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Frugal Accomplishments for the Last Two Weeks

There was no frugal accomplishments post last week because my computer died. I'm still waiting for a new one to show up. Thanks to my eldest son, I've found a workaround so that I can edit photos and posts until I have a working computer again (though it takes a lot longer, so I'm glad the new computer should be here by the end of the week!) Thankfully everything is backed up and I haven't lost anything.

I harvested green onions,garlic chives, Meyer lemons, and Swiss chard from the garden.

I covered more seedlings with jars to help them to grow faster in the garden.

I accepted two used garden pots for the garden from my parents.

Nightgown Detail The Prudent Homemaker

Flannel-backed satin nightgown

I sewed birthday gifts for a daughter using fabric I had on hand.

I mended a shirt and a dress. I replaced the elastic in three pairs of sweatpants for my youngest. I had elastic that I had bought in bulk on sale that I used to replace the worn elastic. I also replaced the elastic in a pair of dress pants for him.

I turned three long-sleeved blouses into short-sleeved blouses for a daughter. Short-sleeved blouses are more practical in our climate, and the long-sleeved blouses had been passed down to my fourth daughter with almost no wear because of that. Now she has three like-new blouses to wear. I added the buttons from the cuffs to my button jar.

I went through several drawers and cabinets in the house and ruthlessly decided on items to purge that hadn't been used in the last year. To make it easy for myself, I went through one cabinet or one to two drawers a day. I added these items to our garage sale piles. and started pricing items for my sale later this month. My mom also went through her house in the same way and added more things to my garage sale items. Several of my cabinets and drawers are now more organized, which is a great feeling.

Our piano teacher came to the house for lessons and saw our garage sale items stacked by the front door. She asked if she could buy items ahead of time. Of course! I sold her a game for $1. She also told me she had a bunch of items I could have for my sale that she'll bring by for me.

Eyelet Dress Bodice The Prudent Homemaker

Making the vintage-style eyelet dress bodice using the $1 bedskirt I purchased at a garage sale last fall.

I used the $20 gift card I earned from Target in February as a wedding gift for a couple who is registered at Target.

My mom takes a woman grocery shopping each week. The two of them give me all of their Monopoly pieces from the two stores in our area that are currently giving out game pieces (a promotional game). So far I have a couple of instant winners: a free donut or bagel and a free bottle of aspirin. Since my husband's office is in the same parking lot as one of these stores, I gave him the coupons; he can enjoy the donut and I'll add the aspirin to our medicine shelf.

I combined coupons, sales, and Target cartwheel offers to purchase the Easter candy for less that I will use to fill Easter eggs.

I gave two of my sons a haircut and my husband cut his own hair.

My eldest daughter was asked to work as a server for a wedding luncheon. Not only did she get paid, but at the end of the luncheon, the servers got to take home leftover cooked meat. She brought home a tray of cooked, diced chicken.

My eldest son watched the RootsTech conference online, where he was able to listen to several speakers as well as watch several online classes for free.


What did you do to save money these past two weeks?



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  • Mrs. Picky Pincher March 06, 2018

    I never thought to cover up plants to help them grow faster! I used to start seeds in plastic baggies with moist paper towels, but they always were shocked during transplant. I'll have to give that a go. :)

    This week:

    1. I'm having surgery in a few days and planned as much money-saving measures as I could. I stocked up on soups and smoothies so I could independently feed myself while recovering. I really didn't buy much for the actual recovery. I questioned tons of people who had the procedure done so I'd know what I could and couldn't go without. It's always funny how we tend to over-prepare by buying things. Information saves you money. :)

    2. I'm drinking homemade kombucha right now. It's a great way to build my immune system and have a nice, refreshing afternoon drink.

    3. We're going on two trips later this year. I used a discounted gift card site to buy airline gift cards at a discounted rate. We saved $60 alone doing this. I also put the charges on our 2.5% cashback rewards credit card. All in all, we'll see a 10% discount. It's not huge or anything, but it adds up.

    4. We've been very good about eating homemade meals and snacks over the last few weeks. Woohoo!

    5. Our garden is also growing! We have several types of lettuce, beans, butternut squash, melons, cucumbers, okra, green onions, cilantro, chives, catnip, lemon trees, and an herb garden. Everything is still small now, but in a few weeks I'm sure we'll be inundated with produce. And that's a good problem to have. ;)

  • Athanasia March 06, 2018

    I can't remember the last time I entered an update. It seems like about 2 months. Just been busy.

    We have done all the usual of mending, recycling, using up leftovers, cooking and baking at home, hanging laundry to dry, composting. We used the wood burning stove for supplemental heat...the wood is sourced from our tree lots, scrap from husband's carpentry business, nut shells.

    Husband traveled to our younger son's town to get in on the sturgeon spearing for a day with Markus and his friends. I sent them along hot coffee, ice water, meat and cabbage turnovers, peanut butter cookies and brownie bites (brownies made in mini muffin pans) for their lunch and snacks.

    In the last couple months we attended 3 funerals each time making a donation to their memorial to the church. Attended one baby dedication of grand niece on husband's side. Visited one family after birth of their baby (5th), part of my husband's extended family who have been relocating to our state. We took them 3 loaves of cranberry orange bread, 2 with nuts and one without. We found a pretty plaque with Psalm 91:11 For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. It had a floral trim on it of violets and lily of the valley so that would be good for over a little girl's bed. They named her Mary Clare. We attended the Love banquet at church, a fund raiser for the youth group. I gave them a 25 bag of rice that they needed for one of their recipes.

    Oh, ran out of time...

  • momsav March 07, 2018

    Athanasia, What a lovely verse. I don’t think i’ve ever heard that one.

  • Athanasia March 08, 2018

    Thank you momsav. We actually have a similar plaque, same verse, but with the picture of a sleeping baby. We received it when our first daughter was born.

  • Pam Mc March 07, 2018

    I echo fellow readers in that I wait for the blog and it gives me incredible joy to read everyone's thoughts and ideas
    Stephanie I felt terrible that you are having such a hard time and struggling so now
    Love reading everyone's thoughts and sharing how you do things to save money, get thru hard situations, share information that helps one another
    Thank you Brandy for such great writing and a wonderful place to come

  • Stephanie March 07, 2018

    Thank you for thinking of me.

  • Jo March 07, 2018

    It's good to see you back! Here are our accomplishments for the last fortnight.

      We combined errands whenever possible and made sure to take our reusable water bottles. Unfortunately, mine broke but my husband spotted an affordable replacement a few days later.

      Most meals were made at home, using up leftovers and odd bits. I usually only meal-plan for dinners but we are going away for six weeks at the end of the month. So in an effort to use up most food, I made a plan for the month including all meals and drink options. This also saved hugely on this month's grocery shop as minimal ingredients were needed. I stumbled across clearance bread and meat which further reduced costs.

      I ran a quick empty dishwasher cycle to disinfect it with vinegar.

      We started saving brown packing paper to use as gift wrap.

      The air-conditioner was on for 12 hours total and the ceiling fan ran three nights.

      I claimed reimbursements for work-related fuel expenses and also got reimbursed for my volunteer work.

      I had defrosted some meat but then our plans changed and we were not going to use it in time. I cooked it to prolong its lifespan so we could use it later.

      We had our monthly dates in the last week of February and the first week of March so that was a little expensive. But the yearly arts festival is on and we love it! One week we had entrées only and shared a dessert, then saw a comedy show on the 50% off day. We also walked there for half an hour to avoid parking fees. The next week we used a 25% voucher for our meal and I had gifted my husband tickets to a show for his birthday.

      We continue to deliver catalogues every week and pick up all recycling bottles we encounter on our walk.

      I borrowed a garment steamer from my MIL to avoid paying for the dry cleaner.

      We are taking full advantage of our new private health insurance and have enjoyed minimal payments at the dentist and podiatrist this fortnight.

      Our friends asked for our help when moving house. As a thank-you, they bought dinner and we took home some leftovers.

      I had a manicure and pedicure at home.

      I had to pay for an expensive bridesmaid dress but in turn, my friend bought lunch to sweeten the deal. ;)

      My husband was expected to bring a treat into work on his birthday and wanted to buy something as we were low on baking ingredients. But I got creative and used a lot of substitutions to whip up some cupcakes that were well received. I also made his favourite treat - lime jelly and custard - using custard powder on hand.

      My in-laws invited us to their place for my husband's birthday dinner and sent us home with leftovers.

      I picked up free plums, nectarines, pears, lemons, spring onions, chilli, sage and cherry tomatoes from our local produce carts.

      It was time to soak all towels and tea towels in bleach and stain remover for a day, then wash them at 90°C to extend their life span. I do this every few months and it helps so much.

      We were lucky and found our niece's Easter present at the thrift store. I also found a bird-print dress to wear to a zoo-themed hen's day, happy days!

      I only bought needed household items, pharmacy items and gifts, put back "wants" and mostly window-shopped.

      I have been a bit more spendy with my personal allowance lately and have felt bad. But when I added it up, it was still a reasonably moderate amount and my husband reminded me that this is exactly what our allowances are for.

      My husband worked in the yard instead of paying someone although I'm sure he thought about doing that. ;)

      We have gotten a lot better at running our dishwasher and washing machine at the cheapest times even though it is a bit more inconvenient.

      I did find a container of spoilt home-made yoghurt in the fridge. It is only a small loss but food waste is my pet peeve...

      I'm trying to get into the habit of sweeping our tiled floors instead of vacuuming and am slowly getting better at remembering.

      All washing was air-dried, warm-up water saved so soak dishes and many Ziploc bags cleaned and reused.

    The last while has felt more spendy but I can't exactly pin-point why. It has me motivated to try and see if we can cut back somewhere or if it's just my mindset that makes me feel we're spending more.

  • Terri March 07, 2018

    I'm looking forward to seeing the finished lace bodice that you are making!

    We just got back from a not-so-cheap vacation (although we tried to save money whenever possible), so I’ll be trying to save lots of money in the upcoming weeks. The first thing I did this morning was pay off all the credit cards we charged while on vacation (we use credit cards strategically to collect the cash back bonuses and I normally pay them off daily, but that wasn’t possible while on vacation). I hand dried two loads of dishes from the dishwasher. I hung up two loads of laundry to air dry and, of course, I washed them in cold water. I made a huge batch (about a gallon) of marinara sauce from scratch to go with the meatballs I’m making tomorrow. Yesterday I made a batch of washing soda in my toaster oven from baking soda (I use the washing soda instead of dishwasher detergent).

  • Jess March 07, 2018

    We have been working hard to minimize our expenses each month. We had to do some things to our house, so we are trying to offset that cost a bit. A client is also behind on paying my husband for the work he did, so we are having to deal with a reduced income for awhile. We're eating out of the freezer a lot. We were invited to a dinner party and I made green beans to take - which we already had in our pantry from the garden this summer. People really seem to enjoy when I bring things from the garden. We also still have a lot of butternut squash that is still good. We'll keep eating that stuff. For suppers for March, the only thing I needed to buy was lettuce. Later this month, I'll probably plant the first of my lettuce and then we'll have it all summer.

    My online store made an extra $1000 last month, which will help our household income - we'll probably apply it to the mortgage. We also kept our gas budget lower last month. I'm not really sure how, but we did.

    Today, I was sick and didn't go to work. It saved us gas. I am thankful to have a job that gives me paid sick days each year.

  • Pat March 07, 2018

    So happy to see this post!! I missed it. I am glad you found a way to post while waiting for your new computer.
    I took the leaf out of my kitchen table and switched it's location with my hutch to try to warm up my freezing kitchen. I don't care for this arrangement, but it will only be for a little while longer. Since it is just the 3 of us the leaf will stay out of the table unless we need it.
    We ate all meals at home and took all lunches and snacks with us as needed. I had minimal food waste. I continued to track my grocery spending. My Feb. total was $182.71 and I was able to stock up on several things that will last a month or more.
    I combined all errands when I had to be out anyway and stayed home as much as possible saving money and gas.
    I've been turning the thermostat down during the day when I'm home alone, doing full loads of laundry and full loads of dishes at night in the dishwasher.

  • Kristin March 07, 2018

    Not really my frugal accomplishment but my sons. He just paid off nearly $22,000 worth of student loans in three and a half years! Every spare cent of his money went to this including all of his tax returns for the past few years. I am so proud of him!!!

  • Marybeth March 08, 2018

    That is wonderful! My daughter is trying to do the same thing. She has 2 more to go.

  • Laurie in AZ March 08, 2018

    That is fantastic! It is nice when we see our kids being smart and doing the frugal thing. It helps me to not worry about their future. I know that no matter what happens, they will be ok financially.

  • Allyson March 09, 2018

    We had a great week this past week! We did all our usual frugal things (hanging laundry, cooking at home, free entertainment, etc.), but we also put in an offer on the land we want, and it was accepted! So, now we just have to do the closing stuff and begin moving forward in earnest with selling our current home. Such huge steps, being that we thought our current home was our forever home! But super exciting too!

    Here's the rest of our accomplishments, including buying birthday presents on the cheap:

  • PJGT March 10, 2018

    Congratulations Allyson! It is such a big step getting land.

  • Allyson March 10, 2018

    Thanks! We ended up paying more than we wanted for the land, so we're really trying to make up for it by selling a lot on Craigslist and eBay. We need to clean out a lot anyway, so it's good extra incentive.

  • Annaliese March 11, 2018

    I am so glad you are back up, Brandy! When I get time, I love reading up on everyone's frugal ways. It inspires me!! Here's my last 2 weeks:
    #1- Ate out of the freezer and pantry- only went to store for milk, eggs, fresh veggies and fruit and a few free items. Simply we ate a lot of left-overs. freebies from grocery store= 6 containers of yogurt, 5 lb bag of potatoes. Gifted an orange, 2 apples and 2 bananas.
    Sold 5 things on EBay. Used that money to buy a gift card thru Swagbucks (got points) for a late bday gift for myself- went thru the vendor site on Swagbucks and got more added points to account.
    A beloved uncle passed and I bought a gc thru Swagbucks again (added points). The arrangement was a variety of flowers/plants that could be divided up between family and replanted in his memory. Split the cost of the gc between my siblings and got some cash back.
    Received more really good coupons in snail mail from Kroger for being a loyal customer.
    I am really loving the 5lb veggie box subscription I ordered from a company in Durham every other week. They take the "unsellable" stuff from farmers around the state and resell at a big fraction and the monies go to chartable organizations. I get veggies I wouldn't normanlly buy and love looking for new recipes to make.
    Gifted some KFC for Sunday lunch.
    Added 45-50 items on Ebay while the site had no fees for a couple of days.
    #2- Decided to cut time at Reality for cooking every week due to I need to have time for myself.
    Bought a gc from Swagbucks for a birthday in the family. Got points added to account and they were having a double day so I got 2x of points.
    Sold 4 items on Ebay.
    Made a bulk mix for pancakes- then made a bulk supply of cooked pancakes to have on hand and in freezer. All the ingredients were in the pantry from a previous stock up trip where store had good prices and I had coupons and used my rebate apps to save more money.
    Gifted free laundry soap from MIL. She has a subscription to get a 10lb box every month and they don't use it all before it comes again. It is an environment safe and allergy free one and the WHOLE family shares it.
    Used what I had in fridge, freezer and pantry for meals. Made a fully loaded cauliflower soup (bacon, cheese, etc.) in the Instant Pot. Ate on it for a couple of days with salad stuff left over from my 5lb veggie box.
    Worked a lot this past week. Took meals to work instead of buying them at the snack bar.
    Made homemade pizza while we watched the ACC games. All the snacks came from my "free" items from grocery store I have been saving up.
    Grocery Freebies= free big bag of popcorn, a bunch of bananas, (which I divided up and froze to use in baking and sliced some to take the place of ice cream with/topped them with chocolate hard shell syrup.) a few more containers of yogurt, a candy bars and a bottle of electrolyte drink (stocking up for sick days), 2 boxes of elbow mac and 2 Larabars.
    Have a blessed week!!

  • Audra Erickson March 12, 2018

    Hi Brandy. My daughter worked in her University’s financial aid office for four years. She states that it’s best to check with the financial aid office regarding parameters for applying for grants. Here is the link for FAFSA that clearly outlines their acceptance of GED, Diploma or completed home schooling.
    As a mother I recommend looking on Amazon and text book rental sites instead of buying text books out right. Will save you thousands!!!

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