgets. Never to young to start. I can check them when I get a few minutes.

  • Myra January 08, 2018

    Hello all! Frugal accomplishments for the first week of January:

    1. I cooked a ham that my husband was given from his employer for our holiday lunch. I also cooked the traditional black eyed peas and cabbage, very frugal purchases. I also made cornbread from my pantry supplies. We ate leftovers the next day.
    2. I went back to work on Wednesday. Brought lunch so that I would not be tempted to eat out.
    3. My dryer finally quit. We have had to dry loads of laundry several times to get them to dry completely, which is not frugal in the way of the light bill. This dryer is very old and the part to fix it was only a hundred dollars less than a brand new dryer that was on sale at Lowe's. We went with the new dryer. Not necessarily a "frugal" as far as saving money up front, but it will even out in the long run.
    4. Cooked all meals at home.
    5. Spent 16.00 at the Friday sales at my grocery store and bought sugar, milk, frozen vegetables, and toilet tissue that was on sale.

    That's all I can think of. Have a great week.

  • kim January 08, 2018

    I have my January paychecks allocated to where I need to spend them. It leaves me $20/week to buy fresh foods which I will only buy on sale. The rest of our food will come from the pantry.
    Hubby has been bad influence for eating out, wanting pizza last night, but I declined.
    I totaled all my garden spending and it was about $1800 for 25 fruit trees, 35 grapes, strawberries, asparagus, and gooseberry and currants, raspberries, etc. I may have to spend another $1200 for insect netting. Thus I hope it will be worth $3000, which is $300/year for 10 years of fruit. I figure about $2/day is my cost for the 25 weeks of production june-oct. If my garden is successful I think $2/day for as much fresh fruit that my family of 4 wants to eat is worth the effort. I'm in Iowa.

  • Laurie in central NC January 08, 2018

    The men's bicycle was a great find! This time of year, it's easy to "need" lots of flower seeds. Well done on resisting. This is our first day above freezing in a while, and there's still snow on the ground, so I've not harvested any greens lately. Hopefully, all or most survived the extreme temps. Otherwise, I've pulled butternut and cushaw squash, and sweet potatoes from the root cellar, and prepared those, as well as canned and frozen garden produce. I've cooked several things on top of our wood stove, saving propane. We still have a small amount of our tomatoes, picked green in October, the latest ever. I'm looking forward to everyone's comments, and happy to be joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/01/a-little-snow-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • I was considering these seeds all last year and planning to purchase some seeds from Floret when they became available on January 2nd. It's going to be a tight month and I just don't see them being in the budget. So they weren't an impulse buy; I know this company had specific flower seeds I have been wanting to add to the garden. It's okay, though; I think I still have plenty of other seeds and I can still fill the garden with what I have! I plan to grow more flowers this year; last year I had hoped to, but I was unable to get them all planted in time, so I have lots of seeds left. Plus, I collected seeds from the flowers I did plant, so I have more of those types!

  • Heidi Louise January 08, 2018

    Do you store your seeds in the refrigerator or freezer? or just a cool dry place?
    Thank you!

  • Juls Owings January 09, 2018

    Heidi Louise I store mine in a paper sack labeled and in a cool Dry place unless the seed specifies to refrigerate. I've a few that required that in the past.

  • I store mine in my top drawer in my nightstand :D

  • Heidi Louise January 12, 2018

    And you know exactly where they are when you need them! :D

  • Cindi January 08, 2018

    This has been a pretty uneventful week. I cooked from scratch, ate all meals at home, baked bread, and hung laundry on a rack in front of the wood stove to dry. My husband and I read books we downloaded from the library and worked on a jigsaw puzzle that was a Christmas gift.
    I did swing by Target to take a look at their 90% off Christmas clearance. I bought 3 gift bags for 20 cents each, a large jar of cashews marked down from $16.99 to $5.09 and a S’well stainless water bottle for $2.49. Only the rose gold color was marked down (regularly $25!). I wanted this to keep tea in – it’s supposed to keep it hot for 12 hours – we’ll see.
    I had enough MyPoints to get a $20 Amazon GC and I used this to purchased Dr. Bronner’s soap that was on sale. My supply was running low, so this sale was timely.
    I found a stupidly obvious solution to a problem I had been wrestling with. I share it here in case other people are as blind to obvious solutions as I am. I have a quilt I made years ago on our bed, but it is getting very worn at the top, especially on my husband’s side. I’ve patched the fraying material several times, and I’m making a new quilt, but it will be some time before it is done, as I don’t have a lot of time to work on it. The quilt has a wide border around three sides and a different, narrower border at the top edge. I was to the point where I thought I’d have to buy something to use on the bed until I could finish the new quilt. Then, the other morning while I was making the bed, I decided to turn the quilt around. The narrow “top” border is hidden by the footboard at the end of the bed and the center medallion looks the same no matter which way it’s turned. The new ‘top’ edge isn’t worn at all and it looks fine. Duh! I wish I had thought of this months ago.

  • Cindy Brick January 08, 2018

    Why not trim your quilt and use the trimmings from the borders to rebind it?

    They'll match exactly that way. Sure, you'll have a slightly smaller quilt, but the damage will be gone, and you'll have a 'new' piece.

  • Cindi January 08, 2018

    I may do that later. As it is, it barely fits the bed as is, and if I trim it, it won't fit at all. but that is a good idea.

  • Becky January 08, 2018

    Maybe if you trimmed it, you could sew on a new border to make it bigger?
    I know both my mom and I have fixed my nephew's baby quilt as it has worn out, but I must say our efforts are not pretty...so far I've replaced the back by sewing another layer of cloth over the worn out one. She went to great trouble and sewed an entire new top to match the one she made so many years ago (that part is really cute), and just sewed it on over the top of the old one, and sewed all over with a machine to hold it all together. He insisted on her leaving the frayed edge--it's part of his comfort. So, it's a pretty new top, with frayed "strings" hanging all over, and a flannel back that really doesn't match very well, but he liked the cars printed on it. Over the course of a couple of years, we got it so he could keep using it! Sometimes, a kid knows what he wants, and only wants that! Because he is special needs, he still uses it daily, and cannot sleep without it. We both felt good knowing we had "fixed" something so important to him.

    Good luck with making your new quilt. I'm sure it will be beautiful.

  • Kim Heller January 08, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    I have had a small table top clock in my family room for several years now. I use it in the mornings to track my time and make it out the door to work on time each day. Last week I kept arriving to work a few minutes later than I had thought I would. It turns out the clock had stopped working. New batteries did not help the situation so it was time to buy a new one. I needed one asap as I can't be late to work. I checked at a few different stores but couldn't find anything to fit my needs so I went to check at Home Goods. I found one there that is working fine and got me to work on time today.

    The best part was that I was able to purchase several Christmas gifts for great prices. I vowed to work on purchasing Christmas gifts throughout the year to making my shopping less stressful than it was this year. I purchased seven Christmas gifts for an average cost of $6 each. These are the same type of gifts I bought this year for Christmas but paid four times that amount because I bought so late in the season. I also purchased a box of nice Christmas cards for $2.

    My grandson's birthday is tomorrow so I was in need of some orange ribbon to tie up his gift. Orange is his favorite color. Orange was being a difficult color to find and when I did find some- it was too expensive. I finally found some on sale for $2. This was enough to use on my gift and then my son brought over his gift and I put some of the orange ribbon around it also. I still have enough ribbon left over for a couple more gifts. He is the type of kid that notices those little touches and they really make his day more special.

    Although I spent some money, I had budgeted for it out of my Christmas funds and it went far further than I imagined so I have a much better start to my Christmas shopping this year. Being organized and having a plan is key to reducing stress and having a great Christmas I can feel good about.

    I found some beautiful taper candles on sale for $1 each. I purchased four of them and plan to use some of my wood supply to make gifts. I plan to take a small round of wood, drill holes the size of the candle and cover the wood with greens and cones from my yard and add a bow from ribbon I already have. I did this for my mom and sister this Christmas and they really enjoyed the flower arrangement with the candles and the fresh greens lasted weeks. The four dollars in candles will make two gifts so $2 per gift which fits nicely into my budget.

    I hope to stay on task and continue to purchase or make nice gifts at rock bottom prices throughout the year so that Christmas will be a lot less stressful for me this year. This was one of my main goals for 2018 so it feels good to be getting a good start.

    I never would have found those gifts on sale if it wasn't for my clock giving out- it forced me to go shopping which I don't really enjoy doing.

  • Andrea Q January 08, 2018

    Thank you for the candle idea! It's brilliant!

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