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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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  • Juls Owings November 13, 2017

    Rhonda A .. my few harvest ...I chop mine up and toss into what I am serving, Hubby puts them on a saucer as a mini appetizer or I into the container I have in freezer for scrap soup.

  • Megan Z. November 13, 2017

    I continued to stock our pantry and freezer with items on sale around the holidays. I really want to do a no spend in January and eat almost entirely from the pantry. We have a few dietary restrictions so may need to buy a few items at that time.

    We took my car in to be serviced at an auto shop we’d never been to. The savings alone compared to our old shop was $700. Then they did the check up for free so saved another $300. I needed new brake pads and an air filter. My husband was able to do the work saving us almost $500. I’m so thankful we didn’t have to spend this money.

    I stayed at home a few days instead of going out. I was able to hit some online sales that also offered free shipping. With the exception of 1 or 2 things Christmas shopping is done.

    I taught my husband how to make some meals. While he’d be content with cereal this is a way he can fend for himself and make some healthier dinners while I’m away. Plus we had fun in the kitchen!

  • Sandra November 13, 2017

    They weren't on my shopping list, but I found chicken thighs for 57 cents a pound this weeks. That was a best price so I stocked up. I also stocked up on canned vegetables at 33 cents a can. I have occasionally seen them cheaper, but not often and I was getting low. The green tomatoes that we harvested before a frost are ripening nicely. We have been eating them fresh everyday. I have also made several quarts of marinara sauce for the freezer. Another favorite is cream of tomato soup, my husband loves it so I have been making a big batch every week. Does anyone have good tips for long term storage of potatoes? I would love to buy extra when I see them at a really good price, but I'm not sure I can use them up fast enough.

  • Juls Owings November 13, 2017

    Sandra here is how to store potatoes (do not store with onions)
    inspect all potatoes for soft spots, sprouts, mold, shovel damage and pest damage. Only perfect potatoes are suitable for long-term storage.
    Place the potatoes in a cardboard box(personally I don't use anything paper) paper bag, mesh bag or basket to ensure good ventilation. Plastic bags won't allow them to breathe, and will shorten their shelf life considerably, so remove them from their plastic bag, if they came in one.

    Store your potatoes in a cool, humid and dark place (45-50° is the ideal temperature range). If you have an unheated basement, that's the ideal spot for your potatoes. An insulated garage or shed may also work during the winter months. Just don't make the mistake of sticking your potatoes in the fridge. The too-cold temperature will turn the potato starch into sugar. (NOTE, if you store your potatoes in frig, let them come to room temp before using..like put them out the night before or they discolor when you cook them)
    Check on your potatoes regularly, and remove any that are soft, shriveled or sprouted YOU CAN BREAK SPROUTS OFF, so they don't cause more potatoes to go bad.
    Expected Shelf Life: 4-6 months, under optimal storage condition.

  • Marybeth November 13, 2017

    Great advice Juls. Also when they do start to sprout or go soft I make a big batch of mashed potatoes and freeze them in individual containers. When I pull them out I throw in a little butter and milk and re-whip them. They are great on a night I'm busy.

  • Tammy November 13, 2017

    I have also chopped them or shredded them and froze them when I had the freezer space and pulled them out for fried potatoes or hash browns later.

  • Rhonda A. November 14, 2017

    You could also make some dishes up which use potatoes in them (shepherds pie, stews, soups, etc.) and freeze them for quick meal options. Just thaw and cook! This might be a good back up idea if you find the potatoes are not keeping as you'd hoped and you end up with a bunch of potatoes that need using right away.

  • Katy in Africa November 13, 2017

    Despite the dry weather, I've had to use very little water for my plants from the faucet. Instead I use laundry and dish rinse water, and other little bits of water from cooking.

    We ate all meals at home this week, except for one that our friend treated us to.

    My son picked a few limes off our tree, I'm not sure if they're juicy,we'll see. We also had spinach from the garden, and one mango from a friend's tree.

  • Loyda November 13, 2017

    My biggest find and great price here in Arizona was Safeway had butter for .99 a lb, Gold medal 5lb of flour for .99 and cream cheese .99 each also. DD and i went together. Teaching her how to grocery shop and use the loss leader pages !

  • Marybeth November 13, 2017

    That is an amazing price on butter. I got the same price on flour so I stocked up. I do the same thing with my kids. My oldest lives out of state and uses this knowledge. She has been teaching her 2 roommates and boyfriend how to shop sale cycles.

  • Mary November 14, 2017

    Hi Loyda. I am Alison in AZ. Just wondering which grocery store had the .99 butter. Thanks! Mary

  • Mary November 14, 2017

    Typo! Lol ... I was typing I’m also in AZ.

  • Jamie | Medium Sized Family November 13, 2017

    Christmas stockings sound like a very thoughtful gift, and not something most newlyweds receive! I'm glad you were able to find a free service. We've needed a lot of repairs lately, and they are very expensive if it ends up being something beyond your skill set.

    Here are the ways we saved this week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-week-100/

  • Chyrllv November 13, 2017

    My husband and I enjoy popcorn on Sunday afternoons, but I have stopped buying it due to ingredients and cost.
    Yesterday, I finally remembered the popcorn popper I had bought for our Christmas present (3 years ago!) and pulled it out of the closet. Made popcorn for us at a fraction of the cost of store-bought microwave popcorn and healthier!!

  • Kim M November 13, 2017

    For anyone that may not know this, If you have a small paper bag, the kind you buy for the kids school lunches, put about 1/4 cup uncooked popcorn kernels in there, fold top over and microwave for 2 minutes...voila......popcorn!

  • Marybeth November 13, 2017

    We make it in a pot with a little bit of oil on the stove. I have a clear pot cover that makes it fun to watch. My kid's friends have always been amazed over the years. So simple and cheap.

  • Tammy November 13, 2017

    I have a clear pot cover too! My grandchildren love to watch it pop.

  • Heidi Louise November 13, 2017

    I recently read of someone who makes it in a bowl with a plate on the top in the microwave, popcorn and a small amount of oil. Listen for when the popping slows down. Haven't tried it yet. In any case, watch for hot steam! If you like lots of butter, mix half butter and half lemon juice. Healthier and about the same taste.

  • cherie November 13, 2017

    Lovely flowers and I love that gift idea - they'll treasure it for years to come!

    I cooked all week and did an inventory of what we have on hand that will cut down on purchases.

    I rebought some Christmas gifts from Kohls on veteran's day [online] and will return the same purchases for a higher price from the week before!

    I sorted through holiday wrapping on hand - I'm set for this year!

    I bottled up Cranberry Lime Vodka and vanilla extract from supplies on hand [other than the cranberries - which were on sale] which will be four Christmas gifts - I used bottles I had on hand as well.

    My 17yo son surprised me yesterday - he was reporting on his Saturday night fun from the day before - I questioned how he paid for the 'mall food' he had eaten before the party he attended and he said his friend had paid, which they were fine with because my son is always driving him on their outings. I was glad to see he hadn't borrowed for such a thing [since he's broke LOL - and has yet to look for a job :)] and that they were both realistic about the situation

  • Elizabeth M. November 13, 2017

    I made two homemade pizzas, putting one in the freezer before baking. I used cheese that was on sale, and a pasta sauce with sausage in it, which gave a bit of meat taste without the cost of a meat topping.

    A co-worker gave me several small pumpkins, which i am roasting to make soup.

    I had a small amount of two kinds of pasta sauce. i heated them together so that I had enough to put on pasta for dinner.

    My car stopped working on Halloween, so I have been walking once or twice a week to my job at the library. It is uphill on the way, so great exercise. I'm pleased at how much I'm enjoying that. There's been snow on the ground, but no bitter cold and not too icy. This week, on a warmer day, I tried to start the car and it worked! I think it's a loose connection of some kind. I'll take it in to be repaired at the end of the month and to get my winter tires put on.

    I used a free roll of duct tape to repair the case on my laptop, which was cracking. I hope this will stop the crack from getting worse.

    I am planning how to re-stock my pantry/freezer. the priorities are baking supplies, which are starting to come on sale in the weeks before Christmas, and meat. I was able to buy pasta at a good price and see that large containers of my favorite brand of coffee are on sale this week too at 40% less than I would normally pay.

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