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Frugal Accomplishments for the Fourth Week in May

May Arrangement ThePrudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden for the entry table. I put them in a $2 urn that I bought a couple of weeks ago at a garage sale (the mirror is the $20 mirror I bought at a garage sale the first Saturday in April; my dad recently hung it for me on a hanging bar, which will keep it sturdy, close the wall, and unlikely to be knocked off by passing children).

I shortened the shirt sleeves on another one of the shirts that my husband was given.

I hemmed the dress I bought for myself a few months ago on extremely deep clearance (79% off!)  and wore it to the symphony on a date with my husband (the performance for which I bought discounted tickets recently). My husband wore his "new" $0.50 tie that I bought at a yard sale. I shared a photo of the two of us over on Instagram.

Peaches and Cream The Prudent Homemaker

I sliced and froze peaches from the garden.

Blackberries in bowl The Prudent Homemaker

We picked peaches, apricots, lettuce, a few cherry tomatoes, alpine strawberries and blackberries from the garden. The blackberries are ripening a few weeks later than usual and they are burning before ripening (as you can see from the red burnt tips). The heat makes them very tiny (about 1/4 the size of blackberries from the store). I covered the bushes with old sheets (pinned on with closepins) to keep the berries from burning completely so that I don't lose the harvest.

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

I turned a garage sale necklace that my mom had bought and given Winter (and that Winter didn't want but knew that I would use)  into a pair of earrings just like ones I was wanting to purchase.

I used several 20% off coupons to purchase gifts for two weddings. Both couples were registered at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which allows one store coupon per item, and accepts expired store coupons. The store has a free gift wrap station, with boxes, tissues, and paper, so I used these to wrap the gifts.


What did you do to save money this past week?

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  • Wendy Gower May 28, 2017

    Here's my frugal list for last week -

    * Gratefully received a small bag of home grown capsicums. I've chopped them and frozen to use in casseroles.

    * Fed the chickens lots of weeds from the veggie garden.

    * Saved a few glass jars from condiments in the fridge. They will be reused later in the year for jam and relish.

    * Made lots of cards at the Cheapskates card making weekend. I used supplies I had on hand so there was no extra cost.

    * For three days running I kept the heater off and the curtains open when the sun was shining.

    * Bought 3 Winter tops at the Savers 50% off sale.

    * Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

    * Pruned the fruit trees and bushes. I'm hoping this will promote healthier growth and more fruit.

    * Gratefully received lots of 30 x 30 card stock from a friend.

    * Baked an orange cake using pureed orange from the freezer.

    * Gratefully received some bread bags. I used these to line the bathroom bins.

    * Jessica and I filled up our cars with petrol at $1.14 per litre just as it started going up to $151.9 per litre.

    * Sold one dozen eggs.
    * Fed the worm farm with veggie peelings.

    * Saved the pink plastic and display box from my Mother's Day flowers. The flowers lasted 13 days from the time Jessica bought them.

    * Wrote a menu plan for the next three weeks or so.

    * Sorted out my craft ribbons into same colors and stored them in snap lock bags. This has given me a little room in my craft cupboard which is quite small. Hopefully this organisation with lead to more ribbon being used instead of hoarded.

    * Darren picked the last of the iceberg roses on the bush.

    There are a few photos of these tasks on my blog

  • Christine May 28, 2017

    Wish I had the sunny space in my yard to plant all of the delicious items that you grow!

  • Gardenpat May 28, 2017

    This week has been amazing and wonderful! Our 2 hens are laying 1-2 eggs a day every day and we no longer have any store bought eggs! Our local grocery has been letting me take home (for free) as much produce discards as I want for my chickens as long as I come when they are culling and restocking the produce ( between 7 and 7:25 AM at my store) AND as long as I am willing to go through their rolling bin of discards myself so that I'm not slowing down their restocking efforts. In return, they will give me a big empty banana box to fill and I can pick and choose what I take home for my hens! I am truly grateful!!
    My veggie garden is producing wonderful amounts of greens for our salads- lettuces, spinach, Swiss chard! The peas are blooming and getting pods so I'm excited about my 12 foot row of them!
    I weeded and planted more tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and zucchini. I used Marivene's method of filling a 5 gallon bucket with weeds each day or two and this has made an incredible difference in my gardens! It makes the weeding much more manageable!
    We mulched the fruit tree beds and berry bush beds. Our grandson's scout troop were selling mulch and we bought a gift card to support them. We used $20 of it to buy 20 bags of mulch that were on a special holiday weekend sale so that saved us almost 70%!
    We were able to recycle some concrete brick paver blocks that we made into an alcove surrounded on three sides by lilacs so that we can put a bench and small table there. This was a way to beautify an area but also remove an unsightly pile of blocks! We hired some friends to dig out an area to expand our brick walkway in our side yard. The digging was something that would have taken hubby and me a long time to get done through the Ohio clay and we would have been pretty sore afterwards, but these teenagers did it within a couple hours! It was well worth it to us and tomorrow we will level and over the area and lay the bricks ourselves. The bricks were recycled from various little stacks around our side yard so there was no cost for that part and the hiring of friends to help with our landscaping efforts for three hours was paid for with the election pay that we received a couple weeks ago so it didn't knick our budget at all!
    We leveled and laid large concrete pavers in front of our rain barrels and cleaned out another stack of "materials" in the process!
    A friend sent us a photo online of some DIY wood benches that fir around a fire pit and so tomorrow's task is building one for around ours. Cost? Zero!! A friend gave us a bunch of long 2 x 10's that we will use for the actual seating part and the 2 x 4 framework will come from our recycled pallets! Screws, water sealer/stain are all from our supplies here at home too! Plus- it will use up some of the stacked wood that we were given!
    You may notice a theme for us right now! Use it up!!! It's one thing to accept gifted or free things, but the best part is actually USING them so that our home doesn't look like Ma and Pa Kettle live here!!! Lol!!
    Our side business is going well- we took in another $300 this week in profit with another order coming in. We love going to our free self reliance group for creating and growing your own business that the Church has initiated in our area! We have learned so much and our little side business has become so much more organized and profitable!
    I made breakfast burritos and sausage, egg and cheese mcmuffins for easy breakfasts. I bought a box of 4 dozen ears of corn for 8 ears/$1 on Saturday. We are eating some and freezing the rest! I discovered that this is my best price point for the corn. I thought that 4 th of July would be better, but it doesn't go down that low! So this was my weekend to stock up and that will keep our frozen corn at a year's supply level.
    This morning I am buying two flats of strawberries at their 99 cents/pound sale price and they will be frozen. I'll get another flat on Tuesday to slice and dehydrate for granola. How I love this time of the year!!
    By applying for and receiving an Amazon Prime Visa (which we will use for our business to keep our business and personal finances separate), we were given a $70 Amazon gift card. So far we used the gift card for a replacement part for our band saw (which is a vital tool for our business) and printable hang tags for our products that we will print our logo and website info on. These are things that we needed to buy for our business but were free because of this promo!!
    We added more honey to our food storage from Sam's club as well as buying more shredded cheese, 2 large take and bake pizzas for free because of an $80 gift card they gave us when we bought tires for our car there a couple weeks ago! We still have $$ left on the gift card too!!
    We are also overseeing a service project at church of making sleeping mats for the homeless. This has been a great activity that will continue through the summer crocheting plastic grocery bags! This reuses the grocery sacks and also has taught us some basic crochet skills while giving us some evening together with nice fellowship!
    Life has been very, very good to us!

  • Alissa D. May 29, 2017

    What part of Ohio? I'm in Cincinnati area.

  • Gardenpat May 29, 2017

    I'm right in Downtown Columbus (actually, Olde Towne East)!

  • Juls Owings May 29, 2017

    I'm north of Anna (which is north of Dayton) OH...

  • Mary Ellen June 02, 2017

    I grew up in Oakley/Norwood section. Love that city!

  • mable May 29, 2017

    Eight ears for a dollar?! Our sale price in Fairbanks this week was 10 ears for 10 dollars--so, a dollar an ear. Corn on the cob is strictly a rare treat item at our house; how I envy you! I went to grad school in South Bend and gained 30 pounds in two years, and I am sure it was that I ate corn twice a day during corn season. (Maybe the butter had a little to do with it...)

  • Gardenpat May 29, 2017

    This was at Meijers in the Columbus, Ohio area! And we are grateful!! The corn is delicious!!

  • Lorna May 29, 2017

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) .

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week -

    Finances -

    - Withdrew $100 out of the grocery money this month to top up our bulk grocery cash stash at home.
    - Paid $375 off our lounge chair purchase on the credit card and that included $40 I earned from a sale in my internet store. The extra money will be banked into our house savings account.

    Household Purchases -

    - Purchased a new triple layer vegetable steamer to replace one that was worn out. We purchased this on special saving $60 on usual prices.
    - Purchased new underwear on special for myself saving $8.

    Garden -

    - Harvested carrots, capsicums, green and butter beans and cherry tomatoes from the gardens. I see some nice carrot juices coming up :) .
    - Washed , diced and froze 10 bags of beans and blanched and froze the beans to make 13 more packets in the freezer for advanced food stocks.
    - Used composted lawn clippings to mulch a 10 x 5mt garden bed we are putting to rest over the winter instead of buying hay saving $70.
    - Used rain water in our tanks to add a tonic of Seasol to our vegetable gardens rather than use town water.
    - Reused vegetable washing, blanching and cooling water to fertilise one 9 metre garden bed.
    - Turned off the sprinkler system to a large 10 x 5mt garden bed now we have harvested everything saving us around 180lts of town water a week.

    General frugalities -

    - Cooked all our meals and bread from scratch.
    - Watered the house lawns all week with saved grey water from our washing machine and showers.
    - Used our slow combustion fireplace to steam our vegetables and make hot chocolates rather than use the electric stove.
    - Heating our home with free to us firewood cut and sourced by us.
    - Using our solar lanterns to light our home rather than using any mains powered lights.

    Craft -

    - Used $40 earned from selling my handmade items online to pay $40 off the new lounge chair we purchased for DH.
    - Took advantage of free listing promotion on Ebay to list 101 handmade items saving $151.50 in listing fees.

    Fuel -

    - Whilst out of town we filled up our empty jerry cans saving us $1.80 or nearly .04c per litre over the prices we pay here.

  • Rhonda A. May 29, 2017

    That is a stunning dress you wore to the symphony, Brandy! Thank you for providing the link in your post. The urn you bought at the yard sale is so beautiful with your flower arrangement, too.

    Another busy week, but I think we're starting to settle in a bit. At least we didn't eat out as much this week! Our frugal accomplishments this week were as follow:
    *Meals made at home this week included taco bake, breaded stuffed chicken breast with flavoured rice and lefover mixed veggies, BBQ chicken breasts with mashed ptoatoes and corn, a Costco chicken pot pie (these are so good but we don't get them often!), make-your-own pizza on naan bread, BBQ hamburger's and hotdogs with salad, and breakfast bowls.
    *My mom made some homemade apple crisp from the freezer to have for dessert while my brother was up visiting on the Victoria Day long weekend. However, my brother bought butter tarts as a treat that same day. We use the apple crisp as our lunch treats and dessert one night this week, instead.
    *We've been enjoying yummy treats at work all week as the new interpreters are learning how to cook over an open fire or with the wood stoves.
    *Mixed up a package of chocolate pudding (using powdered milk from pantry) and divided between 5 reusable containers for DD's lunches this coming week.
    *Opted to say home on the holiday Monday with my daughter, while my mom and brother went to visit a family member who lives an hour away. We both had a very busy week and really needed the down time. By not going, I avoided spending money at the chocolate factory they planned to visit on the way and yet another dinner out (we've been eating out way too much lately).
    *We took both our cars to Costco for cheap oil changes. While waiting for them to be done, we shopped for some needed items. Among all the amazing food samples, I was also given a swiffer duster and a magic eraser as free samples to take home! DH and I enjoyed a cheap lunch together as well ($1.50 hotdoge & pop, $3 slice of pizza and a bottle of water for $0.25), which was the only eating out this week (seriously huge accomplishment!).
    *Despite having 2 medical appointments for DD on the same day, I insisted we not go out to eat for lunch or dinner. DD was annoyed and disappointed, but accepted her fate.
    *Replaced broken hooks on 2 of my bras. They are still in excellent shape, but the hooks keep getting broken during laundering.
    *Found some good deals on clothes while shopping. For DD, I bought 2 pairs of shorts @ $8 each, 2 sleeveless tank tops on sale for $5 each, and 2 pairs of long pants for next fall on clearance for $10 each. Also found a summer top for me, but there was a small hole in the seam (only one in my size). I inquired if I could have a discount and received $2 off making it only $10! I also received a $10 off coupon to use this week. I'm hoping to purchase a couple more pairs of shorts for DD, and maybe another pair of clearance pants. Then she's good for summer and a good start for school clothes!
    *My daughter's class started "Perryville" this week. I LOVE that her teacher does this at the end of every school year, when most students are just done with school! The kids have a blast doing this project too!!! They create a fictious town (called Perryville) and everyone draws for an "occupation". This year DD pulled the highest paid person in town, the othodonitst...she gets the dreamy pay of $95/hr! Even at this high of income, she's trying to find a roommate to live with (she almost ended up in a house with 4 boys, but teacher shut that down, LOL). The students have $3000 to buy what they need to start their "home" (they create a list, with prices, for furniture, linens, kitchen stuff, etc. needed) and then create a budget for all their monthly living expenses. I know she was working on a grocery list this week. There are even cards they draw from (called "up and down") that throw in some of life's unexpected expenses or bonuses. BEST SCHOOL PROJECT EVER!!!

    Have a great week everyone!

  • Cindi May 29, 2017

    That does sound like a fabulous and fun school project. I would have loved that as a child.

  • Rhonda A. May 29, 2017

    I love that they are learning about practical budgeting. They have find an affordable place to live, furnish it and budget for monthly living expenses all keeping within their weekly pay and the $3000 start up money. They have to think about all the things they need for their home (furniture, kitchen items, bath items, etc.), look up prices for all of it and decide what they can afford. They have to create a meal plan for the week and look up prices for what they need to purchase. They have to decide how they will get to work and budget for those expenses. They have to budget for heat, hydro, phone, internet, cables costs, etc. They even have to look for job postings for the "occupation" they pulled and make a resume to apply for the position. Then there is the "up and down" cards which throw in the unexpected, the good and the bad. This project is really a great introduction to what will be expected of them when they leave home. The kids love doing this project too! As I said, BEST SCHOOL PROJECT EVER!

  • I love this school project! Financial literacy is SO important and it isn't taught enough (whether at home or at school). Also, I would have loved this project as a kid!

  • Laurie in central NC May 30, 2017

    That sounds like an awesome class project! I always enjoy hearing about your job as well.

  • Rhonda A. May 31, 2017

    The village just opened last week, so stay tuned for more stories from my job, Laurie. We've already had a family from England, a lady from Holland/the Netherlands, and a group of ESL students from the college (the girls I talked to were from Columbia) visit our site, as well as the usual school children and Canadians (one from out of province). I am always surprised how many international visitors we get. It's one of my favourite parts of my job!

  • I love that you went to the symphony. I haven't been since my music teaching days, but I'd love to take a date there some time.

    Here are the ways I saved last week:

  • Frugal cottage living May 29, 2017

    Mended my sons jeans for the third time (he has worn this pair the entire school year)
    Stood in line for a local artist giveaway and got a free art print
    Sold items on eBay
    Bought items at a local thrift store with tags on the them
    Mended my husbands golf shorts
    Accepted free canned goods & soaps from a friend that is moving
    Received a $50 gift card at work
    Played golf for free on Mother's Day

  • Elizabeth M. May 29, 2017

    I changed my extended health care to a package that provides less coverage. No coverage of existing medications is the main change. These have been stable dosages for many years, so the net savings should be $38 a month. In two years, I am eligible for the government's seniors' plan, and those medications will be covered again.

    Quite a few "plain" meals this week, like pasta and sauce from a jar or scrambled eggs with stir-fried vegetables, using the last bits of fresh vegetables in the fridge. I drank coffee black several days. I am having oatmeal for breakfast almost every day now.

    I like to have a glass of wine with dinner, but stopped this a couple of weeks ago. I was thinking I would start to have it on the weekend only, but I don't find I miss it, so I think it will be for special occasions only.

    I didn't have any snack food in the house and was short of ingredients to make any. One evening I made tortilla chips from scratch. The recipes assumed that you had left-over home-made tortillas, which I didn't, so I made a small batch before I made the chips. I liked them, though the taste was more like warm, fresh corn chips than tortilla chips. On Saturday, I had cash again and bought some eggs and milk, so I could make blueberry muffins.

    My bank called me and suggested a couple of changes to products I have that would save me money in my circumstances.

    I went to a meeting where dinner was served afterwards.

    We have had beautiful weather every day but one, so I have been outside working in the yard. The best thing is that the lilacs have just started blooming. I have a bank of lilacs in front of my house, and lilac trees on either side, so the yard smells wonderful. The yard still needs lots of work, but I am making some progress.

  • Laurie in central NC May 29, 2017

    I can't wait for peaches, blueberries and blackberries here! Just a few more weeks. I shared about our wedding and honeymoon in this week's post:

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