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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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Comments

  • Annaliese November 13, 2017

    Very nice flower arrangement- colorful Fall hues!! Our week has been good. last Monday morning I got a phone call saying I had won 3rd place in a photo contest from Yankee Candle. It was a free candle with a picture of my choice on it. My niece is getting married the first weekend in December and remembered candles were on her wish list registry. I put their "save the date" picture on a very large candle. It was worth $30.99!! I entered the contest they have for the holidays... Same Mall trip-had a coupon to get a bogo at Bath& Body Works- a friend and I were out some days back and sampled a lotion and liked it very much- got one for me and one for her for a Christmas gift. had another coupon to get 2 free panties when I buy one, so I couldn't pass that up!!
    Grocery Store= had coupons to get 18 ct eggs, a frozen veggie bag, 4 pack of yogurt smoothies, free bag of Uncle Ben's flavored rice for free. Used as many coupons I could to make the Friendsgiving lunch at Reality for about 50 people this Thursday. I am planning to bring some leftovers home due to I am not cooking Thanksgiving this year at the house- have to work all week and only have Thursday off. My hubby's favorite cereal was on sale this week and I had several coupons to stock up. He is diabetic and this cereal is good for him! then I get to send in UPCs for a free box.
    In the kitchen- Cooked meals out of pantry and freezer. I am going to make my own Cream of Anything mix and crispy onion pieces for the green bean casserole. Making the dressing and a veggie side dish with the items that were donated to Reality. (sweet potatoes, apples, onions, garlic, and bread.) I am also making homemade turkey gravy from the stock I will be making in the crock pot. I made a big pot of chili on Saturday night and we have been eating on it since it has been cold and rainy here.
    Christmas- DS painted a picture of a train station. track and foliage in his art class at Reality and has decided to give it to his dad for Christmas. When I went to San Francisco earlier this year, an event I bought on Groupon was cancelled due to the fires so I had some credit. I scored a gift basket full of great stuff for someone using that credit and still have some leftover. I have been invited to several Christmas parties/festivals where I like to go just to look and enter the raffles/giveaways and get into the Christmas spirit.
    Have a great week!

  • Tammy November 13, 2017

    Congratulations on the photo contest! That is pretty neat!

  • Kim M November 13, 2017

    I had gotten ourselves into a jam with the credit cards. You know how when a surprise pops up and you dont have the cash, and you definitely cant say no to the suprise, so you put it on credit planning to pay it off this week with the paycheck, and then the paycheck arrives and its a bigger suprise??? yep.....happened to us. Several weeks ago I got an offer for a balance transfer card with 0% for 15 months......I figured what the heck and I was approved. Now all the monthly payments will go towards paying it back and not just the interest for that month!!!! Cant wait to have a zero balance and start socking away money in the saving account. 2 weeks ago I did a gas card promo at the store, you have to buy 50 worth of groceries and a 50 gas card before coupons and you get $10 off your purchases. My total was $65 (I had coupons), so I filled up my car and dh will use the rest of the card in his truck. Last week I made chicken soup, 15 bean soup and potato soup, we got a few meals out of each of them. On Friday I bit the bullet and ordered an instant pot. I used the kohls 30% off and a few other coupons to bring the cost down. The instant pot was not frugal, but, I deserve it!!!!! I really do without a lot and I'm tired of it!!!! If I can use it and figure out how to save even more money in the kitchen, then its worth it. Cant wait to do greek yogurt in it. My little one at my last 3 dannon lite n fits, and the greek yogurt was bought for me as a treat. We had colder temperatures a few days last week so I had turned the AC off. Its back on again but not running as often as it was in the summer. DD and I took a ride over to the wholesale food place that sells things in wrecked packages. I was hoping to find a big bag of celery and salad, but instead I found a 2lb bag of fresh sugar snap peas for $2....yummm and I bought a mystery box for $10. It really is a mystery, but its always been worth it. I've gotten things I didnt like before that dh eats, but never anything that neither of us ate. This time I scored what should have been a 40lb box of beef patties. When I got home I weighed the box and it was 32.3lbs. 120 hamburgers!!!!!! I am very grateful and very blessed!!!......Thank you Brandy for this website, the place to share and the place to find ideas. I read, reread and reread and then when crap hits the fan again, reread!!!!

  • Lilli November 15, 2017

    Dear Kim I enjoyed your post. I also found myself in some unexpected credit card issues. College daughters father cut her off when he got a new girlfriend. That whole situation emotionally destroyed my daughter. I do what moms do, I put all the pieces back together and we moved forward. Life always has unexpected twists and turns. I always try to be prepared for things but sometimes it feels like a struggle. I am happy you bought the instapot. It actually is for the family. The savings in time and even in food savings add up. I am hoping for a good sale during the holidays to pick up one. I need a food saver too. I have swagbucks and hope to get both. It is sometimes a hard choice to make. The kids always need something and choosing what comes first is just hard for me. I have to remember what is a real need and what is just a want. I hope you make great yogurt. I just found a recipe for gogurt.

  • Ellie November 15, 2017

    There is a generic foodsaver for about $30 in this week's Aldi Ad. The bags are also on sale this week. I don't know how well it will work, or how much you plan to spend on one, but thought I'd mention it.

  • Lilli November 16, 2017

    Thanks Ellie. I think I am going to get one at Walmart. I having been reading reviews and a couple of troubling topics come up. Apparently their warranty is 30 days. Their customer service may be with a third party . I have read hundreds of complaints about no service being available. I can't afford to invest in one and have it break. Walmart has an extended warranty for about 25.00. I found a coupon for 25.00 off that will cover the warranty. I would hate to end up with a broken unit and no recourse.

  • Patsy November 13, 2017

    Hi All,
    I enjoy reading all the frugal accomplishments each week. This week I did the following:
    - reimbursment for medical bills went into the emergency fund
    _a friend is clearing her bookshelves and I'm accepting a lot of books that will be given as Christmas gifts etc.
    - I made pasta sauce using up some italian sausage and home canned tomatoes. It made a ton and I put the excess in the freezer in smaller containers. The DH will have that tonight as I'm off to bookclub before dinner.
    - I loaned a museum pass to a neighbour so she could buy some tix to a new years eve event. I like to try and help out when I can.
    - had to turn on the house heat due to freezing weather and snow flurries but I only turn on the upstairs heat during the day and off at night to make it cooler to sleep.
    -brought all the geraniums in and put them in a bushel basket downstairs for the winter. You don't have to plant them or water; just ignore till springtime and then replant.
    -I bought new jeans on sale and a couple of flannel shirts as well.
    -I bought a new winter jacket as I haven't had one in a long time. I've worn it while walking and I'm quite pleased.
    -I'm sewing ear bud pouches for xmas stockings. Using material onhand and zippers I pulled out of plastic containers that used to hold pillows and sheets etc.
    -went thru the closets and donated clothing and household things to the Kidney foundation. They came and picked it up.
    - I threw my pumpkin and my neighbours pumpkins into my garden. I call it lazy composting and feeding the wildlife.
    -used 2 remaining waffles and a small amount of frozen fruit for DH's breakfast one day. Used other small amounts of frozen veg in various dishes I cooked this week.
    -used a rotisserie chicken for several meals including curry and sandwiches
    -used the last of the potatoes and the broccoli
    -started popping corn in lunch sacks instead of buying microwave. It's cheaper and lowers the fat and sodium
    -found some decaf. coffee so I'm mixing it with my full caff. coffee in the morning in my french press.
    -I put the phone at the summer cottage on 6 month vacation lay-up and that will save several dollars.
    -I made appointments for my mammogram and yearly bone density tests. They are free for us with our health care coverage.

    We are fortunate to be able to afford a summer place on the Great Lakes (it's very minimal) as well as a winter place in a warmer climate. Being frugal has really paid off and will continue to do so.

  • Laurie in central NC November 13, 2017

    I think your idea of Christmas stockings for the newlyweds sounds like a beautiful gift. I've been collecting warm up water and water from a drip, and using it in various ways. The last of the tender produce was picked before our first frost last week, except for lettuce, which is under cover. I also picked a bouquet before the frost, and took photos of the blooms to remember them, in case I need cheer during dark winter days. I'm happy to be joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/11/a-profusion-of-purple-frugal.html

  • Janet November 13, 2017

    http://amzn.to/2yBkdSQ

    Buy this for under $10 off Amazon and never eat it any other way again!

  • Holly November 13, 2017

    I used to be super frugal and have been lazy the last few years as our income increased and it wasn't a must do anymore. I am tightening up again!
    I organized a few of my food shelves. It isn't frugal but I threw away food with expiration dates of 2013-2014. I had bought some items to stock up and it jist isnt items we normally eat so I now have room to get deals on what we do eat. I made note of what I have so I can incorporate things easily pushed aside into our meals. I cooked up a 2 lb bag of pinto beans and froze them in 2 cup bags to add to soups and chili, etc. I bought a pork loin for $1.77 lb and cut my own loin chops. I packaged them in meal size portions and added bbq sauce to one, Italian dressing to one so they will marinade while defrosting.
    I went through my clothes and listed 6 items on yardsale site. I had two sold bit she didnt show for pickup. I don't know if she will follow through or not. I am trying to list items every day as I go through the house.
    I pieced the tip of one quilt made from my dad's shirts. I am making 6 lap quilts for my five kids and me. It was going to be for Christmas, but I had major surgery and didn't get them done. So, I am rocking 2018 presents!

    I was sick this week and we avoided eating out. We had grilled cheese one night, a frozen pizza one night, and I pulled out leftover frozen soup and chili. My husband made sausage, eggs, and grits one night.
    I have started back earning swagbucks. I got aggravated when apps kept locking up. I will see if they are improved.
    I pay all our bills online or by calling saving stamps. I saved $400 paying my hospital bill off within 30 days.
    We went to Washington to visit my son that is stationed there. One ticket and our rental car was paid with our credit card points. We put everything on it and pay the balance each month. We rented an airbnb which was a 3 story home overlooking the pungent sound. My daughter and her family went so we split the $185 a night rate, which was cheaper than 2 hotel rooms. It was an amazing home! We had a kitchen so cooked all but one meal, plus the airport meals we had to buy. My mother in law gave us $300 to take out everyone for a good meal, so we didn't even pay for it. We went to Pikes Place Market, The Snoqualmie Falls, Leavenworth-a German village, and many free sites. We did pay to go in the Space Needle and Chihuli Gardens. I bought ornaments in Leavenworth for my daughter and son. I have always given each kid an ornament every year.
    We have been getting together with 2 friends and having dinner and play cards or games. The host does the main meat and others bring a side and dessert.
    I have some machine embroidery projects I am doing for gifts. I may sell some, too.

  • Kim Heller November 13, 2017

    Brandy,
    I really like your idea of the Christmas stockings for a wedding gift.

    I am tasked each year with making a dozen centerpieces for our extended family Christmas party(scheduled for the first Saturday in December). This is at my own expense. This year I just don't feel I have the funds so I got in the "Brandy frame of mind" and looked around to see what I had that might work. I came up with some small gift boxes I had bought a couples years back paying .50 cents for six boxes. I had exactly one dozen boxes. I then went for a walk and cut some greens and some red and white berries. I got out my glue gun and hot glued a dried hydrangea from my yard into the box and accented with the greenery and berries and then sprayed it all with some floral glitter spray I already had. These will sit on slices or rounds of wood for this summer's wood cutting adventures. It looks rustic and festive and best of all there was no out of pocket expense involved!!
    They are stored in a cool place so the greens and berries should still look nice for the party and I can move on to other projects.

    I made brownies for lunches this week using a sale priced box mix I had. I added walnuts and pumpkin puree and they are delicious and contain a few more nutrients. The pumpkin was from our Halloween jack o latern and the walnuts were picked up on sale. I will do a repeat of this recipe.
    We are having to be extra frugal due to some unexpected vehicle repair expenses but I am confident we can make it through.

    This may sound silly to some but I am thankful that some of my co-workers brought in some hot chocolate mixes to share with me for the cold, wet weather we are having. I enjoy starting the day with a hot cup of cocoa on a dark, rainy morning. It makes it feel special since I don't normally drink it.

    Wishing everyone a great week.

  • Cindi November 16, 2017

    Your centerpieces sound beautiful -- very creative!

  • Marybeth November 13, 2017

    I like to think saving money is a family affair. If everyone wasn't on board we wouldn't be able to save as much as we do.
    -My son continues to bring home bread and treats from work. I have not used my bread machine in almost a month. And he tries to vary the kind he brings home so we have been very fortunate.
    -My husband continues to bring home leftover food from work.
    -My daughter worked on a homecoming float. They gave everyone that worked free meals while they were working and a class t-shirt. Several days it rained so they asked the kids to work on some items at home. My daughter used items that were in our craft closet. We didn't have to buy anything. She also helped decorate for a dance so they waived the $5 admission for kids that helped.
    -I was asked to run a cookie decorating party at my job for kids. I was happy to. When the event was over there was a lot of leftovers. We never know how many kids will show up. We had enough for 200. I'd guess about 50 showed up. I then set everything up in our break room for employees(they loved it). When my shift was done for the day my manager told me to take stuff home. I grabbed 2 containers of frosting. She then grabbed a bag and started piling almost everything into it for me. OK. I ended up with 6 unopened containers of frosting, 6 containers of open frosting(everything was put in small cups for the kids so it hadn't been touched), a container of mini M&Ms, a container of colored sprinkles, and a bag of individually wrapped cookies. I stuck the cookies in the freezer and we will decorate them on Thanksgiving.
    -My sister went to see my daughter for a long weekend. I pulled out stuff from the freezer that I put in their for her. She had about a dozen individual meals. I better start making more, she is coming home for Christmas!
    -Cooked up one of our Halloween pumpkins. It made 38 cups of puree. Then I made a batch of pumpkin muffins.
    -Made homemade apple juice with some of the apples we picked. Used the pulp to make an apple cake with. Used the apple cores to start a new batch of apple cider vinegar. No waste!
    -My husband's chiropractor gives out a daily planner every year. My husband grabbed one for me. I've been using them for years.
    -Bartered a restaurant gift card for some of my movie passes. Gave the gift card to a friend at her 50th surprise party. Bought the card at the Dollar Tree.
    -I have been getting great stock up sales and making my budget stretch. Turkey is 39 cents a pound. I haven't seen it that low in years.
    -We have been doing the usual: hanging laundry, washing Ziplocs, using crock pot for days that I work, cooking meals at home, using coupons on things we buy, doing Ibotta, raking our own leaves.

    Have a wonderful week!

  • Shelley November 13, 2017

    I was so lucky my parents came to visit. They paid for my gas for the week. Also anytime we went to the store they picked up the tab. I will use the extra money for Christmas.

  • Mable November 13, 2017

    1. a few weeks ago we had some milk that needed to be used up so I made yogurt, 4 quarts of it. We ate three and a half quarts but today I realized I really needed to use it up so it did not go bad. So, I made a yogurt/dill loaf of bread. It was not great, but it was okay and if we don't finish it all, it will be turned into cubes for stuffing!
    2. Someone gifted me a packet of Indian curry, all you do is add water and chicken. I added water, two cups of yogurt, a chicken breast, a few potatoes and two cups of zucchini I had grated and put in the freezer during the summer's bounty. I was able to stretch that spice packet to feed two of us for three days!
    3. Found a coupon for $2 off a jar of Nutella and stacked that on a sale and was able to get two large jars for 49 cents! A friend of mine loves it, so it and a loaf of homemade bread will be her Christmas gift.
    4. We have a rescue hedgehog and this week I realized that I can shred our daily paper and mix it with his regular smell absorbing cage stuff, to lower the costs of keeping him considerably. And then I compost the used contents of his cage. He was badly abused and is not very friendly (actually he shakes in terror if you touch him) but I feel good every time I see him and know that he is eating well and is warm and no one is throwing him against a wall as a way to punish his kids for not doing their chore of cleaning the cage (I'd like to put him in a cage...).
    5. Earned $55 in gift certificates to Sam's Club, over a year of My Points. We share a membership with a friend---she gets her mail at our PO Box, which we pay for, and she pays for Sam's. Anyway, that money is enough to pay for all of our Thanksgiving, including buying a larger turkey and a lot of potatoes that we will give us leftovers sufficient for a lot of meals in December. Free is good!
    6. Exchanged some of my jars of canned pickles for two dozen eggs, with a neighbor. I grow a lot of cukes every summer and for years we have traded eggs for pickles.
    7. Finished knitting a sweater for a Christmas gift. I am not a very accomplished knitter, so this took me 8 months and many redoing of stitches to get it right. I don't think you can see any of my mistakes.

  • Juhli November 14, 2017

    I've never heard of a hedgehog as a pet but how horrible that he was treated that way and how wonderful that you are caring for him! I have a rescue dog that was also tormented and she shakes if a stranger tries to touch her even though we have loved her to death for 7 years. She is much better though and has made human friends in addition to us as she has recovered.

  • Melissa V November 13, 2017

    I don't have any frugal accomplishments this week (other than NOT going out to eat - we talked each other out of it) But I DID want to pass on this tip - check your grocery stores (including Target and Mennards) for Black Friday food deals. Our Meijer store will have 5 pound bags of sugar for .99 cents each on Saturday. Last years purchase got me thru til this years sale (YES, I finally got it right :) ) They also have some other baking things as well. Hopefully, they will soon have a sale on butter as well - the lowest I've seen in months is $2.49 but I know I purchased it for .99 cents a pound last year (I keep a price book with the dates)

  • Jennifer O November 14, 2017

    Pretty decent week here.
    My mother and her fiance are visiting so I'm staying home and cooking this week. Served meals from the freezer and pantry. Gratefully accepting them doing small repairs and maintenance that I simply haven't' had the time (or energy) to do.
    They took me to Disney for the weekend. We used the last 2 days on the discounted military passes we bought back in February. On Friday, we took advantage of free doughnuts and meals for Veterans' day. On Saturday we took advantage of free meals for Veterans' day for breakfast and dinner and only ate lunch/snacks in the park. We bought no souvenirs.
    Attended a free lecture on tea and received a sample packet of several fancy tea bags.

  • Amy November 14, 2017

    I had a semi successful week of being frugal and I am thankful for the things that went our way :D

    *Carefully looked at store ads for the things I need to buy and stock up on. Was able to buy many bags of pasta for .49 to replenish our supply. I also kept our grocery budget down about $70 from what was budgeted. I've been trying to spend less and less each week to build up our grocery savings for case lots and/or great sales.
    *I went through and organized some shelves in our home and was able to get rid of a few things. It felt nice to purge and clean.
    *I have a hard time building a Christmas list for myself and it drives my husband crazy because I can never come up with a list. This year I have paid attention to things I am interested in having and made a list to use for Christmas time. This saves us money because I am not just buying something to put under the tree. Last year I returned everything I had purchased for myself. They were just not what I wanted. It would be much more frugal to have a thoughtful list prepared.
    *I combined errands and stayed out of stores. I paid any bills online.
    *I carefully checked out bank statement for the previous month and discovered a charge for $60 that we had not authorized. I was able to get that reversed and refunded.
    *My husband and I had a date night and used a B1G1F coupon for the meal. Plus there were leftovers for lunch the next day.
    *I am starting to plan our Thanksgiving meal. I got input from everyone about what they wanted and will use what I have on hand and search sale prices for the rest.
    *My son works at a community center and we were able to purchase a family pass for 1/4 the cost of normal because of his employee discount. This will be a great blessing in the winter months when it is hard to get much exercise outside. I have to use a swimming pool for my exercise in the winter months and they have one. There are lots of water exercise classes included in our membership.
    *I made all of our meals at home except for the date night.
    *I repaired my husbands tie that had ripped. I fixed pants that were too big around the waist.

  • Mable November 14, 2017

    Amy, I, too, had a hard time figuring out things to ask for when my husband would ask what I wanted for Christmas or my birthday (aside from a box of See's Nuts and Chews, the only time I let myself eat candy anymore and my husband faithfully gives me a box of them to open on Christmas Eve). Then I got an idea from another reader (not sure if this blog or another one), to ask for a day of labor. My husband is not lazy, he is always fixing or improving things. But sometimes his priorities are not mine and mine can seem silly compared to the major ones he has in mind. So now the standard gift from him is a day of 8 hours of labor, doing exactly the chores I want done. It is free and has the added benefit of reducing the number of little things I keep asking him to do (or hesitate bothering him with). From my younger brother, I always ask for a truckload of compost from the free city compost heap---he has to load it himself for it to be free, or he can pay $15 for a loader to fill his truck. He delivers it at the beginning of May and spreads it for me. This hard labor covers both Christmas and my birthday. I can honestly say that my husband's labor and my brother's compost are the best gifts I get and they cost them no cash. A win/win I think. I have a dear friend of many years who seldom has any cash for gifts, but she grows terrific tomatoes and pumpkins. Each year she saves the seeds and at Christmas I get lovely packets she designed and printed on the computer, each filled with different seeds.

    I hope some of these ideas might help generate some ideas for you for thrifty gifts for yourself.

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