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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Oregano The Prudent Homemaker

Oregano from the garden

I harvested lettuce, spinach, New Zealand spinach, Swiss chard parsley and oregano from the garden.

I cut roses from the garden for the table.

I sowed seeds in the garden for New Zealand Spinach, zucchini, and acorn squash.

New Zealand Spinach The Prudent Homemaker

New Zealand Spinach

I cut the sleeves down on two of the long-sleeved shirts that my husband received as a hand-me-down a few weeks ago and turned them into short-sleeved shirts.

I did the same for a blouse for myself that my daughter gave me that she had received at a clothing exchange a few years back. It fits me now and she was going to donate it, but I liked it and decided I would like it as an elbow-length blouse, so I turned it into one.

I saved the extra cuff buttons from the shirts in a button jar, to be used as needed for mending or on future projects.

On Sunday, I said to a woman at church, "I like your dress!" 

She replied, "Thanks! Do you want it?"

I was astonished! She told me the dress was a little too short on her when she sat down and that she was thinking of getting rid of it. She is about 4-5 inches taller than I am. The dress is a pretty navy blue lace dress with short sleeves. She came by on Tuesday morning and gave me the dress! I will take it in slightly, but I can wear it as it is, too.

I thanked her again yesterday, and when I did so, the woman standing next to her (who is about her same height) asked the woman which dress it was. She said that she had bought the same dress and had the same problem, and had given it to a sister who is shorter than she is!

I cut up a linen skirt that I have rarely worn in the last 13 years since I bought it (and that is now too large). I cut the back two sections into pieces for a pillow that I plan to embroider for my bed. I found a free vintage pattern to embroider via Pinterest that I will trace onto the fabric.

I gave one son a haircut.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  • Kelly May 01, 2017

    It was a semi-frugal week last week for me. I was on vacation last week. We celebrated our son's 13th Birthday. My parents took us all out to dinner and then joined us for cake and ice cream back at my house. Earlier in the day, I went to Dollar Tree and got a mylar balloon bunch for a simple decoration. It's been almost a week and the balloons are still flying high. My mother brought her scissors and clippers and cut both mine and my son's hair.

    Friday, I made my way to Columbus Ohio to see Derek and Julianne Hough's Move Beyond Live on Tour, for which I had . VIP pass. NOT frugal but I did have a free code for an Uber ride which I used to take me from my motel to the theater.

    Got several free magazines, thanks to my Recyclebank points and Verizon Smart Rewards points.

    Even though I was on vacation, I pretty much stayed home all week, save for Friday's trip to see that show. Drove 210 miles one way. It was all highway driving so I was able to get pretty good gas mileage.

    I won a $250 Starbucks gift card from being a member of a book launch team, that was running a contest to get people to post about the book on our social media accounts. Used that on Thursday for a drink and sandwich. Still have $243 left on the card.

    My mother was generous to give me some money so that I could buy some merchandise from the show on Friday. I got a full-zip hoodie and a t-shirt with that money.

    I had a great time at the show. It was definitely not frugal. I thoroughly enjoyed myself nonetheless. I took 443 pictures with my cellphone. They turned out pretty great. I did have a front row aisle seat as part of a Meet and Greet VIP package.

    I celebrated being 5 years CANCER FREE on 4/26, also the date of my son's birthday! The ticket to that show I purchased was in celebration of this big milestone!

  • Nancy May 01, 2017

    Congratulations on being five years cancer free. That is an amazing thing to celebrate. Glad you were able to do so. I am 7 years cancer free and say my life has its own BC and AC. Before cancer and After cancer.

  • Mary May 02, 2017

    Congratulations being cancer free!

  • Cindy in the South May 02, 2017

    Congratulations! I have very close family members recently diagnosed with cancer and I hope we are able to celebrate in five years, like you are doing now! You deserved that trip and I am so glad you enjoyed it!!!

  • Roberta in So. Cal. May 05, 2017

    Woo-hoo! Praise God for 5 years w/out cancer. I'm sure your whole family was celebrating.

  • Mable May 01, 2017

    Finished starting the rest of my seeds, for transplanting into the garden around June 1. My greenhouse plants were started six weeks ago and will be transplanted into the greenhouse next week. 25 tomato plants, 12 cucumber plants, 2 pepper and 2 watermelon plants. I doubt that the watermelon will make it, since our first frosts in interior Alaska come at the end of August, but it is fun to try.

    Continue to eat out of the freezer or cupboard, so I have room for produce I freeze, can and dehydrate during the summer. I made garbage soup for three evening meals, throwing in bits and bobs of whatever I could find lurking in the corners. I've never used jicama in soup, but I did this week. Ditto for finely chopped lettuce (my husband is uncomplaining; if I make it, he will eat it. The one time he told me he didn't like something, I nearly fell over from shock. We've never had apple, pumpkin, cheddar cheese soup again.)

    Organized all the cards I have bought or made in the last few years, so they are easy to locate by topic (birthday, anniversary and so on). I don't think I will have to buy any more before I die!

    Sold a number of books on Amazon and donated others for a tax write-off.

    I have a favorite soft roll recipe but it uses milk and I had run out of powdered milk. At 3.69 a gallon, I didn't want to use fresh milk. I found a six pack of evaporated milk; diluted, it worked just fine and that way I won't do what I have done in the past---found evaporated milk so old it had mostly solidified in the can and had to be tossed.

    Did a pile of mending. Actually, it is my husband who usually does the mending, as he likes to sew, but he's been too busy so I forced myself to stop whining and just do it. I have no talent or interest in sewing and at one point in my life I would throw something away rather than fix it.

    Other than that, just the usual stuff like turning off the oven early so that casseroles can finish cooking with residual heat, rinsing out plastic bags to re-use them, and so on. Nothing exciting.

  • Marcia May 01, 2017

    Last week was not super exciting, but it was dry enough to plant some perennials I had ordered, and also a new bush I ordered from another nursery. With it, I got 6 free ranunculus, which I have not yet planted because now it won't stop raining. We had two inches since last evening and it's supposed to rain for the next 7 days. Today there were severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings, and flood warnings. Tornadoes actually hit about 60 miles from here--will have to see the 11 PM news to see more of the damage --so far no reports of injuries. There were almost 10,000 without power immediately after the storms. Weather news was on the TV for about 2.5 hours straight due to the severity of the storm. Roads were closed in two towns near us due to flooding. I'd be happy not to have any more weather problems for a while!
    I have a long list of things to do this week, including some shopping which is pretty rare for me. A baby shower, and a dance recital and a graduation and two birthdays this month. In fact, there are actually four graduations although I do not expect invitations to parties for all of them. I do try to send them checks, however, because I am a serious advocate of the more education, the better. I have set amounts for each step but undecided so far about one niece--she got a 4 year degree in biology and then a 2 yr degree as a lab technician, and landed "the job of her dreams" just a couple weeks ago, in the same hospital in which her mother is a nurse! She is thrilled, and happy to be earning more money and buying things she needs as she needs them. I've never seen anyone so pleased to be able to afford new tires for their car.
    My own granddaughter has been unable to find a paying version of the jobs she is interested in--she majored in film studies and English. She's been working steadily until recently when her landlord offered her the opportunity to sell/rent commercial real estate in his business. She is intrigued and has been diligently studying on her own to pass the licensing test, and she did find him a tenant after a couple in her building moved out last month. She and the landlord hit it off as soon as they met--she says he reminds her of her uncle. Not sure about the landlord's exact age, but the uncle is 84! So I am hoping when she takes the test, he will guide her along for a while. She is very personable and enjoys people so I think she will be good at the job, and just hope she ENJOYS it. In the meantime, she is volunteering at the entertainment agency she wishes could afford to employ her, and doing some part time distribution of an entertainment newspaper, which I think she also occasionally writes for. Her goal was to become a movie programmer (one who chooses which movies to run) or an event planner (movie festivals and such.) She has networked with all the right people but the jobs are few in this area. She did an internship in NYC, and two here, so she has expended lots of effort. I think it will happen eventually, as she is known to the right people, but selling real estate could help her budget out considerably more than most of the jobs she has tried already. It's quite difficult to get a start in some fields for young people and she's been working very hard at it. She is about 3/4 finished with the course and then will take the exam.
    She is not the best at budgeting but her mother and I are seriously urging her to do more thrifty things. She does understand thrift stores and estate sales, of that we are certain.

  • Marcia,

    One of the great things about real estate is that is a fantastic second job. More than half of our agents (my husband and I own the company together, which is why I say "our") are part-time real estate agents.

    The laws in her area may be different, but here, you can become a broker in 2 years (rather than 7) if you have a degree. This was rather nice for my husband when he had been in the business for 2 years; he could have his own company in 2 years, rather than waiting 7.

  • Kelly May 08, 2017

    My 5th Grade teacher was a part-time Real Estate Agent. Or rather, I should say, a part-time teacher because in the afternoons, we'd get a LOT of independent reading time while he was out of the room attending to his real-estate business. This was 1982-1983 so, pre cell-phone/computer/internet days.

  • Marcia May 08, 2017

    That is encouraging! She has finished her first time through the course, making notes as she went, and will schedule the test and review her notes and take the exam as soon as she can. I think there are two parts to it.

  • Rhonda A. May 01, 2017

    What a kind gesture for that lady to offer you her dress! Such a blessing. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you make from the linen dress material. Your sewing projects are always so beautiful and inspirational to me, Brandy.

    I've had a really busy week and it doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon. Here are this week's frugal accomplishments:
    *Meals made at home this week included make-your-own pizza night, spaghetti with meat sauce (while I was away), stuffed chicken breasts with broccoli/cauliflower mix and salad, chicken souvlaki with white rice and corn, cheese & broccoli pasta, and "piggies in a blanket" (sausage and cheese crescent rolls) with salad.
    *Tried a new recipe for Raspberry Crumb Bars ( I wanted to see how they tasted before adding them to the treat trays. So this batch will be used in bagged lunches this coming week (DD & mine).
    *Went on an overnight trip to Ottawa/Gatineau, Quebec through my work. We attended to 2 museums to do some research for our Jaquard loom. The hotel and transportation was paid for, but we were responsible for the cost of our food. It was an amazing trip, which included a behind the scenes tour of the collections area at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Museum of Civilization) and a visit to the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario (Almonte is a very scenic little town to visit...definitely take your camera!). So glad I went!
    *While I was on my trip, my mom attended a charity bingo and invited 2 of my cousins, since my husband & I couldn't go. My MIL gave us the tickets for free. They didn't win, but everyone enjoyed the evening nonetheless.
    *I used my leftover spending money from my Ottawa trip to purchase grocery stock up on some much needed grocery items, including about $60 of BLSL chicken breasts. Made up some homemade chicken souvlaki with 2/3 of the chicken for the freezer.
    *Enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood for some free exercise.
    *Started back to work on Friday, cleaning buildings for our opening in mid-May. So tired, but glad to be making a paycheck again!

    Eventually I will get to reading everyone's comments. It's like catching up with good friends when I read them. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

  • Tina May 01, 2017

    A co-worker gifted me with 18 eggs from her chickens! I continue to build our stockpile of food. I'm shooting for 6-12 months and am sticking with my grocery budget as I do it as I buy things on sale. I have some potatoes purchased on sale that are sprouting so I'm working hard to use them up! My daughters have a birthday party to attend this weekend and we'll use items from our gift closet. I made a pot of Tuscan Beans but put in too much garlic (is that even possible?). The beans aren't right but I'm going to convert them into a kale and bean soup...I think they'll turn out just fine that way. Someone gifted our workplace with goody bags of snacks so I have several things to add to my stockpile and snack drawer plus a few nice gift bags to book.

  • cathy May 01, 2017

    have been planting all week. I got plants from my church. They are redo all the beds. I got 3 carloads. I used some in my perennial beds and around my pond. I probably shouldn't have but I hate for them to be thrown away. I got shoots from my neighbors yard of lilacs. I want to concentrate on my vegetables now. I can't imagine how much I would have spent on all those plants. I cooked all week except we bought pizza for our kids one day. I learned how to make a homeopathic remedy go quite a bit farther. That will save me $10.00 a month. I am using cilantro and chives in my cooking from my garden. It's still to cold to plant here. I hemmed my daughter's dress and did a lot of mending. I found some baby gifts at Costco for $10.00, they are $30.00 elsewhere. I bought 4 of them. I already used 2. I can't believe prices now. I really don't know how people can afford things if they aren't careful on their spending. I keep cleaning out the pantry and trying to use things up. Have a wonderful day everyone.

  • Melissa V May 01, 2017

    Well, my surgery (hysterectomy with bladder and bowel prolapse repairs) went beautifully according to the doc and hubby didn't take any videos of me all drugged up although he did get annoyed with how often I was repeating or asking things and I very vaguely remember my parent's visiting hehe. I spent alot the week prior so that I have all the groceries and pet foods I need for at least 2 weeks + I put several of my meals (I still have alot of dietary restrictions), gluten free breads and muffins in the freezer. I have never had a surgery before and am rather annoyed with how little I can do and get exhausted. I have a 5 pound weight limit as well so needless to say, I can't do much.
    *We used 3 coupons on the pet food totaling $25 off
    *I worked extra hours before my surgery so my last 2 checks would be larger. I cannot work due to my weight restrictions for at least 6 weeks.
    *I sent a HUGE load to Goodwill and got the tax return slip for it.
    *I mended a pair of sweats that had lost the tie and since I have lost so much weight, they wouldn't stay up with out one! I think I can manage a bit of sewing so I will be taking in a couple sweaters that I love and putting elastic or ties in several pairs of pants.
    *I started all my seeds in my little greenhouse I have sitting in a south window. My bell peppers are already 4 inches tall but I have a month before I can put those outside. I already got all the beds prepared so I can just plant when the time comes.
    *The 3 ducklings are growing so fast - I got them moved into a big pen with a large water source the day before my surgery. I was supposed to have gotten 5 more of the breed I really wanted but the person kept giving us the run around and then contacted my husband Friday and said he had 3 for us. I decided we didn't need to spend the money right now and I am not capable of hauling water to where they would need to be in the barn. I am a bit disappointed but it is for the best right now. The chickens are laying very well and 2 eggs a day is more than meeting our needs.
    *hubby picked up a inflatable dingy for free that he will try and fix and resale to bring in some money. He is still unable to work and now has a lawyer to help with SS disability.
    And I think that's it. I won't be doing alot for the next several weeks so probably won't post but will be reading everyone's posts :)

  • Gardenpat May 02, 2017

    It's been 10 days since we bought our starter hens and we've collected eggs every one of the past 7 days so we are over the moon excited!
    I canned pineapple this week, using some of the jar lids I bought for 50 cents/dozen on clearance and all 16 jars sealed perfectly! So glad since I bought 92 dozen lids!!! This cuts my cost per jar that I can by a huge amount! My pineapple worked out to 34 cents/pint jar total, counting pineapple, jars and lids!! Hard to beat that!!

    Made banana bread and banana oat breakfast bars to use up some markdown bananas!

  • Lorna May 02, 2017

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) . What a blessing your new dress was, I am so happy for you Brandy :D .

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week -

    - In the month of April we saved 54.68% of our combined after tax incomes including interest from our savings.
    - Today we banked more money into our saving for our home with cash fund bringing us to 19.68% of our target.
    - Purchased a new recliner swivel chair for DH as his old one was worn out and I knocked them down in price by $249.
    - We did this month's grocery shop and came in under budget by $46.76.
    - Stockpiled 14 more tins of champignons and 2 packets of macadamia nuts.
    - Used DH's paid gardening work to buy some groceries.
    - Used money earned from selling my crafts online to pay for $95 in clothing I purchased and paid for some groceries too.
    - Used our solar lanterns instead of turning on any mains powered lights.
    - Got our quarterly power bill in and we have used 164kWH less power and with price rises in fees we have saved another approx. $8 from our last power bill.
    - Watered the lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine.
    - Watered some new seedlings in our gardens with saved vegetable blanching, freezing and washing water.
    - Picked strawberries, cherry tomatoes and sweet corn from the gardens.

  • Jo May 02, 2017

    I am tending my herb beds, in one of which my oregano has gotten a foot hold and is growing vigorously. The garlic chives have matched it, though, so we'll see which one wins. My dill hesitated for a bit but is coming on strong now, as is the thyme. I've always heard how easy dill and thyme are to grow, and I've always had mine die on me every time I've tried it. This is the first year they are actually growing for me. I hope to dry lots of herbs in my dehydrator this year.
    I bought a second hand shirt and just need to turn up the sleeves -- the shirt is a size small, and while I am short, 5'2", I've never seen sleeves this long on a small-sized shirt before. They are simple straight sleeves with a top-stitched hem, so it won't be hard to do. Other than the sleeves, the shirt fits great and I love the colors and pattern.
    I have a couple of gifts I would like to sew, and my first place to start is to look online for free patterns. Next will be getting the fabric on sale. Unlike some, our local thrift stores never have fabric.
    I get my joy in the rain we just had, after weeks of dry, hot weather.

  • Rhonda A. May 04, 2017

    Jo, I often buy bed sheets, curtain panels and sometimes blankets at the thrift store to use for fabric. Often this is much cheaper than buying fabric on sale.

  • cathy May 09, 2017

    I agree, I do that too. I have used them for linings, and any other things you can use cotton for. I have made pillow cases and backing for quilts.

  • SJ in Vancouver BC Canada May 02, 2017

    What a blessing you received when you were gifted that dress.

    My apartment complex offered outside space for residents to use for gardening. I jumped at the chance. I'm partnered with two other ladies, both moms of 4 year old boys. So the three of us adults and two little boys got together for the first time on Sunday. What a blast! We all, including the kids, worked well together. We designed the space assigned to us and decided what we would do this first year. Then we staked out three 4ft X 6 Ft. beds for each family. We worked really well together and got it done before the four year olds got bored. Today I'm going out to start weeding. This space is just steps from my front door.
    Earlier today and yesterday, I shopped at two of our local grocery stores on their 10% off everything day. It's a once a month sale on the first Monday or Tuesday. I found some good deals for my pantry and also my monthly 'durables' like toilet paper and shampoo.
    I also offered to take some grass clippings from a friend. I picked those up from a friend. It will free up space in her yard bin and give me some needed supplies for my new garden space. Win-win.
    Continued with the usual - ate at home, made meals from pantry items, shopped at the non-profit grocery for bread and dairy, started harvesting from my established garden, trimmed my own hair.

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