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Frugal Accomplishments for the Second Week of November

Fall Piano Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested Swiss chard, a few tiny cherry tomatoes, 2 tiny butternut squash, a small bell pepper, a small lemon, a small parsnip, and 2 beets from the garden.

I planted seeds in the garden for lettuce and snow peas.

I combined errands to save gas.

I needed an item of clothing and went to two thrift stores in search of it. The first had nothing, but the second had some options. I tried on 12 of that item (in 2 sizes, in case of shrinkage) and only one garment fit. That one had no price tag. All of the others had a price of $5-$6. At the register, the cashier called the manager for a price, and I was able to buy the item for only $3!

My husband cut my hair.

We were diligent about our electricity usage and were able to use $5 less of electricity over the week before. I had made saving $5 our goal for the week. I have challenged the children to help me save another $5 next week, which should be more difficult (but hopefully doable!)

I found a place to perform a much-need service for $45, which is much less than the $250 we had been quoted elsewhere. I also found a place that will do it for free, so I'll be going for the free option. It's not as detailed as the $45 option, but it will do and keep me in budget.

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

I made some homemade leave-in conditioner using a teaspoon of regular conditioner in a squirt bottle with water (just shake to combine).

I was invited to a dinner (a catered event). The next day I was texted to ask if I would like some of the leftovers for my family. I picked them up and we ate them for the next day's lunch.

I figured out two gifts I can make for my eldest son for Christmas using fabric I have on hand.

I also figured out something I can make (using fabric I have on hand) as a wedding gift for my nephew and his bride, who will be married next month.  I looked through all of their registries as well to have a good idea of the style and color preferences of the bride. They will be married a week before Christmas. I will make them two Christmas stockings.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Gardenpat November 13, 2017

    This has been a terrific week- frugal-wise!
    First- someone last week asked me for the stuffed French toast recipe we tried, so here it is: https://pin.it/HDNjCJa.
    Someone else asked me how I hard boil eggs in the instant pot - here is the link I use: https://thisoldgal.com/pressure-cooker-easy-hard-boiled-eggs/
    Now on to this week! I went to my favorite Produce Market on Saturday just after they opened and saw several produce boxes on a pallet with a couple broken down boxes and a small piece of wood on top of it so they wouldn't blow away. I could see one bushel box said " black kale" and it was full. So I asked my new friend that is working there how much those boxes would cost. She was so happy and greeted me "the chicken lady" with the answer that I could have any or all of those boxes on the pallet for free!!! You don't have to ask me twice!!! Lol! I gathered up 6 big boxes of cucumbers, the bushel box of kale, a box that was filled with 30 ripe avocados, 4 bunches of asparagus and 8 plastic clamshells with "artisan living lettuce"! I then bought a bushel box of bell peppers for $5 and 8 (2 pound) bags of mixed salad greens for $1 each ( $8 for the greens)! So my total was $13!
    I immediately thought of my friend that I brought two weeks ago whose husband has been out of work for 21 months and planned to call her as soon as I was leaving so I could share some of this treasure. Imagine my surprise as I started to load up my trunk when my friend appeared! She had been busy at home but had a prompting to come this morning and so I was able to divide my bounty with her! She didn't want to take any of the bags of salad greens I bought ($1 each) until I reminded her that after receiving such an amazing blessing of free produce for us and our chickens that it would be ungrateful of me NOT to share! She then let me give her some of the bags. Since we ain't that crazy about asparagus, she went home with that, the salad greens, and 3 boxes of cucumbers! The cucumbers had been "frosted" so they wouldn't work as crunchy slices in a salad, but they were fine to chop up for pickle relish to can!! (That's why I bought the bushel of bell peppers for $5 and I knew I already had an extra 10 pounds of onions at home that I got there a couple weeks ago for a dollar! Already had gallons of vinegar and sugar and spices in my food storage, jars and lids ready. So my house now smells like pickle relish!!) I found a recipe for avocado cucumber egg salad sandwich spread which used up one of my free avocados, a cucumber, an egg (from my chickens) and Miracle whip (always on my pantry shelf!!) . I spread it on 10 Kings Hawaiin rolls I got as markdowns for $1 (I still have 14 of them left!) and package 6 individual ones for grab and go lunches from fridge and packaged up the other 4 to give my friend so they could be unbiased "taste testers"! I know that they haven't had fresh eggs since I was able to talk her into some free eggs I got at the store with a coupon. They have dried eggs in their storage but sometimes it's nice to have fresh! I am overjoyed to be able to share!! She, in turn, is giving me her pizza roll recipe which is made like a cinnamon roll! She feels good about being able to offer me something and I'm excited to try these!!
    Our Young Women at church are learning to sew and their leader asked if I could bring my sewing machine and help. Always happy to share skills with others!! They have a simple pattern for some kind of pouch and were going to purchase 20 fat quarters of fabric from the store to make these. I was so excited to instead offer and then cut up what they needed for the 10 girls from my fabric stash! Each girl will get be able to pick a set that is different from everybody else's! How blessed I am with enough to share!!!
    I found some new recipes for pressure canning more "convenience" meals that aren't using expensive flash dried meats that, while really tasty, for us would be breaking our budget more than I want to! I love convenience because I'm lazy, but I'm also cheap!! Lol! There is a chicken pot pie filling to can. You don't add the dairy until you have opened the jar and are about to make the pot pie, but everything else is in the jar! There are also some stews, soups and other main dishes that are then ready to just open and heat up that I've pinned and will start making (maybe 1 new one every week to 10 days!)
    Our chickens have slowed down with their production to about 4 eggs a day rather than 7, but we still are grateful and have about 13 dozen refrigerated that we keep rotating through. I am hopeful that we can get through the winter without buying eggs!
    I was able to buy my first thanksgiving turkey on Saturday at Krogers for 48cents/pound! I haven't seen turkey prices that low here for a number of years! I will buy a second one too since we always cook the turkey for the 32 of us who can make it! I am looking forward to using some turkey to can turkey pot pie filling too!! Now, I just need to find a great deal on carrots!!! Maybe next week at my produce market??

  • Jody November 13, 2017

    Gardenpat I loved reading your post! How blessed you were and to share with another one brought a smile to my lips and tears to my eyes! We have a wonderful God and may he continue to bless you and those around you!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada November 13, 2017

    Like Jody I too was really moved to read your post. And so great of you to share your bounty, your treasures.

  • Juls Owings November 13, 2017

    Gardenpat, thanks for the canning chicken pot pie. We love it and our favorite is KFC but we won't be making that trip. For two of us making it fresh isn't always convenient. I just roasted 2 turkeys...part of them will be canned as pot pie. THANK YOU
    Blessed Be Juls

  • Rhonda A. November 13, 2017

    Thanks for the stuffed french toast recipe, Gardenpat. I have pinned it to my pinterest board to try sometime.:D

  • Gardenpat November 13, 2017

    Thanks for all of your kind comments! What I did was nothing extraordinary. I think maybe wth all of the world screaming at us about the bad things and mean spirited things that people say and post that a simple kindness or sharing takes on a more out of the ordinary appearance! As a family, we have realized that we may not be able to change or control what happens in the world but that we will try each day to be kind and find ways to share and serve, no matter how small the act might be!
    Thanks for being such an encouraging forum! There is still so much good in the world around us!

  • Tammy November 13, 2017

    I enjoyed your positive post!

  • Carla November 13, 2017

    Your story of sharing your abundance with your friends, and especially your comment "How blessed I with enough to share!" really touched me. It was just the reminder I needed to hear. Thank you.

  • Myra November 13, 2017

    Good morning! My frugal accomplishments are as follows:

    1. purchased boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale.
    2. purchased flour that was on sale for 1.29 for a five pound bag. I now have enough flour for the year.
    3. purchased three dozen eggs for 2.50. That's less than a dollar a dozen. They came in 18 packs and there was a limit or I would have bought more.
    4. purchased two shirts for less than 10.00 brand new at Kohl's from their clearance rack. However, this is a bit of a frugal fail because I tend to dress in a vintage style and these are modern cut and I don't care for the way one of them fits me. It cost me 2.40 but I am going to use it as a gift instead, so not all is lost.
    5. Cooked at home, all weekend.

    Frugal fail, but lesson learned: My family doesn't really care for pot roast but they usually eat it whenever I cook it. They had roast on sale this past week, so I bought one. I threw almost all of it out because no one touched it. I will not be buying anymore roast. I love roast, but it's not worth spending that much money for it not to be eaten.

  • Maxine November 13, 2017

    Myra, does your family like Mexican food? Pot roast = shredded beef for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc. Also, it's good chopped up in a meat pie with veggies, and in myriad other ways. Don't throw out beef...there is a lot you can do with it.

  • Juls Owings November 13, 2017

    Also Myra Noodles, soups, casseroles (think like Hamburger helper) Gravy and biscuits.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada November 13, 2017

    Oh How I'd love to have roast but it is astronomical in price. My mother used to make a leftover dish with her leftover roast.
    From what I remember, it is noodles (cooked and drained), with tomato paste, canned sliced mushrooms, pimentoes (I think), green pepper. All of this was assembled in a casserole, then topped with shredded or thin slices of cheddar cheese, then baked until the cheese was melted. She would make stroganoff with leftover roast. She also would put garlic salt on strips of beef then heat them in her cast iron pan and drizzle a little red wine over them. I don't remember exactly this recipe but it was good.
    I wonder if your family would like the roast better used in casseroles?

  • Patsy November 13, 2017

    one of our favourite ways to use extra pot roast is a dish called Beef and Barley. It's a casserole and absolutely delish. And another thing to make is Hot roast Beef Sandwiches. ... a diner favourite.

  • Tammy November 13, 2017

    The dish your mom made sounds yummy!

  • J November 13, 2017

    The stockings will make a lovely gift.

    I found some needed items at the thrift store, I also used a $10 off coupon I had received earlier when making a donation.

    À friend gifted me almost two dozen Mason jars. All you canning ladies know this is like gold!!

    I finished making another batch of gifts (lavender bath salts). I have one more set of gifts to make.

    I resisted the urge to buy a hot drink on a cold day.

    I tried a new muffin recipe.

  • Terry calkins November 13, 2017

    I used my gas points from Albertsons to save almost 25.00 to fill both our cars. I picked up the Friday freebie at Fred Meyer which was cookies. I used half of the package to make a cookie crust for cheesecake. Cleared out the fridge of all leftovers making several meals and feeding the remainder to the chickens and the dog. My leftover black beans got made into patties for black bean burgers using Brandy's recipe. I portioned them out in Tupperware Pattie storage containers and tucked that stack into the freezer.
    Asked the neighbor for the bags of leaves she put at the curb. Some went in to the chicken coop for their entertainment, and some bags got stacked against the coop for insulation.
    Other than running my brother to the airport and stopping at the store on the way home, I never left the house.
    Planning meals from the freezer and pantry. I made English muffins for a change for breakfast and some pumpkin bread as well as pumpkin cheesecake using pumpkin from our garden. Allrecipes has a recipe for pumpkin waffles with apple cider syrup which I also made this week.

  • Rhonda A. November 13, 2017

    What beautiful fall coloured flowers and greenery you've used in your bouquet, Brandy. I have a question on the produce you harvested this week. Obviously it is not enough to make a meal for your large family. So when there is so little harvested (bell pepper, tomatoes, parsnip etc. you mentioned), do you save it or do you just incorporate it into a meal with other items from your pantry? This happened a lot in previous years when I had a garden and I never knew what to do with the 3 green beans that were ripe but nothing else was.

    Quiet week for us, which was just fine by me. Frugal accomplishments at our house this week included:
    *Meals made at home this week included breaded stuffed chicken breasts with potato wedges and green/wax bean mix, pasta bake (made 2, 1 with leftover meat sauce and 1 with alfredo sauce, both topped with mozarella cheese), meatballs baked in BBQ sauce with mashed potatoes and carrots, cracked out chicken tater tot casserole (using leftover rotissery chicken I bought as a take-out dinner earlier in the week), homemade cream of broccoli & cheese soup with homemade garlic bread (used up some hotdog buns in the freezer) and mini cherry pastries for dessert (see below), and perogie casserole.
    *Made up the last of a bushel of apples we bought earlier in October into 8 unbaked apple crisps (each just big enough for 4 servings) for the freezer, 4 individual unbaked apple crisps (to give to my brother for his freezer), 5 pints of canned unsweetened applesauce, and a 3/4 pint of applesauce that I put in the fridge to use now. Apple peels and cores went into the compost bin.
    *Hubby came home from work one day this week with 2 loaves of bread. He had been given the loaves for free from the bread delivery guy at his work (he works in a restaurant). Gotta love free bread!
    *I had an unusual craving for donuts this weekend. Instead of running out and buying some, I baked up 20 mini cherry pastries for dessert one night. I had bought 2 bulk bags of frozen pastries for only $1/bag and use less than 1/2 a bag with what I made. So glad I picked these up!
    *Made Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars (recipe link: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/healthy-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-bars/) for DD's school lunches this coming week, with leftovers for the rest of us to enjoy. These bars are relatively low in sugar and oil, use basic pantry ingredients, and are soooo yummy!
    *Pulled the area rugs outside on a slightly warm (had to wear a jacket over a thin sweater), overcast but dry, Monday morning and cleaned them with our steam cleaner (we leave the rugs outside for the day to dry before bringing them back in). Not ideal conditions, but we've had a hard time getting this chore done with all the unexpected interuptions this fall. The weather is getting colder and wetter every week, so I'm really glad I was finally able to get this done! If I had waited much longer, the much needed chore wouldn't have happened. By Friday there was snow on the ground! We still have to clean the rooms before putting the carpets back down.
    *I was asked by my work if I would be willing to be in a video/film/advertisement project, which I agreed to. I went prepared for it on Tuesday, as asked, but the film crew didn't show. They offered to pay me for the time I was there anyways, which added another 2 hours to my pending paycheck from the Halloween event.
    *Switched over to cold weather clothing and put away spring/summer/early fall clothing. I'm pretty sure this colder weather is here to stay.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker November 13, 2017

    We stuck the tomatoes in a salad. I put the parsnip in with other vegetables in a chicken pot pie. When I have just a couple of vegetables (like the green beans you mentioned) they can be stuck in a soup or a stir-fry, so as not to waste them. Pot pie is a good solution too.

  • Tammy November 13, 2017

    I like your ideas for when you have just a few vegetables! My husband loves pot pies.

  • Rhonda A. November 14, 2017

    Thanks, Brandy. By the way, I absolutely love the Christmas stockings idea for the wedding gift. When my husband and I were married, a great aunt, who is an excellent quilter, gave us 2 quilted Christmas stocking and a matching tree skirt. That present still remains one of my favourite wedding gifts. I'm sure the newlyweds will LOVE your gift!

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